Banana Nut Muffins

Banana Nut Muffins
Last weekend’s trip to the garden center for all the necessities to start planting was a reminder that soon we will be enjoying the bounty of growing season 2013. Wondering what I had left from growing season 2012, I began rummaging through the freezer. Among the remaining bags of fruit and veg were more overripe bananas. I thought I had gone through them by making a banana cake, but a lone bunch was hiding out.

I decided to bake a classic, banana nut muffins, but I wanted to change up the usual pecans or walnuts. Instead I used macadamia nuts, which I don’t eat that often. Sold in tiny jars, they are a bit pricey and not a nut I typically have in my pantry. With the bananas and macadamia nuts, the muffins took on a tropical vibe minus the beach and palm trees, but they did transport me with their lightness and sweet toasted flavor.

Banana Nut Muffins
Banana Macadamia Nut Muffins
Adapted from Bon Appetit June 1991

Makes 12 muffins

1 cup unsalted macadamia nuts
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1-1/4 cups mashed ripe bananas (about 3 large bananas)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup dark brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup butter, melted (1 stick)
1/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease or line a 12-cup muffin pan.

Toast the macadamia nuts on a foil-lined sheet pan for 5 minutes in the oven. Roughly chop the nuts once they have cooled.

In a medium bowl combine the flour, baking soda, salt and nutmeg.

In a large bowl whisk together the bananas, granulated sugar, brown sugar, butter, milk, vanilla extract and egg.  Fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients in two additions. Gently stir in half the macadamia nuts.

Transfer the batter to the prepared muffin pan. Sprinkle the tops with the remaining nuts. Bake for 25 minutes until golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool the muffins on a rack.