Banana Coconut Muffins

Breads, Muffins and Scones

Yield: 10 muffins
Recipe: 19/200
“Back to Baking”, pp. 214

Banana muffins

   Something I love baking is muffins. Muffins are versatile, delicious and usually quite filling, just like these ones. They’re almost like a healthy cupcake (or so I like to think when I’m eating one!). This recipe for banana coconut muffins was bound to be savoury, and so it was. I would never have thought to add lime zest to this batter, but it was an enlightened addition! The lime zest provided an unexpected kick to the muffins which was quite pleasant. Also, being curious by nature, I had to try both types of banana muffins: coconut and walnut. I simply divided the batter in two and added 1/4 cup of coconut flakes to one half, and 1/4 cup of walnut pieces to the other. Albeit I enjoyed both types of muffins, my favorites were definitely the walnut banana muffins! I loved the crunchy aspect provided by the walnut pieces. So if in doubt, go ahead and try both!

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup mashed, ripe bananas (about 2)
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lime zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 1  1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup sweetened, flaked coconut (may be replaced with 1/2 cup of walnut pieces)

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line a muffin tin with paper or silicone liners.
  2. Stir the bananas and brown sugar together.
  3. Add in the egg, lime zest and vanilla extract. Stir well.
  4. In a separate bowl, sift the flour, baking powder and salt. Whisk together the ingredients. Add this mixture to the banana mixture and stir until well combined.
  5. Mix in the coconut flakes or walnut pieces. Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin tin.
  6. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until the muffin tops are golden and spring back when gently pressed. Let the muffins cool for 5-10 minutes before removing them from the tin.

Valerie

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Cookies, Bars and Biscotti

Yield: about 2 dozen large cookies
Recipe: 18/200
“Back to Baking”, pp. 18

Chocolate chip cookies with milk

   One of the classics which also happens to be one of my personal favorite desserts is the chocolate chip cookie. For me, the perfect chocolate chip cookie must be chewy, tender and have a high chocolate chip to dough ratio. I fortunately had found the perfect recipe for such a cookie, but evidently I was not unwilling to test Anna’s recipe for this classic. Her recipe is straightforward and yields delicious and tender cookies. I probably baked my cookies 1-2 minutes too long, which would explain why my cookies came out a bit less chewy than I prefer. However, worry not! I found that heating the cookies for 7-9 seconds in the microwave leads to similar results – chewiness-wise that is. Make sure to not over bake your cookies and they will undoubtedly come out great!

Ingredients:

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Follow the first 4 steps of the basic brown sugar cookie dough recipe.
  3. Add the chocolate chips and mix well to combine.
  4. Drop a tablespoon of cookie dough on the lined baking sheets. Repeat until necessary.
  5. Bake the cookies for 9-11 minutes, until golden brown. Let rest 5 minutes on the baking sheets before transferring them to a rack to cool down.
  6. Enjoy!

Valerie

Chocolate Pecan Pie

Pies and Tarts

Yield: one 9-inch pie
Recipe: 17/200
“Back to Baking”, pp. 98

Chocolate pecan pie

   As one may have noticed from reading this blog, I am an avid fan of all things chocolate. Having one of my frequent urges for chocolate and having pecans on hand, I decided to make a recipe that sounded only too delicious: chocolate pecan pie!! Mmmm! The pie was indeed scrumptious, but it was a bit undercooked to my liking. I baked the pie 40 minutes, and it seemed all set to me, but when I cut the first slice after letting it cool down, the filling was a bit runny. Perhaps 45 minutes would have done the trick. I also had a bit less pecans than the recipe called for, so that may also explain why the filling didn’t set as nicely. Nonetheless, my roommate and I devoured this pie. Give it a try!

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 recipe Double-Crust Pie Dough, chilled
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup golden corn syrup
  • 1/4 cup whipping cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 oz. (125 g) bittersweet chocolate, roughly chopped
  • 2   1/2 cups pecan halves
  • 2 eggs

Directions:

  1. Take out the chilled pie dough 30 minutes before rolling. Preheat the oven to 375°F.
  2. On a lightly floured surface, knead the dough for 1-2 minutes to soften. Roll out to a circle of about 1/4 inch thick. Dust a     9-inch pie plate with flour and place the rolled pastry into the shell. Chill the pie shell while preparing the filling.
  3. In a medium saucepot over medium heat, melt the butter, then stir in the brown sugar and syrup. Bring this to a full simmer while stirring. Continue to simmer and stir for 1 minute.
  4. Stir in the cream and simmer and stir for 1 minute.
  5. Remove the pot from the heat and add in the salt, vanilla extract and chocolate, stirring until the chocolate has melted completely and all the ingredients are combined. Add the pecans and stir to coat.
  6. In a bowl, beat the eggs. Add them to the chocolate and pecan mixture and stir until well incorporated. Scrape the filling into the pie shell.
  7. Bake the pie on a baking tray for 40-45 minutes, until the crust is golden brown and the filling has set. Cool the pie to room temperature.

Notes from Anna:

  • This pie is best served at room temperature or just a little chilled. 

Valerie