Chocolate Chocolate-Chip Muffins

Let’s have some chocolate today, shall we?  It tends to be pretty awesome.

Also, it’s Friday.  While Fridays don’t need any help being awesome, I thought that maybe we could all use a double dose of awesome today.

Okay.  I’m really done using the word awesome.  Maybe I’ll switch to something like rad or neat.  Would you guys like that?  Or would you stop reading immediately and close your browser?  That would make me sad, which would not be awesome.  Whoops.  There it is again.

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Moving onto the muffins.  I’m sure you are much more interested in hearing about those instead of my incessant banter about words from the 80’s that I still use way too much today.  Anyway, these muffins don’t look like rich dark muffins I have made in the past, but they have a delicate chocolate flavor and perfect to have anytime of the day.  You know…like anytime I walk past the container that is housing them?  It’s so much easier to eat a muffin when you walk in the door at 9pm instead of whipping up some glamorous dinner and I’m all about ease!

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I’m actually quite surprised that there were even muffins left for me to eat when I got home last night!  Lee, too, is all about eating things that are easy.  It doesn’t get much easier than taking the lid off of a Tupperware container, grabbing a muffin, and replacing the lid.

By the way…does anyone else’s significant other never snap the lid of a Tupperware container on the entire way!?  I can always tell when Lee has been digging into leftovers or cookies or whatever else may be sitting around, because there is always one corner of the lid that isn’t pushed down!    I guess it doesn’t bother me that much.  I was really only bothered when I pick up a container of soup out of the fridge and it spills everywhere because the lid wasn’t on.  Or maybe I was a little mad that one time when I dumped red sauce all over the kitchen counters and floor…right as I was grabbing my lunch to run out the door for work.  Whatever.  It’s not really a big deal.

Maybe it is.  Just a little.  Annoyed

Just make these and I promise you will not make an ugly face like that!

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Chocolate Chocolate-Chip Muffins

Ingredients:

1-1/2 cup all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

3/4 cup sugar

3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

1 cup fat-free milk

1 egg

3/4 cup applesauce

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/8 cup turbinado sugar

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, and chips.  In another small bowl, combine the remaining ingredients, except for the turbinado sugar.

Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and mix until just moistened.  It is okay for the batter to be lumpy!

Line a muffin tin with liner papers or grease the cups and fill each with approximately 1/4 cup of batter.  Sprinkle each with enough turbinado sugar to cover the top.   Bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean.  Remove from pan to a wired rack to cool.

Yield: 12 muffins

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If you’ll excuse me, I have to go enjoy my chocolate Friday.  I suggest you do the same, Friends!  Winking smile

Can you believe it’s already the weekend again!?

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Fun Food Holidays

Some days when I read my e-mails at the office, I can’t believe some of the suggestions I get for show ideas from people all over the country! A few weeks ago, I was “informed” that May 23rd, 2011 is National Taffy Day. Pardon the pun, but as a holiday…this could be a “stretch of the imagination”…yet…why not have some fun with it. I guess someone decided that there would be an annual national celebration of this chewy, sweet candy confection that’s generally sold on boardwalk stands or little shops in seaside communities.

For me, growing up in Brooklyn and going to the beach in Coney Island, enjoying some Saltwater Taffy is definitely a smile-inducing childhood memory. Sticky hands, sticky teeth…melt-in-your mouth yummy. Lots of flavors…yes, I can see why someone would want to declare a day to celebrate this awesome old-fashioned treat!

As to how saltwater taffy got its name? One story is that back in the 19th century, an Atlantic City taffy stand was hit by a huge ocean wave, and its entire stock of taffy was drenched with saltwater. True or not…if you’re doing any traveling in coastal areas this summer, you might find some great saltwater taffy – but if you’re having a staycation? No worries! You can order the original Fralinger’s Salt Water Taffy online so you can enjoy your own old-fashioned taffy at home. And to make things really feel like you’ve taken your taste buds to the beach, try our awesome recipe for Seasoned Steamers for your own clambake right in the kitchen. You can have a backyard beach party wherever you live – and make some tasty memories of your own!

And I’ll be sure to let you in on any more fun food holidays…’cause you never know what will show up in my email inbox! So stay tuned!

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Cinnamon Lemon Muffins

I love these muffins.  The lemon flavor is amazing and it reminds me of summer.  It also reminds me of the garden tea parties my aunt used to have.  These muffins are the perfect combination with tea or a cold glass of lemonade.  They are perfect for breakfast, for brunch, or a snack.  Pretty much, they are just perfect!

I usually make miniature versions of these guys, but today I ran with the big dogs.  Eating one of something is better than eating ten of something, right?  Well, I don’t know if that necessarily is better; it just makes me feel better.

These little muffins go through the ringer and back to get their light and fluffy texture.  The batter is a pretty tough cookie (errrr…or muffin) as it goes through a lot before it gets to rest in the oven.  Everything ingredient gets whipped and beaten and beaten and whipped.

The yolks of the eggs get beaten, the butter and sugar get beaten, the whites of the eggs get beaten.

The lemons get squeezed and their skin gets scraped off.

It’s a tough job being a muffin.  However, through all that beating, squeezing and scraping,  they grow up and become the most delicate things you will ever eat!

My little glam plates are perfect for these little delicate muffins!

Cinnamon Lemon Muffins

Ingredients:

2 eggs, separated

1/2 cup butter, softened

1/2 cup sugar

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

3 tablespoons lemon juice

1 teaspoon lemon peel

(topping)

1 tablespoon sugar

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

dash ground nutmeg

Directions:

In a mixing bowl, beat egg yolks until light and lemon-colored, about 5 minutes.  In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Fold in yolks.  Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt; add to the creamed mixture alternately with lemon juice and peel, stirring just until combined.

In another small mixing bowl and with clean beaters, beat egg whites on high speed until stiff peaks form.  Fold into batter.

Fill greased or paper-lined muffin cups two-thirds full.  Combine the topping ingredients; sprinkle over the batter.  Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.  Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pan to wire rack.

Note:  Batter may also be used to make miniature muffins.  Simply, adjust the baking time to 16-18 minutes.

Anyone interested in having a tea party?  My treat!!

What is your favorite hot beverage?  Are you a tea person or a coffee person?

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