Recipe for Costa Rican Banana Muffins – with optional nuts and chocolate chips. Easily adapted to be dairy free.

Ingredients
Baking spray
4-1/2 very ripe bananas, peeled
4 Tbsp margarine
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 cup + 1 Tbsp all-purpose unbleached flour, divided
2 Tbsp baking powder
1-1/2 tsp ground cloves
1-1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1 large egg
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup half-and-half (not fat-free) – this is half milk, half cream
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup chocolate chips (optional)

How to
Preheat oven to 180C. Spray two muffin pans with baking spray, or line with paper muffin cups, and set aside.

In the work bowl of a KitchenAid type stand mixer, add the bananas (mash them a bit in your hands), margarine and sugar. Mix on low speed until well incorporated into an almost-smooth puree.

While the bananas are mixing, in a separate bowl sift together 1 cup of flour, baking powder, cloves, nutmeg and salt. Set aside.

When the banana mixture is smooth, turn the mixer to medium speed. Add the egg, and beat for 2 minutes. Add the vanilla. Reduce the speed to low, and alternately add the half-and-half and flour mixture, a bit at a time, until well incorporated and a bit fluffy, 1 minute. Turn the mixer off, and remove the work bowl.

In the bowl that held the flour, toss the nuts (and optional chocolate chips) with a tablespoon of flour, and fold into the cake batter. Use an ice cream scoop with a release (called a disher), or a soup spoon, to transfer the batter into the prepared muffin tins.

Bake at 180C for 25-27 minutes (the longer time is for the chocolate chip muffins). Remove from the oven, and set the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Then, turn the muffins out onto the rack, and allow to cool.

Recipe provided by The Perfect Pantry.
All text and photographs copyright Lydia Walshin 2006-2010 – licensed under Creative Commons.

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