Remember those breakfast cereal commercials from the 80s? Anyone who sat around in their pajamas in the wee hours of Saturday morning should know what I’m talking about. The announcer would always say: Part of a complete breakfast! And they they’d cut to a plate of toast and some random fruit next to the bowl of Frosted Flakes or Trix, as if eating bread and real fruit made the cereal better for you.
That story doesn’t really have anything to do with these mini muffins, because they don’t have cereal (although watch out of a future recipe that does). But they could be considered a complete breakfast. You’ve got your bananas, always a morning-time staple. You’ve got everyone’s favorite breakfast meat, bacon. And you’ve got chocolate for good measure. (Also cinnamon for that cozy kick.)
But here’s the real question:
Are these breakfast muffins masquerading as decadent little treats, or decadent little treats pretending to be — and doing a darn good job of it — breakfast food? I’ll let you decide.
Chocolate Banana Bacon Mini Muffins
2 ½ cups of flour
2 teaspoons of baking powder
1/4 teaspoon of baking soda
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon of salt
½ cup (1 stick) of unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup of sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon of vanilla
4 ripe bananas, mashed
1/3 cup of milk chocolate chips
6 slices of bacon, cooked & crumbled
Maple Sugar Camp Mix
Heat your oven to 400º.
In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, and then add the vanilla. Add the flour mixture a little at a time until well combined, scraping down the sides as needed. Beat in the mashed bananas, and then stir in the chocolate chips and crumbled bacon. (Or: If you want non-bacon eaters to enjoy them, divide the batter in half and only put bacon in some of it.)
Lightly grease a mini muffin pan and then spoon batter 3/4 of the way into each cup. Sprinkle each with Maple Sugar Camp Mix, and then bake for 12 to 14 minutes, until puffed and lightly browned. Let them cool completely in the muffin pan. Then remove muffins and enjoy.
Guess what, people? Meltdowns are back! And since the official start of Summer is this weekend, it seems like the right time for it.
Even after making 8 different flavors of ice cream last year (plus 1 sorbet and 1 gelato), I didn’t make one of my favorites: mint chocolate chip. I’m really glad I did now, because the combination of herby mint and rich, dark chocolate is one of the best flavors ever. I wasn’t going to add food coloring, but my brain couldn’t process “mint” without that traditional green hue. But I do like the way the brown chocolate blends with the minty green in the finished product. Tastes pretty good too.
Mint Chocolate Chunk Ice Cream
4 cups (1 quart) of half & half
5 large egg yolks
3/4 cup of sugar
Pinch of salt
1 teaspoon of vanilla
1 ½ teaspoons of mint extract
Green food coloring (optional)
3 oz of dark chocolate mini chunks
In a large saucepan, heat the half & half over medium heat. Bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally.
Whisk the egg yolks in a large bowl until smooth. Gradually add the sugar and salt, and whisk until the mixture is pale yellow and thickened, about 3 minutes. Slowly add a little of the heated half & half into the egg mixture and whisk together. Pour the egg-half & half mixture into the saucepan and continue cooking over low heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens and can coat the back of a wooden spoon, about 5 minutes.
Remove from the heat and pour through a fine mesh strainer into a large bowl. Stir in the vanilla and mint extract, and about 4 drops of green food coloring, if using. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until cold or overnight.
Place the mixture into your ice cream maker and freeze according to the machine’s instructions. Most machines take 20 to 40 minutes to make ice cream. When the ice cream is thick and creamy, add the dark chocolate mini chunks to the machine, or stir them in by hand. Place into a freezer-safe container (with piece of parchment paper between the ice cream and the lid) and let it harden for a few hours. Let it sit at room temperature for a few minutes before scooping, and then eat.