Halftime Banana Cupcakes

By: Michelle Buffardi
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Some things people might be sad about by halftime on Sunday: No cheerleaders. Bon Jovi isn't the halftime performer. And there's a good chance not everyone will be happy with the score by then, whether they're rooting for the Packers, the Steelers, or themselves in the football pool.

Really, the only safe bet this weekend is on great food. Put a smile on everyone's face by bringing out Banana Cupcakes with Cream Cheese-Peanut Butter Frosting at the end of the second quarter. Top them with a couple of marshmallows -- don't ask why (Ok, it's for texture. Just try it.) -- the cheers will soon be directed at you.

Banana Cupcakes with Cream Cheese-Peanut Butter Frosting

(adapted from Emeril's Banana Bread recipe)
Cupcakes:
10 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon butter
1 cup mashed ripe bananas (about 2 large bananas)
1/2 cup sour cream
2 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
2 cups cake flour
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup toasted, chopped walnuts (optional)
Frosting:
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup smooth peanut butter
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Mini marshmallows for topping, optional
For the cupcakes:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Line 12 standard muffin cups with paper liners.

Mash together the bananas, sour cream, eggs and vanilla with a fork, or use a food processor.

Sift the cake flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt into the bowl of an electric mixer fixed with a whisk attachment. Add the remaining 10 tablespoons butter and mix on medium-low speed until blended, about 30 seconds. Add the banana mixture in 3 batches, scraping the sides of the bowl and mixing on medium speed between each addition. Fold in the nuts.

Divide batter among muffin cups, about 1/4 cup in each. Bake cupcakes until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven and transfer to a wire rack; let cool completely.

For the frosting:

Sift powdered sugar into a bowl. Add cream cheese, butter and peanut butter; using an electric or stand mixer, beat until smooth. Spread frosting over cupcakes, top with mini marshmallows.

Makes 12 cupcakes.

Do you save room for a big game dessert? (Or do you fill up on beer and chili ?)

More Super Bowl recipe ideas right here.

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