I have very fond memories of my mom baking me blueberry muffins on special days–the first day of school, test or audition days, or any time she could see I needed a little pick me up. To this day, they are one of my nostalgic favorites.
Still, that hasn’t stopped me from searching out recipes for a new kind of muffin that I’ll love just as much. Simple fruit muffins are always dependable, but sometimes I want something with a little more pizzazz, like these pretzel muffins studded with semisweet chocolate chips. I’m a huge fan of the salty/sweet combo, and the balance is just right here. If you like things on the sweeter side, you may want to use milk chocolate chips, but I will always pick semisweet or dark chips over milk.
These pretzel muffins may not have the same sentimental value as my beloved blueberry muffins, but they are definitely going into my bag of tricks for breakfasts, brunches, and goodies to share at work. Maybe, just maybe, they’ll become the breakfast treat someone fixes for their loved ones’ most special days…
Pretzel-Chocolate Chip Muffins
slightly adapted from Cuisine at Home, October 2013
For the streusel:
1/2 c. all-purpose flour
1/3 c. granulated sugar
1/4 c. roughly ground pretzels (Do not completely grind–a few small should pieces remain.)
1/4 c. broken pretzels pieces
6 TBSP unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
For the muffins:
1 c. all-purpose flour
1 c. ground pretzels
1/2 c. mini semisweet chocolate chips
1 TBSP baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 c. buttermilk
1/2 c. sugar
1/4 c. canola oil
3 TBSP unsalted butter, melted
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. pretzel salt or other coarse salt, for sprinkling
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with paper liners and spray lightly with non-stick baking spray.
2. To make the streusel, combine flour, sugar, ground and broken pretzels, and cinnamon. Stir in melted butter. Cover and chill 1 hour.
3. To make the muffin batter, in a large bowl, whisk together flour, ground pretzels, chocolate chips, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon.
4. In a separate medium bowl, whisk together buttermilk and sugar until sugar is fully dissolved. Add eggs, oil, melted butter, and vanilla.
5. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients. Stir in wet mixture and let sit 2 minutes before dividing into muffin tins.
6. Remove streusel from refrigerator and, using clean hands, squeeze into clumps approximately the size of dice. Top muffins with streusel then sprinkle with pretzel salt.
7. Bake muffins until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 17-19 minutes. Let cool in the pan 10 minutes, then serve immediately or turn out on to a wire rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container up to 3 days.
Yields: 12 muffins