Banana bread with chocolate streusel

To me, fall means loaf cakes of all kinds. Apple, pumpkin, carrot, you name it. This year, on the first day of September, I literally dropped what I was doing to go to the grocery store to buy ingredients for a carrot cake with apple cider and olive oil frosted with a maple brown butter cream cheese spread. It was almost more fall than a pumpkin spice latte.

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Despite my fall urges, the weather refuses to cooperate. The difficulty (bear with me here, East Coasters) of living in California is that the weather varies daily or weekly, not seasonally. So, on September 1st, when I made that beautiful carrot cake, it went perfectly with the foggy weather and riding boots. However, on September 3rd, it was 85 degrees out, and my carrot loaf seemed silly and out of season.

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Recently, the weather has been cooperating more with my Boston-based idea of Fall. The leaves outside my apartment are turning a beautiful rust color, slowly but surely, and the temperatures are dropping. Once I pulled out my tights, I knew that I was finally ready to bring out the loaf pan again.

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Fortunately, just that day, I came across a new Food52 recipe for banana bread with a chocolate streusel topping. I have never really been a lover of banana bread – Sarah, though, is absolutely in LOVE with banana bread – but this recipe got me pretty excited about re-visiting the dessert. I combined the chocolate streusel topping from Food52 with the jacked up banana bread recipe from Smitten Kitchen, and a beautiful thing happened.

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My classmates demolished this bad boy in 15 minutes flat, so I think that means you should try making it too! If you’re also planning to share with friends, be sure to save a couple slices for yourself beforehand.

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For this recipe, you need a lot of bananas, a little love, and only two bowls. If you, like me, are prone to uncontrollable desert urges, never fear: you don’t have to wait 3 days for your bananas to ripen. I put mine in the oven at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes, or until they were shiny and black on the outside. Once they were cool enough to not scramble the eggs in the batter, I started mixing.

Banana Bread with Chocolate Streusel
Adapted from Food52 and Smitten Kitchen

3-4 ripe bananas, smashed
1/3 cup melted salted butter (or browned, if you dare)
1/4 cup softened butter
1.25 cups light brown sugar, divided
1 egg, beaten
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking soda
pinch of salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
pinch of ground cloves
2 cups flour
1/2 cup chocolate, roughly chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix melted butter with bananas. Add in 3/4 cup sugar, eggs, vanilla, spices, baking soda, and salt. Finally, add 1.5 cups flour and mix until just combined. Pour batter into a buttered and floured loaf pan. Next, combine 1/2 cup flour, softened butter, and 1/2 cup sugar in a bowl until crumbly in texture, with largest crumbs being the size of peas. Then, mix in the chocolate. Top loaf generously with streusel. Bake for 50 minutes to an hour, or until golden brown and a tester comes out clean.

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