There is nothing more lonely than moving into a new neighborhood without a proper welcome. It might seem old-fashioned to show up on their doorstep with a tray of cookies...but it is a lovely, meaningful gesture that will go far in making your new neighbors feel welcome. And you never know what sort of friendship you might grow in the future.
I like to make something they can eat for breakfast (it's so hard waking up to face your kitchen the morning after a move!) and put together a little care package to drop off once the moving truck pulls away. Banana Chip Muffins, freshly ground coffee, and a neighborhood directory with my name highlighted. It doesn't have to be fancy, a paper lunch bag will do in a pinch.
I love to put the message "Welcome Home" on the package to help them begin to feel, well, at home! This recipe for Big Banana Muffins is lovely. The muffins are moist and tender. The recipe calls for BIG muffins, but I filled regular cupcake papers and it made 1 dozen.
Big Banana Muffins
Rose Levy Beranbaum - The Bread Bible
* 1 very ripe banana, peeled and lightly mashed (½ cup; 4 ounces; 113.5 grams)
* 1/4 cup sour cream (about 1/4 cup; 60 grams)
* 1 large egg (3 tablespoons; 1.75 ounces; 50 grams (weighed without shell))
* 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest (2 grams)
* 3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
* 1 cup plus scant 3/4 cup bleached cake flour or bleached all purpose flour (3.5 ounces; 100 grams)
* 6 tablespoons sugar, preferably turbinado (2.6 ounces; 75 grams)
* 1/2 teaspoon baking powder (2.4 grams)
* 1/2 teaspoon baking soda (2.5 grams)
* 1/4 teasoon salt (1.7 grams)
* 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened (2.5 ounces; 71 grams)
* 1/2 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped medium fine (1.75 ounces; 50 grams)
Oven Temperature: 350°F
1. Preheat the oven. Preheat the oven to 350°F 20 minutes before baking. Have an oven shelf at the middle level.
2. Mix the batter. In a food processor fitted with the metal blade, process the banana and sour cream until smooth. Add the egg, lemon zest, and vanilla and process until blended.
In a mixer bowl or other large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt and beat on low speed (#2 if using a Kitchen Aid, with the paddle attachment) for about 1 minute, until well mixed. Add the butter and half the banana mixture and beat until the dry ingredients are moistened. Raise the speed to medium (#4 KitchenAid) or high if using a hand-held electric mixer and beat for 1½ minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the remaining banana mixture in two parts, beating for about 20 seconds after each addition or until well mixed. On low speed, beat in the walnuts.
3. Fill the muffin containers. Spoon or pipe the batter into the muffin containers, filling them three-quarters full. Pour a little water into the unfilled muffin cup to prevent uneven baking.
4. Bake the muffins. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until the muffins spring back when pressed lightly in the center.
5. Cool the muffins. Remove the muffins from the oven and unmold them at once onto a wire rack. Turn top side up and cool until just warm or room temperature.