CUCINANDO AL FORNO CON LE AMICHE… Chocolate Cinnamon Bread Muffins!
Guess what? I got to bake yesterday night at college! Of course, not in any kitchen of mine, but in the kitchen of two very good friends who live just a hop, skip, and half a jump away from me. Before going to the annual Syracuse University Drag Show Finals (one of the most fun nights you’ll ever have in Syracuse—go if you ever get the chance!), three friends and I baked these delicious Chocolate Cinnamon Bread Muffins and made a lovely dinner of red pepper pesto pasta, roasted asparagus, and fresh bread. Yum!
… I should also mention a bag of pretzel M&Ms were devoured over the course of the night. Disclaimer.
My friend Laura found this recipe on My Wooden Spoon for a bread that married two of my favorite flavors, chocolate and cinnamon. In her small yet efficient kitchen, we set to to work on these babies after a much needed trip to Wegmans to pick up supplies for the night. They were surprisingly easy to make, and aside from cutting the recipe in half and adjusting the cooking time to meet the needs of muffins rather than bread loaves, we followed the recipe closely. We were all really impressed with the results—weighty muffins that perfectly balanced chocolatey and cinnamon-y flavors, without being too heavy in the stomach. The insides were soft and fluffy, and the sugary coating gave the tops a nice, tiny bit of texture and added sweetness (especially since the muffins themselves were not super sweet, this was a nice touch). They were the best ending to an equally delicious home-cooked meal—Laura and I congratulated ourselves on a job well done and we will no doubt be baking in the future together! She wants to try making biscotti, and I have a ton of recipes 🙂 We’re essentially a match made in culinary heaven, and I think our friends are just as pleased about that as we are!
Chocolate Cinnamon Bread Muffins
(yields 12 muffins)
Adapted from Chocolate Cinnamon Bread on My Wooden Spoon
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup flour
3/4 cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder
1/2 tablespoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup skim milk
2 tablespoons water
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Cocoa-Spice Sugar Topping
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon Dutch-processed cocoa powder
pinch of ground ginger
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease one regular muffin tin.
2. Make batter: In a bowl, cream butter and sugar together (in an electric mixer is easiest, but my friend Laura mixed it all by hand—she’s got guns), until light and creamy. Add eggs one at a time, beating each completely before adding the next. Scrape down the sides of the bowl several times.
3. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa, cinnamon, salt, baking powder and baking soda. In another bowl, whisk together skim milk, water, and vanilla. Alternately add the flour mixture and milk mixture to butter while slowly mixing. Divide the batter among the muffin tins evenly.
4. Make the topping: In another bowl, whisk together the sugar, cinnamon, cocoa, and ginger. Sprinkle the surfaces of the muffins with the topping. Bake until a tester inserted in the center comes out clean, about 30 to 35 minutes. Let cool completely, run a thin knife around the sides of muffins to release and remove from pan.