M’s (and now my) good friend Karyn came to town and I decided to start off the visit with some Chunky Banana Bran Raisin Walnut Muffins. And where else to turn for such a decadent recipe than Ina Garten?
A few years ago, I was given the Barefoot Contessa at Home cookbook by a very special friend and I have turned to it many times, and especially when company is coming. Ina is not known for her restraint in the kitchen and this is what makes most of her recipes great for special occasions.
These muffins contain bran, walnuts, bananas and raisins and all that healthiness definitely outweighs the other not-so-healthy ingredients. But the best part about these healthy sounding muffins is that they actually taste good too.
Chunky Banana Bran Muffins
by Ina Garten
- 1 cup unprocessed wheat bran
- 1 cup buttermilk (shaken)
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1/4 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
- 2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
- 6 tablespoons unsulphured molasses
- 1 teaspoon grated orange zest
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup raisins
- 1 cup large-diced bananas
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Place paper liners into 1 (10 or 12-cup) muffin tin.
Combine the bran and buttermilk and set aside. Cream the butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment for about 5 minutes, until light and fluffy. With the mixer on low, add the eggs, 1 at a time. Scrape the bowl and then add the molasses, orange zest, and vanilla. (The mixture will look curdled.) Add the bran/buttermilk mixture and combine.
In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the flour mixture to the batter just until combined. Don’t overmix it! Fold in the raisins, bananas and walnuts with a rubber spatula.