Muffins are the friendliest of baked goods, don't you think? There is just something about a muffin in the morning, as an after school snack, or snuck into a lunchbox that just makes everything feel alright. I've always felt like I earn extra momma points every time I make muffins. These Dark Chocolate Olive Oil Muffins are no exception. The olive oil adds a hint of sophistication, but they are still the friendly, comforting, delicious little morsels we all know and love; Sure to put a smile on anyone's face, no matter what. These muffins are moist, tender, full of chocolate flavor and topped with streusel. Not just any streusel though - oh no - we're topping these with a chocolate streusel. Hey, it is National Chocolate Month after all. But no matter what month it is, you should definitely give these a try.
Baked with Love
Like I wrote above, there is just something special about muffins for me and for my family. I can't tell you exactly what it is. Maybe because I taught myself to make them when my kids were very young and they usually sat on the counter and helped me. Who knows, but they are just always a welcome sight in the kitchen. I love having a great big glass cookie jar full of them. I don't long for the day my kids head off to college, but I do look forward to the chance to be able to send them homemade goodies, especially their favorite muffins. If I can't hug them and see them everyday, at least I can show my love like I always have: by feeding them. (I'm not crying, I'm not crying...)
I know I've told you all this before, but muffins were not a part of my childhood. While my dad was an amazing home cook, he wasn't a big baker. He made a few things and he made them incredibly well: cherry or apple crisp or brown betty in his favorite cast iron dutch oven, cheesecakes galore at Christmas time, and bread. I didn't really start making or eating muffins until my son was old enough to start eating them and then they quickly became a very regular part of our lives. I make banana muffins most frequently; they are my daughter's favorite and they are the perfect way to use up over-ripe bananas which we always, always seem to have.
I'm always looking to shake things up in the kitchen and I love trying new recipes and ingredients. So these Dark Chocolate Olive Oil Muffins were born one day when I had some chocolate chunks to use up and I just wanted to try something different. As much as I love butter (and you know I do), oil makes for very moist muffins and cakes and it's always ready to go - no softening or melting.
If you've never tried olive oil in your baking, you're in for a real treat. It adds a depth of flavor and some healthy fat to a variety of baked goods and it just pairs so well with chocolate.
Although I do love the sophistication and gourmet-ness the olive oil brings, feel free to use any neutral oil you have on hand.
A few muffin tips:
Do not, I repeat, DO NOT over-mix your batter. Lumps are good. Even itty bitty bits of flour still showing is fine. Muffin batter should be lumpy and ugly. Your self-restraint will be rewarded when you bite into a tender, fluffy muffin. If you over-mix you will have a tough, dense, dry, heavy muffin.
There are all kinds of tips and tricks on how to get the tallest, most domed muffin tops. I'm not a fan of starting at a higher temp and then lowering. I like to just toss them in the oven and walk away. My trick? Let your batter sit for 20 minutes once you scoop it into the pans. This allows the baking soda to start doing it's magic.
Don't over-bake your muffins. I err on the side of underdone as they will have a little bit of carry-over cooking. Around the 15 minute mark, press the tops just lightly with your finger. If they spring back, they are done. If they leave an indentation, give them another minute or so. You can also check with a toothpick; just insert and if you see a few moist crumbs they are done. If you see wet batter, give them a little more time.Print