Thursday, April 7, 2011

Kona Inn Banana Muffins

We don’t buy bananas very often, we just don’t eat them. Instead they sit on the counter and turn black. Because of that I truly only buy them when I have an intention for them (see Grandma Lolly’s Banana Pudding, Not Yo Momma’s Banana Pudding, Banana Apple Bread, Meg’s Sweet Banana Bread or Chunky Monkey Pie) but every once in a while something comes over me and I buy them because well, the price is right (I should probably look into freezing them). This was one of those occasions when I had over ripe bananas about to go bad on the counter and I am not just going to let them waste oh no not when they can create something amazing.

Luckily, I have a bookshelf of cookbooks at my disposal so I sat down and searched through all there index’s and finally, after searching I came across this recipe.

How had I never heard of these before? Why isn’t everyone making them? I am at a loss. All I know is that this is the moistest banana bread I have ever tasted. I’ve made it twice, each time handing some out to friends and family and every person who has bitten into one has said how good it is.

Now a few changes I made to the recipe are that instead of shortening I used vegetable oil and I left out the walnuts because I am allergic to them but other than that I followed the recipe to the letter. You’ll notice that the ingredient list is fairly simple as in no cinnamon or even vanilla and although at first this kind of had me uncertain I am now convinced that they don’t need a thing.

Kona Inn Banana Muffins
recipe from The 150 Best American Recipes Cookbook

½ cups vegetable oil
1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
5 very ripe med. bananas
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
½ cup chopped walnuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Smear the cups of a muffin pan with shortening and sprinkle with a little flour and shake the pan to distribute. Turn the pan upside down over the wastebasket and shake out excess flour.

Peel the bananas, place them in a large bowl and beat them well with an electric mixer. The riper the bananas and the more you mash them, the tenderer your muffins will be. Don’t expect absolute smoothness, there will always be a few lumps. Set aside.

In a small bowl, combine flour, baking soda and salt. Add sugar, shortening, eggs and walnuts to the bananas and mix well. Add the dry ingredients to the banana mixture and stir just until the batter is thoroughly blended.

Fill muffin cups to about two-thirds full. If you’ve reserved some walnuts, dot the tops of the batter with them.

Place pan in the lower third of the oven. After 15 minutes, check the muffins for doneness. A toothpick should come out clean. If not, cook 5 minutes longer and check again. When toothpick comes out clean, remove the muffins from the oven and let cool in the pan for 5 minutes.

Run a knife along the edges of the muffins and transfer them to a platter serve warm.
These can be a cake. Butter two 9-inch round cake pans and divide the batter between them. Bake for about 25 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Cool cakes in the pan for 10 minutes. Dust completely cooled cakes with powdered sugar.

These ones look fairly puny but let me tell you that the first batch I made I only filled one muffin pan, 12 muffin cups, and that is how I will be making them in all future sessions. I thought that I should only fill them as much as the recipe called for but they don't really rise, probably because I used vegetable oil instead of shortening. Either way it’s a win-win, smaller ones equal more of them and larger ones means more in one serving.

Once again, amazing!

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