It is only the second week of my baking challenge, and I am already breaking the rules I created. I had a really strong craving for chocolate-chocolate chip muffins this week, but alas Cooks Illustrated doesn’t have a recipe for them. So, instead of making one of the Cooks Illustrated recipes like I was supposed to, I pull out another favorite in our house: ”I’m Just Here For More Food” by Alton Brown. To make up for my transgression, I did bake a batch of granola bars too, though.
But back to the muffins. These muffins weren’t anything like the muffins I grew up making. For starters they didn’t come from a box. They required you combine all the ingredients in Alton’s Muffin Method, which is slightly strange. Alton’s wet ingredients include sugar, melted butter, eggs, milk, and vanilla, which when combined resulted in a lumpy, clumpy mess. The cold milk quickly re-solidified the melted butter, which meant it did not mix well with the sugar. Matt said mixing all the wet ingredients other than the butter first and then adding the butter might result in a more cohesive mixture. But I was following Alton’s instructions…
Next, Alton suggests measuring all the dry goods by weight, so instead of getting out my trusty measuring cups and spoons, I used Matt’s kitchen scale to weigh the ingredients. It went surprisingly well ,and I only poured a little bit of flour on the counter.
The real challenge with this recipe came when it was time to remove the muffins from the pan. They were HUGE, and the tops spread out all over the place. That made it nearly impossible to loosen the muffins from the muffin pan, and I had to fight to get the muffins out without removing the tops first. A few didn’t look so pretty when I was done. But all the trials and tribulations a side, those muffins tasted amazing!!! They were super chocolaty and the texture was just right. No cupcake-muffins here.
Things I learned from this recipe:
- Cold milk re-solidifies melted butter… quickly.
- Muffin pan liners are your friend!
- The bag of organic chocolate chips has a lot fewer chips than the regular kind.
- Baking from scratch takes a long time and makes you late for work.
- Homemade chocolate-chocolate chip muffins do indeed taste better than the ones they don’t carry at the local Starbucks.