Banana Caramel Muffins

(originally made 3/2013)

A few years back LindaChicken shared this recipe from Midwest Living.    I had a few sad bananas and some leftover caramel topping kicking around and a quick search through MasterCook popped this one up.   I used caramel extract instead of vanilla and omitted the caramel topping in the center.  No nuts here, so added 1/2 tsp cinnamon to the batter.   I topped mine with some raw sugar for a little crunch, then drizzled it with the caramel topping.

So so good.   And disappearing fast.   Thank you LC!    :)

 * Exported from MasterCook *

                          Banana Caramel Muffins

  Amount  Measure       Ingredient -- Preparation Method
--------  ------------  --------------------------------
     1/2           cup  chopped toasted pecans (omitted)
  2              Tbsp.  sugar
  1               tsp.  ground cinnamon
  1               pkg.  cream cheese -- (3 oz.) softened
     1/4           cup  butter -- softened
     2/3           cup  sugar
  1                     egg
  1             medium  banana -- peeled and mashed (1/2 cup)- used 2 small
  1               tsp.  vanilla (used caramel extract)
  1 1/4           cups  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) (omitted)
  1              Tbsp.  butter -- melted (omitted)
                        Caramel-flavored ice cream topping (optional)

    Line twelve 2-1/2-inch muffin cups or 6 jumbo (3-1/4-inch) muffin cups with paper bake cups. In a small bowl, mix pecans, 2 tablespoons sugar and 1 teaspoon cinnamon.
    In a large mixing bowl, beat cream cheese, softened butter and 2/3 cup sugar with an 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 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 each jumbo muffin cup). Drizzle 1/2 teaspoon caramel topping over batter in each cup. Top with remaining batter. If you like, top each muffin with 2 thin slices additional banana. Drizzle each with a little melted butter and sprinkle with remaining pecan mixture.
    Bake in a 375 degree F oven for 18 to 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack for 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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