Thursday, January 12, 2012

Banana Cream Cheese Streusel Muffins

This muffin recipe comes to you courtesy of a surge of creativity I had recently.  The base is my favorite banana muffin, but made even yummier by the addition of a cream cheese center and a cinnamon-sugar streusel topping.  Even if you don't normally prefer muffins, you might find yourself really enjoying these as you linger over your morning (or afternoon!) coffee!

Banana Cream Cheese Streusel Muffins
Makes 24 muffins

For the filling:
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 cup powdered sugar

For the muffin batter:

6 large, very ripe bananas
2 eggs
2/3 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup canola oil (or applesauce)

4 cups flour
2 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. grated nutmeg

Streusel Topping:
1/2 cup sugar
5 tbl. flour
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
4 tbl. cold butter, cut into pieces

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line 2 muffin pans with liners or spray each well with non-stick cooking spray.

In a mixing bowl, combine softened cream cheese and powdered sugar until fully combined.  Place in refrigerator until ready to use.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the peeled bananas until mashed.  Beat in the eggs, sugar, and oil.

Slowly add in the dry ingredients--flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg--and mix on low speed until just blended.

Add 1 tablespoon of muffin batter to each prepared muffin tin.  Using a regular spoon, add 1/2-1 spoonful of cream cheese mixture on top of each muffin well.  Top with remaining muffin batter, approximately a regular spoonful.

To make streusel, combine sugar, flour, and cinnamon in a small bowl.  Cut in the cold butter using two forks or a pastry blender until the mixture is coarse and crumbly.

Top each muffin with a spoonful of streusel mixture.

Bake for 20-25 minutes, until tops are golden and they spring back when lightly touched.  Transfer to a rack to cool and store cooled muffins in an airtight container.

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