Banana Muffin Showdown pt. 1

When bananas ripen, I can’t help but bake them. The browned skins pull me toward them as if they’re yelling, “Liz! Liz! Bake me! Think of all the possibilities of breads, muffins, and more!” So I scour the archives of Joy, Deb, Sally, Dana all looking for the most promising recipe. I found a recipe banana bread and altered it slightly to make muffins a few weeks ago. Here are the results:

Joybananamuffins

Brown Butter Banana Muffins

Adapted from Joy the Baker

Yields 18 muffins

6 oz of unsalted butter, melted and browned to just over 1/2 cup of butter

2 cups all-purpose flour

3/4 brown sugar

1 teaspoon baking

1/2 teaspoon salt

3/4 teaspoon cinnamon

2 large eggs*

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 cup plain yogurt or buttermilk**

1 1/4 cup mashed banana from about 3 medium bananas

1/2 cup toasted coconut, plus more for topping

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place eggs in a small bowl of substantially warm water. Prepare muffin tin(s) with nonstick spray or cupcake liners. Cut butter into 4 or 5 slices and melt in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir the butter often as it continues to melt. The butter will begin to foam and crackle. Continue stirring. After the butter finishes crackling it will begin to brown. Brown bits will appear on the pan and it will start to smell nutty. Once this happens, transfer to a small bowl to cool. Leaving the butter on too long may cause it to burn.

In a large bowl whisk flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.

Remove eggs from warm water and in a medium bowl mix with vanilla extract, and yogurt (or buttermilk). Whisk in the mashed bananas. Whisk in browned butter after it has cooled.

Combine wet ingredients with dry ingredients until no flour is visible. Do not over mix. Pour batter 3/4 full in muffin cups and bake for 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. After taking them out of the oven allow them to cool before removing from pan.

*Always try to use room temperature eggs. It helps the the egg spread more evenly throughout mixtures.

**Alternatively, you may also try mashed banana or applesauce. I haven’t tried this, but it may work if that’s what’s available in your kitchen. You can also make buttermilk by combining 1 tablespoon of lemon juice and 1 cup of milk. Let mixture stand for 10 minutes and use as directed.

I used 2 very large bananas. Next time I would like to use another banana to see how that enhances the flavor. They were buttery and moist with subtle tastes of coconut and I would definitely make these again. I’ll post the second banana muffin recipe soon!

Happy baking,

Liz

Salted White Chocolate Oatmeal Crisps

So yeah. Ugh, that’s the worst way to start a blog post. Oh well, I already typed it. Can’t erase it or anything. . .

I’ve done a good amount of baking over the last week (yussss) and thought I’d share what I made. If you follow my baking instagram then maybe you’ve already seen it.

SaltedWhiteChoco2

Bear with me. I don’t know how to take pictures of food. I read a lot of blogs, but I all I have to work with is one hand holding an iPhone 5 with no knowledge of how to photograph.

I loved this recipe though. It was a nice contrast to the usual soft, thick, chewy chocolate chip cookie I usually make. This was much more crispy, but not too thin by any means. The salt had me begging for hydration and paired so well with the oatmeal and white chocolate. It had a deep, sultry flavor I was all about.

SaltedWhiteChoco

This gives me a new appreciation for the classics since it’s less traditional. Aaron had three and I was so flattered.

Original recipe from Smitten Kitchen

1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon table salt
14 tablespoons (1 3/4 sticks) unsalted butter, slightly softened
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats

6 ounces good-quality white chocolate bar, chopped*

Yields 32+ good sized cookies

1/2 teapoon flaky sea salt, for sprinkling

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl.

2. Beat butter and sugars. Once light and fluffy, add egg and vanilla and mix until incorporated. Add dry ingredients and mix until combined and smooth. Scrape down sides of bowl and gradually add oats and white chocolate.

3. Take about 1-2 tablespoons of dough and shape into a ball with the palms of your hand. Continue to do this with the rest of the dough. My dough balls were around the size of 1.5 tablespoons. Place on cookie sheet and sprinkle sea salt on the top of each cookie. Bake for 13-16 minutes, or until golden brown.

*I used a Ghiradelli white chocolate baking bar because Deb writes she doesn’t believe most white chocolate chips being sold are actually white chocolate. I am also currently looking into the companies from which I buy my chocolate because many of the major brands maintain their production through some unethical practices that I do not want to support. To learn more about fair trade chocolate, click here.

If you don’t like white chocolate you could always try replacing it with milk chocolate or even toffee. Heck, go crazy and add some nuts or dried fruit. I think it’s great as is.

Happy baking,

Liz