Chocolate Chip Muffins

chochipmuffinI know you’ve had this experience: you select a chocolate chip muffin from the bakery or coffee shop, expecting to tuck in to some chocolate chippy goodness. You break it open and, despite the presence of a few well-placed chips on top, one of two things happens. One: the inside of the muffin contains exactly three chocolate chips and no more, despite being the size of a softball. Two: the inside of the muffin has vaguely chocolate-colored streaks, as if the chips up and left during baking.

For these reasons, I’ve never made chocolate chip muffins until now, suspecting that most recipes would lack in both technique and ingredients. Fortunately, I found a great recipe on Taste of Home and adapted it to add some vanilla extract and to use full-sized milk chocolate chips instead of mini semi-sweet ones.

The results are delicious, if I do say so myself. Next time, I might add a chocolate drizzle on top instead of the sugar, or add some toasted pecans into the batter. Stay tuned!

Ingredients

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup regular-sized milk chocolate chips
  • Sugar for sprinkling on muffin tops

Preparation

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line muffin tins with paper liners; my batch yielded 18 muffins.

In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Make a well in the center.

In a large glass measuring cup, combine egg, milk, vegetable oil, and vanilla; beat to combine, then pour all at once into the well in the dry mixture. Mix until just combined and no dry streaks remain; stir in chocolate chips.

Using a 2-inch cookie scoop, drop scoops of dough into prepared muffin tins. Sprinkle with sugar if desired.

Bake 16-20 minutes, until tops are just golden brown and a cake tester comes out clean.

Immediately remove from muffin tins to cool completely on a wire rack.

Advertisements

Chocolate Chip Shortbread

ccshortbread

I’ve been reading a lot of novels set in Scotland lately, and Scotland makes me think of two of my favorite treats: shortbread and scones. I’ve made chocolate chip scones before, so when I found this chocolate chip shortbread recipe on Pinterest, I thought I’d give it a try.

The dough is very easy to make and the end results are delicious, but there’s just a bit of a flaw in preparation that I’m not sure how to remedy. As I sliced through the chilled dough my knife got caught on the chocolate chips, causing it to break and crumble. This isn’t an insurmountable flaw, of course; I simply rounded up all of the broken scraps, formed another small log, and cut it into finger-like rectangles instead of squares. If anyone has any suggestions about how to prevent such an occurrence, though, I’d love to hear them.

Regardless of the preparation challenges, these treats are delicious; just salty enough, just crumbly enough, and definitely a good complement to a cup of tea…just as all good shortbread should be.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup butter, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt (or sea salt)
  • 2 1/3 cups flour
  • 1 cup milk chocolate chips

Preparation

In a mixing bowl fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together butter, powdered sugar, and salt until very well-combined, scraping the sides of the bowl frequently.

Add flour slowly, about 1/2 cup at a time, mixing until just combined. Stir in chocolate chips; you may need to knead the dough slightly to get them well-distributed.

Roll the dough into an 8-inch square log and wrap tightly in plastic or waxed paper, then chill for 1 hour (or freeze for 30 minutes), until the log is firm.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Slice cookies to about 1/4 inch thickness and place on prepared baking sheets; you can slice each square in half a second time to create smaller finger-like, rectangle-shaped cookies if you like.

Bake for 15-18 minutes, until golden brown.

Cool on baking sheets for a few minutes, then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.

 

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Home.  Comfort.  Family.  Love.  The chocolate chip cookie embodies these concepts unlike any other baked good.  Let’s thank Ruth Graves Wakefield, proprietor of the Toll House Inn, for the invention of this iconic treat, a staple in the baking repertoires of moms, grandmas, aunts, godmothers, kind neighbor ladies, and bloggers.

I could bake chocolate chip cookies in my sleep.  They’re Mike’s favorites from my arsenal, always his answer when I ask what I should bake.  The recipe below is based on the Toll House recipe, with a few very minor tweaks.

Ingredients

  • 2 ¼ cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • ¾ cup brown sugar (very generously packed)
  • ¾ cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2-3 teaspoons vanilla extract*
  • 1 12-ounce bag milk chocolate chips

*I like a lot of vanilla in my cookies, but you could stick to the standard 1 1/4 teaspoons that the original recipe calls for if you like.

Preparation

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda, and salt; set aside.

In a mixing bowl, cream together butter and sugars until fluffy.

Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.

Add vanilla, beating well.

Add half the flour mixture and beat; add remaining flour and beat until well-combined.

Stir in chocolate chips.

Using a two-inch cookie scoop, place on cookie sheets about two inches apart; I bake six cookies at a time on each baking sheet.

Bake for 11-12 minutes, until nicely browned.

Cool on a wire rack.