When things feel particularly uncertain or unknowable, it’s usually my first instinct to bake. Baking sweet things is one of the ways that I remind myself of the sweetness of life, especially when I’m getting lots of reminders to the contrary. And there’s comfort in the ritual, too: baking, measuring, following a recipe. Baking is more science than art, and the precision is part of what I find soothing.
This was one of those happy baking projects in which I was pretty sure that the end product would turn out well. They’re basically a non-gluten-free version of these gluten-free double chocolate chip muffins, now a few years old but still a favorite of mine.
There was something so comforting about adding only a single adjustment to a recipe I already knew I loved (well, technically two adjustments: I also decreased raising agent, which I used to rely on more heavily than I needed to in baking recipes).
These days, I take a lot of pleasure in approaching baking as an opportunity to experiment, to learn, and to challenge myself. I’ve been making trickier and trickier foods, most recently (and successfully!) pastry. Yet sometimes it’s the familiar recipes that make me feel most grounded. I had a sense of what to expect from these muffins before the came out of the oven: the moist crumb, the intense chocolate flavor, the fact that they’re more dessert than breakfast fare, in a good way. And it was nice having something reliable to anticipate, and then to enjoy.
I hope you’ll enjoy them, too. And for those of you who do bake gluten-free, the original recipe is the one to try!
Vegan Double Chocolate Muffins
- 1 tablespoon ground flax seed
- 2 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour*
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup cocoa powder
- 3/4 cup cane sugar
- 1 cup vegan semi-sweet chocolate chips or morsels for baking
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 cup non-dairy milk of choice
- 1/3 cup vegetable oil, such as safflower, canola, or grapeseed
- 1 cup applesauce
Preheat your oven to 350° F and lightly oil and flour a 12-muffin baking sheet. Mix the ground flax together with 3 tablespoons warm water and set it aside.
Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cocoa powder, sugar, and dark chocolate chips.
Whisk together the apple cider vinegar and non-dairy milk. Add the vegetable oil and applesauce, then stir in the flax mixture. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix until no more spots of flour are visible and the batter is mostly smooth (a few small clumps are fine). If the batter is stiff or very thick, add an extra 1-2 tablespoons non-dairy milk.
Scoop the batter into the muffin cups by the heaping 1/3 cup. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the muffins are firm on top. Cool completely before enjoying. The muffins will keep best when wrapped individually in plastic wrap and then stored in an airtight container.
These muffins are great with a glass of non-dairy milk, they freeze well (up to 6 weeks) and are pretty delightful to eat. What’s old is new again, and I couldn’t be happier about it.
I wish you all a week of feeling grounded, taking care of yourselves, and looking out for each other. It’s a good time to be that way. And I’ll see you before too long, for the weekend roundup.