January 2, 2013

Browned Butter Banana Muffins

Happy 2013! Anybody break their resolutions yet? It's okay: this is a safe space. We won't judge you (much).

My resolutions? I'm going to try harder to update the blog on a regular basis: Wednesdays and Sundays. If I get into a rhythm where I can change it to three times a week, that'll be great, but for now, we're going to stick with twice.

I also want to try and write more. Just for me. I've recently been having weirdly vivid, disturbing dreams, and that always happens when I'm writer-blocked. I guess writing is like a siphon for all my weird ideas, and if I let it build up too much, my subconscious needs to deal with some of it before my brain implodes.

...My mind is a special place.

It's been hard to back into writing with all that happened the past year, especially with my gram's passing this summer during Camp NaNoWriMo. I found the novel I started that session, stopped mid-sentence when my dad called me to say I should come to the hospital. I finished that sentence recently, bawled my eyes out, and now my subconscious is telling me it's time to get back on the horse. I think that novel's the first I'm going to try and finish, because my gram would be yelling at me for abandoning it. (And in case you're wondering, it's about zombies and unicorns. I told you my mind was a special place.)

The rest is more of the usual. Eat better, exercise more, play some Just Dance in the morning before work so I'm in a good mood. Just me?
So I'm starting the New Year off right with a recipe that's yummy and decadent, while still being almost good for you.

...I said almost.

Egg free, whole wheat flour, bananas, and not a huge amount of sugar or butter, these muffins are so soft and moist, while still being dense and filling enough for a good breakfast. And browning the butter adds that little hint of decadence you wouldn't get otherwise.

And then I topped it with a streusel. Well, tried to. I'm kind of streusel incompetent. It just kind of melted on top (which was still super yummy). I tried to fix it in the recipe, but if you don't use my streusel, I won't be insulted. But that extra bit of brown-sugary sweetness on top is exactly what these muffins need to take them from okay to out of this world.
Browned Butter Banana Muffins{Printable Version}
Yield: 12 muffins

For the streusel:
½ cup all-purpose flour
6 tbsp. cold butter, cut in chunks
¼ cup brown sugar
½ tsp. ground cinnamon

For the muffins:
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
¾ cup sugar
1½ tsp. baking powder
¾ tsp. salt
3 bananas, mashed
½ tsp. vanilla extract

Prepare the streusel: Mix the flour, sugar, and cinnamon together in a small bowl. Cut in the butter, or
rub it in with your fingertips, until the mixture looks like small peas. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Prepare the muffins: Preheat the oven to 350°F. In a small saucepan over low heat, melt the butter.
Continue to cook, whisking constantly, until the butter is a light golden brown. Remove from heat and
let cool to room temperature. In a large bowl, mix together the flours, sugar, baking powder and salt.
Mix in the bananas, vanilla, and browned butter until fully incorporated. Divide the batter evenly
between 12 muffin cups, and top liberally with the streusel. Bake 15-18 minutes, or until a toothpick
inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Recipe by Kim