Monday, August 8, 2011

Chocolate Muffins - Three Ways

I made a batch of chocolate muffins a few weeks ago. Or...did I make three? Well, I mixed up one big bowl, divided it in to three, and went to town. Each third of the dough got its own fun mix-in. Can you guess what they were?

First up - crystallized ginger! Ginger and chocolate are a fun combination, the spice of the ginger playing well with the richness of the chocolate. I find people either love or hate ginger, so make sure you know which you're dealing with when making these muffins.

Next variety: pomegranate seeds! I have always wanted to try something chocolate and pomegranate, and these did not disappoint. I was actually most concerned about this variation, and wasn't sure if the crunchiness of the seeds would feel out of place in the muffin, but my fears were unfounded! The dash of sweetness/crunch was a nice touch yet not too overwhelmingly pomegranate-y.

And last but not least - I added chopped cherries to the final batch. I love cherries, and I cry at their extremely short in-season period,  and I love to put them in things all the time. When I'm not eating them. In addition, I have some mental plans to reunite cherries and chocolate again in the near future. Fingers crossed. 
So, what kind of mix-ins would you have tried? Have you ever rummaged around your kitchen looking for fun things to add to muffins? Which of these are you most likely to try? Are you tired of my questions?
Tip of the Day: Pitting cherries can be a tiresome chore - even if you have a cherry pitter. So put on some fun music and get to it - if you don't have a pitter, just slice the cherry in half and pull out the stone - you are chopping them up anyway. 

2 cups flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups milk
1 egg, lightly beaten

1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract 

1 cup chopped cherries OR chopped crystallized ginger OR pomegranate seeds.

Stir the flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking soda and baking powder and salt together. 
Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients, and add the milk, egg, oil and vanilla. 
Stir until just combined - should be slightly lumpy. 
Add the mix-in of your choice and stir roughly until distributed. Do not overmix. 
Divide the batter among 12 greased muffin cups. 
Bake on 350 for 20-25 minutes or until test done.


  1. Those all look awesome but I think cherry would be my fave- though I do love me some ginger. Yum!

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