Monday, January 7, 2008

Peanut Butter Banana Muffins (with jam)

I haven't had a lot of luck with muffin recipes so far since they mostly come out dry. (the Pastry Queen giant orange muffins were an exception, and her banana bran muffins weren't really dry, just not super moist like the orange ones.) This recipe comes from the other book I got for Christmas (Great Coffee Cakes, Sticky Buns, Muffins & More by Carole Walter) and it was one that caught my eye the first time I flipped through the book.

What a great combination -- peanut butter, bananas and chocolate chips, in a quick and easy recipe that can pass as breakfast food. I actually made two different versions of these muffins. Most of them were made exactly as the recipe specified, but I decided to experiment with a few of them by dropping a teaspoon of strawberry jam in the middle. The regular muffins were quite good, flavorful with the banana and peanut butter coming through immediately and chocolate in the background. They weren't horribly dry, but I'm not sure how they will hold up overnight. The jam muffins were much more moist with a small pocket of jam in the middle, but the flavor was slightly different. With the jam in there, the first flavor that came through was strawberry jam, second was peanut butter, and it was only after the second bite that the banana and chocolate were noticeable.

In the end I liked the jam muffins a little better, simply because they were more moist, and after the second bite all the flavors were noticeable in a nicely balanced way. There was absolutely nothing wrong with the first set, and I would make them again just as the recipe specified, but if I have jam on hand, I'm sure I will make at least half of them that way.

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, spooned in and leveled
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/3 cups (2/3 stick) unsalted butter, very soft
1/3 cup smooth (I used crunchy) peanut butter
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup plain yogurt
1/2 cup mashed bananas (about 1 1/2 medium, very ripe bananas)
1/3 cup medium chopped salted Spanish peanuts (I used Planters Honey Roasted -- it's what I had on hand)
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
4 tsps sparkling sugar

Preheat oven to 375. Line fourteen muffin cups with paper or foil cupcake liners (I just sprayed them with Pam for baking.)

In a medium bowl, thoroughly whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, and baking soda.

Combine the butter and peanut butter in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Mix on medium speed until smooth, about 1 minute.

Add the brown sugar, then the granulated sugar, and mix on medium speed for 2 minutes, scraping down the side of the bowl as needed. Add the egg and vanilla and mix for about 1 minute.

Combine the yogurt with the banana. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the dry ingredients alternately with the yogurt/banana mixture.

Mix in the peanuts and chocolate chips.

Scoop a 1/4 cup of the mixture into the prepared muffin pans and sprinkle the tops with the sparkling sugar. (I used two 12-cup muffin pans and got a total of 16 kind-of-flat-muffins although I think I could have made a dozen fuller muffins and been okay by adjusting the baking time.)

Bake for 24-26 minutes (for 16 muffins), or until the muffins are golden brown and the tops are springy to the touch. To ensure even baking, rotate the pans halfway through.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

i ate mine--it was good--but i had forgotten it had chocolate chips in it when i opted for a jam-filled one, so i had to deal with chocolate + fruit (chocolate + banana i don't mind so much). so, i would have preferred peanut butter & jelly muffins without the chocolate.