1 to 1 1/2cupmashed banana*from 3 to 4 overripe bananas
1teaspoonpure vanilla extract
1cupchocolate chips/chunkssemisweet, milk, or a combo, plus additional for top (optional)
1cupshredded coconutplus additional for top (optional)
Arrange an oven rack in the center position of the oven and preheat to 350°F. Grease an 8- by 4-inch loaf pan with softened butter, or generously coat with non-stick cooking spray.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt; set aside. In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to blend the butter until creamy. Mix in the brown sugar and beat for 1 minute. Stir in the eggs, mashed banana, and vanilla until well blended (it's okay if it looks a little curdled at this point). Stir in the flour mixture until just combined. Fold in the chocolate chips and the shredded coconut.
Scrape the batter into the prepared loaf pan and smooth the top. Sprinkle with additional chocolate chips and/or coconut, if using, and lightly press into the surface (if stray pieces of coconut are sticking up, they will burn). Bake for 55 to 60 minutes or until the outside of the bread is dark and crunchy and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean (unless you stick it in a chocolate chip!).
Allow the bread to cool for at least 10 minutes before turning it out of the pan onto a wire rack to finish cooling. Serve warm or at room temperature. Once completely cool, tightly wrap or cover any leftover banana bread and store it on the counter for up to a couple of days (and in the refrigerator after that).
*Using the greater amount of mashed banana will result in moister banana bread, but the recipe will turn out just fine using the lesser amount.