Monkeyshines…got bananas?

I love bananas.  I am not sure if it’s the creaminess of the fruit in its natural state, or the magic that happens when it’s combined with the wonderful spiciness of cinnamon, nutmeg and other flavorings.  Any cake or bread that contains the fruit becomes moist, chewy and utterly delectable.  Desserts containing bananas seem perfectly designed for this time of year; maybe it’s the aroma of the spices or the other ingredients such as nuts that pronounce it “fall-like”.

This recipe, the next in Martha’s cupcake collection, is no exception.  Banana-Pecan Cupcakes – the moistness, nuttiness and spiciness are amazing.  The frosting, a caramel cream cheese buttercream is a perfect topper.

Here is how I made it –

Whisk together the dry ingredients:

and the wet ingredients (including the mashed bananas):

and set these aside.  Cream together the butter and brown sugar:

until it looks like this:

After adding the dry and wet ingredients, the nuts are mixed in by hand:

After baking, this is what they look like:

Here’s a tip when working with bananas:  If you notice that your bananas are overripe, don’t drop everything to make cupcakes, banana bread, etc.  Take the overripe bananas and put them into your freezer (unpeeled).  Then, when you are ready to bake just defrost them and they’re ready to use.

Another tip: If you want to intensify the banana flavor, microwave peeled bananas for approximately 5 minutes covered with plastic wrap.  The liquid that remains in the bowl of bananas can be boiled on the stove in a heavy saucepan at a high heat (watch closely to prevent burning!)  When the liquid has been reduced and becomes syrupy it can be added to your recipe.

Now, back to this recipe.  After cooling I frosted the cupcakes with caramel cream cheese frosting.  I cheated a little here; instead of making my own caramel, I used a bottled version.  It was delicious, but homemade is a lot better!  Basically, I just added some of the bottled caramel to a standard cream cheese icing and mixed together.  The caramel flavor with the bananas and nuts was extraordinary!

These cupcakes are a definite keeper; I am sure I will be making them over and over.  They are just that good. Period.

Here are a few more pictures:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

That’s all for now – it’s time to get back to my Halloween cupcakes and cake pops.  The event starts one week from today!! Yikes!!

Stay tuned,

Sweet Joan

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