August 1, 2011
BANANA BREAD MUFFINS
Banana Bread is an American favorite that can not be matched for the Amazing aroma that comes from the kitchen while it bakes. Making Banana Bread into Muffins makes it practical to place in a school or office brown bag lunch or to use as individual desserts. For the most amazing dessert bake these Banana Bread Muffins and place a scoop of high quality Vanilla Ice Cream in the center of a Muffin cut into quarters and then top with Banana Pineapple Foster Sauce. I know, my butt is already too big, too, but this is an amazing dessert and you deserve to splurge once in a while. Big butt or not, when something tastes this good it is worth Cooking The Amazing for.
Here is the recipe.
2 Sticks Butter Softened
1 1/2 c Sugar
1 c Dark Brown Sugar
2 Large Eggs
1 c Whole Milk
1/2 c Sour Cream
2 t Vanilla Extract
1 t Almond Extract
6 Over Ripened Medium Bananas
4 c All Purpose Flour
1 1/2 t Baking Soda
1 1/2 t Baking Powder
3/4 t Fine Grain Sea Salt
1 1/4 t Ground Cinnamon
1/8 t Ground Ginger
12 oz Toasted Black Walnut Pieces
or Toasted Pecan Pieces
1 c Dark Brown Sugar (for tops)
OPTIONAL: 1 1/2 c Dark Chocolate Chips
1. Prepare ahead and use very ripe and black spotted Bananas, the kind that fruit flies swarm and allow the Butter and Eggs to come to room temperature. Preheat oven to 375 degrees and prepare Muffin pans with Cupcake papers. This makes about 20-22 large Muffins or 30 regular sized Muffins.
2. In a large mixing bowl with a hand held mixer or the bowl of a KitchenAid Mixer using the paddle attachment cream the Butter, Sugar and 1 c Dark Brown Sugar for 4 minutes. It will look grainy.
3. To this bowl, add the 2 Eggs, Milk, Sour Cream, Vanilla and Almond Extracts and mix until well incorporated, about 2 minutes.
4. In a separate bowl, using a hand mixer, mix the Bananas until uniform and mushy, about 2 minutes.
5. Add the Bananas to the other bowl and mix well into the mixture.
6. In a large bowl using a rubber spatula, mix well the Flour, Baking Soda, Baking Powder, Sea Salt, Cinnamon and Ground Ginger. Then sift this mixture over the wet ingredients. Mix for about 1 minute using a hand mixer.
TIP: To toast the Walnut pieces (or Pecan pieces) place in a dry skillet over medium heat on the stove top and stir very frequently until the begin to brown and become fragrant. Watch very closely because they can burn quickly.
7. Add the Toasted Walnut Pieces or Pecans and fold in well. If you are adding the optional Dark Chocolate Chips, add them now. I recommend Ghirardelli 60% Cocoa Bittersweet Chocolate Chips because they taste Amazing and are affordable. Of course, if you have a block of Valrhona Chocolate around use it chopped into chunks. No one will complain.
8. Fill the Muffin cups 3/4 full and then sprinkle the tops with 1 c Dark Brown Sugar evenly divided and place in a preheated 375 degree oven on center rack. Rotate the pans 1/2 way through cooking time. For large Muffins bake for 24-30 minutes or until the tops are browned and a tooth picks come out clean. For regular sized Muffins bake for 20-25 minutes. For traditional Banana Bread loaves, divide into two large loaf pans and bake for 40-50 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean and tops are evenly browned. Your house will smell AMAZING while this bakes. Allow to cool in the pan.
TIP: For an even bigger butt: Make a layered dessert by slicing Banana Bread Muffins and layering them with Grandma's Banana Pudding Recipe and topping with Homemade Whipped Cream for another delicious end to a meal.