Friday, April 9, 2010

Dark Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins

I love muffins!  I can't really put my finger on exactly why, but I love muffins.  Mini-muffins, regular, jumbo, even muffin tops...yes, yes, yes, and yes.  It probably has to do with my love for cake, which I would rather have over any other dessert.  Muffins are universally appreciated, I think, and everyone has their favorite.  Blueberry muffins are the rock star of Muffin world.  I have a good blueberry muffin recipe that I really like, but don't make often because I seldom have blueberries just lying around and the frozen berries get watery and mushy.  Now Bananas...bananas I have lying around and almost invariable have 3-4 that ripen to the point that my kids will walk away from them.  This comes in handy because I happen have a good banana bread recipe that uses 3-4 small bananas (equals 1 1/2 cups).  I've never made an entire loaf of banana bread with this recipe, only mini-loaves and these babies which are really good if you like the flavor or oranges and bananas mixed in.

For this recipe I fell on my standard banana bread recipe, adding the vanilla glaze and the dark chocolate chips. I think the dark chocolate chips add a great bitter-sweetness to the bread which isn't really that sweet.  The glaze really does add that subtle sweet touch that is so good.  It was perfect, to my taste, and gave the muffin a shiny and pretty look to it.  If you have a mini-loaf pan and want to use it go ahead, if you want to make it in a bread loaf pan, be my guest.  The world is your oyster  muffin.  If you ever wonder where our muffin originated, here's a pretty interesting little read.  Well, even if you haven't it's still pretty interesting.

1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup butter, room temp
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups banana (about 3-4 medium)
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 tablespoon vanilla
2 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda (I don't level off)
1 teaspoon salt
8 oz Dark Chocolate Chips (I used Hershey's Special Dark brand)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray muffin compartments with non-stick cooking spray and set aside.  This batch made 19 regular size muffins.  Remember to add water the the empty compartments of your muffin tin, to keep the oven karma on your side.

In the Bowl of a stand mixer, add sugar and butter. Turn on medium and mix until combined, two-three minutes. Add eggs one at a time, mixing until completely combined. Add bananas, buttermilk, vanilla and beat until smooth. Add remaining ingredients and mix until smooth.  You could do this by hand, but when you have a stand mixer and a dishwasher...yeah, I know, "why not?"

Fill each muffin compartment 3/4 full. Bake 18-20 minutes or until cake tester comes out clean. Cool five minutes, then remove to a cooling rack. When completely cool, dip in glaze and return to rack. Store in an airtight container.  I use a large spring loaded scoop and it fill the compartment perfectly.  It's kind of a heaping scoop.

Vanilla Glaze:

1 cup powdered sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 Tablespoons milk

Add milk to a small bowl. Slowly add powdered sugar until thick and smooth.  Dip cooled muffin tops in glaze and place on a cooling rack.

  • I don't mash the bananas, I let my mixer to the work. I just add them somewhat broken up, and I have never had any trouble with the breads not turning out.
  • When I dip the breads, I just hold them upside down and dip straight down into the glaze. I will hold the bread over the bowl until it stops dripping then turn upright.
  • I put parchment paper under the cooling rack so it will catch the remaining glaze the drips down.
  • I have a large Pampered Chef spring-loaded scoop that I use to fill the compartments of the loaf pan. It takes two scoops to fill one compartment, I can get exactly 8 mini loaves out of this batch.
  • Don't have buttermilk?  Don't worry.  In a liquid measuring cup add 1 1/2 teaspoons white vinegar, then pour in regular milk to 1/2 cup line, stir and let sit for a minute or two. This will acidulate the milk and  make buttermilk. One tablespoon+1 cup milk=1 cup buttermilk.

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