I first learned to cook while watching my mother prepare all kinds of dishes: tall pots of thick tomato sauces, steamy oven roasted chicken breasts, and savory Hungarian goulash.
While she is also an exceptional baker (my favorite is her cinnamon and walnut pistachio cake!), I taught myself the tricks to good baking when I left for college.
One of my favorite recipes is my take on the classic banana nut muffin. The secret is using coconut to keep the muffins from drying out. Here’s how you do it:
Count: 18 muffins
• 3 cups whole wheat flour
• 2 cups sugar
• 2 teaspoons baking powder
• 1 teaspoon baking soda
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1/2 pound unsalted butter, melted and cooled
• 2 extra-large eggs
• 3/4 cup low fat or skim milk
• 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
• 1 cup mashed ripe bananas (2 bananas)
• 3/4 cup diced ripe banana (1 banana)
• 1 cup small-diced walnuts
• 1 cup pecans (optional)
• 1 cup sweetened shredded coconut
1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Prep a large muffin pan with paper liners. Sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer. Add the melted butter to the mix and blend. In a separate bowl, combine the eggs, milk, vanilla and mashed bananas. Add them to the blender and mix until combined. Be sure to scrape the sides of the bowl to release any stray ingredients.
3. Add the diced banana, walnuts and coconut to the batter, and fold together gently.
4. Fill each muffin paper to the top with batter. Place three to four pecans on each muffin. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until the tops are brown and a toothpick comes clean.
5.When cool, remove them from the pan and serve.
Try out this recipe, and let me know how it goes! Send your questions and pictures to email@example.com.