Chocolate Chip Muffins
I don’t know about you but I’ve got En Vogue on repeat in my head this week … you know, Back to life, back to reality, back to life, back to reality, back to life back to getting on a plane at 6am on Monday morning. I am still really trying to channel the inner zen I had really mastered in my two weeks of not being up in the air. But Mother Nature gave us such a whammy for Monday morning’s flight, my coworker almost puked on the flight and I thought I was pretty close. Because nothing says back to life, back to reality quite like 40+mph winds and circling over PHL for an extra 30 minutes for what should be a 52 minute flight. I’m ready for back to my couch, back to watching Netflix …. no? This whole work thing is really here to stay until MEMORIAL DAY is the next company holiday? Jeebus.
I’ve got lots of photos from the past week and a half so I’ll try to save those stories for the end of the blog post. I’ve been doing a lot of holiday cookies and bars and things of that sort lately, but I was hashtag inspired to go back to the world of baking muffins after having a come-to-Jesus moment with a chocolate chip muffin on New Year’s Day. I went down to Cape Cod to hang with my parents for New Year’s Eve because I’m old, I really enjoy my parents, and I value a good night sleep over $100 Uber cab rides at 2am. Get ready for more sentiments like that because 30 is coming in 3 months and I’m just going to continue getting older. Anyway, we were going out to lunch on New Year’s Day but down the Cape a lot of restaurants close for the off-season so there is slim pickings. We tried Hearth and Kettle in Orleans which is always a crapshoot because it’s either semi-decent or absolutely awful. So when we were sat after a half hour wait at noon and they said they were too backed up from breakfast to serve lunch yet, we very impatient Shaws knew better and hopped in the car and headed to Dennisport for a late breakfast that was going to be a guaranteed hit at Grumpy’s. We used to go to Grumpy’s when we were kids all the time, and I haven’t been back in a while, so in the spirit of not having diet resolutions and being sentimental, I ordered a giant chocolate chip muffin (as my breakfast appetizer) thinking “I’ll just have a few bites.” They grilled it. It was hot, and toasty, and topped with melty butter, so you better believe I had a few bites … until I ate the whole thing. I mean just LOOK at that piece of art.
So then I also stuffed my face with this unbelievable eggs benedict and homefries. I didn’t need to eat dinner that night, because I was stuffed for a full day after but praise Jesus hallelujah it was worth it.
So I had that chocolate chip muffin on my mind for a few days following. How did they get it so perfectly crunchy on top, but soft in the center and sweet but not too sweet, and just so amazing. So I started researching all different “bakery style” muffin recipes, and I settled on adapting a version from Sally’s Bake Blog . I need to invest in a jumbo muffin tin soon, but since all I had was regular size muffin tins I used that. Still, these were absolutely bananas delicious. I needed to bring something sweet to Saturday’s tennis match so I whipped up a batch of these and my friend Heather ended up taking them all home to her college son who declared these the “best muffins ever.” I wholeheartedly concur.
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup buttermilk (regular milk is okay to substitute here)
- 1/2 cup canola or vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 4 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 and 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
Step 1: Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Line the muffin tins with non-stick spray or muffin papers (I do both). In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs and granulated sugar until combined. Mix in the buttermilk, canola oil and vanilla extract.
Step 2: In a large mixing bowl sift together the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Slowly add the wet batter into the dry ingredients and mix with a wooden spoon. Gently mix until all of the flour is incorporated, being careful not to overmix.
Step 3: Fold in the chocolate chips until evenly distributed.
Step 4: Fill the muffin tins all the way to the top. Mine made about 15 regular-size muffins. Bake at 425 degrees for 5 minutes, then reduce to 375 degrees and bake for about 18-22 minutes. When the tops are golden and the center is set they are ready to go.
These are best served fresh out of the oven the day you bake them, but can be stored in an airtight container for up to 5 days. Or if you’re like me and you shouldn’t be eating a dozen muffins every week, you can freeze these as well.
So I definitely didn’t perfect the secret sauce of Grumpy’s muffins, but these were pretty good in my opinion. I think doing the first few minutes at the higher temperature really helps give the top the crunch. I’m going to definitely invest in a jumbo muffin tin for my next round of new muffin recipes. What I really should do is just spend one weekend baking a whole bunch of recipes at once, and then blog about them on a weekly basis, instead of trying to figure out what to do with baked goods every Sunday when I remember I am not the “cookie lady” at work anymore and I don’t want to take cookies on a flight to Philly.
