Thursday, March 5, 2020

Orangy Banana Nut Turtles w/ Orange Cream Glaze

March winds blow in  fresh and delicious treats, familiar to many, adored by more.  These muffins  are large enough to share and healthful enough to eat the whole thing by yourself.  They resemble turtles, something I noticed after they had been baked and ready to plate.  Incidentally, I walked past my set of mini tortilla pans on the shelf and It occurred to me, they could serve other purposes.  I have been a long time advocate of making the most of your kitchen aides, as not to wonder later, why you have so many appliances, pans, molds and cocottes that you never use.
 I have used bundt pans to make wonderfully circular meat loaves, with the opening in the middle serving as a bowl, filled with a side dish like mashed potatoes or even vegetable medley.   Using smaller pans also helps to lessen the cooking time.  My mom loved them, that makes me proud.  When I develop recipes, I like to be mindful of the ingredients, they can be discerning, but they trust my ability to deliver.
This recipe started off as a way to use up some bananas. They were perfectly ripe and ready for baking.  These muffins are fantastic for breakfast, lunch, after dinner or snacks. You definitely don't have to have mini tortilla pans, you may use the usual suspects like muffin tins and loaf pans.  The orange flavor is a wonderful complement to the fragrant bananas.  I like to use walnuts in my quick breads and cakes.  I toast them in a hot dry pan before adding to help the flavors bloom, earthier and nuttier . They provide texture and loads of good for you vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and other health benefits  like healthy Omega 3's, vitamins C, B6 and other B vitamins, vitamin E, fiber, copper, magnesium, phosphorus and more.  Walnuts are also shown to potentially help lower cholesterol, blood pressure and reduce risks of heart disease.  Plus, they're  good for your brain health. You can go Nuts and feel good about it!

2 c. AP flour, unbleached
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. Himalayan pink salt, fine grain
1 1/2 sticks butter, melted and cooled
 3/4 c. pure cane sugar
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1 1/2 c. very ripe bananas, mashed
1/4 c. buttermilk
1 tsp. orange flavoring
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1/2 c. walnuts, toasted and crushed into smaller pieces
zest of one orange

Preheat oven to 350*.
Combine dry ingredients (flour, baking powder and salt) in a medium bowl with a fork, until blended or sift together into bowl.
In another bowl, combine cool melted butter, sugar, eggs,bananas and buttermilk.
Whisk or stir vigorously with wooden spoon until well blended and add orange flavoring, vanilla and zest.
Gradually add flour to wet ingredients, 1/3 at a time, stirring only until its just blended.
Fold in toasted walnut pieces.
Spoon or scoop batter into desired vessel or vessels. I used mini tortilla pans lightly sprayed or greased with neutral flavored oil) to which I added about 1 cup of batter to each. I used 8 mini pans.
Bake until golden and toothpick inserted comes out clean, about 25 minutes, depending on type of oven used. Mine is a convection oven.
While muffins cook, prepare the glaze.
1/4 c. heavy whipping cream
4 tbsp. confectioner's sugar
1/4 tsp. orange flavoring
scant pinch of Himalayan pink salt, optional
Combine all ingredients until well mixed and sugar is dissolved.

Once muffins are removed from the oven, brush tops repeatedly until no glaze remains.
Let cool for 15 minutes. Your muffins are ready to be enjoyed.
Remove from pans and cool completely on a wire rack before transferring to a storage vessel or zip type bags.
Makes Smiles and Serves Plenty.

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