Thursday, March 17, 2011

Banana Cashew [Dinosaur] Muffins

   What do you do with a dying banana?  You know, the ones that are a little too black and kind of soft....  I pop mine in the freezer, saving them for one of my banana bread whims.

   My dad loves to give me and my brother food.  My move to NC was no different.  He packed up 2 jars of peanut butter, crackers, some variety of mini oranges, bagel chips, apples, cashews, some other stuff, and bananas.  A day in the car and a couple more sitting on the counter while I unpacked did not favor the bananas very well.  That meant I was forced to made a banana based baked good.  Muffins sounded like just the thing for Tuesday morning when I had to get up early for the cable guys and to make my house smell good in case it smelled like I had gone through a head of garlic in five days.... which I had. (I know; I have a problem.)

   Also, dinosaurs are fun.  And my dinosaur muffin pan is the coolest piece of bake ware I own.  They are bigger than normal muffins so that's a plus.  Not to mention that my husband starts chanting "D-I-N-O-S-A-U-R a dinosaur!!!" every time I use it.  (Oh, yeah... the hubs knows his Ke$ha.)

Banana Cashew Muffins
2 C all-purpose flour
3/4 C sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp salt
1 egg, beaten
1/4 C half and half
1/4 C melted butter
2 Tbsp veg oil
1 Tbsp orange juice
1/2 tsp orange zest
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg (optional)
2 bananas, coarsely mashed
1 C roughly chopped cashews
cooking spray

   Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt
   Combine egg, 1/2 and 1/2, butter, oil, orange juice, zest, vanilla and nutmeg.  Mix bananas into egg and milk mixture.
   Form a well in dry ingredients.  Add wet mixture.  Slowly work together.  Fold in cashews.  Be careful not to over-mix.
   Lightly spray muffin pan.  Fill 3/4 full.
   Bake 350 deg F for 18-22 minutes for regular muffin pan.  22-25 minutes for dino-pan.  At minimum bake time, test muffins.  Insert tooth pick into center of a muffin; if it comes out clean, they are done.
   Makes 12 [regular] muffins.

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