Muffin or cupcake? Breakfast or dessert? Those are the things I wondered about when it comes to these triple chocolate chip muffins.
Here's the thing: they are technically muffins in most ways you traditionally differentiate between the two. First, they're made using the common muffin mixing method where the dry and wet ingredients are whisked together separately and then gently combined. Consequently, their texture is not as light and fluffy as that of a cupcake - muffins are more like mini quick breads than mini cakes. Also, they don't have any frosting and you can never have cupcakes without frosting! And no, I'm not counting that drizzle on top as frosting...
But let's be real, as much as we want to call these muffins and therefore justify them as breakfast, it's pretty hard to do. The sheer amount of butter, sugar, and chocolate called for by the recipe puts them squarely in the snack or dessert category. They're pretty much the very definition of dessert posing as breakfast under the "muffin" label :)
That said, if you're going to do chocolate for breakfast, you might as well do it right. And with that as your goal, you can't do much better than these muffins! As the name implies, they include three types of chocolate - melted semisweet chocolate incorporated into the batter, semisweet chocolate chips mixed-in for flavor and texture, and a drizzle of melted white chocolate over the top. There's even a bit of instant espresso powder to really enhance the chocolate flavor. I've started adding instant espresso to almost everything chocolate I bake, but if you don't have any, you can absolutely leave it out. These muffins are completely decadent but oh so good! Whatever time of day you enjoy them, they're bound to be a hit.
The recipe comes from the Joy the Baker Cookbook, which I've been baking from quite a bit lately. I just noticed it's on sale for $8 at Amazon, a total steal!
Triple Chocolate Chip Muffins
adapted from Joy the Baker Cookbook by Joy Wilson
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces
5 oz semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2/3 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
2 oz white chocolate, finely chopped
Preheat oven to 350 F. Line a muffin pan with paper liners.
Combine the butter and chopped semisweet chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave in 30-second bursts on 50% power, stirring in between each, until the mixture is melted and smooth. Set aside to cool slightly.
Meanwhile, whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, espresso powder and salt together in a medium bowl.
Add the brown sugar to the chocolate/butter mixture and whisk to combine. Add the eggs, vanilla extract, and buttermilk, and whisk until completely incorporated. Add the dry ingredients in two additions, gently stirring just until incorporated. Fold in the chocolate chips.
Divide the batter evenly among the prepared cups, filling each about 2/3 to 3/4-full. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let the muffins cool for a few minutes before removing them from the pan to cool completely.
Meanwhile, add the white chocolate to a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave in 30-second bursts on 50% power, stirring in between each, until the mixture is melted and smooth. Drizzle the melted chocolate over the top of the cooled muffins.
Store in an airtight container at room temperature.
Makes 12-16 muffins