Monday, February 16, 2015

Chocolate Mint Chip Muffins

I've been eying these bright green chips every week at the kosher market. They are so wrong, and yet...

Were they formed from toothpaste and Crisco? Not growing up kosher, I have a low tolerance for hydrogenated soybean oil. But toothpaste is okay!

Should I be feeding my kids something the color of anti-freeze? Well, I wish I was a person still concerned about that. But I have a teenager now, so I'm on to worrying about narcotics. Blue snowballs for everybody!

Will the children eat mint chips? The real question is: Will the children wake up and make their own darn breakfast? And the answer to that one is certainly no. So, they can just eat what I cook!

Finally, their neon, pareve charm overpowered me. Oh, Lieber's, you sexy thing!

I pulled off the vacuum seal in the Kosher Market parking lot to see what I'd done. (Delayed gratification is for suckers!) They were actually not terrible. Not chalky or especially waxy, and the mint flavor was inoffensive. As with most fake-dairy, when you bite down, it bites you back. Kosher snacks are not known for their melt-in-your-mouth lusciousness. I wasn't tempted to snack on them in the car, but I didn't cuss and spit them out the window either.

Good enough.

In my own defense, I did try baking with Andes Mints first. Delicious, but their bagged bits look like sawdust. And I suspect they would dissolve into the batter.

Of course, you can use any chips you like. Emboldened by my Mint Chip adventures, I bought some that are "Cappuccino Flavored." Oh, I know how to party!

Or, you could omit the chips entirely. Every party has a pooper, right?

The first time I made these muffins, I followed this recipe from King Arthur Flour. There's a fine line between a muffin and a cupcake. But the KAF recipe was nowhere near that line. It was practically in brownie territory!

"Frosted with fudgy icing, they double as an awesome cupcake." Try to imagine how far back my eyes rolled typing this.

So, I made a few changes to bring it back to muffin territory. Don't worry - it's still pretty rich.

Chocolate Mint Chip Muffins
2/3 cup Dutch-process cocoa (75g)
2 cups Unbleached All-Purpose Flour (240g)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon espresso powder, optional
scant 1/2 teaspoon table salt
1/2 cup mint or chocolate chips (85g)
2 large eggs
4 tablespoons butter, melted and slightly cooled (57g)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil (28g)
1 cups brown sugar (212g)
3/4 cup milk
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 teaspoons vinegar

baking spray with flour
12-cup muffin tin

Preheat oven to 350˚ (325˚ convection) and use baking spray with flour to grease a 12-cup muffin tin.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the cocoa powder, flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, espresso powder and chips.

In a large bowl, whisk together melted butter, oil and sugar. Whisk in eggs, followed by milk, vanilla and vinegar.

Stir dry ingredients into wets until just combined. Divide batter among muffin cups and bake for about 25 minutes, until batter is just set.

Remove from pan to cool on a rack briefly. Serve warm.