Chocolate Chip Banana Nut Muffins

I love trying new versions of things; a few years ago I cam up with this magical idea: I combined my chocolate chip muffins with my classic banana nut muffins.  Muffin heaven is here and I baked this afternoon so there are a couple in my muffin jar for snacks!  The rest go in the freezer to stay fresh for a sweet chocolatety banana muffin treat.

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They are perfect in texture, moisture and totally yummy. I put a streusel topping on them but a good measure of it fell off; do try to press it in firmly, I guess I wasn’t firm enough!  They are good even without the streusel topping if you like less on top, could instead sprinkle with chunky sugar for a nice finished appearance.  And if you only have one kind of chocolate chips I am sure they will still be fantastic. I just loved the contrast of big dark chips with small semi-sweet ones.

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Chocolate Chip Banana Nut Muffins

2 cups brown rice flour mix (see below)

2/3 c granulated sugar or coconut palm sugar

1 tbsp. baking powder

1 tsp. baking soda

¾ tsp xanthan gum

¼ tsp salt

1 tsp cinnamon

3/4 c packed ripe mashed banana

½ c coarsely chopped walnuts

¼ cup mini chocolate chips

¼ cup dark chocolate chips

2 lg eggs beaten

½ c milk plus 2 tbsp extra if you use coconut sugar, 1 or 2 percent

½ c canola oil

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Topping

½ cup oats

¼ cup brown sugar

2 tbsp. almond flour

½ tsp. cinnamon

2 tbsp. butter

Mix topping dry ingredients, rub butter in with your fingertips.

Or just use 1/3-1/2 cup gf oats sprinkled on top; this lower calorie topping is my go to these days.

 

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Muffin directions:

Heat oven to 350 degrees, placing the rack in middle of oven.  Spray muffin pans with cooking spray.  One batch makes about 16 or 17 muffins.

Mix all dry ingredients in bowl of stand mixer or big bowl.

Add bananas and walnuts; stir to coat them with dry mix, then add the chocolate and stir briefly.

Combine milk and oil.  Add liquids and the two eggs to bowl. Stir on low until well blended.

Fill muffin pans 2/3 full.  Sprinkle with topping and press in carefully if you do the streusal. Bake 20-24 min until golden brown. Do not overbake or they get dry.  Remove from oven and let cool 2-3 min before gently turning them out from the pans to cool on a rack. I use a butter knife to release them by running it around the edge once before tipping them out. They freeze well for up to 3 weeks.  They keep in my ceramic muffin/cookie jar for a few days. muffins 001

Brown Rice Flour Mix *same as King Arthur’s GF flour blend
2 c brown rice flour

2/3 c potato starch

1/3 c tapioca flour

Note: This muffin recipe is my version of the muffins from Annalise Roberts’s wonderful cookbook: Gluten Free Baking Classics.

Post originally put up by me in 2015, minor changes to text.

Banana Custard Pie…in a Chocolate Crust…Luxury Made Easy

The ultimate perfect old school pie… so yummy and all you really need to make is some custard. I changed up my crust from a traditional flaky crust to a gf chocolate cookie crust that I bought at Wegmans. You can too and save the time you would have spent making a crust. No baking for me this time: no hot oven!

My mom used to make this pie when I was in my early adulthood; for some reason she never made it for us as little kids.  I used to cut up and set the banana rounds in the flaky baked pie shell for her.  She never used a chocolate crust so this is a slightly different take on this custard pie. The contrast of the rich custard, the crunchy chocolate crust and the fluffy cream with the delicate banana flavor is just so memorable.  And if you can make custard this pie is simple. I assume you could use a box pudding but I highly recommend this traditional stove top egg custard, straight out of Betty Crocker’s 1978 cookbook.

Angie’s Banana Cream Pie

 A chocolate ready-made crust

 

Filling:

½ to 2/3 cup sugar (I went with ½ cup and it was plenty sweet)

1/4 cup corn starch

½ tsp sea salt

3 cups whole milk or 2 percent, no lower fat than that

4 egg yolks beaten lightly

3 tbsp. butter cut into small cubes. (optional- skipped it this time)

2 tsp. pure vanilla extract

2 large bananas

Topping: 1 cup whipping cream, ¼ cup powdered sugar and ½ tsp. vanilla

Directions: Mix the dry ingredients in a 1 ½ qt sauce pan, Add the milk and stir constantly as it heats.  Once it reaches a boil time it for one minute. My secret trick is that if I don’t feel it was fully boiling when I started my minute; I add another minute to the process to be sure it is going to turn out thick. Stirring as it boils is mandatory; not the time to walk away from this process.  Then add 1/3 of the hot custard to the egg yolks as you stir, stir some more and return all to the pan, bring back to boil and time for one minute, yeap: stirring constantly.  Add the butter and stir as it melts, then the vanilla, stir.  Pour into a mixing bowl, cool five minutes and then put a film of plastic wrap on the top; press it down onto the custard. let cool a while more; maybe 30 minutes Chill in refrigerator at least an hour before using.

