Monday, March 30, 2015

Spiced Walnut and Banana Muffins with Mascarpone and Orange Zest Frosting

Makes 18 regular sized muffins or 12 jumbo muffins.

For the Spiced Walnuts
  • 1 ½ cups walnut pieces
  • 4 oz. sweet cream salted butter
  • 1 tea. smoked paprika powder
  • 1 tea. cayenne powder
  • 2 tea. brown sugar

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Melt butter over low heat in a saucepan, whisk in paprika, cayenne and brown sugar. Toss walnut pieces in the butter mixture.
  3. Lay walnuts out on a baking pan lined with tin foil, spread the walnuts evenly so they don’t overlap.
  4. If there is any butter mixture left in the pan, drizzle over the top of the walnuts.
  5. Bake for about 10 minutes or until sugar has caramelized on the walnuts.
  6. Remove from oven and let cool.

For the Muffins
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tea. kosher salt
  • 1 tea. baking soda
  • 1/2 tea. baking powder
  • 1/2 tea. ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 tea. ground cinnamon
  • 2 cups light brown sugar
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 tea. orange extract
  • 4 very ripe bananas
  • 1 cup chopped spiced walnuts

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees
  2. Line the muffin cups with muffin tin liners.
  3. Sift flour, baking soda, kosher salt, baking powder, cinnamon, and nutmeg into a bowl.
  4. In a mixer, beat the sugar, oil, eggs, and orange extract in a large bowl until smooth
  5. Add in the banana and chopped walnuts.
  6. Add the dry ingredients and mix until well blended.
  7. Divide the batter between the muffin cups.
  8. Bake until golden brown about 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out dry.
  9. Remove from muffin tins onto wire rack and let cool before frosting.

For the Frosting:
  • 3 oz cream cheese, room temperature
  • 3 oz. sweet cream salted butter, room temp
  • 1/3 cup mascarpone cheese, room temp
  • 1 Tbl. agave nectar
  • 1 Tbl. fresh orange zest

  1. In an electric mixer beat all ingredients until well blended. Chill mixture for a few minutes to firm up before frosting muffins.

Garnish with the remaining spiced walnuts.