Friday, May 4, 2012

Banana Nut Muffins

When I feel like baking, but don't really know what to make, I like to check out Joy of Baking for inspiration. Most of the recipes I've tried from that website have been great and are fairly easy to execute. I wanted to make a banana something or other, that's all I knew. I had some bananas sitting the the fruit bowl and figured they were spotted enough to bake with (usually, the browner your bananas, the better they are for baking, until they are actually just rotten). After I read the recipe for these muffins I realized I had everything at home to make them and got started.

This is one of those easy recipes you can make without any fancy kitchen gadgets. What I love about these muffins is the subtle hint of cinnamon you taste with every bite. Be sure to toast the walnuts before baking, it brings out a richer flavor than just throwing raw nuts into the batter. Make sure the bananas are spotted and on their way to looking really unappealing. If you use a bright yellow banana these muffins will not be as sweet and they're more difficult to mash. In other words, don't make these if you don't have slightly overripe bananas.

Recipe from Joy of Baking
Makes 12 regular muffins

1 cup (115 grams) walnuts or pecans, coarsely chopped and toasted
1 3/4 cup (230 grams) all-purpose flour
2/4 cups (150 grams) sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup (113 grams or 1 stick) butter, melted and cooled
3 large, very ripe bananas, mashed
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat your over to 350ºF/180ºC. Line you muffin pan with paper liners.

In a large bowl, whisk together the nuts, flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. In another bowl, combing the eggs, butter, bananas, and vanilla.

Using a spatula, gently fold the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until just combined. The batter will be chunky and will not look perfect mixed. Do not over mix at this point or your end result will be rubbery muffins. Spoon the batter into your prepared muffin pans. Bake 20 to 25 minutes until lightly golden and an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Allow muffins to cool in the pan for at least 5 minutes before removing.

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