May 15, 2013

Dark Chocolate Walnut Muffins

So, this week's been kind of boring. No real fun anecdotes to share with you. Although, I had a clogged ear that drove me nuts until the drops I was using finally...

That's not something you want to read on a food blog. Never mind.

Umm, I'm training another temp at the job. She's neither terrific nor terrible, but G and I need off on the same day, so we're willing to settle. And of course whenever she's there, the place goes dead. Like, how am I supposed to train the temp to deal with all the annoying stuff if all the annoying stuff doesn't happen?

Honestly, the one time I want the job to be at it's worst...

Umm, and I watched the Avengers with mommy on Mother's Day, and I think I may have turned her into a Tom Hiddleston fangirl. I should have expected that. Tom's such an excellent Loki, and his performance is mesmerizing. Not to mention that he really is a rather pretty man. Thought she wouldn't notice, but she did.

Iron Man quote FTW!
Also, I think I should be a member of the Avengers now, because I did the impossible. I made moist, flavorful chocolate muffins with walnuts and chocolate chips, and I made them healthy

Yeah, you read that right. Healthy. Chocolate. Muffins. 100% whole wheat flour. No butter. No eggs. Not a huge amount of sugar. Chopped walnuts for protein. Skim milk for dairy. Applesauce and mashed banana for fruit. And dark chocolate for teh noms.

Seriously, I put these suckers into a calorie calculator and got them at about 170 per muffin. Now, don't take that as gospel, because I had to make some odd calculations and some substitutions for ingredients they didn't have listed, but I wouldn't put the margin of error at more than 10 calories (can we tell I took a lot of statistics courses? Nah), leaving these well under 200 calories per muffin. Considering that these are chocolate muffins with chocolate chips and walnuts and real sugar, I'd say that's not too shabby.

And these muffins, they're good. Soft and moist, the whole wheat texture not at all noticeable, in case you're not a fan. They're not really sweet, but then, I'm not the hugest dark chocolate fan. Momma thought they were just sweet enough for a muffin (which is usually the opposite of the way things go. My mother never thinks I make things sweet enough) (I don't get my sweet tooth from anywhere strange, I'll tell you that), and being as I made these muffins specifically for my mother, we'll let her opinion reign. Besides, a little raspberry jam and you're golden. I also really love that these don't taste healthy. So many dark, rich flavors, and not a single one says, "I'm healthy!" Plus, with a simple substitution of soy or almond milk, these could easily be made vegan.
So shall we sum up? Chocolate: check. Walnuts: check. Chocolate chips: check. Rich, moist muffin: check. Healthy: oh heck yeah.

Director Fury, I'll be waiting for your call.

Dark Chocolate Walnut Muffins
Yield: 16 muffins

2 cups whole wheat flour
3/4 cup Hershey's Special Dark Cocoa Powder*
1 tsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp. salt
1 cup low fat milk (I used skim)**
3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
3/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 small banana, mashed
1 tbsp. molasses
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. apple cider vinegar
3/4 cup chopped walnuts, plus more for sprinkling
1/2 cup bittersweet chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line 2 muffin tins with 16 paper liners.

In a large mixing bowl, mix together the dry ingredients. In a separate bowl, mix the wet ingredients. Add the wet to the dry, mixing until well incorporated. Fold in the chopped walnuts and chocolate chips.

Fill the paper liners about 3/4 of the way with batter. Sprinkle with chopped walnuts. Bake about 16 minutes, or until the tops spring back when gently pressed. Allow to cool completely on wire racks.

*Regular unsweetened cocoa powder can also be used

**Soy or almond milk can be used for a dairy-free version

Recipe by Kim