These are my new mini muffin tins. Aren't they precious? Mini means you can eat more of them...
I doubled the recipe so this is twice as much butter as I normally need. I used mostly unsalted butter but I didn't quite have the full 1 Cup a double recipe calls for.
I cream the butter and in this case the Splenda (these muffins were for my diabetic grandfather...) by hand because I don't have a mixmaster.
There are many different forms of nutmeg and vanilla. I have fresh nutmegs from a recent trip to Jamaica and vanilla beans from my parents' trip to India, but I thought I would save those. The nutmeg mill from McCormick is a really nice option and there is always the standard ground nutmeg that sits in the spice pantry for years.
I like to use up the old bananas that have been left on the counter. My mom tends to buy them specifically to let them go brown to use in baking, but with me I find that it happens mostly when I buy too many and get tired of eating them. Some of these ones were a little too far gone though, and I didn't have quite enough mashed fruit to make a proper double recipe.
I did, however, have a perfectly ripe mango. So I diced that up nice and small and then added the fruit and juice to my banana mixture.
Sifting the flour in is always a good idea. It makes your baking much lighter and it ensures that there are no lumps in the flour.
My mom always told me that when you're adding baking soda (or baking powder) to first measure out the quantity and then transfer it to a larger measuring spoon and mix with warm water. Have you ever bitten into a clump of baking soda in a muffin? Then you'll understand why...
Whenever my mom bakes these muffins (which is pretty often) she does them up very quickly - no muss, no fuss. When I was away at university I asked her to send me the recipe. She said that it came from her auntie Elaine... not a real auntie... and that the recipe she had called for optional nutmeg. Though we always had it in the spice cupboard I do not ever remember my mom using nutmeg whenever it was listed, optional or otherwise. She and my dad recently came back from the India trip of my dreams and brought back lots of spices that they don't know how to cook with. These are nutmeg flowers. They smell positively heavenly and are wonders to look at. I grated the nutmeg flower into the batter using a very fine zester. I had to be careful not to let whole pieces f nutmeg fall into the batter or else risk an unpleasantly overpowering mini muffin for some poor unassuming friend. I didn't want that for anyone, least of all my poor old grandfather, so if you're not in a rush like I was, try grating it separately first.I use real vanilla extract. We keep a little old bottle in with the baking supplies and then refill it from a large bottle that is kept in the pantry. Mostly it comes from people's trips to Mexico. I'm saving the Indian vanilla pods for something special, maybe a vanilla cake that I read about years ago in Amanda Hesser's Cooking for Mr. Late .
Here they are, all ready to go in the oven. It doesn't take long when they are in mini-tins. I think I gave them about 11 minutes and they were golden brown on the outside and fluffy on the inside. You can always add white or milk chocolate chips, raisins, nuts, or cinnamon to this recipe. Clearly, as I threw in chopped mango at the last minute, the recipe is quite versatile and easily augmented. Just make sure you don't over-mix the batter. That'll be the end of the fluffy muffin for sure.
Here's the recipe.
1/2 cup butter
1 c. sugar/splendid (I usually only use 1/2 c as bananas are pretty sweet
1 c. mashed bananas (usually about 3 medium sized, should be a little
brown, ripe so are easy to mash)
1 1/2 c,. white flour (white)
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp baking soda dissolved in 1 Tbsp hot water
bake at 375 degrees for 15 minutes (but this of course depends on how
hot your oven is
makes 12 medium sized muffins