Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Chocolate Chip Muffins worthy of the most important meal of the day

Sometimes you need to function at 6:00 in the morning. Sometimes, you need chocolate to get you through it. Your answer :)

Hearty Chocolate Chip Muffins
These are no cupcakes posing as breakfast fare. Sturdy, dense, and beautifully domed, most of the sweetness comes from the chocolate chips themselves. The batter, instead of being flavored with excess sugar, is fragrant with cinnamon and orange zest. (Makes 2 dozen substantial muffins.)

5 2/3 cups all-purpose flour*
1 1/3 cups sugar*
4 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cups rolled or quick oats
2-3 tbsp orange zest
2 cups buttermilk
2 large eggs
1/3 cup vegetable oil
5 tbsp (a little over a cup) milk or cream*
11-12 oz chocolate chips (about 1 2/3 cups)

*I frequently make a healthier version of these muffins like so: Replace 2 2/3 cups of white all-purpose flour with whole wheat flour, replace the 1 1/3 cups sugar with 1 cup agave nectar, reduce the amount of milk/cream by 2 tbsp, and reduce the baking temperature by 25 degrees.

0. Preheat oven to 350 degrees (325 for a dark pan). Line or grease your muffin tin. Make buttermilk by measuring out 2 tablespoons of white vinegar or lemon juice into a 2-cup measuring cup and filling up to the 2-cup line with  milk, then letting sit for 10 minutes.
1. Mix together flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, oats, and zest in a medium-sized bowl; stir to combine.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together buttermilk, eggs, vegetable oil, and milk/cream. 
3. Gradually add dry ingredients to wet ingredients. Stir just to combine, taking care not to overmix. The batter should be fairly thick. 
4. Fold chocolate chips into the batter.
5. Spoon batter into muffin tins. Don't be afraid to fill the tins to heaping; these muffins have a really nice way of rising and evening out into a beautiful dome!
6. Bake at 350/325 degrees for 35-40 minutes, until the tops of the muffins have browned and feel firm when pressed. 

The dry ingredients
The wet ingredients

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