All in the name of Thanksgiving potlucks, I broke into the Couzens kitchen and found myself whisking batter at 4:10 a.m. Thanks to the economics of shared dorm resources, I had 80 muffins to bake and only one 12-muffin-tin to bake them with.
One at a time, I made five separate batches of banana muffins, painstakingly waiting for 12 to bake before refilling the muffin molds with batter. Despite starting at 10:00 p.m., I was still in the throes of baking six hours later.
The whole event was a rather complicated affair. Unlike baking at home, baking in the dorms is a meticulous, premeditated event. I had pilfered parchment paper from the MoJo dining hall panini station the morning before and walked out with 12+ bananas in my coat pockets a strategic three days prior, to allow for optimum ripening. The eggs, chocolate chips and flour came from my upperclassmen co-worker who so graciously got them for me from Kroger. The baking powder, soda and butter were crowdsourced from Alice Lloyd’s communal kitchen right before walking out.
But despite my planning and scheming, the Alice Lloyd oven broke the day before my operation was set to run. With a heavy heart and my best baleful expression, I found myself lurking outside the locked Couzens side entrance in the winter cold, waiting for someone in the billiards room to take pity and let me in.
Having reviewed the facts, perhaps “broke-in” is too extreme of a term. I didn’t do any kind of breaking, only somewhat-desperate begging.
But semantics aside, I went to absurd lengths to quintuple this very special chocolate chip banana bread recipe. This recipe never failed me; It’s a hit at dinner parties, bake sales, you name it. I have made it so many times in various locations, and it always turns out well. If anything, this recipe is resilient.
This recipe (with some minor edits) hails from my favorite baking book “Muffins, Nut breads, and More.”
1/3 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup mashed banana (I suggest using super-ripe bananas — 3 does the trick well)
2 cups flour
2-1/2 tsp Baking Powder
1/4 tsp Baking Soda
1 cup chopped walnuts (half a cup works well if family members aren’t nutty for nuts)
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup buttermilk (or regular milk or almond milk)
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
2. Mash the bananas in a bowl and set aside (Smaller chunks = less banana taste. I like to mash 2 bananas well but only roughly cut the last banana to get a good mix).
3. Cream butter and sugar together then mix in the egg and banana.
4. In a separate bowl, stir together flour, baking powder and salt. Gradually add the dry mixture to the wet.
5. When the mixture is combined, add nuts and chocolate chips.
6. Then, mix in buttermilk and stir until just blended.
7. Pour batter into a greased and floured loaf pan (9 x 5 x 3) OR into muffin tins. At this point, I like to add extra chocolate chips to the top of the loaf/muffins so they’re prettier.
8. Bake for 65 minutes, or just until the bread tests done.
9. Cool in pan for about 5 minutes then turn out on a wire rack.
Makes one loaf.
(Note: when I made these Fall of my freshman year, I omitted nuts to avoid allergies. Little did I know that at the potluck I went to, no one was allergic to walnuts but someone was allergic to bananas.)
Daily Arts Writer Elizabeth Yoon can be reached at email@example.com.