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These slices were served a day after I made it.  Still yummy.  Forgive the paper plates and the poor quality picture. My mom’s room is not the best place for taking pix!

 

Cut peeled bananas into 1/2 inch rounds and cover the bottom of the pie crust with them close together.  Pour the custard over the sliced fruit and smooth the top.

Chill pie 1- 2 hours before slicing and serving cold topped with a big dollop of real whipped cream.

Whipped cream: Beat 1 cup cold whipping cream with an electric mixer until it holds soft peaks; add a quarter cup powdered sugar and ½ tsp. vanilla.  Do not beat any more, just stir in.

I think it is best served the same day you make it, or no more then 12 hours after assembly for optimal flavor.  The crust will get soggy if too much time passes. Mine was still very good the next day; just not as great a crust as when really fresh.  I like to top my slices of pie with extra rounds of banana to up the nanner flavor.  I liked the chocolate crust but I think I might go back to a homemade crust; either a flaky one or maybe one made with gf gingersnaps. Now that sounds like a winner!

Note: I froze my egg whites for later use in a cake. No wasting them, that’s for sure.

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Pie filling from Betty Crocker Cook Book, 1978 Edition.

 

Old School Pie; Banana Custard

Early spring brings a dearth of fresh fruit.  I find the apples to be less than optimal for pies after about February.  I was looking for something fresh and fruity.  No frozen fruit either; pricy to fill a whole pie and I really try to find things that are seasonal.  I had a pie to bake for Joe, he loves a pie so what should I chose? My sister said why not the venerable banana cream pie. Bananas are here and fresh so yes!

My mom used to make this pie when I was in my early adulthood; for some reason she never made it for us as kids.  I used to cut up and set the banana rounds in the baked pie shell for her.  The contrast of the rich custard, the flaky crust and the fluffy cream with the delicate banana flavor is just so memorable.  And if you can bake an empty pie crust and make custard this pie is really simple.  If you want, buy a crust in a package to bake; that will simplify things even more.  I assume you can use a box pudding but I highly recommend this custard, straight out of Betty Crocker’s 1978 cookbook.

Angie’s Mom’s Banana Cream Pie

Crust:

1 c plus 2 tbsp brown rice flour mix (at bottom of recipe)

2 tbsp sweet rice flour

1 Tbps. granulated sugar

½ tsp xanthan gum

¼ tsp salt

6 Tbsp. cold butter cut into 6 chunks

1 large egg

2 tsp fresh orange or lemon juice

Spray 9 inch metal pie pan with cooking spray, dust with white rice flour.

Mix dry ingredients in bowl of stand electric mixer.  Add butter and mix until crumbly and resembles coarse meal.  Add egg and juice.  Mix until it comes together into big chunks.  Shape into a ball with your hands. Put it on a crust sized piece of wax paper (14 x 14 inches more or less), flatten the crust ball some; put on top of it another piece of wax paper and chill it all in your fridge 15-20 minutes while you prepare the filling.

Filling:

2/3 cup sugar

1/4 cup corn starch

½ tsp sea salt

3 cups whole milk or 2 percent, no lower fat than that

4 egg yolks beaten lightly

3 tbsp. butter cut into small cubes.

2 tsp. pure vanilla extract

2 large bananas

Topping: 1 cup whipping cream, ¼ cup powdered sugar and ½ tsp. vanilla

Directions: Mix the dry ingredients in a 1 ½ qt sauce pan, Add the milk and stir as it heats.  Once it reaches a boil time it for one minute.  Then add 1/3 of it to the egg yolks, stir and return all to the pan, bring back to boil and time for one minute stirring constantly.  Add the butter and stir as it melts, then the vanilla, stir.  Pour into a mixing bowl, let cool a bit and then put a film of plastic wrap on the top; press it down onto the custard.  Chill at least an hour before using.

