Hearty, Crunchy, Banana Muffins


Here is a great moist and hearty breakfast muffin. I adapted Barefoot Contessa's "banana crunch muffin" to have some whole wheat in it and less sugar. My kids like the chunks of banana throughout. There is enough hearty goodness in these muffins to tide them over till late morning: banana, wheat, coconut, oats, walnuts, and of course, some sugar.

3 cups all-purpose flour (I replace one of the cups with whole wheat flour)
2 cups sugar (I use 1.5 cups because the sweetened coconut and ripe bananas add their own sweetness)
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 whole milk
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 cup mashed ripe bananas (2 bananas)
1 cup medium-diced ripe bananas (1 banana)
1 cup small-diced walnuts
1 cup granola (If you don't have granola, just use quick oats or old-fashioned oats)
1 cup sweetened shredded coconut
Dried banana chips, granola, or shredded coconut, optional

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Line 18 large muffin cups with paper liners. Sift the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Add the melted butter and blend. Combine the eggs, milk, vanilla, and mashed bananas, and add them to the flour-and-butter mixture. Scrape the bowl and blend well. Don't overmix.

Fold the diced bananas, walnuts, granola, and coconut into the batter. Spoon the batter into the paper liners, filling each 1 to the top. Top each muffin with dried banana chips, granola, or coconut, if desired. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the tops are brown and a toothpick comes out clean. Cool slightly, remove from the pan, and serve.

After you serve them warm for breakfast with juice or milk, you can store them in some gallon ziplock bags for a later snack.