Note to self: It's not a good idea to bake when you are sick. I turned a simple muffin recipe into an almost two hour venture. I managed not to actually screw the recipe up, though I made an adjustment that altered the recipe a little. More on that later.
Artisan Books is one of our sponsors for Project PB&J, so to promote them Cindy and I decided to bake a few recipes from the cookbook the winners will receive. I learned about Back in the Day Bakery from Cindy and have been mesmerized with their recipes ever since.
BACK STORY -
A long, long time ago, I tried cooking oatmeal with coffee. I learned about it through various blogs and thought it sounded good, but in reality it tasted too bitter and fostered my hatred of oatmeal. But when I saw these mocha oatmeal muffins from Back in the Day Bakery Cookbook, I knew I needed to give the combination a second chance. (Thanks for copying the recipe, Cindy!)
Because muffins are baked (duh), the coffee flavor would have more of an opportunity to mellow and blend with the other flavors. These are described as a breakfast muffin, which makes sense because people often drink coffee and eat oatmeal (separately) for breakfast. However, 'mocha' isn't just coffee - it's chocolate and coffee... For breakfast. But that's okay, since we who eat chocolate tend to be slimmer.
(I really don't eat chocolate very often. I don't eat salads, either... I digress.)
So I carefully measured out the ingredients, double- and triple-checking. When I'm sick, I tend to overlook the most obvious details and make boneheaded mistakes. I did replace half the all-purpose flour with white whole wheat intentionally. The one I'm-going-to-do-it-anyway-and-hope-it-doesn't-mess-anything-up" move I made was to substitute whole oats for the quick oats called for in the recipe. I measured the same amount and coarsely ground them. Once the batter was mixed together and I filled the 12-cup muffin tin, I had extra batter remaining.
I encounter this "problem" quite a bit when I make muffins and cupcakes, and I don't know how it happens. Perhaps I ended up with more oats than the recipe called for, subbed in white whole wheat flour, or I didn't fill up each muffin tin as much due to the makeshift parchment liners.
But I didn't yell or curse, because I had mini cupcake liners! As the first batch baked, I filled almost two dozen mini muffin tins with the remaining batter. They're pretty cute. I'm pretty satisfied.
I liked the way the muffins baked up. There was a subtle tang from the buttermilk, which keeps the crumb moist and tender. The mocha flavor is always a favorite flavor combo of mine, so of course I enjoyed that aspect of this muffin. While they might blur the line between a muffin and a cupcake because of the addition of chocolate, the level of sweetness places it back in the muffin category. It's clearly not a dessert if we're judging it by how sweet it was, though it's special enough to perk up your mornings.
You will not be disappointed if you make these. And I'm going to stop talking because I'm sick and shouldn't be rambling.
Recipe after the jump.
Mocha Oatmeal Muffins
Recipe from Back in the Day Bakery Cookbook
Makes 12 muffins
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 1/4 cups quick-cooking oats, plus extra for sprinkling
4 large eggs
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup freshly brewed strong coffee
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup chocolate chips
1 cup chopped walnuts
Turbinado sugar, for sprinkling
- Preheat oven to 350°. Lightly spray 12 large muffin cups with cooking spray, or fill them with paper liners.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa, brown sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon until thoroughly combined. Stir in the oats.
- In another bowl, whisk together the eggs, butter, buttermilk, coffee, and vanilla. Pour the wet ingredients over the dry ingredients and mix just until combined. Fold in the chocolate chips and walnuts with as few gentle strokes as possible.
- With a large ice cream scoop or spoon, scoop the batter into the prepared muffin cups, filling them approximately two-thirds full. Sprinkle the tops with oats and turbinado sugar.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes, until the tops or golden. The tops should be firm to the touch and a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin should come out clean. Remove from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes.
- Turn the muffins out of the pan and enjoy warm or at room temperature. The muffins can be stored in an airtight container for up to 2 days.