Sunday, June 5, 2011

Part 1. On the move...again.

I moved again. For those of you who know me well, it's not too shocking that I have once again moved, because it seems like I've moved every 8-12 months for the last 7 years.  It actually makes me tired just thinking about it. It also makes me feel insane. Some of my moves have been for unfortunate  reasons, like a roommate that made curry non-stop and our house smelled like feet, and a landlord that didn't give me heat in December. Other reasons have been good ones, such as moving out of my parents house for the first time, moving half way across the country to a city where I knew almost no one, and having my boyfriend asking me to move in with him.  Good or bad, they have all been exciting.  This last move was out of a house and there is one reason I was sad about it.  It was the place where I had the perfect oven. It wasn't standard size, which scared me at first, but it was a gas range. Which is the best.  It actually was the best oven I have had the pleasure of using. 

I figured I needed to bake one final thing in my favorite oven.  I happened to have a freezer full of overripe bananas, which you can not move with you, seriously.  I didn't want them to go to waste so I made something that would use them up.  I even doubled the recipe so I could use more of them.  I hate wasting perfectly good 'banana bread' bananas.  I decided on Banana Cupcakes with Brown Butter Cream Cheese Frosting. It was an easy enough recipe and I didn't need to buy a thing. Those are the kind of recipes I like, the ones where I don't need to go out and buy 15 dollars worth of supplies. I had never browned butter before, and it smells delicious.  It's such an amazing smell it makes you want to drink it, but I wouldn't recommend doing that for obvious reasons. To be honest, these are pretty much banana muffins, but called a cupcake.  I'm sure they are called that so the originator of the recipe didn't feel guilty putting delicious frosting on top.
I took this recipe out of the 'Chicken and Egg' book. Yes, I'm once again using this cookbook. I can't get enough of it! This lady is fantastic!! Here is the recipe, I hope you are able to enjoy these!

Banana Cupcakes with Brown Butter Cream Cheese Frosting

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs plus 1 egg yolk
1/4 cup milk
2 very ripe bananas, mashed (1 cup)
1/2 cup chopped walnuts, toasted

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut up
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 3/4 to 2 cups powdered sugar

To make the cupcakes: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Line a 12-cup muffin pan with cupcake liners or coat with nonstick cooking spray.  Whisk together the flour, baking powder, allspice, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl.

Beat the butter, granulated sugar, and vanilla in a large bowl with an electric mixer at medium speed for 3 minutes or until light and fluffy.  Reduce the speed to low and add the eggs and egg yolk, one at a time, beating well after adding each one.  Beat in the flour mixture in three parts alternately with the milk, beginning and ending with the flour.  Beat in the bananas and stir in the walnuts. Spoon the batter into the muffin cups (they will be almost full).

Bake the cupcakes for 25-30 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean.  Remove the cupcakes from the pan and cool completely on a wire rack.

To make the frosting:  While the cupcakes are cooling, melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, or until the milk solids in the bottom of the pan turn brown and the butter smells nutty, reducing the heat to medium-low or low if the butter is cooking too fast.  Watch carefully so the butter does not burn.  Poor into a medium bowl and chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes, or until the consistency of softened butter, stirring occasionally.

Beat the browned butter with an electric mixer at medium speed until smooth.  Beat in the cream cheese and vanilla.  Slowly add enough of the powdered sugar to make a spreadable frosting. Frost the cupcakes. Serve at room temperature.  Store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

I brought these cupcakes to some friends and they seemed to enjoy them.  I hope you do as well! Stay tuned to hear about my new oven and apartment! Part II coming soon. Happy baking! Oh, and farewell, dear oven.

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