Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Chocolate Chip Banana Bread Muffins

Today I bring you a tale of two loaf pans and the accidental discovery of our new favorite snack.  A few years ago when I was on a mission to find the world's best banana bread I was cooking both at my own house and the house of my beloved.  We both owned loaf pans.

The pan on the left is mine, and the one on the right is his.  As you can imagine, every time I baked at his house, there was always extra batter.  I figured out the solution pretty quickly, just throw the extra batter in some muffin tins.  But he didn't own any, so throwing out the surplus batter became a reluctant but necessary way of life.

And then two things happened.  The two loaf pans and my muffin tins moved in together.  Someone near and dear to my heart requested banana bread with chocolate chips.  One weekend we had both supply and demand for banana bread, so I set out to make two loaves.  I used my big pan to make a non-chocolate chip loaf, and then made a chocolate chip loaf in the small pan and cooked up the extra batter in the muffin tins.  Much to my surprise, everyone went crazy for the muffins.  (Maybe it was a numbers thing: two whole loaves vs just six muffins).  I couldn't help but notice the convenience: tiny muffins bake in just 20 minutes vs one hour plus for a loaf.  And they are an awfully convenient thing to have around the house for a snack.

Yield: 24 muffins
(Recipe from the Food Network)
  • 3 ½ overripe bananas
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup canola oil
  • 1 ⅔ cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup mini chocolate chips

The first step on the road to glory is an ugly one. I've mentioned before that I stockpile ripe bananas in the freezer.  When the baking urge strikes, take them out and let them defrost a bit.

Extract the bananas.

Blend the bananas, eggs, sugar, sour cream, vanilla, and oil until combined.  Now it just so happens that the last time I made these, we were out of sour cream, so I made them without.  I couldn't tell the difference.

Whisk in the flour mixture gradually until just combined. Preheat the oven to 350° F.

Add the chocolate chips and whisk again to disperse.

Line 24 muffin tins with liners.

 Spoon in the batter.

Bake for 20 minutes, until they pass the toothpick test.

And get your snack on.

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