Saturday, April 3, 2010

Fifth-stair inspired muffins

The inspiration for this one is pretty strange.

If you don’t know by now, before the restaurant where I work was a restaurant, it was a big, big, old, old barn. The owners even kept an old, old, grey, grey horse in what now is the basement for a few years. Doesn’t that fit right in? Sometimes when I’m bringing boxes down to the still gravel-floored basement, or turning on the outdoor lights, I imagine how the stalls would look, all perfectly vintage-looking, nestled against the stone foundation.

When the barn was renovated, everything original that could stay, did: all of the beams are original, the bar is made out of the old cow stalls. The hay loft remains, though it’s now storage for mixers and deli cups and paper towels, and there is still an old rope swing right hanging above the newer duct work. Every time I go down those stairs, if I look up around the fifth, maybe sixth, stair, I look directly at old crates chock-full of muffin tins. And not the child’s-play muffin tins you make cupcakes in, either – they’re big, huge even, the super-sized version of muffin tins.

Last time I was at work, I hit the fifth stair, and thought that it would be awesome to make giant muffins. That’s it, that’s where I got the idea. And so I did, a few days later.

It turns out that I’m not that big of a muffin person, really (I thought I would rather enjoy being able to eat what is essentially a cupcake in the morning and be able to pass if off as breakfast). They were tasty, what with their heavy-handed dose of chocolate and walnuts, don’t get me wrong, they just weren’t really for me. It’s not a total lost cause, though. At least now I’ll never wonder what it would be like to make giant muffins? I can cross giant, chocolate-banana-walnut muffins off of my list? Maybe it was a total lost cause?

They got eaten, quickly, so maybe that’s a good sign. Though, if you leave pretty much anything out on the table in my apartment, it will get gobbled up at a pretty alarming rate. Like, record setting. It’s quite a nice ego-boost, come to think of it.

The moral: these were certainly decent, it wasn’t quite as awesome to make giant muffins as I had thought (though maybe some of you feel differently about that), and you should make these if you live in an apartment full of skinny, hungry boys. Or if you really like muffins, of course.

That was a terrible sell, I realize. I should never be a salesperson.

Chocolate Banana Walnut (giant) Muffins

1 ½ cups all purpose flour
2/3 cup sugar
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup mashed ripe bananas
1 large egg
½ cup unsalted butter, melted
¼ cup milk
A few handfuls each of :
-semisweet chocolate chips
-roughly chopped walnuts
(Because I’m a rogue baker)

Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter and flour your giant muffin tin, if you have one, or line a smaller tin with baking cups. Mix flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in large bowl. Mix mashed bananas, egg, melted butter and milk in different, medium bowl. Stir banana mixture into dry ingredients just until mixed.

Stir in chocolate chips and walnuts.

Divide batter among muffin cups, filling each about ¾ full. Bake muffins until tops are pale golden and tester inserted into center comes out relatively clean. Mine took about 30-35 minutes. Transfer muffins to rack; cool.

Feed to hungry roommates.


Lauri said...

The first time I made these muffins was about 10 years ago and the inspiration was oh so much stranger than the "fifth stair". I will share the story when you bring some of these palate pleasers over for breaky!!

Lauri said...

I wanted to see a bite out of the second muffin...ala red velvet cupcakes!