Food, Fun and More

Almost Perfect Chocolate Muffins

Chocolate Muffins 04  Every now and then a recipe that has been submitted to my column, The Recipe Exchange, catches my eye and I have to give it a try. Considering I’m a certified choco-holic, these Chocolate Applesauce Muffins were a shoe-in.
My mouth watered as I mixed in the cocoa with the rest of the ingredients. I imagined a warm, delicious muffin fresh from the oven. I seldom put butter or jam on my homemade breads and muffins. I like to enjoy the flavor and, for me, the butter or jam masks the taste.
I have to warn you, I almost always make changes to a recipe. I’ll read it through and then think, “wouldn’t it be better with a little of this and maybe some of that? And almost any baked good is better with some nuts, at least as far as I’m concerned.
Chocolate Muffins 01I made this first batch of muffins according to the directions. They were pretty good but they could be better. The next time whip up a batch, I’ll be making some changes. A half cup of chocolate chips would give the muffins that extra punch of chocolate and take them from being pretty good to delicious. Then I’d cut the ingredients for the topping by half. I had to knock off the excess topping after baking the muffins. It was just way too much and way too dry. I may even try a completely different crunch topping. In this case less was definitely better. I would also recommend using cupcake papers to line the muffin tins. Nothing is more frustrating than having the bottom half your muffins stuck in the tin.
Here is the recipe as it was sent in:

1/4 cup cocoa powder                        1/4 cup canola oil
3/4 cup cinnamon applesauce             1 egg, beaten
1 1/4 cup flour                                      3/4 cup sugar
3/4 teaspoon baking soda                  1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
2 tablespoons cocoa powder            2 tablespoons flour
1/4 cup brown sugar, packed           1/4 cup chopped walnuts

DIRECTIONS: Muffins – Mix cocoa powder and canola oil. Add applesauce and egg, mixing well. In a separate bowl, stir together flour, sugar, baking soda and salt. Add applesauce mixture to flour mixture, blending until just moistened.Chocolate Muffins 03 Fill greased muffin tins about 2/3 full. Chocolate Muffins 02Topping – Mix together cocoa, flour, brown sugar and nuts. Sprinkle over muffin batter. Bake at 400 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes. Test for doneness with a toothpick. Cool. Makes 12 muffins.


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