January 16, 2013

Chunky Banana Bran Muffins


My mom always has a batch of muffins ready to go at a moment's notice. Since I have been home on maternity leave, I have had people come over for lunch often and it's always nice to have something homemade for lunch. Since my meal planning resolution was exclusively for dinners however, sometimes lunch ingredients don't always make it into the mix so I'm going to try my mom's trick: freezing muffins.

I made this recipe for Tim and I, but it made a dozen muffins which we can't eat fast enough so I took half of them, and froze them. Now if I have some unexpected visitors, I can easily pull some out of the freezer and it looks like I just made them! Brilliant.

These muffins, from The Barefoot Contessa, were moist and delicious but what I love is that you could probably have a lot of fun with the add-ins, too. Next time, I'm going to add blueberries to the mix instead of raisins for an added punch of antioxidants, colour and flavour. What add-ins would you try?

Chunky Banana Bran Muffins
Makes 12 muffins

Ingredients

  • 1 cup unprocessed wheat bran
  • 1 cup buttermilk, shaken
  • 1/8 pound (1/4 stick) butter, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 1 tsp grated orange zest
  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1 cup large diced bananas (about 1 large banana)
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts


Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line muffin tins with paper liners.
  • Combine the bran and buttermilk in a bowl and set aside
  • Cream the butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment on a high speed for about five minutes, until light and fluffy
  • With the mixer on low, add the eggs, one at a time
  • Scrape the bowl then add the molasses, orange zest and vanilla (the mixture will look curdled)
  • Add the bran-buttermilk mixture and combine
  • In another bowl, sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt together. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the flour mixture until just combined. Do not overmix.
  • Fold in the raisins, banana and walnuts with a rubber spatula
  • With a large spoon, fill the muffin cups full and bake for 25 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean. Cool in pans.
Recipe from The Barefoot Contessa at Home

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