Cooking & Baking

HOT COCOA Banana Muffins

So I was walking around Giant Eagle in Pittsburgh and fighting my usual produce section ADD when I came across a display of sad, bruised bananas.  That were drastically reduced because, well, who wants ugly bananas?  Well, apparently I did.  I gave a home to a bag of them and discovered that there was a dozen in there.

When life gives you bananas, you make muffins!

hot cocoa banana muffins @ BandBBuildALife.com

As a kid, when my Mom would pick up a bunch of Bananas, I would hold out on eating the last one or two, with the hopes that nobody else would touch them and they’d inevitably brown….and then she’d make muffins!  Fresh out of the oven, they were so good!

hot cocoa banana muffins @ BandBBuildALife.com

So I decided to put my new-to-me muffin pan to good use and give some of these bananas a home in the form of warm baked goodness.  I was busy gathering ingredients to follow this recipe from allrecipes.com when I came across this…

leaning tower of hot cocoa @ BandBBuildALife.com

You see it there, leaning in the back of our pantry.  That’s a TOWER of hot cocoa.  The bottom box is still a little over half-full, and those three boxes on top are unopened.  It would take us YEARS to drink all that cocoa!  I’ve tried to use the powder before in mug brownies and it came out pretty good.  So I had an idea – why not add some to my muffins?

hot cocoa banana muffins @ BandBBuildALife.com

So I followed the directions of the recipe, only I cut the sugar down a bit.  I eyeballed it, but it was likely about a quarter cup less than it called for.  (So only 1/2 cup instead of 3/4 cup)  Then I added in two packages of milk chocolate hot cocoa – NO MARSHMALLOWS.  (though who knows, that may be tasty too.)

hot cocoa banana muffins @ BandBBuildALife.com

Yeah, that looks nasty, doesn’t it?  But it smelled heavenly, and the bowl-licking after I filled the pan was totally worth feeling like a fat kid.

hot cocoa banana muffins @ BandBBuildALife.com

Once the pan was filled with the mix (if you are using a legit muffin pan instead of a cupcake pan, then it will make 6, not 12 like it says.  …or maybe I have a Goliath muffin pan?) I used the third pack of cocoa mix to add a fresh dusting of the powder on top of the batter.  Then I popped them into the oven and used the upper end of the time suggested.  I tested with a toothpick to be sure they were done in the middle.  And enjoyed the apartment smelling like banana heaven.

hot cocoa banana muffins @ BandBBuildALife.com

When I took them out, this is what I found!  The powder created a tasty dusting on the muffins.  And they were moist and a little fluffy inside.

hot cocoa banana muffins @ BandBBuildALife.com

Yes, those are my new dishes from my parents’ first apartment!

hot cocoa banana muffins @ BandBBuildALife.com

They were fantastic on their own fresh from the oven.  They were sweet and the banana was obvious in flavor, but the cocoa was nice and subtle – it was a nice accompaniment to the flavor instead of overpowering.  If you want a more chocolatey muffin, you might want to up the powder content and maybe even add chocolate chips too.  I would have but we were out.

hot cocoa banana muffins @ BandBBuildALife.com

If you’re eating one the next day, add a pat of butter and pop it in the microwave for 30 seconds to recreate that fresh-from-the-oven taste.  Mmmmm so warm and delicious!

hot cocoa banana muffins @ BandBBuildALife.com

And it would seem Bill approves! 🙂

What sweets have you whipped up lately?

~ Beth

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