Or, “Everything tastes better with flowers”

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I think all of us are familiar with the old adage “When life gives you rotting bananas, make banana bread” and no one lives by that principle as much as I do, but life has been dealing me more rotting bananas than usual lately, and eventually one does grow tired of the traditional banana-nut loaf. So with the knowledge that there were bananas quickly aging in my fruit bowl yesterday, I grabbed a bag of sweetened coconut flakes at the supermarket, figuring “bananas…coconut…Epicurious has gotta have something.”

And of course it did. I chose this recipe for its simplicity, and for the many helpful reader tips for variations upon the theme. My adaptation was to use less sugar, add some lime juice and zest and some ground cardamom.

Banana coconut muffins with lime and cardamom
(see — it already sounds more sophisticated)

Ingredients:

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 very ripe bananas, mashed (3/4 cup)
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup sugar
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup sweetened flaked coconut
Juice and zest of one lime
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom

Preheat oven to 375°F. Line muffin cups with liners.

Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl. Whisk together bananas, butter, sugar, egg, vanilla, lime juice and zest, cardamom and 1/2 cup coconut in a large bowl until combined well, then fold in flour mixture until flour is just moistened.

Divide batter among lined muffin cups and sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup coconut. Bake until muffins are puffed and golden, about 25-30 minutes. Transfer muffins to a rack and cool slightly.

The verdict? A tasty little muffin if not much to look at. Moist and crispy at the edges. Still, in my opinion, too sweet, you might want to cut down on the sugar even more, especially as the sweetened coconut is really sweet. I will definitely make this again, trying other variations. I see chopped nuts, dried fruits and different spices in its future..

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