Archive for breakfast

Banana Muffins and/or Banana Bread Recipe

Posted in Recipes with tags , , , , , on May 24, 2010 by KarenElizabeth

I grew up in a family that did a lot of dessert breads.  Zucchini bread, applesauce loaf, carrot cake, and of course, the classic favourite:  banana bread.  Since moving away from home and learning to cook for only one or two people instead of a crowd of ravenous McMichaels, I’ve gotten a bit out of the habit — on my own it can be challenging to devour an entire loaf of banana bread before it begins to go stale.  But I still get my fix by making banana muffins, which can be easily frozen and then thawed out a few at a time for a good two weeks worth of snacking goodness.  It’s the same old banana bread recipe, though, so you can make it as a loaf if you prefer.  Just increase the cooking time to about an hour to ensure that the center of the loaf is fully cooked.

The Ingredients:

  • 3 large or 4 small bananas, very ripe
  • 1/3 cup butter, melted
  • 1/3 cup white sugar
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar (or skip the white sugar and use 2/3 cup brown)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour (or use 1 cup all purpose, 1/2 cup whole wheat)
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • a pinch of salt
  • nutmeg and allspice to taste
  • candied fruit peel, raisins, nuts, chocolate chips, etc. as desired

The Prep:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, and prepare two loaf pans or 18 muffin cups.

In a large bowl, mash up the bananas.  Add the sugar, butter, egg, and vanilla; mix well.  Sift in the flour, salt, baking soda, nutmeg and allspice; stir until just blended.  If desired, fold in nuts, chocolate chips, fruit peel, etc.

Fill muffin cups or loaf pans 2/3rds to 3/4ths full.  Bake about 25 minutes for muffins, or about 1 hour for loaves (until a pick inserted in the center comes out clean).

Tips and Tricks:

If you’ve got some bananas that are going too brown for your liking, but you don’t have time to make muffins right away, throw the bananas in the freezer.  They keep very well because their tough peel protects against freezer burn.  Then when you do get time to do some baking, you’ll have ripe bananas all ready to go.

Once you’ve actually baked your muffins, you can put the finished deliciousness into an airtight freezer bag and freeze them.  They keep for at least 6-8 weeks (I’ve never had any last longer than that … they’re too tasty to leave sitting for long!), and are easily thawed out in the microwave or toaster oven.


Apple Spice Muffins

Posted in Recipes with tags , , , , , on February 17, 2010 by KarenElizabeth

Since I’m allergic to raw apples (as well as raw pears, peaches, plums, cherries, and plenty of other fruits), I’ve found lots of different ways to include them in my baking.  These apple muffins are a recipe that I’ve altered so much that it no longer resembles the original in anything but name:  they’re moist, light, and very apple-full.

The Ingredients

  • 1-1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup lightly packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp allspice
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 2 cups peeled and sliced apples (about 2 medium apples)
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • extra brown sugar and cinnamon for topping, if desired.

The Prep

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  Prepare 18 muffin cups by greasing, or use paper liners.

In a large bowl, combine flour, sugars, salt, baking soda and spices.  Add oil, egg and milk; mix until just combined.  Last, fold in the apples.

Scoop the batter into the prepared muffin cups.  Be careful not to overfill — 2/3rds to 3/4s full is plenty.  You should get 16 to 18 muffins out of a single batch.  If you’d like, you can sprinkle a little bit more brown sugar and cinnamon over the tops of the muffins to give a nice “crust” when they’re baked.

Bake for 15-20 minutes, until a pick inserted in the center of each muffin comes out clean.  Remove to racks to cool for a few minutes before consuming (the apples will be hot!)

Results and Storage Tips

These muffins are very moist, so they don’t last very long.  If you’re not going to eat them all within a few days, put some of them into an airtight freezer bag and freeze immediately after baking.  You can then save them for a couple of months, and warm them up in the microwave or toaster oven for a tasty snack whenever you like.

You can serve your muffins plain; they taste just fine all on their own.  I prefer mine with a little bit of butter, and a big wedge of cheddar cheese on the side.  I’ve considered turning them into cupcakes with some fluffy cream-cheese icing, but haven’t actually tried it yet (let me know if you do, I’d like to know how they come out).

Finally, if you want more than 18 muffins, make them in two separate batches.  This recipe doesn’t double very well because they just don’t rise the same way if you try to make too many.