Do you know the muffin man?

I’ve said before that despite evidence to the contrary, I don’t really like to bake.  I only do it because I like baked goods and so far as I know, you either have to bake them or buy them.  And really it’s better if you bake them.

Well today I wanted to use up some buttermilk and I figured, might as well make something for breakfast tomorrow–after all, Josh will be back late tonight, he’ll want to sleep in tomorrow morning; might as well have breakfast waiting for him already.  Muffins sounded about right.

Now, I am not the Muffin Man of this apartment.  That would be Josh.  Josh is the Muffin Man.  He makes delicious blueberry lemon muffins and someday I’ll get him write a guest post on that.  But he’s not here today.  So the muffin making is up to me.

I have this recipe I’ve been wanting to try for a while–raspberry cream cheese muffins—from MyRecipes.  Looked delicious AND they were healthy.  I adapted the recipe a bit, though, to make it fit my style more.  And by “fit my style more” I mean, “I added dark chocolate.”  Mmmm.  Chocolate.  I also added the seeds of half a vanilla bean and a bit more of a nice rum-based Tahitian vanilla.  But what’s really important here is the chocolate.  Let’s not forget that.

Raspberry-Dark Chocolate-Cream Cheese Muffins
Makes 18

2/3  cup  (5 ounces) 1/3-less-fat cream cheese, softened
1/3  cup  butter, softened
1 1/2  cups  sugar
1 tbsp good vanilla extract
1 half vanilla bean
2  large egg whites
1  large egg
2  cups  all-purpose flour plus 2 tbsp
1  teaspoon  baking powder
1/4  teaspoon  baking soda
1/2  teaspoon  salt
1/2  cup  low-fat buttermilk
2  cups  fresh or frozen raspberries
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350°.

Combine cream cheese and butter in a large bowl. Beat with a mixer at high speed until well blended. Add sugar; beat until fluffy. Split vanilla bean down the middle, scrape out the seeds.  Add seeds, vanilla extract, egg whites, and egg; beat well.

Lightly spoon 2 cups of flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. With mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture and buttermilk to cream cheese mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture.
Place raspberries and chocolate chips in a small bowl; sprinkle with remaining 2 tbsp of flour and gently toss.  Fold carefully into batter.

Place foil cup liners in muffin cups. Using an ice cream scoop or a spatula, spoon the batter into the muffin cups; you should get about 18 using a regular sized scoop.

Bake at 350° 25 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. (If you have empty cup sockets in your muffin pan, you can fill them about halfway with water; this will keep your pan from burning.)  Remove from pans; cool on a wire rack.

These come out delicious, ooey and gooey, and are perfect for breakfast, or dessert, or dessert for breakfast.

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