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Banana Chocolate Chip Cupcakes

September 21, 2009

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Banana Chocolate Chip Cupcakes

The inspiration for these cupcakes came out of a wonderfully country and often hilariously dated cookbook compiled by the Junior League of Charleston, WV in 1974.  Mountain Measures – yet another cookbook stolen from my mom’s assortment –  is a collection of recipes from locals and while I can’t speak to the genius of the cooking chapters (yet), I found several gems in the baking sections.

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There are the bizarre…Grizzlenuckles anyone? The contributor of this recipe sounds like a woman after my own heart.  I found at least 4 different versions of the 1950’s classic “grasshopper” theme  – electric green cakes, pies and cookies abound.  And there are recipes that immediately made my short list as they are destined to become classics – Fresh Peach Cake, Broiled Orange Cake, Fig Cake and Shaker Lemon Pie.

A few I’ll quietly take a pass on – Potato Chip Cookies, Dump Cake, Mincemeat Cookies and Sour Milk Cake.  And many more with earnest ingredients, simple techniques and often a namesake – Company Cheesecake, Dr. John C. Norman’s Mother’s No Fail Plain Cake, Aunt Minnie’s Shoo-Fly Pie and Opal’s Apple Pudding.  But to start things off, I wanted to go with something familiar – banana bread – update it (good riddance to margarine folks!) and push it a bit over the edge for you sugar fiends.  Afterall, only 2 things improve banana bread, 1) chocolate and 2) icing.

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I adapted a recipe for banana cake recipe submitted by Mrs. V. Courtlandt Smith, II.  As a sign of the times (and the organization I suppose) all the women are credited under their married names a.k.a their husband’s — Hmph! Expect to see more posts from this book in the future because although I have no relationship with the women credited within and am far from the Junior League type, the care taken in writing these recipes and the unique personal touches make them all feel like instant grandmothers.

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Banana Chocolate Chip Cupcakes

Yields 18 cupcakes

Ingredients

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1 cup sugar

1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature

2 eggs

1/2 cup milk

1 tsp vanilla

1 1/2 cups sliced banana

1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips, plus more for decoration

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line a sprayed muffin pan with paper liners.

In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt and set aside.  In the bowl of a mixer, blend together the butter and sugar until butter turns a pale yellow and is fluffy. Next add the eggs, one at a time, and then the milk and vanilla.  Mix well on medium speed.  With the mixer running, slowly add the flour mixture, in thirds, mixing well between each addition.  Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl and continue to mix on medium speed.

Add the bananas, mixing on low speed just until they’re distributed evenly.  Fold in the 1/2 cup of chocolate chips.  Using an ice cream or cookie dough scoop, fill the liners 3/4 full with batter. Bake for 18-20 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cupcakes comes out clean. Let cool completely on wire rack before icing.

Easy Vanilla Buttercream

Ingredients

1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature

2-3 cups confectioner’s sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/4-1/2 cup milk

In the bowl of a mixer, beat the butter until smooth, pale yellow and fluffy.  Slowly add 2 cups of confectioner’s sugar, scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl.  Add the vanilla and gradually add the milk until desired consistency is reached and additional cofectioner’s sugar if necessary.  Mix the icing on medium-high speed for several minutes.  To ice the cupcakes as pictured, use a pastry bag fitted with a medium star tip and pipe one center and six surrounding rounds. Place chocolate chips in the center of each round.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. Aunt Bee permalink
    September 25, 2009 1:09 pm

    I’m sure these are delicious, but I don’t even need to taste them — the pictures alone delight my senses — beautiful, Mar! Though I don’t comment on each entry, trust that the highlight of my week is reading your prose and lingering on the photographs. Keep it up!

  2. Martha Daniels permalink
    September 26, 2009 12:02 pm

    Martha-from the moment your Mom shared your blog, I have eagerly awaited each new entry! It’s comparable to having an inside source to a really great author & being able to read the newest blockbuster chapter by chapter. You have made me laugh & cry & reminisce about wonderful times in the kitchen with my Mom. My howls of laughter about the good women of WV were a wonderful way to start a Saturday morning. Hmmm-I may even break out & bake something today. Thank you for your Measured Memories & step-by-step instructions!

  3. Lois Hodges permalink
    September 29, 2009 1:29 am

    Hi Martha,

    I am loving your blog! Obviously, your talent for cooking runs in the family. Your Aunt Bee is a fabulous cook, too. I am eager to read more and more from you.

    Lois Hodges
    Bee’s Neighbor and Friend

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