Thursday, December 18, 2008

The best muffins ever

It's a shame most Americans demand food out of season. They have no idea what jewels of culinary delight they are missing! We have discovered many delicious foods when we have been forced to think outside our cultural food box. Because our chickens are no longer laying, we are rationing eggs, which means I am looking for eggless recipes. I was in the mood for chocolate chip muffins today and recalled having seen such a recipe in a food-magazine ad last month. I found the ad and examined the recipe. First of all, it called for two disgusting non-natural products, which are not even in my kitchen. Second, it called for two sticks of margarine, which no self-respecting cook would use in baked goods. Third, I gasped at the thought of a whole cup of pure fat. Was the recipe author in cahoots with a cardiologist group? So, it needed some work. Here is my resulting recipe:

Antiquity Oaks Chocolate Chip Muffins

  • 3 cups unbleached flour
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 T. baking powder
  • 1 stick butter
  • 1 1/2 cups goat milk
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup milk chocolate chips

Mix together the flour, sugar, and baking powder. Using unbleached flour is healthier (no bleaching residue) and gives muffins a more golden glow after baking. Cut in a stick of butter, using a pastry blender, which is that thingie in the upper left corner of the photo. Add the milk and stir. For those of you without a goat, you can use whole cow milk. The dough will look a little looser than cookie dough, but definitely won't look like your typical muffin batter.

Don't overmix it, because you still need to add the chocolate chips, which will, of course, mean that you have to stir a little more to get the chips properly distributed. If you are lacking one or more of the different types of chocolate chips, don't worry. Just make sure the total amount of chips equals 1 1/2 cups. You probably noticed there is not a lot of sugar in this recipe, so you need the chocolate chips for sweetness.

Put the batter into your muffin pan. It will be heaping, which is totally unlike most muffin recipes where you fill the cups 1/2 to 2/3 full. With so much flour and no egg, these muffins are heavy duty, so don't expect them to melt and spread out.

Bake at 400 degrees F for 20 minutes. These muffins are absolutely the most delicious thing created since the invention of the oven! Okay, that's just my humble opinion. On a scale of 1 to 10, Jonathan apologetically gave them a 7.5, and Katherine gave them an 8.5. Why? Jonathan didn't think the batter was sweet enough. It is true that the batter is not sweet, which is why there is such a ridiculous amount of chocolate chips. If there were any more sugar in the muffins, they'd make most mere mortals puke. (He's a teenage boy, which puts him in a completely different class of eater.) Katherine actually missed the eggy taste of traditional muffins. I, on the other hand, loved the missing eggs and lower sugar. It really highlights the buttery flavor. The muffin tops are also crispy-crunchy, which added another level of sensory deliciousness to the whole experience.

So, this is my holiday gift to you, regardless of which winter holidays you celebrate! Food plays a big part in all the winter holidays, no doubt because the rest of the world is so dreary. (Hmm, at least in the northern hemisphere.) So, whether you're tromping through the snow or lounging on the beaches down under, Enjoy!


Kara said...

My chickens are still laying so I am looking for the opposite, but those muffins look wonderful and I will save the recipe for later when they stop. I have heard that adding red pepper flakes to their feed will keep them going in the winter. Haven't tried it, do you know if it is true?

Jenny Holden said...

Oooo, fresh muffins :o)
My address is..... do you think they'll still be warm when they get to England?!

Jody said...

I bake muffins every week for my husband and myself and have been doing that for more than 20 years. I always add my own ground flax seed and rolled oats and some whole wheat flour along with the unbleached. That's alot of sugar with all those chocolate chips.

Gizmo said...

I cannot wait to make these. Thank you for sharing the recipe.

Deborah Niemann said...

Kara, I haven't heard about red pepper flakes for laying, and I doubt it would work. Here is my incredibly simplistic explanation: The reason chickens stop laying is because reproduction in many animals is controlled by the amount of light that gets into the eye and triggers this thingie in the brain. In the case of chickens, the brain knows that when there are not many hours of light, it is not the time of year to be laying eggs and hatching chicks. In commercial chicken operations, they artificially light the buildings, so that there is not "winter," and the chickens lay year-round. I could keep the light on during the winter for a few hours in the evening, but I figure everyone needs a vacation. Besides, we wind up with so many eggs during the spring that it's probably healthier for us to be without them for a few months before then!

Jenny, I'm afraid the muffins might be cold before I get to my post office! :(

Jody, your muffins sounds delicious! My new recipe is not something that people should be eating every day or even every week. They're definitely a special occasion muffin!

MichelleH said...

I found your blog from 'Vet on the Edge' (and I found her from my favourite author's blog, but that's another story!) and I'm very intrigued. Yours is a way of life I greatly envy – I live in a big city, but I’m not really a big city girl. However, my husband is definitely a city boy. Maybe one of these days I’ll be able to convince him we should move to the middle of nowhere and live a more sustainable lifestyle! I’d be curious to know how that conversation with your husband went. :)

Deborah Niemann said...

Hello Michelle, and welcome! I started talking about moving out to the country when our oldest was five years old. We finally did it when she was 14! So, it was a lot of conversations!

KjM said...

These muffins sound delicious. I have to try them. Being from the San Francisco area I did notice the chocolate you use.

Excellent choice!

Best wishes for the holidays to you and yours.

Deborah Niemann said...

KjM, you reminded me that I meant to say how important it it that you use good quality chocolate!

MaskedMan said...

Thank you!!!

I saw your comment over on my sister's blog, VetOnTheEdge, and cam on over to check it out! I made a special stop at the Co-op on the way home, and I can say, now that I've run the experiement, that these are muffins jam-packed with awesome!

My wife and daughter, much surprised to have been unceremoniously chased away from the oven, thank you too! They are, of course, both big fans of chocolate chips. ;-)

Deborah Niemann said...

Thanks, Masked Man! So glad to know your family enjoyed the muffins! Come back again for a visit!

Unknown said...

Do you think the muffins could be made with almond flour? Or count flour? So healthy and great flavor! Thanks.

Unknown said...

Do you think muffins could be made with almond or coconut flour?

Deborah Niemann said...

Here's a recipe that uses coconut flour --


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