Roll out pie crust in a pie bag or between the two sheets of wax paper, try to get the thickness even, no thick middle! Peel off one side of paper and place in pie pan, centered.  Remove other slice of wax paper.  Crimp edges all around.  Prick with a fork evenly every inch so it won’t bubble as it bakes.

Bake in a preheated 400 degree oven for 12-18 minutes until the crust is light brown.  Cool at least 15 minutes

Cut peeled bananas into 1/2 inch rounds and cover the bottom of the pie crust with them close together.  Pour the custard over the sliced fruit and smooth the top.

Chill pie 1- 4 hours before slicing and serving cold topped with a big dollop of real freshly whipped cream.

Whipped cream: Beat 1 cup cold whipping cream with an electric mixer until it holds soft peaks; add a quarter cup powdered sugar and ½ tsp. vanilla.  Do not beat any more, just stir in.

I think it is best served the same day you make it, or no more then 12 hours after baking for optimal flavor.  The crust will get soggy if too much time passes. Mine was still very good the next day; just not as great as when really fresh.

Originally posted on my blog in April 2016.  Making one later this holiday week!

Banana Blueberry Muffins

The other day I was thinking of making banana nut muffins…short one banana.  So I added blueberries to make enough fruit.  An instant classic!

I know, they look just like a banana muffin but they have a secret inside, juicy flavorful blueberries! The streusel topping looks gorgeous and adds an extra layer of flavor.  There are walnuts in them to so you get some really great nutrients from the fruit and nuts.  You can swap the white sugar for coconut palm sugar which is very low as far as raising blood sugar; important if you are pre-diabetic as I am.   I did add an extra tbsp. of milk because of the coconut palm sugar. They come out slightly darker if you use that special sugar.  banana blueberry muffin 002

I love how healthy these muffins are and the convenience of freezing most of them for use as daily snacks.  They defrost during the morning and are ready just when I need a pick me up. It’s great how being gluten free can be so yummy and easy when you plan ahead and bake your own snack treats. I freeze all muffins I won’t eat in two days time; a zip lock freezer bag works great.

Banana Blueberry Streusel Muffins

2 cups brown rice flour mix (see below)

2/3 cup granulated coconut palm sugar or granulated sugar

1 tbsp. baking powder

1 tsp. baking soda

¾ tsp. xanthan gum

¼ tsp. salt

1/2 tsp cinnamon

¾ cup mashed bananas

1/2 cup fresh or frozen blueberries

1/3 cup chopped walnuts

2 large eggs

½ cup milk, 1 or 2 percent plus 1-2 tbsp more if using the palm sugar

½ cup canola oil

Topping: Mix the following in a bowl, make sure the butter is in tiny pebbles; use your fingertips to blend.

½ cup rolled oats

¼ cup brown sugar

2 tbsp. almond meal

1½ tbsp. butter

¼ tsp. cinnamon

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Directions: Heat your oven to 350 degrees, placing the rack in middle of oven.  Spray muffin pans with cooking spray.  One batch makes 14-16 muffins.  I got 16 when I made them.

Mix all dry ingredients in bowl of stand mixer or big bowl. Add fruits and walnuts; stir to coat them with dry mix.  Combine milk and oil.  Add liquids and eggs to big bowl; stir just until fully blended.  It is a very thick batter.  I like to let it stand ten minutes to allow the batter to thicken; makes a better and higher muffin.

Fill muffin pans 2/3 full.  I use a big serving spoon and fill it about half way to dump batter into each muffin space. Sprinkle the top with the topping. Press it in a bit so it won’t all flake off after baking. Bake 21-23 min until golden brown. Do not over bake or they will taste dry.  Let stand 6 or 7 minute and then remove from the pans and cool on a rack. I often use a fork to help pry them out; the streusel can get stuck on the edges to the muffin tin.  They freeze well for a few weeks, if they last that long.  Keeps in fridge (well wrapped) or an airtight cookie jar for 2-3 days.

Brown Rice Flour Mix base mix 

(This mix is the same as King Arthur’s gf blend)
2 c brown rice flour

2/3 c potato starch

1/3 c tapioca flour

Banana Muffins…Tried and True

Sometimes you find that the bananas you got only a few days ago are getting squishy and you have no desire to eat sticky overripe fruit.  This recipe is perfect for those days.  This muffin recipe is my own version of muffins from Annalise Roberts’s wonderful cookbook: Gluten Free Baking Classics.  They are easy to make, perfect in texture and totally yummy.  My family and friends love them for snacks. They were my first kind of gf muffins and were so tasty and foolproof they launched my love of gf muffins.

