Whenever my sister Antique-of-the-Week Susan travels, she will bring me back food and cooking-related gifts. Her trip to Germany and the Czech Republic this past summer was no exception -- packages of paper doilies, French mustard, vintage glass skewers, a mid-1900's, white, eyelet apron with a "made in Vienna" label, plus a lifetime supply of poppy seeds. All were hauled home in her suitcase for me.
Other than making and freezing pastry today for three Thanksgiving pies (we'd rather have left-over pumpkin pie in this house than turkey), I've been very low-key in my kitchen this week. I know that in a few days, I will be spending most of my waking hours in the kitchen, which is absolutely fine by me. Lately, it's been simple dinners, breakfast frittatas using up meats, cheeses, and vegetables from the refrigerator, and the occasional muffin. When I ran across this recipe for Banana-Poppy Seed Muffins, it was not only a means of using up some of the poppy seeds from my sister, but also an opportunity to bake something from one of my favorite cookbooks... Once Upon a Tart.
* Banana-Poppy Seed Muffins *
recipe adapted from Once Upon a Tart by Frank Menthesana and Jerome Audureau
MAKES 12 MUFFINS
• 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
• 1 cup whole wheat flour
• 1 teaspoon baking powder
• 1 teaspoon baking soda
• 1/4 teaspoon salt
• 1 tablespoon poppy seeds
• 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
• 1/2 cup sugar
• 4 very ripe bananas, mashed
• 2 large eggs
• 1/4 cup cold milk
• 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1. Center rack in the oven. Preheat oven to 400˚F. Line a 12 cup muffin tin with paper baking cups.
2. In a mixing bowl, whisk to combine the unbleached flour, whole wheat flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and poppy seeds.
3. In a large mixing bowl, cream together the softened butter and sugar using an electric mixer. Beat on high speed until the mixture is fluffy and pale yellow in color, scraping the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed.
4. Add the mashed bananas and beat until fully combined. With the mixer at low speed, add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add the milk and vanilla.
5. Slowly scoop the dry ingredients into the moist and mix just until combined.
6. Divide batter between the 12 muffin cups and place in the preheated oven. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until golden and a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean.
7. Remove and allow to cool.
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