A little of this, a little of that

Oatmeal chocolate chip muffins fresh from the oven

One of our favourite things to make and eat is oatmeal chocolate chip muffins. They are simple enough to do that you can start them while sleepy kids are just tumbling out of bed and they will be ready in time to eat them for breakfast, still warm from the oven with the chocolate chips all melty and gooey.

While they are baking, the whole house fills with the smell of cinnamon and vanilla and melted chocolate and children appear from out of the woodwork, wondering how much longer they have to wait until the muffins are ready.

B stirring a bowl full of muffin batter

For some reason, I always make these by hand. I do have a Kitchen Aid stand mixer that I adore, but not for these. There is something just so oldfashionedly homey about these muffins that just cries out for my favourite blue bowl and a wooden spurtle.

I’m not the only one who feels the draw of these muffins — it is a rare day when I make them by myself. Almost always I have at least one helper, if not two, and they are getting good enough at reading fractions and measuring out amounts that I forsee a day in the very near future when I’ll be the one sitting eagerly at the table whining “are they ready yet?”

Somehow I won’t mind a bit.

The recipe we use is based on the one in the book “Muffins & More” by Jean Paré, with a few changes that reflect our personal tastes. And, while I have (and love) a convection oven, these work out much better if they are cooked without convection. They rise higher and the tops get just a little bit crunchy, which they don’t when cooked by convection.

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Muffins

In a large bowl, mix together:

3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup rolled oats
1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
3/4 cup chocolate chips

Make a well in the centre and add:

1 egg, lightly beaten
4 Tbsp fancy molasses
1/4 cup cooking oil
1 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla

Stir until moistened, fill greased muffin cups 3/4 full and bake at 400 F for 20 to 25 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes then remove from muffin cups. Makes approximately 16-18 muffins depending on how full you fill the cups.

Best served warm with a dollop of butter and a glass of milk.

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