Goin' Bananas





I frequently (translation: almost always) have ripe to overripe bananas sitting on my counter. I don't know if it's me, but somehow my bananas seem to go from green to brown with no actual "yellow" stage in between! Because of that, I make a lot of banana bread. Almost every week, I am mashing up some bananas and looking for something to do with them. I like to mix it up a bit, just so the kids don't get too sick of one recipe. Right now I vary between a classic Banana Bread that is a Martha Stewart recipe, a very decadent Double Chocolate Banana Bread from Smitten Kitchen, a Cinnamon Banana Bread adapted from an old Bon Appetit recipe, a Banana-Walnut Chocolate Chunk Cookie (also from Martha), and now this banana muffin. This muffin is lighter and fluffier than a bread, and it has granola on top for some added crunch. This time I added chocolate chips (request from my daughter) but usually I don't. It was originally a Barefoot Contessa recipe but I've changed it up a bit for our tastes (I took out the banana chips as they are just too sweet/fake for us and the coconut as no one here really likes it). I also took the sugar down pretty significantly, I think for the better.




Banana Crunch Muffins (adapted from a Barefoot Contessa recipe)

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp. salt
1/2 lb. unsalted butter, melted and cooled
2 large eggs
3/4 whole milk
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup mashed ripe bananas (2-3, depending on size)
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup granola
1 cup chocolate chips (optional)

Granola for spreading on top (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Line 18 large muffin cups with paper liners. Whisk or sift together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle. Add the melted butter and blend. Combine the eggs, milk, vanilla, and mashed bananas and add them to the flour mixture. Scrape the bowl and blend well. Do not overmix.

Fold in the walnuts and granola (and chocolate chips, if using). Spoon the batter into the paper liners, filling each one almost to the top. Top each muffin with additional granola, if desired. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the tops are brown and a toothpick comes out clean. Cool slightly, then remove from the pan and cool completely.

Makes about 18 muffins.













Sheila
xo






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