Now for my first recipe, you might be thinking, why Island Mango Muffins? Yes, I am aware it is the middle of winter, and no, I have not been secretly sneaking away to a tropical hideaway. However, my boss just returned from a 3-week vacation to Guam and I was eagerly anticipating the island-style treats he would bring back for us to enjoy. In my head I was imagining Mauna Loa and Hawaiian Host macadamia nut chocolates, mango-flavored candies and other exotic delicacies. Unfortunately, although he was generous with goodies, there was only some chocolate sorely lacking any taste and none of the macadamia nuts I had been craving. What was a girl to do? To satisfy my craving I invented these muffins.
I have to say, I am not really a muffin sort of gal, but these were delicious and smelled amazing. To incorporate the island theme, they have bananas, mangos, macadamia nuts and even some crystallized ginger to give them a little punch. Macadamia is such a soft nut, and it lends the muffins a pleasant toothsome texture. The muffin is also topped with some of the nuts, as well as some raw cane sugar, also known as turbinado sugar. I think the raw sugar really gives the muffin a finishing touch, adding some crunch and a little sparkle.
Island Mango Muffins
3 cups all-purpose flour1 ½ cups sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
2 extra large eggs
¾ cup fat free milk
½ cup cooking oil
2 mashed bananas
1 cup diced mango
1 ¼ cup chopped macadamia nuts (use a food processor if possible), divided
2 ½ tablespoons finely chopped crystallized ginger
approximately ¼ cup turbinado sugar (raw cane sugar)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a medium bowl, beat eggs, and then add mashed bananas, milk and oil. Set aside. In a separate large bowl or a bowl of an electric mixer, combine flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt. Add banana mixture to flour mixture, and blend until just moist. Mixing by hand, fold in mango, crystallized ginger and 1 cup of the chopped macadamia nuts.
Line 16 muffin cups with paper cupcake liners. Scoop the batter into the lined muffin cups, filling them all the way to the top. Sprinkle each muffin with a small bit of the turbinado sugar, as well as some of the reserved chopped macadamia nuts. Add as much or as little sugar and nuts as you would like to give the muffin top a more smooth or crunchy texture.
Bake for approximately 25 minutes, until muffin tops are puffed and brown and a toothpick inserted into the middle of the muffin comes out clean. Cool muffins slightly, then remove each muffin from pan and cool completely.