One of my favourite recipes is banana butterscotch muffins from Nigella Express. I don’t make it often because Dash doesn’t like banana, but if I’m bringing a treat along somewhere, it’s a handy one.
I wanted to bake some of these for the nursery school open house on Saturday, but I thought it would be nice to make the recipe a little healthier, considering all those delightful teeny toddley people who would no doubt be cruising by the food table and swiping everything they could grab before a parent stopped admiring the classroom decorations and noticed.
So I used brown sugar instead of white and reduced the quantity, because the butterscotch chips give plenty of sweetness. I added oatmeal too. I didn’t dare tweak the recipe further since I was baking against the clock and for an audience (I mean, the results would be eaten by an audience; I wasn’t actually baking in front of a live studio audience), but I have suggestions for next time…
This is the recipe as I made it this time:
3 ripe bananas (if your bananas are not very ripe, 30 seconds in the microwave will soften them up nicely)
1/2 cup (100g) light brown sugar
1/2 cup (125ml) vegetable oil
1.5 cups (150g) AP (white) flour
1/2 teaspoon baking (bread) soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup (50g) oatmeal (old-fashioned, not quick)
1/2 cup (75g) butterscotch chips
1. Mash the bananas with the brown sugar and set aside.
2. Stir together the flour, oatmeal, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl.
3. Beat the eggs with the oil in a measuring jug.
4. Add the egg and oil mixture to the dry ingredients and mix to moisten.
5. Add the mashed bananas (and sugar) and mix well. (Not too well. Lumps are fine, so long as the flour is all mixed in.) It’s quite a wet mixture.
6. Mix in the butterscotch chips.
7. Spoon into well-greased muffin tins. I made mini muffins, the better to be grabbed by little hands, and the mixture made 24 minis plus 3 regular-sized ones for taste testing. If you use paper cases, the oatmeal often sticks, so even though greasing is a pain it’s better for the final product.
8. Bake at 400 F (200 C) for 15 minutes for mini muffins or 20 for regular-sized ones.
9. Cool a little and remove carefully from the tin so as not to leave bits behind. If you can take them out of the tin before they’re totally cooled, the bottoms will be as deliciously crunchy as the tops.
Other healthy things you could try:
- Substitute plain yogurt for one (or both) of the eggs.
- Use part wholemeal flour instead of all AP flour.
- Substitute applesauce for part or all of the vegetable oil.
They all disappeared in record time, so I think I can safely say this particular version passed the adult-and-toddler taste test.