I should call these Caffeine Kick Chocolate Chip Espresso Muffins. I don't know about you, but I often need a little extra kick in the afternoons in the form of caffeine, and this is just one other way to get it. I also find that some chocolate chips in muffins is so decadent in a way, but that I can enjoy them without much guilt. I feel totally okay about finding ways to cut the sugar I add to my muffins, but then adding some chocolate chips! Makes absolute sense to me, really. Although I will admit that my first test batch of these was a little overloaded with chocolate chips! They were also a little heavy and overdone. Okay for me - just not good enough to tell you about. I am wondering if the silicone baking tin has something to do with it too. I'm going to experiment, but my hunch is that it conducts the heat better and means less baking time. But, with some tweaking since round one, here is my latest creation. If you look closely you'll see these are actually full of nutritious ingredients - like oats and wheat germ - so lots of goodness on a few different levels. You will find these aren't the lightest muffins as far as texture goes - not the light and fluffy variety - but oh-so-good! There is only a 1/4 cup of sugar (if you choose to use it) or you could try replacing that with an equal amount of home made, plain apple sauce. I think the hint of apple would be just right with the other ingredients like cinnamon, nutmeg, and oats. So, after this easy to pull together muffin recipe - just take a bite of one (or two) and enjoy!
These are perfect with a cup of coffee or espresso, of course.
- 1 1/2 cups (375 ml) all-purpose flour
- 1 cup (250 ml) quick cooking rolled oats (not instant)
- 2 to 3 tablespoons (30 to 45 ml) espresso powder
- 1/2 cup (125 ml) wheat germ
- 1/4 cup (50 ml) brown sugar, packed OR try
- 1/4 cup (50 ml) apple sauce
- 1 tablespoon (15 ml) baking powder
- 1 tsp (5 ml) baking soda
- 1/2 tsp (2 ml) cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp (2 ml) nutmeg (optional)
- 1/4 tsp (1 ml) salt
- 1 cup (250 ml) milk
- 1 egg
- 1/4 cup (50 ml) vegetable oil OR try
- 1/2 cup (125 ml) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 tsp (5 ml) vanilla
- 1/4 to 1/2 cup (50 ml to 125 ml) chocolate chips
Notes on espresso powder: You can buy instant espresso powder, but I tried making my own. I brewed some espresso, dried the brewed grains, then ground them in my coffee grinder into a powder. It worked really well (even though I wasn't certain they were actually dried enough) and appeals to my sense of frugality and desire not to waste ingredients! I just save it up by putting the grains into a ziplock bag or a container in my fridge. I'm going to work on the dried part of the equation and see if I get mine dryer what sort of difference it makes. With my second batch of these muffins I also added two tablespoons of cold (cooled) espresso (the liquid). This worked well too.
Preheat the oven to 375⁰ F (190⁰ C).
Line 12 muffin tins with liners, grease, or use a silicone muffin 'tin' (my new favourite baking item!)
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, oats, wheat germ, espresso powder, brown sugar (if using), baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt.
In another bowl, whisk together the milk, egg, oil or butter and vanilla - and apple sauce if using instead of sugar. Add to the dry ingredients.
Add the chocolate chips. Stir just until dry ingredients are moistened.
Spoon into the muffin pan or cups, filling 3/4 full. Bake in the centre of the oven until firm to the touch, about 20 minutes. You may find as I have that 20 minutes is enough.
Remove from the oven and let cool in the pan for 5 minutes.
Transfer to racks and let cool.