I’ve already admitted to cheating the locavore thing with a few bananas a week. It’s just so easy to grab on the go and really fills me up. If I have a bagel with cream cheese in the morning I’m usually not hungry again until mid afternoon. Somehow a tiny banana has a very similar effect on me. And then there are those days that I forget about the bananas, not in the mood, or whatever, and we end up with black, dying bananas. I personally prefer my bananas a little under ripened, with flecks of green still on its skin, so as soon as those brown spots begin to appear, I’m turned off. But I’m not going to just throw them away. That would be sacrilegious. They might be fair trade, but they’re not local and the only thing worse than not eating local is buying something from thousands of miles away and not eating it. So I make banana bread or some form of.
I have a ton of pureed pumpkin from the fall and needed an excuse to use it. I’ve done things with bananas and pumpkins before and love the ultra dense, ultra moist results. I wasn’t up for starting from scratch with a recipe, so Google became my friend. My exploration kind of went like this:Recipe One: oh, that looks good. Recipe Two: hmm, this one looks good too. Recipe Three: This one has rum. Sold.
And with the faint promise of booze (I swear I really don’t have a drinking problem…), I was immediately won over by Confessions of a Chocoholic and its Pumpkin Banana Bread Recipe. I don’t usually drink rum but I really enjoy cooking with it. I use a little splash here, a little splash there, so you can imagine my surprise when halfway through the recipe I went for a bottle of rum and found it GONE. Then I remembered my husband drinks rum. In his defense, the bottle was probably close to a year old, so it’s not like he downed it over the weekend. But still, I was a bit deflated and slightly panicked as to what would substitute. I found some cognac and decided that would do. For extra measure I swapped vanilla extract for a bit of amaretto extract.
First I’d like to pat myself on the back for what turned out to be the most beautiful muffins I’ve ever made. They looked feather light but were dense and rich (not a bad thing in my book). Now I can’t guarantee you’ll be getting drunk off these beauties, but the amaretto especially leads to a warm sensation, a great way to start your morning, or end your night with a cup of tea. If you’re looking for more of a banana intensive flavor, I would skip the amaretto and stick with vanilla. I found the pumpkin, banana, extract and booze balanced well, but I don’t know that any of these traits alone would define the muffins.
Boozy Banana Pumpkin Muffins (Adapted from Confessions of a Chocoholic) Makes 12
- 1 c all purpose flour
- 1 c whole wheat flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp cloves
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 c sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 c pumpkin puree
- 1 tbsp canola oil
- 2 very ripe medium bananas, mashed
- 2 tbsp sour cream
- 1/4 c cognac
- splash of amaretto extract (the real thing would probably work well too)
Preheat oven to 350°F. Prepare your muffin tin with liners (or spray with nonstick cooking spray). Sift together the flours, baking soda, spices and salt.
In a separate mixing bowl, beat sugar and egg with a whisk until light and fluffy, about 10 minutes. Add pumpkin puree, canola oil, mashed bananas and sour cream. Add cognac and amaretto, mixing well to combine. Fold in dry ingredients until just blended.
Scoop batter into muffin tins and bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick stuck in the middle comes out clean.