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Thursday, February 9, 2012

Muffin Top

A couple of weeks ago I made the most delicious cranberry muffins for breakfast.  Ted and I loved them.  Kate was unimpressed.  In fact, her only comment was "why didn't you make chocolate chip?"

I have been making my friend Mona's chocolate chip muffins for years and frankly, I felt like I was in a little bit of a muffin rut.  I needed to break the mold and do something different.  So sue me.

But Kate does love her chocolate chip muffins so when I saw this recipe in Fine Cooking Magazine, I thought I would go for the gold and make them for Kate.  Sorry for mixing metaphors, but I hit it out of the ballpark with these.  In fact, they were so good that (1) on Sunday, Kate brought four for Frank, and (2) she brought the rest to school on Monday.   Bingo.  One for Ted.  One for me.  One for Kate.  And the rest were out the door.

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These muffins have lots of good things in them, including sour cream which, in my opinion makes everything better.  They baked up with a nice high dome and the muffin top has a nice crunch.  I skipped the glaze, which was optional in the recipe, because I thought the chocolate chips provided enough sweetness.  It's really just your personal preference.

This is a nice base recipe for adding other things like berries or other chips and nuts.  The recipe said that it made 12 large muffins but I ended up with almost twice as many and they were nicely sized as well with plenty of muffin top.  On the muffin, this is.

Recipe:  Chocolate Chip Muffins
(Fine Cooking Magazine Chocolate, Winter 2012)


3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
10 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
1 cup sour cream
1 cup whole milk, at room temperature
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 large egg yolk, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups chocolate chips
3/4 cup coarsely chopped, toasted pecans or walnuts


Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 350.  Lightly oil to top of a standard 12-cup muffin tin and then line with paper or foil baking cups.

In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; mix well.  In a medium bowl, whisk the sugar, butter, milk, sour cream, eggs, egg yolk, and vanilla until well combined,  Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and fold gently with a rubber spatula just until the dry ingredients are mostly moistened; the batter will be lumpy, and there should still be quite a few streaks of dry flour.  Fold in the chocolate chips, and the nuts, if using, until just combined.  Don't overmix; the batter will still be lumpy.

If you have an ice cream scoop with a sweeper, use it to fill the muffin cups.  Otherwise use two spoons to spoon in the batter.  The batter should mound high than the rim of the cups by about 3/4 inch or more, especially if using nuts (overfilling givens you those big bakery style muffin tops).

Bake until the muffins are gold brown and spring back lightly when you press the middle, 30-35 minutes.  Let the muffin tin cool on the rack for 15-20 minutes.  Invert the pan and serve warm.

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