… with Honey Cream Cheese Frosting. (Phew, that took a lot out of me.)

Welcome to the first of hopefully many weekly posts that I’m dubbing “Thursday Two-Fers.” It’s like a recipe buy-one-get one. Who wouldn’t love that? A crazy person, that’s who.

These gems are actually targeting my mom friends a tiny bit more than the common foodie as they all incorporate some form of fruit and/or vegetable puree into the end recipe.

In case you didn’t already know, I’m the proud mother of a 3 1/2 year old (Finley) and a 10 month old (Charley, who will eat anything… even dog food. But that’s only when he sneaks into the laundry room undetected.) I digress.

I do make my own baby food. It’s so easy, more cost-effective than buying and it provides a frozen surplus for me to ‘sneak’ some roughage into the good stuff that Finley prefers. Undetected. Bonus.

So, the first part of this post is the recipe/directions for the puree. Second part is where it starts to get down-right naughty. Enjoy.

Roasted Blueberries & Bananas:

1 pint fresh blueberries (rinsed)
3 ripe bananas
(By ‘ripe’ I mean dark yellow with hints of brown, not the Pantone color 12-0752 bananas that this article: How Whole Foods Primes You To Shop, claims to be the scientifically proven best color for banana sales. Huh, go figure.)

Directions: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper. Dump the berries on the pan in a single layer and arrange the bananas right on the same pan (don’t peel them.) Roast in the preheated oven for around 20 – 25 minutes. The berries will start to burst and the banana peels will turn completely brown. Don’t freak out. They’re supposed to do that. Take them out of the oven and let them cool on the pan. Peel the bananas and drop them in a blender. Blend until they turn to puree then scrape in the berries with the juices. Blend those together, and BOOM. You’ve got homemade baby food. Or, a natural sweetener for delicious baked goods.

Perfect segway on to the naughty.

Roasted Blueberry & Banana Cupcakes with Honey Cream Cheese Frosting

Makes 18 cupcakes (adapted from Martha Stewart’s banana cupcakes recipe)
1 cup roasted blueberry & banana puree
2 cups cake flour, sifted (not all purpose)
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
3 large eggs, separated
1/2 cup sour cream
1 t pure vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line a muffin tin with cupcake papers. Sift together the dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt) and set aside. With an electric mixer on medium speed, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Like a buttery, sugary cloud. Add in the egg yolks, one at a time, and mix until each is incorporated. Be sure to scrape the sides of the bowl on occasion. Add in the fruit puree and mix to combine.

Add the dry ingredients and sour cream in alternating batches, starting with the dry stuff. Once that’s all incorporated, mix in the vanilla.

In another mixing bowl, beat the egg whites with an electric mixer until soft peaks form. (Sounds like a pain but trust me, it’s worth it.) Fold 1/3 of the whites into the batter to lighten it up, then fold in the rest in two more batches.

Spoon the batter evenly into the paper baking cups, filling each about 3/4 full. Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool on wire racks.

Now, on to the really, really naughty. I’m not kidding you when I say this frosting tastes like a food of the Gods. I wanted to eat it with a giant wooden spoon. Who am I kidding, I really wanted to stick my entire face in the bowl and slurp it up like a dog. Again, I digress.

Honey Cream Cheese Frosting:

1/2 cup (1 stick) of unsalted butter (room temperature)
12 ounces of cream cheese (room temperature)
1/3 cup loosely packed brown sugar
1/4 cup honey

With an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the butter and cream cheese until smooth and free of all lumps. Add in the brown sugar and honey and mix to desired consistency.

I opted for brown sugar instead of the standard powdered sugar on pure whim. Pretty much the best decision I made all day.

Once the cupcakes are completely cooled, frost those badboys up. I’m not a fancy frosting-piper by nature, I much prefer the homemade look of spreading it on thick with a good-old-fashioned butter knife. I did however go all out and dolled up a few fresh blueberries with some lemon juice and sugar for garnish. Okay, maybe that was the best decision I made all day.