Tag Archives: Chocolate chip

Muffins

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When my kids were in daycare, for Mother’s Day there would be “muffins for mom” and for Father’s Day there would be “Doughnuts for Dad”.  I was so jealous of “Dad”.  The moms would get these large, dense, tasteless, mass produced muffins that sat in packaging for weeks.  Dads would get doughnuts fresh from a local shop. So not the same!

The only muffins I really remember growing up were blueberry.  I guess there were other flavors, but I don’t recall having them.  Muffins had their heyday in the 1990s.  There was an entire Seinfeld episode dedicated to the best part of the muffin:  the top.  Thanks to that episode, you can buy a muffin top pan.  Who would possibly want those terrible muffin stumps?  The tops were clearly the best part!!  I love Seinfeld.

Muffin flavors exploded, and there was a bit of a muffin craze.  No different than the cupcake phase now.   Can that be over now?  No one looks good eating a cupcake.  It’s messy, you get frosting everywhere, and those little things are expensive!  I’m really not a big fan. But, I digress.

As everyone has a muffin tin, there should be no “special equipment” required to execute this recipe.  Most people now probably make cupcakes out of their “muffin pans”, but I like the old standby of blueberry muffins.  Simple, elegant, and well, it’s got to be good for you, there’s blueberries in it!

This recipe is allegedly based on a Martha Stewart Recipe.   The blueberry recipe currently listed on her webpage is loaded with comments asking where the old blueberry recipe went. One of the commenters kindly put the more popular “old” recipe up.  I used that one as a base for the following recipe.  If the recipe was so good that people were willing to print it and save it, then comment on Martha’s site about it on another recipe’s webpage, it was good enough for me!  A purloined recipe!  Quite the scandal!

As you can guess, it’s made two ways.  One for the boy and one for the girl.   She wouldn’t touch blueberries for anything.

Muffins, two ways

2 cups of all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup whole milk

Blueberry Version (double if you aren’t making chocolate chip muffins)
1 cup of blueberries
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 tablespoon lemon juice

Chocolate Chip Version (double if you aren’t making blueberry muffins)
1 cup bittersweet chocolate chips

Topping
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

Preheat oven to 375 Degrees Fahrenheit. Line a muffin tin with baking cups or liners.

Whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt in a small mixing bowl. Set aside.

Cream together the butter and the sugar in a large mixing bowl, until fluffy. About 3 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time until combined. Add vanilla and milk until combined.

Take 1 teaspoon of the flour mixture and use to coat the blueberries.

Using a wooden spoon, slowly stir the remaining flour mixture into the wet ingredients. Divide the batter in two. Add the lemon zest, lemon juice and blueberries to one part of the batter and the chocolate chips to the other part.

Add the batter to the muffin tin. Mix together the sugar and nutmeg and sprinkle on top of each muffin. If you have too much batter for 12 muffins, bake a second batch. I got 14 muffins out of mine.

Bake until the tops of the muffins start to brown and a toothpick comes out clean.

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Sour Cream Waffles, two ways

You may think I’ve only photographed the blueberry waffle, but no, the bottom waffle in the back is the Chocolate Chip one!

As followers of my blog may be aware I have a boy and a girl. The boy likes bold flavors. He makes hot sauce (like Tabasco) with his daddy. The girl eats in the “white” food group: potatoes, chicken, pancakes, waffles, apples, bananas, etc. with a few exceptions like salmon (because it’s pink!), hot dogs (ditto) and strawberries (almost pink!). However, my boy and girl have come to an impasse. The boy has tired of my chocolate chip waffles. He’d like a different flavor. The girl seeks no such change. There will never be anything wrong with chocolate chip waffles to her. Ever. She could have the same three meals forever: chocolate chip waffles (or doughnuts), hot dogs, and salmon. The girl never tires of the tried and true.

So, as I was looking through my fridge I noticed a container of sour cream I bought for a meal and forgot to put out. Oops. It’s about to expire,. I also have some blueberries that I bought as a snack for my son. Apparently, he found other things on which to snack. Imagine. Anyway, I asked him about blueberry waffles. He enthusiastically said yes and asked if I can add some lemon flavor to it, because he likes that combination. Ok….

At this point, the girl has stated that she will not eat blueberry pancakes. Of course she won’t. So, decide to divide the batter in half. Some for the blueberry and lemon waffles and some for the chocolate chip waffles. Oh the mess I will make!! The dishes I will do!

