And this week I got to do just that, twice in fact. Where I work as a nurse, there is a volunteer group called Hearts and Hands Doulas. A doula is someone trained to give support to a woman in labor. They aren’t there to be the nurse, midwife, or doctor; they are only there to help the future mom get through labor.
I LOVE our doulas. LOVE them. I feel so lucky when I have a patient in labor and I get a doula for the day. I know my patient is the luckiest, but the doulas are awesome in helping us do our job. And I am always willing to help them out, so when I found out last week there was a bake sale fundraiser to help provide supplies not only for the doula program but for my unit, I jumped at the chance to bake something.
I actually baked a couple of things, this recipe was my offering for the first day of the sale on Tuesday. We’d been to Costco over the weekend and the bananas they had were inching very close to being over ripe. So I of course grabbed two bags worth so I could make something banana bread like. We haven’t had overripe bananas in the house in some time.
But, who hasn’t bought banana bread at a bake sale before, right? I wanted to take it up a notch, do something a little different and unique.
I took stock of what I had in the kitchen and hit the internet. I found a lot of options for cakes, loaves and banana cookies. I wasn’t feeling cookies. Loaves are good, but I didn’t have anything to package them up nicely. Then I found a post on Pinch My Salt. Muffins? With a cream cheese filling? Oh my. I couldn’t leave things at that though, I knew some chocolate chips in the batter would be perfect. Not too over the top, just enough to guild the lily as they say.
The recipe is an easy enough one, it came together easily enough. I will honestly say though that I wasn’t a huge fan of the final banana bread product though, not enough banana flavor in my opinion, and I added an extra banana. I think I will continue the trend of cream cheese filling when there is a lily to guild, but I don’t believe I will be using this recipe for the batter again. I’ve always had good luck with sour cream banana recipes, so I will likely use one of those the next time I make banana bread.
Another thing I found is that the cream cheese filling really erupted out of these muffins. I don’t know if it wasn’t cold enough or if I didn’t bury the filling deep enough, but on many of the muffins I had more filling out than in. I had made a double recipe of the batter, so after making 2 dozen cupcakes, I used the rest to make two smaller sized loaves of banana bread, which had very little of the filling eruption. I think I will stay with the loaves next time. The loaves also did not stay in the house, we had a staff meeting that day with a potluck breakfast, so the loaves went with me to work as well.
But I did sample my own wares, some of the more erupted muffins stayed at home and were eaten very quickly.
Chocolate Chip Banana Bread with Cream Cheese Filling
Adapted from Pinch My Salt
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup sugar
3 bananas, mashed
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Either grease or place paper liners in a 12-cup standard muffin pan. If you are making loaves instead, grease your loaf pans.
2. In a small bowl, beat together cream cheese, sugar, egg and vanilla. Put bowl in refrigerator, at least for the time it takes you to make the batter, if not longer. I think the temp of the filling played a role in how much spilled out of the muffins during baking. If you can, allow yourself about an hour for it to cool.
3. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and soda, salt, and sugar; set aside.
4. In a large bowl, blend together bananas, buttermilk, oil, eggs, and vanilla.
5. Add your dry ingredients into the large bowl filled with wet ingredients and stir with wooden spoon just until the mixture is combined, adding the chocolate chips in just at the end. Don’t over mix!
6. Spoon enough batter into muffins cups so that they are just under halfway full. Add one scant tablespoon of cream cheese mixture into each cup, then top with remaining batter. Muffin cups will end up being almost completely full. If you are using loaf pans, use the same technique, filling the pans to just about halfway, then spoon several tablespoons of the cream cheese filling down the middle of the loaf and top with more batter, not quite filling your loaf pan.
7. Bake for 20-25 minutes for muffins, 40-50 minutes for the loaves. Time for the loaves to be done will vary though depending on the size of your loaf pan, so start checking at the thirty minute mark to prevent over baking.