Banana Nutella Swirl Muffins

March 28, 2014 • Breads, Breakfast, Recipes

Weather: 16 degrees, sun rising
What I’m listening to:
dog paws clicking across the floor, two kids collecting eggs, one child rustling Legos around in the storage box

I was standing in line holding a bouquet of spring flowers. The woman behind me in line remarked, “Well aren’t those beautiful?” They were – vibrant, fragrant, full of color and life. I agreed with her, then felt compelled to tell her that I was on my way to deliver them to a family that had just lost a loved one. Without saying a word, she kindly grabbed my upper arm and squeezed it gently, as if to say she understood, a deep sense of knowing in her eyes. I was touched by that encounter, the simple grace of a stranger on an emotional, trying day.

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The very next time I was in town shopping, I grabbed a couple of bunches of tulips to put in my kitchen, just because. They are my favorite and I can’t even tell you why; they just are. Since then, they have brightened my days and captivated my senses each time I step into the room or glance their direction. Flowers have an uncanny ability to speak to any occasion, any mood. They comfort you in sad times and they celebrate with you in the happy times, and all the day-to-day times in between.

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Food is much the same way. We celebrate around food, we mourn around food. We give food as gifts in good times and bad. It lifts the spirit and it comforts the soul. Sitting down to a meal -the daily ritual of it – grounds us, slows us down, helps us pause and take it all in. Food helps remind us of the things we have to be thankful for and gives us the strength we need to keep putting one foot in front of the other.

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IMG_9962In this particular moment, the food is a lovely batch of Banana Nutella Swirl Muffins, a nod to my earlier Pumpkin Nutella Swirl Muffins recipe. From the days when I first discovered Nutella, I have adored it with bananas. In my mind, this muffin was just meant to be. And the Nutella swirl technique is just so striking and pretty, I was excited to have a reason to do it again.

And if God cares so wonderfully for flowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you.

 -Luke 12:28

Banana Nutella Swirl Muffins

Tender, moist banana muffins with Nutella swirl topping. Adapted from [The Novice Chef|http://www.thenovicechefblog.com/2013/01/nutella-banana-swirl-muffins/].

Yields: 12-18 muffins

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 4 ripe bananas, mashed
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • ¼ cup buttermilk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ½ cup Nutella

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 12-count muffin pan with cupcake liners.

In a bowl, stir together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Set aside. In another bowl, stir together the mashed bananas, sugar, brown sugar, egg, oil, buttermilk, and vanilla extract. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until completely combined. Divide the batter evenly into the muffin cups.

Place the ½ cup of Nutella into a microwave safe bowl and heat 15-30 seconds, or until Nutella is smooth and stir-able. Spoon about two teaspoons of Nutella on top of each muffin. Using a toothpick, swirl the Nutella into the top of the batter, using a circular motion. Repeat with all of the muffins.

Bake 15-18 minutes, or until baked through and set.