Chocolate Chip Muffins

8 January 2011 § Leave a comment

Muffins just look healthier than cupcakes, mostly because the cupcake is topped with frosting. Muffins are eaten most routinely in the mornings or as snacks throughout the day. Cupcakes are eaten after a meal, sometimes lunch, often times dinner. Although, of course, that doesn’t apply for me. I eat cupcakes for breakfast. I eat cupcakes as snacks. I squeeze in muffins whenever I can. I lead a hazardous lifestyle.
Not every day though. Not every day.
I’m actually quite dull.
Muffins may seem dull in comparison to cupcakes – but are they? Personal opinion. The most I know is that muffins and cupcakes are generally the same – in the sense that grandmothers from mom’s and dad’s sides are alike. They’re related.

Muffins are more dense which probably come from more flour or heavier flour while cupcakes are fluffier and made of cake flour or less flour. Or something. Theory: If the more dense something is, then it is worth more calories. One thing leads to another and so muffins are the fatties.
The thing is, don’t go into the new year with resolutions for a healthy diet and grab a muffin for a bite. Have a cupcake instead.
Only this post has to do with muffins because I realize that I’ve found a recipe for it. If I were to choose between a muffin and a cupcake, I’d choose the cupcake. I don’t often buy muffins in bakeries – especially at the French pastry shops where there are so many options other than the plain old muffins.
Unless that is, of course, they’re really good. Like these ones.

Chocolate Chip Muffins

Winter 2006 issue of Fine Cooking dedicated to Chocolate.
Note: I don’t recall finding the muffins sweet enough – or perhaps I just don’t remember correctly. I didn’t use the glaze, but I read that it was very sweet with it. Also, I omitted the nuts.

3 1/2 cups all purpose flour (use unbleached if you have it)
4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
10 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
1 cup whole milk, at room temperature
1 cup sour cream, at room temperature
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 large egg yolk, at room temperature
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups chocolate chips
¾ cup coarsely chopped pecans or walnuts (optional)

For the glaze (optional):
3 cups icing sugar
6 tbsp. water
1/4 tsp. cinnamon

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. and place a rack in the centre of the oven. Lightly oil the top of a 12-cup muffin tin or spray with cooking spray. Line with muffin cups (it’s best to use grease-proof ones if you can find them).
Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda salt, and sugar.
In a bowl, whisk together the butter, whole milk, sour cream, eggs, egg yolk and vanilla extract.
Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and gently combine using a rubber spatula. Mix only until the dry ingredients are moistened. Don’t overmix or your muffins will be too dense. Don’t worry if the batter seems lumpy or if there are still some flour streaks.
Add the chocolate chips and fold in quickly, again being careful not to overmix.
Distribute the batter among the muffin cups. Mound the better up in the centre of each cup. It will rise above the rim of the muffin cup by as much as an inch. (Yes, you read it right; these are big muffins. Don’t worry about them over spilling – they will grow as they are meant to.)
Bake for 30 to 35 minutes. The muffins will be golden and will spring back when pressed lightly. As an extra test, insert a toothpick into the centre of a muffin. If it comes out clean, the muffins are ready.
Remove the muffin tin to a rack and let cool for 15 minutes. With a knife, separate the muffins evenly and then gently lift them out of the tins. Let them continue cooling on the rack.
Glaze if desired.

Yields 12 large muffins

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