Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Miracle Muffins : A story of improbable baking success

Not sure if y'all know this, but baking is chemistry. Food is whatever, add a little of this, a pinch of that, it will change the taste, but, save from oxidization, there's not a lot of real life chemistry happening in your saucepan. Baking, however? Totally different ball game. Baking powder does totally different things than baking soda, brown sugar acts different than granulated sugar, everything in a baked recipe is there for a reason.

Sure, some substitutes work, but way too often I read comments on recipes & see that the poster changed 2/3 of the recipe & then gave it a 1 star review because it didn't turn out right. Hmm. Fancy that. Knowing what I know, I am always hesitant to make changes in baking, I'll do the occasional substitute, but my rule of thumb is one per recipe. It's an easy way to make sure I stay true to the heart of the recipe & if it fails, easy to trace back to the source of the issue...

And now ladies & gents, after that brief lesson, it's story time...

Waaayyyy back in 2014 I was living with 2 roommates, 3 roommates, 2 human, 1 canine. We'd been living together for a year or two at this point & had come to have communal baking supplies on hand. As I was really the only one who cooked food that wasn't Ramen with any regularity I never thought to question if we would be out of any of the usual baking suspects.

So, I grabbed my brown, speckled bananas & began to mash them into a bowl. I was gonna make banana bread! I measured my flour, I needed 3 cups since I was doubling the recipe. I put 1 1/2 cups in, but that emptied the container of flour, no worries I thought & I grabbed the other container of flour. Poured a quick half cup in, stirring as I went, before realizing it smelled funny. BECAUSE IT WAS POWDERED SUGAR.

Okay Jessie, don't panic, the house isn't out of flour, but it was, so I added oats to make 3 cups. Sigh. Crisis averted. Until I went to grab the brown sugar to add. None of that. Goes to grab baking powder, none of that. What the hell people!? The hits just kept coming, and last but not least, I just melted the odd amount of butter left on hand, nowhere near the amount called for, added chocolate chips & a prayer & put the muffins in the oven, prepared to trash them.

To my sweet, sweet surprise, they were delicious. The oats gave them a bit of a bite, some substance, and though they didn't rise quite like a cupcake would (which is good, because I seriously can never remember to not go past 3/4 of the way full) the flavor was on point. I took them to the office & my co-workers confirmed they were tasty. One asked for the recipe & so I figured I better write it down. I jokingly called these Miracle Muffins since everything went wrong, but still came out so right. The name stuck. I grabbed a huge bunch of bananas at the store last week knowing I would use them to test this recipe one last time & actually measure things for once.

Miracle Muffins : Makes 20 - 24 muffins
Bake @ 350 degrees F for 20 minutes

Stir everything listed below together. Use muffin pan & cupcake liners or a non-stick spray. Fill 3/4 of the way full, these do not rise much.

1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 cups oats (old fashioned work best, quick cook will do in a pinch, don't even ask me about steel cut -- I mean it.)
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla (I eyeball this)
2/3 cup butter, melted (or do what I did this time, toss in a whole stick & call it good)
5 bananas, mashed
Chocolate chips (I would guesstimate 1/2 - 2/3 cup, I used mini chips, but you do you)

And now, answers to questions I know people will ask...
1. Nuts or other add ins would be delicious. Go with what you feel. I've only tried chocolate chips.
2. I would assume that an egg substitute would work in place of the eggs, though I have not tried.
3. This could probably be made into one or two large loaves, I have LITERALLY no idea how long that would take to bake.
4. No, I do not know the calorie count, if that determines your desire to eat // make this muffin, it's too many calories.
5. Can I use steel cut oats? NO. See above.

I'm linking up with Karly for What's Cookin' Wednesday.

Any kitchen disasters that turned out edible // delicious?
Any kitchen disasters that turned out to be truly disastrous?
If you make these, come back & let me know, I would be ELATED!


  1. I love to play around in the kitchen, but I've had my share of baking fails. These muffins look yummy though!

    1. Baking is so much easier to mess up than regular ol' cooking.

      They're delicious, let me know if you test them out!

  2. Those look delicious! Haha I always joke that I love cooking, but have a hard time with baking. I'm terrible about actually measuring out ingredients.

    1. Yes! I tend to shy away from baking because measuring seems like to much extra work. I definitely prefer to "wing it".

  3. I bet they are delicious. Like it has oats in them - add in some good fiber!
    & of course they need chocolate chips. YUM!!!!

    1. So tasty, Rebecca. I tell everyone at work these are a worthy breakfast choice since they have oats AND eggs in them + bananas? Can it get "healthier" than that? Haha.

  4. these look delish!! i think ill try making them tonight with an egg substitute ;)

    1. Please come back & let me know how they turn out!

  5. these look delish!! i think ill try making them tonight with an egg substitute ;)

  6. not gonna lie, i don't bake for that reason.. its so much easier to mess up haha. my mum always told me that the only time you need to be precise when cooking is with baking.. so i don't bake :)

    1. It's true. It's why I was so surprised when these muffins turned out since I did absolutely everything "wrong". Haha

  7. These look delicious! I love chocolate chips in banana muffins, but I also love blueberries as a different add in. I think I'll try a batch each way.

  8. These muffins look yummy! Thanks for linking up with What's Cookin' Wednesday!


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