Saturday, August 07, 2010

Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins


see step photos on our blog »
These tender, moist banana muffins are packed with three different kinds of goodies: toasted walnuts, cinnamon chips or bits, and chocolate chips. Chocolate and banana? Think banana split, you'll get the picture.

After initially posting this recipe and then reading your comments, we've cut back on the sugar a bit. The muffins are even tastier than before, as less sweetness allows the flavors of the other ingredients to shine through.

    * 1/2 cup butter
    * 2/3 cup sugar
    * 1 cup mashed banana, about 2 medium or 1 1/2 large bananas
    * 1 large egg
    * 1 teaspoon vanilla
    * 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon butter rum or coconut flavor, optional
    * 1/3 cup milk
    * 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
    * 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
    * 1/2 teaspoon salt
    * 1 cup King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
    * 1 cup King Arthur Traditional Whole Wheat Flour or King Arthur White Whole Wheat Flour
    * 3/4 cup chocolate chips
    * 1 cup chopped walnuts, pre-toasted in a 350°F oven for 8 minutes, if desired
    * 1 cup cinnamon chips or cinnamon Flav-R-Bites, optional but tasty

Directions

1) Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease 12 to 14 standard muffin cups. You'll use the larger number of cups if you include the full amount of all three add-ins: chocolate chips, walnuts, and cinnamon chips.

2) In a medium-sized mixing bowl, beat together the butter and sugar till smooth.

3) Beat in the mashed banana, then the egg, flavorings, and milk.

4) Add the baking powder, baking soda, salt, and flours, stirring till smooth; if the mixture has a lot of lumps, beat at a higher speed until they've nearly disappeared.

5) Stir in the chocolate chips, walnuts, and cinnamon chips.

6) If you've used cinnamon Flav-R-Bites, allow the batter to rest for 30 minutes at room temperature; this will soften the bites up. While the batter's resting, preheat the oven to 350°F.

7) Heap the thick batter into the prepared muffin cups, mounding them quite full; a muffin scoop works well here. Sprinkle the tops of the muffins with coarse white sparkling sugar, if desired.

8) Bake the muffins for 20 to 23 minutes, until a cake tester inserted into the center of one of the middle muffins in the pan comes out clean.

9) Remove the muffins from the oven, and tilt them in the pan to cool a bit; this will prevent their bottoms from becoming soggy. As soon as you can safely handle them, transfer the muffins to a rack to cool completely.

Yield: 12 to 14 muffins.
   
Recipe summary

Hands-on time:
    10 mins. to 12 mins.
Baking time:
    20 mins. to 23 mins.
Total time:
    30 mins. to 1 hrs 5 mins.
Yield:
    12 to 14 muffins



Tips from our bakers

    * Cinnamon Flav-R-Bites vs. cinnamon chips — which should you use? Flav-R-Bites have stronger cinnamon flavor; chips have a softer, more "melty" texture. If you use the Flav-R-Bites, letting the batter rest for 30 minutes before baking soften the bites up nicely.


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