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Double Chocolate Muffins

Yield:12 muffins
Who am I kidding here? Double Chocolate Muffins are a thinly disguised excuse to have cupcakes for breakfast! These moist, dark chocolate muffins studded with bittersweet chocolate chips make a fabulous breakfast when you're craving something a little sweet. Dense and moist but less sweet than cupcakes, they are rich and satisfying and will stave off hunger pangs (and your sweet tooth) for a while. The only problem is just eating them for breakfast. This recipe was adapted from 365 Great Chocolate Recipes by Nathalie Houghton.

Chocolate Muffins

1/2 cup unsalted butter
3 ounces unsweetened baking chocolate squares
3/4 cup white sugar
1 egg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup lowfat buttermilk
2 cups all-purpose, unbleached flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
dash salt
1 cup bittersweet chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 400° F.

2. In a 2 quart glass bowl, combine butter and unsweetened chocolate. Heat in microwave on high 2 to 2.5 minutes, until melted and smooth when stirred. Let cool to lukewarm.

3. Stir sugar, egg, vanilla and buttermilk into the cooled chocolate and butter mixture until thoroughly blended. Mix together flour, salt and baking soda in a separate bowl and then stir into chocolate mixture just until combined. Stir in chocolate chips. The batter will be very thick.

4. Spoon batter into 12 paper lined muffin cups, filling to top.

5. Bake 15 to 20 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted in center comes out clean. Let muffins cool in pans 5 minutes, then transfer to racks to cool completely.

Variations:
Make Orange Double Chocolate Muffins by stirring in 2 tsps grated orange peel or some orange oil into the batter.
Make Raspberry Double Chocolate Muffins by reducing the sugar and stirring in some seedless raspberry jam with the wet ingredients.
For additional variety, stir in other flavored chips, such as cappuccino, peanut butter, mint or vanilla in place of the chocolate chips.