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Sunday, January 15, 2017

Coffee and Banana Muffins with Coffee Cream Cheese Frosting

I discovered some time ago that coffee and banana is a great flavor combo, so I've been anxious to try this recipe for some time.  I finally got that chance when my mom had 3 overripe bananas sitting around while I was visiting.  I don't know why the recipe is so large---I cut it in half and it still would have made at least 12 (if not 18) regular-sized muffins.  I used a pan with 8 rectangular cups, which I think are bigger than regular muffin cups, and filled them nearly to the top.

I prefer ginger over cinnamon in banana bread, but used the cinnamon anyway because I wasn't sure how ginger would go with coffee.  (Probably fine, as I've been drinking gingerbread-spiced coffee all winter.)  Anyway, I don't think I could detect it (but maybe because it was old.)  I reduced the sugar from the original, but otherwise pretty much followed the halved recipe. 

Here's what I used:

1¾ cup flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 heaping teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
5/8 1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
3/8 cup vegetable oil
1½ cup mashed banana (3 bananas)
1/4 cup sour cream plain yogurt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 heaping tablespoon instant coffee espresso, dissolved in 1 tablespoon of extremely hot water
scant cup walnuts, toasted and chopped, if desired

Coffee frosting
4 ounces cream cheese, very soft
2 tablespoons butter, softened
1/2 heaping tablespoon instant coffee espresso, dissolved in 1 tablespoon of extremely hot water
1½ 1 cup powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350; grease cupcake pans.  Sift together flour, soda, cinnamon and salt and set aside. Beat together eggs and sugars on high speed for 3 minutes. Reduce speed and beat in oil, then bananas, yogurt, vanilla, and coffee, mixing well. Gently mix in dry ingredients until just mixed (then stir in nuts.)  Fill cups to 3/4 full and bake 17-19 minutes. Remove from oven and cool on cooling racks. 

Mix together frosting ingredients until smooth and creamy, 2 minutes. Frost cooled muffins or fill them with the cream cheese mixture.

I'm pretty sure I baked these longer than the recipe states, which would make sense since they were larger, but I can't remember the time.  I'm thinking 20-25 minutes.  I checked them with a cake tester.  My cream cheese wasn't quite warm enough and left little bits that I didn't get completely mixed in, but it wasn't noticeable while I was eating them.  Apparently "room temperature" isn't necessarily warm enough.  Curiously, I noticed the original recipe now calls for the reduced quantity of sugar in the frosting, same as I used.  Must have been a typo that I copied long ago into my recipe file.  (Note to self:  these might look nice with fork marks longitudinally down the frosting.)

Conclusion:  These were really good, moist and not overly sweet. In fact, if I made them without the frosting, I'd want the additional sugar that I left out of the batter.  The frosting was pretty strongly coffee flavored, and 3 bananas is a lot (although it might equal out to only 2 if the recipe were scaled to only 12 muffins, which is a normal quantity).  Yet when pressed, one taster didn't taste the coffee at all, and another thought they were pumpkin muffins with a maple frosting.  I have to admit, I could see it.  Part of that might have been because they had the texture of pumpkin muffins, moist and dense.  But even so, pumpkin and maple isn't bad at all.  I enjoyed these and would make them again.

Recipe:  Coffee-infused Banana Muffins via Just a Pinch.

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