Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Five Dollar Muffins

UPDATE 9/30/09: Tried a batch today using hazelnut oil and 1T vanilla instead of 1tsp and made 12 regular sized instead of 6 huge ones, taking between 15-20min to bake.  They are delicious!  So I am changing the recipe below to account for this new tweak.  Enjoy!

When I think of these muffins, I think of the $5 hamburger commercials.  Something has to be a big deal to be worth $5, and these muffins are worth that or more.  Depending upon how you like them, they can be oooey-gooey on the inside and actually improve with refrigeration.  Good luck saving them for long!

The Ultimate Banana Walnut Muffins
Makes 6 huge muffins or 12 regular sized
Cooking Time: 30-45 minutes start to finish
Zone Blocks: 6 blocks of Fat for each muffin when making a batch of 12, 1.5-2 blocks of Carb and 1/4 block of Protein--so basically call each of these a 6 block Fat.  

Dry Ingredients:
2 C almond flour/meal (NOTE: I use Trader Joe's Just Almond Meal brand since it is cheapest.  Other almond flours might turn out differently, so feel free to experiment!)
1/3 C coconut flour (sifted gives the best results since it clumps easily)
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg (grated fresh)
1 C walnuts

Wet Ingredients:
2 bananas, the riper the better
1 T vanilla
3 eggs warmed to room temperature
1/3 C honey
3 T oil (olive oil is fine, coconut oil when liquid is excellent, and hazelnut oil or walnut oil hits it out of the park!)
2 T almond butter (unsalted, but if salted, just add 3/4 tsp salt instead of 1 tsp)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and place walnuts in preheating oven on a sheet rack to roast.  Watch them carefully--too many times have I let them burn and ruined a whole batch!  Meanwhile, peel bananas and mash them to a liquid (can be chunky) in a medium-sized bowl.

To the bananas, add honey and almond butter and mix well.  Next, prepare the eggs.  I usually crack them in another bowl to avoid stray shells, then mix them there before adding to the other wet ingredients, for better mixing.  Add those eggs, the oil, and vanilla to the banana bowl; mix to incorporate.  (Check walnuts!)

In a separate bowl, add almond flour, coconut flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, and baking soda.  Mix to incorporate.  (Check walnuts!) Prepare your muffin tin.  You'll notice that I have a non-stick muffin tin, but the non-stick quality only lasted a few batches before stickage ruined the bottom of enough muffins that I gave up on it.  I need to buy muffin cups! In the meantime, I use homemade (read: lazy) parchment paper "cups" that only stay put once batter is scooped in them.  Not ideal, but they work.  If using a naked muffin tin, grease it with the same oil you used in the batter (or try mixing and matching, what the heck!).

By now your walnuts are either burnt to a crisp or you rescued them once golden brown and fragrant (I always think of the host of Good Eats, Alton Brown, saying "I smell nuts!").  Chop them up into tiny bits, but not dust.  I have found that knives pale in comparison to crunching them with a metal spatula or even a bench scraper.  The bottom of a bowl or cup will also do.  Measure out a cup or so of roasted, chopped walnuts.

If your oven is preheated, you are good to go: add the wet to the dry and scrape the bowl.  Mix well and add walnuts.  Don't worry about mixing so much that you make rocks of your muffins since we don't have to deal with temperamental gluten here, but I still stop when just incorporated evenly, just in case.  Dollop into muffin cups (see pre-muffins pic above) and bake for about 20 minutes if making 6 huge muffins or between 10-15 if smaller.  Check for golden brown color and mostly set tops.  I love oooey-gooey ones, so I never bother with the toothpick test or completely set tops.  Cool on a rack.  Store in an airtight container in the fridge once cooled.  They won't last long due to extreme deliciousness, not spoilage!


  1. Kristy, Just wanted to thank you for these great Muffins! I subbed TJ pumpkin filling for the banana's and it turned out great! Just wanted to let you know!
    Chuck O
    Sturgeon Bay, WI

  2. That sounds delicious, Chuck! I appreciate the comment and I am glad that those pumpkin muffins came out great! I have been tinkering with a pumpkin muffin recipe myself but they keep coming out a little too moist. More delicious experimentation needed!

  3. I had to keep mine baking longer then the prescribed time, i think less pumpkin filling would help also, i used almost the entire amount, im going to 1/2 it the next time i make it. My tester was moist at 15 minute mark, so i let them bake almost 25 minutes.