September 25, 2008

monkeyin' around

Have you ever wondered why monkeys are so commonly associated with bananas? I have. I mean, it's not like they don't eat other things, like spiders.


Now before you say anything, yes, I baked. You didn't expect me to quit completely, did you? This time, I didn't share with my immediate co-workers but instead took the goodies to another department. The reactions I received from those folks were much more favorable, and who knows--maybe word will get back to my office area and jealousy will ensue. Maybe there'll even be an inter-departmental battle for my delicious treats.

Maybe not.


Moving on. I had some bananas loitering in my freezer that I really wanted to use. I initially wanted to make monkey bars so I could segue into my love of that particular playground apparatus. (I could really fly across those suckers.) In the end, however, I chose to go with a bread, using an ice cream concoction from Cold Stone Creamery as my inspiration. Their creation is called "Monkey Bites," and it combines banana ice cream with pecans, coconut, Nestle crunch bar, and bananas.


So I ask again--what does it have to do with monkeys? Rabbits also apparently love bananas, so why can't it be called Bunny Bites? This is the kind of stuff that keeps me awake at night.

But I digress. The base recipe is for peanut butter banana bread, and I simply added chocolate chips and pecans into the batter, and coconut on top (of some). Voila--mission complete.


These are not your typical muffins or bread. The batter was extremely stiff--in fact, I truly believe I could've made cookies out of it. This was further validated by the fact that the spoonfuls (there was certainly no pouring to be done) didn't spread at all in the muffin cups--their shape was exactly the same before and after baking. That's not to say the result wasn't delicious--it was. It was just a bit more dense and cookie-ish than I expected.

No worries--I'll bet neither monkeys nor rabbits would turn it down.


Monkey Muffins and Bunny Bread
(modified from here)

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3-4 ripe large bananas, mashed (approximately 1 1/2 cups)
1 cup milk
3/4 cup smooth peanut butter
1/4 cup canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 large egg
1 cup milk chocolate chips
1 cup pecans, chopped
1/4 cup coconut, toasted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line or spray a muffin tin, loaf pan, or other suitable baking vessel.

In a large bowl, stir together the flours, sugars, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. In a separate bowl, combine the mashed bananas, milk, peanut butter, oil, vanilla, and egg (I blended mine with a mixer). Add the wet mixture to the flour mixture, stirring until just combined. Toss the chocolate chips and pecans with a bit of flour and stir into the thick, thick batter.

Spoon the batter into the prepared dish. Bake about 15 minutes for mini muffins and about 30 minutes for mini loaves, or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Try not to overbake.

56 comments:

Maria said...

Ooh these look really good! I love everything in this one! I have bananas in the freezer!! Yahoo! I can't wait to try these!

Prudy said...

Oh yowza and I have three bananas on the counter, just about ready for a monkeyin' around little nibble.

Dawn said...

I'm with you! I'm listening and I totally agree. You had me at 'monkey'
LOL!

Pam said...

Delicious! This is my kind of treat - I love every ingredient. I am glad that the other department enjoyed your treats and showed you some appreciation - you deserve it.

Dee Light said...

All I can say is yumm!! I'll be trying these!

StickyGooeyCreamyChewy said...

Sounds like an inspired idea! They looks great! Your co-workers would be crazy not to love them!

Deborah said...

Monkeys, rabbits,...and me!!

I would love to see an inter-office war break out - all wanting your delicious treats!

kat said...

I like chunky monkey ice cream & this doesn't sound too far off from that

Suzanne said...

I've been craving bananas lately (let's hope I'm not pg again)-and this recipe sounds delish.
Never knew that rabbits like bananas.ha!

noble pig said...

Hey these are awesome, all the flavors I adore! You made my morning!

Marjie said...

So, you made me laugh, once again! Of course, some of my kids have an irrational dislike for monkeys, so I guess this would have to be "bunny bread" for them! Sounds delish!

Pamela said...

I guess I didn't read the post about ungrateful recipients of baked goods. How rude! Anyway, I'm sure that these were appreciated, because they look damn good to me!

The Blonde Duck said...

They have peanut butter banana bread? You're holding out on me, girl!!! Bake that!

Those these monkey bites do look "wild!"

Lori said...

with my fondness for monkey bread, you KNOW i'll be making these right away! dutifully bookmarked in delicious.

Katie said...

Ohh the things that keep us up at night. But these look amazing. How can that combination of ingredients go wrong.

Peter M said...

I luv peanut butter & chocolate and your kitchen project was a fun read.

Next time, why not just fill the center with chocolate and peanut butter...a kinda surprise?

Paula said...

What fun! I'd enjoy these even if you called them the monkey's bunnies. I like that the texture is different from your average muffin. Peanut butter, chocolate, cinnamon, and bananas ... life is good!

Melanie said...

Hey, seriously, if your co-workers are snubbing treats you can always send them my way. These look fantastic.

Bridgett said...

I think having these little beauties on my counter is what would keep me up at night! Now I want to go to Cold Stone and try that ice cream. Maybe you can pitch the idea to them and have chunks of this put into the ice cream...works for me!

bobby said...

Grace, these look amazing. Anything with bananas in it I love!!

OhioMom said...

Inter-office battle of the goodies? LOL I love reading your blog.

Bananas, peanut butter, chocolate and nuts ... heaven sent muffins!

