Rainy Day Baking
It has been raining for days. Seriously. Days. There is a part of me that’s sick of it (the part of me that also wonders why I don’t own rain boots or a rain coat!), but then there’s a bigger, moodier part of me that loves the excuse to stay in. I do my best reading, writing, and baking on rainy days. So this morning I woke to more rain, and as a result, my thoughts quickly turned to baking. I thought about chocolate chip cookies (which I still might make), and I had planned on making this amazing flourless chocolate cloud cake but anyone who knows anything about egg whites knows not to mess with them on rainy days… So what to bake?
I had a few neglected bananas because, out of some deeply ingrained habit, I always grab a bunch of them when I go to the grocery store, even though I really don’t love them. I am aware of their health benefits, and they are certainly a convenient breakfast or snack on the go, but I’m just not wild about them. I inherited this from my grandma, I know. Yet, I still buy them and they sit in the fruit bowl until I peel them and freeze them for smoothies, or I bake something with them.
There are, however, two ways bananas become desirable to me… irresistible even. #1. Bananas Foster and #2. Banana bread or muffins. A little early for bananas foster, and knowing that my bananas were a tad soft for that application, I settled on mini muffins. ‘Cause they’re way cuter than regular muffins. I realize banana bread/muffin recipes are abundant, but mine is a little different. The main difference is in the spice. So many recipes call for just cinnamon, and lots of it. I love cinnamon, and still use it, but I think nutmeg and ginger are just so much better with the sweetness of bananas, and too much cinnamon can overpower the recipe. The spice combination does something magical, and it smells so, so good while they bake. I also cut the sugar a bit, since the bananas are so sweet on their own. Here’s how I make them:
Mini Spiced Banana Muffins:
- 3 very ripe bananas, mashed
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup plain yogurt or buttermilk
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 2 eggs
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups AP flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line 24 mini muffin tins with paper liners, or spray with non stick spray.
Combine flour, spices, baking soda, and salt in a bowl and stir to combine.
In a separate bowl or mixer, beat eggs, oil, and sugar until thoroughly combined. Add in mashed bananas, yogurt, and vanilla and mix.
Slowly add dry ingredients to wet, don’t over mix-it’s ok to still have a few lumps.
Fill mini muffin tins almost to the top, I use a small ice cream scoop which is about 2 tablespoons, and bake for 18-20 minutes until a toothpick comes out mostly clean, with a few moist crumbs, or when you press the tops they spring back. These will be very moist muffins, don’t over bake. Enjoy! May I suggest straight from the oven, with butter? Yum…