Thursday, November 18, 2010

Almond Butter Banana Muffins

Fall Spice Almond Butter:
1 1/2 cup almonds
1 Tbs. maple syrup + 1/2 Tbs. maple syrup
1 Tbs. molasses
1/4 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
pinch of fine grain sea salt
1 tsp. canola oil

Dump almonds onto greased baking sheet and coat with 1 Tbs. maple syrup and 1 Tbs. molasses. Roast at 300 degrees for 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes. Then allow to cool on pan for 30 minutes.

Dump almonds into food processor and grind for 5-10 minutes, scraping sides down occasionally, until smooth (past the stage where it makes a large ball of "dough".) If it's not smooth yet, keep going. Every food processor is different.

Then add the remaining 1/2 Tbs. maple syrup, spice, vanilla, salt, and oil. Process again until you reach desired consistency. Makes about 3/4 cup of almond butter. Keep refrigerated and use on sandwiches, in oatmeal, etc. Or, use it to make these delicious muffins. (The almond butter recipe is my own. The muffin recipe is not.)

Almond Butter Banana Muffins:
1/2 cup almond butter (store bought is great, but it's fun to make your own)
3 Tbs. canola oil
2 large ripe bananas
1/4 cup (not packed) brown sugar
1/4 cup honey
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 eggs
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 Tbs. baking powder
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. salt

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Line muffin tins with paper liners (or spray two large loaf pans with nonstick baking spray.)  Place the bananas in the work bowl of a food processor and puree until smooth.

In a large bowl, whisk together the whole wheat flour, flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the almond butter with the oil at medium speed until well combined, about 2 minutes.  Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition and stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl as necessary.  Beat the mixture at medium speed for 2 minutes, and then beat in the brown sugar, honey, and the vanilla extract.

With the mixer on low speed, add the dry ingredients in three additions, alternating with the banana puree, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients.  Do not over-mix. 

Divide the batter almond the muffin cups, filling just over halfway. (This recipe made 18 muffins for me). Bake until the muffins are golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center emerges clean, 15-16 minutes.  Allow the muffins to cool in the pan for 10 minutes and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

I kept these out for a day or two, and put the rest in the freezer. They warm up nicely and make a great snack!

P.S. While I've been making a mess in the kitchen, Ross has been making a mess in the woodshop at school. Between work and homework, he somehow found time to make a desk for our office!

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