Here in the northeast, it’s officially that most wonderful time of year when the crisp sometimes blistering air is quickly forgotten when blasts of hot dry wind hit you as you enter and exit office buildings, grocery stores, trains, subways… It’s enough to cause a constant state of shvitzing just about all day long.
Also around this time of year, the cooties are in full effect. Last night, I came home early to a sick hubby who was battling a stomach flu, and who was still feeling terrible 24 hours+ later.
The worst feeling in the world is that feeling of helplessness when you know there’s little you can do to make your sick loved ones feel better quickly. Hoping it was just a one or two-day bug, I wanted to at least lift his spirits by baking him a favorite treat: banana muffins.
Recently, I have been all about cardamom. I mean, ALLLLL ABOUT IT.
Cardamom is one of those spices that you casually come across either in Indian food, or in cold weather spiced dishes. And often times it takes a subtle backseat to other spices like cinnamon or nutmeg.
But cardamom’s warming somewhat floral and fragrant flavor is the perfect compliment for sweet flavors, and adds a nice complexity without overpowering the senses. And so I’ve recently decided to add it to my banana muffin recipe – I can honestly say without a doubt, this is the best decision I’ve made in a while.
If you’re looking for an easy and subtle ‘spice’ cake to warm you up this season, this is the recipe for you.
Did I mention it’s also a super easy recipe to make? Yep – supes easy.
Cardamom Banana Muffins
– 6 TB butter, softened
– 1/2 c brown sugar
– 1/4 c white sugar
– 2-3 medium ripe bananas, mashed
– 2 eggs
– 1/2 c buttermilk
– 1/2 c greek yogurt
– 1 tsp vanilla extract
– 2 c flour
– 1 TB baking powder
– 1 tsp ground cardamom
– 1/2 tsp salt
– 1 c chopped walnuts (optional)
– 1 c semi-sweet chocolate chips (optional)
1. Preheat oven to 425°. Spray muffin tray(s) with non-stick cooking spray. Add cupcake or paper lines to each cup.
2. In a standing mixer with paddle attachment (or in a large bowl with a hand mixer), cream the butter and sugars together.
3. Add the bananas, eggs, buttermilk, greek yogurt and vanilla, and mix until well combined.
4. In a separate medium sized bowl, combine flour, baking powder, cardamom and salt. Slowly add flour mixture to wet ingredients, and mix slowly just until the flour mixture has been incorporated and the white flour has disappeared (do not overmix the batter!).
5. Optional: With a wooden spoon, stir in walnuts and/or chocolate chips to the batter.
6. Pour the batter into your muffin pan, filling each muffin cup about 2/3-3/4 full. Bake for 18-20 minutes, just until the tops of the muffins begin to brown slightly.