Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Banana Crunch Muffins

This was my first time making this recipe for banana muffins & judging by the way they were received, it is the only recipe I'll ever need. My neighbor almost ate her husband's muffin and would've told him that I only sent over 3 instead of 4. My girlfriend Jessica's family nearly devoured them all without letting her have one. If it weren't for all their "oohs & aahs" coming from the kitchen, she might've never gotten to taste one. The recipe was created by one of my all time favorite chefs: Ina Garten a.k.a. the Barefoot Contessa. Even her story is inspirational. You can visit her here. I have several of her cookbooks, including the one with the recipe featured here, the Barefoot Contessa Cookbook.

Banana Crunch Muffins

3 c. flour
2 c. sugar

2 t. baking powder
1 t. baking soda

1/2 t. salt

1/2 pound (2 sticks) bu
tter, melted and cooled
2 eggs

3/4 c. whole milk
2 t. vanilla extract

1 c. mashed ripe bananas (about 2)

1 c. medium-diced bananas (1 banana)

1 c. small-diced walnuts
1 c. granola

1 c. sweetend shredded coconut

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line 18 large muffin cups with paper liners. Si
ft the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add the melted butter and blend. Combine the eggs, milk, vanilla, and mashed bananas, and add them to the flour-and-butter mixture. Scrape the bowl and blend well. Don't overmix. Fold the diced bananas, walnuts, granola, and coconut into the batter. Spoon the batter into the paper liners, filling each one to the top. Top each muffin with dried banana chips, granola, or coconut, if desired. Bake for 25 to 30 mintues, or until the tops are brown and a toothpick comes out clean. Cool slightly, remove from the pan, and serve.

I used 1/2 white sugar and 1/2 brown sugar to give them a hint of caramel-y flavor. I used pecans instead of walnuts since that's what I'm partial to. Use what ever rocks your boat. For the granola, I used a cheap generic brand of granola cereal and picked out the raisins. I used a muffin scoop for easy portioning and made them in two batches since I only have one pan.

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