Recipes

Chocolate Expresso Muffins

When I was younger, life seemed black and white. Actions were right or they were wrong. Boys liked you or they didn’t. Mood rings were cool or they weren’t. As an adult, life looks more gray. Chocolate Chunk Coffee Muffins: are they breakfast or dessert?

Making judgments as a kid does not involve inquiring about “circumstances” or considering “what-ifs.” Little is relative. If something is super cool (ahem, Lisa Frank), it’s super cool for everyone, all the time—except boys. Boys are yucky and have cooties. The fact that my brother doesn’t like mayo and I do (and he still doesn’t) was about as ambiguous as right and wrong became for my elementary-school self.

As an adult, life is wrought with ambiguity. We grow up and learn that what works for us might not work for everyone. Lines are smudged, decisions are bigger and blurrier, and we start paying close attention to circumstances.

I can’t decide if Chocolate Chunk Coffee Muffins would be more appropriate for breakfast or dessert, so I’ve embraced ambiguity and am eating them for both. Every bite of this scrumptious conundrum is glorious, and I encourage you to double munch them right along with me.

Chocolate Chunk Coffee Muffins are supremely moist, sky-high, and bursting with rich cocoa and coffee. The coffee flavor is a double-punch of brewed coffee and espresso powder, making Chocolate Chunk Coffee Muffins an ideal wake up, especially when paired with (can you guess?)—a piping hot cup of coffee in your favorite mug. Yes, breakfast!

The dark chocolate pieces are big, burly, and proud of it. I love microwaving a Chocolate Chunk Coffee Muffin up so that the chocolate melts a little, then smothering the entire oozy shebang with vanilla ice cream. Yes, dessert!

Because the recipe uses bittersweet chocolate, the muffins are not overly sweet by any means. Additionally, swapping Greek yogurt for some of the butter keeps these muffins lighter. Point for breakfast.

But can something that tastes so fabulous when served with ice cream, whipped cream, and dare I suggest a cherry on top be called anything besides dessert?

I say yes. Chocolate Chunk Coffee Muffins are wonderful for breakfast and dessert alike. Why force a black-or-white decision when we can enjoy them blissfully in multiple meal categories, multiple times a day? Chocolate Chunk Coffee Muffins with a side of vanilla yogurt and berries are a breakfast I dream about when falling asleep at night. Topped with whipped cream and/or ice cream, Chocolate Chunk Coffee Muffins give me the feeling of an indulgent brownie, with less guilt. I’ll take both, please.

Embrace the blessedly aggravating ambiguity of life with Chocolate Chunk Coffee Muffins. With such moist, sky-high, and chocolate-coffee loaded baked goodness to be devoured, why choose anything a second muffin?

Ingredients:

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped, divided
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon espresso powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/3 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 cup strong coffee, cooled
  • 1/4 cup non-fat plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Place a rack in the center of oven and preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Butter or spray a regular-size 12-muffin pan or fit with paper muffin cups. Place the muffin pan on a baking sheet. Set aside.

Place a medium heat-proof bowl over a pan of simmering water. Add butter and half of chocolate. Heat gently, stirring often, until chocolate is almost completely melted. Remove from heat and continue stirring until chocolate melts completely. Let cool 5 minutes.

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, granulated sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, espresso powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Briskly whisk in brown sugar until no lumps remain. Set aside.

To bowl with melted chocolate, whisk in coffee, sour cream, egg, and vanilla extract until well combined. Pour liquid mixture over dry ingredients and, with whisk or a rubber spatula, gently but quickly stir to blend. Do not overmix. Stir in remaining chopped chocolate. Divide batter evenly among the prepared muffin cups.

Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until a thin knife inserted into center of muffins comes out clean. Transfer pan to a rack and cool for 5 minutes, then carefully removing each muffin from its mold. Serve warm or at room temperature.

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Love & Sparkle,

Mackenzie

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