Healthier Chocolate Chip Muffins

Once in a while I make an attempt to slightly healthify (totally not a real term) treats in our house. Our son loves chocolate chip pancakes for breakfast and literally will eat them every single day. Unless we run out. It’s my husband’s weekly tradition to make a batch for us every Sunday. Unfortunately due to my son’s pancake habit, a mid week run out is inevitable. In that case I step in to make a batch of chocolate chip muffins. I have made these before and they are so easy and the big plus is you don’t have to stand in front of the stove tending to each and every one. Mix them up, drop them in the cupcake or muffin tins and call it a day! Since these little treasures are already loaded with delicious chocolate chips, yes my favorite Ghirardelli bittersweet chips which are a little larger than a standard chip, I wanted to try and cut somewhere else in an attempt to be a little bit more health conscious. The result was so good you could barely notice the difference in taste from the original recipe. I was a little scared because the last time I tried doctoring a recipe it totally messed with the texture. Thankfully the texture came out perfectly light and delicious. I made a few simple changes to the original recipe. Instead of the full 1/2 cup of butter, I used 1/4 cup butter and 1/4 cup of unsweetened applesauce. Then I replaced one cup of the AP flour with White Whole Wheat flour (I used Trader Joe’s brand). I also used half brown sugar and half white sugar in the recipe more for the flavor than anything else. Finally, since the chips I use are a little larger than most, I only use once cup instead of one and a half. Now I am not saying this is the healthiest muffin recipe ever, but I feel good about reducing some of the fat and adding in some extra whole grain where I can. A little tip – if you don’t have buttermilk in the house – I never do – add a tablespoon of fresh lemon juice per cup of milk, let it stand for five minutes and stir. I use this method in all my recipes that call for buttermilk and it works perfectly!

Here is the recipe (adapted from Little Sweet Baker)

  • 1 cup white whole wheat flour
  • 1 & ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 dark brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  1. Preheat oven to 425°F. Spray a 12 cup muffin or cupcake tin with non-stick cooking spray or line with paper liners.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt and chocolate chips. Set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the melted butter, applesauce, white sugar, brown sugar, eggs, milk and vanilla. Slowly add to the dry ingredients. Gently fold together until JUST combined.
  4. Divide the batter into the 12 muffin cups and bake at 425°F for 5 minutes. Then reduce the oven temperature to 375°F and continue to bake for another 12-15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Do not overbake or the muffins will be dry.

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