Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Banana-Cinnamon Breakfast Muffins

I am my mother's daughter..."waste not, want now," and with two very ripe bananas staring at me on the counter (LOL) I was once again faced with the challenge to create something more than just banana bread.  I actually think one day I'll write a cookbook with all the banana recipes I've had to come up with!

This recipe combines two of my treasured breakfast treats; muffins and pecan-cinnamon rolls.  I baked them in a 6-cup mini-bundt pan to give a little class for serving, but honestly, you could use a muffin pan just as easily and I bet no one would notice! 

My mother made great cinnamon rolls and I loved to help her spread the cinnamon, butter, and pecan mixture that we'd roll up, then slice.  I remember seeing a trick of using "dental floss" to slice the buns and that became my role to produce perfectly sliced buns. Cinnamon rolls are made from a yeast-risen dough that is commonly served in Northern Europe and North America, and Sweden is presumed the country of origin--"Kanelbulle," literally "cinnamon bun" is a favorite.  I didn't have time for yeast buns this morning and of course, there were those pesky bananas that I just couldn't throw out, so combining  these two memories just seemed to go together.

Banana-Cinnamon Breakfast Buns
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp. Vanilla extract + 1/4 tsp. Vanilla powder (or 1 vanilla bean, scraped)
2 very ripe bananas, mashed
2 3/4 cups King Arthur all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. Kosher salt

Sticky "bun" base:  
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
3 T maple syrup or Agave syrup
1/2 cup coarsely chopped pecans
4 T. melted butter
1 tsp. cinnamon

1 cup confectioners' sugar
3 -4 T heavy cream
1/2 tsp. Vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350F-degrees.  Lightly spray a 6-cup mini-bundt pan (or 12-cup muffin pan) with a non-stick baking spray.

To make the sticky-bun base--combine all the ingredients in a small bowl and use a fork to mix together.

If you're using a 12-cup muffin pan, divide mixture among the cups, however, if you're using a 6-cup, remember to use half the mixture for the first baking.  Set aside.

In a stand mixer, using the paddle attachment, beat butter and cream cheese until fluffy.  Gradually add the sugar and beat well.  Add the eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl and beat 1 to 2 minutes more.  Add the vanilla and mashed ripe bananas and beat just to incorporate the ingredients into the mixture.

Mix dry ingredients together in a medium bowl and whisk to combine.  Add to the mixture and on med speed, combine thoroughly, but don't overbeat.

Use a large 1/4-cup scoop to divide the batter among the cups.

Bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes or until tops spring back when touched and the muffins are  golden brown.

Immediately invert pan onto a waxed-paper-covered baking sheet.

Let muffins cool slightly, then drizzle with glaze, if desired.

As an alternative to the glaze, you could simply dust with confectioners' sugar.  Of course, as a baker, I've never grasped the concept of "Less is More!"

The comfort of warm banana muffins combined with the ooey-gooey-sticky cinnamon "topping" put a very happy smile on my face.  All I needed was some fresh fruit and breakfast was just how I like it--Sweet and Yummy.  Enjoy!

(*Note--this muffins were so moist and cake-like that you could easily make this into an elegant dessert!)


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