"Mommy, wet's make muffins." These four words are like music to my ears on a weekend, summer, or snowday morning. I love those mornings that I can laze around drinking my coffee in my pajamas and cooking up a big, yummy breakfast. My favorite lazy morning breakfast is muffins. It's really like eating little cupcakes without the frosting for breakfast. Yum! I've made lots of different kinds of muffins over the years, but I must say my absolute favorite are banana muffins.
Although, I've tried many variations from healthy to not-so-healthy, the one's I love to make (and eat) the most are a family recipe--my great-grandmother's to be exact. The recipe is actually for banana bread, but I prefer muffins, especially mini-muffins which are great for little hands and snacks or for Mommy to sneak in one quick bite. Please tell me you've snuck a piece of candy or something you don't really want your kids eating right before dinner only to turn around and hear, "What are you eating Mommy?" To which you reply, "Oh, nothing." To which my son will reply, "Let me smell your breff. Is dat choc-late?" He must have a sixth sense when I'm eating something I shouldn't. But that's beside the point. Back to muffins, I like muffins because of those nice little tops and there isn't as much of the brown edges. I'm a middle brownie, no crusty-edge kind of girl.
I've had this recipe for ages, well since I moved out after college and it's still written on the same blue note paper, with a defined crease down the middle so that it will fit in my recipe box. It's called "Best Ever Banana Bread" and I would have to agree. I tried for years to make "healthy" banana muffins so that I could feel better about my love for muffins, but they always wind up dry or healthy tasting, so after my daughter was born, I gave up and went back to the original, simple, delicious banana muffin. No yogurt or applesauce instead of sugar and eggs. But maybe that's why I can't lose those last 10 pounds of baby weight? Okay, back to the muffins.
So, this past weekend when I asked my son what we should make for breakfast and he said, "Mommy, wet's make muffins!" I was excited. I pulled out my recipe and all of the necessary ingredients (the other beautiful thing about this recipe is that I always have all of the ingredients on hand).
While I was assembling the ingredients my son ran to wash his hands and grab his little stool so that he could help with the "cookin" as he calls it. First we added the flour, salt and baking soda into a bowl and my son used a whisk to mix them up. This is always tricky because he wants to keep mixing and inevitably flour ends up on the counter, so after a few mixes I tell him we only want to mix it a little. (This doesn't always make him stop). Usually after he starts spilling the flour I take the whisk away.
In lieu of a masher, I let my son squish up the bananas in a separate bowl this time. Sometimes I just squish them up as I toss them in the mixer, but I wanted him to feel more involved since the muffins were his request, plus it got him to put the whisk down. I usually use brown bananas or sometimes I pull out some of my good old trusty frozen bananas ahead of time and let them thaw. This time they were fresh and very over-ripe.
Nice and messy. Guess what he did after that? Yep, washed his hands. Next we creamed the butter and sugar in the mixer. The recipe actually calls for margarine, but I always use softened butter.
Then come the eggs. The recipe says to beat them first, but I figure they get beat up enough in the mixer.
And then come the squished bananas courtesy of my sous chef.
Next we alternate the flour mixture that we prepared first with some sour milk. I never use sour milk, always regular milk. I know, I'm a rebel. The almost rotten bananas are about as sour as it's gonna get for me. Occasionally I'll use half whole wheat flour and half all-purpose flour and you can only tell slightly. The original recipe also calls for nuts, which I never use. My children are not at an age where they appreciate nuts in their baked goods so I omit them.
Next I spoon the muffin mixture into a lined muffin pan. I fill the liners pretty full, mostly because I want all of the batter to fit in one pan. This recipe makes 12 full size banana muffins.
Next I bake them at 350 degrees for 15-20-25 minutes. I can't really remember, but I start checking them every 5 minutes at 15 minutes. I think more accurate is 22 minutes, but you know all ovens vary.
They are best served immediately, with a big pat of butter in the middle. I also recommend adding some fresh fruit or protein on the side, otherwise you might have to eat more than one. Yum!
Best Ever Banana Muffins
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup butter softened (1 stick)
- 2 eggs
- 2 mashed bananas
- 2 cups flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup milk
1) Combine dry ingredients (flour, baking soda and salt) and stir to mix.
2) Cream sugar and margarine.
3) Add eggs.
4) Add mashed bananas.
5) Alternate adding flour mixture and milk.
6) Place in lined muffin pan.
7) Bake at 350 degrees for a 20-25 minutes.