While rummaging through my freezer the other day and contemplating how desperately it needs a good de-frosting, I came across a trio of overripe bananas I tossed in there a month or so ago. The ugly black things couldn’t have been any less appealing, so I decided to channel some culinary ingenuity and see if I could concoct something a bit more enticing …
Thankfully my Google search for banana muffin recipes proved successful. Paragon’s recipe for Super Moist Banana-Nut Muffins on foodnetwork.com and the Banana-Honey-Walnut Muffins offered by Once Upon A Chef really piqued my interest, so I merged bits and pieces of both to come up with my own adaptation. (They turned out effin’ delicious, by the way!) The bananas are not overpowering; the muffins are not “too sweet”; the cinnamon-honey coated nuts add a tasteful little crunch, and the addition of coconut contributes a delightfully tropical boost. (Given that most folks are fed up to you-know-where with all things relating to winter, and are anxiously anticipating warm, sunny spring days, a little tropical nuance may be just the ticket for staving off any lingering winter doldrums.) But enough of the repartee… let’s get back to my EFFIN’ DELICIOUS MUFFINS!
Super Moist Banana-Honey-Nut Muffins
- 1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
- 1-1/2 tablespoons honey
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3 overripe bananas (the uglier and blacker, the better)
- 1 cup sugar
- 3/4 cup softened unsalted butter
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/4 cup coconut
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Coat 24 muffin tins with cooking spray, then line each tin with a paper liner. (Be sure to spray the tins to prevent the muffin tops from sticking to the pans while baking.)
In a small bowl, combine the nuts, honey and 1/2 teaspoon of the cinnamon; stir until the nuts are evenly coated. Set the mixture aside.
Combine the flour, baking powder, salt and remaining 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon in a medium bowl and stir to mix well. Set aside.
In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the bananas with the sugar until well blended, about 3 minutes. Add the softened butter and continue beating until mixed well. Add the eggs and vanilla, mixing until the batter is completely blended. (Be sure to scrape down the sides of your bowl with a rubber spatula a few times.) Pour the dry ingredients into the batter and mix just until incorporated. Fold in half of the nut mixture and the shredded coconut.
Spoon batter into the muffin cups, filling each to about half full. (I’ve discovered that an ice cream scoop works splendidly for this task.) Sprinkle the remaining nuts on top of the muffins, then slide the trays into the oven for about 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the muffin center comes out clean.
This is such a great way to use up those unsightly overripe bananas that linger in the fruit basket a bit too long. I can honestly say that these are absolutely the best banana-nut muffins I’ve ever devoured, and they’ve assuredly “made the cut” for Easter Brunch this year. Give them a try and let me know what you think. I’d love to hear your comments and suggestions …