Enter the toasted coconut, macadamia nut, caramel, chocolate chip banana bread muffin. It was heavenly and after that first delicious bite I knew we were going to have to recreate them once we got home.
Guys I don't even like coconut or macadamia nuts, but I sure loved these -- and what better way to bring home a taste of paradise! Missing Maui already....
Hawaiian Caramel Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins
Recipe adapted from: Whole Wheat Banana Bread Muffins
Inspired by: Kihei Caffe
Makes 12-15 muffins
3 extra-ripe medium bananas, about 1 pound
1/2 c. coconut oil, melted
1/2 c. brown sugar
1/4 cup honey
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 c. white whole wheat flour
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 c. mini chocolate chips, plus extra for topping
4 Tbsp. butter
1/2 c. brown sugar
2-3 Tbsp. milk
1/2 c. unsweetened coconut, shredded
1/2 c. roasted salted macadamia nuts, chopped
Directions: Begin by heating a small pan over medium-high heat. In the pan toast the coconut until light golden brown. Set aside. In the same pan toast the macadamia nuts until golden brown in color. Set aside.
In a small saucepan melt the butter for the caramel over medium heat. Add brown sugar. Cook for about 1-2 minutes until slightly thickened, whisking constantly. While still whisking add the milk and cook for another 1-2 minutes until caramel is smooth. Immediately remove from heat and set aside.
Now preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 12 cup muffin tin and set aside. In a large bowl add bananas and mash them with a fork until pureed. Add coconut oil, brown sugar, honey, eggs, and vanilla extract. Whisk until all ingredients are incorporated. Add flour, baking soda, and salt. Stir until just combined. Finally fold in the mini chocolate chips.
Add 1/4 cup of batter for each muffin to prepared pan. Top with 3/4-1 teaspoon of toasted coconut and 1 teaspoon of macadamia nuts. Next, in the center of each muffin, add 1 teaspoon of prepared caramel. (The closer the caramel gets to the sides the more that will overflow when baking.) Finally divide remaining nuts and coconut evenly between each muffin and sprinkle on top of the caramel.
Bake for 20 minutes. Some caramel will most likely spread through the baking process. Once cooled, remove from the pan and enjoy!