Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

There are several things I would love to be doing right now, all vying for my time but I had to write this post tonight, not because I would grow lazy with time, but because the smell of banana chocolate chip muffins baking in my apartment commands me.  I’m saving them for the office tomorrow, so I haven’t even tried a single one.  If the smell is any indication of what my taste buds are in for, it’s no wonder my mouth has been watering this whole time.  Just inhaling the scent makes me feel like I’m eating with my nose…

Ah, the muffin. The cupcake’s fluffier, denser cousin.  I had some very ripe bananas lying around, and normally, I would make banana bread out of it using my mom’s recipe, but banana bread was about as challenging to me as, say, making jello.  Banana bread was actually the first thing I’d ever mastered baking.  Besides, if I was going to bring baked goods to the office, I wanted something with cuter packaging, no slicing required.  Sure, cupcakes would have been a solution, but I’ve done too many cupcakes already and I need a break from doing them.  So muffins, it was.

This was a banana chocolate chip muffin recipe I found on Diana’s Desserts after looking through several on the Internets.  The recipe had rave reviews, one of which mentioned how nicely they domed.  I’m a sucker for nice domage.  You gotta have that muffin top that so distinguishes muffins from cupcakes.  This recipe did not require the use of a mixer, so I opted for the ol’ whisk and wooden spoon method.  Recipe, as follows:

Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins (DianasDesserts.com)

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 3/4 cup chocolate chips
  • 2 cups mashed very ripe bananas (about 4 large)
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick/4oz/113g) butter or stick margarine, melted
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract

Instructions:
Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C). Grease 12 large muffin cups.

In large bowl combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Stir in chocolate chips.

In small bowl, blend bananas, melted margarine, milk, eggs and vanilla. Add to flour mixture, stirring only until just blended (do not over mix). Fill muffin cups.

Bake for 18 to 22 minutes, or until golden brown and toothpick inserted into center comes out clean. Let stand several minutes before transferring to wire rack to cool.

Makes 12 large muffins.

Tip: Use a spring-release ice cream scoop to spoon batter into muffin cups. 

The batter was exactly right for 12 muffins and unlike with cupcakes, you don’t need to make sure you fill the cups just right so as to avoid the cupcakes rising too high and spilling over to their neighbors as they bake.  In fact, you should fill each cup almost to the rim so you achieve that dome.  Even if the batter rises, the amount of leavening agents ensures that it would stay up (1 tablespoon of baking powder, hello!).  Anyway, I may be getting excited for nothing and the large amounts of leaveners may be a standard in muffin recipes, but this was the first muffin recipe I’d ever tried so I’ve got newbie excitement on the brain.  If these muffins taste as great as they smell, I’ve got plans for this recipe.  I’m already dreaming up substitutions for the chocolate chips, such as blueberries or pecans…or both!  Or even cranberries…  I think this is going to be a very versatile recipe.  Oh, the possibilities.
After they cooled sufficiently, I packed some up into a box, ready to bring to the office for a breakfast treat tomorrow.  I’m going to have to forgo my usual breakfast of Honey Nut Cheerios tomorrow morning for one of these…  An hour after I’ve finished baking and that smell still lingers.  I could just taste it now.  Oh if noses could taste.
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