|Banana Muffins with Almond Paste Bits and Chocolate Chips (makes nine muffins)|
1 large very ripe banana, mashed (or two small ones, about 7oz/200g/heaping 1/2 cup mashed)
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/2 tbsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp almond extract, optional
1/4 to 1/3 cup almond milk
1/2 cup turbinado sugar
1 1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 tbsp baking powder
1/3 tsp salt
3oz/85g almond paste, cut into small pieces (about 1/2 inch each)
1/4 cup chocolate chips, optional
turbinado or brown sugar for sprinkling, optional
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line a muffin pan with nine paper liners and spray each one with cooking spray.
2. In a small sized mixing bowl, whisk together the mashed banana, oil, vanilla extract, almond extract, milk, and sugar. Depending on the brand of flour that I use, sometimes I need 1/4 cup of milk, and sometimes I need 1/3. You might want to start with 1/4 and add more later if needed.
3. In a medium sized mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Scatter the almond paste bits around the flour mix, throw in the chocolate chips and and mix well.
4. Pour the liquid ingredients on top of the dry ingredients and gently fold until all ingredients are just incorporated. Spoon the fairly thick batter into the prepared muffin pan, filling each three-quarter full. The batter should be quite thick, but if you find that it is crumbly and it's not coming together, add a tablespoon or two of milk until it's workable.
5. Sprinkle a little bit of sugar all over the muffin tops if you want. If you want to decorate the tops with a few extra chocolate chips, this would be the time to do it.
6. Bake for 22 to 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of a muffin comes out clean. Remember that there are gooey almond paste bits in there that might trick you into thinking the muffins aren't done yet! Poke the muffins in a couple of different places if the toothpick doesn't come out clean after 22 minutes, just in case.
* You can use the crunchy nutty topping from the Apple-Cinnamon Muffins recipe instead of sprinkling sugar on top. You can leave out the cinnamon if you don't like cinnamon in your banana bread.
These are so good with a cup of coffee or Roastaroma! I make my own almond paste with turbinado sugar using Celine's recipe (blogged here). Should we look inside so we can appreciate the gooey goodness?
I am submitting this recipe to Ricki's Wellness Weekends. Be sure to check out Ricki's blog, Diet, Dessert and Dogs, for lots of wholesome Wellness Weekends entries!
Random duck photo: Curly loves grooming his floofy feathers.