So, I need a waffle recipe to use up my sour cream. I don’t like wasting money on food I forgot I had! The White House Cookbook by Fannie Lemira Gillette (1887) and The Good Housekeeping Woman’s Home Cook Book by Isabel Gordon Curtis (1909) have recipes for “Cream Waffles” that use sour cream (but ironically, not cream). James Beard has a recipe in his American Cookery (1972) that is nearly the same of the aforementioned titles. I think sour cream may be have been different back then. I made the recipe and ended up with a really thick batter that wasn’t pouring anywhere, much less onto a waffle iron. So, I thinned out the batter with whole milk to make it pourable and problem solved. The waffles are really rich and very good. Even the blueberry lemon ones!! If you want to only make one type of waffle, just double the extra ingredients of the type of waffle you want to make (e.g. 2 cups of blueberries, 2 teaspoons lemon juice, and 2 tablespoons of flour).

Sour Cream Waffles, two ways

Base batter:

1 3/4 cups sifted all purpose flour (I used 1 cup all purpose and 3/4 cup white whole wheat)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons sugar
2 cups sour cream
3 eggs
6 tablespoons melted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cup whole milk

For 1/2 Blueberry and Lemon Waffles:
1 cup blueberries, rinsed
1 tablespoon flour
1 teaspoon lemon juice

For 1/2 Chocolate Chip Waffles
1 1/4 cups semisweet or bittersweet chocolate chips

Preheat waffle iron, grease iron when hot with spray oil.

Combine the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and sugar) in a large mixing bowl and whisk together until combined and aerated.

In a separate, smaller mixing bowl, whisk together the sour cream, eggs, butter, vanilla extract, and 1 cup of the milk.

Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. If the batter is too think, add the remaining milk in parts until the right consistency is achieved. Divide the batter in half and separate.

Blueberry and Lemon Waffles:

In a small bowl, combine the blueberries with the flour, coating the blueberries well. Gently fold the blueberries and the lemon juice into half of the batter and cook according to your waffle iron’s instructions.

Chocolate Chip Waffles:

Stir the chocolate chips into the remaining 1/2 of the batter and cook according to your waffle iron’s instructions.

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Chocolate Chip Cookies Noir

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My daughter came home from school with a little challenge.  She had bought cookies at school.  Fudge Chocolate Chip cookies.  She handed the cookie and her purloined package (they are supposed to throw the trash away, of course) and very cutely said that she wanted me to recreate these cookies.  She even bought me the package so that I could see the ingredients!  How cute is that?  Seriously.  Super cute.

So, I looked at her little face and said that I would try.  She proudly handed me the package and said it was easy, since I also had the ingredients.  Flour, sugar, chocolate, fiber (I kid you not, that was an ingredient), high fructose corn syrup and some long chemically sounding names.  She then gave me a microscopic taste of the cookie, and ate the rest, of course.   The taste from my extremely tiny piece was distinctly underwhelming.  Cloyingly sweet with a bare whisper of chocolate taste.  A hint of chewy.  That was I had to work with.  I asked if she minded if I tried to make the cookie better.  She said I could try, but, in her opinion, that cookie was hard to beat.

Clearly I was making Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies.  But how?  Recipes seemed evenly divided between adding melted chocolate to a slightly modified chocolate chip cookie recipe or adding cocoa powder instead.  Some omitted chocolate chips and substituted white chocolate chips to avoid a monotonous look.  Some used all white sugar, others split the sugar between white and brown.

What did I want from these cookies?  I wanted a very chocolatey cookie.  More importantly, what ingredients did I have on hand?  Recipes that used melted chocolate, used more than I had on hand.  So, I wanted to try a hybrid, part melted chocolate, part cocoa powder.  I also had both white chocolate and dark chocolate chips.  I knew I wanted to use brown sugar and white sugar because of the great results I have with my regular chocolate chip cookies.   And I wanted to rest the cookie dough for at least a day.  It really helps develop the flavor of the cookie.  So with all of these parameters, what did I get?

One naughty, naughty cookie.  This is Noir.  Dark.  Sinful. Thick.  Rich. Chocolate.  No cloying sweetness.  Just flat out unbridled chocolate.  This is a cookie that is begging for whole milk. You will not be disappointed.  Neither was my daughter.  In her mind, these were “way better”.

The chocolates I used were:  Scharffen Berger Unsweetened Natural Cocoa Powder, Ghirardelli Unsweetened Chocolate, Ghirardelli Bittersweet Chocolate Chips, and E. Guittard White Chocolate chips.

Chocolate Chip Cookies Noir

2 1/4 cups flour
1/3 cup of cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 eggs
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, melted
1 cup white chocolate chips
1 cup bittersweet chocolate chips
1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

In a medium bowl, combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt. Whisk to combine and aerate.

In a mixing bowl, cream the butter and the sugars. Add the vanilla and mix until incorporated. Add the eggs, one at a time, and mix until each is incorporated. Add the melted chocolate and mix until thoroughly incorporated.

Add the dry mixture by thirds to the creamed mixture and mix until combined. Mix in the chocolate chips and nuts, if used. Cover dough and refrigerate for at least 24 hours.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees fahrenheit. Place a heaping tablespoon of dough on a lined cookie sheet. Bake 9-11 minutes.

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