Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Banana Crunch Muffins

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It's the day before Thanksgiving and in my mind, I feel like I should fast in preparation for the gluttony that awaits. Anyone else? Instead of fasting though, I will be eating light today. To start off, I made these Banana Crunch Muffins for breakfast. These would have to be my favorite banana muffins ever. Aside from the true flavor of banana in each bite, the crunchy homemade granola swirled in and sprinkled on top added such great texture. I'm going to have to play with this recipe using other fruits!

My first thought after having one of these muffins was why it never occured to me to use granola when making muffins. Secondly, I wonder what took me so long to make homemade granola! The granola is stirred into a straightforward banana muffin batter made with both mashed ripe bananas and diced up bananas. This ensures full banana flavor and makes for a moist muffin.

My favorite part of this muffin though was definitely the granola. I was writing up my grocery list before making this recipe and after writing 'granola' on the list, I looked for a granola recipe out of curiosity. When I found a recipe using what I already had on hand, I decided to make it... and wow - it was so quick and easy. Even better was how great it tasted. I couldn't stop munching on it after it cooled and almost didn't have enough for the recipe. So I've included the granola recipe I made below but if you prefer to purchase it out of convenience, that's completely okay too. I think if you made granola from scratch just once, you'll never buy granola from the store again.

Banana Crunch Muffins
recipe from Ina Garten

3 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 pound unsalted butter, melted and cooled
2 extra-large eggs
3/4 cup whole milk
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 cup mashed ripe bananas (2 bananas)
1 cup medium-diced ripe banana (1 banana)
1 cup small-diced walnuts
1 cup granola (recipe below)
1 cup sweetened shredded coconut
Dried banana chips, granola, or shredded coconut, optional


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Line 18 large muffin cups with paper liners. Sift the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Add the melted butter and blend.

Combine the eggs, milk, vanilla, and mashed bananas, and add them to the flour-and-butter mixture. Scrape the bowl and blend well. Don't overmix.

Fold the diced bananas, walnuts, granola, and coconut into the batter. Spoon the batter into the paper liners, filling each 1 to the top. Top each muffin with dried banana chips, granola, or coconut, if desired.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the tops are brown and a toothpick comes out clean. Cool slightly, remove from the pan, and serve.

Homemade Granola
recipe adapted from Alton Brown

3 cups rolled oats
1 cup sliced almonds
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
3/4 cup shredded sweet coconut
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
1/4 cup maple syrup
2 tablespoons honey
1/4 cup vegetable or canola oil
3/4 teaspoon salt


Preheat oven to 250 degrees F.

In a large bowl, combine the oats, nuts, coconut, and brown sugar.

In a separate bowl, combine maple syrup, oil, and salt.

Combine both mixtures and toss to coat everything, then pour onto 2 sheet pans. Cook for 1 hour and 15 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes to achieve an even color. If you prefer the granola isn't too dark, feel free to remove from the oven sooner.

Remove from oven and transfer into a large bowl.

1 comments:

Patty said...

I'm a big fan of banana bread, as well as granola - so these muffins sound fantastic. Homemade granola is the best - I'm not sure why it took me so long to figure that out either! Thanks for sharing 2 awesome recipes. :)

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