Banana bread was one of the first things my mother taught me how to bake and it was my first recipe post on the blog, so it definitely holds a sweet spot (no pun intended) in my heart. I love that its extremely easy to alter and add new ingredients to make it unique! My favorite variation so far is adding candied walnuts to the top! The banana, chocolate, and crunch from the walnuts make them irresistible!
½ cup brown sugar
1 cup walnut halves
3-4 ripe bananas, mashed with a fork
½ cup unsalted butter, softened
¾ cup sugar
1/3 cup milk
2 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
1 to 1 ½ cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or foil and set aside. Combine walnuts and brown sugar in a medium sauce pan and heat over medium heat. Once the brown sugar starts to melt, stir frequently with a wooden spoon to coat the walnuts evenly.
Cook for 3-5 minutes or until all of the sugar has melted and walnuts are thoroughly coated. Remove from heat and spread out on prepared baking sheet. Break up any large clumps and set aside to dry.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and lightly butter a 12 cup muffin tin.
(1.) In a large bowl, mix bananas, butter, sugar, milk, eggs, and vanilla until smooth. (2.) In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt. (3.) Slowly add dry ingredients to banana mixture and beat until smooth. (4.) Fold in chocolate chips.
Distribute batter evenly between muffin cups. Top with candied walnuts and lightly press them down to stick in the batter.
Place in the oven to bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let muffins cool in the pan for about 5 minutes. Pop them out and place on a cooling rack to cool another 5 to 10 minutes.
Serve right away or make the night before, cover, and refrigerate. Let muffins come back to room temperature before serving.