Sunday, May 3, 2009

Banana Streusel Muffins with Caramel Glaze

These are the best banana muffins that have ever touched my tastebuds! I came up with this recipe yesterday. I was confined to the house for most of the day. A great big, giant spring broke over the garage door and the thing wouldn't budge until a overhead door technician (I believe that's the PC title for garage door repair man) came and took the whole darn thing apart and put it back together again with new hardware. With the car stuck in the garage, I decided to take the opportunity to catch up on the laundry and do a little baking. Here was my thought process when developing this recipe: banana muffins are good. Banana muffins with streusel topping are better. Banana muffins with streusel topping AND glaze would be amazing. And they were. I tell the truth.

I started out by combining the dry ingredients; flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder, in a large bowl.

Now we're ready for the not-so-dry ingredients. Most important ingredient in Banana Muffins:

I mashed three of these babies with my pastry cutter.

Now this might make you laugh at me. You probably know that you can cut the fat in baked goods such as muffins and cakes by substituting applesauce for the oil or shortening. For some great tips on substituting applesauce in baked goods, click here. I decided to cut the fat in half. I used 1/4 cup of my homemade applesauce from the freezer and 1/4 cup of melted butter. As you keep reading, you'll see that I load on the streusel topping and generously drizzle these muffins with caramel glaze. Cutting the fat here is kind of like ordering a Diet Coke...with a Big Mac and fries. Next time I'll be healthier. Next time I'll substitute applesauce for all of the fat. Next time I'll just sprinkle the tops with a little flavored intstant oatmeal. Next time...

Combine the melted butter, applesauce, egg, sugar, and vanilla with the mashed banana.

Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients. Pour the liquid ingredients in and stir until just combined. One of the secrets of a tender muffin is to not over stir. The more you stir, the stronger it makes the gluten bonds in the flour. However, you want to make sure that you stir enough that you don't miss anything. It's not pleasant to bite into a chunk of baking soda that got missed in the mixin'.

Now for the streusel topping. I combined flour, brown sugar, and quick oats and then cut in 2 tablespoons of butter until crumbly.

Spoon batter into muffin cups until they are 3/4 full. Sprinkle a heaping teaspoon of the streusel mixture onto each of the muffins. Bake at 375 degrees for 18-20 minutes until they test done with a toothpick. Let them cool for about 10 minutes in the pan before removing them to a cooling rack.

One of my family's favorite desserts are my famous Banana Bars. Topped with caramel icing, they were my inspiration when creating the glaze for these muffins. Start out by melting 2 tablespoons of butter in a saucepan. Add 1/4 cup of brown sugar.

Stir in 1 1/2 tablespoons of milk and bring to a boil.

Add 1/2 cup of powdered sugar and stir until smooth.

You'll want this glaze to be drizzling consistency. It should fall freely and continuously off of your spoon. If it's not quite "there" after adding the powdered sugar, add a little more milk, by 1/2 teaspoonfuls until it's viscous enough to drizzle over your muffins. Drizzle the glaze generously over the cooled muffins, using a spoon. When you finish the drizzling, feel free to lick the spoon, the pan, and anything else (save the muffins) that this decadent caramel glaze landed upon in the drizzling process. I did. I couldn't help it. One taste and it was love.

Just look at this! These muffins are giving my banana bars a run for their money as "best banana baked good". Not only will they be the perfect addition to your brunch line-up, I bet they could smooth over any number of problems. Issues with your child's teacher? Just send in a batch of these. Ticked off your neighbor? Ring their doorbell with a basket of these on your arm (and a smile). I mean it. These are powerful muffins. They exude love. Love muffins. He he!

If you've got a busy Sunday morning schedule, it may not be realistic to rise and shine and bake a fresh batch o' muffins before brunch. No problem. Make them the night before. Do you have one of these? I love my little cupcake caddy. It's been my saving grace when toting cupcakes to the preschool. Don't have one yet?
Well, Mother's Day is next weekend...

Banana Streusel Muffins with Caramel Glaze

1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 large ripe bananas, mashed
3/4 cup granulated Sugar
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/4 cup butter, melted
1/4 cup applesauce
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Streusel Topping:
1/4 cup brown Sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup quick oats
2 tablespoons cold butter

Caramel Glaze:
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup brown Sugar
1-1/2 tablespoons milk
1/2 cup powdered Sugar

In a large bowl, combine dry ingredients. Combine bananas, sugar, egg, butter, applesauce, and vanilla; mix well. Stir into dry ingredients just until moistened. Fill greased or paper-lined muffin cups three-fourths full. Combine the first three topping ingredients; cut in butter until crumbly. Sprinkle over muffins. Bake at 375°
for 18-20 minutes or until muffins test done. Cool in pan 10 minutes before
removing to a wire rack.
For glaze, in a small saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Stir in brown sugar and milk; bring to a boil. Cool slightly. Whisk in confectioners' sugar. Drizzle generously over cooled muffins.


Donna-FFW said...

I absolutely 100% love this recipe. Sounds utterly fantastic and the glaze oh so delicious. And applesauce in them too, I am trying this. I love to bake with bananas..your banana bars are on my list also.

Ingrid_3Bs said...

Oh, yes! I'm with Donna. I KNOW my family will love this recipe. I can't wait for my bananas to ripen.

I'm off to check out your banana bars!

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