The weather in NYC has been teasing lately. First it was a few weeks of 70+ degree weather and everyone broke out flip flops, toasted margarita's at the Boat Basin and rejoyced that summer was finally here. Then it dropped to the 50's and we were forced back into pashmina scarves and boots. And now it's hovering in the 60's just cold enough to force peeping toes inside and keep me in a perpetual state of chilly.
Despite the bite in the air, we underestimated the sun and braved the park this weekend intent on warming up. Instead of heat, however, we got a windy afternoon that even my Patagonia fleece couldn't fend off. So what gives, Mother Nature? I'm ready for some heat.
The only way to get it was to cozy under some blankets and find the nearest warm-blooded person to snuggle next to - which is how I spent most of my Sunday. To get the feeling back I thought about what to bake tonight as an excuse to turn my oven on and heat the apartment. The coziest thing I could think of short of mac & cheese was banana bread... or zucchini bread... or chocolate chip muffins - so I did a quick search and decided on "Compost Bread," inspired by Momofuku Milk Bar's Compost Cookies. The irony is that you're supposed to just use up what's in your pantry (potato chips, chocolate chips, pretzels, Rice Krispies, etc.) for Compost Cookies, but after another busy weekend I still had an empty kitchen cabinet. So I grabbed 3 ripe banana's and 2 small zucchini from my corner fruit stand and got to work.
I added chopped pecans and chocolate chips (cuz I love them) and the smell added a layer of much-needed cozy to my Monday night - the heat from the oven didn't hurt either.
This recipe made a gorgeous loaf, complete with cracked top and golden edges. And the flecks of green inside were a lovely addition. I love banana and zucchini bread separately, so why haven't I ever thought to marry them with a sprinkle of chocolate?
Need some cozy? Pop this into your oven and try to resist the urge to layer the warm pieces all over your body in an delicious banana blanket.
or, "The Marathoner's Banana Bread" via Q's Eats
1 1/2 cup + 2 tbsp. whole wheat flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. salt
2 large eggs, room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil (I used Canola oil)
t tbsp. fat free vanilla yogurt
1 tsp. vanilla extract
3 large ripe bananas, mashed
1 cup zucchini, shredded
3/4 cups walnuts (I used pecans)
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (dark chocolate would be great here!)
Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease a 9x5x3 loaf pan.
Sift together flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt in large bowl. Set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine eggs and sugar and beat at medium-high speed until mixture is very thick and pale and forms a ribbon when beater is lifted. Reduce speed to low and add oil in a slow stream, then mix in yogurt, vanilla, bananas, and zucchini. Remove bowl from mixer and fold in flour mixture and walnuts and chocolate chips until combined.
Pour batter into prepared loaf pan, spreading evenly, and bake in the middle of the oven until golden brown, about an hour and 10 minutes.
Cool loaf in pan on a rack for 10 minutes, then turn out onto rack. Turn loaf right side up and cool completely.