Banana Walnut Muffins

Whichever dessert I make next can be dictated by any number of events—someone’s birthday, a kid home from college, a neighborhood get-together, a sale on a recipe ingredient, a craving for something sweet—or by two lonely bananas sitting forlornly on my countertop.  I’m sure I’m not the only one who looks at overly ripe bananas and hears them whispering, “banana bread” or “banana muffins.”

Such was the case recently in my kitchen, and I set about to making my favorite banana muffin.  The muffin recipe is from an RSVP request which appeared in Bon Appétit magazine about 20 years ago.  A reader had enjoyed this wonderful muffin in a restaurant while on vacation and wrote in to the magazine to see if they could get the recipe.

It is everything you could want in a banana muffin—moist, buttery, and full of banana flavor and toasted walnuts.  Obviously, if you’re not a fan of nuts, leave them out.  I’m hard-pressed to decide whether I like them better warm from the oven or once they’ve cooled off and the muffin becomes even moister.

Make sure your bananas are really ripe.  I like them to be in danger of attracting fruit flies before I bake with them!

Banana Walnut Muffins

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Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup chopped walnuts, toasted (bake for 8 to 10 minutes at 350o F)
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 1/4 cups mashed ripe bananas (2 large bananas)
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 egg
  • 2 1/2 tbl. milk
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla

Directions

Preheat oven to 350o F.  Grease 12 1/2-cup muffin cups or use paper cups in muffin pan.  Mix together flour, sugar, chopped walnuts, baking soda and salt in large bowl.  Combine bananas, butter, egg and milk in medium bowl.  Add banana mixture to dry ingredients, mixing until just combined. (For anyone new to muffin-making, overmixing the batter will cause the muffins to be come tough and rubbery.)

Do not overmix!

Divide batter among prepared cups.

Using an ice cream scoop makes filling muffin cups a breeze.

Bake until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 18 to 20 minutes.  Transfer muffins to rack and cool.  Serve warm or at room temperature.

Time to make a cup of coffee!
Mmm....

Source: A slightly adapted Bon Appétit RSVP recipe (not available online)

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