This rich banana bread is filled with treasures -- mandarin oranges, maraschino cherries, coconut, almonds, chocolate chips, dates or raisins -- that remind us of the gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh that the three Magi presented to the Christ Child over 2000 years ago.
Gift of the Magi BreadPin It
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup mashed ripe bananas (about 2 medium)
1 can (11 ounces) mandarin oranges, drained
1/2 cup chopped maraschino cherries
1 cup flaked unsweetened coconut
1 cup (6 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
2/3 cup sliced almonds, divided
1/2 cup chopped dates or raisins
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease two 8x4 inch loaf pans, or 6 or 7 mini loaf pans.
In a large mixing bowl, cream butter or margarine and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs and vanilla. In a separate bowl combine the dry ingredients: flour, baking soda and salt. Add the dry ingredients alternately with the mashed bananas to the creamed mixture. Stir in the mandarin oranges, shredded coconut, chocolate chips, only 1/2 cup almonds, cherries and dates or raisins.
Pour into the two greased loaf pans or mini-loaf pans. Sprinkle the top with remaining almonds. Bake at 350° for 50-55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing bread from pans. Cool completely on wire racks.