I have always loved the back to school season. The fact that it meant moving on. Trying new things. A fresh start. A time to get organized. New clothes and shopping for school supplies.
Yes, I love the back to school season so much, that when I was a teenager and saw “You’ve Got Mail” for the first time, I was absolutely smitten and head over heels for that epic scene where Joe Fox (Tom Hanks) writes Kathleen Kelly (Meg Ryan)…
“I would send you a bouquet of newly sharpened pencils if I knew your name and address…”
This simple phrase and cheesy rom com has always left me in a state of dreaminess every time the crisp, cool September mornings start to roll around and I see that dull mustard yellow school bus roll down the street for the very first time.
Forever has the start of a new school year been ingrained into my mind as it’s own magical time of year.
Darn you Hollywood.
Not only does this time of year have me longing for “a bouquet of newly sharpened pencils” it makes me want colorful Lisa Frank notebooks adorned with adorable “furry friends” and bright pink lunch boxes, classic composition notebooks, and…….
I don’t know why but muffins also remind me of those back to school days. Not that my Mom in particular baked muffins, in fact, she didn’t. But she did bake banana bread. Loaves and loaves of banana bread. Banana bread that we would eat with tall glasses of milk for a quick breakfast on an early school morning. And that she would pack in a zipper baggie our lunch boxes (because there were no Bento boxes back then) for a special treat. Then there were the loaves, adorned with a cheap, plastic gift bow, that she would send with us to school to gift to every teacher, custodian, nurse, librarian and principal for Christmas or at the end of a tiresome school year.
And while my Mom’s banana bread has become legendary, sometimes I have to change it up a bit. Make it in muffin form. Add a pop of of extra flavor. Make a streusel topping….
Ah… the streusel topping.
THIS streusel topping.
It is was makes these chocolate banana muffins. Sure these are moist. And are chocolaty. AND are loaded with chocolate chips. But this streusel topping. Whelp. It is good. Very….. Very….. Good!
One Year Ago: Watermelon Agua Fresca Cooler
Two Years Ago: Kale Salad with Creamy Anchovy Dressing
Three Years Ago: Website Review: Yummly
Four Years Ago: Summer Squash Sauté
Five Years Ago: S’mores Candy Bar
Six Years Ago: Orange-Ginger Tuna
Chocolate Banana Muffins with Cookie Dough Streusel Topping
Prep Time: 20-25 minutes Bake Time: 18-20 minutes Yields: 12-14 muffins
For the streusel topping:
1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 cup cold unsalted butter
1/3 cup mini chocolate chips
For the muffins:
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
¼ cup Dutch-process cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 cup room temperature unsalted butter
1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
2 large ripe bananas, mashed (about 1 cup)
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line muffin tin with paper liners and set aside.
To make the streusel topping: In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, brown sugar, and salt. Cut butter into cubes and add to the bowl. Using your fingers, press the butter into the flour/sugar mixture, pressing until the butter is broken up and the mixture is coarse and crumbly. Stir in the chocolate chips, pressing the mixture together into small clumps. Set aside.
To make the muffin batter: In a small bowl, stir together the flour, cocoa powder, ground cinnamon, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
In a large bowl, using a hand-held mixer or stand mixer with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar together. Beat in the mashed bananas, egg, and vanilla. Add in the dry ingredients and beat on low just until combined.
Using an ice cream or cookie dough scoop, scoop batter into the prepared muffin tins. Evenly top each muffin with a generous amount the streusel topping.
Bake in preheated 350 degree F oven for 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow muffins to cool in the muffin tin for 5 minutes, then transfer to wire rack to cool completely.