Maria is Rach’s big sister and the baker in the family. Try her muffins, which make an elegant breakfast or brunch selection.
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup butter softened, unsalted
- 1 large egg
- 3 medium ripe bananas, mashed
- 1/4 cup buttermilk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 1/4 cup all-purpose unbleached flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup shelled walnuts
Pre-heat the oven to 350°F.
Move the oven racks to the low position so that when the muffins bake, the tops are in the middle of the oven. Line a muffin tin with paper cup liners or grease with butter, even if you’re using a nonstick muffin tin.
Maria’s tip: “A quick easy cheat for buttermilk is to add 1 teaspoon white vinegar to 1/4 cup whole milk, stir, let sit for one minute, and voilà… buttermilk!”
In a large mixing bowl using an electric hand mixer on low or a whisk and a strong arm, mix together the butter and sugar. Add the egg and mix until well blended. Add the bananas, buttermilk and vanilla and mix until thoroughly incorporated.
Stir in the flour, baking soda and salt by hand and just until combined – over mixing at this point will yield dry and tough muffins.
Mince the walnuts to a very fine, almost dust-like consistency. This can be done by placing them into a blender and pulsing until they are crumbs. Add the walnuts to the batter and stir just until moistened and combined.
Fill the muffin cups 3/4 of the way. Bake for 15 minutes, or until the top of a muffin springs back when touched.
Remove the muffins from the tins immediately when done (or they will continue to cook) and allow them to cool on a wire rack.
Note: If you like raisins or dates in your banana muffins, you can throw a palmful (about 1/2 cup) into the batter before you fill the cups.