Monday, September 2, 2013

Caramel-Banana Muffins

     I stumbled across this recipe while looking at back issues of magazines; I will definitely be trying it.  Sugar-topped banana slices caramelize as they bake on top of these sweet muffins.

Caramel-Banana Muffins

1/2 C chopped pecans
2 Tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 3-oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened
1/4 C butter, softened
2/3 C sugar
1 egg
1 medium banana, peeled and mashed (1/2 C)
1 tsp. vanilla
1 1/4 C all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. caramel-flavored ice cream topping
1 medium banana, peeled and thinly sliced (optional)
1 Tbsp. butter, melted
Caramel-flavored ice cream topping (optional)

Line twelve 2 1/2-inch OR 6 jumbo (3 1/4-inch) muffin cups with paper baking liners.  In a small bowl, mix pecans, 2 tablespoons sugar and 1 tsp. cinnamon. 

In a large mixing bowl, beat cream cheese, softened butter and 2/3 cup sugar with electric mixer until well combined.  Add egg and beat well.  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 in 1/4 cup of the pecan mixture.  Spoon half the batter into prepared muffin cups (1 rounded tablespoon for each 2 1/2-inch muffin cup OR 2 rounded tablespoons for jumbo cups).   Drizzle 1/2 teaspoon caramel topping over batter in each cup.  Top with remaining batter.  If you like, top each with 2 thin slices additional banana.  Drizzle with a little melted butter and sprinkle with remaining pecan mixture.

Bake in a 375 degree oven for 18 to 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean.  Cool in pan on a wire rack 5 minutes.  Remove from pan.  Serve warm, drizzled with more caramel topping, if you like. 

Makes 12 standard OR 6 jumbo muffins

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