One of the best feelings I’ve experienced in my short life: coming home after a long year at a college six hours away from home. No more shower shoes, no more paying $2 for each mound of laundry, no more small, confined space. Real food, access to a car…and my very own clean, well-stocked, well-equipped kitchen.
It took a lot of self-control not to fall on the floor and kiss it, let me tell you. Home, sweet, sweet home.
I’ve been itching to use the mini-muffin tin my mom bought me for my birthday. Mini-muffins are (pardon the word) super cute and perfectly porportioned. Don’t get me wrong, I adore the enormous, sugar-covered muffins sold at bakeries, but sometimes, they’re a lot to handle. It’s a big commitment.
Never before in my life have I used “cute” to describe food. In grade school, I was the tomboy who scoffed at the other girls at my lunch table who referred to baby carrots as “adorable” or my small Tupperware containers as “cute”. “How can food or plastic be considered cute? ‘Cute’ is reserved for cats and puppies, not tiny vegetables.”
Obviously, things have changed.
Cuteness factor aside: the actual excellence of these muffins lies in their flavor. It’s reminiscent of unbaked cookie dough. One ingredient I couldn’t resist adding was almond extract. It’s a staple in my house, bought almost as often as vanilla extract; ever since I was a child, it’s been added to recipes from pancakes to cookies to cheesecake. You only need a little bit, but it makes a difference, taking these muffins from good to great.
Yes, I know they’re oddly shaped. For some reason, my brain calculated 3 dozen to 24. Whoops.
Anyways. Another contributing factor to this greatness? Buttermilk. On principle, I use buttermilk in any recipe calling for milk. It makes the end product more tender and flavorful. It’s also easy to make if you don’t have any buttermilk on hand – simply add replace one tablespoon of one cup of milk with a tablespoon of lemon juice or distilled white vinegar, stir, and then let sit 5-10 minutes. Et voila, buttermilk!
The original recipe calls for mini chocolate chips, but I used regular-sized ones and they turned out fine. They’re best when warmed up before serving…or eaten straight from the oven.
You’ll never even know there’s whole wheat flour involved.
Chocolate Chip Mini Muffins
Adapted from Taste of Home
Makes 36 mini muffins or 12 normal-sized muffins
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- 3/4 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp almond extract
- 1 cup all-purpose flour (or 1/2 whole wheat, 1/2 all-purpose)
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2/3 cup chocolate chips, preferably miniature
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Grease or line a mini muffin pan and set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, cream sugar and butter until light and fluffy.
- Beat in egg, followed by milk and extracts.
- In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
- Add to butter mixture until just combined. Fold in chocolate chips.
- Spoon 1 tablespoon of batter into mini-muffin tin. Bake for 10-13 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Cool in pans for about 5 minutes, then place on wire racks to cool completely. Most delicious when served warm. Devour.