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Brown Bananas

An Experiment in Baking
By Yours Truly

brown bananas

Three weeks ago, before I was knocked flat by the King of the Deadly Flu, I baked my first pie in my brand-new electric oven. I had a pile of brown bananas, which are particularly good for baking because they are so much sweeter than yellow bananas, so I decided to bake a banana cream pie. I’ll have you know that I bake the World’s Best Banana Cream Pie, I really do. So you can imagine my surprise when this pie turned out to be the World’s Worst Banana Cream Pie. It was … Awful. Really really awful. I’m not exactly sure what happened. I know I over-cooked the filling (stupid electric stove). And I forgot to poke holes in the crust before I baked it. But that doesn’t explain the clear gel that formed on the outside of the crust, or the fact that the bananas looked like chocolate and not bananas and no one, not even me, wants to eat bananas that are as brown as chocolate.

I briefly considered bringing the pie into the office for my co-workers to eat, but I would have had to lie about where it came from because I certainly wasn’t going to claim it as my own. I renamed it “Gummy Banana Cream Pie” and then I threw the whole thing in the garbage.

When I came upon yet another pile of brown bananas this weekend, (Mike buys them faster than we can eat them), I thought I’d try something a little different.

Brown Banana Muffins
Prep: 10 Minutes
Bake: 18 Minutes
Oven: 400*F
Makes: 12 Muffins
What You’ll Need:
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 beaten egg
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup cooking oil

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. While oven is heating, peel your brown bananas, then smush them together with a fork until you have a cup of smushed brown bananas. Try not to throw up when you realize that they resemble a cup of banana-scented mucous.

banana mush

Grease twelve 2 1/2-inch muffin cups with butter. Do not use paper bake cups. Set aside.

In a medium bowl combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Make a well in center of flour mixture, set aside.

In another bowl, combine egg, milk, and oil. Curse yourself out loud when you realize you don’t have any cooking oil. Also? What exactly is cooking oil? Do they mean canola oil? Turn off the oven, throw on a sweater, grab your purse, and walk six blocks to the closest market, which happens to be a health food store, then spend seven dollars on the only kind of canola oil they sell, which happens to be organic. Roll eyes obviously when tattooed cashier girl gushes over the tattoos of the guy in front of you in line. Try not to laugh when she tries, and fails, to procure his phone number.

Return home, and re-preheat oven.

Add egg/milk/organic oil mixture into flour mixture all at once. Add banana mush and stir everything together until the flour mixture is moist. Batter should be lumpy.

Spoon batter into muffin cups, filling each about two-thirds full. If desired, sprinkle cinnamon over the tops.

raw muffins

Or you can get crazy and sprinkle cinnamon over HALF of your raw muffins, leaving the rest of your muff naked.

Wait. That came out wrong.

Bake muffins for 18 – 20 minutes, or until a wooden toothpick stuck in the center of a muffin comes out clean. Let muffins cool in the muffin cups on top of a wire rack for five minutes. Serve warm.

banana muffins

Or in my case, eat a half a dozen hot out of the oven before it occurs to you that perhaps you ought to save a few for your husband, who is hard at work. Then eat two or three more because they are that delicious.

What? I saved him four. Four muffins! How many muffs does a man need?


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  • Oooh – these look great! My husband also buys them faster than we eat them. Can’t wait to try this out!

    — and I agree, what do they mean by cooking oil?!

  • Hawk
    • I watched this video when you posted it 2 days ago, and I still can’t get the song out of my head!

  • Tara

    Yes! Now you’ve learned The Secret: Never use Brown bananas for a pie! But they are Great for muffins and banana bread.

    • Do you think it was the fact that the bananas were brown that caused the problems?

  • Yum yum! This recipe is similar to my banana muffin recipe. Mine has no milk though, which is handy for me, sine I never have milk in the house but always have extra bananas. If they’re going brown and I’m not ready for muffins, I throw them in the freezer. They thaw and are sometimes almost liquidy, so it helps to have one not-brown banana to mush in with the super-brown-formerly-frozen ones. Or maybe now that I’m using whole wheat flour, the heartiness of the flour would be enough to counteract the mushiness of the bananas. Also? I put cinnamon in mine for the first time the last time I made them, and I couldn’t believe I’d been going so long without.

    Why no paper liners?

    Banana muffins are one of my favorite things ever!

    • Didn’t you know? Paper liners meld with the banana and suck the very essence of what makes them delicious right out.

      Not really. I don’t know why the recipe says not to use paper liners. It just does.

      Normally I hate, loathe, and despise banana muffins, because usually they have nuts in them and if there is one thing I cannot stand, it’s nuts in my baked goods. I love nuts, just not in my baked goods. But I just went right ahead and skipped the nuts part of this recipe and low and behold, banana muffins I could eat for the rest of my life.

      • I so did not know that! 😉

        I use paper liners because I am too lazy to wash a muffin tin. Is that awful? Wasteful?

        A friend got me some silicone baking cups for my birthday a few years ago, and they’re really rad…but still…hard to clean.

        • It’s not awful. Maybe wasteful, but you know what? I hate cleaning muffin tins too. Easy clean-up makes life So. Much. Easier.