You have to be living under a rock to think that muffins are the good-for-you breakfast food that we so desperately want them to be. They may be packed with fruits and nuts but there are also copious amount of butter and sugar. Diet food they are not. Exactly how did they earn the Healthy Breakfast Badge? A good PR?
Good for the body or not, I still love muffins. They are easy to put together using ingredients that do not require a special trip to the store. For the little effort that they require, they instantly add wow factor to any breakfast spread. A good friend of mine still rave about the time she woke up to a batch of blueberry muffins fresh out of the oven when we had a sleepover. I can easily take one on the road if a leisurely breakfast is not possible. This blank canvas can morph into any flavours, sweet or savoury, with or without toppings. The sky’s the limit.
Having said all that, nothing can stop me from pretending to make a healthy muffin. I disguised my Chocolate Chip Muffin with Streusels using whole wheat flour and oat bran. I doubt that it is a very good disguise though because the muffins still turned out tender and buttery thanks in no small part to melted butter, full-fat buttermilk, bittersweet chocolate chips, and crunchy almond oat streusels. Well, at least I tried.
It's pretty fashionable these days to make your own muffin liners. I love the look which makes me think of origami. Or a bouquet of flowers. On a more practical note, they are great for non-standard size tins. I wanted taller muffins so rather than using the standard 12-cavity muffin tin, I used 8 timbale molds instead. The liner is quite easy to make with one simple trick. First you cut out 5-inch squares of parchment paper. Take your tin and turn it upside down. Fit the paper over the outside of the tin so you get all the folds nice and evenly spaced. Then you take the pre-formed liners and fit them inside your tin. Alternatively, you can spend a fortune to buy them already folded.
Chocolate Chip Muffins with Streusels
- 125g soft whole wheat flour
- 130g unbleached all purpose flour
- 30g oat bran
- 2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 85g unsalted butter, melted
- 180mL well-shaken buttermilk, whole or skim
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 200g bittersweet chocolate chips
- 8 - 12 tablespoons of streusel (I usually have a bag of streusel in the freezer. Here is a recipe from Dorie Greenspan that I used before)
- Preheat oven to 375F. Line the tins with cupcake liners or parchment paper.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together both flours, oat bran, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
- In a small mixing bowl, whisk together melted butter, buttermilk, eggs, and vanilla.
- Gently fold wet ingredients into dry ingredients just until combined. It’s okay to have lumps. Fold in chocolate chips.
- Divide batter into prepared tins. Top each cavity with a tablespoon of streusel, press gently to adhere.
- Bake for 18-22 minutes for regular size muffins, or 22-26 minutes for large ones. The muffins are done when cake tester comes out with only tiny crumbs attached. Let cool in tin for 5 minutes and unmold to cooling rack. Serve warm or room temperature. Best to finish them all the same day.