Months ago, while waiting in line at a checkout counter, I saw some muffins on the cover of Midwest Living Magazine (Jan. 2010. Speaking of the Midwest, we used to live there. We miss it.) and of course they caught my eye because they were banana muffins. I was also drawn to the dripping caramel that was oozing down the side of the muffin.
These muffins were SO good. So good in fact that the evening I made them, each of the boys ate two. They aren’t super strong on banana flavor, I wonder if I didn’t tell some people they were banana muffins if they’d even know. This is a good thing, I think, as there just seems to be some people who don’t like the delicious banana. There is cream cheese in the batter as well as some butter, which I thought added some great flavor to these muffins. I may play around with the recipe and try a few other things with a few of the same thing. These are totally worth making when you have an overripe banana sitting around!
Caramel-Banana Muffins, adapted from Midwest Living Magazine, Jan. 2010, by Katrina, Baking and Boys!
1/2 cup chopped pecans
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 ounces cream cheese, softened (I used the 1/3 less fat kind)
1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 medium banana, peeled and mashed (1/2 cup)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour (150 grams)
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons caramel-flavored ice cream topping, plus more for drizzling is optional
1 medium banana (not too ripe), thinly sliced (optional) I only put banana slices on a few.
Line 12 muffins cups with paper liners (I only got 11.) Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a small bowl, mix chopped pecans, the 2 tablespoons of sugar and the cinnamon. Set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, beat cream cheese, butter and 2/3 cup sugar with an electric mixer until well combined, 2-3 minutes. Add egg and beat well. Scrape sides of bowl. Beat in the mashed banana and vanilla until combined.
In another bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add to the banana mixture, beating on low speed until just combined.
Stir 1/4 cup of the pecan mixture into the batter with a spatula. Spoon half the batter into the prepared muffin cups, about 1 good tablespoons for each cup. Drizzle 1/2 teaspoon caramel topping over batter in each cup. Top with remaining batter. Sprinkle with remaining pecan mixture.
Bake for 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Remove muffins from pan and allow to cool another 5-10 minutes. Serve warm with banana slices and more caramel topping, if desired. (The boys thought they were great as is.