For some reason a few weeks ago I was thinking about banana bread and bacon. Because why wouldn’t you randomly be thinking about bananas and bacon? I was so fixated that I looked up recipes for bacon banana bread. The only one that looked up to my standards (that’s right, I’m a baked goods snob and I wear that badge proudly) was a recipe for regular banana bread with bacon bits sprinkled on top. No thank you.
Yesterday morning Paul and I were walking to yoga and for some reason we both smelled bacon and cinnamon. As we were walking into the studio we commented to the owner, Brandon, about the delicious combination of smells. The three of us immediately mentioned how good homemade banana bread is with bacon on the side. Then, as if a lightbulb went off above our heads, Brandon and I both said, “Put those two together!” And so the challenge was set!
I found a recipe for banana bread muffins with a yummy crumble topping and decided this was the one. It’s a ridiculously easy recipe to make and I decided, “Let’s add bacon.” A cup of fresh bacon bits seemed about right, which gluttonously enough was an entire package of bacon. The results were AMAZING!
I happened to accidentally buy bacon with a low sodium count. Now I love salt, and when I say I love salt, I love salt! If you buy regular, sodium filled, horrifically bad for you bacon, it will be delicious in these muffins.
I really liked the beginning sweet bites with the subtle added bacon taste and texture added to this traditional muffin. It was just GOOD!
As an added bonus, I also made breakfast grilled cheese sandwiches which were so yummy. The key is really good whole wheat bread. Paul, the master grilled cheese creator, grilled up my sausage, cheese, and egg scramble. They were delicious!
Give both a go!
Bacon Banana Bread Muffins with Crumble Topping (original recipe care of cooking.nytimes.com)
Topping: ½ cup King Arthur unbleached all-purpose flour, ¼ cup sugar, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter or margarine (room temperature)
Muffins: 1 ½ cups King Arthur unbleached all-purpose flour, 1 teaspoon baking soda, 1 teaspoon baking powder, ½ teaspoon salt, 3 large, ripe bananas (mashed), ¾ cup sugar
1 egg (slightly beaten), ⅓ cup butter or margarine (melted)
For the topping: in a medium bowl, mix flour, sugar and cinnamon. Add butter or margarine and mix with a fork or pastry cutter until crumbly. Put aside while preparing muffin batter.
For the muffins: In large bowl, combine dry ingredients. Set aside. In another bowl, combine mashed bananas, sugar, slightly beaten egg and melted butter or margarine. Mix well. Stir into dry ingredients just until moistened. Fill greased muffin cups two-thirds full. (Do not use paper muffin cups!) Using hands, arrange coarse, pea-sized crumbs over muffin batter. Bake at 375 degrees for 18 to 20 minutes or until muffins test done with a cake tester. Cool in pan 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack.
Grilled Cheese Breakfast Sandwiches (care of damndelicious.net)
INGREDIENTS: 1 tablespoon olive oil, 4 links breakfast sausage (casing removed), 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, 4 large eggs (lightly beaten), 1/4 cup half and half
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste, 2 tablespoons unsalted butter (at room temperature), 4 slices whole wheat bread, 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
DIRECTIONS: Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add sausage and cook until browned, about 3-5 minutes, making sure to crumble the sausage as it cooks; drain excess fat, reserving 1 tablespoon in the skillet. Add eggs to the skillet and cook, whisking, until they just begin to set. Gently whisk in half and half; season with salt and pepper, to taste. Continue cooking until thickened and no visible liquid egg remains, about 3-5 minutes; set aside. With a butter knife, spread butter on one side of each slice of bread. Place 2 slices, buttered side down, on work surface. Divide sausage, eggs and cheese evenly on both slices. Top with remaining slices, buttered side up. Heat the skillet over low heat. Add sandwiches and cover; cook, turning once with a spatula, until golden brown and the cheese has just melted, about 2-3 minutes per side. Slice and serve immediately.