My husband loves bananas. But for the past few months, I've brought them home green (because he likes them way before the first appearance of a brown spot) and they have hung on our lovely banana holder until they are almost covered in brown spots. As a result, I have about 8 bananas in the freezer right now. This morning I had SEVEN dark brown bananas, and refused to put all of them in the freezer.
So I went off in search of a recipe that could use the most bananas at one time. My google reader had a number of offerings, but they only used 2 bananas, as most, and I wouldn't have enough of the other ingredients to double the recipe. I came across a recipe from Giada for Banana Muffins that used 4 bananas for 18 muffins, and decided to run with it. I knew I wanted to add a few things, switch a few things, and subtract a few things... so off I went. Then came a stroke of genius... as I went to the pantry to grab the peanut butter, I saw....
the jar of nutella! Screw the mini chocolate chips that I had in mind - these muffins were getting a heart of nutella! With this addition, I think these muffins really push that fine line between a muffin and a cupcake. Maybe they are mupcakes?
As I got going, I also realized these would be perfect for April's Tasty Tools Event, which highlights scoops of all kinds. I used a mini ice cream scoop (no idea what the technical term is) to deliver two heaping scoops of batter per muffin, surrounding a heart of nutella. These come together so easily, which is an added bonus!
These were sooooo delicious, but a teensy bit drier than I'd like. That probably has to do with the extra 1/2 cup of dry ingredients I added. Below I have tweaked the recipe to use less flour so it won't be quite as dry. But seriously - YUM - what a nice treat!
Peanut Butter and Banana Nutella Muffins
Yield: 23.5 muffins (had I not been lazy, I'd have picked a bit from the others to make it a whole 24)
~1.5 cups all-purpose flour
~1 cup whole wheat flour
~1 teaspoon baking soda
~1 teaspoon salt
~1/2 teaspoon baking powder
~1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
~1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
~1/4 cup wheat germ
~1/4 cup ground flax seed
~3/4 cup sugar
~1/2 cup sour cream
~1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
~1/2 cup chunky peanut butter
~3 large eggs
~1 tablespoon vanilla extract
~4 ripe bananas, peeled and coarsely mashed
~Nutella, about 6 Tbsp, enough for 3/4 tsp per muffin
1. Line 18 muffin cups with paper liners, or spray with baking spray such as Baker's Joy. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
2. Whisk the flour, baking soda, salt, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, wheat germ and ground flax seed in a medium bowl to blend. Beat the sugar, applesauce, sour cream, eggs, vanilla, and peanut butter in a large bowl to blend. Stir in the banana. Add the dry ingredients and stir just until blended.
3. Fill the bottom of each muffin cup with one heaping scoop of batter and spread with the back of the scoop to cover the bottom. Drop about 3/4 tsp of nutella onto the center of each cup. Follow with another heaping scoop of batter, making sure to surround the heart of nutella with batter. Bake the muffins on the middle rack until the tops are golden brown and a tester inserted into the center comes out with no crumbs attached (but maybe a little streak of nutella!), about 20-25 minutes. Transfer the muffins to a rack and cool slightly. The muffins are great warm, but if they are saved for later, a few seconds in the microwave should bring back the the warm gooey heart.
Nutritional Information (...ready?): Calories - 176; Total Fat - 6.1 g; Sat. Fat - 1.7 g; Cholesterol - 30 mg; Sodium - 158 mg; Carbohydrates -27g; Fiber - 2g; Sugar - 10 g; Protein - 4.6 g.
First... a layer of batter
Second... a heart of nutella
Then... a second layer of batter
Fresh out of the oven, with nicely risen tops