The weekend rain served as an umbrella excuse for baking.
It was one long, cold, wet weekend. Entertaining an energetic 5-year-old boy without going outside taxed every fiber of my creativity. I even considered going out to play in the rain before I remembered it was 45 degrees.
I’ve been trying to get the kid in the kitchen with me, and while he’s still too young to chop and saute, he’ll often come if I utter the words “chocolate chips.” He just recently got the green light to have a little bit of dairy at a time, so little pieces of chocolate are top of mind for him. As the rain came down in buckets, I pulled out the last arrow in my quiver and opened “Joy of Cooking.” I went over to the pantry, and we started the ritual. “Mommy, you put the things here and I’ll take them into the kitchen,” he said, as I handed him baking soda, sugar, and the like.
It’s a delicate dance figuring out what parts he can do and what parts I’d better take care of. But measuring flour and whisking in the salt and baking soda are all his. Also, turning on the stand mixer. I just tell him the setting and he cranks it up.
I think the only reason he gets involved is to sneak tastes of the batter while I’m doing something else. This time I had to physically remove him from the kitchen to save him from himself.
As he was finishing up his warm double chocolate muffin, his friend from across the street called. Could J.R. come over and play?
Sweet, sweet relief.
DOUBLE CHOCOLATE MUFFINS
1 1/3 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips, divided
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup Crisco
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1 large egg
. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 12-muffin pan or line it with paper liners.
. Melt 1/3 cup of the chips, stir and set aside.
. Whisk together flour, baking soda and salt.
. Combine in a small bowl buttermilk and vanilla.
. Beat Crisco in a large bowl 30 seconds on high. Gradually add brown sugar and beat on high 4 to 5 minutes more until lightened in color and texture. Beat in egg and melted chocolate just until blended.
. With the mixer on medium speed, alternate adding flour mixture and buttermilk mixture scraping the sides of the bowl until smooth.
. Fold in remaining chocolate chips, and divide batter among muffin cups.
. Bake 25 to 30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in one comes out clean.
– adapted from Joy of Cooking