Friday, January 14, 2011

These days I’m baking in the kitchen for three reasons.

First, I bake because I can. I have a ton of spare time when I’m not meeting the girls for coffee or lunch, exploring the city, practicing my Turkish or cooking dinner.

Second, I still like to try out new recipes. I have more than 150 cookbooks and I finally have time to experiment with recipes I’ve never had time to do before now.

Thirdly, I like to bake goodies to give to my friends and loved ones. It makes me happy to see someone eat one of my treats and smile.

I recently decided to make some mini muffins so my husband could take them to work for his co-workers. I’d keep a dozen or so for ourselves and ship off the rest so I wasn't tempted to devour everything in sight.

I had two soft, black bananas in the fridge that were perfect for baking. I also had brought back some dark chocolate chips from the states. Bananas + Chocolate = Perfect!

In no time at all, I had two full trays full of mini muffins ready to be baked. I sprinkled a mixture of granulated sugar and ground cinnamon on top to make them even sweeter.

These muffins are a perfect bite-sized treat for breakfast or for an afternoon snack. In fact, you might want to eat two or three at a time. My husband likes to zap each muffin in the microwave for 10 seconds. It’s just enough time to warm the muffins and melt some of gooey chocolate goodness.

Afiyet Olsun!

Banana-Chocolate Chip Muffins
Yields:             Approximately 4 dozen mini muffins
4          oz.       140 g.              unsalted butter, room temperature
¾         c.         160 g.              granulated sugar
1          ea.                                ripe, soft banana, mashed with a fork
2          ea.                                large eggs
2          tsp.                              vanilla extract
½         c.         120 ml.            milk (I used 2% lowfat milk.)
2          c.         300 g.              AP flour (add 40 g. more if using Turkish flour)
2          tsp.                              baking powder
¼         tsp.                              salt
½         tsp.                              freshly grated nutmeg
½         tsp.                              ground cinnamon
½         c.         85 g.                dark chocolate, chopped small

For topping:    Mix together 2 T. sugar with 1 tsp. ground cinnamon.

1. Preheat the oven to 350 F/175 C.
2. Place the butter and sugars into a metal mixing bowl. Using a hand mixer or a stand mixer beat the mixture until light and fluffy, about three to five minutes.
3. Next, add the banana, eggs and vanilla. Mix well. Add the milk and mix well again.
4. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, salt and spices.
5. Using a large rubber spatula, carefully fold the dry ingredients into the butter mixture, just until the ingredients are combined. Do not overmix.
6. Divide the muffin batter among the paper baking cups, filling about three-fourths full.

7. Sprinkle the topping mixture on top of each muffin.
8. Bake until the muffins are lightly golden brown on top, approximately 10 minutes.

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