These decadent breakfast muffins pair nicely with a hot cup of coffee. A combination of cocoa powder and bittersweet chocolate gives these beauties an intense chocolate personality. Folding in some pieces of chopped chocolate provides little pockets of melted chocolate every few bites.
Walnuts seem to add to the muffins’ breakfast sensibility. Toasting walnuts minimizes bitterness, rounding out their flavor. But, if walnuts aren’t to your liking, you can substitute toasted pecans.
Yield: 12 muffins
Nonstick vegetable oil spray
1/2 cup toasted walnuts; see cook’s notes
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
Pinch of table salt
2 tablespoons chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 3/4 cups (8 3/4 ounces) all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon table salt
3/4 cup boiling water, see cook’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, room temperature preferred
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped, see cook’s notes
Cook’s notes: To toast walnuts, place in single layer of nuts on rimmed baking sheet. For this recipe you will need a total of 1 1/4 cups. Place in middle of 350-degree oven until lightly browned, about 5 to 7 minutes. Watch carefully because nuts burn easily. Cool before using. Cautiously measure 3/4 cup of boiling water after bringing about 2 cups to a full boil; the measurement will be more accurate that way.
1. Adjust oven rack to upper middle position and heat oven to 375 degrees. Spray a 12-cup muffin pan with vegetable oil spray.
2. Streusel: Pulse walnuts, flour, light brown sugar, and salt in food processor until walnuts are coarsely chopped, about 4 pulses. Add butter and pulse until mixture resembles coarse sand, 4 to 5 pulses. Place in bowl and set aside.
3. Muffins: Whisk flour, baking soda and salt together in large bowl. Whisk boiling water, cocoa, 2 ounces chocolate, and expresso powder in second bowl until smooth. Whisk in light brown sugar, sour cream, oil, eggs, and vanilla until thoroughly combined. Gently fold chocolate mixture into flour mixture until just combined (do not overmix). Fold in remaining chocolate and walnuts.
4. Divide batter evenly among prepared muffin cups and sprinkle with streusel. Bake until toothpick inserted in center comes out with few moist crumbs attached, 25 to 27 minutes, rotating muffin tin halfway through baking. Let muffins cool in muffin tin on wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove muffins from muffin tin and let cool completely, about 1 hour.
Source: “Everything Chocolate” from America’s Test Kitchen (America’s Test Kitchen, $35)
Cooking question? Contact Cathy Thomas at [email protected]