I’m one of those people who thinks Valentine’s Day is silly. Sure, I can appreciate a day that’s dedicated to making the loves in your life feel special and adored. But to me it conjures up images of people waiting in line to buy overpriced flowers, cards and chocolates with only half-hearted intent. I’ve always told my husband that flowers on a random Tuesday in August, or a card for no reason will always be more appreciated than forcing it on Valentine’s Day. Perhaps that makes me a bit of a scrooge, but that’s how I feel.
That doesn’t mean that we don’t celebrate on February 14th. We just do it in a different way. Handmade notes, special treats from the kitchen and extra hugs and kisses are abundant. I take off work to help at my daughter’s school party, we have a nice dinner at home, and we do something fun as a family. And this year, my oldest daughter requested Chocolate Chip Muffins. Or, as she calls, them, “Love Muffins.” I’m not really sure where she came up with Love Muffins. Of course, I’m not sure where she comes up with a lot of the things that come out of her mouth…nonetheless, this is a perfectly fitting treat for the love-holiday.
Since I volunteered to help at her class party, I thought these would be perfect as one of their treats. There’s SO much candy floating around in the classroom that I didn’t want to add another super-sweet cupcake or cookie to the mix. These aren’t everly-sweet or rich, but they’re still fun and chock-full of chocolate chips. And since they’re for Valentine’s Day, I sprinkled them with some fun candy hearts before I stuck them in the oven. Cute!
The best thing about these muffins is the texture. They have a slightly heavy crumb, and they are soft, moist and almost scone-like. By using mini-chocolate chips, the batter is sprinkled with little bits of chocolate in every bite. The salt in the recipe cuts the sweetness just a little bit and really brings out the flavor of the dough. They’re fabulous. And how cute are those baking cups?
A couple of tips for this recipe – take extra care to be sure that you don’t over bake these. Start keeping an eye on them at about the 15 minute mark, and take them out of the oven the minute the middle dries out and when they just start to turn a light golden brown. Make sure you bake them on the middle rack so they don’t get tough on the bottom. If you sprinkle your chocolate chips with a little bit of flour before you stir them in the batter, they won’t sink during baking. These will keep 3-4 days in an airtight container.
Hope you’ll give these a try. They’re a great breakfast, dessert or after school snack. (And perfect for your loved ones on Valentine’s Day!) ♥
4 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup light brown sugar
4 eggs, slightly beaten
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 and 1/3 cup buttermilk
4 teaspoons vanilla extract
12 oz mini chocolate chips
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees (F). Prepare muffin tins with paper liners, and set aside.
In a large bowl, or the bowl of a stand mixer mix together flour, sugars, baking powder and salt. In a medium bowl, combine cooled butter, buttermilk, vanilla and eggs. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Stir in chocolate chips.
Using an ice cream scoop, fill the muffin tins 2/3 full. Bake on the middle rack for 18-20 minutes or until the tops are dry and they are just turning golden brown. Cool completely.
Source: Adapted from Two Peas and Their Pod