Saturday, October 3, 2015

Give Me A Head With Hair - Banana Butterscotch Muffins

Thursday - It may be Thor's Day, but it feels like Loki is working his black magic on me. Forget back pain, my whole frakking body hurts. I'm not sure how I got out of bed this morning - I just know that if not for my insistent bladder, I'd still be there.

Seriously, I had plans for today; I had decided to give my kitchen a break and go outside to start pulling weeds. Despite feeling like I had failed the try-outs for the Orlando Magic cheerleaders, I toddled outside with my cane to inspect what is left of my garden.  I actually bent down to pull a few weeds. Boy, was that stupid! So now I am sitting in my Dark Corner and I feel like crying. Fucking fibromyalgia.

Wednesday - I have some Big Decisions to make. Like, should I use the remaining chicken breasts to make Chicken Lombardy or Chicken Francese? That francese recipe is from Tyler Florence and I have made it before and it is so good, I would kiss him if I could find him, but he's off torturing people who are competing for a chance to own a food truck.  When did Food Network turn into reality TV?

I also have to decide whether I should cut my hair.  This one is huge, I'm telling you. Hair is a big deal to most women, and I am at the top of the list.  My hair was the source of tremendous angst when I was a girl, because it was thick, curly, and unmanageable.  You know the gig - I wanted long, straight, shiny hair so I would look like all of the other girls.  I won't bore you with the details of my unhappy adolescence, except to say I never really bought that story about all the "girls" in our family having straight hair, while all the "boys" had curly hair - I knew where the curly genes came from. Thanks, Mike.

Fortunately, as I got older and grayer, I went straight.  I mean my hair went straight.  Even on a high humidity day, which is almost every day in Central Florida, it might develop a few waves but nothing like the bushy Jewfro I was cursed with from birth through incipient senility. So I could let it grow long, right? Oh so wrong ... my hair is still so thick and heavy, if I let it go too long, it hurts too much to wear it. So I've kept it reasonably short for years, the only difference being the degree of shortness.  Most recently I've been keeping it really short, almost Jamie Lee Curtis and Judith Densch short, but for some reason I got it in my head to let it grow, let it grow, let it grow.

I know I am going to be unhappy, but I feel compelled to do this.  Maybe it has something to do with Hillary Clinton and Carly Fiorina or maybe I just don't feel up to cutting it, since I do that myself.  Oh retirement, how you challenge me!  Right now my hair is at a length that adds to the realization that I am the spitting image of my father's sister Sylvia, also known as Aunt Osh.

I love muffins.  I love baking them and I love eating them.  I used to think of them as my personal baking Waterloo, but I finally got the hang of them, and learned the Secrets of Muffintop and I've been pleased with the results ever since.

The lemon zucchini muffins were just a fond memory, and I really enjoy a muffin with my morning coffee, so I knew it was time to start worrying about my potassium levels which turned out to be a splendid excuse for baking some banana muffins.  I've made banana muffins before for the blog, click on the link for Banana Applesauce Muffins, but I wanted something a little different.  I wanted the Best Banana Muffin, so that's what I typed into Safari.

The recipe I found was basic, but well-vetted by the folks who left comments.  You can find that recipe for Best Ever Banana Muffins by clicking on the link. The other thing that, in my opinion, absolutely made these muffins sing banana, was the post I found on the topic of How to Quickly Ripen Bananas For Making Banana Bread. I encourage you to check out that link because you will never have to worry about an underripe banana again, if you happen to be the sort of person who worries about such things.

I baked these Wednesday evening, before Loki dropped in and messed with my entire physical integrity. Because I felt pretty good, I tossed in some butterscotch chips and a shot of banana-flavored booze. You're going to love these muffins. Oh, and if anyone sees this Norse pain-in-the-ass skulking around, please give him a good kick-in-the-balls from me to him. Fucking Loki. Fucking fibromyalgia. Terrific muffins.

Banana Butterscotch Muffins        

3 large, very ripe bananas
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg, slightly beaten
1/3 cup melted butter, cooled a bit
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon banana liquor (creme de banana)
2/3 cup butterscotch chips

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place 9 paper liners in a 12-cup muffin tin.

Using a hand mixer, mash and break down the bananas; add the sugar and beat together with the banana until you have a fairly smooth, thick puree. Beat in the egg, butter, and banana liquor, then set aside.

In another bowl, sift together the flour with the salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Stir this into the banana mixture with a wooden spoon, just to combine the wet and dry ingredients. Fold in the butterscotch chips. Do not overwork the batter.

Scoop the batter into nine of the twelve muffin cups; this should fill them just to the top.  Bake for 18 to 23 minutes.  Cool for 10 minutes in the pan, then remove the muffins to a metal rack to cool.

I would suggest tossing the chips with a very small amount of flour before adding them to the batter, so that they don't sink to the bottom during baking.  Also, if you don't have banana liquor, try another compatable flavor liquor or a teaspoon of vanilla extract or just leave it out.

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