Not only are these muffins delicious but healthy, too. The tartness of the cranberries offsets the sweet banana batter and the texture is smooth and light. Like I said before... DELICIOUS! Even those who don't like traditional banana bread will be converted by these fluffly, cake-like muffins. The arms poking out of the muffins are cake picks (toothpicks with a decorative end). There are other picks available at Amazon.com or you can use Barbie doll arms like this woman (click here) or stop by your local craft store and buy doll arms and legs.
Serves: 20 muffins
Start-to-Finish: 30 min prep + 25 min bake
Recipe By: muffin recipe by Betty Crocker and arm idea by Rachael Ray (I am one of the people who thinks the baby arm that was originally thought up by the design team is morbid and does not reflex the happy Halloween spirit, so I made my own spin on the idea.)
1 1/4 cups sugar
1/2 cup vegetable shortening (no substitutions)
1 1/2 cups mashed very ripe bananas (about 3-4 bananas very well mashed)
1/2 cup buttermilk (I never have buttermilk so I substitute with 1/2 TBSP lemon juice mixed with 1/2 cup milk)
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1-2 cups chopped frozen or fresh cranberries
1. Move oven rack to low position so that tops of muffins will be in center of oven.
2. Heat oven to 350°F.
4. Mix sugar and butter in large bowl.
5. Stir in eggs until well blended.
6. Add bananas, buttermilk, and vanilla.
7. Beat until smooth.
8. Stir in flour, baking soda and salt.
9. Stir in chopped cranberries.
10. Pour into muffin tins (approximately 3/4 full).
11. Bake 20-22 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
12. Cool 10 minutes.
13. Rough up the tops of the muffins so it looks like overturned dirt.
14. Insert your cake picks into the roughed-up muffin and serve