Muffins don't really appeal to me in warmer weather, but when it's chilly (and especially when a blizzard has recently hit), they're the perfect breakfast food in my opinion. This is among my favorite muffin recipes both because it's incredibly quick to throw together and because the muffins are really delicious. It also marks the first recipe I made in which I used a really neat trick I saw on Food Network for ripening bananas quickly, one that I still rely on today when I'm desperate for a banana baked good (though these days I'm more likely to have a stash of ripe bananas in my freezer I can use). You simply take your unripe bananas and put them on a baking sheet (in their peels) then pop them in a 400 degree oven for about 10 minutes. They need to cool a bit but once you can handle them, you'll have ripe bananas ready to be mashed and added to your recipe.
This is not a new recipe to the site, but rather one that was in serious need of an updated photo. Since I added it to the blog back when I only had a handful of readers, I figure it's likely that many of you haven't yet seen it and I think it's one not to be missed! There are only few recipes for baked goods that become repeats around here (too many recipes I want to try to make the same ones over and over), but the fact that this one has made it into that rotation speaks volumes of what I think about it.
Banana Espresso Chocolate Chip Muffins
adapted from Baked: New Frontiers in Baking by Matt Lewis, Renato Poliafito and Tina Rupp
1 1/2 cups mashed, very ripe bananas (about 4 medium bananas)
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
1/4 cup milk (I used 1%)
1 large egg, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350 F. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with paper liners.
In a medium bowl, stir together the bananas, sugars, butter, milk and egg. Whisk together the flour, instant espresso powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Make a well in the middle of the dry ingredients and pour in the wet ingredients. Stir until just combined. Fold in the chocolate chips.
Distribute the batter evenly among the muffin cups, filling each about three-quarters full. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean. Move the muffin pan to a wire rack, and let cool for about 10 minutes, then remove the muffins from the pan to the rack to cool completely.
Muffins can be stored in an airtight container for up to 2 days.
Yields 12 muffins