I ♥ Costco

Well, I should say I ♥ Costco conditionally, like when I can get in and out of there in ten minutes.  The Husband, on the other hand, is always ready for a Costco run.  We love the savings on contact lenses, quality meats, La Brea Bakery breads, pecans, butter, and ... BANANAS.

We never seem to finish the huge bunch of bananas from there and they ALWAYS end up looking like this-
which means, It's Time to Make the Muffins.

The recipe I've fallen in love with is The Barefoot Contessa's Banana Crunch Muffins.  Montclair Diva's Daughter put it succinctly-"This is everything that a muffin should be."  I believe that she was referring to the combination of banana, butter, coconut, and nut mixed into a moist, flavorful cake.

I find it a bit odd that the act of mashing bananas always bring back 35 year-old memories of my mom doing that for The Baby Brother.  I think I was intrigued that you could pulverize something with a fork. I changed Ina's recipe slightly in the amount of sugar and butter (less of both) and in the procedure of mixing wet into dry.  The recipe below is my adaptation. 

I love that this becomes

this in the amount of time it takes me to drive the school carpool.

Banana Crunch Muffins
adapted from the barefoot contessa cookbook by Ina Garten

3 c. all-purpose flour
1 1/2 c. sugar
2 t. baking powder
1 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
3/4 c. unsalted butter, melted and cooled
2 extra-large eggs, room temperature
3/4 c. whole milk
2 t. pure vanilla extract
1 c. mashed ripe bananas (2 bananas)
1 c. medium-diced ripe bananas (1 banana)
1 c. small-diced walnuts
1 c. granola
1 c. sweetened shredded coconut
Dried banana chips, granola, or shredded coconut (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350º F.

Line 18 large muffin cups with paper liners.  Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. In a separate medium bowl, mix together the butter, eggs, milk, mashed bananas and vanilla. With the mixer on the lowest speed, pour the wet ingredients into the dry ones and stir until they are just blended.  Gently fold in the diced bananas, walnuts, granola and coconut.  Spoon the batter into the paper liners, filling each one to the top.  Top each muffin with dried banana chips, granola, or coconut, if desired.  Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the tops are brown and a toothpick comes out clean.  Cool slightly, remove from the pan, and serve.


  1. Indeed, The Montclair Diva's daughter reiterates: "This is the DEFINITIVE muffin!" OK, she said something like that.


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