Sunday, September 28, 2014

Banana Chocolate Chip Cupcakes

The name of this post is "Banana Chocolate Chip Cupcakes" but really it should be called "An Unexpectedly Good Treat."
If you are like me then this combination of fruit, flour and chips all molded into one miniature cake sounds off-putting. Cupcakes should not contain bananas. Or chips for that matter. At least that's what I had always believed until I stumbled upon this recipe. In it I found an odd assortment of ingredients that I didn't believe could work well together in one paper lined muffin tin. But there it was, in black and white, topped with a chocolate cream cheese frosting. I found this recipe in my favorite cookbook, The Back in the Day Bakery Cookbook that I keep referring to on this blog. I highly recommend it. Trust me, it's worth the splurge. Each recipe I've tried has been a success and these strange little cupcakes are no exception.
This unexpected recipe with unexpected ingredients actually produced an unexpectadly tasty result. The crumb of the cupcakes was just right thanks to the nontraditional method of preparing the batter with oil and whipped egg whites as opposed to good ol' butter. And the frosting made almost entirely of cream cheese was the perfect balance to the sweet banana of the light and airy cupcake below.
For reasons I can't explain, when baked at 350 degrees for twenty-two minutes, these strange bedfellows of ingredients came together to make perfectly round, perfectly moist cupcakes. I didn't see the success of these cupcakes coming but I am pleased to report that they were not at all an utter disaster - as I had expected.

While delivering these unique cupcakes to my dessert loving loved ones the lesson of the unexpected cupcake dawned on me...
There are sets of life circumstances that I often assume will be bad. I expect sickness, heartache, loneliness and trials to produce negativity in my life. I look at my life's road blocks and detours as things to just get through and survive.
But sometimes all of those circumstances can produce something unexpectedly good.
Joseph is a prime example of horrid circumstances working together for his ultimate good. He was sold into slavery and thrown in prison even though he had done nothing wrong. Most would say that his situation was rotten and unjust. Yet, God has something glorious in mind for Joseph. He took those undesirable circumstances and did something unexpectedly amazing with them and with Joseph.
God used Joseph to prepare Egypt for a coming famine. Through Joseph's interpretation of dreams, God was able to sustain the people of Egypt through years without a harvest. Even Joseph's brothers were spared thanks to the storehouse of food Joseph had set aside.
When Joseph's brothers came to Egypt in search of food they must have been shocked to find their brother, who they sold into slavery years ago, second in command and overseer of the lands of Egypt. Unexpected? You bet!
But Joseph said to his brothers, "You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives." (Genesis 50:20).
God took a life that looked as good as dead and did something totally unexpected with it, He used it to save an entire nation. Joseph had been a slave and an inmate, not exactly the pedigree for second in command over a country. But that's how God works, He takes the unexpected and uses it to glorify His name and further His Kingdom.
That's exactly what He did with Joseph and that's exactly what He can still do today in the unexpected circumstances of my life and yours.
Multiple Sclerosis has thrown me a curve ball with the word, "unexpected" written all over it. But I believe in the ability and will of God to do extraordinary things with the unexpected. He can use my MS to bring praise to His name and further His Gospel. I don't know precisely how He plans to do that with my unexpected life just yet but I trust that the plan He has for me is being worked out even now, in the trials and difficulties of my illness.
Unexpected, yes. But good? Most certainly, yes. Even the most unlikely of life's ingredients can come together to make something beautiful. Just like Banana Chocolate Chip Cupcakes.

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