Jill O’Connor’s Sticky, Chewy, Messy, Gooey Treats for Kids (Chronicle, Nov.) is filled with uncomplicated, easy recipes for cookies, donuts, pancakes, cakes and other treats. And while children may be O’Connor’s target, who’s to say a bunch of college kids wouldn’t enjoy the Chock-a-Block Chocolate Chip Gingerbread Muffins? They’re peppery sweet and chocolatey, with a hint of coffee—just the thing for a late-night snack. I brought them to my cousin’s college dorm this weekend and have a feeling they didn’t make it past 3 AM.
Chock-a-Block Chocolate Chip Gingerbread Muffins
Makes 18 muffins
2 1/4 cups plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups firmly packed dark brown sugar
1 cup molasses
1 cup buttermilk
2 large eggs
1/2 cup brewed coffee
1 1/2 to 2 cups miniature semisweet chocolate chips
Confectioners’ sugar for sprinkling
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line 18 standard-size muffin cups with paper liners.
In a large bowl, sift together the 2 1/4 cups flour, the baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg. Set aside.
In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine the butter, brown sugar, and molasses. Stir together just until the butter melts and the sugar dissolves forming a thick syrup. Do not boil. Remove from the heat and stir in the buttermilk, eggs, and coffee. Gradually whisk the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, whisking only until combined. Let the batter cool completely. Toss the chocolate chips with the remaining 1 tablespoon flour and fold into the batter. (Make sure the batter is cool before stirring in the chocolate chips; if the batter is too hot, the chocolate chips will melt.)
Fill the muffin cups three-fourths full of batter, and bake until a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean, 18 to 22 minutes. Let cool completely . Sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar.
This story originally appeared in Cooking the Books, PW's e-newsletter for cookbooks.