Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Java Streusel Banana Muffins (Quick Bread)

The bananas were looking a bit sorry so it was time for them to go. I was sad... truly... but oh so excited to try a new recipe. I could have made these into muffins -- that's what the recipe called for, but I hate washing muffin pans and my muffin pans are awkward to reach in the kitchen, so I went with the alternate quick bread directions instead.

I tasted a slice still warm from the oven and the coffee flavor wasn't that noticeable -- which isn't really surprising considering I used buttermilk in the recipe itself and the very small piece I tasted didn't have much streusel in it. However, it's still a very nice banana bread and that's always a good thing, plus I suspect that the coffee flavor will be more apparent tomorrow after the flavors of the bread have had a chance to meld.

I put the streusel on the top of one loaf (I doubled the recipe) and in the middle of the other loaf. The loaf with the streusel in the middle baked up a bit prettier on top, but I'm not really sure how it will affect the flavor. Plus, the loaf that got the streusel on top ended up with a lot more streusel since I wasn't sure how much to put in the first loaf. *shrug* I added the optional chocolate chips, but I was tempted to add coconut to the base recipe and I think I might go ahead and do that the next time I bake this bread just to give it an added chewiness/yumminess factor.

Java Streusel
4 tbsp unsalted butter
1/4 tsp packed brown sugar
1/2 tsp instant coffee granules
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/3 cup chopped walnuts
1/3 cup butterscotch or chocolate chips

Muffin Batter
3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
2 large eggs
2 tsps vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 tsps baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 cup mild coffee, or orange juice, or buttermilk (I used buttermilk -- it's what I had)
1 cup pureed very ripe bananas (about 2 large)
1/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips, optional

Preheat oven to 375. Generously spray a large or standard 12-cup muffin pan with nonstick cooking spray and place on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Arrange oven rack to upper-third position.

For Java Streusel, place all ingredients in a food processor and pulse to make a course grainy mixture. (My butter was cold, and the recipe didn't specify so I left it cold -- I think it might have been a little better if I had softened it first -- I had a streusel paste more than a streusel crumbly mixture.)

For Muffin Batter, in a mixer bowl, cream butter with both sugars until well blended. Add eggs and vanilla and mix well. Fold in flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon -- (she says fold, but I think she means mix in mixer on low speed since she has you adding buttermilk and bananas while folding dry ingredients...) While dry ingredients are blending into batter, add coffee and pureed banana. Fold in chocolate chips. Blend batter well, scraping bottom and sides of bowl to ensure batter is evenly mixed.

Scoop some batter into each muffin cup, filling about half full; deposit some of streusel and finish with batter. Alternatively, you can scoop batter into muffin cups and top with streusel. (If you want huge muffins, scoop batter into eight muffin cups and load them really full.)

Bake 30 to 40 minutes until muffins are gently browned around edges and seem set when touched. Cool well before removing from pan.

For a 9 x 5 inch loaf, the loaf rises very high and looks as though it might overflow, but it doesn't. If loaf is browning too fast at 375 reduce heat to 325 and increase baking time. The usual time is 60 to 65 minutes.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

i had the loaf with the streusel on top but, because it was extra streusel, it was too heavy and fell into the middle of the loaf as if it were put there in the first place. i'm not complaining--too much streusel is always a happy accident. and i like this streusel with the coffee in it. i see a, er, coffee cake with this topping in the future ;)