Everyone’s Banana Muffins

Mmmm, nothing like the smell of muffins fresh from the oven. We like banana muffins here. And by we, I mean the kids. I try other types but they never go over as well.  Remember the muffins I told about last week? This particular recipe is a family secret and, since we’re practically family now, I’m going to share it with you. As so many of my recipes go, it’s less a recipe, more of a guide on making your perfect muffin. Experiment. It’s fun. If at first you don’t succeed, try and try again.

First, though, we need to talk about some sciency stuff. The science of fat. In muffin making, the fat is used to help retain gases produced during baking. It’s a texture thing. Different fats have different percentages of solids vs. water and this can affect your end product. I don’t usually worry about it. If you don’t like the way they turn out, don’t use it again.  Significantly reducing your fat content, however, can make a big difference and you may need to experiment a little more to get them just right. Also keep in mind that lower fat muffins are best eaten right away. If you plan to store the muffins, then add a couple extra tablespoons. Also, put a paper towel or cloth underneath them to absorb the moisture that would otherwise condense on your container lid. That way it can’t drip down and make those muffin tops soggy. 

Here’s what you need to do.

  1. Mash 3-4 super ripe bananas (check out the discount produce!).
  2. Add an egg. If you want to make them gluten free, I would suggest 2.
  3. Melt 6-8 TBS of butter or use the oil of your choice.
  4. Mix in ⅓ cup of brown sugar (or honey, or syrup).
  5. At this point you can add ⅓ cup of quick cook oatmeal if you want. 
  6. Add 1 tsp vanilla (don’t skimp on the quality, it makes a huge difference), 1 tsp baking soda and 1 tsp baking powder.
  7. Now you’re going to add your flour. I generally use about 1 cup of whole wheat flour and ⅓ cup of all-purpose. Sometimes a little more if the batter turns out too watery.  If you want gluten free muffins, just use your favorite GF flour. It should tell you on the package how to substitute.
  8. Fold in ½ cup of chocolate chips, nuts or raisins. Maybe throw in some flax seeds? Go wild.
  9. Fill lined muffin tins (makes about 12 muffins) ⅔ of the way full and bake at 350 for 15-18 min.

Do you know what I consider key to making great muffins? Mixing. As in don’t mix too much. Mixing develops the gluten, which leads to coarse muffins that just don’t rise. Stir lightly for about 20 seconds. That’s all, just incorporate the ingredients. You want the batter to be course and globby. It shouldn’t pour ribbon-like from the spoon. Let me know how they turn out!

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