A couple of years ago, when Sean and I were still in college, we lived in a big, suburban house with 6-8 friends. I say 6-8, because there were usually a couple extra people hanging around, sleeping in someones bed or on the couch. It was both the nicest and cheapest place I’ve lived. Though there was some drama…as there always is when you pack a bunch of personalities into one dwelling…it was pretty, dang fun.
We had a sweet kitchen–shiny and brand-spanking-new–but I did hardly any cooking. Unless, of course, you consider making Rice Krispie treats cooking. Cooking wasn’t really on our minds. Our fridge was less stocked with groceries and more stocked with beers and other booze. I mean, we ate stuff, mostly convenience foods and take-out. We had the usual ramen noodles, cereal, and sometimes we even had milk. One of the things we often had were those packaged, chocolate chip, mini muffins. They were SO cheap and so TASTY. I mean, how could we resist.
We couldn’t, that’s my point.
The next year, after I graduated, Sean and I struck out on our own. He was still in school and I was at a loss of what to do with my liberal arts degree, so I worked the same job I had worked while I was in school (preschool teacher). That’s when I started this blog, and pretty much turned my back on pre-packaged baked goods. It’s been over 3 years of blogging and I am just now trying to find a replacement for those muffins. I haven’t had one in years and I’m not sure that I’d enjoy them in the same rabidly-hungry-and-hung-over manner I did then. I swear I can taste the chemicals and artificial stuff in those types of baked treats now–as enticing and pretty as they are.
These muffins are pretty darn good. I baked them in the standard muffin size, not minis…which meant I didn’t shove 3 of them in my face all at once. I did shove part of one in my face and got burned, literally…but it was worth it. Don’t be like me. Wait a few minutes for these to cool, they are great fresh and warm from the oven. They are not, however, great the next day. A little dry, a little crumbly, but still edible. Since they don’t have the lasting power I’d like–since I can’t be eating a whole batch of muffins in one day–you will probably be seeing more chocolate chip muffins ’round these parts. I hope y’all don’t mind.
Like how I got all country there at the end?
Yeah, y’all do.
Chocolate Chip Muffins
Adapted from theKitchn.
I added orange zest and a little fresh nutmeg. Chocolate and orange are friends, so it worked out. Fresh nutmeg is just dang good, so it joined the party too.
1 stick of unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
zest of 1 orange
2 large eggs, room temperature
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
a few gratings of fresh nutmeg
1/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 to 1 1/2 cups chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 375F. Line a muffin tin with 8-10 cupcake papers or grease tin well.
In a small bowl rub orange zest into sugar until fragrant.
Using an electric mixer, cream butter with orange sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, scraping bowl and mixing well after each addition. Add vanilla and combine.
In a medium bowl sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. Add a few gratings if fresh nutmeg. Add half of the flour mixture to the butter/sugar/egg mixture, beating just to combine. Add milk, mix, then add the remaining flour just until it is incorporated. Using a light touch, fold in chocolate chips. Don’t overmix the muffins. Just don’t.
Fill prepared muffin cups. You can fill these pretty much to the top…none of that 2/3 full business here. Bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack before eating. Don’t burn your face.