Maybe it is just me but in my kitchen bananas seem to go from inedible green to perfectly golden yellow then to brown in a matter of days. This leads to the never ending kitchen question is what to do with bananas that are beyond their eating prime. So what is a banana loving cook to do? Enter these tasty banana muffins from Food 52.
Now these aren’t your ordinary banana muffins. Using overly ripe bananas ensures that the muffins are sweet and filled with banana flavor. The batter is then spiced with both cinnamon and ginger but the best part of the muffin, in my opinion, is the streusel topping. Not only does it add a delicious crumbling topping to the muffin but it contains chocolate chips which add a sweetness all their own. So yes you can eat chocolate for breakfast. After all it is paired with bananas.
1/3 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup mashed very ripe banana (about 2 medium bananas)
1 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup miniature semi-sweet chocolate chips
- Preheat the oven to 350° F. Line a muffin pan with paper liners.
- In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar.
- Stir in the egg, vanilla, and banana and mix well to combine.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, cinnamon, baking soda, and ginger.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix just until combined.
- Divide the batter into the prepared muffin tins.
- In a small bowl, combine all the streusel ingredients except for the chocolate, mixing with a fork or your fingers until combined.
- Add the chocolate and mix well.
- Crumble the streusel topping over the muffins.
- Bake for 18 to 25 minutes. The tops should feel just set and the edges of the muffin should be starting to turn golden brown.
- Remove from the oven and let cool in the pan until cool enough to remove.
Yields 9 muffins
Think of this as a giant chocolate chip studded scone. With its crispy crust and cake like interior this is a quick bread that is just as nice for dessert as it is for a snack. And it is easy; very easy. The recipe comes from the kitchens of the Washington Post and the first time I baked this recipe the bread got eaten so quickly that I now make two (baked on two separate baking sheets). It is that good. The loaf is free formed so you can experiment with its shape–make two or four smaller loaves, make it round or rectangular–whatever you prefer. Just be sure to adjust the baking time if your loaves are smaller.
And because I am a fan of chocolate I prefer to use miniature chocolate chips since I think they give you more chocolate for your buck. You can also switch out the chocolate chips for diced dried fruit or use a combination of chocolate and fruit (sour cherries are particularly good).
RUSTIC CHOCOLATE CHIP TEA BREAD
3 cups flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/4 teaspoon salt, preferably fine sea salt
1/3 cup sugar, plus 2 tablespoons for sprinkling
10 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into teaspoon-size chunks
1 large egg
3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon buttermilk, plus 1 to 2 tablespoons, if needed
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups semisweet or bittersweet chocolate chips
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and set it aside.
- In the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade, pulse together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cream of tartar, salt and 1/3 cup of the sugar.
- Drop in the chunks of butter pulse until pea sized dough balls form. Transfer the mixture into a large mixing bowl.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the egg, the 3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon of buttermilk and the vanilla extract.
- Pour the egg mixture over the flour mixture, sprinkle with the chocolate chips. USe a wooden spoon or paddle to stir, forming a rough, cohesive, slightly sticky dough. If the dough seems a little dry, drizzle it with an extra tablespoon or two of buttermilk.
- Gather the dough into a rough mass with your hands, then knead lightly until it comes together completely, using firm strokes to gather it all cohesively. Form the dough into a 5 1/2-to-6-inch ball.
- Place the ball of dough at the center baking sheet. Use a sharp paring knife to score an 1/8-inch-deep cross in the top of the ball of dough, then sprinkle the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar evenly over the top.
- Bake for 45 to 50 minutes or until the loaf is set, golden on top and baked through. It should sound hollow when you lightly tap the top or bottom with a wooden spoon.
- Cool, on the baking sheet, on a wire cooling rack for 10 minutes.
- Slip a metal spatula under the loaf and transfer it to a separate rack to cool completely.
- Use a serrated knife to cut slices or wedges.
October is pumpkin season. Actually, I’m a fan of pumpkin treats year around but once fall hits, my cooking with pumpkin goes into overdrive. I simply can’t get enough of it. Fresh cooked pumpkin puree is the best but when the season isn’t right or you don’t have the time, canned puree will do. I always have a stash in my pantry since you never know when the inspiration to cook with pumpkin will hit.
My favorite way to use pumpkin is in baked treats and this this delicious cake adapted from Cooking Light magazine has quickly become a new fall favorite in my house. The cake is moist and dense and filled with spicy goodness. And as if that isn’t enough, it is flecked with chocolate chips. As an added bonus, the cake comes together quickly so it the perfect last minute dessert to add to your dinner table.
PUMPKING CHOCOLATE CHIP POUND CAKE w/ BUTTERMILK GLAZE
FOR THE CAKE:
1 15-ounce can pumpkin puree
3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon allspice
3/4 cup fat-free buttermilk
2 cups miniature semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/3 cup fat-free buttermilk
- Preheat oven to 350°. Lightly coat a 10 inch bundt pan with non-stick cooking spray then set aside.
- Place the granulated sugar, brown sugar and the butter in a large bowl. Using an electric mixer, beat on medium speed for 3 minutes or until well blended.
- Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
- Beat in pumpkin puree and vanilla extract.
- Combine the flour, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, allspice, baking powder, baking soda and the salt in a medium sized bowl.
- Add the flour mixture and the buttermilk alternately to sugar mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture.
- Fold in the chocolate chips making sure that they are evenly distributed throughout the batter.
- Spoon batter into prepared pan.
- Bake at 350° for 55 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.
- Cool in pan 10 minutes on a wire rack. Remove from pan, and cool completely on wire rack.
- To prepare glaze, combine the buttermilk, sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat; bring to a boil.
- Cook 1 minute or until thick, stirring constantly; remove from heat.
- Drizzle cake with glaze.