It’s impossible not to smile at the sight of these homemade chocolate muffins with chocolate chunks (or chips). Ever since I learned how to make muffins, I’ve made many a muffin, and these rank right up there.
These lovelies were found in Baking: From My Home to Yours (2006) by Dorie Greenspan. Not only is this the first muffin recipe I’ve made by Dorie Greenspan, it’s the first anything I’ve made by Dorie—and I give it extra super fantastic high marks. If this is a good example of what Dorie does, and it sure sounds that way, then I am hopping aboard her cookbook train.
If you want to jump right to the recipe, use the Table of Contents below or stick around for a little cookbook chatter.
Left Brain or Right Brain?
In an interview with Elissa Altman (author, food writer, radio show host, guitar/banjo/mandolin player in “roots music,” and then some), Dorie and Elissa discussed how people seem to consider themselves either bakers or cooks, wondering if it was a left brain/right brain kind of thing. Dorie shared an interesting tidbit I thought you’d like:
I got fired from that job for putting prunes in the cake. Remember Le Doris cake from Simca’s Cuisine—it was chocolate with almonds and whiskey-soaked raisins? That was the restaurant’s signature cake, and I replaced the raisins with prunes. And the whiskey with Armagnac. I just got bored doing the same thing the same way. Fired. Fired!
I then went to work for Sarabeth Levine (at Sarabeth’s Kitchen), and I left before they could fire me. I just didn’t like doing the same thing over and over again. So if we hold with the differences between bakers and cooks, maybe there was a cook inside of me all along!
Okay, I kind of get it, but I also like when I can get to the point where I can bake something and have Breaking Benjamin playing in the background, without feeling distracted or thinking too hard, or turning down my jam because I have to pay closer attention to what I am doing. Or when a kid wanders in, we can talk, and I don’t have to have them wait a second while I reread a recipe or try to puzzle something out—when I can just be one with the process.
But, maybe that’s part of my “home baker” status. But then again, I do take pleasure in the routine in general. So maybe that is a left brain/right brain thing there. What do you think?
Baking: From My Home to Yours Cookbook by Dorie Greenspan
I feel like Dorie is one of us. I know I’ve said that before. Well, okay, she’s one of us if we divided our time between New York, Connecticut, and Paris. Oh la la! Maybe she’s mostly one of us, except for that extra bit of fanciness that includes living abroad. I use Google Maps to get around the next town over, so I can’t even imagine all the lost I would get in a whole different country. However, you can bet I’m willing to try should the opportunity present itself.
Why don’t I own a Dorie Greenspan cookbook yet? Until I do, I covet those I find at the library. Each of the 519 pages in Baking: From My Home to Yours (2006) has a purpose. You know what I mean? Some cookbooks include extra stuff that sort of feels like it was included to hit a certain page count. Not this one. At 8.38 x 1.64 x 10.88 inches and just over 230 recipes, Baking: From My Home to Yours is no small thing.
Chapters include: Introduction, Breakfast Sweets, A Cache of Cookies, Cakes of All Kinds, Pies and Tarts (Warm and Cold, Fruity and Nutty, Creamy and Crunchy), Spoon Desserts (Puddings, Custards, Crisps, and Ice Creams), and Indispensables (Base Recipes).
Want an idea of what else you’ll find in this book? Carrot Spice Muffins (okay, you know I’d skip the raisins), Allspice Crumb Muffins (I bet those smell amazing), and Coffee Break Muffins (made with coffee). Keep flipping and every page practically calls out with a different “must make” kind of recipe. French Chocolate Brownies, Chocolate-Cherry Biscotti, Almost-Fudge Gateau, and Cardamom Crumb Coffee Cake…cardamom! You know how much I love cardamom. I point to my little bit of Swedish ancestry for that one.
Baking Chocolate-Chocolate Chunk Muffins
These muffins delivered on that point. I tend to overfill my muffin tin just to hit those high top notes. In this case, when a recipe only makes a dozen, I kept it to the proper division. But look at that! Perfect muffin tops.
This recipe is tucked inside of the chapter on “Breakfast Sweets.” I don’t typically want a chocolate overload at breakfast, but these muffins aren’t overly sweet. “They are,” as Goldilocks would simper, “Just right.” After a thorough cooling, these muffins kept supremely well for three days in the same reusable plastic storage container I always use—and then they were gone.
I’d blame it on the kids, but I steadily plowed my way through them. Somehow, it managed to slip my mind to point out the leftover muffins to my kids the next day. Too bad the remainder of the muffins were discovered on day three and devoured before I had the chance to snag one. I was hoping they wouldn’t notice.
Dorie Greenspan’s Recipe for Chocolate Muffins
Dorie Greenspan’s Chocolate-Chocolate Chunk Muffins Recipe
- 1 12-Cup Muffin Tin
- 3/4 Stick Butter
- 4 Oz. Bittersweet Chocolate, Chopped I used Milk Chocolate Chips
- 2 Cups Flour
- 2/3 Cup Sugar
- 1/3 Cup Unsweetened Cocoa Powder Give it a little whisk if it's clumpy.
- 1 Tablespoon Baking Powder
- 1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda
- 1/2 teaspoon Salt
- 1 1/4 Cups Buttermilk
- 1 Large Egg
- 2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
- 375* oven. Grease your 12-cup muffin tin with Baker's Joy or Pam for Baking with Flour and set aside.
- Melt HALF the chopped chocolate and all the butter in a microwave or in a bowl set over a pot of simmering water. Stir often to prevent scorching.
- Grab a large bowl and whisk together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and the salt until any lumps are broken up and the dry ingredients are fluffy and clump-free.
- In another bowl, whisk the buttermilk, the egg, and the vanilla extract together until combined. Note: If you use a large measuring cup, you can measuring in the buttermilk, and then add in the egg, and the extract without dirtying an extra thing.
- Add the buttermilk mixture and the melted butter mixture to the dry ingredients. Using a whisk or a rubber spatula, carefully stir to blend BUT before you completely mix in the flour, add in the last of the chopped chocolate. DO NOT try to get every last lump out of the mixture or your muffins will be flat and sad. The flour helps coat the chips or chunks and keeps them from sinking in the muffin.
- Plop the batter equally in each of the muffin cups. Bake for 18-22 minutes or until a tester inserted into the middle of a muffin comes out clean. Press gently on the top of the muffin and it should bounce back (another sign of "doneness").
- Move the tin to a wire rack and cool for five minutes before removing the muffins.
- Wait until FULLY COOLED. Not WARM. Not LUKEWARM, but room temperature before storing your leftover muffins in a reusable plastic container. If you store them warm, the heat will make your muffins weirdly wet.
Chocolate Muffins for the Morning
Even for a muffin recipe, this is pretty simple. Take care to combine ingredients just until mixed. If you overmix, you won’t have those picture-perfect muffins you want. Have you made Dorie’s recipes? I’d love to hear about the “keepers.” Leave a comment below so we can all discover a new-to-us “must make” recipe.