Studded with chocolate baking chips and filled with dollops of sweetened cream cheese, these deep chocolate muffins are a delightful addition to your day. Easy to make and baked to perfection in just 20 minutes, I found myself flanked by helpers when the oven timer beeped.
"I'll try one," said the first helper.
"I'll try one, too!" said another.
Before the oven had cooled, these moist muffins had practically vanished and I struggled to reserve a few for photos. The consensus? Surprisingly well-balanced, these muffins are a chocolate lover's delight and stop short of being cloyingly sweet. Until you can escape to Mendocino for some much needed R&R, you can enjoy a taste of the Agate Cove Inn from the comforts of your own kitchen.
Chocolate Cheesecake Muffins
A "Best of" Inn Cuisine, recipe courtesy the Agate Cove Inn
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa (pictured here, Hershey's Special Dark Cocoa)
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup chocolate baking chips
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- 3/4 cup milk
- 1/3 cup canola oil
- 8 ounces cream cheese, softened at room temperature for 15 minutes
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- powdered sugar for garnish
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F for baking. Mix dry ingredients together in a medium-sized bowl; set aside. In a second bowl, blend the cream cheese and granulated sugar together until fluffy; set aside. In a third, smaller bowl, whisk the egg, milk and canola oil together until incorporated.
Making a well in the center of the dry ingredients, pour wet ingredients (all at once) into the dry mixture, folding gently until moistened (it's ok if batter is lumpy). Spray a standard, 12-cup muffin tin with non-stick cooking spray. Fill muffin cups approximately 1/4 full with batter. Spoon a generous teaspoon of cream cheese filling into each cup of batter, then continue filling muffin cups approximately 3/4 full with remaining batter. Bake at 350 degrees F for 20 minutes. Note: Accurate oven temperature and exact timing are your best bets to test for doneness---the toothpick test won't work due to filling, although you can press tops (and see if they spring back).
When muffins are done, remove from oven. If necessary, gently loosen edges of muffins with tip of knife. Carefully lift (or turn out) muffins onto wire cooling rack. Dust with powdered sugar if desired; serve warm or at room temperature.
Yield: 9 muffins
Note: While the original recipe stated a yield of 12 muffins, I found the recipe to produce 9 standard muffins when prepared as directed.