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Banana Muffins Filled with Cream Cheese? Yes We Can!

So I tried this experiment yesterday.

There have been a couple of extra ripe bananas staring me down for a couple of days.  I mean, it was getting ugly.  So last night I was forced to make an important decision: bake something or throw the poor things in the freezer where they would probably get lost for a very long time.

I chose to act!  I could have made some banana bread.  Everyone likes banana bread, right?  But lately, I’ve been in the mood for change.  I mean it seems like I’ve been making the same banana bread recipe for at least the last eight years…

Then it struck me!  Muffins!  I’ll make banana muffins!

But then I really thought about it.  Muffins might look different than banana bread, one might even say they come in a much cuter package than banana bread. But when it comes down to it, they’re still banana bread.  Not much change there, huh?

Luckily I had half a package of cream cheese left over from that Pumpkin Cream Cheese Spread I made earlier in the week.  Could I?  Should I?  I wrestled with the decision for a few minutes.  I knew in my heart that bananas and cream cheese were a good combination, but I had never actually tried putting a cream cheese filling in a muffin.  I’ve seen it done before. I’ve tasted good cream cheese-filled muffins.  But I was still worried.

It can be hard to try something for the first time.  Did I have enough experience?  What if I ruined the whole batch?

Oh, what the hell, I just did it!

And you know what?  They were a hit!  I even fed them to a couple of people known to have fairly conservative tastes.  And they loved the change so much, they might never go back to plain old banana bread again.

Cream Cheese Filled Banana Muffins

4 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg

muffin batter:
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup sugar
2 bananas, mashed
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup oil
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Grease a 12-cup standard muffin pan.
2. In a small bowl, beat together cream cheese, sugar, and egg. Put bowl in refrigerator while you make the muffin batter.
3. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and soda, salt, and sugar; set aside.
4. In a medium bowl, whisk together bananas, buttermilk, oil, eggs, and vanilla.
5. Pour wet ingredients into the large bowl filled with flour mixture then stir with wooden spoon just until the mixture is combined.
6. Spoon enough batter into muffins cups so that they are just under halfway full.  Add one spoonful of cream cheese mixture into each cup, then top with remaining muffin batter.  Muffin cups will end up being almost completely full.
7. Bake for 20-25 minutes at 375 degrees.  Check after 20 minutes, muffins are done when a toothpick inserted into center comes out clean.
8. Enjoy!

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