I hadn't had a banana since I left Costa Rica.
If bananas are doomed, they're not local anyways (although they can be found in every supermarket in the Northeast), and they're so cheap you wonder how anyone ever paid the workers (poor guys) and the transportation, why take part? (Man, how I miss my mangoes though...)
I'm gonna blame it on my dad, who kindly bought bananas one of these days. I'm sure it's hard to forget a time when all his daughter would eat were banana-PB tortilla roll-ups drizzled with honey, banana-stuffed PB sandwiches on white, and other weird banana concoctions.
I pounced when I saw two yellow bananas in the fruit basket, speckled with brown spots and starting to look like tomorrow they might be sad. Lucky for me, I had also gotten this great cookbook out of the library (Oh, how I love you, OCPL). I highly recommend it for everyone… and I hope to visit later this fall when I go visit a friend in NYC!
What's not to love about bananas and chocolate (with a streusel-like topping)? Unlike most banana quickbread recipes, this one leaves out the banana-mashing part. Instead, it opts for banana chunks. This creates ultramoist muffiny innards, so make sure to bake your muffies long enough! Also, because they're so moist, they will mold quickly. Which, if you are a sweets*lover like me, shouldn't be a problem ;)
Banana chocolate chunk muffins with crumb topping
Adapted from The Clinton Street Baking Company Cookbook
Makes 10-11 standard-sized muffins
½ stick unsalted butter, softened
½ cup sugar
½ tsp vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
½ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
1 large egg
½ cup sour cream or plain yogurt
¾ cup semisweet chocolate chunks (I used mini chocolate chips)
2 ripe to overripe medium bananas, cut into approximately 1-inch chunks
10-11 TBSP crumb mix, recipe below
Preheat the oven to 350F with rack in the middle. Lightly grease or line muffin tin with paper cups.
With your mixer on medium-high speed, using the paddle attachment, cream the butter, sugar, and vanilla. Add the egg and beat until incorporated.
Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into a mixing bowl. Add half the sour cream to the butter mixture, then add half the dry mixture. Repeat, ending with the dry ingredients. Using a spatula, fold in banana and chocolate chunks.
Spoon the batter into muffin tins (large cookie scoop works great here!), filling about ⅔ and leaving room for a little yummy crumb topping. Sprinkle about 1 TBSP of the crumb topping on each muffin. Bake for 25-33 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the middle of a muffin comes out clean. (NOTE: they might look done to you, but these are a bit moist and may take a little longer than you expect. Do the toothpick test, or if you really want to be sure, take a muffin out, let it cool a few minutes, and check. I had to pop mine in for a few more minutes). Cool at least 10 minutes (in the pan if you aren't using liners; if you are, cool on wire rack), then finish cooling on wire rack.
Makes about 1 ½ cups (Refrigerate remaining crumbs, they'll last a while)
½ cup all-purpose flour
½ cup sugar
¼ tsp cinnamon
½ stick unsalted butter, cubed
Whisk together flour, sugar, and cinnamon in a mixing bowl until combined. Add the butter cubes (cold is best) and toss to coat with the dry mixture. Using hands, mix the butter into the dry ingredients until crumbly with a few pea-sized pieces of butter remaining. Be careful not to heat butter or mix too much or you won't have crumbs.