Banana Chip Muffins

Banana Chip Muffins

Banana Chip Muffins

It’s hard to know when would be the best time to eat these wonderful muffins.  Certainly, for breakfast, but they make a mighty fine dessert or snack as well.  I tested out this recipe last weekend because I plan to make them for an Easter Bake sale.  Muffins are always great with coffee on Easter morning, when you know there will be a big meal sometime later in the day.

When I was a teenager our youth group always got up really early to attend an Easter sunrise service.   At that hour of the morning, it was quite chilly outside, so when the service was over we always went to someone’s house or back to church for hot chocolate and whatever other goodies were provided.  Moving and beautiful as the service was, I always looked forward to the refreshments that followed.  These muffins are the essential accessory  to a hot beverage, and would be perfect served at an early morning function, or maybe an early meeting at the office.

Muffin and a hot beverage.

Muffin and a hot beverage.

These are sturdy muffins chock full of flaked coconut, chocolate chips, and nuts if you care to add them.  The tropical taste of the coconut blends beautifully with the banana flavor and develops the batter along the way; the inclusion of  chocolate chips is a necessity for those  individuals who require chocolate in every bite of muffin.

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What makes the texture of these banana muffins somewhat cake-like and soft is the process by which the batter is assembled: the butter and brown sugar are creamed together until fluffy and smooth.  This builds the batter’s creamy quality and prepares the mixture for the addition of the whole eggs.  Once the eggs are added, the flavoring extract and the mashed bananas are incorporated, followed by the final mix-in of the dry ingredients and enough buttermilk to moisten the whole.  The batter is now ready to accept the shredded coconut, mini chips and nuts.

Spooned into lined muffin cups and baked, the batter bakes up into plump muffins that have lovely rounded tops.  When you break open a warm muffin, you’ll find a tender, moist, “crumb” holding chocolate chips and coconut, all wrapped by the taste of banana.  Sigh!!

Can anything make them better?   Yes, butter!!

Can anything make them better? Yes, butter!!

BANANA CHIP MUFFINS

Yield:   12 muffins

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour (I used 1 cup white whole wheat and 1 cup regular flour.)IMG_7014
  • 1  1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 8 tablespoons ( 1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup mashed ripe bananas (about 2 large bananas)
  • 1/3 cup buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup flaked coconut
  • 3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips ( I used mini chips.)

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Directions:

1.  Preheat the oven to 375*F.  Line 12 muffin cups (3-ounce size)  with paper liners, or grease lightly.

2.  In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter and the brown sugar for about 2 minutes, until light and fluffy.

3.  Beat in the eggs to incorporate,  add in the banana and vanilla.   The mixture may look curdled.   Add the flour mixture alternately with the buttermilk, continuing to mix just to combine.

4.  Reserve 2 tablespoons chocolate chips.  Add the rest of the chips, the coconut, and nuts, (if using) to the batter and stir in to distribute evenly.

5.  Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin cups.  Sprinkle the tops with the reserved chocolate chips.  Bake 25 – 30 minutes until a toothpick into the center of one muffin comes out clean.

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6.  Remove the muffin tin to a wire rack.  Cool the muffins in the pan for 5 minutes.  Remove muffins from the cups and finish cooling on the rack.  Serve warm or cool completely and store the muffins in an airtight container at room temperature.

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Happy Easter!  :)

Happy Easter! 🙂

 

SOURCE:   Chocolatier Magazine

 

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Banana Scones

Banana Scones

Banana Scones

Weekends are great for having a lovely leisurely breakfast (or brunch) so I’m getting you ready for the weekend with this recipe for some great tasting banana scones.  The flavor of banana is unmistakeable and enhanced by cinnamon and a little nutmeg.  A little like warm comforting banana bread but not so sweet.  I think they are perfect just as they are, but the original recipe I found included a Brown Butter Glaze to put on them after they are baked.  This could elevate them to a dessert if you are so inclined.  We enjoyed them plain, so no glaze for us, but I am including the full recipe here.

The scone dough is tender and lightly seasoned.  It includes mashed banana and yogurt as the moisture source in the dough.  The recipe produces a large yield ( I got 30 small-sized scones), but they freeze well, so you could bake half and freeze half to be baked at a later time, or just make half the recipe for a reduced number of scones.  If you do freeze them, remember to add about  5  minutes to the baking time.  You will have some lovely breakfasts to look forward to in the weeks ahead.

BANANA SCONES WITH BROWN BUTTER GLAZE

YIELD:  about 14 – 16 large or 25 -30 small scones

INGREDIENTS:

Just a few ingredients, including yogurt or sour cream.

Just a few ingredients, including yogurt or sour cream.

For the scones:

  • 2  1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2  1/2 cups white whole wheat flour*
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 8 Tablespoons  ( 1 stick ) cold butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1  1/2 cup mashed banana  ( about 3 – 4 bananas)
  • 1 cup low-fat greek yogurt or sour cream
  • Buttermilk, if needed, plus more for brushing the tops

For the glaze:

  •  8 Tablespoons,  (4 oz.) butter
  • 1 1 /2 – 2 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons milk, plus more as needed

DIRECTIONS:

1.  Preheat the oven to 400*F.  Line baking sheets with silicone baking mats or parchment paper.

2.  In a very large bowl, combine flours, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, salt and nutmeg.  Whisk to blend.  Stir in the pieces of cold butter and cut into the dry ingredients using a pastry cutter or two knives until the mixture resembles coarse meal and the largest pieces of butter are the size of peas.

Cut butter into the dry ingredients.

Cut butter into the dry ingredients.

3.  In a second bowl, combine the mashed banana and yogurt and stir to blend.  Add the banana mixture to the bowl with the dry ingredients.

Fold banana mixture into dry ingredients.

Fold banana mixture into dry ingredients.

Fold together gently with a spatula until a dough begins to come together.  (Be careful not to over mix, as it will result in tough, dense scones.)  If some of the dry ingredients are not incorporating into the dough, add a bit of buttermilk 1 tablespoon at a time just until all dry ingredients are moistened and incorporated.

4.  Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface.  Gently knead a few times to ensure even mixing.  pat the dough out into a slab about 3/4 -to-1-inch thick.  Cut out rounds of dough using biscuit/doughnut cutters  (about 3 1/2-inch diameter for large scones or 2 1/2 inch diameter for smaller scones.)  Place dough rounds on the prepared baking sheet at least an inch or two apart.  Lightly brush the tops with buttermilk.**

5.  Bake the scones until the tops are golden brown and scones are just set, about 16 – 18 minutes for large scones and 14 -15 minutes for smaller ones.  Let cool on a wire rack.

Don't they look tender and light?

Don’t they look tender and light?

6.  While the scones are cooling, make the glaze.  Heat the butter in a small skillet over medium heat.  Let melt and continue to cook, swirling occasionally, until the butter is a deep golden brown color,  being careful not to burn it.  Set aside to cool slightly.  Transfer the browned butter to a bowl and whisk in the confectioners’ sugar.  Whisk in the milk a little at a time until the mixture is smooth.  Spoon or drizzle the glaze over the scones and let set before serving.

Scrumptious with a little butter on a warm scone.

Scrumptious with a little butter on a warm scone.

*  I prefer using half white whole wheat flour in as many baked goods as is feasible, but you can use all all-purpose flour if you wish.

** At this point you can place the unbaked scones on a baking sheet, transfer to the freezer and freeze until solid.  Then store in an air-tight container and save for later.  To bake after freezing, just bake as normal but add a few minutes onto the baking time and check to be sure they are fully baked through.

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SOURCE:  Adapted from  The Kitchen, via Annie’s Eats.