NOTE FROM LESLIE: Hey guys! While I’m out snuggling this newborn (and cleaning up poop and vomit) (and trying to sleep) (and trying to keep sane), I have recruited several of my very favorite area food bloggers to share their recipes on Shuttersmack so I can relax for a few weeks without cooking. I *highly* encourage you to check out their blogs as well — I chose them because I love their cooking style and I love their photography. Win-win! Today’s post is from the wonderful Liz over at Carpé Season. Enjoy!
Hi, I’m Liz from Carpé Season, and I’m so glad to be sharing here on Shuttersmack! Not only am I honored to be a part of the gorgeous food lineup that is Savory Sunday, but I’m also excited to be helping new mama Leslie take a little time off to kiss her newborn’s cheeks for a few hours. I’ve got two babies of my own, so I’ve been through that newborn stage twice now; and I know that almost nothing is more important in those first few weeks than food…or rather, good food that you can eat with one hand. Maybe it’s nursing, maybe it’s the lack of sleep, maybe it’s those super-fun post-partum emotions, but new parents have to have some delicous, grabbable food around to keep them from collapsing into a low-blood-sugar-sleep-deprived heap on the floor.
My go-tos after both my babies were born were granola bars and these muffins. Up at 3 a.m. with an inconsolable baby? Have a muffin for your efforts. Sleep a total of 2 hours last night? Oh…and you’re starving because your body is making food? Have a muffin. Your baby just pooped up to its neck? Have a muffin. (Did I mention there’s chocolate in these?)
I love these muffins becuase I almost always have all of the ingredients on hand for them. I have a year’s supply of frozen bananas in my freezer, and those work just as well as ripe bananas in this recipe. This recipe is so forgiving too and almost begs for substitutions. Use white flour, wheat, or some combination of both; use espresso or coffee grounds or instant coffee granules; use any kind of nuts you have around. You can make the batter and keep it in the fridge for a few days, baking up a few fresh muffins at a time, or freeze baked muffins to pull out any time you’re snacky. These muffins stay nice and moist from the yogurt (or buttermilk), and have a lot of flavor, plus fan-favorite giant chocolate chips. They’re sweet but not too sweet; they still feel like breakfast. We often bake up a quick batch of these for the weekend, but they are perfect for guests too…or you know, if you have a tiny new person around to adore and no time to think about food.
Here’s what you’ll need:
- 1 cup all-purpose white flour
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
- heaping 1/2 cup chopped (toasted*) nuts (walnuts, almonds, and/or pecans)
- 1 tablespoon ground coffee beans or instant coffee granules
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 3/4 cups brown sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 cup plain yogurt OR 1 c. buttermilk**
- 1 1/2 cup mashed overripe bananas (about 3 large bananas) (if using frozen, thaw first)
- 1 cup dark chocolate chips
*toasting the nuts is optional.
*You can find great buttermilk substitutions here .
- If toasting the nuts, heat a small pan over high heat. Once hot, add the nuts, and stir FREQUENTLY for about 2 minutes until nuts start to brown and smell nutty. Remove from pan immediately and set aside).
- Heat the oven to 375°F, position the racks low in the oven, and thoroughly grease muffin tins with cooking spray.
- Combine both types of flour, baking powder, salt, and the ground coffee in a bowl and whisk to combine.
- In a separate large bowl, cream the butter until light and fluffy. Beat in the sugar and then the eggs, one at a time. Stir in the vanilla, yogurt (or buttermilk), and mashed bananas, then briefly and gently mix in the dry ingredients until just combined; overmixing will result in tough muffins. Gently (and briefly) stir in the chocolate chips.
- Spoon into the prepared muffin tin (an ice-cream scoop works well), top with the (toasted) nuts, and bake until golden, about 25 mintues. Fill the cups two-thirds full for regular muffins or to the brim for a big-topped version. Cool in the tin for 5 minutes; then use a butter knife to loosen the mufins. Turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
Keeps well in an airtight container for 2 days; beyond that, store in the refrigerator. These freeze beautifully too.