So, the final weeks of pregnancy can really bring out the OCD qualities in a gal.
The thing that’s making me extremely loco is that I stopped teaching the last week in October. Up until this point, I could focus on mentoring my budding maestros and worry if they’re practicing enough.
Consequently, for the past eight days all I can think about is the bun in the oven.
Don’t get me wrong, I’ve filled up my hours with activities. But there’s only so much compulsive cleaning, organizing, early Christmas shopping and Suduko puzzle solving a girl can do. I’ve also been working diligently on two Mozart sonatas and cooking up a storm. Meanwhile, I over analyze every twinge and pang that takes over my achy bod by referring to books, Web sites, sisters, friends in the hopes that they will confirm that I am finally entering a major stage of labor.
And yesterday, I had The Husband take me to lunch and DSW, where I bought a fierce pair of flat boots that I will be rocking post-baby.
(Listen, my fashion is ALWAYS a priority, no matter how prego I am. And in a bit of divine intervention, my feet did not swell at all during my nine months. Yay!)
I’m well aware that the lesson learned here is: Good things come to those who wait. And we are over the moon that the Jersey Baby is thisclose to being here. But, he’s officially past his due date, which is today. Doesn’t he know that his Mom and Pop are two journalists. The Deadline is not to be toyed with.
Today, I’m sharing with you a delish chocolate muffin recipe courtesy of Anne Byrn, aka the Cake Mix Doctor.
These are called Triple-Chocolate To-Live-For Muffins.
They are super fabulous. They are great for bake sales because they pack up well. There’s no frosting involved. So, they are also your kind of treat if sweet, sugary icing is not your thang.
I made them to thank a friend for a favor. And, there were some left over for The Husband and moi.
So, back to the Cake Mix Doctor.
I dig this broad. Sure, she’s all about the boxed cake mix. But, I must admit, every thing I make from her cookbooks rocks. Her philosophy is: Take a cake mix, doctor it up with some fabulous baking ingredients, make a from-scratch frosting and the result is perfection on a cake stand.
If you’re a beginning baker, I highly recommend Anne Byrn’s books. She offers lots of tips on how to get the best cake performance. And she has tons of yum yum frosting recipes.
You can check out her Web site, by clicking here.
Triple-Chocolate To-Live-For Muffins
From “Chocolate from the Cake Mix Doctor”
By Anne Byrn
Makes 24 muffins (2 ½ inches each)
24 paper liners for muffin pans (2 1/2 –inch size)
1 package (18.25 ounces) plain devil’s food cake mix
1 package (3.9 ounces) chocolate instant pudding mix
1 cup sour cream
½ cup water
½ cup vegetable oil
4 large eggs
1 ½ cups semisweet chocolate chips
Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting (optional)
Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line 24 muffin cups with paper liners. Set the pans aside.
Place the cake mix, pudding mix, sour cream, water, oil and eggs in a large mixing bowl. Blend with an electric mixer on low speed for 1 minute. Stop the machine and scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Increase the mixer speed to medium and beat 2 minutes more, scraping the sides down again if needed. The batter should look thick and well combined. Fold in the chocolate chips, making sure they are well distributed throughout the batter. Spoon the batter into the lined muffin cups, filling each liner three quarters of the way full. Place the pans in the oven.
Bake the muffins until they spring back when lightly pressed with your finger and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 23 to 27 minutes. Remove the pans from the oven and place them on wire racks to cool for 5 minutes.
Run a dinner knife around the edges of the muffin liners, lift the muffins up from the bottom of the pan using the end of the knife, and pick them out of the cups carefully with your fingertips. Place them on a wire rack to cool for 15 minutes, before serving. Dust with confectioners’ sugar, if desired.
*Store the muffins, wrapped in aluminum foil or plastic wrap, or in a cake saver, at room temperature for up to 1 week. Or freeze them, wrapped in foil, for up to 6 months. Thaw muffins overnight on the counter before serving.