Tag Archives: quick breads

Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

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Looking for a banana muffin that is moist and full of banana flavor? This recipe (slightly adapted from Cook’s Illustrated) is your answer. It packs FIVE bananas into a single loaf of bread (or batch of 15-18 muffins).

I like bananas, but only if they are on the slightly green side. Once they are completely yellow or start to brown, I won’t touch them. I can push them on the kids for a little longer, but none of us are squishy banana fans. So I regularly have one or two bananas from a bunch that go “bad” before we eat them. So I peel and throw these overripe bananas into my freezer in Ziploc bags. Eventually those bags get to the bursting point, and I know I need to do some banana baking.

This recipe is one of our favorites. The bananas are cooked (in the microwave) until they are liquidy, and then the liquid is reduced to concentrate the banana flavor. You can add chocolate chips and/or chopped nuts to your liking.

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The muffins also freeze nicely if you happen to have A LOT of bananas to use up and want to make multiple batches!


Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins (or Bread)

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1 ¾ cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
5 large very ripe bananas
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
2 large eggs
¾ cup light brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup chocolate chips
½ cup walnuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 350°F.  Line muffin tins with 15-18 paper liners, or grease muffin tins.

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

Place bananas in a microwave-safe bowl; cover with waxed paper. Microwave on high power until bananas are soft and have released liquid, about 5 minutes. Pour bananas into a strainer placed over a medium saucepan. Allow to drain, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes. Set banana pulp aside.

Place the saucepan with the banana liquid over medium-high heat and cook until reduced to ¼ cup, about 5 minutes. Remove pan from heat and stir banana pulp into the reduced liquid. Mash with a potato masher or a fork until fairly smooth. Whisk in butter, eggs, brown sugar, and vanilla.

Pour banana mixture into flour mixture and stir until just combined. Gently fold in chocolate chips and walnuts, if using.

Pour batter into the prepared muffin tins. Bake for 15 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean.

Makes 15-18 muffins

FOR BANANA BREAD: Spray a medium loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray. Pour batter into pan. Bake at 350°F for 55 to 70 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean. Cool bread in pan on wire rack 15 minutes, then remove loaf from pan and continue to cool on a wire rack.

adapted from Cook’s Illustrated


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Filed under Breads, Breakfast/Brunch

Best Ever Cheddar and Herb Drop Biscuits

040910 018-2Looking for a great bread to serve with dinner? But no time for yeast and rising bread? Hate to roll out biscuit dough?

These biscuits are super fast, easy, and taste better than any biscuits I have ever tried. They can be on the table in just about 20 minutes, from start to finish.

I am not usually a fan of biscuits. They tend to be dry and flavorless. And rolling out biscuit dough never seems worth the effort. Not so with these flavorful drop biscuits! Full of cheese and garlic flavor, with a slight tanginess from the buttermilk or kefir (I am definitely a kefir fan!) Brushed with additional melted butter/garlic/herbs at the end, they are not your average hockey-puck biscuits.

Great served with pasta (in place of garlic bread) or with a nice Sunday roast. In fact, I would have a hard time coming up with meals they would not be great with.

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Cheddar and Herb Drop Biscuits

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2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons cold butter, cut into pieces
1 heaping cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 cup** buttermilk or kefir (I used 1 cup + 2 Tbs kefir)

3 Tbs melted butter
1 tsp dried parsley flakes
¼ tsp garlic powder

Preheat oven to 425°F. Grease or line a large baking sheet.

In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, ¼ tsp garlic powder, and salt. Use a pastry blender, or two forks, to cut in butter until dough forms small pea-sized crumbs. Stir in shredded cheese. Mix in buttermilk or kefir just until moist. **Add an additional 1-2 Tbs buttermilk or kefir if biscuit dough is overly dry (dry spots here and there are fine, but the dough should hold together, and not still be crumbly).

Use two spoons or a cookie dough scoop to drop the biscuits onto a greased or lined baking sheet. Bake for 12-14 minutes, until browned and golden.

While the biscuits are baking, in a small bowl combine melted butter, parsley flakes, and garlic powder. As soon as the biscuits come out of the oven, brush the hot biscuits with the melted butter mixture. Serve immediately.

Yield: 12-18 biscuits

NOTE: If you don’t have buttermilk or kefir, you can substitute sour milk: Place 1 Tbs lemon juice or vinegar in a measuring cup. Add milk to 1 Cup line. Stir. Let sit for about 5 minutes before using.

Adapted from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe


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Filed under Breads