Tuesday, March 11, 2008
Banana Crumb Muffins
I have a lot of bananas in the freezer waiting to get used up. I used a few of them to make the Elvis Cake last week, but then I just added more to the freezer after that. So I started searching online (mostly at Baking Bites) for new & interesting recipes using bananas and sent a short list to some friends at work to vote on. The vote came in, and this muffin recipe won the day. There are other recipes that will certainly make an appearance before too long, but since I doubled this recipe I managed to use 4 of the frozen bananas, which greatly reduced the pile growing in the freezer.
I have to admit though, it wasn't exactly a great day for me to be baking because I made all sorts of silly mistakes. Luckily it was a fairly easy and forgiving recipe, otherwise there would be no muffins for breakfast tomorrow. One thing that I changed about the recipe on purpose (as opposed to an "oops..." change) was that I used butter in the crumb topping instead of shortening... I mean, seriously... shortening? in a crumb topping? that has to be outlawed somewhere... Since the recipe didn't give a good justification for using shortening (and it would have to be a damn good justification), I used butter instead.
All other "changes" to the recipe were a result of me not really paying attention to what I was doing. The first thing I did was add the sugar to the flour mixture. Sugar is almost always mixed with the butter/egg combo and then added to the flour, but I wasn't really thinking and just dumped it into the bowl. I briefly considered trying to scoop it back out, but the damage was done.
The recipe calls for 2/3 cup of mashed bananas with 3 tablespoons reserved to flavor the crumb topping. Again, I ended up dumping all the bananas into the bowl with the eggs and buttermilk without thinking (you would think I would have been paying more attention by that point... but no). Once again I contemplated scooping out what I needed, but I just left it.
Once the banana flavor was gone from the crumb topping I started considering my options. I suppose I could have left the crumb just with the flour/butter/sugar combo, but I decided to add some pecan chunks to it just for the hell of it. I certainly couldn't do any more damage to the recipe at this point anyway...
Despite all of the issues I had putting this recipe together, they came out quite nice. Still warm from the oven they were like super moist mini banana cakes with a slightly crunchy crumb. I figure they will dry out a bit by tomorrow morning, but they should still be good.
1 ½ cups all purpose flour
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
2/3 cup sugar
3 tbsp vegetable oil
½ cup buttermilk
2/3 cup (2 medium) mashed bananas, divided
1 tsp vanilla
½ cup flour
1/3 cup sugar
¼ tsp salt
3 tbsp butter, cut into small pieces.
1 tbsp mashed banana (reserved from 2/3 cup mashed banana)
Preheat oven to 350F. Grease or line 12 muffin tins with paper liners.
Prepare the crumb topping: In a small bowl, whisk together flour, sugar and salt. Cut shortening into flour mixture until it resembles coarse crumbs. Larger crumbs are a bit more desirable. Stir in the mashed banana and set bowl aside.
Prepare the batter: In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. In a large bowl, whisk together sugar, vegetable oil, buttermilk, egg, bananas and vanilla. Pour flour mixture into banana mixture and stir until batter is just combined. Spoon into muffin tins, filling each 2/3 full. Top each muffin with crumb mixture, dividing it evenly.
Bake for 18-21 minutes, until a tester comes out clean and the muffins spring back when gently touched.
Makes 12 muffins