Thursday, July 14, 2011

Texas Chocolate Muffins

Ah, home again. Back to French butter and French chocolate and good light in the kitchen. Despite what the date on the blog entry might tell you, I made these in late August, just about first thing upon returning home.

Let's just start with the name of this particular treat: "chocolate" I can definitely agree with: unsweetened + semisweet + cocoa. That's a given. "Texas"? I don't know. Maybe because of the pecans? Maybe because only a Texan could eat one of these babies in one sitting?

"Muffins"? Well, they are baked in muffin form. One of my favorite bloggers has written a very clear differentiation of the muffin and the cupcake for a rather similar recipe, but these aren't either. Basically, they're brownies. Big old muffin-sized brownies.

Not that I'm complaining. I was kind of worried I'd go through brownie withdrawal after finishing the section, and here I am making brownies again! These are really easy to make. And the muffin shape means they stay moist and are easily transportable.

Of course, Sami decided these would be perfect breakfast food, but for me, half of one is a perfect afternoon snack--moist dark chocolate crunchy goodness. I bet they'd be great with ice cream.

Here's the recipe. You really ought to make these now.

Texas Muffins

1 c. (8 oz.) butter
3 T. (0.6 oz.) cocoa
2 oz. unsweetened chocolate
2 oz. semisweet chocolate
Pinch salt
1-1/2 c. (10.5 oz.) sugar (I went for more like 9.5 oz.)
4 large eggs
1 t. vanilla
1/4 t. almond extract
1 c. (4 oz.) sifted flour
2 c. (7 oz.) toasted pecans, broken into pieces (I used about 5 oz. Pecans are precious around here.)

Heat the oven to 350. Line or butter 12 muffin cups, even if they're nonstick.
In a large microwave-safe bowl, preferably one with a spout, melt the butter, cocoa, and chocolates in 30-second intervals, stirring between each. Then stir in the salt, sugar, the eggs one at a time, vanilla, almond, flour, and pecans. Pour this brownie-like mixture into the muffin cups, using a spoon to push and guide it. The batter will fill the cups all the way up, but that's OK.
Bake for 33-35 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out just barely clean. Let them cool, preferably out of the pan, on a rack. Try to justify as a breakfast item.

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