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Banana Chocolate Chips Muffins

Hi blog!! It's me, Liz. Your old pal who hasn't written in like nine months. Lots has happened. Nothing worth whining about here. Suffice it to say that I'm healthy, I love my husband and I'm back in the saddle (check out my Instagram for horse videos!)

If that sounds vague and kind of weird, it's because the place between happy Instagram posts tends to be vague and kind of weird. I have my health and my husband. And that's more than enough. The sad and the bad happen. You can count on it, like death and taxes. I've been cooking - just not blogging. So bear with my while I catch up.

Of course, no life is purely sad and bad. In fact one thing that has me particularly jazzed is my sister's upcoming book. Jennifer Lapidus is not just a brilliant, amazing and lovely person. She's an incredible baker-turned-miller who produces beautiful flour. So beautiful that she got a book deal to write about it. Like a real book deal. With an advance. In fact - there was a bidding war. Right?? My sister!!

Jen and I adore each other. We're very different. And yet in many ways the same. We both love food. But she's the baker. I'm a distracted cook who writes this blog so I can record my recipes. Otherwise, it's a little of this and a little of that and, as my husband used to lament, we may never have the same dish twice because I don't follow recipes. As any good baker knows, you have to follow recipes.

The degree to which you need to follow recipes varies (says the distracted cook). I mean, some baking techniques require more precision than others. One of the more forgiving baked goods is quick bread. Since my sister's book will include recipes from highly talented and well-known professional bakers, I've been working on this recipe for banana bread. I'm fairly talented and in certain circles somewhat well-known, but I am in no form or fashion a professional baker. That said, I'm about half-way to convincing my sister that she needs to include a home cook in the mix. Namely - me!

So, here's my best effort to be included in Jen's book. It's a riff on a Bon Appetit recipe for banana bread with half sugar, plus miso and dark chocolate chips. And of course, my sister's Carolina Ground flour. Look for the book in the spring of 2021. With a little luck, it will include my recipe!

Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

1½ cups Carolina Ground 85P flour

1¼ teaspoons baking soda

¾ teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 cup turbinado sugar

⅓ cup mascarpone cheese

¼ cup (½ stick) unsalted butter, room temperature

2 large eggs

1 T yellow miso

[endif]4-5 medium very ripe bananas, mashed (about 1½ cups)

1/2 cup dark chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350°. Line two muffin pans with parchment paper, leaving a generous overhang on sides. Whisk flour, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl. Using an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat sugar, mascarpone and butter in a large bowl until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, beating to blend after each addition and scraping down sides and bottom of bowl as needed. Reduce speed to low, add flour mixture, and mix until just combined. Add bananas and miso. Mix just until combined. Fold in chocolate chips. Using a soup ladle, scoop batter into prepared muffin pan. Bake bread until a tester inserted into the cent er comes out clean, 30–35 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool in pan 1 hour.

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