As promised, I am now devoting myself to good deeds. Here's my first one: I'm sharing the best muffin recipe ever. No joke—the best ever. It's a variation on one that was shared by Ayo, my friend and neighbor (and mom to Sidamo's mentors in crime, the cutest Ethiopian twins this side of the Blue Nile). The original muffin recipe comes from The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook; the streusel recipe is from The Village Baker's Wife. Here goes:
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup very cold butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
Banana Crunch Muffins
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups whole-wheat flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 lb. unsalted butter, melted and cool
3/4 cup milk
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup mashed ripe bananas (2 bananas)
1 cup medium-diced bananas (1 banana)
1 cup small-diced walnuts
1 cup granola
1 cup shredded coconut
Streusel: Combine all dry ingredients in the bowl of a food processor. Add butter and pulse several times until the mixture is a crumbly consistency. Or use a pastry blender or two knives to cut in the butter. Be careful not to overmix or the topping will become doughlike. Refrigerate up to 1 week or freeze up to 1 month.
Muffins: Preheat muffins to 350 degrees. Sift flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into a bowl. Stir in melted butter and blend. In a separate bowl, combine eggs, milk, vanilla, and mashed bananas; add to the flour/butter mix. Scrape the bowl and blend well. Don't overmix.
Fold the diced bananas, walnuts, granola, and coconut into the batter. Spoon into buttered or lined muffin tins, filling each one to the top. Top each muffin with streusel. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes (more or less, depending on the size of the muffins) or until the tops are brown and a toothpick comes out clean. Cool slightly, remove from pan, and serve.
My random muffin thoughts:
- This recipe yielded 18 regular-sized muffins and 12 mini muffins for me. I ended up with extra streusel topping, which I've put in the fridge for my next muffin adventure.
- You can freeze the muffins either before baking or after. I did some both ways. If you freeze before baking, you should use a liner. Just freeze the muffins in the pan; pop them out when they're frozen and put them in a freezer-safe container. When you're ready to bake them, put them back in the muffin pan (buttered) and bake (starting from frozen) for about 5 minutes longer than you would have normally.
- If you don't feel like baking, just stop by and raid my freezer. Seriously, it's a little out of control.