Tasty Banana Nut Muffins with Wheat Germ

So I’m a baking blogger now, okay? Which means I get to spread poorly reported, single-sided accounts of standup comics going off book.

This recipe is adapted from America’s Test Kitchen’s banana bread recipe (kudos to Food 4 Wibowo for collecting), the genius of which is how it makes a reduction of thawed-banana juice to inject flavor without getting the dough too wet. These muffins are healthy and delicious. They’re the best things I’ve ever baked I think.

1 1/4 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 cup wheat germ
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp table salt
5 frozen bananas, thawed, with juice (see note)
1 stick butter (we prefer salted), melted and cooled slightly
2 eggs at room temp
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup walnuts, toasted and coarsely chopped
sanding sugar

Yields: 12 muffins

Note: This recipe calls for frozen bananas. When you’ve got brown bananas, peel them and put them in a bag in the freezer. Once you’ve got 5, yer ready to bake. If you can’t wait, you can use unfrozen brown bananas. Just make sure they’re brown and sugary. You can microwave them in a bowl to produce juice, but really the freezing-thawing method is best.


  1. Put frozen bananas in strainer over a bowl to collect juice. Let ’em thaw fully.
  2. Collect banana juice and transfer to small saucepan and cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until reduced to 1/4 cup of syrupy liquid.
  3. Meanwhile, put rack in middle of oven and preheat to 350.
  4. Spray muffin tin(s) with nonstick cooking spray. (We’ve got 6-muffin tins, so I needed two)
  5. Whisk flour, wheat germ, baking soda, and salt together in large bowl.
  6. Once juice is reduced, remove pan from heat and combine with thawed bananas in a medium-sized bowl. Mash with potato masher until fairly smooth.
  7. Whisk in room-temp melted butter, eggs, brown sugar, and vanilla until smooth.
  8. Pour banana mixture into flour mixture, along with walnuts. Begin folding everything together gently until just one or two streaks of flour are left. Don’t overmix. Don’t!
  9. Divide batter into greased pans (I used a cookie/ice-cream scoop). Batter should sit right near the top of each cup.
  10. Sprinkle sanding sugar evenly over each muffin.
  11. Bake until toothpick inserted in center of loaf comes out clean, about 25 minutes.
  12. Cool pans on wire rack for 15 minutes, then remove each muffin from pan and continue to cool on wire rack.

Best warm, of course. Still tasty for days afterward. If you want bread, or less wheaty flavor (though N said, “If you didn’t tell me you used whole-wheat flour I wouldn’t have known), see this recipe’s source, linked above.

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