The Merits of Muffins

The merits of muffins are mixed and many. (Sorry, I couldn’t resist.) Who doesn’t love a good muffin and cuppa-somethin’-hot in the morning?

I, for one, am a big fan of the breakfast meal in general, but don’t always have the appetite or the time to down eggs, toast and bacon. Sometimes you need a grab & go brekkie option and muffins are the answer in my book. Baking them myself means; they’re fresh, I can put whatever I want in them and I can freeze some for later snacking. What could be better?

There are different ways to go when considering the muffins you want to bake. Do you want something healthy—are you in a wheat and flax seed kind of mood? Are you a fruit muffin purist—gotta have blueberries or cranberries in there? Or are you craving something sweet like a chocolate chipper or coffee cake style? It doesn’t matter because there is something out there for each of these moods and needs. I’ll pass on recipes for all kinds this week. Today, we’ll tackle one of my favorites—a time-tested combo—Oatmeal-Banana with Chocolate Chips. Sorta desserty, sorta snacky, and heck, they’re fun for kids, too. And truthfully, I can’t help but start with something sweet.

Here’s some great information on the history of muffins found at foodreference.com. It would seem that there’s some debate—which came first the cupcake or the muffin.

Okay, on to today’s recipe. . .

OATMEAL-BANANA MUFFINS with CHOCOLATE CHIPS

These muffins are not for the timid.

1 1/4 cups rolled oats
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup sugar
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted
3 large eggs
2 very ripe bananas, mashed
3/4 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup canola oil
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

thechocolatestore.com1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees
2. Line muffin tin cups with paper liners.
3. Spread the oats onto a baking sheet and toast for 8-10 minutes or until a light golden. Set aside to cool.
4. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt in a large bowl. Stir in oats.
5. Whisk together the sugar, bugger, eggs, bananas, buttermilk and oil in a separate bowl until well blended.
6. Add the wet mixture to the dry and stir just until moist and blended. (And no longer! Put that spatula down!)
7. Scoop the batter into the prepared tin with an ice cream scoop (fill to just about the top).
8. Bake 25-30 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean.
9. Remove from oven and cool for 5 minutes before turning muffins out. Serve immediately!

Good luck!

Often I get obsessed with certain things in the kitchen. I’ll crave soup and instead of making one nice pot of minestrone, I have to make, like, THREE soups. So, if you’re that way and you start to feel a little muffin-crazy, you can find a wealth of recipes here (in addition to the ones I’ll be posting throughout the week): muffinrecipes.net

Happy Munching!