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Life lesson: Fruit tastes good when you cover it with chocolate streusel. Frankly, almost anything will taste good when you cover it in chocolate streusel.
I discovered this by accident. I was innocently baking some brownies (ones fudge-like enough to bring grown men to their knees) in my kitchen. As I reached for a third stick of butter in my second batch (yeah, you heard that right), I saw the words CHOCOLATE STREUSEL printed inside the butter box.
If that's not a sign, I don't know what is. The oven was already preheated, the flour was already on the counter, and my hands were already sticky with sugar and butter. I had no choice!
Okay, I did. But I also had some overly ripe bananas sitting on my counter, so this was a fortuitous turn of events.
Land O'Lakes, the butter company whose box sports this recipe, should win awards for these muffins. Even non-banana lovers will like them. The muffin itself is airy and tender, with moist pockets of warm fruit. Without the streusel, they would be good. With the streusel, they are beyond excellent.
The topping is a classic streusel. There's no messing about with oats or dilly-dallying with nuts; you just go right for the trifecta of butter, sugar, and flour. A few handfuls of semisweet chocolate take the muffins into dessert territory, but the not-too-sweet banana base makes them perfectly acceptable for breakfast or a 3 P.M. snack.
If you feel like taking a walk on the wild side, I imagine this recipe would work beautifully as a banana bread. Just bake it into a standard greased loaf pan and extend the baking time until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean.
Adapted from Land O'Lakes
Makes 9 medium muffins (or 6 large)
For the muffins:
1/3 cup butter, softened
1/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup mashed banana (about 2 medium bananas)
1 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger (optional)
For the streusel:
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/4 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips (chopped roughly)
Do you have a favorite back of the box recipe, or have you heard about a great one? Leave any suggestions in the comments, and I'll try them out and share them here!
Photos by Posie Harwood