Friday, February 22, 2008

banana caramel cupcakes

I really wanted to eat something sweet and bad for me today, but I'm trying to eat healthy since I'm going to be in a swim suit for 7 days straight in March. So, I did what I always do when I want to eat something sweet but know I shouldn't: I baked! It's strange, not only do I have no desire to eat what I'm baking, but it also makes me not want to eat anything sweet or dessert-like at all. We had two pretty ripe bananas so I wanted to use them before they ended up in the trash. I didn't want to bake something I've already baked before (like my super yummy banana bread) so I looked through a few cookbooks and found the cutest recipe for Banana Caramel Cupcakes. I made a few changes to it as I went along, so here's my take on the recipe:

Banana Caramel Cupcakes

For cupcakes:
1/2 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
6 tbsp butter, softened
2 eggs
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup self-rising flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp allspice
1 medium mashed overripe banana
1/2 cup sour cream
3 tbsp milk

For topping:
1/2 cup heavy cream, whipped until thick
Jar of caramel sauce
A bar of dark chocolate
1 or 2 medium banana(s), thinly sliced
OPTIONAL: Peanut butter, chunky or smooth

1. Pre-heat over to 350 degrees. Line a standard muffin pan with paper baking cups.

2. Beat butter, sugar, and eggs in a blender until light and fluffy.

3. Stir in sifted dry ingredients, banana, sour cream, and milk. Divide mixture among baking cups.

4. Bake for approximately 25 minutes, or until golden brown. Turn cakes onto wire rack to cool.

5. Remove baking cups from cakes.

6. Fold 3 tbsp caramel sauce into the whipped cream.

7. Cut cupcakes horizontally into two slices. Spread caramel sauce and banana slices and re-assemble cupcakes. Top with caramel-flavored whipped cream.

8. Using a vegetable peeler, grate chocolate and spread over cupcakes.

OPTIONAL: Substitute peanut butter for the spread caramel sauce on the cupcake, this is a fun variation and tastes great with the caramel whipped cream and chocolate shavings.

This recipe is awesome. The cupcakes are SOOO delicious (two thumbs up from my parents) AND a great way to use those overripe bananas you've been avoiding for a week. These cupcakes are amazingly simple to make but they look like they took forever, love it!