A Sinful Solution to Overripe Bananas

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Recently, we had roughly four overly ripe bananas sitting on our counter.  You know the variety – too ripe to eat but a shame to throw away.  Honestly, I wanted to make a delectable banana sheet cake of the bananas, but was too afraid of keeping the rich cake with cream cheese frosting around for too long (no reason other than I would peck at it all day in lieu of eating anything else!).  The original banana sheet cake recipe is simply the best and it’s my go-to recipe for a simple sheet cake idea.

For this baking exercise however, I compromised and adapted the banana sheet cake recipe to a banana bread and added some semisweet chocolate chips on top before baking.  I was pleasantly surprised that the combination worked so well, and that the sweetness was not overpowering.  It’s a great bread/cake to freeze for later as well.

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Banana Sheet Cake Recipe

http://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/banana_sheet_cake/

*As mentioned, this recipe is great as-is.  I adapted it to banana bread by making the batter per the recipe, and pouring the batter into two, 9″ x 5″ loaf pans.  Prior to pouring the batter, I lined the pans with butter and then parchment paper for easy removal and clean up.  Prior to baking, sprinkle semisweet chocolate chips liberally on top.  Bake for at least 50 minutes, but periodically check on the bread to ensure that it is not over or under done.  Bread should have a lovely brown uniform color, when done.  Wait 10 minutes before removing from the pan and cool on a wire rack for at least 30 minutes (more, if you have the time), to allow the chocolate chips to come back to room temperature (otherwise cutting into the bread creates a gooey mess.)

To freeze, allow the bread to fully come to room temperature.  Wrap the loaf in Saran wrap, ensuring that all sides are completely covered.  Then wrap loaf tightly in aluminum foil.  (Ensure that there is no air that will seep into the bread, without squashing the bread itself).  The last two steps are optional, but I do them for all my freezing needs:  place bread in a gallon ziplock bag and label the bag with the name of the bread/cake and today’s date.  The bread will be good for at least 2-3 months.  We usually use it up in a month.

To thaw, leave the bread out (still wrapped) at room temperature for 24 hours and then slice and serve.  You can also briefly warm it up in the oven or microwave, after thawing.

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