Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Just Like Store-Bought Chocolate Chip Mini Muffins

It seems one of my friends introduced the ballerinas to the little packages of chocolate chip mini muffins sold in the grocery store. For $3.99/box. The box that includes five packages. Of four muffins each. So, 20 teeny tiny muffins runs you four bucks. OUCH!

I very rarely buy packaged baked goods. They never taste as good as homemade. Yet growing up, I used to think the highest praise I could lavish on my dad (who was an awesome cook) were the words, "This is SO good. Tastes just like store-bought!" Sorry about that, Dad. 

But after continual begging, I finally caved and bought a box. They were gone the next day. Poof! We bought them again. And again. They were easy grab-n-go snacks. I was about to toss them into my cart on my next shopping trip, when I took a look at the price. And I realized this had to stop.

I searched and searched for the best chocolate chip muffin recipe. I tried a few.

"Too chocolatey,"  choked the Big Ballerina.

"Too mushy," mumbled the Little Ballerina.

I tweaked a few more recipes until I heard the words, "These are SO good. Tastes just like the ones from the store!" Bingo. My work was done.

And now to save you from throwing your money out the window on overpriced, unhealthy muffins, here's the ballerina-approved recipe. You're welcome.

Just Like Store-Bought Chocolate Chip Mini Muffins
 Makes about 40 mini muffins
adapted from a Taste of Home recipe
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup (8 ounces) plain* yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup MINI semisweet chocolate chips (the mini chips are KEY!)
  • flaxseed meal** 
  • In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in yogurt and vanilla. Combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt; add to the creamed mixture just until moistened. Fold in chocolate chips. Fill non-stick*** muffin cups two-thirds full.****
  • Bake at 350° for 15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pan to wire rack.

*I've been using vanilla yogurt because we always have these leftover from the variety pack we buy at Trader Joe's. But plain yogurt works just as well. 

**To make these a little healthier, I sprinkle a generous amount of flaxseed into the dry ingredients. If I was married to Jerry Seinfeld, I'd have my own cookbook. *sigh*

 ***a non-stick muffin pan has been the best way to make these. You don't need to grease the cups or use liners. The muffins tumble right out. And don't be tricked into trying a silicone pan. Using one of those was an epic fail. The muffins never browned and then they fell apart trying to remove them.

 **** a mini ice cream scoop is the perfect portion and makes filling the cups quick and easy.

I'm linking this up to the I Heart Faces Weekly Challenge.


Kerri said...

OMG Kim...I do the SAME thing except with the brownies bites. My son tried these at a friend's house and begged me to buy them...and I did once, but they are just so darn expensive for so little. I have the same little muffin sheet and then I package them 3 in a baggie...just like the little bites! Me and You are so smart! :)

Meegan said...

These look fabulous! I've got mini chocolate chips on my grocery list right now so I can make them. Thanks for sharing!

Cindy said...

We have been in need of a really good (better then store bought) chocolate chip muffin recipe!
Thanks for sharing!!
Made muffins in a silicone pan once...total disaster!! Who likes those things?!?!:)
Enjoy the day

gabe said...

Your pictures are great!! Love how you describe how much flax seed meal you add. . .that is my kind of cooking!

Alita said...

Your story was entertaining, but I can't wait to use your recipe. HOWEVER this is JUST for my mainiac men. For some odd reason I hate anything with chocolate chips. Am I crazy?!? Oh and I hate pancakes, too.

But these muffins look delish and if they are ballerina approve; I bet my mainiacs will love them, too.

sloan said...

Dear God, Kim, this is the perfect post at the perfect time ... it's almost spooky! We, too, have recently gotten caught up in the foolishness of buying those same pricey mini muffins packs ... THANK GOD FOR YOU coming up with the perfect homemade recipe - your timing couldn't be more perfect, yay!!

beeka-beeka said...

Here's what's funny. I absoulutely love those chocolate chip muffins. I include them on my grocery list faithfully...I proceed down the isle to pick up the little boogers...I look at the price & I gasp. The thought of paying for something that will be gone when I blink my eyes makes me nausea!

With that being said, I was to lazy to look for my own recipe and opted to buy a banana bread mix which we wasted. I am going to have to try your recipe soon...well when I get inspired to bake again...it's a task just cooking a meal that isn't going to get thrown at me or the wall these days!

Dani said...

I should invest in a mini muffin pan. The bigger ones are just too much for my kids and they end up throwing half the muffin away.

Will try this.

Mackenzie said...

Yum! Looks delicious!

Kayla Sue said...

You are awesome!! I love mini muffins... I'm so going to try this!

Jess said...

my mom keeps a "snack" drawer for the kiddos and that is one of their favorite....i call them crack muffins because they love them so much!!!! i just made a batch of yours for the kids afterschool...i'm going to get a mommy award for this!!! thanks Kim!!!

Cathy M~(checkitoff) said...

I too am guilty of buying the pre-packaged mini-muffins! I am going to try your recipe! FYI, I found a box mix that the kids love: Duncan Hines Apple Cinnamon Muffins & get this: 100% WHOLE GRAIN!! hugs, Cathy