RECIPE. Apr 12, 2010

Banana Espresso Crunch Muffins

I do a lot of praying when I bake. Not the kind of praying to God, asking for world peace or someone to live. No this praying is usually to the domestic goddess in the sky. The one whose temperament is more variable than the weather on a spring day in the pacific northwest. The one who determines whether your oven is going to be just five degrees hotter today, thus burning your muffins which typically come out moist and perfect. The one who allows the yeast to activate and your dough to rise, along with your hopes or fall flat like a bad joke. She’s powerful, easily irritated and willing to take bribes. So one particular morning, when I decided to combine two of my favorite banana recipes in the hopes of creating the mother of all banana muffin recipes, I closed my eyes and prayed. I told the domestic goddess that I thought her shoes were fabulous and her dress impeccable. I might have made a reference to Audrey Hepburn and Martha Stewart, but that’s between me and her.

Whatever I said right that day, it worked. These muffins are a staple from now on. If I ever open my own bakery, someday, this will be featured. I must give credit to the Barefoot Contessa and my ongoing favorite cookbook, Baked. This woman and these two men combined powers in my little brain to create the masterpiece banana muffin. Sweet, moist and bordering on a cupcake with a little kick of espresso to get you going.

I hope to continue tweaking to decrease the sugar and butter to increase the healthiness of the recipe without decreasing the moist, deep, dense, sweet flavors. If you improve it, let me know. Or maybe you shouldn’t…it could be the end of me.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease muffin tins.

In large bowl, mix together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and espresso powder.
Add the melted butter and blend. In small bowl, combine eggs, milk, vanilla and mashed bananas and add to flour-butter mixture once blended. Mix until flour is moist, be careful not to overmix.

Fold in diced bananas, walnuts, granola and coconut. I use 1/4 measuring cup to spoon batter into muffin tins. Top each muffin with granola or coconut, if desired. Bake for 25 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the center.

Cool slightly and remove from pan.