July 12, 2010

What's Cookin': Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Muffins

Ok that's kind of a mouthful. You could probably get away with just Chocolate Chip Muffins. But having 3 year olds has made me literal. Before I give you the recipe let's start out with a lesson.

Have you ever wondered why every muffin recipe tells you not to over mix your batter?

This is why. When you over mix muffin batter the gluten in the flour develops too much generating a more elastic dough texture and can cause high peaks, "tunneling" (caverns in the center of your muffin caused by gas bubbles being trapped by said elastic dough), and a tough and chewy muffin. In bread, this is a good thing. In muffins... not so much.

The sad thing is that I know this. I've known this for a long time. And I knew I was over mixing them this morning. I was just in a hurry to get food done for hungry children. Luckily though, I just over mixed them enough to get high peaks and they aren't too terribly chewy and not tough at all. They're a little more like bread than soft muffin, but they still taste delicious. However, they could have gone a lot farther and been bad. Let this be a lesson to you. DON'T OVER MIX YOUR MUFFINS! :)

And now, the recipe! (Notice the more-bread-than-muffin like center.)

Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Muffins - makes 24 (truck not included)
I always make double batches, for extras to eat over the week or freeze. Cut the recipe in half for a normal batch.
2 C AP flour
1 1/2 C whole wheat flour (or just use 3 1/2 C all AP flour for regular chocolate chip muffins)
2/3 C sugar
4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
2 eggs, beaten
1 1/2 C milk*
1/2 vegetable oil
1/2 C chocolate chips (minis, if you have them. But who the heck keeps mini CCs on hand??)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Mix dry ingredients in a large bowl. In a smaller bowl or quart measuring cup, mix eggs, milk and vegetable oil. Make a well in center of dry mix and pour wet into it. Stir until just combined (remember not to over mix!). Gently fold in chocolate chips. Spoon into greased or paper lined muffin pans, filling cups about 2/3s of the way. Bake 18-20 minutes, until golden and the toothpick test comes out clean. Allow muffins to cool in pans about 5 minutes, then remove to a cooling rack.

Notes & Variations: I have two different muffin pans. One is the shiny kind, one is the dark non-stick kind. I have found that the non-stick gives me dark, crispy bottoms and sides, and almost burns them. So I did some research and found that if using a dark non-stick pan then you should lower the temperature by 25 degrees. Just so y'all know, if you're having the same problem. I prefer my shiny pan.

*I tend to use dry milk powder in my baking and mix it with water for the amount of milk called for. This way I don't use up the good drinking stuff for cooking. The dry milk powder I've found isn't necessarily that much cheaper than buying fresh (it's about $10 for a box that makes about 5 gallons of milk - about $2 a gallon, rather than $2.50 for fresh), but it lasts longer since it can be stored in the pantry. I would highly recommend keeping some on hand. It's good for emergencies as well as baking.


Farmgirl said...

Lovely muffins, mine never get like that, so maybe I might try overmixing.
They sound yummy. I was going to make muffins this morning too, but opted out for cleaning house. :) I had a very dirty house.

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