These decadent breakfast muffins pair well with a hot cup of coffee. A combination of cocoa powder and bittersweet chocolate gives these beauties an intense chocolate personality. By folding in some pieces of chopped chocolate, you get small bags of melted chocolate every few bites.
Walnuts seem to add to the muffins’ breakfast sensibility. Roasting walnuts minimizes bitterness and rounds out their flavor. But if you don’t like walnuts, you can substitute toasted pecans.
Yield: 12 muffins
Non-stick vegetable oil spray
1/2 cup toasted walnuts; see chef’s notes
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
Pinch of table salt
2 tablespoons refrigerated unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 3/4 cups (8 3/4 ounces) all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon table salt
3/4 cup boiling water, see chef’s notes
3/4 cup (2 1/4 ounces) unsweetened cocoa powder
5 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped, divided use
1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
1 1/4 cups packed (8 3/4 ounces) light brown sugar
3/4 cup sour cream
3/4 cup vegetable oil
3 large eggs, preferably at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped, see chef’s notes
Chef’s Notes: To toast walnuts, place them in a single layer of nuts on a rimmed baking sheet. You will need a total of 1 1/4 cups for this recipe. Place in the center of a 350 degree oven until lightly browned, about 5 to 7 minutes. Watch carefully, because nuts burn easily. Cool before use. Carefully measure out 3/4 cup of boiling water after bringing about 2 cups to a boil; the measurement will be more accurate that way.
1. Set the oven rack to the top center position and preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Spray a 12-cup muffin tin with vegetable oil spray.
2. Streusel: Pulse walnuts, flour, light brown sugar and salt in food processor until walnuts are roughly chopped, about 4 pulses. Add butter and pulse until mixture resembles coarse sand, 4 to 5 pulses. Place in a bowl and set aside.
3. Muffins: Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. Whisk boiling water, cocoa, 2 ounces chocolate, and espresso powder in second bowl until smooth. Beat in the light brown sugar, sour cream, oil, eggs and vanilla until well blended. Gently fold the chocolate mixture into the flour mixture until just combined (don’t over mix). Fold in the remaining chocolate and walnuts.
4. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared muffin cups and sprinkle with streusel. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few moist crumbs attached, 25 to 27 minutes, turning the muffin tin halfway through baking. Let the muffins cool for 10 minutes in the muffin tin on a wire rack. Remove the muffins from the muffin tin and let them cool completely, about 1 hour.
Source: America’s Test Kitchen “Everything Chocolate” (America’s Test Kitchen, $35)
Cooking question? Please contact Cathy Thomas at [email protected]