Banana-Cocoa Muffins

The whole-wheat pastry flour helps make these muffins substantial, while the cardamom (and cocoa powder) rescues them from being dull. Toasted pecans add just the right amount of crunch, while the applesauce, rather than sugar, adds a hint of sweetness. If you can't find cardamom, swap in 1/4 teaspoon of ground nutmeg and a 1/4 teaspoon of ground cloves.

Banana-Cocoa Muffins i
Nicole Spiridakis for NPR
Banana-Cocoa Muffins
Nicole Spiridakis for NPR

Makes 12 muffins

3/4 cups all-purpose flour

3/4 cups whole-wheat pastry flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

3 tablespoons of cocoa

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom

1 large egg

1 cup mashed bananas (3 medium)

1/2 cup applesauce

1/4 cup melted butter

1/2 cup toasted, chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Grease the bottom and sides of a muffin tin (or loaf pan, if you're so inclined). In a medium bowl, combine the flours, baking powder, baking soda, cocoa and spices and set aside.

In another bowl, combine the egg, mashed bananas, applesauce and butter. Add the wet mixture all at once to the dry mixture and stir until just moistened. Fold in the pecans.

Bake in the prepared pan for about 20 minutes for muffins (50 to 55 for a loaf), or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pan for 10 minutes then remove.

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