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Butter Pecan Banana Muffins

Time 30 minutes
Yields Makes 12 muffins
Butter Pecan Banana Muffins
(Genevieve Ko / Los Angeles Times)
1

Heat the oven to 375 degrees. Coat a standard 12-cup muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray or line with paper liners.

2

Spread the pecans on a small rimmed baking sheet and bake until toasted, 6 to 8 minutes. Remove from the oven, add the butter and toss until evenly coated. Cool on the sheet while preparing the batter.

3

Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Whisk the banana, sugar, buttermilk, oil, egg and vanilla in a medium bowl until smooth. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the wet ingredients. Fold gently with a silicone spatula until no traces of flour remain. Divide the batter evenly among the muffin cups and sprinkle the tops of each with the buttered pecans.

4

Bake, rotating the tin halfway through, until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean, 16 to 18 minutes. Cool the muffins in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes, then unmold. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Variations:
Spiced Banana Muffins: Add ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon and ¼ teaspoon ground cardamom to the flour mixture.

Nuttier Banana Muffins: Substitute toasted walnut or other nut oil for the vegetable oil. Stir 1 cup chopped toasted pecans into the batter before sprinkling the buttered nuts on top.

Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins: Stir 1 cup chocolate chips or finely chopped chocolate into the batter.
Substitutions
If you don’t have buttermilk, mix 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar or fresh lemon juice into ½ cup milk and let stand 5 minutes before using.

You can substitute granulated sugar for the brown sugar, which can be dark or light.

You can use whole wheat flour, white whole wheat or whole wheat pastry flour. You also can substitute 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour.
Make Ahead:
The muffins can be kept in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw before reheating in a toaster oven or oven set to 350 degrees.