Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Birdie and Banana


Today in P.E. class I somehow ended up in the last court. Not intentionally, it just happened to be where I went to practice serving with my partner, and then when the teacher created games, defined the boundaries, and the direction of rotation for winners/losers, the very last court was the one I was in. It's suffice to say, I never left the court because there wasn't any further to recede. And one of my friends once again tried to get me to try out for Badminton. She asks every year, and this time was the first time she'd asked that I'd actually touched a racket. I can serve, I just can't do anything else.

Well, as far as badminton is concerned. But today was only my second day, and there's definitely room for improvement. Just like these muffins. Unlike badminton though, I'm not a newbie at making muffins.

We had a bunch of bananas turning brown on the breakfast table. They weren't quite overripe yet, but I've been wanting to make muffins, so they were the perfect excuse. I didn't have enough bananas in the freezer for these muffins. I also noticed shredded coconut in the fridge a few weeks ago when I was cleaning it, so I searched through my binder for the coco nana muffin recipe I'd tried a few summers ago. My notes seemed positive, they just suggested some more coconut extract. Yet I didn't listen to my notes.

The muffins are texturally perfect. Unlike the last batch of apple-oat muffins I made that were gooey and slightly underbaked and chunky, these were smooth and spongy (in that good way) with a nice chewy-crisp exterior. Maybe it's just because I like my muffins chunky with strong flavors, but the understated banana flavor and hidden coconut undertones just didn't impress me. Maybe next time I will throw in chocolate chips or raisins like I did the first time (I actually split up the batter the first time I made it into plain, chocolate chip, and raisin and then didn't record which I liked best).

Coco Nana Muffins
makes 12 muffins
adapted from The Complete Muffin Cookbook by Gloria Ambrosia
I know these weren't absolutely amazing, but the texture was. I feel bad having made these so late in the day and planning on freezing them because I'm scared they aren't studded with fruit, nuts, or oats and will turn to rubber when I reheat them. But if you have dried fruit or chocolate around, I suggest tossing some in. Be careful not to overmix.

1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup whole-wheat pastry flour
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar (the original recipe called for 1/2 cup light brown sugar, but I only had 1/4 cup)
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup flaked coconut, divided

1 1/2 cups mashed bananas (about 3 large, I used 5 small)
1 1/4 cups milk
1 large egg
1 tablespoon orange zest
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon coconut extract

Preheat oven to 375F. Grease or line a muffin tin.

Sift the flours, granulated sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into a large bowl. Reserve 1 1/2 tablespoons coconut, stir in remainder.

In a medium bowl, whisk together mashed bananas and remaining ingredients.

Pour the bananas mixture into the dry ingredients. Stir just until mixed.

Fill each muffin cup almost to the top with batter. Top each muffin with a large pinch of reserved coconut. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes.

Let cool slightly in tin. Remove from tin before completely cool to prevent bottoms from getting soggy.


Patricia Scarpin said...

They look wonderful.

Anonymous said...

These look like delicious muffins!

Ryan D said...

Great blog I enjooyed reading