As one of my intentions this year, I have been trying to live in the moment. I've been guilty of using background noise to distract myself from normal, day-to-day moments—the television blares in the background, podcasts run on loop, and my cell phone is always within easy reach. As expected, some days are better than others, but my intention is to engage in more conversation instead of passive entertainment, and find joy in the quiet that comes with solitude.
When my boyfriend Chris and I were headed out to the rustic winter cabin we rented last weekend, we lost cell reception an hour before we reached our destination. Although we were a little worried about the isolation, we quickly found that a weekend unplugged was exactly what we needed.
In this case, "getting away from it all" actually meant leaving our connection to the rest of the world behind.
With spring break approaching, I spent time in the kitchen baking in preparation for another weekend away. This time we are meeting up with family in Montana to enjoy a couple days on the ski slopes, breathing fresh mountain air.
While I usually sneak a batch of granola along on the plane, I sent this recipe for Chocolate Raspberry Muffins to my mother instead. The tart raspberries contrast beautifully against the deep chocolate flavor, making them ideal for a morning snack before heading out into the cold.
The muffins can be frozen easily (in this case, for travel) and thawed at room temperature the evening before serving. As we enjoy each other's company, these muffins will make our time together a little sweeter.
These Chocolate Raspberry Muffins make an ordinary morning a little more extraordinary. A chocolate muffin batter is made healthier by reducing the sugar and introducing whole wheat flour. With a handful of chocolate chips and fresh raspberries, the muffins are complete. To give the muffins a special appearance, reserve some fresh raspberries to press into the top of the batter before baking—the berries will retain their vibrant color, giving the muffins a unique appearance.
One Year Ago: Blueberry Banana Baked Oatmeal
Two Years Ago: Bananas Foster Sauce
Three Years Ago: Banana Chocolate Hazelnut Cupcakes & Cranberry Almond Granola
Four Years Ago: Coconut Macaroons
Five Years Ago: Chocolate Ginger Biscotti, Banana Cinnamon Pancakes, Raspberry Lemon Cupcakes, & Pita Bread
Six Years Ago: Blackberry Goat Cheese Tart, Arborio Rice Pudding, Chocolate Whoopie Pies, & Hot Cross Buns
Seven Years Ago: Orange Scones, Honey Rolls, Strawberry Pancakes, Chocolate Nests, & Easter Chick Cupcakes
Chocolate Raspberry Muffins
Yields 1 dozen muffins
3/4 cup (150 grams) brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup (120 mL) vegetable oil
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon espresso powder (optional)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup (120 grams) all-purpose flour
1 cup (120 grams) whole wheat flour
1/2 cup (43 grams) cocoa powder
3/4 cup (170 mL) milk
1/2 cup (85 grams) semi-sweet chocolate chips
6 ounces (170 grams) fresh raspberries
Raw or demerara sugar, for topping (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C). Line a muffin tin with baking cups.
In a large mixing bowl, beat together the brown sugar, vegetable oil, eggs, and vanilla until uniform. Stir in the espresso powder, baking powder, baking soda, salt, flours, cocoa powder, and milk until smooth. Stir in the chocolate chips and raspberries.
Divide batter evenly between the baking cups and sprinkle tops with raw sugar, if desired. Bake for 18-22 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.