Happy New Year!

“It’s all about the taste.” So eloquently said by my 11 year old niece, Kathryn.  I love her attitude.  She’s the kind of girl who will grow into the kind of adult who focuses on the right things, the important things.

Paul and I babysat my nieces and nephew (Ellie, Gwen, and Flynn) and invited my niece, Kathryn, over for a sleep over.  When we all woke up and rallied, baking chocolate chip muffins.  Flynn decided he wanted no part of this, “I don’t like muffins!”  So Ellie, Gwen, Kathryn, and I proceeded to stir, blend, and combine ingredients to create these lovely chocolately pillows of muffin deliciousness.

Quickly after they were made, Flynn decided he actually liked muffins (big shocker).

This morning we had a few friends over to kick off the New Year with a homemade brunch. I made the sour cream coffee cake from Christmas day  along with roasted potatoes, scrambled eggs with mozzarella cheese, fresh berries, and bacon (thank you Paul).  Mimosas were flowing, the fire was crackling in the fireplace, and the warmth and good vibes were palpable.

Happy New Year to everyone and sending love!

Chocolate Chip Muffins (care of sallysbakingaddiction.com)

Side Note:  I baked these in an unfamiliar convection oven and there were a tad overdone (although everyone thoroughly enjoyed them).  But in typing up the blog right now, I realized I didn’t see the last “additional notes” regarding the baking time and standard size muffins.  Oops!

Ingredients:  3 cups (375) all-purpose flour (very careful not to overmeasure), 4 teaspoons baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg, 2 eggs (room temperature preferred), 1 cup (200g) granulated sugar, 1 cup (240ml) milk* , 1/2 cup (120ml) canola oil (or vegetable oil/melted coconut oil), 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, 1 and 1/2 cups (270g) semi-sweet chocolate chips (or chocolate chunks; or dark chocolate; or milk chocolate), coarse sugar for sprinkling (optional)

DIRECTIONS:  Preheat oven to 425F degrees. Spray your muffin tin of choice with non-stick spray or line with muffin liners. Set aside.In a large bowl, gently toss together flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Mix until all dry ingredients are combined – a 20 second toss to disburse everything together. Set aside.  In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs and sugar until combined. Mix in milk, oil, and vanilla. Mixture will be pale and yellow. Fold wet ingredients into dry ingredients and mix everything together by hand with a wooden spoon. Avoid overmixing. Gently mix until all the flour is off the bottom of the bowl and no big pockets of flour remain. The batter will be VERY thick and somewhat lumpy. Fold in the chocolate chips.  Divide batter among prepared muffin tins, filling all the way to the top. Top with a sprinkle coarse sugar, if preferred. Bake at 425F degrees for 5 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 375 and continue to bake for 25-26 minutes until tops are lightly golden and centers appear set.  Allow to cool for 10 minutes in pan before enjoying. Muffins taste best fresh the same day. Store muffins at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 5 days. Muffins freeze well, up to 3 months.

Additional Notes:

*Buttermilk is preferred for the moistest texture. 1% or higher milk fat of regular milk would be fine. Almond milk + soy milk are OK too.

*For 15-16 standard size muffins, reduce baking time to 18-19 total minutes: 5 initial minutes at the 425F and 13-14 minutes at 375F. For 30 mini muffins, bake for 11-12 minutes at 375F the entire time.



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