I have subbed in chopped apples for some of the mashed bananas or applesauce will do too.  Sometimes I add ¼ cup currents, raisins or dried cranberries.  They add a tasty surprise when you bit into your muffin.  If you are not a fan of nuts leave them out.  Sometimes I leave out the nutmeg, or add extra cinnamon.

I do love to sprinkle them with chunky sugar; used for fancy baking.  Sometimes I ice some for company and we have them for dessert.  They were banging good that way. I feel no guilt; these muffins are low fat, low sugar and totally yummy, even when left un-iced!   muffin with frosting

I freeze any I won’t eat in 2 days; in a Ziplock freezer bag.  They make super school or work snacks and I sometimes take a couple on a hike, wrapped carefully so they don’t turn to banana nut crumbs on the way up the mountain!

Here are some I made on 6-1-16; they have a streusel topping and some chocolate chips added for extra yummy.

Banana Nut Muffins

2 cups brown rice flour mix (see below)

2/3 c granulated sugar or coconut palm sugar

1 tbsp. baking powder

1 tsp. baking soda

¾ tsp xanthan gum

¼ tsp salt

1 tsp cinnamon

¼ tsp nutmeg

1 c packed ripe mashed banana

½ c chopped walnuts

2 lg eggs beaten

½ c milk, 1 or 2 percent plus 2-3 extra tbsp. if you use the palm sugar

½ c canola oil

Directions: Heat oven to 350 degrees, placing the rack in middle of oven.  Spray muffin pans with cooking spray.  One batch makes 12-16 muffins.

Mix all dry ingredients in bowl of stand mixer or big bowl

Add bananas and walnuts; stir to coat them with dry mix

Combine milk and oil and.add liquids and eggs to mixing bowl; stir until blended.  Sometimes I add ¼ c dried cranberries which is a nice addition.

Fill muffin pans 2/3 full.  Bake 18-24 min until golden brown. Do not overbake or they get dry.  Remove immediately from the pans and cool on a rack.  I like to sprinkle the muffins with big sugar granules before baking for crunch.   Freezes well for up to 3 weeks.  Keeps in fridge (well wrapped) a few days.

Brown Rice Flour Mix base mix  (same as King Arthur basic gf flour blend)
2 c brown rice flour

2/3 c potato starch (not potato flour)

1/3 c tapioca flour

 

Josh’s Giant Muffin

In the interest of friendship and my natural curiosity I finally baked a very special muffin for my friend Josh, lover of the giant muffin!  I know some of you folks are fans of huge muffins. It was a gigantic banana nut chocolate chip muffin and it took enough batter for two regular muffins to fill each giant muffin portion: that’s a lot of batter! They were baked them in this oversized muffin tin someone gave me years ago, never used, so no worries on gluten filled crumbs in crevices.

I used my regular recipe with no alterations and baked them a few minutes longer.  Success!  Moist flavorful muffins with perfect texture.  And they were gorgeous, bakery worthy looks. Still, I was only able to eat half at a time.

Not sure I will be always making giant muffins, I tend to like small snacks but for you big muffin lovers; just know that you will get half as many muffins and I suggest you bake it 5 extra minutes, test it with a skinny cake tester and let it cool about 10 minutes in the pan before removing them to finish cooling on a cake rack.

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The giant muffin is on the left; two small ones on the right.  All tasty!

I ate a giant one the day after baking, it was still so fresh and tasty.  I froze Josh’s muffin so it would be fresh for him.  I did tell him that it was frozen a few days and that he should plan to eat it that day.  He misunderstood and waited a day more. It was getting crumbly but he said the flavors were fantastic, especially the chocolate chips.  Gluten free baked goods has a shorter shelf life plus mine have no preservatives.  That’s why I freeze them and defrost the day I am consuming.

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In conclusion, giant muffins are no big deal; no more work, just need that honking big muffin pan and you are set to go.  Bake them 5 to 7 minutes extra; I put in my cake tester and eye balled them just to be sure; they looked done, tester said done. Done.

Tasty.  But, that big muffin was too much food for my normal snack size.  Still, for company; they might be just the ticket for breakfast.  If you love giant muffins; feel free to use any of my multitude of muffin recipes for those big boys.  Test for doneness and let them cool longer in the metal pan as they are so big they will take longer to be ready to safely lift out of the pan. Enjoy!

