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May 8, 2012

Costa Rican banana nut muffins recipe (with or without chocolate chips)

Costa-rican-banana-nut-muffins

Cousin Martin, in his frequent travels to Costa Rica, always seeks out locally-produced cookbooks for me. I adapted these muffins from a banana cake recipe in one of his recent finds, The Best Recipes: Costa Rica, published by Ediciones Jadine S.A. in San José. When I made the cake according to the original recipe, I wasn't thrilled with the texture, though the flavor was nicely spiced and not too sweet. After a tweak here and there, and the last-minute addition of a handful of chocolate chips to half of the batter, I'm happy to recommend these muffins to you. The flavor of banana takes center stage, and you'll love the subtle notes of clove and vanilla, too. Eliminate the nuts if they're not your thing, or add more chocolate chips. Serve these muffins with afternoon tea or morning coffee, or sneak one into your child's lunch box.

Costa-rican-banana-nut-muffins-chocolate-chips

Costa Rican banana nut muffins, with or without chocolate chips

From the pantry, you'll need: granulated sugar, eggs, all-purpose unbleached flour, baking powder, ground cloves, ground nutmeg, kosher salt, pure vanilla extract, walnuts, baking spray.

Adapted from a recipe for banana cake in The Best Recipes: Costa Rica. Makes 18 muffins.

Ingredients

Baking spray
4-1/2 very ripe bananas, peeled
4 Tbsp margarine (I used Smart Balance)
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)
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup chocolate chips (optional)

Directions

Preheat oven to 350°F. 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 purée.

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 350F 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.

[Printer-friendly recipe.]


More recipes in The Perfect Pantry:
Pumpkin-pecan mini muffins
Peach vanilla muffins
Pear spice cupcakes
Granola muffins
Raisin-banana scones

Other recipes that use these pantry ingredients:
Banana and chocolate chip upside down cake, from David Lebovitz
Cherry banana muffins with white chocolate chips, from Pinch My Salt
Peanutty chocolate chip banana bread, from Taste and Tell
Nutella-filled banana muffins, from Bake at 350
Whole wheat banana nut muffins, from Baking Bites

Comments

Ohhh another great use for those quickly-ripening bananas!
How did you make the "square" muffins - I love them!

Carol, I have a muffin tin that makes square muffins! In these photos, the square ones are the ones without chocolate chips, so it's easy for me to tell them apart.

Hi! Foodgawker brought me to your blog and I absolutely must ask you to dig through your supply of Costa Rican cookbooks for me! I had an amazing heart of palm salad while I was there. There's a picture of it in this blog post. http://www.midwestredhead.com/2011/07/day-1-finca-corsicana-pineapple-tour.html It's in the bowl on the right of my seafood plate. I've asked my bf's family, other people with CR ties, and no one can tell me how to make it. It's creamy, served cold, and that's really all I can tell you. :) Any ideas? I'd be forever grateful for your help!!

How exciting to get cookbooks from other areas of the world. This recipe looks great and I love the square ones :-)

Kim, I'll look into it and email to you if I find anything. Isn't it fun to travel and discover new dishes?

CJ, wherever I go, I buy locally published cookbooks, and I'm so grateful to my cousin for bringing cookbooks from his travels, too. The square muffins were made in a square muffin pan I recently bought at a discount store.

How interesting to get formula books from other places around the globe. This formula looks great and I really like the rectangle ones.

Hi, for the recipe, can I put less cloves and nutmeg? The flavor is really strong and I have to bring it to school, so I;m wondering if it'll taste fine with less clove and nutmeg.

Ann, of course. Just alter to your own taste.

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About The Perfect Pantry®

  • My name is Lydia Walshin. From my log house kitchen in rural northwest Rhode Island, I share recipes that use what we keep in our pantries, the usual and not-so-usual ingredients that spice up our lives.

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