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Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

Oh, the memories attached to this recipe! My kids, little and excitable, thrilled with the treat of chocolate chips in their breakfast. Taking these muffins on our yearly camping trip. Using up the last too-ripe-for-even-me banana.

Why is there always that one banana left?

Spending time in the kitchen back then, our old harvest gold countertops and dark brown cabinets and avocado appliances — 20+ years past its prime even THEN — tweaking this recipe to make it my own. To make it “just right and uniquely mine” :)

I finally quit tinkering with it in … 1991? Wow. I don’t think I’ve made this in the last 10 years, but when my local produce stand started having an “Ugly Banana” box with serious discounts, it immediately came to mind.

I love chocolate, but did you know that I don’t like chocolate and fruit? No raspberry truffles, no chocolate-dipped strawberries… except for bananas. Bananas and chocolate are just fine. I think that’s one reason I like this recipe. Except for the Hershey’s bottle and a banana in hand, this is my go-to banana and chocolate combination.

Figuring out that using MINI chocolate chips was the final key to perfection for making these into mini-muffins, now THAT was a glorious kitchen moment! Because, you know, mini muffins are way more fun to eat, and chocolate in every bite is important.

You can top them with something if you like. A peanut butter glaze/frosting would probably be good. I like them just as they are.

Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

2 very ripe bananas, each about 7 1/2″ to 9″
… OR mashed banana, 3/4 c. to 1 c.
1 egg
1/2 c. buttermilk or plain unsweetened yogurt*
1/4 c. oil
3/4 c. to 1 c. mini chocolate chips, or 1 c. chocolate chips

Combine dry ingredients:

1 1/2 c. flour
1/3 c. sugar Β (up to 1/2 c. depending on your sweet tooth)
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt

Prepare muffin tins: line with paper liners and mist with non-stick cooking spray, or grease if not using liners.

Preheat oven to 400 F

In mixing bowl, break banana into chunks; beat with electric mixer until only small chunks remain, 30-60 seconds (don’t liquefy) OR mash with a fork.

Add egg, beat with mixer or stir by hand until thoroughly combined. Pour in buttermilk and oil.

Add flour mixture and stir by hand, folding in the ingredients quickly but efficiently (scraping sides/bottom with each stroke) until flour is almost combined. Add chocolate chips and finish combining, stirring JUST until flour disappears and chocolate chips are distributed.

Fill prepared muffin tins 3/4 full.

Bake at 400F.

Mini muffins: 11 – 15 minutes; makes 2 to 3 dozen

Regular muffins: 20 – 25 minutes; makes 1 dozen

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Tips:Β 

BANANA TIP! when that last banana is a day away from the compost and you don’t feel like dealing with it, put it in the frig. The skin will continue to blacken but the banana stays the same ripeness! I held my ugly spotted bananas for a week; they were dark brown all over the skin but the inners were still perfect!

For greasing mini-muffin tins, I use Wilton Cake Release: shake well and use 2 drips per hole; spread with finger — perfect!

Tips, continued…Β 

*Substitute 1 1/2 tsp. lemon juice or white vinegar plus enough milk to make 1/2 cup for the buttermilk.

I haven’t tried to make these with Greek yogurt, but I know it won’t substitute straight across for the buttermilk/yogurt called for.

You can use frozen bananas; the batter and muffins are typically darker colored.

A #60 food scoop is just right for minis if you don’t mind a little lip over the edge as in my pictures, a #16 for regular size muffins.

Whir some oat flakes in your blender until powdered, and use them as part of your flour for a whole grain bonus. For muffins and other quick breads, you can sub most flours because gluten content is not an issue.

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These muffins are a true muffin, made with oil and stirring, as opposed to the less healthy cake-style cupcakes masquerading as muffins. Store them air-tight because they will dry out. They freeze very well.

If you have bananas that are ripening too fast in the summer heat, here is your solution! Very very ripe bananas work best for natural sweetness. I hope you enjoy my very own — original! — recipe for Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins!

Gail

 

 

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