Thursday, March 1, 2012

Kona Inn Banana Muffins

*This might not seem like much, but using lots of bananas and beating them into submission give these an especially moist and delicious flavor.  I made 3 batches in a week's time!  We love muffins at our house!

1/2 cup vegetable shortening (I like using butter-flavored)
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pan
5 very ripe medium bananas (thawed, frozen bananas also work well)
1 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (I probably used more--some finely chopped, some coarsely chopped)

Makes 12 muffins

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees and set a rack in the lower-middle level.  Smear the cups of a muffin pan with a little shortening, sprinkle with a little flour, and shake the pan to distribute the flour.  Turn the pan upside down over the wastebasket and shake out any excess flour.

2.  Peel the bananas, place them in a large bowl, and beat them well with an electric mixer.  The riper the bananas and the more you beat them, the more tender your muffins will be.  Don't expect absolute smoothness; there will always be a few lumps.  Set aside.

3.  In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, and salt.  Add the sugar, shortening, eggs, and walnuts tot he bananas and mix well.  Add the dry ingredients tot he banana mixture and stir just until the batter is thoroughly blended.

4.  Pour the batter into a large measuring cup with a spout and fill the muffin cups about 2/3s full.

5.  Bake for 15 minutes, then check the muffins for doneness.  A toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin should come out clean.  If not, bake for 5 minutes more and check again.  When the toothpick comes out clean, remove the muffins from the oven and let cool in the pan for 5 minutes.

Turn the muffins into a cake using the same recipe.  Butter and flour two 9-inch round cake pans and divide the batter between them.  Bake for 25 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.  Cool the cakes in their pans for 10 minutes.  Loose the edges with a knife and turn each out onto a platter.  To give the cakes a nice finish, place 1/3 cup confectioners' sugar in a strainer and sift it over the cakes.  Serve with whipped cream.

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