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Salted Caramel Banana Muffins

15 Oct

Hi again!

I made muffins!

Salted Caramel Banana Muffins!

I had a free morning and was going to clean.  Honest, I was.  NO BAKING….just laundry and house cleaning.  I made the mistake of walking into the kitchen, and right there on the counter screaming at me were spotty bananas!  It was a conspiracy, completely and totally!

An hour later, these babies were born! 

Yup, totally worth not getting the floor mopped!

I used my old stand-by banana bread recipe that I always use, and instead made muffins.  I think I seriously need to upgrade my muffin tins if I’m going to photograph them….these look very well-loved. 

I baked them at a high-temp for a few minutes and then at 350 for the rest of the time. I think they rose beautifully!

Next, I made the Salted Caramel Glaze.  It is super easy!  You could always drizzle caramel sauce over the muffins and sprinkle with coarse salt  if you want to omit this step.  It is worth the 5 minutes though, I promise!!

Start with brown sugar and butter.

Boil it for a minute…..looks like caramel to me!

Add cream, powdered sugar and salt…..and you have a glaze!

Drizzle it over your bread or muffins and sprinkle on a bit of coarse salt for fun.

I love sweet and salty together, so I am a sucker for salted caramel. The bread stands well alone if you don’t want to add the glaze, and the caramel can be used wherever you need a caramel sauce!  Heck, you can eat it alone as well!!  🙂

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Salted Caramel Banana Muffins

(this recipe makes 1 loaf of banana bread or 18 muffins)

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 4 medium over-ripe bananas, mashed (mine was just over 2 cups)

– Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.  Grease muffin tins or loaf pan.

– In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda and salt.

– In a separate bowl, cream butter and sugar.  Stir in eggs and mashed bananas.

– Add the flour mixture until completely combined. 

– Pour into prepared tins/pan.  I used a 2 Tbsp. scoop and put 2 scoops in each muffin cup, or about 1/3 full.

– Bake for 5 minutes at 400 degrees. (for muffins.  Bread is baked at a constant 350 degrees)  Then, lower heat to 350 degrees and continue baking an additional 12-15 minutes,  until the  middles bounce back when pressed, or a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

**You can omit the last step and just bake for 15 to 20 minutes at 350 degrees.  I find baking at a high temperature at first makes the muffins peak higher.

Salted Caramel Glaze

  • 2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 tsp. heavy cream
  • 1/3 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. coarse salt (kosher salt)

– In a small sauce pan, heat butter and sugar over medium heat until boiling.  Stir constantly.

– Boil one minute (continuing to stir) and remove from heat.

– Stir in powdered sugar, heavy cream and sugar until smooth and combined. 

– Immediately drizzle over muffins/bread.

*(adapted from Betty Crocker’s Salted Caramel Glaze)

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There is something special about home-made bread and muffins.

Yes, the  floor still needs mopping and the laundry is waiting to be put in the dryer,  but the house sure does smell good.

Enjoy!

Love, Lara

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Butterscotch Pear Bread

26 Sep

I love baking with fruit!

I find there is something very satisfying about picking the fruit that goes into the things I bake.

One of my most memorable fruit picking adventures was picking strawberries with my 3-year-old son.  It is kind-of an unspoken rule that if you are going to taste the fruit as you pick it, you do it discreetly, and only to test the ripeness of course….I mean it would be stealing if you ate enough to count as lunch.  Well apparently, that was the goal of a certain little boy who shall remain anonymous!  He also rolled in, slid through, tripped over, and fell into every inch of  strawberries he got near.  Needless to say, when I took our 10 lbs. to the little stand to pay, he was red from the top of his forehead to the tips of his little toes.  Of course I didn’t have any wet wipes on me, and I think he was actually enjoying being red….I mean Spiderman IS red! The woman at the counter, bless her heart, didn’t say a word.  She didn’t acknowledge him either, so maybe that was her way of letting me off the hook.   I think next year I will feed him lunch BEFORE we go!

It’s pear and apple season!  I have lots and lots of pears, and they are not from an orchard…which pretty much just means they are not very pretty.  They taste the same, but they won’t be going into any decorative fruit bowls for sure!

So I decided to make pear bread. Pears have a pretty subtle taste and usually pair well with pecans, but I have a tree nut allergy in my home so that wouldn’t be such a good idea.  My first thought was caramel, but I wanted something with a bit more “pop” …..butterscotch chips…..YUM!  This turned out to be a moist fruity bread that would be good anytime of day.

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Butterscotch Pear Bread

  • 1/2 cup applesauce
  • 1/2 cup veg. oil
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 1/2 cups pears (peeled and roughly chopped)
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. baking powder (pref. aluminum free)
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1 cup butterscotch chips

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees and grease 2 bread pans or 8 mini-loaf pans.

Combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg in a large bowl and set aside.

In a separate bowl combine applesauce, oil, sugar and eggs…..mix well.  Stir in pears.

Add dry ingredients and combine, fold in butterscotch chips.

Pour batter into prepared pans and bake full loaves 45 to 50 minutes or mini-loaves 25-30 minutes.  Cool in pans for 10 minutes then move to a wire rack to cool completely.

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I like making breads because they are easy to wrap up and share.  I think this one would be good with caramel drizzled over the top and I definitely like it served warm. Enjoy!

Love, Lara

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