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I created this recipe to submit to the 2005 Southern Living Cook-Off; my family and friends are CRAZY about it, so I thought I'd share it with everyone here.... And no, I didn't win.... :o(
- 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 2⁄3 cup confectioners' sugar, sifted
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 1⁄2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon coconut extract
- 2 1⁄2 cups Banana Nut Crunch cereal (by Post)
- 1 cup sweetened flaked coconut, packed
- 1⁄3 cup brown sugar, packed
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 1⁄2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon, ground
- 1⁄4 teaspoon salt
- 1 1⁄2 cups bananas, mashed and ripe (approx. 3-4 bananas)
- 1 egg
- 1⁄4 cup canola oil
- Pam cooking spray (the kind with flour for baking)
- 1⁄4 cup raw sugar (the kind with large crystals)
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. To make the creme, combine the 1st five ingredients in a medium mixing bowl and blend with a hand mixer on high for one minute. Scrape down the sides with a rubber spatula and set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, crush the cereal lightly with your hands. Add the coconut and brown sugar, then sift in the next five ingredients. Mix well with your hands, breaking up the brown sugar and coconut and incorporating thoroughly. Set aside.
- Mash the bananas on a plate with the back of a fork and scrape into a small mixing bowl. Add the egg and canola oil and beat together with the fork until well incorporated, approximately 30 seconds. Fold the banana mixture into the dry ingredients with the rubber spatula until the batter is just moistened and no flour is visible. In the mixing bowl, divide the batter in half, with one half slightly less than the other.
- Spray a 12-muffin tin with the Pam with Flour and spoon-fill each muffin compartment with batter taken from the smaller of the divided halves of batter. Divide evenly among the 12 spaces, leaving a slight well in the center of each. Using a clean teaspoon, place a dollop of creme in the center of each muffin, dividing all the creme evenly among the 12 spaces. Top off the muffins with the remaining batter, using the spoon to tuck the batter in around the creme. The muffins should be mounded in the center when finished. Generously sprinkle the muffins with the raw sugar crystals to create a crunchy crust.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes (I always bake for exactly 23 minutes and they're perfect every time), or until browned with some creme rising through the muffin tops. Cool on a rack for 10-15 minutes. They are best when served warm, right from the oven, but aren't all baked goods?!? Enjoy!