Saturday, March 21, 2020

ChezCindy: Banana Nut Chocolate Chip Muffins

I ate four of these muffins in one day.  Maybe I was craving the comfort of carbs, but each muffin made my taste buds very happy.  They are kind of "healthy" but are so moist with great flavor of banana, chocolate and ground nuts.  The original recipe inspiration is from a cookbook titled Good to the Grain by Kim Boyce.  Ms. Boyce is a talented pastry chef with her book focusing on using whole grains in her recipes.  Some of the grains featured are gluten-free, while others are ancient grains, with all recipes balanced and full of flavor.  She demonstrates tips and techniques for every level of baker.  It is a go-to book for me when I want to bake, but also am trying to bake something a bit less indulgent but tastes like a dream.  This muffin offers a dream come true.

You may have read one of my previous posts that this household has no shortage of bananas that become too ripe for cereal eating.  Bananas  The frugal person I tend to be does not allow me to easily throw away the over-ripe bananas.  I often freeze them or bake with them.  I have frequently made Ms. Boyce's recipe for Banana Walnut Cake, which was my start for the recipe below.  This time I didn't want to commit to a cake.  I wanted something more snackable.  Her recipe could easily be turned into cupcakes.  Without icing, I am calling them muffins.

Don't be put off by the recipe calling for quinoa flour.  You can easily substitute whole wheat flour or use 100% all-purpose flour.  I used coconut oil in place of the butter called for in the original recipe.  Banana, coconut and chocolate go together very well in this recipe.  Just try to eat only one.  Maybe two.

Banana Nut Chocolate Chip Muffins
1 cup toasted walnuts or pecans, or a mix of each
1/2 cup quinoa flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup softened coconut oil or unsalted butter
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3 ripe bananas, medium in size
2 eggs
1/3 cup yogurt or sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup mini chocolate chips

Makes 18 muffins

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Place the oven rack in the center of the oven.  Prepare standard cupcake trays with paper cupcake liners or spray with baking spray.

Place the toasted nuts into a food processor.  Pulse to grind the nuts into a fine-ground texture.

Place the dry ingredients into a small mixing bowl, quinoa flour, whole wheat flour, baking powder and salt.  Mix to combine.  Add the ground nuts to the flour mixture.  Set aside.

Working with a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, add the softened coconut oil and both sugars to the mixing bowl.  Mix on medium speed to cream the ingredients together.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl.  Add in the peeled bananas mixing for a minute or so until the bananas are mashed and combined.  Add in the eggs, one at a time mixing until just combined.  Add in the yogurt and vanilla to combine.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl.

Transfer the flour/nut mixture to the wet ingredients mixing on low speed just until combined.  Using a rubber spatula, scrape the sides and the bottom of the mixing bowl to ensure all ingredients have been combined.  Stir in the chocolate chips.

Using a 1/4-cup spring-loaded ice cream scoop, scoop out level scoops into each cupcake liner.  Bake in the preheated oven for 18-20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean with just a few crumbs.  Remove from the oven, allowing the muffins to cool in the trays for about 20 minutes.

The recipe can also be baked as a 9-inch single layer cake.  Grease the cake pan with butter or baking spray, line the bottom of the pan with a 9-inch round parchment paper.  Transfer the prepared batter into the cake pan, baking for 50-60 minutes until the cake is golden brown and fully baked in the cake center.  Cool in the pan for 35 minutes.

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