Banana Nut Muffins
Some super exciting yet bittersweet news, my friends! On the same day I started my Whole30 challenge, I also landed my first gig in Italy– baking American-style desserts for a local gelateria. The irony is almost laughable… almost. This will be an exercise of will power like I’ve never experienced.
Normally, if I’m baking something and I am trying to refrain from eating any of it, I simply pop in a piece of gum and then voilà! No one wants a lick of peppermint batter… But that’s not entirely true either, especially when making Peppermint Crinkle Cookies, Peppermint Truffle Brownies, or Peppermint Mocha Cupcakes, but that is much different than licking brownie batter with gum in your mouth, ya know?
I had a hunch gum wasn’t Whole30 compliant with all of it’s added sugars, unpronounceable ingredients, and what have you, but I decided to double check, just in case… because I’m not really eating it, just chewing on it?? Well, in case you’re wondering, it’s not, but they did suggest brushing your teeth more frequently or chewing on mint leaves or fennel seeds for fresh breath alternatives… I already brush my teeth at least three times a day and at some point, brushing my teeth four times a day starts getting a bit excessive.
My other alternative was to drink coffee while baking, but that proved to be ineffective considering I was making all breakfast treats and coffee would only complement my baked goods. Also, during the Whole30 I can’t consume dairy so my daily lattes are now just gagged shots of espresso. I’ve recently bit the bullet and started forcing myself to stomach plain espresso (after all, Italians look at you funny if you order anything with milk after 12 o’clock), but I always add copious amounts of sugar and since I’m not consuming sugar.. Well, now I really have to take it like a shot.
But enough complaining and more sharing, since drinking espresso plain is pretty minimal in the grand scheme of things… With the exception of baking for a few weddings, bridal showers, and baby showers, I’ve never really baked for a crowd and since my dream/goal in life is to open a bakery with my sisters, I thought this would be the PERFECT opportunity to experience baking for a crowd! Thankfully, we’re starting off slow with baking only two days a week, depending on how well received my desserts are, we’ll adjust accordingly.
After sharing my classic Blueberry Muffins, the owner of the shop had the wonderful idea of introducing a breakfast-like treat for the morning as well as my desserts. Since my Blueberry Muffins were a hit, I decided to make Banana Nut Muffins! Alas, I have finally baked all the flavors of Costco’s variety-pack! I personally love banana baked goods because if done right, they are always super moist and flavorful and you can always get your hands on a bushel of bananas!
These Banana Nut Muffins are no exception; moist, not too dense, flavorful, and crunchy with a slightly crisp, caramelized crust. They are super easy to make and they rise to the perfect little domed tops- just how I like my muffin tops. Of course, I refused to cheat on Day 1 so these are the opinions of others, but I know I’ll be making these again when I can eat all of them straight out of the oven!
Banana Nut Muffins recipe from Tyler Florence:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
4 overripe bananas
1 cup brown sugar
¾ cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
½-1 cup pecans, chopped
Raw sugar, optional
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F and lightly butter a muffin tin.
- In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, and salt; set aside. Mash 2 of the bananas with a fork in a small bowl so they still have a bit of texture. With an electric mixer fitted with a wire whisk, whip the remaining bananas and sugar together like you mean it, for a good 3 minutes. Add the melted butter, eggs, and vanilla and beat well, scraping down the sides of the bowl once or twice. Mix in the dry ingredients just until incorporated. Fold in the nuts and the mashed bananas with a rubber spatula. Spoon the batter into the muffin tins to fill them about three quarters of the way. Give them a rap on the counter to get any air bubbles out. Sprinkle raw sugar and chopped pecans over the top of the muffins.
- Bake until a toothpick stuck in the muffins comes out clean, 18 to 20 minutes. Let cool for a few minutes before turning the muffins out. Serve warm or at room temperature.