These Banana Nut Muffins have been on my baking schedule for a long, long, long time. Not this exact recipe, necessarily, but the idea of making and posting a banana nut muffin recipe has been on my mind for the past month and a half at least. If I had had my way, I would have made and posted a batch of banana muffins a month and a half ago, but I couldn't. I had to hold out. These muffins were a direct request from my sister, and she demanded that I make them for her. It's funny, because she was home for her spring break in March and her banana nut muffin craving kicked in maybe the day after she left, meaning that she (and I) had to wait until this past weekend when she came home for a random trip home to enjoy these muffins. She mentioned these banana muffins that I promised to make for her at least three times daily since the idea landed in her head, and by the time she got home on Friday night, her texts had gone from, "I'm so excited for these banana muffins" to, "OMGAHHH BANANANANAANA MUFFFINNSS AAAHHH!!!!!!"
This was clearly a very serious craving.
As much as I teased her for becoming so obsessed with banana nut muffins, I was secretly counting down the days I until I could make them. I've always loved banana-flavored things, and muffins are just about one of my absolute favorite baked treats to eat. Anything that's sweet, cakey, and without frosting is my kind of baked good, and along with simple cakes, muffins are at the top of my list. When my sister mentioned that she wanted me to make her banana nut muffins, I immediately realized that I really couldn't remember the last time I had had a banana nut muffin, and I found this upsetting. I think I was just excited about making these banana nut muffins as she was, except that I obviously made sure to play it cool and kept my excessive excitement to myself.
In retrospect, however, I could have probably shown my excitement a bit more- these muffins are really something special. I combined a recipe I saw on All Recipes with one I had seen on Food Network, and that was definitely the way to go. One recipe called for slightly chunkier bananas, and other recipe suggested simply mixing together with an electric mixer to really blend that banana flavor all throughout the muffins. Incorporating a little bit of each recipe into my banana nut muffin version is what sets these muffins apart.
Now, I'm almost always a "one-bowl-only-for-muffins" advocate, but for this recipe, I am making an exception. This recipe requires three bowls and a handheld electric mixer (don't hate me!) but I think that using these separate components is the real key to making sure these muffins come out as tasty as they are supposed to. I'll explain more about that in a moment. The fact that this recipe use a bit more equipment than in a normal muffin recipe that I would share doesn't make these any more difficult to mix together. It just takes a few extra minutes, and once you taste these muffins, you'll agree with me that those few extra minutes were worth it. First, all the dry ingredients are sifted together into a large bowl. In a small bowl, add half of the bananas, and mash them up with a fork. You want to leave them a little on the chunky side! For the third bowl that gets used, the remaining banana, sugar, egg, and brown butter (oh yes, brown butter!) get thoroughly mixed together with an electric mixer. By separating the banana in half and mashing them to different extents, we will ensure that our muffins will end up being textural and flavorful masterpieces. There will be chunks of banana scattered throughout, but because we beat some banana with the other wet ingredients, we'll have a nice banana flavor mixed evenly throughout the muffins. The wet and dry ingredients are then combined, nuts are stirred in, and the batter is poured into a muffin tin and baked. Simple enough!
I think it would be an understatement to say that my sister and I liked these muffins. I thought they were really, really fantastic. There is a great banana flavor in every bite, and the brown butter gives the muffins a nice nutty flavor that goes perfectly with the banana and other nuts in the recipe. For the nuts, you can feel free to use 2/3 of whatever your favorite nut combination is. I used 2/3 cup of walnuts and pecans because that was what I had on hand. The fact that they are some of my favorite nuts certainly helped! These banana nut muffins are the perfect banana nut muffin, and is a great option for Mother's Day Brunches. I loved that I was finally able to make these for my sister, and all I can think about now is when the next time I bake them will actually be. If you need a nutty banana muffin recipe, I can assure you that this is the one!
Banana Nut Muffins
recipe adapted from All Recipes
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 large very ripe bananas
3/4 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/3 cup unsalted butter, browned and cooled slightly
2/3 cup chopped nuts (I used walnuts and pecans)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and position a rack in the middle of the oven. Line a muffin tin with paper liners.
In a large bowl, combine together the flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
In a small bowl, roughly mash half of the bananas, leaving them a bit on the chunky side. In a separate bowl, combine the remaining bananas, sugar, egg, vanilla extract and brown butter. Using an electric mixer (I used a hand held one), beat the ingredients together until they are smooth and combined.
Create a well in the dry ingredients, and pour the smooth banana mixture into the well. Gently fold the banana mixture in, stopping when just combined. The batter will be thick, and it's ok if it's lumpy! Stir in the remaining chunky mashed bananas and the nuts until evenly mixed in. Divide the muffin batter among the prepared liners. Bake the muffins for 25-27 minutes, or until they have a nice dome and are golden brown on top.
Let the muffins cool slightly in the muffin tin before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely. Enjoy!
Makes 12 muffins