Banana Pecan Muffins

This recipe was one of my most popular at the farmers market. Although it takes a little extra time, the results are worth the wait.

The technique of cooking the bananas in a skillet is not new, but it is very worth the time. Cooking the bananas removes excess water, which bananas have a lot of, and once the water is removed, the natural sugars and flavors intensify. This creates a more banana-y muffin. The tops, right out of the oven, with a sprinkle of sugar and pecans, is crusty and crisp, with a tender interior.

My flour blend of choice is Namaste Perfect Flour Blend. Results for all baking is very consistent and similar to all-purpose flour. For a slightly lighter result, try Bob’s Red Mill 1 to 1 gluten free flour blend.

If you don’t need all of the muffins at once, they can be frozen. The preferred method is to freeze the raw batter in the cups. Leaving the cups in the in the muffin pans, wrap in two layers of plastic wrap, freeze for 4 hours, and move the the muffins to a zip top freezer bag. To bake, place the frozen muffins in a muffin pan and thaw for about one hour at room temperature. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 35 minutes. If you bake them all and have some leftovers, place the muffins in a zip top bag and freeze. Both methods should be used within three months.

Makes 18 large muffins or 12 jumbo muffins

3 Over-ripe bananas, about 12 ounces

8 ounces gluten free flour blend with xanthan gum, (about 2 cups)

1 ½ tablespoon ground psyllium husk

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 ½ teaspoons baking powder

¼ teaspoon ground allspice

½ teaspoon table salt

7 ounces granulated sugar, (about 1 cup)

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

¾ cup buttermilk*

2 eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

½ cup chopped pecans

Heat a non-stick skillet over low heat.  Spray lightly with cooking spray if needed.  Peel the bananas and place in the pan.  Mash the bananas as they are cooking.  Cook until most of the water has disappeared, about ten minutes.  Remove from the heat and cool.  Combine the sugar and butter in a bowl.  Add the eggs, buttermilk and vanilla and stir to combine.  In a separate bowl, combine the flour blend, baking soda, baking powder and salt.  Make a well in the center of the flour blend, and add the wet ingredients.  Stir to moisten the flour.  Add the bananas and pecan pieces and stir to combine.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Place large cupcake papers in muffin pans, or jumbo papers in jumbo pans.  Using a disher, scoop the muffin batter into the papers to ¾ full.  Bake for 15 minutes, turn the pans and bake for another 15 minutes.  Test with a toothpick, add another five minutes if the muffin is still sticky in the middle.  Cool in the pan for five minutes and turn out on a cooling rack.

For a pretty presentation, sprinkle the muffin tops with a pinch of sugar and a few pecan pieces or a whole pecan.

*Substitute butter milk with 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice and reduced fat milk.