I found a recipe for low fat Mocha Chocolate Chip Muffins, and in a fit of I’m still not sure what, I turned them into Espresso Muffins with Peanut Butter Chips, and they are full of dark espresso cakey goodness.
I started changing things right away. I was supposed to dissolve instant coffee granules in water, but instead I used espresso powder.
I put Nathaniel to work on the egg.
To the egg I added low fat vanilla yogurt, instead of the applesauce specified. I love the new scooper tool I have, I thought it was just going to be for peanut butter, but it turns out it’s also perfect for yogurt.
I also added the safflower oil, coffee mixture, and milk, using 1% instead of skim.
Next, the dry ingredients. I tried converting the flour measurements to weight and then supplementing with wheat germ. And I used whole wheat white instead of all purpose. After some weird calculations, I ended up with 6 3/8 ounces of flour & wheat germ total. I think about 4 3/4 ounces of that was flour. I’m still winging it when it comes to flour weighing. I put in a little less sugar than the recipe said, added baking powder, cocoa powder, and doubled the cinnamon.
In went the liquid ingredients. I mixed just enough to incorporate, but not overdo it.
And then, instead of adding chocolate chips, I added peanut butter chips, for color contrast and deliciousness.
Once I had the batter in the tray, I topped each muffin off with two more chips.
Now came the baking. I read the reviews on this recipe and a lot of people had trouble with the muffins burning and had to reduce the temperature. So despite the fact that the recipe said to bake at 400 degrees for 20-30 minutes, I heated the oven to 400, then reduced it to 375 and baked for 19 minutes. (I set the timer for 15 and kept checking every two minutes after that.) They smelled rich and chocolatey and looked beautiful.
And let me tell you something. These muffins transformed. It was a combination of boredom and creativity (which is an duo) that led to all the modifications I made, along with some careful reading of reviews, and I ended up creating a dark, rich espresso muffin with the sweetness provided by the peanut butter chips. The texture was soft, but dense and cakey, and nutrition provided by yogurt and wheat germ, with a lovely darkness courtesy of the espresso.
I think when I make them again, and I will, I will swap out the sugar for turbinado or demerara and that will give it a little sweet crackle on the inside. But these were well-loved and throughly devoured by my co-workers.
LOW FAT MOCHA MUFFINS RECIPE (original)
My Espresso Muffins with Peanut Butter Chips (adapted from food.com)
1 tablespoon water
1 teaspoon safflower oil
1 cup low fat vanilla yogurt
1 large egg
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
2/3 + 1/2 cup whole wheat white flour
1/3 cup toasted wheat germ
3/4 cup cane sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 cup peanut butter chips plus a few more for sprinkling
Heat oven to 400 degrees, you will reduce the temperature later. Grease or line a 12-cup muffin tin.
Dissolve the espresso powder in the water.
Whisk together the milk, oil, yogurt, egg, and espresso mixture.
In another bowl, whisk together the flour, wheat germ, sugar, baking powder, and cinnamon.
Add the liquid mixture to the dry ingredients and stir just until incorporated. Fold in the peanut butter chips.
Scoop into muffin cups and top each one with two more peanut butter chips.
Reduce temperature to 375 degrees and bake for 15-20 minutes.
Let cool in the pan for about five minutes, then move to a wire rack to finish cooling.