If fruit played the royalty game, banana would be king. Can you even name something that doesn't become infinitely better by its smooth, sweet, creamy presence? Healthy smoothies seem dessert-like, quickbreads become a tropical departure, and a banana caramel swirl gelato sweeps me off my feet every time. For all these reasons and more, a banana muffin staple recipe is a must. The flavor is subtle but the moist crumb is undeniable. The long shelf life from freshly picked to sweetly ripened, the easy peeling and ready to be devoured, the exotic aroma. My only hiccup in this fruit infatuation is that bananas are rarely domestic, so no luck scooping some up at your local farmer's market. Buy organic and fair trade when possible for ultimate pleasure and goody two shoe satisfaction.
BROWN BUTTER BANANA MUFFINS
- 5 ripe bananas
- 1/3 cup organic local honey
- 1 stick unsalted butter
- 1 large egg
- 1 3/4 cups self-rising flour
- 1/3 cup buttermilk
- 1 tsp vanilla extract, optional
- Preheat the oven to 375F. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper muffin liners.
- Peel the bananas and add to a large bowl. Add the honey and mash the bananas with a fork until very liquefied but still a little lumpy.
- Melt the butter in a small saucepan or skillet over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the milk solids have turned a nutty golden brown.
- To the brown butter, add about 1 cup of the mashed banana mixture and whisk to combine. Cook for a few more minutes until a darker golden color is achieved. Add to the remaining mashed banana mixture and whisk to combine, then whisk in the egg and milk. Fold in the flour, in 2 batches, with a rubber spatula, until just combined; do not over mix. Evenly divide the batter among the muffin tin cups.
- Bake in the center of the oven until golden brown and the tops spring back when pressed, about 25 minutes. Cool for 5 minutes in the pan, then transfer the muffins to a rack to cool completely. Serve warm or at room temperature.