Oversized Chocolate Chip Muffins
For a long time, I rode hybrid bikes.They’re very comfortable, have lots of gears for going up and down hills, and they’re intrinsically non-committal, being hybrids and sort of like road bikes and sort of like mountain bikes. However, they don’t go very fast, they’re annoyingly heavy to carry in and out of apartments, and, frankly, they’re not very cool. That’s why, when my friend from work, Junie, who woke up one morning last year an avid and knowledgeable cyclist, found a little Bianchi track bike for sale on a cycling website, I decided to get it and let him fix it up for me.
It is gray with purple grips, and it’s amazing. I race around Prospect Park and I ride around Brooklyn, and though I’m working on that whole fear-of-cars thing, I think I’m getting the hang of it. At first, of course, I couldn’t even get my feet into the clips and I wasn’t very good at stopping and starting at lights. But the more I ride, the more I feel like a pro.
Except, of course, when it came time to alter the bike a little. Then I remembered what a novice I am. I wasn’t super happy with the way the seat was fitting, and as my legs got stronger and more used to pedalling around, I wanted the gearing to be a bit harder. So I brought my bike to Junie, since he operates a bona fide repair shop out of his apartment, and he went to work on it. I know deep down Junie is thrilled to work on my bike, but of course I still think he deserves payment more tangible than gratitude but less awkward to a friendship than a check—though I didn’t really offer the latter, and perhaps given the choice Junie would prefer that. It would allow him to purchase more bike parts of his own, and that may just be more valuable than my friendship. Who really knows?
Anyway, I made muffins. Large, sugary muffins, that, if they would talk, would express the heartfelt enthusiasm I feel towards my bike and the genuine thanks I owe Junie. And I made him eat like 6 of them. The rest I gave to other colleagues as down payment on using their expertise in the forseeable future.
From my kitchen, where biking and baking are related,
Cara, THE QUARTER-LIFE COOK
Oversized Chocolate Chip Muffins
Makes 12 very large, very rich muffins
In this recipe, “muffin” is more or less code for “cupcake.” These are only breakfast fare if you tell yourself they are.
3 1/4 cups flour
1 1/3 cups sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 3/4 teaspoons salt
1 cup butter, melted and cooled
1 1/4 cup milk (low-fat is fine)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/3 cups chocolate chips*
*I used regular-sized bittersweet chocolate chips. I’d definitely try it again with a mix of dark and milk chocolate chips, or perhaps with mini chips.
Preheat oven to 375°F. Grease 12 muffin cup pan, then line it with muffin papers.
Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk together egg, butter, milk and vanilla. Add the wet ingredients to the dry, folding in with big strokes, but not overmixing. Sprinkle in the chocolate chips, and give the batter another fold or two.
Divide evenly among the muffin cups (they will look enormous). Bake for 10 minutes, then turn the pan back to front, lower the heat ot 350, and bake for another 12-14 minutes, until golden and cooked through. Cool for 10 minutes, then turn out of the pan. Serve immediately, or pack up and bring to your nearest bike enthusiast.