Thursday, October 14, 2010

Banana Espresso Chocolate Chip Muffins

At six months pregnant, I am finally back to baking with a gusto.  In the throes of my first trimester, I couldn't eat anything - I subsisted mostly on apples and oatmeal, and even the smell of my prenatal vitamins made me want to run to the sink.  The saddest thing wasn't that I couldn't cook, or be in the kitchen, or even glance at the jar of tartar sauce on the top shelf of the refrigerator, but that morning sickness robbed me of my love for food.  It made me dread eating, something I didn't even think was possible.  So at the end of this second trimester, to be out of bed, back on my feet and conjuring up goodies like these muffins from the wonderful Baked: New Frontiers in Baking cookbook?  It's seriously the greatest feeling in the world.  That, and getting kicked by the little alien living in my abdomen.  That's pretty great, too.

What I loved best about this recipe was the intense banana flavor.  Four super ripe bananas for a little over a dozen muffins turns out a rich, bright taste that's only improved by the tiny bit of instant espresso powder and cup of chocolate chips.  If you're looking for an intensely espresso muffin, this isn't the recipe for you, but I think the teaspoon of grounds give the muffins a deepness that they wouldn't have had otherwise.  And, of course, you can't go wrong with chocolate chips.

Banana Espresso Chocolate Chip Muffins
from Baked: New Frontiers in Baking
(makes 15)

4 mashed, very ripe medium-sized bananas
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1 stick unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cup milk (recipe calls for whole milk, but I used skim without a problem)
1 large egg
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon instant espresso powder (make sure you use instant, and not just regular espresso grounds!)
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 350 F.  Line muffin pan with liners or spray with nonstick spray.
2. In a medium bowl, combine mashed bananas, sugar, brown sugar, melted butter, milk and egg.
3. In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, instant espresso powder, baking soda and salt.  Make a large indent in the middle of the dry ingredients and pour the wet ingredients into the well.  Stir until just combined, and fold in chocolate chips.
4. Fill liners about 3/4's full.  Bake in center of oven for 20-25 minutes, until cake tester comes out clean.
5. Cool muffin pan on cooling rack for 15 minutes, remove muffins from pan and let them finish cooling outside of the pan.

These muffins are beyond heavenly, and tasted even more banana-y the next morning.  They can be kept for up to two days, but let's be honest - are they really going to last that long without getting eaten?


The Hayward House said...

Welcome back, and congrats on the "alien" kicking in your belly. I've been looking for a new non-fruit muffin and this is just the ticket!

Yesica N. Cook said...

Welcome back and congrats from me too. Have missed your posts! Not being able to cook must truly have sucked. These look great!

Dana said...

Michele - thank you! I think you'll enjoy the recipe.

Yesica - It's good to be back!