I originally intended this post to be a savory dish to give you a break from all the sweetnessaround herelately. I was going to post a lovely spring pasta, but when I made it I forgot to add any vegetables whatsoever. So it was just like, pasta. I just forgot to put anything else in. When I took a bite, I instantly remembered and audibly groaned. Where is my brain lately? .
So that pasta will have to wait until another time. I’m pretty sure everyone likes the sweet stuff better anyway, right? Here’s another treat inspired by the Back in the Day Bakery cookbook, but per usual, I made some modifications to healthify it. The result was perfectly fluffy cake doughnuts in the form of mini-muffins, dipped in cinnamon-sugar and absolutely irresistible. I honestly didn’t think these would be anything special since they’re so simple, but dang, were they good. We couldn’t stop eating them!
Banana muffins: the muffin of forgotten bananas. Nobody buys bananas with the sole intention of letting their peels become black just so they can make banana muffins or banana bread. But no longer. Next time I buy bananas, I fully intend to forget to eat even a single one just so I can make these muffins. The wait will be agonizing. Days will tick by like milliseconds. Green-tinted ends will give way to delicate brown freckles, then to larger brown patches, and finally to shiny, near-black perfection. Perfect, not to eat out-of-peel, but to provide the flavor base for these intensely flavorful, delicately moist, perfectly spiced little morsels of ultimate banana-ness. .
That may be the most dramatic paragraph I’ve ever written about food. But: accurate. And worth it. These muffins are the best banana muffins I have ever tasted, and certainly the best I’ve ever made in my own kitchen. I don’t mean to oversell this recipe, of course. After all, you probably have a favorite banana bread or muffin recipe. But please, next time you have a lonely, sad, forgotten bunch of bananas lying around…make these.
I made mini-muffins because I only had enough bananas for half a batch, and I wanted to extend the life of my muffins. Unfortunately that didn’t work out as I’d hoped—they were gone in two days. They’re perfectly spiced with cinnamon, nutmeg, and—the real standout—cardamom. But what’s really the star of these muffins is the intense banana flavor. I don’t count banana among my favorite flavors, but I definitely hadn’t experienced banana flavor like this before. The bananas are microwaved to release their juice (who knew?), and then the liquid is cooked down and reduced by half before being added into the batter. .
Sour cream makes the crumb light and moist, and a mix of brown sugar and vanilla bean sugar create a delicate sweetness with a little somethin’ extra that you can’t put your finger on at first. And on top of that, I added chopped pecans into the batter for a nice textural contrast and that toasty pecan flavor. I easily made three varieties with simple toppings (or lack thereof): plain, sprinkled with just a few chocolate chips, and my favorite, topped with a single pecan half. Let’s make some muffins.