Anyways, let’s do a quick photo recap of the past week and a half, because honestly it was pretty dang good. I was bumming a little mid December because with all the travel I hadn’t seen too many of my friends in a while. So I sure packed in some quality time with as many fab friends as possible over the past week and a half and that left me in a really friggin good mood.
First the week started last week with a home project, because what else would I do with a week at home? I was sitting in my half bathroom on Monday afternoon and got really annoyed that the toilet paper roll holderwas all mis-aligned and you could see where the screws were from the old one. Which obviously led to being at Home Depot within 20 minutes for paint samples, purchasing a new toilet paper and hand towel holder, and by 8pm I had taped up all of the trim in that room in preparation for some Tuesday morning painting. I settled on Behr’s Harmonious as the color of choice, which is a lighter version of the greenish color I did for my room back in the fall, which looks really nice against the white trim.
The before picture:ANDDDD after. I think the lighter green looks nice in the room because it’s so tiny you can barely turn around in it, and I was really happy to find a home for the new Long Pond framed sunset pic that my mom both took and framed for me for Christmas. I got the hand towel at Pottery Barn (of course) and found the bath rug on sale at Bloomingdales. Booyah.Tuesday night I met up with my friend Kristen, who I started at Accenture with way back in the day (of 2007). We’re both children of Accenture dads so we have a special synergistic bond that most normal people don’t. Also we both like eating and Ke$ha, which is how I pick most of my friends. So we had some delish cocktails and my first Poutine experience at Deep Ellum in Allston. Then I met up with my dear friend Molly at the Beehive for her birthday. Josh, Molly and I have gotten a lot of solid photo ops together lately. I look a little too happy to be there, but I’m just excited to be with these two.So as I mentioned earlier, I’m old. And it’s rare we get a good winter weekend down the Cape. We live down a long hill in the woods on a lake (uphill 2 miles both ways, jk) but we don’t get plow service so if it snows, we’re stuck. Though I could think of worse places to be stuck for sure. Snapped this calming winter sunset pic on New Year’s eve. A solid final sunset of 2014 on the lake. But don’t be fooled, it was NOT warm. Our little beach was frozen solid, and there were icicles on the dock. My parents friends were down for New Year’s Eve which was nice because we used to both have condos next to eachother when we first became Cape Families, so we have lots of good memories with the Autuoris and their daughters. So I went with the grown-ups to dinner at Mooncussers in Harwich and had this delish pom-champagne martini (though I heard the creamsicle martini is amazing so I’ll be trying that next time for sure – Thanks for the reco Caroline’s mom 🙂 Thursday I came back to the city in the afternoon because I needed to burn off that muffin and martini at the gym. Friday I had a great day having lunch with my friend Maura, playing tennis with my friend Matt, and having a vino Girl’s night with my friend Stacey. I also scored a good deal on these picture frames from Pottery Barn and finished my hallway project of hanging up my favorite pics from Yankee Ingenuity in Chatham which is one of my favorite Cape stores. It took me probably 45 minutes to do the math on hanging them exactly perfectly spaced out apart (not my strong suit).
Another great thing about Friday – it was my Grandpa’s 88th birthday. I think this was somewhere in his early 60s, but we are still just the same party animals we were in the late 80s. I’m just wasted off juice here clearly. Saturday after crushing my tennis match (by getting my opponents sugar high off these chocolate chip muffins first) I met my friend Jess in the Seaport for cocktails and dinner at Tezmecal, which is much better in the winter when the wait is only a mere 60 minutes instead of the average 3 hour wait in the summer. Jess and I used to be the best interns the Harwich Mariners baseball team ever had … we could sell you a T-shirt, make you a hotdog, negotiate some good deals on 50/50 raffle tickets and live off popcorn and frozen cookie dough and no sleep for 3 months. These cocktails were refreshing with the freshly muddled fruit. Yum yum. Sunday after a brutal booty kicking from my trainer, I met my friend Lauren at the Natick Mall to do some damage shopping and on some French fries. Lauren was my best shopping partner when I first bought my condo, and we test sat on many couches at Jordan’s and she helped me pick out my kitchen table. This time I helped her shop for lipstick and she helped me pick out a new media stand at Crate and Barrel, which we then rewarded our efforts with these truffle fries at Met Bar. I think somewhere above I mentioned this would be a short recap, but once I started remembering everything I did last week I really wanted to include it all. Since right now I’m eating takeout sushi watching Downton Abbey in my hotel room. Wahoo, glamorous business travel living the dream. So that’s it for now. It snowed today and I just know more is coming. I’m trying to take comfort in my new winter puffer jacket to keep me warm, but it didn’t do much to help me when I wiped out walking to work today in the middle of the road. Damn you Philly.