Sweetheart Muffins. Courtesy of Julie LeBlanc.
Ah, Valentine’s Day. The one day a year when it’s acceptable to pretend to be Willy Wonka. The one time it’s okay to gorge on chocolate hearts, marshmallow cupids and gallons of hot cocoa. What could be sweeter, then, to surprise your sweet with a treat of the chocolaty-ist proportions?
If you can make it out and about this Valentine's Day, consider stopping by the Flower Pot Bakery at 13005 SW 1st Tower Road, Suite 137, in Gainesville. Serving up a plethora of flavored croissants, chocolate brownies, cakes, cookies, pies and breads, your Valentine will have more than enough decadence to choose from for your special time together.
If you'd rather be holding the whisk, yourself, try baking up your sweetheart a bit of homemade sinfulness right in your own kitchen. Feel free to adapt the following recipe to include a muffin filling that will hit just the right spot for you and yours: whether that be raspberry jam, peach preserves, white chocolate pudding or, even more chocolate, this dish if up for interpretation. The original version of this delicious devil's food came from the "Chocolate Muffins #7" recipe in Alton Brown's cookbook, I'm Just Here for MORE Food (Stewart, Tabori & Chang, 2004).
A peanut butter-filled muffin. Courtesy of Julie LeBlanc.
1 c. all-purpose flour
1 c. whole wheat flour
1 T baking powder
½ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
½ T cinnamon
½ c. brown sugar, packed
¼ c. white sugar
1 stick butter, melted
1 c. vanilla soy milk
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 c. chocolate chips
Chunky peanut butter, butter-cream frosting, and/or snack-size York peppermint patties (for the filling)
Melt the butter first: it needs to cool a little before being added into the mix.
Place all flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon into a large bowl and whisk thoroughly. This will add one of the most important ingredients, air, into the dough and give you fluffy, tall muffins.
A legion of chocolate. Courtesy of Julie LeBlanc.
In a separate bowl, mix together both kinds of sugar and eggs until well-incorporated. Add the butter, mix well. Add in the vanilla and the soy milk, mix well.
Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and pour in the sugar mixture. Add the chocolate chips and stir until just combined.
Fill each muffin cup about half-way up and place either a dollop of peanut butter or butter-cream frosting, or one small peppermint patty in the center. Cover it with a scoop of batter.
Bake in a 350F oven for about twenty minutes, or until firm. The toothpick method of pricking the center of the pastry won’t really work for these, as the filling will get in your way, so just make sure to keep an eye on these sweet treats to ensure they don’t burn.
For more Valentine's Day recipes:
And if you want to make him or her dinner, too...