We found a recipe in the Nancy’s Kitchen newsletter for indescribably delicious banana bread. We modified it and converted it to a muffin recipe. We think you will agree that it really is indescribably delicious.
For the muffins:
1 cup butter
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
4 very ripe bananas, mashed
1 teaspoon banana flavor
1/4 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 cups all purpose flour
For the topping:
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
1. Cream the one cup butter, granulated sugar, and salt together. Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat until the mixture is light and fluffy. Add the mashed bananas and vanilla and mix well. Add the buttermilk.
2. In another bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, and baking powder. Fold the flour mixture into the banana mixture, stirring just until combined. Spoon the batter into muffin tins lined with paper liners. The recipe will make about 24 muffins.
3. Bake in the hot oven for five minutes. Then without opening the oven door, turn the oven temperature down to 350 degrees and keep baking for another ten minutes or until the muffins test done. (The total time of 15 minutes will vary depending on how well your particular oven holds heat.) Set the muffins aside to cool.
For the topping:
1. Place the oven rack at upper 2/3’s level. (One shelf down in our test oven.)
2. Melt the remaining butter in saucepan. Add the brown sugar and milk. Cook the syrup for about five minutes or until it is like a hot caramel sauce, almost soft-ball stage (215 to 220 degrees). Remove the topping from heat and add the chopped nuts. Set the oven to broil.
3. With the muffins in the pans, spread the nut mixture over the muffins. Place the topped muffins back in the oven under the broiler element and cook until the topping is bubbly and brown. You will need to watch very carefully, to make sure that the topping does not burn. In our oven, the topping was done in less than two minutes. Remove the muffins immediately, before the topping sets up and sticks to the pan.
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Baker’s notes: Since this recipe is loaded with bananas that weigh the batter down, special techniques are employed to make the muffins lighter. The batter has extra leavening and calls for careful mixing. The bananas add a lot of moisture to the recipe and the initial hot oven gives the muffins a burst of steam to help create lift. (Make sure that the muffins are completely cooked or the steam-filled muffins will collapse as they cool.) This should give you a lighter muffin but they will not be highly domed.
Be prepared for the topping to drip and drizzle and make a bit of a mess.
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