My son really loves bananas, so we always have bunches of them around the house and I’m frequently on the lookout for new ways to use bananas. Last week we enjoyed savory banana corn cakes as a side with dinner which were so delicious and this weekend we had these Banana Nut Muffins for Sunday brunch. I posted another banana muffin recipe a while back but seeing as how I had just gotten the Cook’s Illustrated Baking Book (on sale, yay!) and hadn’t even had a chance to look through it yet, I wanted to try out something from that book for breakfast and the muffins sounded delicious. This is not a book review by any means, since honestly I haven’t looked at more than the first few pages and this recipe so far, but what I love about Cook’s Illustrated is that they do all kinds of testing in their kitchens and explain their thought process and the science behind their recipes. Because of that, their recipes are generally very good without much modification on my part and I feel like I’m learning something about how to become a better cook/baker and create my own recipes by reading their books and magazines.
These muffins were different from the other banana muffins I made previously in a few ways. For one, they are huge! These are the size muffins you get from a bakery, like the Costco-sized muffins. So they nearly flowed over the sides of muffin tin and for that reason, weren’t quite as pretty as I was hoping. I actually have a “Texas-sized” muffin tin and I’m wondering if I used that and made 6 muffins instead of a dozen, if they’d look nicer.
These muffins contained chopped up ripe bananas rather than using overripe mashed bananas like I usually do when baking with bananas. As a result, they were much paler in color than the typically dark brown banana bread. The muffins were very moist despite not using overripe bananas thanks to yogurt and a generous portion of butter in the batter. Finally, unlike the other muffins which included peanut butter and chocolate chips (awesome flavors in combination with banana), these treats had chopped walnuts instead. Still great flavor and a little less sweet than chocolate chips, just different.
Overall, I really enjoyed these muffins (so did my son, by the way). The basic recipe lends itself well to modifications like apple or blueberry muffins and the muffins are so big that we had plenty of leftovers so I’ve been able to enjoy tasty banana nut muffins for breakfast at work every day this week too.
Banana Nut Muffins (adapted with minimal modification from the Cook’s Illustrated Baking Book)
Yield: 1 dozen large muffins
nonstick cooking spray
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
10 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups plain yogurt (low-fat or whole milk)
1 1/2 cups chopped bananas (2-3 medium sized bananas)
3/4 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
1. Place the oven rack in the lower-middle position and preheat the oven to 375F. Coat a 12 cup muffin tin with nonstick spray and set aside.
2. Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and nutmeg in a medium bowl and set aside.
3. Beat the butter and sugar with an electric stand mixer on medium-high speed until fluffy. Then add in the eggs, one at a time, stirring until combined. Reduce the speed to low and add the dry ingredients in 3 steps, alternating with the yogurt in 2 steps. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
4. Fold in the chopped bananas and walnuts.
5. Divide the batter evenly among the muffin tins. Bake until golden brown and a knife inserted into the center comes out with only a few crumbs attached, about 25 to 30 minutes.
6. Let the muffins cool in the tin for a few minutes before serving.
Per muffin (made with low-fat yogurt): 407 calories, 21 grams of fat (calculated from myfitnesspal.com; all nutrition information is approximate)