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Cherry Banana Muffins with White Chocolate Chips

Posted By Nicole On March 12, 2010 @ 3:12 pm In Adventures in Baking,Breads,Breakfast/Brunch,Desserts | 51 Comments

I’m sure you’ve heard me say that I prefer a somewhat healthy muffin.  I know that I’ve told you before how I feel about overly sweet muffins – that if I wanted dessert, I’d rather just have a cupcake.  But I did it anyway.  I made these sweet, delicious muffins that offer very few nutritional benefits and really can’t be classified as anything but dessert.

You know what?  I don’t regret it one bit.

These are the best muffins I’ve ever made and I wouldn’t change a thing about them.  The banana and white chocolate are perfect together and the tart cherries help to balance the extra sweetness from the white chocolate.  The streusel topping, perfect.

When I noticed three well-aged bananas sitting in the fruit basket (they grow up so fast, don’t they?), I figured I’d actually make some banana bread this time instead of banishing them to the back of the freezer.  Since I’m in the process of eating down the pantry, I also pulled out a half-empty bag of white chocolate chips that had been hanging out for a while.  I learned from Amanda that white chocolate chips are really good in banana-flavored baked goods so I was pretty excited to give it a try myself.

At some point during the ingredient-gathering stage I decided that muffins sounded like more fun than bread.  Then all of a sudden tart dried cherries had made their way onto the ingredients list.  I was obviously in one of those throw-it-all-in-there moods, so it should come as no surprise that I felt a streusel topping was necessary as well.

I’m glad I let go and followed my instincts on this one.  These muffins were outstanding and I take back anything I ever said about muffins needing to be a bit healthy.  I’ll never give up the healthy ones, but there’s certainly room for an occasional muffin indulgence.  Enjoy!

Cherry Banana Muffins with White Chocolate Chips

Streusel Topping Ingredients:
1/3 cup lightly packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons all purpose flour
2 tablespoons butter

Muffin Ingredients:
1 3/4 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg
1/2 cup canola oil
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 ripe bananas, mashed
1 cup white chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped dried tart cherries

1. Place rack in middle of oven and preheat to 375 degrees.  Grease a standard 12-cup muffin tin (I use Baker’s Joy) or line with paper cups (I spray the inside of the paper cups with baking spray, too).

2. Make streusel topping:  In a small bowl, blend together brown sugar and flour.  Blend butter into the sugar mixture with your fingertips until it has a sandy, crumb-like texture.  Set aside.

3. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt until well combined.  Set aside.

4. In a separate bowl, whisk together egg, oil, sugar and vanilla; stir in mashed banana.

5. Pour banana mixture into the flour mixture and stir with a large spoon until just combined.  Don’t overmix, but make sure all the flour has been scraped off the bottom of the bowl and mixed in.  Fold in white chocolate chips and cherries.

6. Divide batter evenly between the 12 muffin cups.  Sprinkle streusel mixture over the muffin batter, letting it mound slightly in the center of each muffin.

7. Bake in preheated 375 degree oven for 21-23 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean.  Let muffins cool slightly in pan then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.

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