My best ideas come to me when I’m running.
I used to love the treadmill. It is safe and convenient. Then, about a year ago, the fall weather enticed me to start running outside. Now I only resort to the treadmill if weather does not permit an outdoor run. One run earlier in my training cycle was the second day in a row where weather did not permit an outdoor run (rain, rain, rain), so I took to our treadmill for a second day in a row. The day before, a Monday, required only four steady miles – no big deal on the treadmill. This day, however, my training plan called for 6-7 miles (one hour of running). I had speed work on the plan for the next day, so I didn’t want to fatigue my legs with any tempos or intervals. Instead, I set the treadmill to 6.5 mph, 1.5% incline – a gentle, easy pace. The thing is, without intervals, time on the treadmill goes by slow, especially when one is now a lover of outdoor running. Easier runs are so much easier when you’re outside…where you can’t smell the coffee as it brews or be tempted by the fact that the kitchen is only a few steps away from the treadmill.
Around mile 3 I started thinking about food. Some old bananas languished on the counter, in need of being baked. By mile 4, I decided that simple banana bread or muffins weren’t going to cut it. Did I want to add blueberries? Chocolate chips? Bacon? By mile 5.5, I decided that peanut butter was necessary for this recipe. Then again, peanut butter always sounds good once I’m about 50 minutes into a run.
Even when my hour was finally up and I finished my run, I could not get muffins out of my mind. Banana. Chocolate. Peanut butter. More chocolate. I tried to start some writing, but by 10 AM my brain was in a MUST BAKE SOMETHING NOW mode. Or maybe that was my stomach rumbling. Either way, the clear solution was just to start baking.
The result was these: banana, peanut butter, cocoa powder, and chocolate chips all coming together into delicious muffins. (Bacon, sadly, did not make the cut… I’m still hesitant about baking with something so savory.) The simple glaze really transforms the muffin – it adds the right bit of sweetness and softness and makes the muffins oh-so-pretty. Not so pretty that you don’t want to eat them. Trust me – you want to try these. Ryan swooned over them, Charlie tried to sneak a bite at them, and I personally had to restrain myself from eating a third.
- 1/4 cup peanut butter
- 1.5 tbsp butter
- 2 very ripe bananas
- 1 large egg
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 cup cocoa powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup milk
- 3 tbsp powdered sugar
- 1 tbsp half & half
- Preheat oven to 350*F.
- Heat peanut butter and butter in a saucepan over the stove on medium heat until melted. Remove from heat and let cool. Meanwhile, combine dry ingredients (flours, cocoa powder, salt, and baking powder) into a large mixing bowl.
- In a separate bowl, mash the bananas until smooth. Then add the egg, brown sugar, and vanilla, and gently beat together until combined. Pour the peanut butter mixture into the banana mixture and fold together until combined. Add the peanut butter mixture to the dry ingredients, and then add the milk. Stir gently. Before the batter is combined, add chocolate chips. You want the batter to be just combined - some spots of flour are acceptable. You want to avoid over-mixing, as this will result in tough muffins.
- Grease a muffin pan (I like to use a paper towel to coat the pan with a bit of olive oil - it’s all natural but prevents sticking.) Use an ice cream scoop or spatula to portion into the batter into the muffin cups, filling each about ⅔-¾ full. Bake for 16-18 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Remove from pan and let cool. To make the glaze, whisk together the powdered sugar and half & half until smooth. Drizzle over muffins.
Somebody was upset he didn’t get any.