I’m a quick bread aficionado. I really would live on muffins if they provided enough vitamins and minerals to keep my brain functioning well enough to allow me to make more muffins. So here’s one of my favorite quick bread recipes: cappuccino chocolate chip muffins.
These muffins are so delicious that in the summer of 2010, I literally made them once a week, only stopping when it became too hot to bake. When my mother drove to visit me in upstate New York that summer, I offered her one with a hot cup of coffee. She loved it. In fact, the memory stuck with her so favorably that when my grandparents visited the East Coast, she asked me to make a batch to share with them at breakfast.
First, some context: my grandparents are farmers from western Iowa. In their local church cookbooks, most dishes contain more animal products than the average omnivore could wrap their brain around. Vegetables are simply not eaten without the addition of cream, butter, cheese, mayonnaise, or all four at once. To hear my grandparents tell it, “green salad” is an amalgamation of lime-flavored gelatin, whipped cream, cream cheese and celery. And so it came to be that my unsuspecting grandparents were sitting in my parents’ backyard on a beautiful summer day, merrily scarfing down some coffee chocolate chip muffins when my mother made the announcement.
Those muffins they were eating?
They were vegan.
Eyes lowered. The sound of the gears cranking in their brains was almost palpable. Those harmless looking goodies — with chocolate chips, no less! — were made without animal products. And they tasted good. Crap.
Panic set in. My grandmother muttered something about not being able to believe what sweet things passed for “breakfast” these days. Sorry, grandma; I’m not gonna buy that excuse from someone who regularly serves fried dough slathered with butter and coated in a layer of cinnamon sugar as the first meal of the day. She ate another muffin anyway, and I bet she liked it. My grandfather, always the stoic, just nodded and reached for two more. The tension relieved, even my skeptical diabetic father snuck seconds.
I always make these muffins bakery-style in a jumbo muffin tin, and prefer them chilled, so the crumbs are a touch dry and the chips give a satisfying crunch, just like the ones I used to get from the coffee shop near my arts high school on lazy spring afternoons.
- 1 c unsweetened vegan milk
- 1 tsp vinegar
- 1½ Tbsp instant coffee crystals
- ½ c oil
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 2 c flour
- ½ c sugar
- 1 Tbsp baking powder
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ c chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 375°F.
- Lightly grease a jumbo muffin tin.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together vegan milk and vinegar.
- Whisk in coffee crystals until dissolved.
- Add oil and vanilla and set aside.
- In a large bowl, sift together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.
- Add wet mixture to dry and combine until just moistened.
- Fold in chocolate chips.
- Divide evenly into prepared pan and bake for 20-24 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean.