Caramel-Banana-Pecan Muffins

Hello friends! Did you like the Grammy Awards last night? The fashion? The performances? I’ll admit – I sank down into the sofa after a great weekend to indulge in all of the free entertainment. With the kids in bed early, and the hubs off on another trip – it’s just me, the remote, peace & quiet…ahh…

But it is Monday, and now we’ve got to start another {great} week, right? How ’bout you start your morning off on the right foot with a muffin that will blow.your.mind!

I experiment A LOT with muffin recipes, you know, like the way some people can make crazy good combinations with cupcakes. It is why I feel the need to defend the muffin. They have a hard time competing with the cupcake. Muffins don’t get beautifully frosted. They don’t get served at birthday parties. They don’t get sprinkled or decorated. In my opinion, they are underappreciated…………..until now!

This muffin is MIND. BLOWING. It’s by Midwest Living magazine, the ‘best of’ recipes feature. I’m not exaggerating here – it’s the best homemade muffin I’ve ever had! So much that I wish I would have thought of it and took it to the bank! There is caramel, bananas, cream cheese, pecans, melted butter, and cinnamon sugar to boot. {drooling}

I’ve also included these delicious muffins in my Feeding New Mom‘s post – check it out if you know someone who’s had a baby or will soon!

You will need:

1/2 cup chopped pecans
2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp cinnamon

1 3-oz package of cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup butter, softened
2/3 cup sugar
1 egg
1 medium banana, very ripe, peeled and mashed {1/2 cup}
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/4 cup flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp kosher salt
Kraft caramel bits {original recipe calls for 2 tbsp caramel-flavored ice cream topping}

1 medium banana, ripe, peeled and thinly sliced
1 tbsp butter, melted

Line 12 cup muffin tin with liners. Spray with PAM. In a small bowl, combine pecans, 2 tbsp sugar, and 1 tsp cinnamon. Set aside. In your stand mixing bowl, beat cream cheese, butter, and 2/3 cup sugar until creamy.

Add the egg and mix to combine. Beat in the mashed banana and vanilla until just combined. {over mixing muffin batter makes them tough}

In another bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add the flour mixture one spoonful at a time while the mixer is stirring on low until just combined. Stir in 1/4 cup of the pecan mixture.

Then spoon about a tablespoon of the batter into the muffin cups. Sprinkle on some caramel bits and a slice or two of banana.

Spoon another tablespoon of the batter on top and then sprinkle some of the remaining pecan mixture on each top.

Take the melted butter and drizzle on the tops of the muffins before placing them in the oven.

Bake the muffins in a 375 degree oven for 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool in the pan for 5 minutes and then remove from pan. Serve warm, drizzled with more caramel if you like.

Now get to the grocery store, load up on ingredients, and make yourself these NOW!!! It will be the best MONDAY you’ve ever had, guaranteed!

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