There is something about the smell and taste of a lemon that makes me think of spring! The scent alone just seems to freshen up a room and awaken the senses. The taste of lemon cleanses the palate and leaves me wanting more!
Lemon and chocolate aren’t a combination that most people would necessarily think of. However, when you do stop and think about it, the tartness of the lemon and the rich sweetness of even a dark chocolate are a marriage made in food heaven! I’ve loved this combo for many years and have tried it in desserts such as my "Lemon Cloud Pie" and "Jollygood Squares"! I also have a lemon chocolate chip cookie recipe that I will have to post sometime. So why not try lemon as a main flavour in a muffin?
A couple of years ago, I stumbled across a recipe on the Taste Of Home site for Lemon Chip Muffins that sounded good, so decided to give it a try.
The original recipe called for buttermilk or yogurt. I never buy buttermilk and I don’t eat yogurt so I used the extra lemon juice from the lemons to make my own buttermilk. Granted, my version of the buttermilk for this recipe uses more than the average buttermilk substitute*, but the extra lemon only adds to the flavour!
Of course, I did a bit more than that to put my own spin on the recipe! I added both whole wheat and all purpose flour. Needless to say, I also added more chocolate chips!
The result was a flavourful blend of the tart lemon and the sweetness of the dark chocolate! These are great as a breakfast muffin or to enjoy with a bowl of fresh fruit or a cup of your favourite break time beverage. These freeze well - even with the topping on them. Just thaw them first and then stick them in the microwave for about 10 seconds before serving to bring out the blend of flavours!
dn's Lemon Chocolate Chip Muffins
3/4 cup butter or margarine, softened
1 1/2 cup plus 3 tablespoons sugar, divided
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cup miniature dark or semisweet chocolate chips
2 medium lemons
Approx. 1 1/4 cups milk
Wash and dry the lemons. Grate the peel of the two lemons and set the peel aside. Juice the lemons, removing any seeds. Measure out 3 Tablespoons of the lemon juice and set aside. Place the remaining lemon juice in a two cup measuring cup. Add enough milk to make 1 1/2 cups. Stir to combine, then let stand for about 5-10 minutes while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
In a bowl, cream butter and 1 1/2 cup sugar. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Combine flours, baking soda and salt; add to the creamed mixture alternately with buttermilk. Fold in chocolate chips and lemon peel. Fill paper-lined muffin cups two-thirds full.
Bake at 375° for 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Do not over bake. Brush tops with lemon juice; sprinkle with remaining sugar. Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to finish cooling. Yield: 2 to 2 1/2 dozen.
*Buttermilk is easily made by placing either 1 Tablespoon of fresh lemon juice, apple cider vinegar or white vinegar in a 1 cup measure then adding enough milk, soy milk or cream to make 1 cup. Stir to combine and let stand for 5-10 minutes before using in any recipe. This method works particularly well for most baking recipes which call for buttermilk or yogurt.