I made these muffins the other day when I just had the urge to create something. That happens from time to time… I start feeling creative and need to exercise my kitchen muscles a bit. Sometimes I’m making something for an event but sometimes I’m really just doing it so I have a new recipe to add to the others.
My daughter had been requesting to make muffins with me for weeks. She loves the Gluten Free/Processed Sugar Free Coconut Banana Muffins
we make together, and that’s what I thought I was gonna make, considering I had a bunch of overly ripe bananas on the counter awaiting their destiny. But then this idea flashed into my brain. I love the combination of dark chocolate and bananas in a baked good. There is something so incredibly comforting about that combination- I sometimes throw in some chocolate chips into my banana bread and it’s just incredible. I also love the addition of sea salt with dark chocolate…and with banana pudding…and also with caramel…which, pretty quickly led me to this idea. I just decided to throw all those concepts together and form an adorable and amazing mini muffin. In lieu of using actual caramel, (out of sheer laziness, mind you) I used brown sugar in the batter to mimic that rich sweetness, and it worked out perfectly.
These tiny tablets of goodness turned out really really well. After they baked and cooled a bit, I put them (still slightly warm and ever so inviting) into a pretty basket and headed to my lab (a.k.a Father’s office building) for some feedback. Feeling a bit like Not-So-Little Red Riding Hood slash Drug Dealer, I walked around the building and offered up my goods. Because I decided to make these into mini muffins, I was actually able to get the women on board to try them. Usually my boys are my only taste-testers, as the females are in a constant state of diet, (love my office boys- always in a perpetual state of hungry!), but this time those lady dieters were into it- the mini muffin is just less of an emotional commitment, I suppose. And considering several people kept popping them in their mouths like tic tacs, (the record was…eight, I believe?) I’d say the feedback was fairly positive.So now it’s your turn…give these babies a try and let me know what you think!!
In a large mixing bowl cream 1 stick of softened, unsalted butter with an electric beater until fluffy and creamy.
Add 2 large eggs, one at a time, while mixing, and mix until the eggs are fully incorporated.
Add to the bowl 4 large and very ripe bananas that you’ve peeled and broken apart a bit. Using the electric beater, mix until the bananas have broken down into the batter.
Add in 3/4 cup light brown sugar and 2 good splashes of vanilla extract.
Then slowly beat in 2 cups of flour (I like to use whole wheat pastry flour for more nutrition but standard, AP flour is fine). Mix with the electric beater until just combined then switch to a spatula.
Add in 1 1/2 tsp baking powder and 2 1/4 tsp kosher salt. Stir to fully combine.
Fold in 1 1/4 cups semi sweet or dark chocolate chips.
Using a small cookie scoop if you have one (or two large spoons), place some batter into the well-greased cups of 2-3 mini muffin tins. You can fill the cups almost to the top, but don’t overfill because they will rise quite a bit. (And you will get roughly 50 muffins with this recipe…so make sure you fill any empty muffin cups with some water to ensure even baking time.)
Sprinkle a bit more light brown sugar onto each muffin before baking in a preheated 350 degree oven for 18-20 minutes, or until they’ve slightly browned around the edges and are firm to the touch.
Transfer to a cooling rack. Enjoy warm or room temperature.
Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days for optimal results, or well wrapped in the freezer for up to 3 months.
For another (ah-mazing) salty-sweet banana treat, check out this recipe for Salted Caramel Banana Pudding Cheesecake).