Winter Treat: Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

If you love banana muffins warm from the oven, you're in luck. Banana muffins are simple to make and are a fabulous use for those overripe bananas sitting on your kitchen counter. The next time you need a treat in a pinch, whip up some easy banana chocolate chip muffins for your next brunch or as an after school treats for the kids.

The best banana muffins are made from truly overripe bananas-the mushier, the better. To help ripe, but not yet overripe bananas reach their optimal banana muffin condition, put them in the freezer for an hour or so. When you defrost them, they will be mushy and ready to use.

You'll also want to let banana muffins get slightly browned and crispy on the top. The crispy top will contrast nicely with the moist, buttery inside, especially if served warm.

Most recipes for banana muffins call for either nuts or chocolate to be added at the end. You can add both if you like. Walnuts are a favorite, as are macadamia nuts with dark chocolate chips. The combination of banana and chocolate flavors is perfect. Try eating a warm muffin with a cup of rich, dark hot cocoa for a divine winter treat.

Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

Ingredients You Will Need:
2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
¾ cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
¾ teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons butter
1 cup chocolate chips
3 small, very ripe bananas
?" cup milk
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Line muffin tins with liners.

Combine first four dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl and mix well. Cut butter into flour mixture until butter is well distributed throughout dry ingredients. In a separate bowl or food processor, combine bananas, milk, eggs and vanilla and either process until well-blended or beat until blended. Pour banana mixture into bowl with flour mixture and mix. You should expect the batter to be lumpy. Add in the chocolate chips and stir.

Fill muffin liners with batter ¾ of the way full. Bake until toothpick inserted in center of muffin comes clean or approximately 25 minutes. Serve banana chocolate chip muffins warm with a pat of butter.

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