Jungle Monkey Muffins at El Mono Feliz

We’ve introduced some new wonderful things at Mono Feliz recently. We’ve promised our guests we’d put the recipes online.

One of the opportunities regarding baking in Costa Rica – is the selection of ingredients is more narrow. You may not find blessed Himalayan pink sugar crystals… you may only find sugar. So we’ve tweaked and adjusted to make things work great.

These are amazing as a meal after a big serving of fruit… and they’re also great to take with you on a rafting or animal sightseeing or mountain or jungle adventure.

1 ½ cups flour (not corn)
1 ½ tsp baking powder (aluminum free)
⅓ cup plus 2 TBSP (reserved) brown or other good quality sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp sea salt
2 medium bananas – mashed with a fork
¼ cup water
¼ cup agave nectar or maple syrup
3 TBSP olive or similar oil
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
⅓ cup plus 3 TBSP raw nuts, chopped coarsely (immersion blender in tall vessel works great)
Optional: 3 cup chocolate or cacao or carob chips
Optional: ¼ cup plus 2 TBLSP shredded unsweetened coconut

– PREHEAT OVEN to 350 degrees

1. Combine dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, sugar, cinnamon, salt) in a medium mixing bowl.

2. Prepare banana by mashing with a fork in a small bowl until smooth.

3. Add wet ingredients – water, agave nectar, olive oil, and vanilla extract, stirring to combine nicely. Stir in ⅓ cup nuts, and chocolate and ¼ cup coconut if using.

4. Fill prepared muffin cups ¾ full, sprinkle tops with remaining nuts (and coconut if using). Sprinkle just a light dusting of crystal sugar on the to of each muffin, too.

Bake at 350 degrees fahrenheit for 22-24 minutes, being careful that a the sides don’t get too dark. Test with a toothpick or cake tester. When it comes out clean from center – they’re done. Smaller muffin will cook a little faster, larger will take a little longer.

Remove from oven and cool on cooling rack or plate. Eat warm or at room temperature (or refrigerated!) If it’s in Costa Rica, as soon as they’ve cooled a bit and released some of their moisture – get them in a zip lock bag or a pyrex container.  Will keep up to 3 days in refrigerator.