Thursday, September 05, 2013

Chocolate Spice Muffins

Cafe Drake HRV adapted the ingredients and directions below from Perfect Muffins and Bakes (Paragon Press), a somewhat deceitfully titled collection of flawed recipes. A first disappointing attempt at these muffins - closer to cupcakes, really - was corrected the second time by adding a bit of cinnamon to the mix and reducing the amount of sugar. We also contributed a drop of our own homemade allspice dram; you can either purchase a bottle at a specialty liquor store, make a batch yourself via online instructions, substitute with spiced dark rum or leave out altogether. Prepare yourself for complex flavors unimpeded by excessive sweetness, equally enjoyable for breakfast, as snack with coffee or tea or alongside salty and tangy Caroline-style pulled pork or Memphis dry rub BBQ.




Begin by buttering VERY well 12 muffin cups, generally, 2 pans. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Place 4 oz. softened butter in a large mixing bowl and beat with 3/4 cup white sugar and 1/2 cup brown sugar. Beat in 2 large eggs, 2/3 cup sour cream and 5 T. milk. When everything is thoroughly combined, stir in: 1 3/4 cups all-purpose white flour, 1 t. baking soda, 2 T. unsweetened cocoa powder, 1 1/2 t. ground allspice and 1/2 t. ground cinnamon.

Fold in 1 T. allspice dram and 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips/coins/pieces. The best option here is a very dark bittersweet chocolate. 



Divide batter evenly among muffin cups and bake for 25-30 minutes. You'll want to err on the side of under-cooked as opposed to over. Cool in pan for 10 minutes then remove and cool completely on a wire rack or serve warm with whipped cream. If cooled fully the muffins can easily be frozen.

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