Breakfast.

30 Dec

Is it just me, or are mornings made a teensy eensy bit more tolerable by the fact that they often contain breakfast?

I don’t know about you, but for me, the only thing that gets my sleep-filled eyes to finally open is the thought that in approximately half an hour, I will be eating pancakes. Or eggs. Or oatmeal. Or a yogurt parfait. Or an english muffin. Or waffles. Or cereal. Or a bagel. Or scones. Or coffee cake. Or–the head honcho of all breakfast foods, the MUFFIN.

And, you know how it is, some mornings you get up feeling completely uncreative and you really couldn’t care less what you have for breakfast, and you end up just shoving a plain ol’ piece of toast or two down (preferably followed by a cup of coffee, which doesn’t often happen to me due to time constraints but I am in absolute heaven when it does) to keep you going until lunchtime rolls around. But some mornings, you feel inspired. You get up and think–the entire world of breakfast possibilities is open to me! I could have crepes this morning! I could make french toast! I could make a fruit salad! I could make donuts from scratch! I could fry myself up an omelet! Or maybe–maybe eggs benedict! (an example of a dish I hear about all the time, but have no idea what it actually is…) And then, if you are like me, you spend fifteen impatient minutes flipping through the one breakfast cookbook you own before deciding on some grand idea that (more often than not) gets shot down sometime within the creation process and you end up having the inescapable toast.

Thus it was the other morning. Both my mother AND I awoke annoyingly full of energy, and so we decided to branch out a bit and make something new! Something using the poor overripe bananas that were currently rotting on our counter. Something…chocolatey. Something like…oh, I don’t know…

Cocoa Banana Muffins!

And oh god were they good. : ) They had a distinct chocolate flavor without being super sweet (which, I hate to say, does actually start to grate on my nerves by the end of the holiday season. Sugar, sugar, sugar, and more sugar!) and were studded with yummy little chunks of banana. I’m a sucker for the chocolate/banana combo myself, so these were especially good. They turned out pretty moist (except the ones we overcooked…) and were impulsively snacked on for the remainder of the day.

My mom had this recipe stashed away in our recipe folder. It’s cutout magazine ad from probably more than a decade ago. (Just to let you know, according to it, the only appropriate oats to use are Quaker brand.)

Cocoa-Banana Muffins

adapted from a Quaker Oats ad

makes around 1 1/2 – 2 dozen muffins

Ingredients:

1 1/4 cups whole wheat flour

1 cup oats (preferably quick-cooking)

1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar

1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1 cup mashed ripe bananas (about 2)

1/2 cup milk

1/3 cup margarine, melted (I would imagine that butter would be fine too)

2 eggs, beaten

1 teaspoon vanilla

dash salt

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a large bowl, combine dry ingredients; mix well. In a separate bowl, combine the mashed bananas, milk, margarine, beaten eggs, and vanilla; then pour over the dry ingredients. Mix to combine, but do not overmix–some lumps are fine. (The lumps taste like cocoa powder. You’ll live.) Line two muffin tins with cups (I like foil or silicone, but paper would work too) and fill the cups almost full. (If you are awesome like me and have cupcake tins shaped like Christmas trees, use those!) Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool, and then you can sprinkle them with powdered sugar if you want. (I didn’t feel the need.)

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