Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Banana Pecan Muffins

It's springtime, if you think in the meteorological sense, as March is 1/3 of spring.  I listened to a Cubs spring game on the 720AM yesterday during the commute from work.  It was quite refreshing to hear the boys of summer getting loosened up and warm in delicious sunshine and eighties, even if they gave up a 6 run lead to lose 8-7.  That's the cactus league, much different than when they return to Wrigley in April, where temps might be half of what they are currently basking in.  I can honestly say one of the coldest places on earth is a seat at Wrigley up in the second deck, a night game within the first few weeks of the new season.  First pitch temp might not be too bad before sunset; gentle winds blowing out over the fence, pretty comfortable and friendly confines.  Then the wind turns off the lake, the sun goes down, and you just hope the Cubs have put enough runs on the board at that point while you turn into a popsicle.  They're not known for manufacturing runs, and without their wind-aided pop-ups that float into the bleachers, you might be in for a winless and chilly night.  My rule of thumb is if it's before July, bring a jacket, perhaps a hat, and at least one glove.  These days however, I only go when I don't have to buy a ticket.
I've been eating these muffins for months, and asking for the recipe for just as long.  These are really good banana nut muffins.  A quick batch is delicious for breakfast or as a mid-morning snack, warmed up and/or with a dab of butter is optional.  If you have a few naners that are headed south, let them go until nicely overripe and dark, you can stash them in the freezer at this point or mash them up with some pantry staples and bake into shapes easy for consumption.  Bananas are yummy.  Bananas with peanut butter are yummier.  I think these banana pecan muffins are yummiest.  I dislike eating in the car, but these are great on the run with a hot beverage. 

Banana Pecan Muffins
14-16 muffins

2 C AP flour
1.5 ts baking soda
3/4 ts kosher salt
4 very overripe bananas, peeled
1 C light brown sugar, packed of course
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, melted and cooled
2 large eggs
1 ts vanilla extract, homemade extra points
1/2 C finely chopped pecans, toasted quickly in a dry, hot skillet

Fire up the oven to three seven five on the Fahrenheit scale.

Roughly mash up the naners in a bowl with a fork, set aside.  In another bowl mix the dry goods- flour, salt, and baking powder, set aside.  In the bowl of your stand mixer, (or mixing bowl) add the sugar and mashed banana, beat with the whisk for a couple minutes on medium.  Add the melted butter, then one egg at a time, lastly the vanilla extract.  Scrape down the bowl with a spatula, then whisk again quick to get it all in there evenly.  Add in the dry goods until just incorporated- do not over mix.  Fold in the nuts with the spatula.

Spray a 12 muffin pan with oil or line with cups- I like the latter for easy transport.  Fill about halfway, baking time will be about 18-20 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean.  Remove and let cool on a rack for ten minutes or so.  Depending on how much you fill your tins, you might have some batter leftover for a second batch of 4-5 muffins. 

These will last for a few days at room temp in a container or wrap, enjoy warmed up or at room temp.

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