Monday, December 14, 2015

Cranberry-Hazelnut Chocolate Muffins

Last week, Grandpa and I were chatting about breakfast sweets. What would be delicious, not too sweet, to pair with a cup of coffee?

We flipped through the William Sonoma's Essential of Baking and came across the picture of dried cherry-chocolate muffins. I told Grandpa that I baked these muffins before... two years ago... for Brek's school breakfast. So I convinced him to test this recipe again.

I substituted few ingredients to the original recipe. Instead of dried cherry (which can be pretty pricey), I added cranberry. For dairy free butter milk, I taught Grandpa to add vinegar to coconut milk. Substitute sunflower oil for melted butter.

I picked up a trick in baking with chocolate from Ina Garten, Barefoot Contessa's cooking show. She always adds instant espresso powder to bring out the chocolate flavor. I told Grandpa to test this out by adding a teaspoon of it.

How did the muffins turn out? Grandpa convinced that adding the instant espresso really did bring out the chocolate flavor. And the tart from the cranberries balanced well with the sweetness of the chocolate. Brek luvs the muffins too. He asked if he could have it for his school breakfast. Of course!!!

Please note that there will be enough muffin batter to make more than 12 muffins. Another option to leftover batter is to bake the mini muffins, baking them about 7-10 minutes. My kids luv anything mini. Not only of the cuteness but they are just the right amount for their little tummies. But seriously, I think they just luv the mini anything because of the cuteness.

Cranberry-Hazelnut Chocolate Muffins
adapted from William Sonoma's dried cherry-chocolate muffins
makes 12-14 muffins

1/3 cup (2 oz.) chocolate chips
1/2 cup (4 oz.) sunflower oil
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 cup (8 oz.) coconut milk
1 cup (7 oz.) light brown sugar
1 3/4 cups (7 oz.) all-purpose flour
1 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoons instant espresso powder
1/2 cup (2 oz.) raw hazelnuts, roughly chopped
3/4 cup (3oz.) dried cranberries
  1. Preheat the oven to 375F degree. Line the regular size muffin pans with foiled cupcake liners. Set aside. 
  2. Place a chocolate chip in a large bowl and microwave it for 15 seconds interval until the chocolate is melted.
  3. Whisk in oil and sugar.
  4. Whisk in the vinegar and coconut milk until creamy. Set aside.
  5. In another bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, espresso, hazelnuts, and cranberries.
  6. Add the flour mixture to the chocolate mixture.
  7. Mix until just combine.
  8. Using a large scoop, divide the batter into a prepared muffin pan.
  9. Bake in a preheated oven until the toothpick comes out clean, about 17 minutes.
  10. Allow to cool in the pan for 10 minutes then let cool completely on a wiring rack. Enjoy them with that cup of coffee or a glass of milk.
STORING: Keep these cranberry-hazelnut chocolate muffins in a container for up to 5 days.

Allergy Info: These cranberry-hazelnut chocolate muffins are free from or can be made without dairy, corn, legumes (soy and peanuts), and fish. To make them nut-free, omit the hazelnuts.

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