One Saturday morning, a fresh batch of banana muffins came out of the oven. The aroma wafted up, up, up, into the apartment above. And down, down, down came a mysterious thumping on the staircase. I grabbed my handy grandma-cam, and managed to snap a few photos of the mystery intruder. Aha: The Case of the Missing Sugar Crusty Banana Muffin Bite solved! That's probably all the endorsement you need for these irresistible muffins, except that they're super-easy to make if you have a ready-for-the-compost couple of bananas sitting on the countertop. Sugar on top makes them crusty; if you'd like to cut back on the sugar, add the cinnamon to the batter and eliminate the final topping. Cinnamon and banana, plus good-quality pure vanilla extract, gives these muffins a bit of Caribbean flavor to start your day. The dozen muffins I baked for breakfast disappeared in minutes.
Quick and easy sugar crusty banana muffins
From the pantry, you'll need: all-purpose unbleached flour, baking powder, kosher salt, butter, granulated sugar, eggs, pure vanilla extract, ground cinnamon.
Recipe very slightly adapted from Caribbean Cooking; makes 12 muffins.
2 cups all-purpose unbleached flour
2-1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
1 cup + 1 Tbsp granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp pure vanilla extract (this is my favorite; I buy it online)
2 mashed very ripe bananas
1/4 cup half-and-half
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
Preheat oven to 375°F. Either butter a 12-muffin tin, or line with muffin papers (that's my method), and set aside.
In a mixing bowl, stir together flour, baking powder and salt.
In the bowl of a KitchenAid type mixer, on medium speed, cream together the butter and 1 cup of the sugar, until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, and then add the vanilla. Beat until the mixture turns light yellow.
Mash the bananas in a small bowl, and stir in the half-and-half.
With the mixer on low speed, stir the flour and the banana, alternating some of each, into the egg and butter mixture. Do not overbeat; stir just until everything is combined, and stop.
Use an ice cream scoop with a release (a disher) to fill the muffin cups evenly.
In a small bowl, stir together the remaining tablespoon of sugar and the cinnamon. Sprinkle the mixture over the muffins.
Bake for 30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of one of the muffins comes out clean. Remove from the oven and set the pan on a wire rack for 5 minutes; then lift the muffins out of the pan, and set them directly on the wire rack to cool until you're ready to eat.
Serve warm or at room temperature.
More muffins that would be great for breakfast:
Pumpkin-pecan mini muffins, from The Perfect Pantry
Cinnamon buttermilk muffins, from The Perfect Pantry
Granola muffins, from The Perfect Pantry
Turmeric breakfast muffins, from Green Kitchen Stories
Whole grain morning glory muffins, from The Kitchn
Orange berry muffins, from Brown Eyed Baker
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