Quarky Peanut Butter Banana Muffins

These muffins contain an ingredient I had never baked with prior… Quark! For those unfamiliar with Quark, never fear, the name represents something very simple and delicious.

This quirky cousin to yogurt is actually a cheese. As a fan of Greek yogurt and its high protein content, I felt intrigued when I discovered this alternative. The tangy taste of Greek yogurt is delightful, but not everyone relates to that robust flavor. Quark is far milder and creamier, with an even friendlier protein to carb ratio (as depicted on the nutrition facts).

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This has become a staple in my morning snackular routine at work, along with an added boost from Chia seeds (which until fairly recently I read as “Chai” seeds and associated them with the popular spiced beverage and not the popular stone planters shaped like animals from the days of yore).

When making these muffins, Quark is not necessary, but it is fun!

1 Container, 6 oz. Plain Quark (Can substitute Greek Yogurt, Sour Cream, etc.)
1 Cup Creamy Peanut Butter (JIF Natural is Great!)
1 Cup Brown Sugar
2 Eggs
1 Tsp. Vanilla
3 Overripe Bananas
1 Tbs. Triple Sec
1 Tsp. Honey
1 Cup AP Flour
1 Cup Whole Wheat Flour
1 Tsp. Kosher Salt
½ Tsp. Baking Soda

Preheat oven to 350°F
Prepare two, 12-muffin tins with cupcake papers, batter should yield 22-24 muffins
Mash together the bananas, sans peel, in a bowl with the honey, vanilla, and Triple Sec then set aside
Sift together flours, salt, and baking soda
Cream together Quark and Peanut Butter
Add the brown sugar, followed by the eggs one at a time
Dump in the banana mixture
Once the bananas are incorporated, slowly commence adding the dry ingredients
Mix it just enough to avoid over mixing, I generally stop the mixer before all the lumps are gone and just use a rubber spatula to fold in the rest
Bake for 15-17 minutes till a rugged top forms and becomes that always desired golden hue

Enjoy plain…

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OR

Allow to cool and top with a delightful blackberry glaze

1 Cup Powdered Sugar
1/3 Cup Blackberry Jam or Preferred Flavor ( I used sugar free Polaner seedless blackberry)
Splash of Triple Sec

Place ingredients in a bowl and use a fork to combine them into a nice glaze
If glaze is too thick, add a little more liquid and if glaze is too thin add a little more powdered sugar

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Drizzle freely atop the muffins and then share them with your Friends!

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