Bananas Foster Muffins

As you've noticed, I was a little preoccupied with being on vacation to draft up this post that was to be scheduled during my absence.  If I were smart enough, I would've planned to have some of my lovely food blogger friends guest post for me while I was away. Oh well, next time!

So, I'm back in good ol' New York, where the weather is just as nice as it was down south. I feel like I missed Spring in the week I was away... the hubs and I spent 2 days in New Orleans trying to soak up as much as we could with our limited time and budget.  NOLA was just a prelude to our real vacation with family in Pensacola, Florida.  Airfare was almost $100 cheaper to NOLA and Pensacola was only a 3.5 hour drive away.  Hubs has never been to the Crescent City so it would be the best of both worlds, and a great way to save money... I scrounged up various rewards/points for our 2-night hotel stay and rental car so in the end we didn't have to pay for anything out of pocket besides airfare and meals. This vacation would not have been possible, otherwise.  

It was good to get away... even though some may wonder what I need to "get away" from since I'm currently unemployed.  There's a whole lot of personal stuff that I wish I could unload here but in due time, I will.  For me, it was more of a mental vacation - an opportunity to clear my head; re-focus my thoughts and question my know, all those major "life" ponderings.   

I hope to get back in the swing of things here on the blog - looking forward to sharing some NOLA photos with you.  In the meantime, I hope you enjoy these muffins inspired by the classic N'awlins dessert.  

Recipe Note: I was looking for a soft and light muffin rather than the usual dense banana bread but, realized after that the topping and glaze required a more dense crumb to hold it all together.  Also, Fine Cooking's version indicates to overfill the muffin cups to get a "bakery-style" muffin - that's why my muffins look sunken in and warped.  Nonetheless, they tasted wonderful! If you don't mind funny looking muffins, then try this recipe (adjusted so you do not overfill the pans).  If you'd rather have denser muffins - try the original bananas foster bread recipe by Brown Eyed Baker.

Bananas Foster Muffins
via Fine Cooking’s RecipeMaker
Streusel topping & rum glaze from Brown Eyed Baker

[Print Recipe]

Makes 18 muffins

For the Pecan Streusel Topping:
1½ cups chopped pecans
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
¼ cup dark brown sugar
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
4 tablespoons butter, cold

For the Rum Glaze:
¼ cup (4 tablespoons) butter
2 tablespoons water
¼ cup light brown sugar
¼ cup rum

For the Muffins:
3-1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon table salt
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
1-1/3 cups granulated sugar
10 tablespoons (5 oz.) unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
1 cup whole milk, at room temperature
1 cup sour cream, at room temperature
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 large egg yolk, at room temperature
1-1/2 cup thinly sliced bananas
1 tsp. vanilla extract

For topping: 
In medium bowl, mix all of the ingredients for streusel topping with your fingers.  Make sure all of the butter is evenly distributed to create a crumbly topping.  Set aside.

For rum glaze:
In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the butter, water and sugar.  Bring to a  boil and reduce the heat to medium-low and let simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the rum.  Keep covered and set aside.

For muffins:
Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 350°F. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with paper or foil baking cups.

In a large mixing bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; mix well. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the sugar, butter, milk, sour cream, eggs, and egg yolk until well combined.

Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and fold gently with a rubber spatula just until the dry ingredients are mostly moistened (the batter will be lumpy)--there should still be quite a few streaks of dry flour.

Sprinkle the bananas and vanilla extract onto the batter, and fold them in until just combined. (The batter will be lumpy; don’t try to smooth it out.) Do not overmix.

Use an ice cream scoop if you have one with a “sweeper” in it; otherwise, use two spoons to spoon the batter into the muffin cup, about ¾ full.

Bake until the muffins are golden brown and spring back lightly when you press the middle, 25 to 30 minutes.  Let muffins cool on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Then, using a skewer, carefully poke holes on the top of each muffin. Using a pastry brush, brush each muffin with the rum glaze once, and let sit for about 5 minutes.  Repeat with remaining glaze, as desired.