“Laissez les bon temps rouler”
Let the good times roll!
It’s Fat Tuesday, the traditional day to feast to the max before the period of Lent when many of us give up something as well as spend time giving to others through ‘good works’. This is also the week of Mardi Gras in the U.S. and Carnival in Italy, Brazil, and other countries.
Now I’ve only been to one Mardi Gras party in my entire life and it was a huge hoot of fun! The host of the party was a Louisiana native and had fresh crawfish flown in for a gumbo. However, before those little critters met their stew, we held a crawfish race!
It was ridiculous and lasted quite a long time, if you can imagine. All the more time to drink more bourbon and rum-based concoctions.
At the end of the evening I enjoyed my first taste of the traditional Mardi Gras King Cake and was also the lucky winner of the piece of cake that had the baby Jesus figurine inside! The cake was superb and someday I’ll get my hands on a great recipe (there’s 100’s out there) and scratch it off my cooking and baking ‘bucket list’.
I’ve just joined another foodie blog group and we’re currently celebrating . . . you got it: Mardi Gras! This group obviously focuses on cooking for holidays, but each time we come together, we are given 3 ingredients that everyone must select from for their recipe while embracing the holiday theme. Bourbon, bananas, and andouille sausage were the options and I chose to do something new with bananas.
Bananas and New Orleans just scream Bananas Foster, a traditional flaming dessert. After googling this theme, I found some wonderful Mardi Gras Bananas Foster Muffins! Except for a few changes, I prepared the muffins according to the recipe, but used my own cream cheese frosting recipe. The addition of more butter flavoring to the frosting really adds some New Orleans ‘bam’ to ordinary cream cheese frosting.
I decided to drizzle the rum-sugar-cinnamon glaze on only 3 muffins and left the rest of the batch un-glazed. Both Mr. M. and P. and I were glad because we didn’t care for the overpowering rum flavor that dominated the deliciously light and flavorful muffins. The glaze idea was fine, but the dark rum is something I’ll leave out in the future. I’ll certainly make these muffins again . . . guaranteed! They rival a family recipe and quite honestly, I like these banana muffins much better than the recipe we’ve always made!
There’s a bit of rum flavor in the muffins too, but since they’ve were baked, the flavor is very, very subtle with the alcohol evaporating out. I imagine that one could also simply add rum flavoring if they are opposed to alcohol.
I couldn’t find any sugar crystals/glitter to sprinkle on top of the cream cheese, but found some tiny little sugar balls that fit the bill of the traditional purple, yellow, and green colors of Mardi Gras. Their delicacy mirrors the taste of these muffins!
For the Muffins
For the Rum Glaze (optional)
For Roz's Cream Cheese Frosting
Prepare Cream Cheese Frosting