As part of my week with the Barefoot Contessa, I’m kicking it off with some Banana Crunch Muffins. As I’ve never been a huge fan of bananas as an ingredient in food (except banana bread), I’ve been avoiding these muffins for a while now. Something “clicked” while I was thumbing through The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook the other day and since I had all of the ingredients in the house, I decided to give this recipe a shot.

And of course, I wasn’t let down. The only regret I have about this recipe is that I didn’t have any granola to add to the batter – but I do now since picking up about a pound of loose raisin granola at Whole Foods earlier today so that I have some on hand for the next time I make these muffins. The whole recipe was a cinch to put together…and oddly enough, Ina instructs to sift the flour and sugar together then add in the melted (cooled) butter then add the rest of the wet ingredients. I was a bit skeptical, but it worked. These little breakfast treats were just delightful. Light and fluffy with a nice full banana flavor that I’m sure will be even more prominent tomorrow morning.

Modifications:

  • I halved the recipe without any problems (yields 9 muffins)
  • Added about 1 tsp of honey to the batter…couldn’t hurt, right? 😉
  • Baked for 23 minutes at 335 degrees F – I’m realizing that dark non-stick pans really do need to be adjusted for

Next up on the list for my week with the Barefoot Contessa will be some Roasted Tomato-Basil Soup tomorrow night. The temperature isn’t supposed to go much above 70 tomorrow so I figured some soup and a sandwich would be a nice treat on a chilly August night. heh. 😀

Banana Crunch Muffins

source: Ina Garten, The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook

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

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.Line 18 large regular sized 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 (see modification above), or until the tops are brown and a toothpick comes out clean. Cool slightly, remove from the pan, and serve.