Monday, August 31, 2009

Chocolate Chunk Vanilla Muffins

I absolutely love these muffins. I made them for the morning of my sister's wedding one week ago. All the bridesmaids would be over, getting themselves beautiful, and my mom and I thought it would be fun to have a little spread of yummy treats. So these muffins were prepared, along with banana chocolate chip cake, individual cups of yogurt, fresh fruit, trail mix, and mimosas. It was lovely!

I wouldn't normally make something called vanilla muffins because it sounds too plain. Sorta like how I never make yellow cake because chocolate cake is always going to be better. :-) But something about Carole Walter's recipe lured me in. Plus, I got to add fancy Valrhona dark chocolate chunks into the batter. These muffins are perfect in both texture and taste. Never question Carole Walter!

Chocolate Chunk Vanilla Muffins
Recipe by Carole Walter in Great Coffee Cakes, Sticky Buns, Muffins, and More

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, spooned in and leveled
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, slightly firm
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 cup sour cream
1 (3.5 ounce) bar fine-quality bittersweet chocolate, such as Lindt, cut into 1/4-inch dice
3 to 4 tablespoons sparking sugar, optional

1. Position the rack in the lower third of the oven. Heat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line a muffin pan with paper or foil cupcake liners.

2. In a large bowl, thoroughly whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, and baking soda. Set aside.

3. Cut the butter into 1-inch pieces and place in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add the vanilla and mix on medium speed until smooth and lightened in color, about 1 minute.

4. Add the granulated sugar in four additions and mix for 1 minute longer. Scrape down the side of the bowl. Blend in the eggs, one at a time, and mix for another minute.

5. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the flour mixture alternately with the sour cream, dividing the dry ingredients into two parts, starting and ending with the flour. Mix just until blended after each addition. When the bowl is removed from the mixer, fold in the chocolate chunks using an oversize rubber spatula.

6. Portion the batter into the prepared pan using a no.16 ice cream scoop (1/4-cup capacity). Sprinkle the top of each muffin with about 1/4 teaspoon of the sparking sugar.

7. Bake for 23 to 25 minutes, or until the muffins are golden brown and the tops are springy to the touch. To ensure even baking, toward the end of baking time, rotate the pans top to bottom and front to back. Remove from the oven and place on a rack to cool.

Storage: Store at room temperature, tightly wrapped in aluminum foil, for up to 3 days. These muffins may be frozen.

Step-by-Step in Pictures

Combine the dry ingredients, then set aside...

Mix the butter and vanilla until smooth and light in color...
Add the sugar and then the eggs...
Add the dry ingredients alternately with the sour cream, ending with dry...

Chop the chocolate with a sharp knife...

You want 1/4-inch chunks...

Fold the chocolate chunks into the batter...

Stop folding as soon as the chocolate is combined...

Distribute evenly in muffin tins...

Bake at 375 degrees F for 23-25 minutes (10-13 minutes if making mini muffins)...



Mom said...

I loved these muffins. Despite a strong preference for chocolate, vanilla will never sound boring to me again. Besides the fact that the muffins were delicious, vanilla will always remind me of Beth's wedding day!

Marni said...

Mom - Thanks for encouraging me to bake something! It was so much fun. And thanks for getting me this Carole Walter cookbook. It's one of my new faves. :)

Unknown said...

Looks delicious! By the way I am very impressed at your perfect-looking chocolate chunks! :)

Tzviah said...

I just made these, and they really are great (and easy)! David loves them too.

Marni said...

ctjhia - thanks! it's kinda fun to chop chocolate bars. And it seems so much more special than chocolate chips!

Tzviah - I'm honored you tried the recipe the very same day that I posted it! Wow!!!

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