Monday, April 12, 2010

baking bananas - a good use for those black beauties

The road trip continues and our most northern destination was my adopted hometown of Seattle! It has been awesome to come down from nearly two weeks of camping to my mother's house and into the throngs of foodies that surround us when we get here. We have had a whirlwind tour of eating, as happens every time we come here and there is a special kind of anxiety I experience when I realize I'm just not going to get it all in (neither time nor stomach are willing).

While here we have tasted pulled pork pizza with cotilja cheese (Flying Squirrel pizza), smoked basa fish tacos (Roy's BBQ), the Don King donut (Mighty-O Donuts), and the coup de grace, carrot cake with homemade cream cheese (Sugar & Salt)!!! But I also took advantage of my mom's massive kitchen to put our rapidly blackening bananas to good use.

There are about a gazillion banana bread recipes out there and often it comes down simply to personal preference. I am a big fan of the banana-chocolate combo so I usually put chocolate chips in. Sometimes I even like to throw in a little peanut butter but this time I kept it simple. I think that the secret to this particular banana bread recipe was the amount of butter, a whole stick of butter, so if you had any pretense that this banana bread was a "healthy" treat, well, you might want to think better of's mostly fruit right?

The key is also to use bananas that are well-ripened. If you are just dying to make banana bread and your bananas are pretty new, then give them a good couple of squeezes before you peel them to get them on their way. I usually have a couple of really black bananas in the freezer though, and those make fabulous banana bread.

banana muffins with milk chocolate chips
makes 12
adapted from Bon Appetit

1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 large bananas, mashed
1 large egg
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted (I use salted)
1/4 cup milk
1/2 tsp vanilla
3/4 - 1 cup milk chocolate chips

- preheat oven to 350 degrees
- mix together all of the dry ingredients in a large bowl (the first four listed here)
- mix together all of the wet ingredients in a medium bowl (the next five ingredients)
- add the wet mixture to the dry mixture and stir to combine
- mix in the chocolate chips
- fill lined muffin cups (or silicon muffin liners on a baking sheet) about two-thirds full
- bake in the oven for about 30-35 minutes (until a tester comes out without crumbs)

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