Monday, June 18, 2012

June Secret Recipe Club...Featuring Cinnamon Banana Muffins

Hi, friends! I'm back home in San Antonio (and the summer temps) after a weeklong vacation in Portland and the surrounding area. We saw so many wonderful sites, had a great visit with my brother-in-law and sister-in-law, and sampled some of the area's best food and wine!! I'll be sharing a two-part blog series about my trip this Wednesday and Friday. But first? It's time for one of my favorite monthly blog events: Secret Recipe Club!! My assigned blog this month is The Pink Apron. What a fun full of amazing recipes to choose from. Kelly is my kind of gal! She lives in Chicago, one of my most favorite cities to visit...and she loves artisan cheese. I think she would be a great foodie friend to grab a margarita at Frontera Grill the next time we're in Chicago!!

With vacation looming on the horizon, I was looking for something quick and easy to make this month. I had two VERY ripe bananas in my kitchen, so her Cinnamon Banana Muffins immediately caught my eye!! Then, I came across some super-cute muffin liners with monkeys and bananas later that day. I took it as a I ran home and whipped up a batch of these yummy muffins to take to the office the next morning. They were simple to whip up, and my kitchen smelled wonderful while they baked. The only changes I made to the recipe were to add some Vietnamese cinnamon and some vanilla bean paste to the batter...and I used white chocolate chips and some chopped pecans instead of the suggested cinnamon chips. I looked in two stores and couldn't find the cinnamon chips, so I opted to use white chocolate instead. The nuts were a last-minute inspiration when I found them in my baking stash.

Cinnamon Banana Muffins
adapted from The Pink Apron

Step 1:  Preheat oven to 350. Line a muffin tin with 12 paper liners and set aside. Add the following ingredients to a mixing bowl:  1 1/2 cups mashed very ripe bananas (the more ripe, the better!), 3/4 cup sugar, 1/4 cup canola oil, 1/4 cup skim milk, 1 tsp. vanilla bean paste (or vanilla), and 1 large egg. Whisk well to combine. Set aside.

Step 2:  In a second bowl, combine the following ingredients: 1 1/2 cups cake flour, 1 1/2 tsp. baking soda, 1 tsp. Vietnamese cinnamon, and 1 tsp. salt. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add the reserved wet ingredients. Stir just to combine, then gently fold in 1 cup white chocolate chips and 1/2 cup pecans.

Step 3:  Add the batter to the muffin liners, filling each about 3/4 full. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Let the muffins cool for 15 minutes before placing on a serving platter and digging in!

These muffins are really good...the texture is dense and moist, and the intense banana flavor really shines through!! The pockets of melted white chocolate and crunchy nuts were really nice accents. I took these to work, and my co-workers gave them a big thumbs up. I really loved the whimsical papers...the bananas and monkeys let everyone know exactly what they were about to eat. I'm not monkeying around when I say I hope you'll give these muffins a try very soon! While you're at it, make sure to check out all the great Group C SRC offerings that are being shared today!!

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