Wednesday, 23 December 2009

The 21st Century Housewife's© Banana Coconut and Pecan Muffins


It's always tricky deciding what to eat for breakfast on Christmas morning. The kids are usually awake early and you fancy something to eat, but you don't want to spoil your (or their!) appetite for the big event later on. These muffins are positively decadent, but light enough not to fill you up too much, and you can still pretend they are a little bit good for you because of the whole wheat flour and the bananas! The ginger makes them lovely and seasonally spicy, just right Christmas morning.

My recipe makes a big batch of 24 large muffins, but that is no problem as I find they disappear very quickly, and anyway they freeze very easily once cooled. If you really don’t want 24 muffins, pour half the mixture into a loaf tin and make a loaf cake and just 12 muffins. You just have to remember to bake the loaf cake for longer - about 50 to 60 minutes instead of the 20 to 25 minutes the muffins take. Allow the loaf to cool completely before slicing.

Despite my Christmas theme, the muffins are delicious all year round!

2 cups all purpose flour
2 cups whole wheat flour
2 tablespoons baking powder
2 to 3 teaspoons ginger
1 cup pecans chopped
1 cup desiccated or flaked coconut
3 medium ripe bananas, mashed
3/4 cup white sugar
3/4 cup light brown sugar
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2/3 cup oil
(sunflower or mild olive oil works well, but not extra virgin olive oil)
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups buttermilk

Measure the flours, baking powder, ginger, pecans and coconut into a large bowl and stir to mix.

Place the mashed bananas in a medium bowl and add the sugars, eggs, oil, vanilla and buttermilk. Mix thoroughly.

Add the banana and sugar mixture to the flour mixture and stir thoroughly until well blended, but don’t beat. Divide the mixture between 24 large lined (or greased and floured) muffin cups. (I use an ice cream scoop with a release trigger to do this.)

Bake at about 350℉ or 170℃ for 20 to 25 minutes or until a piece of dry spaghetti inserted into the middle of a muffin comes out clean (ie. with no batter clinging to it). Keep an eye on these in the last five minutes or so of cooking or they will over-brown.

Take the muffin pans out of the oven. Remove the muffins from the pan and cool on wire racks. I feel obliged to mention here that these are delicious warm from the oven with a nice hot cup of tea!

Once cooled, store in a sealed container in the refrigerator if possible. (Bring to room temperature or warm in the microwave before eating.) To freeze, wait until completely cool and then seal in freezer bags or containers before freezing. Thaw overnight in the fridge. These taste nice warmed in the microwave for a few seconds before eating.