Chocolate Banana Muffins

I always seem to have leftover bananas, they just ripen so quickly! So, I’m constantly on the look out for recipes that call for ripened bananas, (I’m one of those weird ones, who prefer eating greener bananas when on their own). Bananas are a staple food item for me, I use them in my morning smoothie, on toast with peanut butter, honey and chia seeds, for a snack after the gym, as a cereal topper, etc,. So, I will usually have a few leftover that need to be used when too ripe. On the weekends, I always get in the mood to bake. There’s nothing more soothing than the smell of something baking in the oven, and a podcast or BBC4 on in the background. It almost becomes a weekend ritual to be whipping something up in the kitchen, indulging in a pot of tea, with a baked treat and a book, as I while away those weekend hours.

Recently, I’ve been in the mood for muffins, and I decided to whip up a quick and easy recipe for chocolate banana muffins, using those leftover bananas. Not only do I use up the ripe bananas, but they also add a natural sweetness as well as moisture to the muffin. Even though I can’t resist a warm muffin straight out of the oven, these muffins hold up nicely, so they can be enjoyed over the next few days.

I hope you’ll give this recipe a try, either for a weekend breakfast or even as a decadent treat with after dinner coffee.

Recipe for Chocolate Banana Muffins

Makes: 12 muffins

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3 very ripe or overripe bananas
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened apple sauce
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup cooking oats
  • 3 tablespoons best-quality unsweetened cocoa (sifted)*
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • pinch of salt

**Optional**

  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup walnuts

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 400ºF
  2. Line a 12-bun muffin tin with papers. (I used dark-brown, tulip styled dessert baking sleeves, but regular muffin cases will work just as well).
  3. Mash the bananas by hand or with a stand mixer. Still beating and mashing, add the coconut oil followed by the applesauce, eggs, and sugar.
  4. Mix the flours, oats, unsweetened cocoa, baking soda and salt together and add to banana mixture, beating gently. Add in chocolate chips and walnuts, if using these optional ingredients. Spoon mixture into the prepared papers.
  5. Bake in the pre-heated oven for 15-20 minutes, the muffins should be dark, rounded and just showing above the papers. Allow to cool slightly in the muffin tin before removing to a wire rack.

*I use Dean & Deluca Bendorps Cocoa.You really do notice the difference with a high-end cocoa; it’s dark, decadent and has the most delicious taste. I stumbled across it whilst watching Nigella Lawson’s cooking show, Nigella Feasts.

 

 

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Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

These pumpkin chocolate chip cookies have been on repeat the last couple of weeks. I originally posted about them on my Instagram account. Soft, fluffy, melt in your mouth pumpkin choc. chip cookies have been a favorite in my family for as long as I can remember. These cookies especially hold a special place in my heart, because they will always remind me of my Dad, who is known to have a ready supply in the pantry.

One of my favorite things about these cookies are the aromatic spices that come through with each bite. Cinnamon, cloves, ginger and a hint of nutmeg. These deliciously scented spices make this a perfect cookie for a Hallowe’en party, an after school snack or even for a cookie exchange during the holidays. 

You’ll find as you mix and whip, that heavenly scent of pumpkin and spice quickly fills the air. With the temperamental weather of autumn/winter (we’ve had high winds this month), these cookies can be made in a pinch. So, pull up my easy to follow recipe, turn on a podcast or favorite album, let the weather gust and blow outside and find your worries and stresses gently fading away with a little bit of baking and this pumpkin chocolate chip cookie. 

Recipe for Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

Serves: Makes 30 Cookies

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 can (29 oz.) pure pumpkin
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

INSTRUCTIONS:

Preheat oven to 375° F

In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the sugar, pumpkin, melted butter and vanilla and mix until smooth. Add the egg and beat for 2 minutes. 

Whisk the cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, baking powder, baking soda and kosher salt in a small bowl and add to the wet ingredients. Mix well. Mix in 1 cup of the flour, then 1 more cup and then the final 1/2 cup. Add the chocolate chips and mix just until incorporated.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a baking mat. Drop 1 tablespoon rounded scoops of the cookie dough on the sheet about 2 inches apart.

Bake cookies for 12-15* minutes. Let rest on the cookie sheet for 2-3 minutes then move to a cooling rack to cool completely. *For higher altitudes (like mine) bake the cookies for 18 minutes, watch after 15 minutes. 


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