Sometimes you just need to make something for yourself and pass it off as toddler food. My friends, I need some chocolate in my life, actually I need a double dose of chocolate and I need it in muffin form. And if these could get into my mouth in the next 3 seconds, while I shut my eyes for a few minutes that would be amazing, thankyouverymuch!
I am blaming this insane need for chocolate on the fact that for the last month my girls are taking turns waking me up in the middle of the night and I have come to the realization that I am a person who needs my sleep uninterrupted and in abundance.
When I don't get enough sleep, things get a little wonky.
And by wonky I mean I completely loose my sense of reality, I agree to 2 week long road trips with two kids under 3, I sign up for a week long juice cleanse and I buy white jeans online. All of which sound like a good idea at the time but in my current reality, all of these ideas are completely crazy! While they are all still out for debate, I am pretty sure they will mostly come up as bad ideas when all is said and done.
When this wonkiness lasts too long, it turns into puree wackiness and I start to relay on my two best friends - sugar and chocolate. I can't be the only one, right???
The good thing about these muffins is that while they are keeping me sane with their sweetness and chocolately goodness, they also have an abundance of goodness in them.
Goodness as in, they are made with -
just 1/2 cup of sugar
2 entire pears!!!
What is saving them for being a tired-old-health-muffin that is filled with a ton of nutrients but void of any real favor, the kind that you would happily toss at your toddler but refuse to eat yourself, is that they have a big serving of cocoa powered and extra chocolate chips! Double chocolate without a lot of sugar makes me beyond happy!
These muffins whip up like any other muffin - dry ingredients mixed together and then get incorporated with the wet ingredients. The key here is that I did it all in one bowl!!!.. record scratch! Remember my need for these muffins to get into my mouth... well that translates into only using one bowl, less time and less mess. Also, I can never tell the difference between 2 bowl muffins and 1 bowl muffins, so I always just use one bowl.
If you have an abundance of time and sleep, then by all means you can use two bowls, I won't say anything.
I find that the biggest key to moist and fluffy muffins is to NOT stir them too much, like use the least amount of energy to make these. A couple quick flips of the spoon is all they need to get combined without overworking the batter.
Less work = better muffins!
[[don't worry, I immediately popped that rogue chocolate chip into my mouth]]
The batter is going to be thick and chunky and perfect for getting a pre-taste of the magic by licking the bowl - whoever made it gets the first lick, that is the rule in my house. Joint baking ventures are the best because you have to elbow your way into the bowl to get the best remaining smudges of batter.
Wait, does that make me a mean mommy for elbowing my little one out of the way in order to get a good lick.... hmmmm......
The hard part - 20 minutes of baking and a painful amount of time to let them cool down.
Now comes the best part - 2 muffins, sunshine on my face and sitting side by side with my toddler as we happily eat away at these toddler friendly double chocolate whole wheat with pear muffins, that I made for myself.
Chocolate Whole Wheat Muffins with Pear
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup white whole wheat flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp cloves
1/4 cup gratulated sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar*
1 large egg
3/4 cup plain unsweetened applesauce
1/3 cup plain yogurt, greek or regular
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 pears, shredded
1/2 cup dark or regular chocolate chips [optional]
1- Preheat oven to 375 degree F. Spray or line a mini or regular muffin tin.
2- Lay shredded or finely chopped pears on a couple layers of paper towels then place 1-2 layers on top, gently press down to remove excess water.
3- In a large bowl, gently combine together the flours, cocoa powder, salt, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, cloves, gratulated sugar and brown sugar.
4- Whisk in the egg, applesauce, yogurt and vanilla extract until just combined. You can either do this in the same bowl (as I did) or whisk in a separate bowl and add into the dry ingredients. Either way works great.
5- Add the pear and the chocolate chips and gently fold in. The batter will be thick and chunky, that is ok.
6- Divide the batter evenly between the muffin cups, the cups will be full, and bake for 10-15 for mini or 18 -20 minutes for regular muffins. They will be done when you insert a toothpick and it comes out clean.
7- Remove from oven, and let cool in pan for 3-5 minutes before transferring the muffins to a wire rack to cool completely.
Yield - 12 regular muffins or 36 mini muffins
Storage - 1 week in an airtight container or 1 month in the freezer
*depending on how sweet you like your muffins, you may want to increase this to 1/2 cup.