Have you ever had a craving for a midnight snack? I usually don’t unless I’m up late working on something. And tonight, that’s what happened…I was craving banana muffins. But not just any banana muffins. Ones chock full of berries. And since I’ve been working hard on content for my new website, Global VA Connect, that will be coming out soon, I’ve managed to skip a meal here or there. I also had a bit of a creative block as I was writing my “About me” page. The toughest task I have ever faced is to write about myself. Sound natural, my web designer says. Be myself, my conscience yells. Don’t worry, soothes my 5 year old.
I’ve been doing a bit of baking lately now that little Bella is in kindergarten. I’m also reading a fun mystery series by Joanne Fluke that has an insane amount of baking in every plot and recipes to boot! So it’s like the perfect baking storm!
Since I have a healthy supply of frozen bananas in the freezer, basic banana muffins and breads are a super easy way to use them. I also need to make some room in our little German freezer drawers because Winter is Coming (that’s my mini-tribute to Game of Thrones’ next season that starts next month). I made a batch of a dozen banana cherry muffins on Sunday evening, thinking they would last a couple of days but that didn’t happen. For the first time, ever, hubby asked me to bring a few more to his office because he didn’t bring enough. And since my child wouldn’t share her muffins with me from her afternoon snack, I thought I would make another batch when I had a chance. Because they were really good.
Here’s my recipe for tonight’s Berry Banana Nut muffins. You can easily make this into a loaf, too. Yumm-o!
Ingredients & Equipment:
1/2 cup softened butter…4.0 oz if you’re using a scale
1-1/2 cups sugar… this is not a diet bread, but if you prefer, you can replace white granulated sugar with equal amounts of organic raw sugar as well as other sweeteners. This recipe is so friendly with add-ins and substitutions!
2 eggs, room temperature… if they’ve been in the fridge, put them in a bowl of warm water to quickly get them to room temp
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon/nutmeg/cardamom, optional…I used equal amounts of cinnamon and cardamom for this batch
1-1/2 cups flour… 405 works as well as all-purpose flour
4 mashed, super ripe bananas… yes, those almost black on the outside ones that no kid wants to eat. I keep frozen ripe bananas in the freezer for smoothies and baking. Just pop a few in the microwave for a few minutes to thaw.
1/2 cup nuts, chopped, optional…salted, honey, whichever ones you like
1/2 cup chopped dried cherries/mixed berries
2 large mixing bowls
muffin pans, greased or lined with cupcake liners… I use a 12 muffin pan and it’s perfect
(if you prefer to use a greased loaf pan, cooking time increases to 1 hour)
Preheat the oven to 375°F.
In one bowl:
Blend together sugar, butter, and eggs.
In the 2nd bowl:
Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda and any desired spices.
Add this dry mix to the large bowl with sugar, butter, and eggs.
Add mashed bananas, chopped cherries/berries, chopped nuts (if any), and vanilla extract.
Spoon into muffin cups, filling nearly to the top. These muffins won’t rise much.
Bake at 375°F for 25 minutes for muffins or 1 hour for loaf pan or until a toothpick comes out clean and tops are a nice golden brown. Remove from pan and cool on a wire rack.
Note: This recipe is good for about a dozen regular muffins or one loaf.
If desired, brush tops with melted butter while still warm.