Test Kitchen: Bakery-style chocolate chip muffins

Almost every year for my birthday for as long as I can remember, my mom has made me Betty Crocker-cookbook muffins as a special breakfast.

Almost every year for my birthday for as long as I can remember, my mom has made me Betty Crocker-cookbook muffins as a special breakfast.

My birthday is in June, so in honor of me turning 30 this month, I decided to throw myself a Test Kitchen celebration and try a new-to-me bakery-style muffin recipe.

I picked the bakery-style chocolate chip muffins from Sally’s Baking Addiction. The recipe is packed with buttermilk, sour cream, butter and oil, and I figured there’s no way that wouldn’t be delicious. And wow, was I right. These are game-changing muffins. Incredible. I cannot say enough good things.

One important note at the start: The baking time for this recipe is for a large muffin tin, but there also are directions and baking times for standard and mini muffin tins. The batter is the same for all. I don’t have a large muffin tin, so I made the standard size. I had to add an extra two minutes to the baking time to keep my muffins from being soupy.

This recipe makes several departures from other muffin recipes I’m used to: You fill the muffin tins all the way to the top, and instead of baking the muffins the whole time at one temperature, you bake them at a high temperature for five minutes and then reduce the temperature for the rest of the baking time. The method is supposed to make the muffin tops tall and cracked.

It works. The tops puffed up high instead of ballooning over the edges, and they were thick and delicious. And beneath them was muffin I actually wanted to keep eating, which let’s be real, is not always the case. I used a combination of mini semisweet chips and milk chocolate morsels, and they distributed evenly throughout the muffins.

My only comment on this recipe is about the addition of the nutmeg. The recipe’s author says that the spice is what most chocolate chip recipes are missing, but I’m not sure. It’s a strong and distinct flavor that reminds me of the holidays, but it’s somewhat overpowering. I think I might try my next batch with half the called-for nutmeg. But I absolutely will be making these muffins again.

RECIPE

INGREDIENTS:
3 cups all-purpose flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 large eggs, at room temp.
1/4 cup sour cream or yogurt, at room temp.
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup milk
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 and 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
Coarse sugar for sprinkling

DIRECTIONS:
1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Generously grease a muffin pan with butter or nonstick spray or line with muffin liners. Set aside.

2. Whisk flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg together in a large bowl. Set aside.

3. Whisk eggs, sour cream and sugar together until combined. Then whisk in the milk, oil, melted butter and vanilla extract. Mixture will be pale yellow. Fold wet ingredients into dry ingredients and mix together gently. Avoid overmixing. The batter will be thick and somewhat lumpy. Fold in the chocolate chips.

4. Divide batter among prepared muffin pan, filling all the way to the top. Sprinkle with coarse sugar, if desired. Bake at 425 degrees for 5 minutes, then, keeping the muffins in the oven, reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees and continue to bake for 25 to 26 minutes until the tops are lightly golden brown and centers are set. Use a toothpick to test.

5. Allow to cool for 10 minutes in pan before removing and serving.

6. Cover leftover muffins and store at room temperature for five days or in the refrigerator for one week. Muffins freeze well for up to three months. Thaw in the refrigerator or on the counter.

Note: If you’re baking standard or mini muffins: For 15 to 16 standard-size muffins, reduce baking time to 18 to 19 total minutes: 5 initial minutes at 425 degrees and 13 to 14 minutes at 350 degrees. For about 50 mini muffins, bake for 11 to 12 minutes at 350 degrees the entire time.

SOURCE: sallysbakingaddiction.com

Where to buy

The Repository
Select Rite Aid Stores
Spee-D Foods
Buehler's Fresh Foods
Fishers Foods, including 44th Street NW, Tuscarawas St. W, Fulton Drive, Lincoln Way E. and Cleveland Ave. NW locations
Aultman Hospital Gift Shop
Mercy Medical Center Gift Shop
Gervasi Vineyard Marketplace
Carpe Diem Coffee Shop, downtown Canton and Belden Village Mall locations
News Depot
Avenue Arts Marketplace
Yum Yum Tree Alliance
Grapes in a Glass