I have been experimenting with muffins lately. I have a few scone recipes that I like, but I needed some other sort of breakfast pastry to serve for our B&B guests and I can't practice on them, can I? I found one that looked good and was an Ina Garten recipe. Her recipes are some of my favorites. One of these days I'll make her croissant bread pudding again...and add a whiskey sauce. Delicious!
I made a few changes and came up with my version of Ina's ...
Banana Crunch Muffins
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 pound, or 1 stick of butter, softened or melted, depending on the method you prefer
3/8 cup of milk I KNOW, so just use a 1/8 measure three times, that's what I did.
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 very ripe bananas, about 1 cup
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup granola, plus a bit more/ divided use
1 Tablespoon raw sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Heat the oven to 350°. Spray a 12 hole muffin tin with Pam. Spray the top, too in case you overfill a muffin hole. It may rise up and stick to the top of the pan. Do not ask how I know this. You may also use paper liners. Set aside.
Mix the raw sugar and the cinnamon in a small bowl and set aside.
Use a fork to mash the bananas in a small bowl. Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt into a medium bowl.
Place the butter in a stand mixer and beat until fluffy. Add the sugars, egg, vanilla and milk and continue to beat until mixed. Add the smashed bananas, mix.
(In the interest of full disclosure, Ina Garten called for the butter to be melted, and I did that. If you do that, you must be careful when you add the egg or you will cook it. I like the method of fluffing up the butter and will do that the next time I make these and so I wrote that in my recipe. You may wish to follow Ina Garten's version. Melt the butter, let it cool and add the sugars, milk, egg and vanilla..)
Add the flour mixture to the banana mixture about 1/2 at a time. Don't over mix. Just get the dry ingredients moist.
Remove the bowl from the stand and stir in the walnuts and the granola.
Use a large ice cream size scoop. It is the perfect size to fill the muffin tin. Don't overfill the scoop or you won't get a dozen and the top may stick. Unless you were smart and sprayed the top of the pan. (I didn't and one muffin top came off in my hand and I was forced to eat it.)
Use a small spoon or your very clean fingers to sprinkle the cinnamon and raw sugar mixture over the top of the batter. Then sprinkle a teaspoon or so of the granola on top of the cinnamon sugar mix. These are the crunch portions of this muffin.
Bake for 25 to 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool. I had to loosen mine GENTLY with a fork to get them out of the tin. I may use paper liners next time!
The next day these were no longer crunchy. The moisture from the bananas softened the top. I put them in my toaster oven for about 4 minutes on 350° and they were back to being crunchy and just warm enough to melt a wee pat of butter. These are good enough to serve paying guests!