This was the first recipe I was unsure of as soon as I read it. It just sounded… odd. Like texture might be an issue.
However, Dorothy hasn’t steered me wrong yet! The biggest complaint in my house so far has been that there aren’t enough muffins to go around, so the Sunday muffin-bake is becoming a bit of an event. Last night I had both Harry (7yo) and Ron (4.5yo) helping out. I’m determined that they be comfortable in the kitchen and I’d rather bake with them than play cars, so! Even though their presence was distracting and I heard “but he already had a turn! It’s my turn!” more than I wanted, it was still Making A Memory, right?
Sift in a large bowl
1.5 cups whole wheat flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
3 large ripe bananas
Blend with bananas
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup vegetable oil or butter
2 tbsp. crunchy peanut butter
Stir wet into dry with optional 1/2 cup coarsely chopped peanuts
400F, 15min. Makes 12.
Maybe it’s just me, but I hate sifting whole wheat flour – I find too much doesn’t make it through the sieve because the particles are too big and the holes are too small. So I measured the flour first, sifted in the rest of the dry ingredients, and then set my kids to stirring.
When I realized how many banana-based muffins I’d be baking in the next few weeks, I bought a bag of overripe bananas and tossed them in the freezer. I don’t pre-peel them or anything; on baking day I take them out a couple of hours ahead of time (if I remember) and if I don’t, a quick zap in the microwave does the trick. Then I just cut off the end and squish out the insides. It’s vastly satisfying.
My trusty assistant Michael chopped the peanuts, since he wanted to include them. I wasn’t planning on adding them, myself, but consensus in the test kitchen was that we should try it at least once.
I used smooth peanut butter, not crunchy – no one in this house, including me, likes crunchy peanut butter, and I didn’t want to buy a whole jar for the sake of two tablespoons.
Otherwise, this was a very straightforward recipe – and the batter tasted fantastic. Like a peanut butter and banana sandwich. Once again, Dorothy proved exceedingly accurate in both her amounts (12 muffins, indeed) and her cook times (perfect doneness at 15 minutes).
They smelled great while they were baking; like banana bread with a peanut butter kick. They rose more than I expected given how heavy the batter was, and turned a golden brown.
Ron had gone to bed, so Harry tried one first. He said it was “good”, but didn’t rave about it. Also, he was quite bummed that he couldn’t have one in his lunchbox – peanut butter recipes coming from a time before allergies and nut-free schools.
Michael tried one and pronounced it a “hearty breakfast muffin”. Not surprising, I guess, given the whole wheat flour and protein hit. (He did take one to work this morning so I’ll take that as an endorsement).
At baking time I wasn’t feeling very well and my sense of taste was off, so I avoided them altogether. I’m having one right now with my morning coffee and it’s better than I expected. It’s dense and moist, with a subtle spiciness. My only hesitation is, as I expected, the peanuts (and for the record, they are quite finely chopped so small children can eat them without fear of choking). As the nuts are optional, I would leave them out next time – they don’t add much to the flavour, and the crunchy bits put me right off. I have texture issues with food, though, so probably your best bet is to try it both ways and see which you prefer.
If anyone bakes these, let me know in the comments what you think!