Banana espresso chocolate chip muffins

Since I thoroughly enjoyed those Baked brownies, I was eager to try another recipe in their cookbook that caught my eye: banana espresso chocolate chip muffins.
These muffins are rather like the muffin version of that banana bread with chocolate recipe that I love.  This recipe caught my eye because of the espresso factor.  I was really excited (and hesitant at the same time) about what that would taste like.  And somewhat disappointingly, I really couldn't taste espresso in these muffins at all!  Maybe my palate just isn't sensitive enough but the espresso element could definitely be bumped up if you're so inclined.  In comparison to the banana bread, these muffins are a bit drier (the bread has a bit of yogurt in it which adds moisture) but still very good.  The flavors are very much the same overriding banana and chocolate - a combination that I've discovered is quite addicting. 


Like most muffin recipe, this is quick and all you need to whip these up are a couple of bowls as far as equipment is concerned.  I decided to make my usual half-recipe and I'm glad I did.  Instead of getting 6 muffins as I expected, I had 9, which was plenty.  Most muffin/cupcake recipes yield more than the even half or whole dozen, in my experience.  Luckily, these muffins keep well at room temperature for several days.  My husband loves to have one for breakfast before running off to work.

To start, mix the the wet ingredients together in a bowl.  That includes ripe bananas, sugars, butter, milk, and egg.  Using vegetable oil would make these muffins moister but the butter adds more flavor.  If you are looking for a recipe for really moist banana muffins, you have to check these out (super moist and fragrant and my son's favorite).  I was a little disappointed these muffins didn't fill the house with a delicious banana scent but the bites of chocolate chips made up for it.
In another bowl big enough to combine everything, add the dry ingredients: flour, instant espresso powder (1/2 teaspoon for half a recipe), baking soda, and salt.  Whisk together and then push it to the sides of the bowl to form a well at the bottom.  Add the wet ingredients and gently stir it all together.
When the wet and dry ingredients are mostly but not completely mixed together, gently fold in the chocolate chips.  And we're done. 
Scoop the rather thick batter into paper-lined muffin cups and bake for 20-25 minutes until a toothpick inserted into one comes out clean.
Once baked, they puff up into nice little domes on top but stay pretty contained.  Let cool for a bit and dig in.
I wrapped these with plastic wrap and stored them at room temperature for about 3 days with no problem and little difference in taste.  It's great with a cup of tea.


Recipe: 

Banana Espresso Chocolate Chip Muffins
From Baked: New Frontiers in Baking by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito

- Officially yields 12 muffins but I'd say it's more like 16-18 standard size ones (my half batch made 9) -

1 1/2 cups mashed ripe bananas (about 4 medium bananas)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
1 stick unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cup whole milk
1 large egg
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon instant espresso powder*
1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

* If you really want a discernible espresso flavor, use a bit more.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line standard muffin tin with paper-liners.

In a bowl, combine the mashed bananas, sugars, melted butter, milk, and egg.

In another bowl, whisk together the flour, instant espresso powder, baking soda, and salt.  Push the dry ingredients up around the bowl to form a well at the bottom.  Pour the wet ingredients into the well and stir to combine.  When the batter is almost mixed together, add the chocolate chips and gently fold in.

Scoop batter into the muffin liners and bake for 20-25 minutes.  The muffins are done when they've risen slightly into a dome and a toothpick inserted into one comes out clean.

Cool muffins on a cooling rack, first in the muffin tin, then remove and cool completely.  The muffins can be wrapped and stored at room temperature for about 3 days.




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