WHEN I WAS 5, my best friend’s mom—a prima ballerina from Australia, took it upon herself to teach the girls in our class ballet. We may have been her biggest challenge yet! But I loved leaping across the dark wooden floorboards in my pink leotard, my tights forever bagging at the knee and ankle, doing my utmost to transform into a swan. Afterward, Yvonne’s mom would make us peanut butter and banana sandwiches on toast. Those flavors together still bring me back. Here, they are combined in a delicious muffin recipe adapted from baker Jessica Grossman’s original, with swirls of peanut butter cream cheese frosting on top.
Makes two dozen muffins
For the muffins:
- 2 large eggs
- ¾ cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
- ½ cup canola or sunflower oil
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 ripe bananas, mashed to make 1 cup
- ¾ cup peanut butter (Note: Don’t choose a brand with oil and nut butter separated; smooth and creamy works best0
- 2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
- 1 Tbsp baking powder
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 cup whole milk, room temperature
For the frosting:
- 1 stick top-quality unsalted butter, softened
- ¾ cup smooth and creamy peanut butter
- ½ cup cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 3/4 cups powdered sugar
- ½ tsp salt
- Sweetened dried banana chips for garnish
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Tuck paper muffin liners into two 12-cup muffin tins. In the bowl of a stand mixer with paddle attachment, beat eggs with the white and brown sugars at medium speed until smooth and fluffy. Scrape sides and bottom of bowl with spatula as needed. Add oil in a slow steady stream. Beat in vanilla, mashed bananas, and peanut butter. In a medium bowl, sift flour, salt, and baking powder together. Alternating with drizzles of the milk, add flour to batter in three parts. Mix only until no flour streaks show. Do not overmix. Fill muffin cups 2/3 full of batter. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 to 18 minutes until tops of muffins spring back when touched. Muffins will have crackled tops. Set on a cooling rack while you make frosting.
In bowl of stand mixer on medium speed, beat butter, peanut butter and cream cheese until very smooth with no bits of cream cheese remaining. Beat in vanilla and salt. Add powdered sugar. Note: You can add a bit more or less sugar, to suit your taste.
Spoon frosting into a piping bag with decorative tip of your choice. Pipe frosting onto cooled muffin tops. Garnish each with a banana chip. Serve.
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