Monday, January 10, 2011

Banana Nut Muffins

Last week I bought four of the biggest bananas known to mankind.  Mr. Unoriginal Chef didn't want to eat them, so they rapidly decayed to my favorite stage - baking ready.

Before I begin, here are two quick banana tips:
1.  If your banana isn't overripe, you can speed up the ripening process by putting the banana in the oven while it pre-heats.  The skin will turn completely black.  Cool, and then mash.
2.  If your banana is ripe but you aren't ready to bake, you can freeze the banana whole, and just defrost when you are ready to bake.

I've made banana bread many times, so this time I decided to go for banana nut muffins.  After a quick consultation with the mighty recipe oracle (aka Google) I found Tyler Florence's banana nut muffins recipe.  Being highly rated, I had a feeling it would come out well.

Gather your ingredients!
(not pictured - eggs)
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 overripe bananas
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup pecans, chopped
You will also need three mixing bowls and at least two muffin tins (six muffins per tin)

1.  Preheat your oven to 375 and line your muffin pans or lightly grease with butter.

2.  Melt the butter in the microwave - in a microwave safe bowl, cut the butter into thin slices and microwave for 1 minute at power level 50.  If it hasn't completely melted, microwave for another 20-30 seconds at power level 50 until is melted.  Set aside to cool.

3.  In a large bowl, combine flour, baking soda, and salt.

4.  In a small bowl, mash two of the bananas with a fork, leaving some texture (meaning don't turn it into baby food mush.)

5.  With a mixer with the whisk attachment or a strong arm and whisk, combine the remaining two bananas and sugar for at least 3 minutes.  It will get runny, don't worry!

6.  Add butter, eggs, and vanilla extract.  Beat well.

7.  Mix in the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients.  Stir until barely combined.

8.  Fold in the nuts and mashed bananas with a spatula.

9.  Spoon the batter into the muffin tins, about halfway filled in each cup.  Tap the tins against the counter to get out the air bubbles.

10.  Bake 18-20 minutes or when a toothpick is inserted, it comes out clean.  I also rotated the muffin tins halfway through the baking process.

11.  Allow to cool in the tins on a rack for 5 minutes, and then on a tray completely.

Helloooo gorgeous!

No, really, hubba hubba.

They tasted delicious when warm - they're not overly sweet, and the second addition of not completely mashed bananas help to keep them moist.

Extremely simple, quick, and great - an excellent recipe to use when you have rapidly ripening bananas or need to bring something to a breakfast meeting.

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