I discovered these Chocolate Espresso Muffins while staying at a B&B in the Scottish Highlands. They immediately earned a spot in my list of favorites!
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About 6 weeks ago, my wife and I took a vacation to Scotland and drove all over the country. I can say without a doubt that Scotland is one of the most beautiful countries I have ever visited. Coincidentally, the very first town we stayed in also ended up being one of the most charming. Fort William is nestled right along a loch in the Scottish Highlands. We stayed for a couple of nights at a B&B that was located just a couple blocks from the town center. (The picture above shows the view from the front of the Braeside House.) As if the view alone wasn’t enough, the innkeepers were a lovely couple who prepared a delicious breakfast for us every morning, including fruit, homemade bread…and these wonderful chocolate muffins!
I did take a bit of liberty with the original recipe for these muffins by adding espresso. My wife said that I was too predictable when I added the espresso, but I told her that coffee makes everything better…especially when it’s combined with chocolate! The moral to this story is that the espresso here is optional. (You won’t offend me if you leave it out…just don’t tell my wife.) These muffins don’t have any sort of icing or glaze, and frankly they don’t need it. I thought about adding a course sugar to the top before baking, but I actually forgot…and I’m kinda glad I did. These Chocolate Espresso Muffins are somewhat similar to brownies, and they are the perfect accompaniment to your morning coffee! (If you don’t go for sweets in the morning, then these could certainly be served for evening dessert as well.)
Chocolate Espresso Muffins
- Melt the butter and chocolate together in a double-boiler over medium-low heat. (If you don't have a double-boiler, simply use a medium-sized bowl that fits snugly in the top of a saucepan. Place a little bit of water in the pan and then melt the butter and chocolate in the bowl on top. Don't allow the water to touch the bottom of the bowl.)
- Transfer the melted butter and chocolate to a larger mixing bowl and add the granulated sugar and brown sugar. Stir until combined. Add the eggs 1 at a time. Stir until combined after each addition. Add the vanilla and almond extracts and espresso (optional). Stir until well combined.
- Add the flour and cocoa powder and stir until just combined. (Take care not to overmix at this point.)
- Fold in the chopped walnuts (optional).
- Using greased muffins tins or paper liners, fill each cup about 2/3 full with batter.
- Bake at 350°F for 28-32 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean.