Chocolate Cherry Banana Muffins

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I am a self described banana bread purist. Do NOT add anything to my banana bread. No nuts. No chocolate chips. No nothing. And then, somehow I was having this conversation with a friend at work and they told me about this recipe they had gotten that not only adds chocolate chips, but cherries.

Yuck.

We went back and forth on the merits of it or not (all in concept as neither of us had tried it) and then they sent me the recipe. Wasn’t too keen on this. Why would I make it? I like my banana bread plain jane.

So it sat there for about a month before I decided, what the heck. Why not? I like to try new thing and have always said that I’ll try anything once. So off we went. The only thing I had to get from the store was the cherries which made it easier as I had most everything anyways.

TIP – we usually wind up not eating all the bananas we buy before they are way too ripe. And while that easily lends itself to making banana bread, we are not always in the mood, right then. So we throw them in the freezer and take them out when we want to. Doesn’t take too long to thaw and they are super mushy which makes mashing them even easier.

On to the recipe. I ultimately choose to make muffins out of these as I felt it was easier (eating them, not filling those little cups up) but you can make a large loaf or some smaller loaves. Other than using butter instead of oil (and of course the cherries and chocolate) this recipe isn’t far off from my normal banana bread recipe. To me, putting it all together, this and my normal bread, is very simple. And I mixed it all by hand. I’ve always done that and I think some recipes actually state that. You don’t want to over mix.

Before sharing the recipe, I’ve got to speak to how they turned out —

Holy. Freaking. Awesome.

I don’t know what it was, but these were great. Maybe it was that most of the taste was the chocolate and cherries (good combination by itself) or what but they were fantastic.

So there, while I still may leave my regular recipe alone, this one will be made again. Much to my surprise.

1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 eggs, beaten
3-4 ripe bananas, mashed
2 cups all purpose flour
1 TSP baking soda
1/2 TSP salt
1 TSP vanilla
1 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup maraschino cherries, diced small and blotted dry

Mix the vanilla, butter, sugar bananas and eggs together until well mixed. Add the flour, baking soda and salt. Mix until just combined. Add the chocolate and cherries, mix well.

Pour into pans or muffin tins. Bake at 350 degrees – 20 minutes for muffins or 1 hour for bread. Or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

This can make 18 muffins (I actually got 23 but some were small), one large loaf or several smaller loaves.

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