Monday, November 16, 2009

Muffins and addiction

Easy Banana-Walnut Bread
King Arthur Flour Whole Grain Baking Copyright 2006

1/2 cup (2 sticks, 8 oz) unsalted butter
1/2 cup packed light or dark brown sugar
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1 ½ tsp vanilla extract (I only increased this 50%, the original recipe called for 1 tsp)
1 1/2 cups (24 oz) mashed very ripe bananas
1/4 cup honey
2 large eggs
2 cups (1 lb) whole wheat flour
1/2 cup (4 oz) chopped walnuts I didn't use these

Preheat 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 9x5-inch loaf pan.

Beat together the butter, sugar, soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla in a medium bowl until smooth. Add the banana, honey and eggs beating until smooth. Add the flour and nuts, stirring until smooth. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan and let rest at room temperature, uncovered, for 10 minutes.

Bake the bread for 50 minutes. Lay a piece of foil over top and bake until a cake tester comes out clean, 10 to 15 minutes more. Remove the bread from the oven and allow it to cool 10 minutes before turning it out of the pan onto a rack to cool completely.

Makes 12 servings. Per serving 19g whole grain, 258 cal, 12g fat, 5g protein, 21g complex carbs, 15g sugar, 3g fiber, 56 mg cholesterol, 185 mg sodium, 258 mg potassium,

I made about 3 dozen mini-muffins instead. I baked them at 350 until they were just done, maybe about 15 minutes. I forgot to time them. Sorry.

Here's a tip - the surest way to keep bananas fresh is to buy them with the intention of baking with them. They practically unripen when I do that. If I buy them to eat they all turn black the next day. These were barely in baking territory (some black spots, not very mushy) after over a week but even though the recipe lead-in suggested only using extremely ripe bananas for the best result, I thought these muffins had a lot of banana flavor. I suppose they will just be even better if your bananas are riper than mine were.

I was very careful not to overbake these since I didn't want them to be dry. They turned out moist and delicious but with mini muffins, they can go from just baked to overbaked in a short amount of time so keep an eye on them if you make the mini muffins. I'm sure this recipe makes an excellent banana bread - I just didn't want to bake a loaf for an hour when I could make these mini muffins in about 15 minutes.

I'm done buying cookbooks for the year. Yes, I know, it's mid-November, big deal. I will try to start off the year without buying any for while too but for now I'm going to set my goal to resist just until 2010. I certainly haven't been accumulating as many as I did back when my cookbook guy was around but in the past month or so I bought some books at Borders, I acquired a few freebies, I purchased a few online (the new Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives and a Nigella Christmas one), I picked up a Rachael Ray book in Costco. I bought one at the school book fair and then moments later I was handed a fund-raiser order I had placed earlier and two cookbooks were in that. I picked up 2 more on Saturday (one at a farmer's market and one at an antique market).

I must stop the madness. Starting in 2010, I'm going to have to start setting a strict cookbook budget. Although it could backfire - I don't really shop for much else now. It's a lot cheaper than a shoe or clothing addiction.

Question of the Day: What 'extra' do you spend the most money on? Clothes? Shoes? Home decor? Something else?


Annie Jones said...

I usually don't buy clothes unless I really need them. My "extra" money usually goes to craft supplies, kitchen gadgets, cookbooks and books in general.

Anonymous said...


Rochelle R. said...

I sure have to agree with you about cookbooks being a lot cheaper than clothes or shoes. Cookbooks are really the only thing I buy excluding consumables. I save some money by trading some of my other types of books for cookbooks on PaperbackSwap. I had vowed not to buy any more and lasted about three months, until I went to the thrift store last week. :)

B and the boys said...

Yum!!! Just made this and it is a hit with all the boys! Thanks for keeping the recipe index-- a great resource.

The Cookbook Junkie said...

Oh dear! Looking back at this post, I have not made much progress battling my addiction LOL. At one point I almost thought my cookbook days were over
but, like most addictions, they took over again as soon as I got stressed out.