banana espresso chocolate chip muffins.

I don't think my addiction to banana-baked-goods is any secret. There was a whole wheat banana cake, banana bread with oats, chocolate chips, and coconut, banana bread waffles, and now these muffins. Do I think this excessive? Is there a chance you're banana'd out? Are you wondering if I'm capable of showing equal affection to something that doesn't contain copious quantities of mashed up fruit? Deep down - do I believe you actually want more banana recipes because they're pretty much the best thing ever?

Well, yes. Yes, I do. To the last question anyway.

This is the third time I've made these muffins but, hello - only the first time you've heard about it. My apologies, really, I shouldn't have held out so long, but they're so dagum delicious that the last thing on my mind was sharing and the first thing was how I could slather more soft butter onto it now that I'm out of muffin surface area, save the two spots where my thumb and pointer finger are holding this certain tasty morsel.

These are the questions I ponder, people. But really, don't let the title of this throw you off the proverbial mechanical bull - they are not excessive in any way (and you know how I feel about super-long recipe titles). The espresso doesn't really come through as a strong coffee flavor like I thought it would, but it gives the entire treat a smokey, rich background against the sweet chocolate and oh bother - the bananas. Famous for keeping bread moist, of course, but these were so soft that after a day in the Tupperware container their tops were sticky and the banana flavor intensified. You don't even really need the butter at that point, I mean, you'll want it, but you get what I'm sayin'.

I had a short debate with my work-hubs yesterday over the qualities of a muffin vs. a cupcake and we decided that it holds true - a muffin is little more than a bald cupcake. But because of the handy-dandy name change, it still qualifies as breakfast and I've eaten no less than three every day this week. I mean, if I'm going to gain twenty pounds before the beach next month, what better way to do it? More bananas. More chocolate. More muffins. More butter.

Please add these to your breakfast repertoire and don't look back.

Banana Espresso Chocolate Chip Muffins
Recipe courtesy of Baked: New Frontiers in Baking

1-1/2 cups mashed, very ripe bananas (about 4)
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup (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 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup (6 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 12-cup muffin pan with nonstick cooking spray. In a medium bowl, stir together the bananas, sugars, butter, milk, and egg. In another medium bowl, whisk together the flour, instant espresso powder, baking soda and salt. Make a well in the middle of the dry ingredients. Pour the wet ingredients into the well and stir just until combined. Fold in the chocolate chips.

Fill each cup about 3/4 full. Bake in the center of the oven for 18-22 minutes (mine were closer to 18 so keep an eye on them), until a toothpick inserted in the center of the muffin comes out clean. Move the muffin pan to a cooling rack, and let cool for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, remove the muffins from the pan and let them finish cooling on the cooling rack.

Muffins can be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

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