Fall is (arguably) the most wonderful time of the year! The leaves, the perfect weather, Thanksgiving, and of course, (drum roll please) Fall baking. Fall baking is full of delicious-smelling, sweet-tasting, apple, pumpkin, and cinnamon-flavored desserts. My love of the fall began 4 years ago when I was a freshman in high school. I had been begging my mom for weeks prior to take me to the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, and she was all in favor until the Monday before Thanksgiving. She started saying how crowded the city would be, and how early we would have to wake up in order to get a decent spot from which to view the parade. My (more valid) argument was that the Macy’s parade is full of gigantic, larger-than-life balloons that fly, therefore, a decent viewing spot is unnecessary. As long as you can view the sky, you’re good. I lost that one. Instead, my mom suggested that we go to the city the day before Thanksgiving to watch the balloons being blown up. After a lot of pouting, I grudgingly agreed, and we were off to what would become one of the most magical evenings of my life! Seeing the huge balloons being blown up and lined along the streets of the Upper West Side was the coolest thing. Since then, we’ve made seeing the Macy’s balloon inflation an annual family tradition, and it remains my favorite day of the year!
My love for the fall and for Thanksgiving quickly resulted in a total love for fall baking. Making Thanksgiving dessert has since become my job, and a job I do with great pride! (Last year I made these awesome multi-colored sugar cookies as one of my four desserts).
Even though I still have a 3 month wait before my favorite holiday comes around, the fall begins sooner, and because of that, I give you my preview of fall baking 2012! These are amazing banana-nut cupcakes with a maple brown butter frosting and topped with cinnamon-sugar pecans. They got the seal of approval from my family (especially my dad, which doesn’t really mean much because he loves 99.9% of the desserts I made, and of desserts in general)! My favorite part of these cupcakes was the sweet maple frosting, but the crunchy taste of the chopped walnuts in the batter was a close second! So, without further adieu, the recipe for Banana Obsession Cupcakes!
Banana Obsession Cupcakes with Maple Brown Butter Frosting & Cinnamon Sugar Pecans:
What you will need:
1 1/2 cups walnuts
2 sticks unsalted butter
6 tablespoons sour cream
2 large eggs
5-6 (very ripe) bananas
2 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 cups cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla
5 cups pecans (I just used one small package)
1/3 cup brown sugar
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. salt
1 egg white
1 tablespoon water
3 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup milk
3 tablespoons real maple syrup
1 stick unsalted butter
Making the Cupcakes:
1. Preheat oven to 325°.
2. Place 1 1/2 cups of walnut halves on a cookie sheet and bake for 8 minutes. Coarsely chop them after they’re baked.
3. Line two muffin tins with cupcake liners.
4. Set out the 2 sticks of butter, sour cream, and 2 eggs to reach room temperature.
5.In a large bowl, mash 5-6 bananas (using a potato masher).
6. In a bowl, whisk flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
7. In a stand mixer, beat butter and 1 1/2 cups sugar for 3-5 minutes, until light & fluffy.
8. Add vanilla, beat in eggs one at a time.
9. Mix in half of the flour mixture.
10. Add in the mashed banana and sour cream (now at room temperature).
11. Add the remaining flour and the walnuts.
12. Scoop batter into muffin tins, bake for 22-24 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
*Make sure to enjoy the mouth-watering smell of these cupcakes while baking!
13. Let cool completely
Making the Cinnamon Sugar Pecans:
1. Preheat oven to 300°.
2. Cover a cookie sheet with parchment paper and spray with cooking spray.
3. Combine 1/3 cup brown sugar, 2/3 cup granulated sugar, 1 tsp. cinnamon, and 1 tsp. salt. Set aside.
4. Whisk together 1 egg white and 1 tablespoon water until foamy.
5. Dump the pecans into the foamy egg white and stir until all are coated.
6. Dump cinnamon sugar over the nuts and stir.
7. Dump onto cookie sheet and spread out in one layer.
8. Bake for 20 minutes, stir, and bake for 9 more.
9. Take out and let cool.
Making the Frosting
1. Place 3 cups powdered sugar in a large bowl.
2. In a small bowl, stir 1/4 cup milk and 3 tablespoons maple syrup.
3. In a saucepan over medium heat, melt 1 stick unsalted butter until golden brown. Stir continuously.
4. Pour melted butter over sugar, then add milk and syrup.
5. Beat until smooth, by hand or with a mixer.
1. Scoop frosting over cooled cupcakes.
2. Place a few cinnamon-sugar pecans on top.