Marbled Banana Chocolate Chip Bread

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Besides zucchini bread, one of my all-time favorite kinds of bread would have to be banana. My mom always made buttermilk banana bread for us- it's something that I could eat slice after slice of! So the other day when I looked at the counter and saw that we had some brown bananas I knew I had to make some. This time I decided to add a swirl of chocolate to it and toss in some mini chocolate chips, just to mix things up a bit. I'm not sure which way I like better- plain or with chocolate. Either way this banana bread is perfect for breakfast, as a snack or even as dessert! What things do you like to add to banana bread? I'm a big fan of walnuts, but I'm thinking next time I'm going to try peanut butter or coconut. Mmm!

Marbled Banana Chocolate Chip Bread
2½ c. all-purpose flour
1¼ c. sugar
½ c. butter, at room temperature
2 eggs
2 c. very ripe bananas, mashed (3-4)
½ c. buttermilk
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla

For the chocolate swirl:
2 tbsp. Dutch-process cocoa powder
2 tbsp. warm water
⅓ c. mini chocolate chips

1. Move oven rack to position where pans will be in the center of the oven. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease the bottoms of 2 loaf pans using non-stick baking spray or butter and flour.
2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat sugar and butter until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, lightly beating until incorporated.
3. In a medium size mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda and salt, set aside.
4. Mash bananas on a plate using a fork. Add bananas, buttermilk and vanilla, mix just until incorporated. With mixing speed on low, gradually add in the dry ingredients. Remove bowl from stand and place about 1/4 of the batter into a mixing bowl. Combine the warm water and the cocoa powder, add mixture to the removed batter creating a chocolate batter. Pour in mini chocolate chips.
5. Pour plain banana batter into pans, dividing evenly between the two. Then pour the chocolate batter on top. Gently swirl with a knife or spatula (if you overdo it you wont have nice swirls).
6. Place in oven and bake for approximately one hour, or until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean, and the loaves are golden brown on the top. Remove from oven and let cool for 10 minutes, then loosen the sides of the loves and remove from pans onto wire rack. Let cool completely (about 2 hours) before slicing and eating.
Recipe adapted from my mom's buttermilk banana bread | Makes 2 loaves

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