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Banana Gone Nuts Muffins With My Little Assistant
We were having issues with a bunch of bananas that refused to ripen. Now when I say issues, I mean about two weeks of sitting on the dinning room table in the kitchen defying the laws of biology. So we placed them in the furnace room for a few days and viola, we had overripe bananas! The problem was we had already purchased bananas to replace the aforementioned defiant ones. So what to do with too many bananas? BAKE!!
Luckily the little one (my two year old) had recieved for Christmas a Martha Stewart Collection Kid's Bake Set which we had been hearing endlessly about ever since. So thus began the delicious dilemma that ended with a much more scrumptious solution! Baking with a two year old, sounds fun eh?
So we had our baking set, some finally ripened bananas, an eager helper, and 1 1/2 hours to kill. That may seem long but time flies when you're both having fun and I promise it'll be fun, and not as messy as you think.
- 2 1/2 Cups Flour
- 2 tsp baking soda
- 2 cups unsalted butter (room temperature)
- 3-4 ripe bananas (the smaller the size, the more you need)
- 2 cups of sugar (I used cane sugar)
- 4 eggs
- A small amount of chocolate chips (Optional)
- And great music that you and your little one love to dance to!
- When you've gotten yourself ready and your little helper ready as well with apron and hat (hat isn't really necessary), have him or her help you remove everything from the oven before setting it to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Get a bowl, a masher, your bananas and a chair that you have no qualms about your helper standing on as he/she would definitely make a mess otherwise. Pull the chair up to your working station and get started. You should peel the bananas and put them in the bowl unless you're comfortable having your little one do it. Our bananas were overly ripe, as you can see, so I peeled them and placed them in the bowl. Then I mashed them a bit before having her finish off.
- Show your little one how to hold down the bowl while mashing, or you can hold the bowl down yourself and have him/her mash vigorously for one to two minutes. Although it's not that big of a deal, I've heard that overmashing the bananas can alter the texture. To each his own. As you can see, my daughter was able to mash quite well without making a mess. Do not be afraid to allow them to explore the squishiness! You'll have peels of laughter doing so. (Lol, Peels)
- In a separate bowl, measure out your sugar and hand it over to your assistant to pour. I used a rather large bowl to prevent spilling and although it asked for two cups, I used the 1/2 cup to measure since it was easier for her little hands to grasp. She helped me unwrap the paper from each stick of butter which I melted for 30 seconds in the microwave to ease the mixing.
- At this point we can start to use some of the utensils from the Martha Stewart Bake Set. Utilizing her little spatula, I mixed first while singing "Bate, Bate, Chocolate" from Dora the Explorer, then she followed my lead and got to do some mixing too. After that you both can add the mashed bananas, then use a proper mixer to get the show on the road.
Now Onto Some Cynical Fun
Realizing that I needed eggs and I was working with a nursery rhyme addict, I decided we should have some fun at the expense of Humpty Dumpty and his little friends. I got this idea from a picture I had seen somewhere, so I can't take all the credit for it. But the little one had fun screaming as I cracked each egg, as you can see, it was quite humorous.
You're Not Done Yet!
- Crack each egg into the batter while screaming your head off in agony and watch your child wriggle with laughter (if not cry in horrible disbelief of what you've just done). Mix with your electric mixer if that's what you've been doing.
- Now you can add your dry ingredients, which would be the flour and baking soda. With this once again we used her spatula from the set. I mixed it first to "Bate, Bate, Chocolate," then she mixed and finally I used the electric mixer.
- Have your helper thrown in your nuts. It doesn't have to be walnuts, and don't expect your child to be crazy about the nuts being thrown in there. Mine wasn't, oh and the pun was intended.
- We had muffin pans but seeing as we also had cupcake holders, I peeled them apart as she placed each in it's place in the pan. Because I wasn't sure how the pans would hold up, I placed cookie sheets underneath two, and it helped when checking on them later.
- This part is optional but seeing as I had a sweet tooth with m, not mine, we garnished some of the muffins with chocolate chips. I gave her about four at a time and she distributed them as she saw fit. This including her mouth, but surprisingly a lot ended up on the muffins. Yay! (At this point do expect that your little one will have dipped her fingers multiple times times into the batter, eaten granules of sugar behind your back, and tried to lick the spatula)
Yay, you're done! Well almost..
I was able to make about 18 muffins with this recipe, so should you depending on how much you want to spill over or not. Now you can put all the muffins in the oven and have clean-up time! This should be fun as you dance around the kitchen putting dishes in the sink. You will notice that you haven't used too many dishes, so clean-up should be a breeze. Check on the muffins in 10-15 minutes by sticking a toothpick in one. If it comes out clean, you're done! If not, wait five minutes. After that, it should be fine and you've have something like the picture down below, not to mention one happy little assistant, ready to aid in the tasting part, eating, and food shoveling part!
^_^ You Could Use Some More Sweet In Your Life ^_^
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