This is what happens when you take my Grandma Salazar’s banana bread recipe, and start fiddling… Adding chocolate and nuts to banana bread isn’t cutting edge, but adding them to this particular banana bread is divine.
We had only been living in Munich just six weeks, and when I wasn’t in class at the Goethe-Institut desperately trying to absorb this very new-to-me language, I was in my kitchen in our sunny loft in Haidhausen with a view of red, sloped rooftops and church spires, looking for an excuse to cook and quite homesick for anything familiar. I emailed my mom, asking for the recipes for Grandma Salazar’s banana bread and Grandma Dickerson’s zucchini bread (which you can find here). A little piece of me, and a little piece of home. Over the last 12 years, this served as a lovely loaf for breakfast or tea with a smear of cream cheese, a healthy snack for nursery school students made with GF flour to cover all bases, and slowly morphing into a place for my dark chocolate to hide, and then sealed last year as a muffin with pecans for ski season. Easy to transport (muffins are surprisingly resilient on road trips), easy to eat, and so satisfying. It soon became the thing we had to have if we were headed for the slopes. So, this past weekend, my Renaissance Man realized I was a bit buried under my “to do” list and enlisted himself as Pastry Chef. Proof that the recipe is a good one… These were his first muffins ever, and didn’t they turn out lovely? Wives, now’s the time to shoot this link to your hubs, ASAP. Husbands, diamonds might be a girl’s best friend, but muffins made by you could be a close second. Cracking myself up here… Alright, people. GO BAKE!
Banana Chocolate Pecan Muffins
recipe adapted from my Grandma Salazar’s Banana Bread, tweaked by Mama Rita, and then further adjustment and additions from me… how recipes evolve.
Note: Makes 18 muffins. You can easily substitute gluten free flour if you’d like to go that route. If you are anti-muffin or want something you can slice, you can butter and flour a loaf pan, pour this in, and bake for about 45-50 minutes. Everyone happy now?
- 3 ripe to very ripe bananas
- 1/3 c regular olive oil
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 2/3 c sugar
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- 1/4 tsp. baking soda
- 1 tsp. salt
- 2 c flour
- 1 cup roughly chopped pecans
- 1 cup dark chocolate chips
- 1/2 c oatmeal for sprinkling
- Preheat oven to 350ºF.
- Line muffin tins with paper cups… You’ll need 18.
- In a standing mixer, with the paddle attachment on medium-low speed, mash bananas until they are nothing but pulp and liquid.
- Add olive oil, eggs, and vanilla and mix well at medium speed.
- Add the sugar and mix well.
- Add the dry ingredients, mixing as you go, starting with the baking powder, soda, salt, then the flour.
- With mixer on low, add the pecans and chocolate until just combined.
- Scoop about 2 Tbsp. of the batter into each muffin cup. I like to use a cookie scoop that measures 1 Tbsp.– a couple scoops per cup, and the batter slides right out with the little sliding scooper-thing (is there a name for this?).
- Top each muffin with a sprinkling of oatmeal. This is purely about aesthetics, but don’t underestimate it’s effect!
- Bake on middle rack for 18-20 minutes, or just when a toothpick inserted comes out clean. These will not brown like a loaf of bread does after nearly an hour in the oven, so do not wait for browning or you’ll have 18 hockey pucks.
- Allow to cook on baking racks, and store in an airtight container or freeze for future breakfasts, ski trips, or afternoon snacks…good for late-night blogging too.