Friday, March 8, 2013

Banana Muffins with Dark Chocolate and Pecans

Hello again, sorry for the nearly two week absence but life got busy somehow, funny how that happens. 

As we enter March, with January's high-maintenance birthday cakes behind us, it's time for easy comfort food to match the cold and drizzly days we've had, serving as a reminder we aren't quite over winter yet.

Sounds like the perfect time for moist banana muffins, speckled with dark chocolate chips and pecan pieces, warm and delicious fresh from the oven. 

It doesn't hurt that bananas, unlike many other fruits at the moment, are easy to find and priced just right. 

This isn't the first time I've used this recipe for Banana-Walnut Loaf from Martha Stewart, it's my go-to recipe for using up browning bananas. It also isn't the first time I'm sharing it with all of you (remember this ancient post?). It is however the first time I opted for muffins instead of the traditional loaf. My reasoning? It's easier to give away six or eight muffins than half a loaf of banana bread (or at least it looks better to your recipient).  However in the end, the muffins disappeared before they could leave the house.

Besides using muffin tins, the only other changes I made to the recipe were:

1) Cutting the sugar by 1/4 cup - and I probably could have cut it down more. One cup of sugar was more than enough, with the sweetness from the overly ripe bananas and chocolate chips, and I think next time I'll try just 3/4 cups.

2) Adding dark chocolate chips and pecans in place of walnuts. I didn't have walnuts on hand, but I had pecans, so the nut-swap was the result of convenience more than anything else. As for the dark chocolate, it's a personal preference. I've used milk chocolate chips before, with and without nuts, and they are delicious but this time I wanted something darker.

3) Reducing the overall baking time. This was a necessity to accommodate my muffins as they cook much faster than loaves. In the end, thirty minutes was perfect, give or take a minute or two. To be sure, I poked the heck out of those muffins with a couple of toothpicks. 

Recipe Synopsis: 
Taste: Extremely moist due to the three cups of mashed banana. These muffins have a great flavour with a sweet chocolaty kick and a little crunch courtesy of the pecans.
Texture: Good crumb without being overly messy (I'm not a very neat eater) and quite dense making them a filling snack. 
Wow Factor: Muffins may not be a show stealer but tuck one or two into a lunch box and try not to be excited come noon. Using a loaf pan makes a more dramatic end result to gift away. 
Difficulty: Super easy and fast to make. Seriously if you can make cookies these will be no problem. 
Serve With: A glass of cold milk or as a snack time treat. 

FYI - converting to a muffin tin, the recipe produced 16 decent sized muffins meaning... you can still gift a full dozen and have four mouth-watering muffins left over for your eating pleasure! 

1 comment:

  1. Banana and chocolate AND, yes please! Sounds yummy. I'd probably have a hard time eating just one.