Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins with Peanut Butter Frosting

6 Nov

Are my titles getting longer?  Hmm…

Now, I don’t want to cause anyone any undue panic, but I have to tell you guys.

It’s November.

I know.  Wasn’t it just August?  I’m pretty sure I was hanging out in Grant Park listening to the orchestra and generally marinating myself in sunlight and leisure time yesterday.  Now I am wearing Under Armor in bed and writing three research papers. Also a novel.  Because it’s National Novel Writing Month.

November, man.  She can be a cold-hearted bitch, I’m telling you.  And the worst part is that I can’t decide if I’m happy to be on winter break soon, or sad that this quarter of school flew by so quickly. I just got the hang of this whole art history thing!  Don’t change it up on me!

Well, anyway, seasons change, months pass, days go by, summer evaporates into a vague mist in your memory, governments change…

So these muffins, right?  We had a ton of bananas in the fridge that were too ripe for Haley’s liking and for me to eat before they went bad, so I, quite logically, smashed them and baked them into muffins.  I think we can all agree that baked bananas are best bananas.  And even better best baked bananas are covered in peanut butter.

I got the muffin recipe from Sarah’s Cucina Bella, though she baked hers in jars, and the peanut butter frosting from Bon Appétit.

Ingredients:

For the muffins:

  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 bananas, mashed
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 tbsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • as many chocolate chips as you can handle in one muffin

For the frosting:

  • 1 cup smooth peanut butter (although if you want to try chunky….)
  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 stick butter, softened
  • 1 1/4 tsp vanilla

Recipe:

 

First, smash your bananas.

 

Fun fact: I misspel bananas every time I type it.  Goddamn.

 

Mmm… banana mush.

Beat together the butter and the sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.  I know it’s tempting to beat until combined, because for the first 2 1/2 minutes the butter and sugar will look pretty much the same.  But when you wait that extra thirty seconds, it changes like magic into this smooth, fluffy delicious mixture.  Maybe you know better and you’re rolling your eyes right now… but there are people who don’t!

Add the egg and beat until combined.  Then, add the bananas, vanilla, and cinnamon.

 

Looks even more appetizing now, doesn’t it?  It’s okay, you can admit it: this is the most delicious thing you’ve ever seen.  I know.

In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt.

 

Add this into the banana mixture gradually, until everything is just combined.  You don’t want to overbeat your muffins.  They will be weird and gross if you do.

 

Then stir in the chocolate chips…

 

So many chips.

 

Fill each cupcake/muffin tin 3/4 of the way up.  It should only make about ten muffins, so don’t panic if you don’t fill an entire muffin tray.

 

Bake at 350 degrees until they begin to brown ever so slightly and a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean.  This took about 20 minutes, but be vigilant, as always.

While the Maillard goodness is happening in the oven, prepare the peanut butter.

 

Beat all the ingredients together.

 

(And try not to think about how you’re pouring peanut butter onto a stick of butter.  You will be too nauseated to enjoy this wonderful muffins if you do that.)

 

Done!

Wait for the muffins to cool.

 

And then frost and enjoy!

 

 

 

So a book recommendation… I suppose you just expect that these days.  I really want to recommend the book I’m reading, but it’s another Murakami, and that would be awkward at this point.

How about Brideshead Revisited?  I read that in 10th grade, and it has stuck with me ferociously ever since.  It’s one of my favorite books, and usually the title I give when asked my absolute favorite.  I know it sounds melodramatic to say it changed my life… but it kind of did.  Because if I hadn’t read it, there are a lot of things I would think about differently or not think about at all.  It taught me a lot, and it’s very special to me because I can identify with so many of the characters.

I know it has a reputation of being “chick lit”, but that couldn’t be farther from the truth.  It’s an intense book, and it’s as much about nostalgia, societal pressures, family expectations, martyrdom, Catholicism in England, and what it means to sacrifice people you love to an abstract idea like religion (…not literally) as it is about Friendship and Love and Betrayal (which is how people usually portray it).  It’s more about those first things, actually.  It’s excellent, anyway, and you should read it.  And then watch the BBC miniseries of it with Jeremy Irons, because it is A+.

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