Introduction: Banana Bread Muffins

About: Jack of All Trades, Master of One: Being Me!

Going to the grocery store has turned into an epic quest to find the perfect bananas. In the Clothier home, we like them to still be a bit green - they are firmer and have a better flavor. But there's a lot to consider: How many to get? How many do I think we will eat in the next few days? Is one a day good, or will my wife and I both eat one each day? What about if I want to put them in cereal or something else? And the most important variable that determines if I leave with a bunch or empty handed is how green they are. Occasionally, I will find some that will be perfect in a couple of days and pair them with a few that are perfect right now.

But no matter how hard I plan, there always seems to be one or two that go uneaten or ripen a lot quicker than expected. It is in these situations that I think banana bread was first conceived - a way to use those blackening bananas before they go to waste.

The best thing about these muffins is the crumbly coating that goes on top of them. The added texture and flavor is well worth the extra calories.

Since this is one of those things I don't make very often, I don't give much thought as to how bad it is for you. I'd rather be happy and plump than starve myself endlessly. If worse comes to worst, there's always the gym...

Step 1: Ingredients

For the Bread:
3 - 4 Bananas, Mashed
2 Cups all-purpose Flour
3/4 Cup White Sugar
1/4 Cup Brown Sugar
1 Stick Butter, Softened
2 Eggs, Slightly Beaten
1 tsp Vanilla
1 tsp Baking Soda
1/2 tsp Salt

For the Topping:
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
1/3 Cup Brown Sugar
1 Tbsp Cinnamon

1 Cup Walnuts, Chopped

Oven Temp:
Once you have everything, preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. 

Step 2: Mush Those Bananas

Peel the bananas and place them in a large bowl. It's OK if they have a few spots, but you can cut away the super gross black parts if there are any if that freaks you out. Also, peel off any of those clingy strings...

Using a strong utensil, smush, smash, mush, and mash those bananas into oblivion! Be careful though, I actually shattered a spoon once when I got a bit too excited. This can be a stress reliever or an arm workout - your choice.

Keep it up until the banana are mostly liquified. It's OK to have a few bits and pieces for consistency and texture.

Step 3: A Sweet Start

Once the butter is softened (try not to melt it completely!) combine it with 3/4 cup white sugar and 1/4 cup brown sugar. A fork or a strong whisk works best for this procedure. Mix until everything is well blended and creamy.

Step 4: Mix It Up

Beat the 2 eggs, vanilla and butter/sugar mixture into the bananas. If you are adding walnuts, now is a good time to do so.

Step 5: Flour Is Your Friend

Finally, add the flour, baking soda, and salt, and mix until it is totally incorporated. Once you are satisfied, pour the mixture into your cooking pan of choice. With this batch, I made muffins, but a loaf or cake pan is also acceptable. 

Step 6: Coat It...

To make the topping, blend the olive oil, brown sugar, and cinnamon until it is very crumbly. Then, sprinkle it over top of the batter. It's OK to make extra and really put it on thick. Typically, butter is used to make a streusel, but there is already a stick in the batter, and I'm trying to reduce my intake. If you would rather go that route, use a one to two tablespoons of butter instead of the oil.

Step 7: And Cook It

In case you forgot to do so earlier, preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. When it is ready, bake the batter appropriately for your cooking pan. For muffins, 18 to 20 minutes should be good. Be sure to test them with a clean knife or toothpick to make sure they are done. When you are satisfied, let them cool on a rack for 15 minutes, or until they can be safely touched. 

I think you can figure out what to do after that...