Oh, muffin. So many people adore you, my brother and father included. They eat you for breakfast with their coffee. They grab you on the go when they’re hungry or in a rush. My dear coworker, Pat, treats everyone at work to a batch of you almost every Friday. And let’s face it, you’re very versatile and easy to bake. But I have to say it: I’m Deb and I have a love-hate relationship with you, THE MUFFIN. *GASP* Dun-dun-dun!
I know, you’d never know it from following Ate by Ate. While I certainly don’t yak about muffins the way I do cupcakes or macarons, I do squeal over the cutie-patootieness of mini muffins (I even love saying mini muffin!) and I’ve posted a handful of tea muffin recipes over the years in a variety of flavours. So what’s the deal? I love homemade muffins but turn my nose up at store-bought ones. There. I said it. I’m a muffin snob.
Which I know sounds confusing because every muffin was technically baked by somebody even if the batter was mixed by machinery. But let’s be real. I know we’ve all come across those horrendous muffins that look as though they’ve been pumped with steroids, that ooze grease when you give them a poke, that taste like cardboard (um, not that I know what cardboard really tastes like, but humour me and imagine it), and have no love, no character to them. Those are the muffins that have turned me away all these years and to this day they still make me wary.
So much so that I even unintentionally declared it in public. Oh yes. I will never forget the day I broke a woman’s heart over a pack of muffins. Long story short, I was grocery shopping with mumsie. As we were browsing the bakery and baked goods, mumsie asked, “do you want some muffins?” to which I replied very forcefully and loudly, “EW, NO! MUFFINS ARE FATTENING!” Mumsie’s eyes and mouth widened in mortification as she smacked my arm and cried, “DEBRA!” I scoffed, “what?” “That woman was so happy looking at those muffins and you ruined it for her!”
Apparently I had destroyed a nearby shopper’s outlook on muffins with my unintentional outburst as said shopper immediately dropped the pack of muffins she was holding like a hot potato and scadaddled out of there.
To that nice, innocent woman who was looking at muffins that day: I am sorry. To make it up to you, here is a fab recipe I adapted from allrecipes.com. They are banana-almond muffins with brown sugar-cinnamon-almond topping and they are moist and delicious and I hope they make you happy. With homemade muffin love, Deb.
Recipe for Banana-Almond Muffins with Brown Sugar-Cinnamon-Almond Topping (adapted from the Banana Crumb Muffins recipe from allrecipes.com)
Makes 12 muffins
- 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup ground almonds (*Deb’s Note: this was my special addition! The original recipe does not call for ground almonds)
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
- 4 bananas, mashed (*Deb’s Note: the original recipe called for 3 bananas; I had 4 in my kitchen so I just used up all 4)
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1/3 cup vegetable oil (*Deb’s Note: the original recipe called for butter but I didn’t feel it was necessary to use butter so I substituted vegetable oil and it worked out perfectly)
- 1/4 cup sliced almonds
- 2 Tbsp. brown sugar
- 2 tsp. cinnamon
- Preheat oven to 375°F. Lightly grease 12 muffin cups or line with paper liners.
- In a large bowl, mix together flour, ground almonds, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. In another bowl, beat together bananas, sugar, egg and vegetable oil. Stir the banana mixture into the flour mixture just until moistened. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups.
- In a small bowl, mix together sliced almonds, brown sugar and cinnamon for the topping. Sprinkle topping over muffins.
- Bake for 18 to 20 min. (*Deb’s Note: the original recipe called for 18 to 20 min.; I baked mine for 17 min. and they turned out fine), or until toothpick inserted into centre of muffin comes out clean.
Recipe adapted from allrecipes.com. The original recipe, Banana Crumb Muffins, can be accessed HERE.