a.k.a. Not Smore’s Muffins
Yeah, so these were supposed to be Smore’s muffins. But they’re not. That’s the thing about recipe testing, you see, sometimes recipes just don’t turn out the way they’re supposed to.
Good news is, what I was prepared to pass off as a recipe fail is actually a total recipe win because I ended up with some pretty kick-ass chocolate muffins. I’m calling them healthy-ish muffins because I included some moderately healthy ingredients. You’ve got your almond milk, your coconut oil, some honey, some (caramelized!) bananas. But then there’s the not-so-good stuff like brown sugar and dark chocolate, and even more dark chocolate, but hey- that’s okay, guys! You will eat these muffins and you will feel all of that dark chocolate antioxidant power flowing through your veins, and you will have zero regrets.
So, the caramelized banana thing. Funny story. My sister-in-law and I sort of co-ran a bakery for a couple of years, and one day I went on a major cleaning spree. Of course we would check our refrigerators every day, making sure our lemon curds and raspberry purees were good and that nothing was moldy or going bad. On this particular day I ran into… the most disgusting bunch of bananas I had every seen. They were black as tar and oozing liquid and I did not want to touch them with a ten-foot pole. Also, it was that time of year when we knew our health inspector was making the rounds and he was bound to show up at any time. So I threw the bananas in the garbage, no questions asked. The next morning, my sister-in-law came in to bake and I got a text message. “Did you happen to come across any bananas when you were cleaning yesterday?” “Yes!” I said. “They were rotten and wretched and crazy disgusting, so I threw them out, you’re welcome!”
“Nooooooooo!!!!” was the response I got. With maybe, 1,000 extra exclamation points and many sad face emoticons. “They weren’t rotten, they were perfect!” Ok, so what I learned from this lesson is this: Bananas should be beyond ripe when you use them for baking. Which apparently means they should be as black as the night is dark, and the contents should squeeze out like toothpaste. (Gross.) If you have fungus and maggots growing on your bananas, you have gone too far! Throw them out immediately.
Anyway, the bananas I had to work with today were green, so completely different story. I could have easily slipped them into the fridge or freezer to speed up the ripening process (yes, sister-in-law, I realize that’s a thing now!), but then I came across a post on immaEATthat’s blog (her blog is super fun and inspiring and her apple crumble breakfast bars are to die for). Anyway, she caramelized bananas for a banana bread recipe, which- hello- is genius! So (long story long) there you go! Enjoy your “not smore’s muffins” muffins, everyone.
- ⅓ cup dark chocolate, chopped
- 2 bananas, sliced + 2 tablespoons coconut oil + 2 tsp honey
- 2 eggs
- ⅓ cup brown sugar - loosely packed
- ⅓ cup coconut oil - melted and cooled
- ¼ cup honey/agave
- 1 tsp vanilla
- ¾ cup cocoa powder
- 1½ cups whole wheat flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- ¾ tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ cup milk (I used almond milk, but any milk should be fine)
- ½ cup dark chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Place ⅓ cup chopped dark chocolate in a small bowl and heat in microwave for 30 second intervals until melted. Set aside to cool.
- Heat 2 tablespoons coconut oil in a pan over medium high heat. Add the bananas and drizzle with honey. Saute bananas until browned and caramelized, about 5 minutes. Move to a small bowl and mash with a fork. Cool.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk the eggs and brown sugar. Add coconut oil, honey or agave, and vanilla, mixing well.
- Stir in caramelized bananas.
- Add the dry ingredients: four, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt, mixing until about 75% incorporated. Add the milk and stir until blended.
- Fold in dark chocolate chips.
- Spray your muffin pan with non-stick spray and evenly divide the mixture- the mix should yield 12 muffins, filling the cups all the way.
- Bake for 20-23 minutes- test with a toothpick to make sure they're done.