Banana Chocolate Chip Muffin by Robert Deutsch

Don’t Waste Bananas! Perfect Banana-Chocolate Chip Muffins

My kids seems to eat more bananas than nearly-cramping athletes during two weeks at the French Open (see this article about tennis players and bananas).
It’s hard even keeping them in stock. But once in a while, there comes a week at my house where the number of bananas purchased and the number consumed are terribly mismatched.  This results in yellow bananas streaked with brown, which continue on to become all-brown bananas, until a new batch comes, ensuring that they will be eaten and the previous batch will be completely ignored, freeing the brown bananas to march down their inevitable path to become black, and slug-like.

It is not new or even noteworthy to suggest that this is the time to make banana bread.   But I have found over the years that Banana Bread (unless yours has a reputation for being moist and delicious) is the non-Christmas equivalent of Fruitcake.   You make one not because you wanted to make something, but because poor inventory control drove you to create a by-product.  A sort of bake-regifting?

I have found that by making muffins (or cupcakes if you frost them) with chocolate chips in them makes them seem more like an exciting, purposeful dessert item (that I let my kids eat for breakfast) instead of a “here let me offload my banana detritus on you” item.

This recipe is a tweaked version of the one I originally found on the Cookbook Chronicles (which I suppose due to all of its recipes being turned into a book is no longer available on line) but obviously has adjustments from other recipes I read.

Muffins

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
  • 3/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg (optional)
  • 1⁄2 cup canola oil
  • 3⁄4 cup brown sugar
  • 3⁄4 cup sugar
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 3-4 Bananas, preferably black, oozing and slug-like
  • 6 oz fat-free yogurt (I like Stonyfield, but I always use whatever I have in the kitchen; I find flavored yogurt makes them too sweet).
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 and 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Toppings

  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Line a muffin pan with cupcake liners or grease with favorite emollient.

Mix the wet ingredients: sugar(s), oil, and eggs one at a time.  When it is yellow and satiny, add the bananas, yogurt and vanilla.

Mix the dry ingredients: flour, salt, baking soda, packing powder and cinnamon and nutmeg if using.  Whisk until everything is one uniform color.   Add the chocolate chips.

Combine and mix until flour has disappeared, do not OVERMIX.

Pour into liners.   Sift cinnamon sugar atop.   Bake for about 25 minutes.   Remove and let cool in the pan for about 10 minutes. Turn out and serve warm if possible.

Two end notes: 

  1. Muffin sizing: This recipe seems to make about 16 regular size (not overflowing) muffins or 12 super-sized muffins.    When for various reasons I have more than 12 muffins worth, I go to a second muffin pan and fill empty spaces with water, they come out fine. However, I am likely to invest in one of these super-size pans that makes fatter-than-usual muffins.  Just an FYI.
  2. Storage: These are pretty moist and so I don’t recommend covering them tightly; they will get super-moist to the point where they are unappealing.  Store them ‘lightly covered’ at room temperature and make sure to give them away in the first two days if you haven’t devoured them by then.
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