Summer is here. The sun is out, shining brightly, heating the earth and the air with a pleasant warmth. The grass is a vivid green, the flowers are in bloom, and the perfumed scent of lilacs floats up in the air and down the paved sidewalks. Children are running and playing, making makeshift soccer goals out of park benches, and young women are sunbathing, soaking up the sun's rays. By all accounts, the weather is lovely—the view outside my window could be an illustration from a children's book.
But for now that's all it is: a view.
I have been indoors quite a bit lately, tethered to an electrical outlet, typing away at the computer while writing essays and finishing assignments as I wrap up my degree. As a parade of t-shirts and shorts pass my second-story window, I wear pants and wrap myself in sweatshirts, struggling to keep warm in the air-conditioned building. I feel like I am at the end of two separate extremes, my wishes and duties tugged in opposite directions.
Soon, I tell myself, soon you can take a break and go outside.
I made these muffins last weekend, when the weather was miserable and as cold as my air-conditioned building. It was one of those mornings made for socks and warm breakfasts. Growing up, I was a fan of double chocolate anything but, after eating too many platters of double chocolate chocolate chip pancakes at the local breakfast diner at few years ago, my excitement for the combination has waned. Even so, I felt enough time had passed to give the combination of chocolate and chocolate another chance.
As a self-proclaimed chocolate addict, I could never stray away for too long.
Double Chocolate Muffins are defined by a measuring cup full of cocoa powder and a handful of chocolate chips. The muffins have brown sugar for depth of flavor and ground flaxseeds for health. Before baking, the muffin tops are sprinkled with granulated sugar and miniature chocolate chips for a tasty appearance and extra sweetness. The muffins stay surprisingly moist for a couple days and make for a bright breakfast or afternoon snack.
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Double Chocolate Muffins
Yields 1 dozen (or 6 jumbo) muffins
1 cup (125 grams) all-purpose flour
1/2 cup (43 grams) cocoa powder
1/2 cup (53 grams) flax meal
1/2 cup (100 grams) brown sugar, packed
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup (60 ml) vegetable oil
1 cup (235 ml) milk
1/2 cup (85 grams) chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C). Grease a muffin tin or line with baking cups.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, flax meal, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Make a well in the center of the bowl and add the egg, vanilla, vegetable oil, and milk, mixing until the batter is evenly incorporated. Stir in the chocolate chips.
Divide batter evenly between baking cups, filling each 3/4 full. Sprinkle the tops with chocolate chips and granulated sugar, if desired. Bake for 18-22 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.