Salted caramel chocolate muffins

In all my muffin-making, I haven’t really done too many truly decadent muffin, the kinds with explosions of chocolate, sculpted marshmallow toppings and swirls of caramel. In coming across this recipe, I thought this might be a nice foray into the exciting world of extravagant muffins. Plus, while this combination of sea salt and caramel is a popular one, I’d actually never tried it myself, even store-bought.  

Recipe

from 750 Best Muffin Recipes
Makes 12 muffins

1-1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch process)
3/4 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp fine sea salt, divided
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup sour cream
1/3 milk
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup canned dulce de leche

Preheat oven to 325 F. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and 1/2 tsp of the sea salt. In a medium bowl, whisk together sugar, eggs, sour cream, milk, butter and vanilla until well blended. Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture and stir until just blended. Gently fold in chocolate chips. Divide batter equally among prepared muffin cups. Bake in preheated oven for 20-25 minutes or until tops are golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool in pan on a wire rack for 5 minutes, then transfer to the rack. Top each warm muffin with 2 tsp of dulce de leche. Let stand for 30 seconds then spread over muffin tops. Sprinkle evenly with the remaining sea salt. Let cool.

Musings

A few notes on preparation: Used bittersweet chocolate chips instead of semisweet. Baking time for our oven: 19 minutes.

There wasn’t a ton of batter so the muffin cups weren’t full to the brim, but they nevertheless rose nicely and weren’t small and feeble-looking. It is a sinfully-rich muffin, almost a dessert more than breakfast food (which is perfectly fine with me!). Moist and full of gooey pockets of chocolate, it is a truly delicious muffin. I was a bit worried about how much sea salt to be sprinkling on top, but it really adds a wonderful counterpart to the sweetness of the chocolate and caramel. David actually suggested adding a bit of coarse sea salt for a bit more punch and decorative purposes as well. I’d never had dulce de leche and was concerned it might be too saccharine, but it really wasn’t overly sweet–just gave the muffins a nice sweet creaminess. Yum!

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