Five grocery stores, many grocery store employees, multiple phone calls, 1 face-time call, and one major mistake on my part later, I pulled these muffins from the oven. It is a wonder they actually came to fruition this morning.
It all started yesterday when we were grocery shopping. Trader Joes was out of chocolate chips, to which I say, “really?!” But no problem. I told Paul he’d have to make his regular Sunday grocery store run to get something I forgot, but of course need. He happily agreed because he very kindly enjoys making these trips.
So around 8:42 Paul made his way to pick up his Sunday morning coffee and chocolate chips, returning home happily. All was well in the kitchen.
That is until I realized I needed espresso powder. I know it was “optional” but espresso powder enhances the chocolate flavor to a rich loveliness, which was enough to make me want to add it into these muffins. So off Paul accepts the mission to find espresso powder. 1st stop: Gelsons, 2nd stop: Whole Foods, 3rd stop: Vons, 4th stop: Albertsons, 5th stop: Ralphs. Ralphs was the winner with the prefect espresso powder product. While there, Paul and I (via face-time technology ~ what did people do before the magic of iPhone land?) looked for white sparkle sugar or pearl sugar but to no avail. Paul’s comment, “You need to start planning this on Wednesday so we can order ingredients on Amazon.” Sur la Table, here we come!
Finally… one of us, namely me, may have gotten distracted by my virtual stroll down Ralphs’ isles searching for not so obscure items and may have forgotten to add the brown sugar that was so obviously called for in the recipe.
After spooning the batter into each muffin cup and coincidentally taking a small taste of the batter, I realized it tasted like crap. I immediately dumped (not gently) the dough back into the bowl and beat in the sugar. The funny thing is, the batter was much lighter after using my hand mixer. Originally I stirred the mixture with a spatula but it was dense and heavy. The after-thought- sugar-added batter was light and airy.
This is a very easy recipe with amazing results. Just don’t follow my mission impossible lead.
By the way, I don’t use any of the special ingredients called for by King Arthur. But with that said, they have amazing recipes.
Chocolate Breakfast Muffins (recipe care of kingaurthurflour.com)
INGREDIENTS: 2/3 cup Dutch-process cocoa, 2 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour, 1 1/4 cups light brown sugar, 1 teaspoon baking powder, 3/4 teaspoon espresso powder (optional), 1 teaspoon baking soda, 3/4 teaspoon salt, 1 cup chocolate chips, 2 large eggs, 3/4 cup milk, 2 teaspoons vanilla extract, 2 teaspoons vinegar, 1/2 cup butter (melted) or 1/3 cup vegetable oil sparkling white sugar or pearl sugar for topping (optional)
DIRECTIONS: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a standard muffin pan with paper or silicone muffin cups, and grease the cups. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the cocoa, flour, sugar, baking powder, espresso powder, baking soda, salt, and chocolate chips. Set aside. In a large measuring cup or medium-sized mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, vanilla, and vinegar. Add the wet ingredients, along with the melted butter, to the dry ingredients, stirring to blend; there’s no need to beat these muffins, just make sure everything is well-combined. Scoop the batter into the prepared muffin pan; the cups will be heaped with batter, and the muffin will bake into a “mushroom” shape. Sprinkle with pearl sugar, if desired. Bake the muffins for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean. Remove the muffins from the oven, and after 5 minutes remove them from the pan, allowing them to cool for about 15 minutes on a rack before peeling off the muffin papers or silicone cups.