Livin' in the Kitchen

Makin’ Muffins

In Muffins on January 2, 2011 at 12:14 am

You’d think being a bake-aholic my New Years resolution would be to eat healthier, stay away from sweets, eat a carrot a day, and join a high school sport. Not even close. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. I just like making promises I know I can try to keep. Afterall,  Banana Strusel muffins were my first breakfast and baked good of the New Year. It’s a little discouraging when you break your promise the first morning. Plus, I had bigger fish to fry anyway. And that fish is called facebook, the source of all things unproductive.

Facebook’s “good qualities”-Facebook is a great resource for people to connect with other people from around the country. It lets you connect with others in ways that you wouldn’t have before. There are hundreds of quizzes where you can answer questions about your friends. And who doesn’t like looking at their facebook friends box to see how many friends they have. Everyone likes a little ego boost.

Why these aren’t actually good qualities– Well here’s the painful truth I’ve discovered. I go on facebook for hours upon hours of pointless scrolling. I want to know what the heck I’m doing on there for hours because I can’t ever seem to remember. It’s all lost in my mind in a sea of blue and white. And let’s face it. The person you’re usually facebooking is a person two houses down from you or a neighborhood over. The quizzes are pointless. And I’m just going to take a stab at this, but if hours of facebook quizzes can’t actually make your eyes fall out, I’m pretty sure if affects your future vision. Carrots can’t revive that kind of damage. And I’m just gonna say it now, I don’t even know  half of the people I’m friends with.

Anyhow, I’d like to say that I haven’t been on facebook at all. That is a lie. We are exactly 16 hours into the new year and already I’ve been on facebook about six. I’d like to say it’s all in the name of the blog though. Here’s why. You see, my best friend Mary Beth and I are pretty much a perfect match. She likes taking pictures, I don’t. I like making food and blogging and that requires pictures. So as we partied it up last night this morning was also quite fun as we made muffins and she photographed them.   


 Well she went home this afternoon. So did the camera. And so did the pictures. Am I to blame for using facebook to retrieve these pictures? Or should I have inconvienced her and the whole process by asking her to create a shutterfly account so that I would not be going on facebook? No. I’m a nice friend. A friend who still feels slightly guilty about suggesting that she do the dishes while I chopped broccoli for the vegtable appetizer pizza last night. Turns out she had an allergic reaction, to doing dishes. No joke. She had to take benadrill and almost passed out before midnight.

So now you see why I broke my New Years resolution, sorting out all of the awesome pictures she took was actually really hard. I sort of wanted to use them all. Like the pictures? Visit her website at No one could help but be impressed.

We woke up to find my little brother’s best friend playing video games downstairs. Chris was still sleeping, we were hungry, and I had the ingredients for a muffin recipe in my favorite cookbook, Sarabeth’s Bakery. Which is why at 8 am this morning the three of us were baking banana strusel muffin in a sleeping house.

Tips These are going to be taken out of the oven and left in their tins for an extra ten minutes. Bake them until a tookpick comes out clean, no longer.
Thoughts These muffins aren’t the kind you’re probably used to. They’re real bakery muffins. Which means they aren’t overly sweet. But the texture is moist, fluffy, and absolutely perfect. These are great breakfast muffins, and really easy to have other people help with!

Here’s a taste of our morning….
Banana Streusel Muffins
Slightly adapted from Sarabeth Levine’s Sarabeth’s Bakery 

6 tablespoons unbleached all purpose flour
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste



Softened unsalted butter, to brush the pan
3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 stick unsalted butter, chilled and cut into cubes
1 cup superfine sugar
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or seeds from 1/2 plumped vanilla bean
2 eggs, room temperature, beaten
1/2 cup whole milk
1 cup sour cream
4 small ripe bananas- peel, cut into 1/4-inch-slices

Preheat oven to 400F. Brush the pan with the softened butter and the top of the pan. -No muffin sleeves needed

In a small bowl, mix together all the streusel ingredients with your hands

Sift flour, baking powder, and salt into another bowl

In a mixer, beat the butter with the paddle attachment for a minute or until smooth, gradually add sugar, scraping the bowl down with a spatula. Continue to mix for about 5 minutes. Add the lemon juice and vanilla. Beat eggs and milk in gradually.

Turn mixer on low, alternate 3 times between adding the flour mixture and the sour cream. Don’t overbeat.

Fold in bananas

Put into muffin tin, these should make 12 muffins. Generously add batter. It gives the muffin tops a nice bakery-look.

Spread all the strusel on top of the muffins.

Bake for 10 minutes, then change the temperature to 375F and bake for about 15 more minutes.

Cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Remove the muffins so they can cool completely on a plate or a rack.

  1. These muffins were delicious, Jess! You are very talented 🙂

  2. Mmmm..these muffins look so delicious and moist! Wish I had one right now! 🙂

  3. Those sound so delicious! I always make my banana baked goods in loaf form, but the muffin idea is very appealing… Especially when finished off with a sweet crumb topping like these are.

  4. Your muffins look amazing! I have a feeling Mr Perfect would love these. x

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