A few weeks ago, Will spied a lone very ripe (ahem, brown) banana on our kitchen counter and declared that I should make banana bread. He adores banana bread. And bananas, for that matter. Unfortunately, I didn’t have time to whip up a batch then.
Today I finally got around to baking some … in jars, of course. I was tempted to call this one Chocolate Chip Banana Cake in a Jar, but really it’s basically banana bread … or banana muffins, depending on how you look at it. Really the only difference is the vessel I used to cook it in. What would you call it?
Anyway, one of the reasons for making this today is that I wanted something to send into Paige’s classroom for her teachers tomorrow. It’s teacher appreciation week at our school (yes, I know most schools already celebrated that!), so it seemed like the perfect time to gift them with a little something. We’ve been blessed with wonderful, patient and kind teachers who love kids and make their school days so special.
Really, this is the perfect something for a teacher gift. Just top ’em with a canning lid and tie a little card to the top to let them know what’s inside. I used basic kitchen twine, but you could go fancy with some pretty ribbon too.
As for the Chocolate Chip Banana Bread, it’s positively lovable. It’s perfectly moist, with a light crumb. I’ve added just a touch of cinnamon that gives the flavor a little depth, without really making its presence known. It’s subtle. And mini chocolate chips are the perfect addition to the sweet banana batter.
It’s based on my recipe for Chocolate Chip Banana Nut Bread, but is minus the nuts to comply with the nut-free environment of our school.
The Chocolate Chip Banana Bread is baked directly in the jars on a baking sheet in the oven. I keep an old baking sheet around just for the occasion. It’s perfect for being the firm surface for small containers like this. And yes, jars are perfectly okay for baking. If you don’t have them already, you can pick some up at most grocery stores or online.
What’s your favorite food to gift?
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
- 2 ripe bananas, mashed
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tbsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp kosher salt
- 1/3 cup mini semisweet chocolate chips
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place 6 half-pint jelly jars on a baking sheet. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the butter and brown sugar. Beat on medium speed until light and fluffy looking, 2-3 minutes. Add the egg and beat well until combined, about 1 minute. Add the vanilla, cinnamon and bananas and beat on medium speed.
- While the bananas are beating in, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt in a small bowl. Reduce the mixer speed to low, and add a little at a time until fully combined. Pour in the chocolate chips and beat for a few more minutes, until just combined.
- Divide the batter evenly among six jelly jars, tapping each one lightly to spread it out a little.
- Bake the jars on the baking sheet in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes, until the tops just start to brown and a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Remove from oven. These can be covered with a canning jar lid and stored up to five days.
Sarah Walker Caron is a cookbook author, freelance writer and founder of Sarah’s Cucina Bella. She is the author of several cookbooks including The Super Easy 5-Ingredient Cookbook and One-Pot Pasta, both from Rockridge Press. A single mother to two kids in middle school, Sarah loves nightly family dinners, juicy tomatoes plucked fresh from the vine and lazy days on the beach. She also adores reading and traveling.