AWESOME Banana Muffins

A trip to Sam’s Club always means purchasing my favorite “no-hard-crust” French bread (I love it for garlic bread, Philly steak sandwiches and even BBQ beef sandwiches, etc).  But I’d always stop by for some minutes to enjoy looking (also touching, yes) at clear packages of huge muffin quickbreads — they’re soo good, soft and moist but just not at all “figure-friendly” so I’d contend with my french bread purchase, smile and walk away.

These bakery-style huge muffins, of course, couldn’t really be duplicated at home.   Special ingredients, leaveners, improvers/conditioners are usually added, and heavy-duty bakery equipments used make all the difference.   This didn’t stop me though from playing/working with banana cake/bread recipes I found online.  With trial and error and a bit of luck, I came up with this banana muffins formulation that I really considered AWESOME and I’m sharing the recipe with all my wonderful readers.

Always use (never throw them away) overripe bananas with plenty of black specks (and I even took a snapshot of these bananas I used for this recipe.

5 over-ripe bananas, peeled and mashed with fork
1/2 cup (1 stick) margarine
1 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup vegetable oil
3 tablespoons rum (I used Brugal anejo rum)
1/2 cup sour cream
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

Preheat oven to 350 F.  Insert paper liners into 14 – 16  Texan muffin pan holes.

In a large mixing bowl, beat together margarine and sugars with electric mixer.  Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition.  Blend in mashed bananas, vanilla, oil, rum and sour cream.

Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in medium bowl.  Add to banana mixture; mix well.  Stir in shredded coconut.

Fill each prepared muffin cup with about 1/2 cup of the batter.  Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until a wooden skewer inserted into the center of the muffins comes out clean.  Allow muffins to cool for 10 minutes in the pan .  Remove from pans and cool completely on wire racks.

All my “never say never” cake tasters give this recipe a double thumbs-up!  Enjoy!


BOB RECIPE: Garden Vegetable Dip

from:  Crystal Farms
Product: Cream Cheese

BOB RECIPE: Garden Vegetable Dip

Preparation time: 15 minutes
Chilling time: 1 hour

1 (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
1 cup sour cream
1/4 cup finely chopped red bell pepper
1/4 cup finely chopped green bell pepper
1/4 cup finely chopped carrots
1/4 cup finely chopped cauliflower
1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 teaspoons dried tarragon leaves
3/4 teaspoon garlic salt
Crackers, cut-up fresh vegetables and/or chips

In medium bowl, combine cream cheese and sour cream; blend well.  Stir in remaining ingredients except crackers, cut-up fresh vegetables and chips; blend well.  Cover, refrigerate at least 1 hour.  Serve with crackers, vegetables, and chips.

(Twinkorette) Peach Crumb Cake

A new (just landed in my inbox) fresh peaches cake to enjoy baking this weekend!  And a delicious way to use sour cream (I just bought a huge tub of sour cream from Sam’s Club ).

A golden crumb cake that tastes like cream-filled ladyfingers mingled with juicy peaches.

1 cup sour cream
1 tsp baking soda
2¼ cups flour
1 cup sugar
¾ cup butter, softened
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp kosher salt
2½ cups canned sliced peaches, drained well

1) Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat an 8-inch square baking pan with non-stick cooking spray.

2) In a 2-cup measuring cup, combine sour cream and baking soda. Set aside.

3) In a food processor, combine flour, sugar and butter. Pulse on and off until blended and crumbly, 10-15 seconds. Remove and set aside 1 cup of the flour mixture for the cake topping.

4) Add the eggs, vanilla, baking powder, salt and sour cream to the remaining mixture in the food processor. Pulse 4 times on and off, scraping down the bowl once or twice. Do not overmix.

5) Spread half of the batter in the prepared baking pan. Place sliced peaches atop and cover with remaining batter. Sprinkle reserved crumbs to cover the top of the cake.

6) Bake 48-50 minutes or until the cake is lightly browned around the edges. Note that testing the center of the cake with a toothpick won’t give an accurate result as the peaches are wet and the toothpick will come out wet even when the cake is fully baked.

BITE ME: A Stomach-Satisfying, Visually Gratifying, Fresh-Mouthed Cookbook
by Julie Albert and Lisa Gnat   Kyle Books; November 2010; Softcover/$24.95