Sunday, November 16, 2008

Chocolate Moose

We have a lot of books in our house. Every time I've moved, I've always vastly underestimated the number of boxes it will take to contain all the books. We have bookshelves, but not nearly enough. Honestly, I don't actually know how many there are. There are cookbooks, of course, but all sorts of other books as well. I have books. Jamie has books. Even at their young ages, Brianna and Gillian have books--board books, early reader books, lots of books.

Anyone with small children nowadays has probably encountered the Laura Numeroff "If You Give..." series. We have several. The one that came to mind this morning was If You Give a Moose a Muffin. We're big weekend muffin eaters around here. The recipes are pretty quick to make, come in all sorts of flavors, and make enough to eat for several days during the week as well. When I was trying to figure out what to make this morning, I asked Brianna what kind of muffins she wanted. She said chocolate. I think she really meant chocolate chip, but I decided to go all the way.

I have several cookbooks that contain chocolate muffin recipes. But the first couple I checked didn't just jump off the page and say "Make me!" So I turned to the internet and one of my favorite sources for recipes, King Arthur. I quickly found a recipe for Chocolate Breakfast Muffins that looked like a good starting place. The recipe follows the muffin method--separately mix together the dry and wet ingredients, then quickly combine them and immediately pan and bake. I did make a few changes--the main one as to substitute white whole wheat flour for part of the all-purpose flour.  The online recipe calls for dutch-processed cocoa, but all I had was natural cocoa, so I decided to give it a try.  Brianna was happy to help, giving her the opportunity to use her cool new spatula. =)  The recipe says it makes 12 muffins with large mushroomed tops; I made 12 regular muffins and 12 minis.  I baked the standard ones for about 16 minutes and the minis for 10 minutes.  When they were done and had cooled for a bit, I finished them with a drizzle of cream cheese icing.  

The verdict?  Definitely a hit!  We'll be making these again.  Very chocolately, but not overly sweet.  The whole wheat flour wasn't noticeable, so score one for mom getting healthy stuff into the kids without them noticing. =)  

Here are the changes that I made to the ingredients.  I followed the method listed in the recipe link above.  After making the muffins, I actually thought to look in my copy of the King Arthur Baker's Companion, and found the recipe there as well.  It said that either type of cocoa was fine, so I guess my substitution was okay. =)  

Chocolate Breakfast Muffins

2/3 cup (2 ounces) natural cocoa (I used Hershey's)
1 cup (4 1/4 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
3/4 cup (3 ounces) white whole wheat flour
1 1/4 cup (9 3/8 ounces) light brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon table salt
3/4 cup (4 1/2 ounces) chocolate chips
2 eggs
1 cup (8 ounces) milk (I used 1%)
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 teaspoons vinegar (I used white wine vinegar because it's what I had)
8 tablespoons (4 ounces; 1 stick) unsalted butter, melted

For the icing, I whisked together the following and drizzled it over the muffins:

1 tablespoon cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup (2 ounces) powdered sugar
2 teaspoons milk


  1. Those look wonderful! I love those books... and I love any recipe where whole wheat flour goes undetected! :)

  2. I love the drizzle on top of these babies!! Great job.

  3. My kids would totally love these in the morning. Chocolate is appropriate any time of day, at least in my world. Thanks for the recipe!

  4. These look wonderful! Four out of the five of us would love these (and my non-chocolate eating hubby will just have to fend for himself that morning!) We love the "if you give a mouse" series, too!

  5. I love those books! Alexis and I read "If You Take a Mouse to the Movies" this morning and "If You Give a Pig a Pancake is on tap for tomorrow"!

    These muffins look fabulous...I think I may have to try them! :)

  6. Those muffins look delicious, but what's the difference between a cupcake and a muffin? :P