So, I owe you guys an apology. I feel like my last few posts have been unnecessarily negative. First, there was that rant about biking. Then there was that post detailing my despair about my house. 2014 doesn’t seem off to a great start, nope.
But there’s a silver lining here. After reading my house post, several of you guys reached out in the comments and via email to offer kind words and support. One 26-year-old girl from Minnesota wrote me an email telling me that I wasn’t alone and that my post had resonated with her since she was in the exact same situation herself. Another wrote that “nobody tells you when you’re buying a house that it’s just the beginning of the journey”, while a commenter also confirmed this: “The journey is not for pussies.”
Your kindness couldn’t have come at a better time for this blog. It’s no secret that I’ve always struggled with balancing my blog against other priorities like my job, my health, and time with friends and family… and that was before I added the crumbling house and landlord duties in August. In December, after the launch of my Christmas desserts ebook, I realized that something had to give. So I decided to cut back on the blog and therefore started the year by reducing my publishing to just one post a week.
And despite the fact that I had a more relaxed schedule, I found myself wasting that extra time. Although I initially used the additional time to deal with my roommates and various house errands, I often found myself running to the point of exhaustion much earlier than usual. I would then spend the rest of my spare time hiding in my room and staring at Pinterest and Tumblr trying to recharge. As much as I liked looking at pictures of the beautiful life I aspired to have, I knew something wasn’t right.
I had forgotten that baking and blogging was a revitalizing activity for me. After all, it was what I had turned to when I had been depressed in college, as well as when I was miserable in my finance job several years later. Baking has always been something that has stabilized me, giving me order and purpose in times when I felt like I had neither of those things. And now, in another time where I feel like I have no control, I decide to cut back on baking?! Silly me, no wonder I’ve been down and out. No other distractions can ever recharge me in the same way!
With that, I present to you these triple chocolate muffins:
I figured it was time to make my own version since I’ve always had a fondness for Safeway’s chocolate muffins. And yes, if you did a double take just now, I did say Safeway… as in Safeway the supermarket. I don’t know what they do, but they’re that good. I like to start off some of my mornings with a chocolate muffin from the Safeway across my office. Whenever I do, a good day always follows.
And I’d like to think that applies to my recipe in a greater sense. That is, let’s start the year off with these delicious triple chocolate muffins and just watch all the good things unfold. No more of this negativity and wallowing in my self pity, nope. Especially not when we’ve got these chocolate muffins carrying us through the rest of the year! I mean, they contain three different types of chocolate: cocoa powder, dark chocolate chunks, and semisweet mini chocolate chips. THREE TYPES OF CHOCOLATE. Of course good things are bound to come out of that!
And again, thank you guys, for your kind words and your understanding. Especially because these days, it’s not just the baked goods that are keeping me in check — it’s also you. Thanks for for reading this blog, and for all your support throughout the years.
Some baker’s notes:
- Okay, I hear some of you wondering. Triple chocolate muffins? Really?! Those sound and look more like cupcakes. Don’t let them fool you. These really, truly are muffins. So what’s the difference between a muffin and cupcake? This debate has been going on in the food world for a long time now, with some people even believing that they are the same thing. Those people are WRONG. Cupcakes truly are miniature cakes, made using the same process you would a cake — that is, cream butter and sugar together to create air bubbles in the batter, which gives the cake a light and airy, sponge-like texture. On the other hand, muffin recipes do not have this same creaming process. With muffin recipes, you simply mix together your dry ingredients and your wet ingredients to create the muffin batter. This simple mixing process results in a much denser, heavier batter which produces a far thicker crumb. Want an applicable, real world example? Cupcake tops are ideally supposed to bounce when gently poked with your finger, while muffin tops are traditionally crustier and have an almost shell-like, cracked top.
- Okay, three types of chocolate in a muffin can be too intense in a breakfast. Feel free to reduce the amount of chocolate chips and chunks that I added, but by all means, do not mess with the cocoa powder! If you do, your muffins will be bland and I will cry for you.
- After you mix the dry ingredients into the wet, the batter will seem like it’s too thick and you’ll wonder if something’s gone wrong. It hasn’t. That’s what it looks like. Go with it. Trust the recipe. It all works out. I promise.
Triple Chocolate Muffins
- 2 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup unsweetened natural cocoa powder
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 large eggs
- 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 4 ounces dark chocolate (70%) chunks
- 2 ounces mini semisweet chocolate chips
- Preheat the oven to 400 (F) and prepare two muffin tins by lining each cavity with its own muffin liner.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together 2 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, 3/4 cup unsweetened natural cocoa powder, 1 tablespoon baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, and 1/4 teaspoon salt until combined. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk together 2 large eggs and 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar until a pale yellow. Add 1 cup buttermilk, 1/2 cup melted unsalted butter and 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract and whisk until just combined.
- Sprinkle the dry ingredients (from the 2nd step) evenly onto the surface of the wet ingredients (from the 3rd step). Use a rubber spatula to fold until combined, with one or two flour streaks left in the batter. Add 3 ounces dark chocolate chunks and 1 ounce mini chocolate chips (reserve the rest of the chocolate) and fold into the batter until just combined. DO NOT OVERMIX.
- Divide the batter between 24 liners, using a 1 tablespoon cookie dough scoop to spoon about 2 tablespoons of batter per liner or at least until the liners are 2/3s of the way full. Sprinkle the tops of each muffin with the remaining chocolate pieces.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 18 to 21 minutes or until the tops look set and a skewer inserted into the center of a muffin comes out almost clean. Allow the muffins to cool in the tin on a wire rack for 10 minutes, before turning out onto the wire rack to cool completely.