Banana Cream Pie Pleasures

Early spring brings a dearth of fresh fruit.  I find the apples to be less than optimal for pies after about February.  I was looking for something fresh and fruity.  No frozen fruit either; pricey to fill a whole pie and I really try to find things that are seasonal.  No rhubarb yet, just made a shoofly pie… hummn. I had a pie to bake for Joe’s birthday, he loves a pie so what to make, he isn’t a pear fan either. My sister said why not a banana cream pie? Bananas are here and fresh so yes! Besides, 2016 is my year of the pie plus I just love sharing a great pie recipe.  Here goes…

My mom used to make this pie when I was in my thirties; for some reason she never made it for us as kids.  I remember cutting up and setting the banana rounds in the baked pie shell for her.  The contrast of the rich custard, the flaky crust and the fluffy cream with the delicate banana flavor is just so memorable.  And if you can bake a pie crust and make custard this pie is simple.  If you want, buy a crust in a package to bake; that works too.  I assume you can use a box pudding but I highly recommend this custard, straight out of Betty Crocker’s 1978 cookbook.  It is an easy pie to convert to gluten free; just get that pie crust baked fully as it doesn’t go back in the oven.

I only have a couple of pictures and I have to say my pie filling was soft so the pictures do not do this pie justice; I guess I need to make it extra firm for some better shots. Trust me; it taste much better than my pictures hint at.

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Mom’s Banana Cream Pie

Crust:

1 c plus 2 tbsp brown rice flour mix (at bottom of recipe)

2 tbsp sweet rice flour

1 Tbps granulated sugar

½ tsp xanthan gum

¼ tsp salt

6 Tbps cold butter cut into 6 chunks

1 large egg

2 tsp fresh orange or lemon juice

Spray 9 inch metal pie pan with cooking spray, dust with white rice flour.

Mix dry ingredients in bowl of stand electric mixer.  Add butter and mix until crumbly and resembling coarse meal.  Add egg and juice.  Mix until it comes together into big chunks.  Shape into a ball with your hands. Put it on a crust sized piece of wax paper (14 x 14 inches more or less), flatten the crust ball some; put on top of it another piece of wax paper and chill it all in your fridge 15-20 minutes while you prepare the filling.

Filling:

2/3 cup sugar

1/4 cup corn starch

½ tsp sea salt

3 cups whole milk or 2 percent, no lower fat than that

4 egg yolks beaten lightly

2 tbsp. butter cut into small cubes.

2 tsp. pure vanilla extract

2 large bananas

Topping: 1 cup whipping cream, 1/4 cup powdered sugar, 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

Directions: Mix the dry ingredients in a 1 ½ qt sauce pan, Add the milk and stir as it heats.  Once it reaches a boil time it for one minute, STIRRING CONSTANTLY.  Then add 1/3 of it to the egg yolks, stir and return all to the pan, bring back to boil and time for one minute stirring constantly.  Add the butter and stir as it melts, then the vanilla, stir.  Pour into a mixing bowl, let cool a bit and then put a film of plastic wrap on the top; press it down onto the custard.  Chill at least an hour before using. Do not use until cold.  I must confess I nearly burnt my custard and actually strained it to get out any lump or browned bits.  It had a bit of a caramelized flavor due to the near disaster but I loved that sugary taste so I will maybe let it get like that next time too.

Roll out pie crust in a pie bag or between the two sheets of wax paper, try to get the thickness even, no thick middle! Peel off one side of paper and place in pie pan, centered.  Remove other slice of wax paper.  Crimp edges all around.  Prick with a fork evenly every inch so it won’t bubble as it bakes.

Bake in a preheated 400 degree oven for 12-18 minutes until the crust is light brown.  Cool at least 15 minutes

Cut peeled bananas into 1/2 inch rounds and cover the bottom of the pie crust with them close together.  Pour the custard over the sliced fruit and smooth the top.

Chill pie 1- 4 hours before slicing and serving cold topped with a big dollop of whipped cream.

Whipped cream: Beat cold whipping cream with an electric mixer until it holds soft peaks; add a quarter cup powdered sugar and ½ tsp. vanilla.  Do not beat any more, just stir in.

I think it is best served the same day you make it, or no more then 12 hours after baking for optimal flavor.  The crust will get soggy if too much time passes. Mine was still very good the next day; just not as great as when really fresh.

Note: I froze my egg whites for later use in a cake. No wasting them, that’s for sure!

Brown Rice Flour Mix (Same as King Arthur GF All purpose blend)
2 c brown rice flour (finely ground)

2/3 c potato starch – Not potato flour!

1/3 c tapioca flour

** Pie filling from Betty Crocker Cook Book, 1978 Edition.