"Caramelized" Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins
1 package Trader Joe’s Banana Bread Mix*
+ 2 eggs
+ 1/3 cup vegetable oil
+ ¾ cup water
½ pkg of semi-sweet chocolate chips
Trader Joe’s “Nothing But Banana, Flattened” (in dried fruit aisle)
Preheat the oven to 325. Line a muffin tin with foil or paper liners (unless you’ve got those fancy reusable ones). Prepare the banana bread according to the package, and stir in half a bag of chocolate chips. (You could do walnuts or pecans instead, but you’d be much less popular with your family.) Spoon batter halfway up muffin cups. Then, using scissors, chop a layer of the dried bananas on top of the batter. Full muffin cups with remaining batter. Sprinkle tops with a hearty shake of cinnamon. Then bake for 25-45 minutes** until the muffins are a nice rich brown and toothpick inserted comes out clean.
*Trader Joe’s Banana Bread mix contains: sugar, enriched flour, banana flakes, baking powder, wheat germ, wheat bran, salt and vanilla.
** I give a range on the cooking time because though my oven says it's the right temp, according to the thermometer I put in there every once in a while, everyone's oven is different. I usually use a regular "baking" setting, versus convection...and my rickety old oven always tends to take the long end of the range.