Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Chocolate Chip Muffins

We eat a lot of oatmeal around these parts, especially when the days kick off in the 20s with wind chills in the teens. We even eat a lot of oat meal when the weather isn't so cold, but there's a decent amount of milk that needs to be used up before it expires.

So I guess the moral of the story is: we eat a lot of oatmeal.

I usually make a gigantic batch to have enough for Henry to have seconds... or thirds... or more... but on the rare occasion when he only has one helping, it makes for a lot of leftovers. Leftover oatmeal reheats beautifully, so we can always have a second round the next day, but what to do if one wants something different?

My favorite use is oatmeal muffins. There's nothing better than splitting open a fresh, hot muffin, slipping in a pat of butter (or if you're one of my kin, a dollop of some kind of jam), and digging in.

That was my general goal this morning when I pulled out the leftover oatmeal and set to work... but then I glanced outside, saw the birdbath icing over, watched the gray sky slowly start to grow rosy with the sunrise, and decided that today we should have something just a little bit more special.

Today we should have chocolate chips and cocoa nibs.


So here's my adapted oatmeal muffin recipe, complete with a little chocolaty tweak, just in case you're morning needs a little something extra, too.

Ten Minute Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Muffins
This recipe takes only about ten minutes to whip up before slipping into the oven
Makes a dozen muffins.

1 C leftover oatmeal
1/2  plus 1 C whole milk, divided (to loosen clumpy leftover oatmeal, if needed)
3/4 C whole wheat pastry flour
3/4 C unbleached all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 egg
~1/4 C real maple syrup (or less if your oatmeal is sweetened already)
1 tsp good vanilla extract
1/4 C melted butter or coconut oil
1/2 C chocolate chips
1/8 C cocoa nibs (optional)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees and grease a 12-cup muffin tin (or line with paper liners). In a small bowl, combine oatmeal and 1/2 C milk (if your oatmeal isn't loose in it's leftover form already... try to make it as smooth and clump-free as you can before adding the rest of the ingredients), and set aside. In a larger bowl, mix melted, cooled butter or coconut oil with egg, maple syrup, vanilla, and salt. Add oatmeal and additional 1 C milk and mix well. Sift in flours and baking powder (or just thoroughly mix them together on the side and add them in) and mix until just combined (if batter looks a bit too thick, add just a splash more milk). Fold in chocolate chips and cocoa nibs. Scoop into muffin tins (I use a 1/4 cup ice cream scoop), filling each muffin cavity about 3/4 the way full. Bake in pre-heated oven for about 20 minutes, or until golden around edges and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let 'em sit a few minutes before digging in, or the melted chocolate might burn your lips!


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