Are you fussy, like me, when it comes to muffins? I cannot understand how people eat those muffins from Dunkin Donuts. Have you ever had one? I had a blueberry muffin from there once and being the curious foodie that I am, I actually took it apart to see what those supposed blueberry thingee/nuggets were. They weren't blueberries, they were some sort of sweet, blue sticky like dots. I know dots is a bad example, but I could not figure out what they were. Also, the muffin was so high and full of air. How did they get it so fluffy and full of air to make it look like a muffin?
So I'm always on the search for good muffins when hitting up bakeries. Most times I don't find any good ones since living on Cape Cod the choices for bakeries are slim.
So the muffin making is done at home. Muffin recipes that deliver the goods are also hard to find unless you create your own. A lot of times I will go with an old standby (like this one). Muffins are fattening, so if I'm going to have a muffin with a ton of calories it better be a good one.
What is a good muffin? Well, one that has a good muffin top: crispy-crumbly over-lapping edges and a bit of crunch on the top. The inside is nice and cake-like but not dense, moist indeed, sweet, but not overly sweet and just the right ratio of fruits and nuts. The person who finally invented the jumbo muffin pans and muffin-top pans was pure genius. If I had to pick my top two muffins that I like (a lot) it would be blueberry and morning glory. But in all honesty I have yet to find a really good morning glory muffin. My blueberry muffins are pretty good. The times when I go to NYC I have had a good blueberry muffin there; can't remember the bakery though as there are so many good bakeries in NYC. But on this post, I give you another muffin I do like--very much so. I found this recipe over at King Arthur and of course had to kick it up a few notches. Plus I'm still on my coconut kick and wanted to put coconut on the tops of these muffins as the end result would be a nice toasty coconut topping.
muffin base from King Arthur
2/3 cup (2 ounces) Dutch-process cocoa
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cups light brown sugar (not packed)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1-2 ts espresso powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
½ cup milk choco chips & ½ cup bittersweet choco chips
1 cup light cream or half & half
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
4 ounces (1 stick) butter, melted
½ cup +/- of shredded coconut flakes
Cook Notes: the original recipe calls for no coconut. What? I knew the muffin base would be perfect for a little toasted coconut topping, so I just had to add it in. If you want no coconut in there then don't add it.
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a large/jumbo muffin pan with paper or silicone muffin cups, and grease the cups.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the cocoa, flour, sugar, baking powder, espresso powder, baking soda, salt and chocolate chips. Set aside.
In a large measuring cup or medium-sized mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, vanilla and vinegar. Add the wet ingredients, along with the melted butter, to the dry ingredients, stirring to blend; there's no need to beat these muffins, just make sure everything is well-combined.
Scoop the batter into the prepared muffin tin; the cups will be heaped with batter, and the muffin will bake into a "mushroom" shape. Sprinkle with pearl sugar, if desired.
Bake the muffins for about 9 minutes then add some of the coconut to the tops of the muffins, and back into oven to finish baking for another 10 minutes. The original recipe says the muffins take about 20 to 25 minutes total time to cook. Mine only took about 18 minutes, so watch over the muffins; all depends on your oven. You can always see if they’re done with a cake tester inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean.
Remove the muffins from the oven, and after 5 minutes remove them from the pan, allowing them to cool for about 15 minutes on a rack before peeling off the muffin papers or silicone cups.
Should make about 8 – 10 jumbo muffins. (I tried baking them in regular size muffins but they tasted so dry, so I made them using the jumbo muffins tins, much better).