Lunch With Loni

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Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins October 29, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — lonislens @ 4:56 am

Recipe courtesy of: Annie’s Eats blog, but the recipe is a Cook’s Illustrated recipe

Original recipe located at: http://annies-eats.com/2010/08/30/banana-bread/

This is another one of the many recipes on Annie’s Eats blog that I have saved to try.  I happened to have a bunch of bananas on hand that I wanted to use up and I knew she must have a great banana bread recipe.  She did!  Of course, I am a much lazier baker.  I took out some of the (okay a lot of the) steps and although I haven’t tried the original recipe for comparison, this turned out very well! 

Annie made an excellent point on her blog that banana bread often turns out quite sticky and I didn’t have that problem with this.  It was such a hit at work that I brought it in again the next week in muffin form and added chocolate chips this time (how could that ever be a bad decision)?!  I will say that I think you do yourself a disservice if you don’t buy good quality chocolate chips (my favorite are Ghirardelli).  I also think semisweet chips balance out well with the sweetness of the bananas, as opposed to a milk chocolate chip.

Ingredients:
1¾ cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
6 large, very ripe bananas (about 2¼ lbs.), peeled
8 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
2 large eggs
¾ cup packed light brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 tsp. granulated sugar

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 350˚ F.  Lightly spray a loaf pan (about 9 x 5 inches) with cooking spray.  In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking soda and salt; whisk together and set aside.

What the recipe says:

Place 5 bananas in a microwave safe bowl; cover with plastic wrap and make several slits in the wrap to act as steam vents.  Microwave on high until the bananas are soft and have released liquid, about 5 minutes.  Transfer the bananas to a fine mesh strainer set over a medium bowl and let drain, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes (you should have ½-¾ cup liquid).

What I did:

Mash all 6 bananas (I knew I wouldn’t bother decorating the top with the 6th one), microwave on high for 1 minute, notice there’s really not a ton of extra liquid….then become too impatient to wait 5 minutes + 15 minutes straining and decide to just mash them and see how it turns out! 

What the recipe says:

Transfer the reserved banana liquid to a medium saucepan over medium-high heat.  Cook until reduced to about ¼ cup, 5-10 minutes.  Remove the pan from the heat.  In a large bowl, combine the bananas and the reduced banana liquid.  

What I did:

Well, since I had no banana liquid to reduce…I skipped this altogether (I told you I took out a lot of steps, okay?!).

What the recipe says:

Mash with a potato masher or whisk until fairly smooth.  Whisk in the melted butter, eggs, brown sugar and vanilla.  Add the dry ingredients to the bowl with the banana mixture.  Fold together gently, just until all of the dry ingredients are incorporated.  Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth with a spatula.

What I did: 

I followed this step!  =)

What the recipe says:

Slice the remaining banana diagonally into ¼-inch thick slices.  Layer the banana slices along both sides of the top of the batter, leaving a couple of inches in the center to allow an even rise.  Sprinkle the sugar evenly over the assembled loaf.

What I did:

Remember when I said I knew I wouldn’t do this?  Yeah…I didn’t.  Man, Annie and Cook’s Illustrated would be so disappointed in me.  My co-workers weren’t, though!

Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 55-75 minutes.  Transfer to a wire rack and allow to cool at least 15 minutes in the pan before removing.  Continue to cool and serve warm or at room temperature.

I know I made a lot more adjustments to this recipe than usual, but the main thing I got out of trying this out is that the proportions of ingredients in this recipe are perfect and I really love the brown sugar vs. regular sugar.  Oh, and sometimes you can get away with being lazy!

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