Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Banana Muffins with Almond Paste Bits and Chocolate Chips

Last week I shared a recipe for "Apple Trinity" Apple-Cinnamon Muffins, and now it's time for some tasty banana muffins. I actually prefer these without chocolate chips (I just heard a collective *GASP* coming from a few of you), but I threw a handful in there so the muffins didn't look too boring in the pictures. The star of this recipe isn't the chocolate or even the banana, but the sweet and delicious almond paste bits. If you don't have any almond paste, don't even bother making these muffins because it would be like making chocolate chip cookies without chocolate chips. Sure, it's still a cookie, but it's missing the main attraction!

Banana Muffins with Almond Paste Bits and Chocolate Chips

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.


Notes:

* 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.


Banana Muffins with Almond Paste Bits and Chocolate Chips

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?

Banana Muffins with Almond Paste Bits and Chocolate Chips

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!

Cute Curly
Random duck photo: Curly loves grooming his floofy feathers.

14 comments :

  1. These sound freaking amazing, I love chunks of marzipan in stuff. I am totally stealing that idea!!

    Curly is so effin cute.

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    1. Steal away! I could put almond paste/marzipan (I still don't really know the difference) in absolutely everything!

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  2. I might have to make some almond paste just for this recipe. I won't bother with the chocolate chips though...the almond paste is the lure for me! ;)

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    1. Good call! The chips are there mainly for show. Is almond paste very expensive in Australia? My grocery store wants me to pay about seven dollars for one tube, while I can make it myself for about two bucks!

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  3. I'm impressed by how high your muffins rise, and how enticing they look. I don't have any almond paste but now I feel I must make some. As soon as I find out how.

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    1. I love a muffin with a huge dome shaped top! I find that if I make the batter too dry they don't rise much, but if I add too much liquid then they just spread out to the sides. Homemade almond paste is the way to go! If it wasn't so expensive to buy, I wouldn't even bother making my own, but the savings are a good incentive :)

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  4. Those muffins are amazing:) Off to make some now.

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  5. I dont' often use, or even think about almond paste, but those little bits studded through the muffins must be a wonderful little surprise! Plus, who can deny the goodness of fresh baked banana muffins.

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    1. They are a wonderful little surprise! I think I will need to make some Fastelavnsboller again (almond paste filled yeast buns) soon, because one can never have to many almond paste treats! :)

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  6. Hi there. Food on Friday: Muffins and Cupcakes is open for entries. This looks like a neat one! I do hope you link it in. This is the link . Please check out some of the great links there are already. Cheers

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  7. I was doubling the recipe, but accidentally put in 1/2 the sugar. They still taste wonderful and not rubbery.

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    1. Awesome! I might try them with less sugar now that I know they still work. Thank you for letting me know! (Sorry for the delayed reply, I'm still catching up on comments and emails that accumulated while we were traveling)

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