Which foods do you find impossible to resist? Homemade banana bread might be at the top of my list. My mom used to bake it for us, and I remember hanging out during those childhood mornings, excitedly waiting for the bread to cool while padding around the kitchen in footie pajamas. Well, lucky for us, Cristina of The Roaming Kitchen has come up with this delicious chocolate-chip banana bread—in muffin form! Here goes…

The Best Banana Chocolate-Chip Muffins You’ll Ever Have
by Cristina Sciarra of The Roaming Kitchen

These muffins—a happy union of bananas and dark chocolate—are a balm against even the worst case of four o’clock doldrums. A surfeit of banana mash and applesauce keeps them super-moist and flavor-concentrated; these are muffins that require no swipe of salty butter, no crumble topping, to make them stand up. Best of all, they come together in just one bowl.

The batter is closer to a cake than a quick bread, and one muffin alone is satisfying – they’re fairly dense. Sweetness is held in check by the bitter pop of dark chocolate chips and the nuttiness of wheat germ. (Peanut butter chips can be substituted for chocolate ones, if that’s your preference, or even toasted oats, if you want to be healthy about it. Personally, I like mini dark chocolate chips.)

I recommend baking with bananas that are past their prime. The skins should be thoroughly browned, the flesh of the fruit shrunken and pungent. As for the golden sugar, I like the faint molasses note it lends, but by all means, use white sugar if that’s what you have on hand.

Recipe: Banana Chocolate-Chip Muffins
Makes 28 muffins

You’ll need:

1 cup golden sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter at room temperature, plus more for greasing the pan
2 eggs
6 over-ripe bananas (or 1.5 cups mashed bananas)
1 tbsp. lemon zest
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 cup applesauce
2 cups flour
1/2 cup wheat germ
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1 1/2 cups mini dark chocolate chips

Take the butter and the eggs out of the fridge. Do this the night before if you can, but at least a few hours in advance. Trust me: the microwave is not your friend in this situation—there is no such thing as speed room-temperaturing.

Heat the oven to 350F. Grease your muffin tins; I like to use a pastry brush, but a paper towel works, too.

Add the golden sugar, white sugar and butter to a large bowl. Set an electric mixer to medium speed, and, using the beater attachments, cream the butter with the sugars for 3-4 minutes. You are looking for the sugars to disappear completely into the butter, and for the butter to fluff up a bit. Now crack both eggs into the bowl and continue mixing, until the eggs are incorporated into the butter.

Add the bananas, lemon zest, vanilla and applesauce to the bowl. Mix on medium-low speed, until everything comes together. (It’s up to you how chunky or smooth to make the banana mash.) At this point, the batter might look like it’s separating a little, but don’t worry—this will correct itself once you add the dry ingredients.

Add the flour, wheat germ, baking powder, baking soda and salt to the bowl. Mix on low speed, just long enough to evenly combine the dry ingredients into the wet ones. (A tip for the flour: to achieve the same effects as sifting, whisk the flour in the bag before you spoon it into the mixing bowl.) Add the chocolate chips and stir to combine.

Spoon the batter into the muffin tins: fill each cup about ¾ of the way to the top. Bake the muffins for 25 minutes, or until a knife comes out clean. Allow the muffins to cool for 10 minutes in the pan, before moving the muffins to a wire rack to finish cooling.

DELICIOUS! Thank you so much, Cristina!

P.S. More best recipes, including raspberry coffee cake and crumbly blueberry muffins.

(Photos and recipe by Cristina Sciarra of The Roaming Kitchen. Thanks to Shoko for helping with this series.)