I’ve crossed to the dark side and I am never-ever-ever going back. After years of greasing — and subsequently washing — four trays of mini-muffin baking cups (that is 48 — forty-eight, count ’em– little tiny cups each with its own pain-in-the-cuticles little edge that gets full of burnty-bits because, of course, they are also a pain-in-the-cuticles to grease) I finally bought some paper muffin cup liners and I don’t think I’ll ever bake naked again.
Good thing, because this is a nice little recipe that I would like to do again, but might have put it off because of the aforementioned greasing and washing thing.
Full disclosure: Leandro is usually deeply involved in all baking activities. This time, however, he had a friend over and they didn’t feel like it and they were very happy (meaning: not bothering me) so, why eff up a good thing? Also, in retrospect, the many tiny 1/4 teaspoons of this and that really aren’t suited to baking with kids who prefer to throw puffs of flour and baking soda around. So I went ahead and made these myself – his little friend’s mom arriving just in time to help me fill the cups – and had a lovely time.
This was a big hit with my colleagues and everyone else who tried them. Leandro was not so keen (today I seem to have a great deal to disclose, don’t I?), at least he wasn’t at first, but later warmed up to them and loved them in his lunchbox with yogurt for dipping. Oh yes, and the original recipe comes from Food to Live By, by Myra Goodman of Earthbound Farms fame!
Note about the maple syrup: I am pleased to say it comes from New York State! Sugar Brook Maple Farm in Kerhonkson, NY (845-626-3466) to be exact. It is lovely and rich and mellow and thanks to Hatti and Emma for pointing it out to us on our (somewhat) recent visit to her place in New Paltz!
Banana Maple Walnut Muffins
2 Cups flour (mix of whole wheat and white is fine; all whole wheat is too heavy)
1.5 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp ground ginger
¼ tsp ground cinnamon
2 large eggs
½ cup pure maple syrup
½ cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/3 cup whole milk (lowfat is okay)
¼ cup vegetable oil
¼ tsp vanilla extract
2 Cups mashed very ripe bananas (4-5)
¾ Cup walnuts, chopped fairly fine
Position rack in center of the oven and preheat the oven to 375°. Line muffin tins with liners or grease with butter.
Place flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, ginger and cinnamon in a large bowl and combine well.
Place eggs, maple syrup, brown sugar, milk, oil and vanilla in a medium bowl and whisk to combine well. Add the bananas and stir to combine.
Add the banana mixture to the flour mixture and stir with a rubber spatula until just combined. Fold in the walnuts. Do not overmix or the muffins will be tough. Spoon the batter into the muffin cups, filing almost to the brim.
Bake muffins until golden and a toothpick inserted into the center of one comes out clean (13-15 minutes for mini-muffins; 20 – 30 for standard-size muffins).
Let tins cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes, then remove. They will keep for about three days in an air-tight container. Reheat for 10 seconds in a microwave or 350° oven for 5-10 minutes.