Thursday, January 19, 2012

Chocolate Chip Pancake Muffins

With the start of a new term, I felt like some new recipes to bake for work were in order. Despite the horrible weather and my busy schedule which pushed baking/posting/recipe searching down on my list of priorities, I did manage to find a few new recipes including Chocolate Chip Pancake Muffins.

I love pancakes (especially chocolate chip) and figured I'm not alone there, so these muffins seemed perfect to make for students on the go, who don't have the time to sit down and have an actual pancake breakfast.

Not too sweet, light and fluffy with a hint of maple flavor, these muffins really do taste like chocolate chip pancakes. My only alteration would be to cut back on the chocolate chips. 1 cup seemed a bit much and overpowered the muffins.

Chocolate Chip Pancake Muffins
adapted from Bakergirl
makes approx. 16 standard muffins

2 c all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 c sugar
1 1/3 c buttermilk
2 eggs
1/4 c maple syrup
3/4 tsp maple extract
1/4 c melted butter
3/4 c chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 deg F. Grease or line 2 muffin tins.

In a large bowl combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and sugar.

In a separate bowl mix buttermilk, eggs, syrup, extract, and butter. 

Add wet ingredients to dry. Fold in chocolate chips, reserving a few to sprinkle on top of the muffins after filling your muffin cups.

Bake 12-15 minutes until muffins are slightly golden and a toothpick comes out clean.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

A Hidden Gem- La Maison du Pain

An exceptional bakery isn't what you'd expect to find surrounded by auto shops, but that's exactly what La Maison du Pain is. A family-run, french inspired bakery with some of the best pastries around, I can't believe I hadn't visited sooner.

On our way to breakfast, we discovered that our go-to bakery was closed for the holidays. By a stroke of luck, this rather sad situation (the idea of missing out on delicious baked goods is a tragedy in my book) turned into a wonderful one, when my mom had the idea to take me to a bakery she had recently discovered.

Driving there, I was skeptical as to how good this patisserie would be due to its odd location, but walking in, I was in heaven. Beautiful croissants, pastries, rolls, and cakes filled the somewhat small, but hugely impressive display.

For our delicious breakfast, we brought home a cheese roll, pain au raisin, and pain au chocolat (my favorite!). I'm not a huge cheese fan, but did try a bite of the roll and thought it was tasty, and my cheese-fanatic family absolutely loves it. The flaky pain au raisin was covered in a sweet glaze and LOADED with sweet raisins and one of the best I've ever had. I've been a lifelong fan of pain au chocolat and am always on the lookout for amazing versions of this chocolatey breakfast treat. I've been disappointed quite often when pulling apart my croissant to find a measly strip of chocolate down the center of the pastry, which may be the classic way to do it, but is definitely not the way I like them. To my delight, when I cut into La Maison du Pain's pain au chocolat, I was greeted by a very generous, sweet and gooey layer of chocolate running throughout the entire pastry. Yum, yum! 

For well crafted, delicious french pastries and desserts, La Maison du Pain is the hidden gem that deserves a visit from every baked-good-lover around.

La Maison du Pain: 5373 West Pico Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90019