Moving to a new city where you know not a soul is interesting for a few reasons. It forces you to be tremendously independent and self-reliant (like it or not). It allows you to find your own way. I don't mean this in a clichéd sense either; I mean it quite literally. Once you've walked down a sketchy street in a not-too-pleasant part of town, at dusk, completely lost, blindly searching for the metro, you can understand what I mean. Lastly, and perhaps most curious of all, you have the chance to reinvent yourself. There is no one to judge if you decide to be a little different or even very different. And so, I sit and ask myself, do I want to be someone new?
As I know very few people in this city of over three million (I can count them on two fingers, to be exact), I am in the market to meet new friends. Acquaintances. Anything that breathes. I am not picky. I held a fascinating conversation with a squirrel just yesterday. And so when grad school finally started this week I got excited. I get to be around people! Real people! I just hope I don't seem too desperate for friendship. We all know what that looks like. God forbid I catch a case of those crazy eyes.
My new research group has Wednesday morning meetings and I wanted to make a good impression. So did I read all of the 400 page thesis that was handed to me? Not quite. But I did bake muffins. Either they will love me (and temporarily forget about my lack of contributions) or wonder how I found the time to bake when I could have been researching instead. It could go either way. Wish me luck.
These muffins are so moist they practically fall apart in your hands (not to mention your mouth). The flavors of the chocolate and raspberries stand out, but are not overpowering. You can still taste a little of the oatmeal too, making these a perfect breakfast muffin. These muffins are healthy and quite filling (but you'd never guess it because they taste like a special treat).
Dark Chocolate Raspberry Oatmeal Muffins
Yields 24 muffins
1 1/2 cups milk
1 1/2 teaspoons white (or apple cider) vinegar
1 1/2 cups rolled oats (not quick oats)
2 large eggs, room temperature
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
3/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour (all purpose works too)
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 1/2 cups fresh (or frozen) raspberries
3/4 cup dark chocolate chips
In a large bowl, combine milk, vinegar, and rolled oats. Let sit for one hour to soften the oats.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F and grease your muffin tins.
When the hour is up, add the eggs, brown sugar, and applesauce to the milk, mixing thoroughly.
In another bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, nutmeg, and cinnamon. Add it to the milk mixture all at once, stirring until just combine. Do not overmix. Gently fold in the raspberries and chocolate chips.
Fill the muffin tins 2/3 full. If desired, you can sprinkle on a little brown sugar. It will give the muffins a fantastic sugar crust. Bake for 18 minutes, or until the tops are a light golden brown and spring back when touched. Remove from the oven and allow the muffins to cool in the tins for easy removable (I know this is a tough wait, but you can do it). Enjoy!