Monday, January 21, 2013

I'M BACK with Chocolate Espresso Muffins!

Happy new year to all! I know, it's been a long time (so long I forgot how to access AND post on this blog...). One year and two days to be exact. 2012 was quite a whirlwind of a year for me, and while it certainly had its ups and downs (and some flat-out crashes and burns to be perfectly frank), as always, everything worked out in the end and I've been able to start off 2013 genuinely excited for what's to come in this new year. I turned 21, am leaving to study abroad in Tokyo this spring, have changed majors for the LAST time (economics woo! the calculus I'm having to take for it now, not so woo), and am over halfway done with college! Unfortunately, I really haven't been able to dedicate as much time to my baking as I'd like, but there are a few great new recipes I've tried relatively recently that really do deserve the honor of a post on this terribly-neglected blog.

Chocolate Espresso Muffins have become a staple for my bake-shift at the campus coffee shop. They're insanely easy and equally as insanely delicious. Plus, they seem fitting to a coffee shop, no? White chocolate and semi-sweet chocolate chips add just the right amount of sweetness to balance out the deep, slightly bitter espresso. Make sure to read through to the end for a decadent holiday twist on this recipe that, I have to say, was ingenious of me (new years resolution-be less modest).

Chocolate Espresso Muffins
makes 12
original recipe

2 c all-purpose flour
1/2 c unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 c granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1/3 c vegetable oil
1 c plus 2 tbsp milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/8 c ground espresso (the original recipe calls for 1 tbsp espresso powder. was not sure if that meant instant, but all I had at work was the grinds we use to make espresso shots with, which is just very finely ground dark coffee beans. you might want more or less of this ingredient depending on how deep an espresso flavor you desire)
3/4 c semi-sweet chocolate chips
3/4 c white chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375 deg F. Spray or line a 12 cup muffin tin.

Mix flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl. Set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk sugar and eggs until light. Add in oil, milk, vanilla, and espresso.

Slowly add dry ingredients to wet. Fold in semi-sweet and white chocolate chips.

Evenly divide amongst muffin cups. Bake 15-19 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Let muffins cool slightly in pan before transferring them to a rack to cool completely.

Perfect for days when you want a more exciting way of getting your caffeine-fix!

And now, the moment you've been waiting for....

White Chocolate Peppermint Mocha Cupcakes!!!

I made these over the holiday season and they were a hit! Essentially it's the same recipe as the Chocolate Espresso Muffins, except I left the white chocolate out of the batter and reserved it for melting and dipping the muffins in after they were cooled. Immediately after dipping in white chocolate, dip your muffins in crushed peppermint candies or candy canes. I suggest not crushing your candy too finely, it looks prettiest with bigger chunks. You may also substitute the vanilla extract in the batter with peppermint extract if you really want a peppermint kick.