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Peanut butter chocolate chip banana muffins

So I’m back in the much cooler climate of South East England for the foreseeable future and in the midst of setting up my Brighton seaside home. First weekend, blue skies, a visit from a good friend and time to christen my new kitchen (oh how I’ve missed having somewhere to cook).  Liz is a true domestic goddess, constantly baking and perfecting desserts, so Saturday afternoon with no encouragement necessary, I handed her a mixing bowl – needless to say this recipe comes courtesy of her.

I should also briefly explain that I’ve recently tried out several very different banana loaf recipes in an effort to find a worthwhile use for the surplus of over-ripe bananas I always seem to have.  The first was a little over spiced with not quite enough banana oomph, another asked for too much baking soda that left a dryness in my mouth. Then there was a recipe involving walnuts, which Mel commandeered from a Chicago coffee shop she used to work at in her early 20′s; delicious, but still not quite what I was looking for. This one truly wins hands-down – it is a little fiddlier than the rest, and I guess not quite so figure friendly, but who cares when it tastes this good, right?

Peanut butter chocolate chip banana muffins
Makes approximately 12 muffins

220g/ 2 cups sifted plain flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2-3 medium ripe mashed bananas (save one half to slice & top each muffin)
115g / 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
45g / 3 tbsp unsalted butter, softened, divided use
115g / 1/2 cup granulated sugar
110g / 1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
120ml / 1/2 cup milk
60g / 3/4 cup dark chocolate chips
1 1/2 tsp Demerara sugar (optional for glazing)

Preheat oven to 170 C/340 F. In a medium sized mixing bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt then put to one side. In a second larger mixing bowl, using a mixer on medium speed (or a good hand whisk), beat together bananas, peanut butter, 2 tablespoons of the butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar until creamy, about 2 minutes; beat in eggs and vanilla extract until combined. Reduce mixer speed to low and beat in milk (texture is like a thin pancake batter at this point) and then slowly add flour mixture until just combined; stir in chocolate chips. Pour mix into your cases (here we used little individual silicone muffin cases), top with a slice of banana and place on baking tray; bake for 25-30 minutes. Towards the end of the baking time, melt remaining tablespoon of butter and mix in Demerara sugar. Remove pan from oven and brush sugar & butter glaze evenly over each muffin. Place back in the oven to bake for a final 5 minutes to give them a crunchy golden brown top. Allow to cool for 5-10 minutes before removing from cases.

If you’d rather make a banana loaf, follow the same guidelines, just grease and use a 9-inch loaf pan instead. Oven temperature will remain the same, but increase baking time to 1 hour and allow to cool for at least 20 minutes before running a knife around outside edges, removing, and transferring to a wire rack to cool further before slicing. – Lorna

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LarryB - Wow these look wonderful, my girls will love these – making and eating! (me too)

Larryb - Remembered u made these and had some left over bananas the weekend do thought would try them, they were wonderful, thank u xx

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