These are some serious, blow your mind muffins.
The test kitchen ate a whole batch on a Sunday afternoon. My neighbor planned to share hers with a houseguest, but took one bite and reconsidered. I sent a batch to work with J, and his coworkers – a witty, sophisticated and discerning bunch – agreed that testing recipes for Three Beans on a String does not suck. (I’m glad they didn’t have to try the disastrous blueberry vinaigrette I made yesterday afternoon -a gelatinous, purple mess- but I digress).
The fresh cherries, coarsely chopped chocolate and walnuts are perfectly simpatico, and while I wouldn’t say these are good for you, they’re not bad for muffins. Bananas replace eggs and almond milk stands in for dairy to make this a vegan recipe. Half of the flour is whole wheat, and the cherries are super fresh, part of my CSA share. The season for fresh cherries on the Mid Atlantic lasts about 5 minutes, so I’m not sure if I can get more, but these were so good, I sure hope so.
For the chocolate, I used a 64% semi-sweet bar, chopped coarsely with a knife. The bigger pieces lend themselves to a certain chaotically spaced, gooey yum that I prefer to the uniformity of little chocolate chips. I also really like the extra flavor boost from the coconut oil. Coconut oil doesn’t work for recipes that rely heavily on butter, but it’s a great substitute for margarine, shortening, vegetable oil or, in smaller quantities, butter.
In general, muffin recipes are forgiving. Don’t have whole wheat flour? That’s okay – just use all purpose. Coconut oil isn’t your thing? Vegetable oil works just fine. Want to get rid of two bananas instead of one? Sure – add an extra. No bananas? Use half a cup of applesauce. Allergic to nuts? Leave ’em out. Like darker chocolate? Bring on the 70 % bittersweet.
Now forget everything I just said and make these muffins following the recipe exactly because they’re that good.
- ¾ cup whole wheat flour
- ¾ cup all-purpose flour
- ½ cup white sugar
- ¼ cup light brown sugar
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ⅓ cup coconut oil (melted)
- 1 large banana, mashed (about ½ cup)
- ⅓ cup almond milk
- 1 cup fresh cherries
- ⅓ cup chopped walnuts
- ⅓ cup semisweet chocolate (a little less than one 2-oz bar), coarsely chopped
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Grease muffin pan, line pan with muffin liners, or use paper muffin cups as shown in photograph.
- Combine whole wheat flour, all purpose flour, white sugar, brown sugar, kosher salt and baking powder.
- Add in coconut oil, banana and almond milk and give the mixture a quick stir until just moistened. Fold in cherries, walnuts and chocolate.
- Fill muffin cups ¾ full.
- Bake for 25 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.