Thursday, January 22, 2009

Chocolate Chip Muffins

I bought this cookbook at the last JBF sale, mostly for the cover art, and read through it while waiting for customers to come check out. I love cookbooks in which the author shares the why, the history behind a particular recipes existence in their book. I connects me to the author and often will endear me to a recipe. Having read hundreds of cookbooks and thousands of recipes I can read a recipe and know if it will be good, by my tastes, or not. The authors, Roxie Kelley and Shelley Reeves Smith have apparently written quite a few books, as I have discovered on Amazon. I'll be keep a sharp eye out for their other cookbooks.

Chocolate Chip Muffins have a tendency to be really, really dry which is not something I like in a muffin. I like moist and tender muffins full of flavor that don't leave your mouth dry and desolate like the Arizona desert. I've had plenty of muffins that have left me parched and very unsatisfied.

This particular muffin recipe required little adjustment for my tastes, only a few tweaks. Probably the hardest step is that of melting the chocolate chips and butter to make the ganache that will mix with the dry ingredients to form the chocolate muffin batter. The recipe called for microwave melting, but I am firmly against that, opting instead for the old-fashioned double boiler method. I have a much higher failure rate with microwave melting than with the double boiler method. A glass or metal bowl and pot of boiling water is all you need to create a double boiler, just make sure the bowl is wide enough to fit on top of the pot in which the water is boiling and that the water doesn't touch the bottom of the bowl. Another valuable tool is a spring-loaded scoop which makes for the easiest of dispensing the exact portion of batter into a muffin tin.

Chocolate Chip Muffins

12 oz. Chocolate Chips (basically a regular bag)
1/3 cup real butter
3/4 c. Buttermilk
1/2 cup Sugar
1 egg
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 2/3 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Prepare muffin tins by spraying with non-stick cooking spray and set aside. Melt 6oz of chocolate chips (half a bag) and 1/3 cup butter over double boiler until melted. In a large bowl, add flour, sugar, salt, and soda, stirring to combine. Make a well in the flour mixture (it will look like a volcano) and set aside. When the chocolate and butter have melted, remove from double boiler. Stir until smooth. Add buttermilk, vanilla, and egg, stirring until smooth and combined. Slowly pour chocolate mixture into the well of the flour. Stir until combined, or no white flour is showing. Add chips and stir to combine. Dispense into muffin tins, using a spring loaded scoop. Bake 10-15 minutes at 375.

  • If you have dark pans, like me, decrease the temperature to 375 (the recipe calls for 400).
  • The original recipe called for the muffins to bake 20-25 minutes, which would have made charcoal briquettes out of my muffins.
  • I found that my muffins baked in about 10-12 minutes. You know your oven and how quickly or slowly it produces, so judge that.
  • I also found that I could get 18 muffins out of this batch, the 18th muffin was created when I used my rubber spatula and scraped the bowl clean. If you have empty muffin compartments, fill them half full of water. This will ensure even baking and also provide a nice little mini-sauna for the muffins.
  • Remove to a rack to cool.
  • These had a really great, crunchy crust and were moist and delicious.
  • I used Ghirardelli Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips for this. There is a difference, trust me, convert, convert, taste and see that the chip is good--better.
I think you will love these muffins if you are a muffin and chocolate loving kind of person.

1 comment:

Tracy said...

ok.. you got me...
chocolate chip muffins ... how could i possibly resist? i must try them.
i also wanna try the chocolate cake!
yes... anything chocolate you got me :-)