It’s that time of year again. The days are getting shorter and cooler, the last of the summer produce is being snatched up from the grocery store, and today was my last first day of school. (Until college, that is!) Every year it’s pretty much the same routine…as the end of August approaches, I start to get a little excited for school. I go school shopping and spend way too much money, scramble to finish all the summer assignments I’ve been putting off since June, and spend the last few days of summer
soaking up the sun, hanging out with friends, and just relaxing….wishing that I could relax but being overwhelmed with work, helping my mom prepare her kindergarten classroom, and doing last-minute loads of laundry. Then I enjoy the first few day of school, getting to see all my classmates and breaking out my nice new school supplies, and right around day ten I’m ready for summer again. It’s a vicious cycle.
To make the kick-start to a new school year a little easier, I whipped up a batch of chocolate chip muffins, whose title appropriately labeled them “the best.” And that they were. Honestly more of a cupcake than a muffin (muffins are justifiable to eat for breakfast; cupcakes are not, so let’s agree to call them muffins), these were just what I needed to get me in a positive mood about my last year of high school. Their crisp, golden exteriors and tender, moist, fluffy, chocolate-studded interiors made it impossible to moan and groan about school. Quite literally, because of course my mouth was full of muffin. They also helped counteract the excruciating pain of changing my alarm clock setting from 9 am to 6:30. Gosh, I loved summer.
The Best Chocolate Chip Muffins
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup milk
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups chocolate chips
turbinado sugar, for sprinkling (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 12-cup muffin tin (I used a square muffin pan) or line with paper liners. Set aside.
In a large bowl, beat together the butter, sugar, baking powder, salt, vanilla, and cinnamon until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, and then stir in the milk. Stir in the flour, mixing just until combined, and finally stir in the chocolate chips.
Spoon batter into the prepared muffin tins. Sprinkle with turbinado sugar (or any coarse sugar) and bake for 25-30 minutes or until inserted toothpick comes out clean.
Yield: 12 standard-sized muffins