Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Pat's Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

When I was growing up we had a close family friend that worked in the chocolate business. Mike was a chocolate salesman for Ambrosia Chocolate. Believe me when I say that there is nothing better to a youngster than having a chocolate salesman as a family friend. Whenever Mike came to visit -- which was several times a year -- he always brought our family samples of his chocolate. Ambrosia Chocolate was aptly named as their chocolate was most definitely "food for the Gods." The samples that Mike delivered to us were not itsy-bitsy bite-sized samples. These were three pound blocks of scrumptious velvety chocolate. My brother, sister and I would start salivating the moment we heard Mike was coming for a visit. Even with our voracious appetites for chocolate, these blocks would last us for weeks. For me, Mike's visits were met with giddy anticipation as Mike and his wonderful wife Pat were as sweet as the confections they brought. Mike had a boisterous, infectious laugh that I can still hear echoing in the recesses of my mind. Pat was as soft spoken and calm as any individual I've ever known. I loved them both so much. Later when I had my own children, Pat and Mike would load us up with blocks of chocolate for my children to test. Sweet memories.

This recipe is one that Pat made for our family when we were visiting her in Salt Lake City about 10 years ago. It incorporates the chocolate that I associate so strongly with their family. Pat and Mike have both passed on, but every time I make these muffins -- which is often during the fall and winter months -- I think of them. It is chocolaty goodness at its best! Enjoy...

Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2/3 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup mashed ripe bananas (about 2 large)
1 large egg
1/2 cup (1 stick) margarine or butter, melted
1/4 cup milk
3/4 cup milk chocolate chips
"Sugar in the Raw" (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin tin with foil or paper liners. Mix flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in bowl and set aside. In separate mixing bowl mix mashed bananas, egg, melted margarine, and milk. Stir dry ingredients into banana mixture just until blended (do not over mix). Stir in chocolate chips.

Divide batter among prepared muffin cups, filling each about 3/4 full. I sprinkle a few crystals of "Sugar in the Raw" on the top of the muffins before I bake them. Bake muffins until tops are golden -- about 32 minutes. Makes 12 - 15 muffins.