While I originally adapted this recipe from Joy of Cooking, I am constantly tinkering with it (recipe 1, recipe 2, recipe 3, recipe 4, recipe 5, recipe 6, recipe 7, recipe 8, recipe 9,and recipe 10). Every time I have several overripe bananas it is time to start baking.
This time, I decided to actually use nuts—rather than the lower fat option of GrapeNuts which I switched to because Jan was very fat sensitive. She has gotten much better at handling fats in recent years, so I thought I would take the risk. I also decided that cinnamon would be a nice addition.
I frequently also add dried apricots to the mix for these muffins. I prefer to use Turkish dried apricots—these are plum and juicy vs. the tough and chewy California version of this fruit. I dice each one 3-4 times in each direction to get finely diced bits of flavorful fruit.
Karl’s Cinnamon Banana Nut Mini-Muffins
1¾ cups flour, all purpose
1 Tbs. baking power
1 Tbs. cinnamon
½ tsp. salt
3 over ripe bananas
¼ cup vegetable oil
⅓ cup brown sugar
1 tsp. lemon zest
½ tsp. vanilla
½ cup Turkish dried apricots, finely diced
½ cup pecans, chopped
1. Sift together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt into a medium bowl.
2. Use a fork to mash the bananas in a large bowl.
3. Use the fork to mix in the egg and oil.
4. Stir in the sugar, zest, and vanilla into the wet ingredients.
Tip: Whenever you add sweet or warm spices to a baked good—like cinnamon or nutmeg— you also want to add just a touch of vanilla. While vanilla has its own taste, it also enhances your perception of other flavors—in a similar way to salt enhancing savory flavors. If you leave it out the cinnamon will just taste flat and less “cinnamon-y.”
5. Fold in half of the flour at a time and mix just until there is no white showing.
Tip: For a quick bread, you do not want to overwork the dough, because it will make the loaf tough. This is the opposite of yeasted bread, where you are trying to develop the gluten to give it its structure.
6. Preheat oven to 350° F.
7. Fold in the apricots and pecans until just blended in.
8. Spoon the batter into a Pam-ed mini muffin pan.
9. Bake for the muffins for 25-30 minutes, until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
10. When you muffins are done, remove them from the baking pan and cool them on a wire rack.