Monday, 4 July 2011

Indecision Baking: Banana Fluffernutter Muffins

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I have a bad habit of changing direction in the middle of projects.  I do it when walking (suddenly decide to take a different route), I did it with my book (and as a result have been busy rewriting the first 3 chapters almost entirely), and I do it with baking.  A lot.


These muffins are a perfect example.  See that pear up there?  The one with all the brown splotches?  I was totally going to use that.  I was going to make healthy muffins, with bananas and a pear and low-fat yogurt instead of butter or oil.  I had the best of intentions.  But then...
Well, then I looked at the squishy pear in my hand, and I thought about the peeling and coring and chopping and juice-cleanup that lay ahead, and I threw that pear in the trash.  I know.  I'm a terrible person, and there are children starving in [insert any place in the world here].  I hate hate hate wasting food, but I'm trying to learn that using something that's beyond its time is not a healthy alternative, and forcing myself to eat something is just as wasteful as chucking it (and, as my mother likes to remind me, it just wastes it on your hips).


So I chucked it.  And then I just had bananas, and that seemed kind of boring.  So I thought I'd add peanut butter.  But that seemed almost too savory... And then I remembered the jar of marshmallow fluff I'd bought on a whim and left languishing in our cupboard for weeks.  And I thought of the fluffernutter sandwiches my brother and I used to get at our favorite breakfast spot when we were kids.  And that was all I needed: it was on.


I made banana muffins.  Then I chucked on a big ole dollop of peanut butter (crunchy, because it's what we had), and on top of that I put a big sticky teaspoon of marshmallow fluff.  And then, on a whim (what else?), I dug through the cupboard for a dried banana and date snack mix the bf got in his xmas stocking, opened it up (just in time – it was set to go off in July 2011!), dug out some banana chips, and stuck 'em on, just for cuteness' sake.


Okay, so I didn't do the full fluffernutter on all the muffins; the bf is kinda weird about flavor combinations that are new to him, so I saved him some pure banana ones and also set aside some plain banana-pb muffins for his British palate.  Turns out, he says he did like the ones with the whole shebang, but he only ate one so I guess my instincts were correct!  I liked them, though: the banana was sweet and gooey, the pb was salty and crunchy, and the marshmallow was sticky and crispy on the edges.  In other words: yum.

Maybe my sudden changes of direction aren't such a bad thing after all.


P.S. Yes, I am aware that today is July 4th, and these aren't traditionally American, but before I fact-checked myself I thought they might be modeled after Elvis's favorite sandwich, which I figured was a fitting tribute to my home country.  But then I checked myself.  And yes, I would indeed have wrecked myself.  Anyway, these are made with American ingredients (including pb smuggled in my suitcase), so I suppose they'll have to do.  Happy Independence Day, good ole US of A!

P.P.S. Elvis may not be about this combo, but you know who I bet would love it?  My big sneester, Catie.  It's her birthday tomorrow (always in the shadow of America's Bday), and she's turning a rather scary number, for all of us (when did I get so old??), and if I were in SF I'd bake her a big, calorie-laden cake.  But I'm not, so I'll just have to hope she eats something unhealthy in my absence and likes the card I sent care of the poppa bear.  HAPPY BIRTHDAY CATIE!  XOXO


Banana Fluffernutter Muffins

Preheat oven to 400F/205C and line or grease a muffin pan.

In a large bow, combine:
     1 1/4 c flour
     1/4 c sugar (I used a scoop, and heaped it a bit)
     2 1/2 tsp baking powder
     3/4 tsp salt

Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients, and pour in:
     1 egg, beaten
     3/4 c milk
     1/3 c oil
     1 tsp vanilla

Mix just until combined, then add:
     2 overripe bananas, mashed

Fill muffin cups halfway with batter, then put a dollop of peanut butter and another of marshmallow fluff on top of each muffin.  Finish them off with a dried banana slice if you're feeling fancy.

Bake 20 minutes, or until the marshmallow is crisping and a toothpick inserted into the muffin (around the center gloop!) comes out clean.

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