Cocoa Banana Yogurt Muffins (a Laurie original)


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Yesterday, I played with my tried-and-true banana yogurt muffin recipe to see if I could add in some cocoa powder without ruining it.

I’ve also been playing with my camera. My photography class started yesterday, and I got cocky and started shooting on manual, which turned out to be something of a disaster as I do not have the steadiest of hands. So many blurry shots!  But I think I have enough usable shots to convey the basic assembly of this new creation, and at least I’m  learning as I go.

I started with my usual collection of dry ingredients: whole wheat white flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg, which I reduced to a quarter teaspoon. Then I added in a quarter cup of cocoa powder.

adding cocoa powder

Yes I know, it’s a very cluttered kitchen. I like to have everything close at hand, and you’ll see later that it ended up serving me well.

I whisked. It was a much darker mixture than I am used to, but of course, that was the goal.

dry ingredients, whisked

Next I attended to the bananas. We’ve had these foul-looking overripe bananas on the counter for days, getting browner by the minute, so it was very satisfying to finally get them into a bowl for mashing. I usually use two large ones for this recipe, but these were more medium-sized, so I used three.

bananas in bowl

bananas, mashed

I added the usual ingredients here: peanut butter, brown sugar, vanilla (a full teaspoon instead of a half), and yogurt. I usually put in a quarter cup of yogurt, so I added a little more to compensate for the dryness of the cocoa powder.

extra yogurt

In it went. I stirred vigorously.

liquid ingredients

banana mixture, stirred

I just noticed how different my (unattractive) countertop looks in these two pictures. Same bowl, same light in the kitchen, different color tones. I just looked at the files in Photoshop and my settings were exactly the same! I’m going to ask my teacher in class about that this week.

Colors aside, I added that to the dry ingredients.

adding banana mixture

I incorporated everything, then scooped it into muffin cups. The batter seemed a little thicker than usual, but I attributed that to the extra cocoa powder. Spoiler: I was wrong.

batter in tins, take one

At that point, Dave walked in and we decided that we’d head out with the kids as soon as the muffins were done. I swept my gaze over the counter to gauge how much clean-up I had to do before we left, and noticed the eggs sitting there.

The eggs!

The eggs were on the counter, but was there an egg in the batter? No! It was supposed to go in with the banana mixture.

I scraped each cup of batter back into the bowl sadly. Those muffin cups were specialty ones I picked up a few weeks ago, and I hated wasting them, plus I was worried that I’d also wasted the precious bananas along with everything else.

I made a Tower of Shame out of the scraped papers.

tower of shame

‘Twas a sad thing.

I added the egg, and re-mixed (banana muffins, the re-mix! extended version!) and this time the texture was a lot smoother.

back in cups

Sadly, I’d lost some batter in the scraping, so I knew some of the muffins were going to be a little smaller than they should be. They also took longer to bake, almost 20 minutes instead of the usual 15. I wonder if that’s because of the cocoa powder, or just my weird accidental mixing process. Still, they looked pretty good when they came out of the oven.

fresh out of the oven

I let them sit in the pan for five minutes or so, then took them out to cool.

muffins cooling on rack

muffins cooling on rack

They smelled good, too, like muffins should, despite the delayed egg.

We headed out on our errand. When we came back, I decided to play with the camera for a while.

muffins and camera playing

muffins and camera playing

muffins and camera playing

muffins and camera playing

Then of course, I tasted them. Relief! They’re lovely! I just had one for breakfast this morning and I think they need just a LITTLE something else, maybe a bit more yogurt and a hair more cinnamon, or maybe more banana, but the cocoa powder comes into its own when the muffins have had a chance to sit for a while, the texture’s fluffy and moist in just the right way, and again, we have a breakfast that tastes like dessert. I think a little more playing and I can get these just right, but they are rather delicious just as they are.

At the end of May, I’m taking a baking class about ratios, so after that I’ll really have a sense of how to alter these recipes, but in the meantime, it’s a lot of fun to play. Tasty, too.

muffins and camera playing


(serves 12)

1 cup whole wheat white flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 heaping teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 cup cocoa powder
3-4 medium bananas, mashed
1 egg
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
heaping 1/4 cup low fat vanilla yogurt

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Grease muffin tin or line with paper muffin cups.

In a large bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cocoa powder.

In a separate bowl, beat together the bananas, sugar, egg, peanut butter, and vanilla. Stir in the yogurt. Check to make sure you remembered the egg.

Stir the banana mixture into the flour until just combined then scoop the batter into the muffin cups.

Get them into the oven, then DROP the temperature to 350 degrees. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean.

Let cool before serving (eating). I think these actually taste better the next day, so I recommend making them at night.

(still only 2 Weight Watchers P+ each)

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