Residing at the Apex of the Muffin World

Bodacious beauties.

I need to stop making promises I can’t keep (or, at least, keep in a timely manner). The Little House project has to wait a few days, sadly, as I don’t have some key ingredients in my pantry. Namely lard, but give me a week or so.
What I did bake yesterday was my cardamom bread and today … Banana Pecan Muffins (adapted from a recipe by Beth Hensperger in “The Bread Bible”). I ate one muffin pre-shoveling duties, another one post-shoveling duties. Then I started to worry about further adding to the jelly belly. Anyway, I can’t get enough of these muffins with their crumbly tops. I had to freeze some just so I’d stop eating them, at least for the moment.

Banana Pecan Muffins

Crumble topping
1/2 cup sugar (I used granulated but brown would be lovely, too)
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter (salted would be fine, really)

1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 large eggs

3 super-ripe bananas
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

3/4 cup pecans, chopped finely (read, to within an inch of their lives — my cohorts and I don’t like chunky nuts in our muffins; I pretty much ground mine in the food processor; do what you will)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease, or line with papers, 12-cup standard muffin tin (I used paper liners as my pre-World War II muffin tin does not behave when it comes to releasing baked goods).

Mash your bananas, then mash them some more. Don’t worry about chunks, though; you want it chunky. Set bananas aside.

Prepare streusel topping: use a pastry blender, a fork or two knives to cut the cold butter into flour/sugar combo until you have a pebbly mixture. Set streusel topping aside.

Whisk sugar with oil until frothy. Add eggs; whisk till well combined. Set aside.

Whisk together dry ingredients (flour through cinnamon). GENTLY FOLD (yes, all caps is obnoxious and I don’t mean to yell, but it’s important to go easy; you don’t want to overwork your batter) your wet mixture, mashed bananas and ground pecans into your dry ingredients. Use as few strokes as possible to combine everything. It will be lumpy. This is good. Lumps are lovely.

Scoop batter into muffin tray, filling each cup to just about its top.

Place 1 tablespoon-ish of streusel topping on top of each.

Bake in preheated oven for 20-25 minutes. They are done when your cake tester / toothpick comes out clean when delicately plunged into center of one of the muffins.

Leave in pan to cool for five minutes before releasing muffins onto wire rack to cool some more. Eat as soon as your hands can handle the heat. So good. As much as I love a slathering of butter, these really don’t need it, but, again, do what you will.

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