Lucy said...

You really know how to get those taste buds a tingling : ) absolutely loving and craving those flavors!!!

Sharon said...

Please keep us updated if any inter-department wars ensue. I just used up some elderly looking bananas today in banana bread but I wish I saw your recipe first!

Jessica@Foodmayhem said...

My Chinese horoscope is monkey and I do love bananas, hehe

Lisa said...

Wow. You are the queen of muffins. Those look amazing. I wonder why I always seem to forget that most any baked good is better with chocolate!

aprilbapryll said...

Oh god, I think I'm in love. They got rid of banana ice cream at the Cold Stone here and I'm boycotting. They probably won't notice, but I miss my Monkey Bites! Also, I ordered the Peanut Butter Perfection with Banana Ice Cream instead of chocolate and called it The Elvis. But alas, no more. I might be making these this weekend!

Lina said...

mmm i wish i worked in your office!

Bunny said...

OMG Grace! I want these....I think I need these, seriously!!

Leslie said...

Oh my my..these look right up my alley!

Cathy - wheresmydamnanswer said...

I am sure these are as good as they look. I have been on a banana baking kick so this is a perfect compliment to my current baking mode :)

Mrs. L said...

Who cares what it's called it looks yummy!

And I so want to see the different departments duke it out for your goodies!

LyB said...

Oh, I can see those baked into bars and then cutting them with cookie cutters of different shapes. The kids would love them! Thanks so much for the idea. :)

Lorraine E said...

You show those ungrateful coworkers that you have other people who are more appreciative of your sterling efforts! And don't forget to walk past really slow with these treats to make them especially sad for the loss... ;)

Foodycat said...

I was sceptical at first, but you won me over - this sounds delicious.

giz said...

The banana chocolate muffins I make are dense too - hmmm..wonder what the combination is that gives that end result.
Re the coworker thing - you bring in alot of goodies - start selling them and inspire your office to make a donation to charity by buying a "whatever".

alexandra's kitchen said...

i want to work in your office! these look incredibly delicious.

Haley said...

if i worked in your office i would definitely battle over these! peanut butter and banana sandwiches are my fav... why didn't i think to make it into a muffin! geez.

i never knew rabbits like bananas. i have a rabbit, so we'll see if she likes 'em!

Lori said...

Wow, what a fabulous treat! I am sure my little 'curious george's' would love this!
ooh ohh aah aah!

ovenhaven said...

Good on you for bringing them to another department! I'm sure they appreciated it :)

Now at this very moment I wish for a tea party with a monkey and a bunny, and for sure I'd be serving these.

Sophie said...

These are cute. LOL I like hearing about what goes on at your work regarding the sweets :D. I vote for bunny bites :).

Ann said...

YUM! I'll be a monkey if it means I can have some of those muffins!

RecipeGirl said...

I think those office people are going to start begging you to bring in treats again.

I left some treats for my son's teachers the other day and they actually wrote me a thank -you note! How cute, huh?

These look like delicious little muffins!

Ann said...

I love the idea of an inter-departmental war - it'd be like Star Wars, at work, over DESSERTS - love it. Your creations deserve nothing less.

The questions that keep you up at night are not unlike my own. Like, why is my favorite ice cream, Moose Tracks, called "Moose" tracks? What in creation does that ice cream have to do with a Moose? On that note, why don't we call more than one Moose "meese"????

Prudy said...

I counted 24 that I haven't tried on that sweets list. I'd better get cracking, but it's only inspired me to eat more of the ones I've already tried. Like those hot donuts....

The Blonde Duck said...

Love the cake list above! I need to go find me a princess torte ASAP!

By the way, found a store in Austin called Just Desserts today...if you ever come down I'll take you there!

Jeanne said...

Holy guacamole those look good! I love the addition of coconut on top. As for the sweet 100, I haven't even heard of half of them, much less eaten them!!

hot garlic said...

You are too much, this was hilarious. Glad your office treats are getting the attention they deserve in the other department! They certainly look like the kind of treat that would help my afternoon go smoothly at the office! I think you cold stone creamery inspiration was just plain GENIUS and I may peruse there next time I'm home for some ideas of my own.

Thanks for your help with ya'll -I knew if anyone could help a sister out it was you!

My Sweet & Saucy said...

There look over-the-top delicious!

Emiline said...

The sweet 100 looks like a lot of fun.

I think the combo of flavor you used sounds really great. Nestle Crunch Bar? WOW! I haven't had one in years.

Cakespy said...

I'd elbow all the monkeys and bunnies of the world aside to get at these babies. Dude, they look like banana bread and chocolate chip cookies had sweet, sweet babies. Babies I wanna eat.

Tartelette said...

Ahah!! I was just wondering what to do with the bananas wasting away on the counter! Thanks for this brilliant concoction!

Peabody said...

A great way to use up my bananas!

Laura said...

I was never sad about hating bananas until I started reading blogs. *sigh* This looks wonderful....

Vera said...

Grace, they look absolutely fantastic! I'm sure they tasted great as well!

Lore said...

Guess people feel more at ease with stereotypes (it simplifies their already complicated life) and that's how bananas are now associated with monkeys (spiders will have to wait).
Love your inter-departamental startegy ;) and I would change departments for your muffins!

Anonymous said...

If only muffins are made how many would the recipe, as presented, make?