Week 17: Nutella Banana Swirl Muffins
Things have been busy lately! After a little hiatus of eating leftovers and takeout, I’m back in the kitchen, and on the blog. We’ve got everything ready to go for the baked pasta with roasted veg from week 9 for dinner and leftovers for lunches, and in the meantime, I felt like we deserved a little treat.
There’s something heartwarming about baking – taking the time to make something special that later serves as a nice treat not just for me but to share with others makes me happy. I know how much others enjoy it, and I sure don’t mind a tasty little homemade treat with my coffee on a Monday afternoon.
I can’t remember if I made these once in Halifax years ago, but when I bought some Nutella (a rare treat!) on sale the other day, it inspired me to find a yummy recipe to use it in. Nutella banana swirl muffins, anyone?! I’m always a little skeptical when bloggers say their recipes are the best or their favourite, but in this case I can confirm that these are probably some of the best muffins I’ve ever had. Do yourself a favour and try them out. You will not be disappointed. Thanks to the Novice Chef for this awesome recipe!
Ingredients: this is super important – you need *over-ripe* (aka brown) bananas so be sure to plan ahead and buy extra bananas the week before. If you like to bake with bananas, when you end up with overly ripe bananas, let them get brown then throw them in the freezer and they’ll be ready to defrost whenever you want to bake with them. You’ll need to pick up Nutella if you don’t keep it on hand, and pecans. Everything else is pantry staples.
Timing: 45 minutes to prepare + 22 minutes in the oven (15-17 mins for 18 muffins)
Yield: 12-18 muffins
How did it go? Great! These are straightforward to make. It took longer than expected to defrost the bananas so that added some time to the process. I mashed them with a potato masher but you could use a fork too. I like that these use oil instead of butter so no need to worry about softening the butter. I swirled the Nutella with a toothpick and thought they looked awful when I put them in the oven, as the Nutella was quite thick and hard to swirl, but they ended up looking fine when I took them out so not to worry if your swirls don’t look 100 at the beginning.
Here is the one hiccup… I didn’t notice at the very top of the recipe that it’s supposed to yield 18 muffins. I just assumed it was the typical dozen. I lined 12 muffin cups, filled them with batter, and noticed they were super full. Maybe that’s part of why they were tricky to swirl as I was trying not to overflow the mixture from the liners. I put them in the oven, checked how long they needed to bake for, and realized my mistake. I baked them for 22 instead of 15-17 minutes and they ended up turning out great! Mine are more like coffee shop style muffins that are larger with the domed over muffin tops, so consider that accident a happy mistake if that’s your thing, just bake them a little longer and use the toothpick test to ensure they are cooked through.
Taste: YUMMM! These are moist, fresh, light, and perfectly punctuated with just the right amount of rich, sweet, Nutella on top. I thought about leaving out the pecans to save money (nuts ain’t cheap!) but they add a lovely little crunch so I’m glad I kept them in. Visually, these look like a treat, and doesn’t food always taste a little better when it looks great?! These are deeeeelish.
Tips: follow the recipe as written – it’s perfect! Unless you’d like larger muffins, in which case you can squish the batter into 12 muffin cups and bake for 22 minutes or until a toothpick comes out with a couple crumbs on it (rather than wet batter).
Luke’s review: Visually stunning. Ooh they smell great. Pungent banana flavour and ooey gooey chocolatey Nutella. Nice crunch from the pecans, and the muffin top also has nice crunch. Gonna need to eat another one just to make sure their safe to serve to the public 😉. [After the second one:] gonna need some milk here.
Luke’s recipe rating: thumbs up!