Sunday, October 23, 2011


Aside from the pumpkin recipe, this has to be the most requested and highly favored muffin I offer to date. Because of the combination of raspberries and chocolate, it tantalizes mostly women, but there are a select few men who cannot withstand the seemingly hypnotic power of this creation! Personally, I prefer muffins without chocolate, but I would be a fool to deny that it sells!And because it puts food on my table, I am obliged to spend time making a masterpiece of it! This is why Raspberry Chocolate muffins have made the #2 spot on my blog. (I don't really count the experimental orange chocolate recipe yet.) I'm anxious to hear whether this recipe has you hooked!

Rather than redundantly summarize the recipe that appears at the end of this segment, let's just go over some vital tips I've stumbled upon while perfecting my recipe.
I use a pastry blender tool to mix dry ingredients for recipes that involve brown sugar. It helps to break up the brown sugar more evenly.

Lightly coating add-ins will assist in keeping them from sinking to the bottom of the muffin. (Pictured right & above: chocolate chips and frozen raspberries coated in the flour mixture in a separate bowls.)

                                                        Making a well in the center of my flour mixture before adding wet mixture.

Placing the eggs (lightly beaten) and other cold ingredients (i.e. milk, oil, etc) in a bowl ahead of time allows it to reach room temperature. I usually complete this step in the beginning, before I measure the flour mixture. However, I don't melt the butter until I'm ready to pour it into the mixture, right before I combine wet with dry! This makes for a better consistency! Otherwise, if I melt the butter beforehand, it cools too much and hardens into tiny chunks. The baked result has a spotty look to it.

 I've used both pure extracts and imitation extracts. For personal use, I prefer the real deal, but for reasons of cost -and because the taste is the same- I use imitation extracts for bulk baking. I've found, too, that MY Walmart has quite a variety of these extracts for under $2 (2 oz).
Here's a random thought: Using brown sugar for this recipe is what gives the muffin its dark color. When using white sugar, I get a much more biscuit-like muffin. That's fitting for, say, an orange muffin, but not for a raspberry chocolate muffin. The lighter look just doesn't have the same affect (on me) for this recipe!
 Remember to fold in your chocolate and raspberries BEFORE your batter is completely moist. LESS (stirring) is MORE (moisture)! 

You can't have too many raspberries! Overfill your measuring cup, if you like extra! It won't alter the cooking time!

Again, use a measuring cup (1/2 or 2/3 cup) to scoop batter into your muffin cups. It makes for a tidy cleanup and eliminates much guesswork!

Don't forget that with muffins, you must bake it immediately in order to get the rise from the leavening agent. A batter that sits around too long will start to rise on its own, and it just won't bake to the best of its ability!

I top my muffin batter with a sprinkling of raw sugar, but as of late, it has cooked right into the top of the muffin. It only worked once for me, and OH, how beautiful that once was! When the sugar doesn't melt, it shimmers in such a fancy way! I'm open to tips on where to find "coarse sugar crystals" in the stores...

For these darker muffin recipes (and for citrus based recipes, such as lemon poppyseed & orange almond), you can place a cookie sheet on the top rack to keep them from browning too fast (if you find that to be an issue). Also, try reducing the oven temperature by 5 degrees. I find that helpful when the muffin seems to brown faster than it cooks inside!

This is one recipe that should err on the side of over-baking rather than under-baking. It doesn't dry out too easily from the oven, but if it is not cooked through, the berries can 'goop up' the surrounding area. That just blows the whole deal for me (but then, I have peculiarities in regards to textures)!

Viola! Here are the beauties that I've perfected over nearly five months! I just adore how the chocolate chips and raspberries peek through the tops! Please, try the recipe that follows, and share your results and thoughts with all of us!

(6-7 jumbo)
2 C flour
1 T baking powder
1/2 C brown sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 eggs
1 C milk
1/4 C butter (melted)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp raspberry extract
1 1/2 C raspberries (frozen)
2/3 C chocolate chips
2 T coarse sugar crystals

Preheat oven to 400F. Mix flour, baking powder, salt, brown sugar. Make a well in center. Combine eggs, milk, vanilla, raspberry extract, and melted butter. Add wet mixture to dry ingredients. Stir together until JUST moistened. Fill cups 2/3 full. Top with sugar crystals. Bake about 20-30 minutes. Cool in pan 5 minutes, then remove to a cooling rack.

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