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Orange Banana Mini Muffins

April 23, 2009
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I am a big fan of idiot-proof baking and cooking, since I have proved on more than one occasion that I am sometimes an idiot.  (Want evidence?  I made Pioneer Woman’s cinnamon rolls for Easter, and on my first attempt, instead of scalding the milk I boiled it right out of the pot, onto the burner, and into flames.  Yes.  Flames on my stovetop.  Told you so.  Also, in the past I have: (a) boiled the bottom out of a metal pot; (b) destroyed a food processor and almost lost an eye by using  the handle of a really big knife to shove potatoes onto the whirling blade; and (c) actually slipped on a banana peel.  That last one wasn’t in the kitchen, though.)

These muffins are, in fact, idiot-proof.  Baking is supposedly an exact science, in which you must measure everything precisely.  Yeah, right.  This recipe calls for 1 1/2 cups of ripe banana (about 3 whole bananas), but I’ve never – no, never – actually measured how much banana I’m using.  I just throw three bananas into the mess and hope for the best.  Frequently, they’re not even very ripe.   I also never measure how much orange zest I use, and I ALWAYS throw in at least an extra tablespoon of orange juice.  What?  I like oranges.

Honestly, I think the only thing you could do to ruin these muffins is to burn them.  That, or add nuts – I think nuts in muffins (or bread, or cookies, or ice cream) was possibly Hitler’s idea, and I’m not buying it.

Anyway.  Make these.

Orange Banana Mini Muffins (adapted from Cooking Light, September 2003)

My stepmom and I saw this issue of Cooking Light at the grocery store years ago, and almost died of excitement – it advertised “The Best Banana Breads Ever,” and featured a whole array of different takes on banana bread.  This one was our favorite.

The original recipe, for a single loaf of banana bread, called for 3 tablespoons of orange juice.  I added two extra for these mini-muffins, since muffins are more likely to dry out than loaf bread.  On that same note, try to take them out of the oven as soon as they’re done – they’re better moist.  But they’re idiot-proof, really, so if they get a little dried out they’ll still be tasty.

2 cups all-purpose flour

3/4 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1 cup sugar

1/4 cup butter, softened

2 large eggs

1 1/2 cups mashed ripe banana (about 3 bananas)

1 1/2 Tbs grated orange rind (as mentioned above, I consider this a starting point)

5 Tbs fresh orange juice

Cooking spray

– Preheat oven to 350°

– Spray mini muffin pan with cooking spray, coating thoroughly.

– Stir together flour (make sure it’s not super compressed in the measuring cup), baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl.

– Beat sugar and butter together in a large bowl with a mixer at medium speed until they’re blended, which should take about a minute.  Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each one.  Add the banana, rind, and juice, and beat until blended.  Add the flour mixture, and beat at low speed or stir with a wooden spoon until just combined.

– Spoon the batter into mini muffin pans, filling cups about 2/3 full.  Alternatively, you can use a loaf pan (8 1/2 x 4 1/2) or, if your roommates have thrown away your loaf pans, a heart-shaped cake pan.  See?  I told you this recipe was idiot-proof.

– Bake at 350° for 12 minutes; if using loaf pan, bake at 350 for 1 hour and 5 minutes.  In both cases, they’re done when a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

– Cool for a few minutes in the pan, and cool completely on a wire rack.  Or, if you’re like me and you like your banana bread crust nice and sticky, cover muffins with plastic wrap while they’re still warm.

Makes 48 mini muffins

2 Comments leave one →
  1. April 23, 2009 3:43 pm

    I don’t even like banana, but these sound good!

    • The Little Woman permalink
      April 28, 2009 4:11 pm

      Excellent! 😀

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