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Friday, January 2, 2015

January ABC Challenge: Chocolate Peanut-Butter-Chip Banana Muffins

The Avid Bakers Challenge group is heading in a new direction this year with recipes from Christina Marsigliese's blog Scientifically Sweet.  Here we go...

Many years ago, I bought a bag of peanut butter chips (I think it was Reese's brand) and was so disappointed.  They tasted terribly artificial.  Since then I've seen a lot of recipes I wanted to try that called for peanut butter chips, but figured there was no point in making them because the lousy chips would ruin it.  Then a couple weeks ago I saw peanut butter chips at Trader Joe's.  I checked the ingredients:  nothing artificial!  But I still passed on buying them because I didn't have a use.  Enter ABC challenge number 1 for 2015!  Chocolate.  Bananas.  Muffins.  What better place to introduce peanut butter?

Despite my anticipation of chocolaty peanut-buttery banana melty goodness, I think I've had enough decadence over the past two months and decided to cut the recipe down by one quarter.  I threw in a little better nutrition by using half whole wheat flour as well, and I increased the salt.

Yield:  3 standard muffins

Here's what I used:

¾ cup 3 tablespoons ripe banana (about 2 ½ medium banana)
1/3 cup 4 teaspoons sour cream
1 1/4 (14g) large egg 
½ cup 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
¼ cup 1 tablespoon canola oil
1 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1¼ cup 5 tablespoons whole wheat and all-purpose flour blend
1/3 cup 4 teaspoons unsweetened Dutch-processed cocoa powder
 ¼ + 1/16 teaspoon baking powder
½ 1/8  teaspoon baking soda
¼ 1/8 teaspoon salt
½ 1/8  teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ cup 2 tablespoons semi-sweet chocolate peanut butter chips

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a standard 12-cup muffin pan with 3 liners and set aside.

In your mixing bowl, mash together the banana and sour cream with the whisk, then whisk until fairly smooth. Whisk in egg, sugar, canola oil and vanilla extract until well blended. Sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon; add to the wet ingredients along with the peanut butter chips and fold gently until just combined. Do not over-mix.  Divide batter evenly among muffin cups. Bake until the muffin tops spring back when touched gently and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean despite any melted chips, 20-22 minutes. Let cool for a few minutes in the pan before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Conclusion:  The quantity of chips in this recipe is perfect if using chocolate because they're enhancing an existing flavor.  But as peanut butter is a new flavor, these could have used more chips, about half again as much.  Otherwise, the muffins were delicious, and I snarfed down all three in short order.  You'll have to pardon the weak photos as there was no opportunity for do-overs.

Original recipe:  Double Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins via Scientifically Sweet


  1. Too bad I'm allergic to peanuts but I can totally see PCB (Peanut/Choc/Banana) combo working in a muffin like that. Very creative!

    1. It was a great combo, but really downplayed the chocolate.

  2. It is a real challenge in reducing the recipe to make only three muffins. Yours came out great. Kudo to you!

    1. Thanks! It can be a challenge, especially for someone who doesn't like to measure very carefully, but I like having just a small amount. Reduces temptation, and I don't end up with stale goods!

  3. Beautiful and clever! Always in awe of your math skills in making small amounts. I too do not like stale goods and will only eat fresh..lucky for me my family doesn't seem to care for day old stuff.

    1. Thank you, Virginia! It's getting easier, since the same measurements tend to come up over and over, but I still make mistakes if I rush. So far, no major disasters though!

  4. You are quite the rebel! I have some Rolo and peanut butter cups that would work perfectly =)

  5. The peanut butter chips sound delicious. I added some whole wheat too. I prefer scaling down recipes too. Easy to resist temptation that way.

  6. They look great! I just bought the TJs PB chips also, wondering how they would work. You're adventuresome, congrats!