Cocoa Banana Muffins with Peanut Butter Chips

I used to be totally fine eating the same thing for breakfast day after day. I went through a phase with Greek yogurt, granola and fruit that lasted for many months. In fact, the only reason I stopped was because fresh berries went out of season and I couldn’t find a substitute I liked as much. Frozen thawed berries just aren’t the same, sorry :)

There was a period where I was obsessed with eggs too. Fried, scrambled, hard-boiled, egg white omelets – that’s the nice thing about eggs, lots of different options are possible with the exact same food. My egg obsession even rubbed off on Shane. I introduced him to the deliciousness that is the runny egg yolk, and fried egg on toast became his breakfast of choice on Saturday mornings.

Cocoa Banana Muffins with Peanut Butter Chips

The egg phase passed too, though I can’t really pinpoint why, and since then I’ve craved variety in my breakfast options like never before. I probably have three or four different choices I rotate through during the week now so I never eat the same thing two days in a row. I’m even back to eating cold cereal sometimes, which is weird because prior to the start of this year it’d been 10 (maybe more?) years since I was at all interested in it.

Anyway, muffins. They’re not actually in the breakfast rotation very often, but last week I had a few very brown bananas on my counter and this cocoa banana muffin jumped out at me as I searched for ideas. Technically, I think these may even be cupcakes masquerading as muffins. They’re made using the cake method (butter and sugar creamed, eggs added and dry and wet ingredients alternately mixed in) plus, hello, cocoa powder, peanut butter chips and a fair amount of sugar. But there are bananas too so that has to count for something! The muffins are moist and tender and I just love the combination of flavors. Whether you call them breakfast or dessert, they’re delicious and a fun change of pace when you’re trying to use up those overripe bananas :)

Cocoa Banana Muffins with Peanut Butter Chips
slightly adapted from The Modern Baker by Nick Malgieri

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup Dutch-process cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups mashed very ripe bananas (about 3-4 medium bananas)
1/2 cup sour cream (light is fine)
3/4 cup (12 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1 1/4 cups peanut butter chips, divided

Preheat oven to 350 F. Line two muffin pans with paper liners.

In a medium bowl, sift the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt together (I rarely sift, but find cocoa powder tends to be lumpy if I don’t). In a second medium bowl, combine the mashed bananas and sour cream, stirring until combined.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and both sugars on medium speed until well combined, about 1-2 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. With the mixer on low, add half of the dry ingredients followed by the banana mixture and then the remaining dry ingredients, beating just until combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula and then give the batter one final stir to make sure everything is completely incorporated. Stir in 1 cup of the peanut butter chips.

Divide the batter evenly among the muffin cups, filling each about 3/4-full. Sprinkle the remaining peanut butter chips over the top of the muffins. Bake for about 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with just a few moist crumbs attached. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and allow the muffins to cool for a few minutes then remove them to the rack to finish cooling.

Makes about 20 muffins