I woke up this morning on a mission. I wanted to perfect my chocolate chip muffin recipe. As mentioned in my first post, I have a great love for muffins J, with chocolate chips muffins being my very favorite. However, I’m not picky, and will eat almost any kind of muffin. I will confess that in my early 20’s I had an unhealthy obsession with Wawa’s coffee cake muffins… you know, the ones with the cream center. I even went as far as having two in one day at times. This obsession came to a screeching halt when I saw online that they were roughly 800 calories each!
As time went on, I began to make my own muffins that I could eat for breakfast every morning. In fact, I’ve been using this chocolate chip muffin recipe for a while now. Mine have far fewer than 800 calories each, and only about half the ingredients, yet somehow they taste pretty darn good. Now back to my mission. I wanted to make my muffins slightly healthier, without sacrificing taste or moisture. Although muffins seem pretty straightforward, they can indeed be very tricky if the right ratios are not used. I’ve always been a fan of the ‘muffin method’, which is the most common way to make them. However, the ‘creaming method’ in my opinion is superior for cupcakes.
The muffin method is really simple to implement, and requires the use of two large mixing bowls. The number one tip I can give you when making muffins is to not over-stir the batter when you combine the wet and dry Ingredients. You can stir each bowl as much as you want separately, but once you combine them they really only need 10-12 stirs at max, until most of the flour is dissolved. This is due to gluten formation, which is activated when the flour hits the liquid. The less gluten formation, the better. Limiting this factor creates the perfect light, moist muffin. Too much gluten formation, and your poor muffins will turn out hard, and tough. This is also why I add cornstarch to my muffins, or use cake flour to cut some of the gluten, and produce a softer muffin.
On my muffin quest this morning I decided to change a few steps in my recipe. The first being the dairy component, which represents the liquid’ ingredient in most muffins. I typically use sour cream in my muffin recipes, which really kicks up the moisture effect. This time though, I decided to go with Greek yogurt. Greek yogurt is very similar to sour cream in substance, however Greek yogurt has more health benefits. Greek yogurt has active cultures and probiotics that are great for your gut health and digestion. Most sour cream does not, or contains much less since it is pasteurized, and they will die off during processing. Although both are a good source of protein, calcium, and vitamin B, Greek yogurt has more nutrients and typically less fat.
The second change in my recipe was removing half the brown sugar and replacing it with honey. The honey is obviously healthier. It also adds flavor and softness to the muffins. My last tweak was replacing the baking soda with all baking powder. Whenever I use buttermilk or sour cream, I usually add baking soda since it is neutralized. However, with these muffins I used all baking powder and they turned out great. In fact, none of them were lacking in height or quality. I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do.
Check out my next post, which will have my tips and best practices for muffins. I can’t wait to share them with you guys.