Chocolate muffins are such a treat for breakfast. It’s basically like getting to eat cupcakes in the morning, except without the swirl of sweet frosting on top. My boys are big fans of muffins on Sundays, which is when we usually have a special, sweet breakfast like muffins, pancakes or coffee cake. These Chocolate Almond Muffins are as delicious as they are pretty, with crunchy almonds and dark chocolate chips throughout the batter and sprinkled on top.
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Sift Together the Dry Ingredients.
For the dry ingredients in these chocolate almond muffins, you’ll be using all-purpose flour, Dutch-processed cocoa powder, corn starch, sugar, salt, baking soda and baking powder. It’s important that you use Dutch-processed cocoa, and not “natural” cocoa, as they have different chemical properties and react with the leavening differently. The corn starch may seem odd, but it makes baked goods so soft and tender.
Combine the Liquid Ingredients.
Buttermilk and vegetable oil keeps these muffins moist. Other liquid ingredients include eggs, for structure, and vanilla and almond extracts. The almond extract in these muffins is just fantastic, and complements the chocolate perfectly.
Mix Up the Batter and Bake.
Add the liquid ingredients to the dry, and just whisk briefly to combine. Then fold in the chocolate chips and chopped almonds, reserving a few to sprinkle on top of the batter after you portion it into the muffin pan. The sprinkling of almonds and chocolate chips on top is what makes these muffins so beautiful and inviting.
I mean, these are great just as is, warm from the oven, with all that melty chocolate and crunchy almonds. Plain, or with a little soft butter, they’re fantastic.
Fruit preserves are also delicious with chocolate muffins, and cherry jam would be fantastic with the chocolate and almonds.
Also, you can play around with the size of these. The recipe makes 12 standard-sized muffins, or 6 large, and I just love the big, bakery-sized muffins for a real breakfast treat.
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Chocolate Almond Muffins
- Muffin Pan
- 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- ½ cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder (such as Rodelle)
- 1 tbsp corn starch
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- ½ tsp coarse Kosher salt (if using table salt, use half the amount)
- ¼ tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup buttermilk (either lowfat or whole)
- ½ cup vegetable oil
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp almond extract
- ¾ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, divided
- ½ cup chopped almonds, divided
- Preheat the oven to 350F. Line a standard-sized muffin pan with 12 paper liners, or a jumbo muffin pan with 6 jumbo paper liners. Lightly spray the liners with non-stick baking spray.
- In a bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, corn starch, sugar, salt, baking soda and baking powder. Sifting is important, to get rid of the lumps in the cocoa powder.
- Separately, whisk together the eggs, buttermilk, oil and extracts.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry, and whisk briefly just to barely combine, but with a few floury streaks remaining.
- Add 1/2 cup chocolate chips and 1/4 cup chopped almonds to the batter, and fold in.
- Divide the batter between the cups. Sprinkle the top of the batter with the remaining 1/4 cup chocolate chips and 1/4 cup chopped almonds.
- Bake small muffins for about 18-20 minutes, and large muffins for 28-30 minutes, until a toothpick or cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Cool 5 minutes in the pan, then transfer to a cooling rack to cool for 15 minutes. Serve warm.
- These are best on the day they’re made, but leftover muffins should be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.
- They are great the next day, rewarmed for 20-30 seconds in the microwave, or warmed for a few minutes in a convection oven.