Yield: 12 muffins
Tips: : Quick, easy, and great for novice bakers (or small
helpers in the kitchen), these muffins are just the thing to brighten
someone's day. They'll keep for a day or so at room temperature
(reheat in the microwave at 50% (medium) power just until warm),
and they freeze beautifully. Use a type of preserve that goes well
with chocolate (raspberry or apricot come to mind) and doesn't contain
too many large chunks and stir well before spooning out. I don't
bother to measure the jam beforehand; just fill the muffin cups
half full with batter, then spoon on 1 scant measuring teaspoon
of your jam of choice. The jam will drop to the bottom of the muffin
during baking. You'll need a standard muffin tin, with cups 2-1/2
inches in diameter.
cups all-purpose flour, stirred before measuring
1/2 cup plus 2 Tbsp. granulated sugar
3 Tbsp. unsweetened Dutch process cocoa powder
2-1/4 tsp. baking powder
1 egg, graded "large"
3/4 cup water
1/4 cup tasteless vegetable oil (such as corn oil)
2 tsp. vanilla
12 scant tsp. well-stirred jam
rack to center of oven; preheat oven to 475 degrees F. Line the
cups of a standard muffin tin with paper liners; set aside.
Into medium bowl, sift together flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking
powder, and salt. With whisk, mix well until of an even color. Set
small bowl, beat egg until combined. Gradually beat in water, oil,
and vanilla. All at once, add liquid ingredients to dry ingredients.
Whisk briskly just until batter is well-mixed; batter should still
contain some small lumps. Do not overmix.
quickly, fill each muffin cup about half full of batter. Drop about
1 tsp. of jam onto the top center of the batter. Carefully spoon
remaining batter evenly on top of each muffin, making sure jam is
Place muffin tin in oven; IMMEDIATELY REDUCE HEAT TO 375 DEGREES
F. Bake 13 to 15 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted halfway
between edge and center of a muffin on the perimeter of the tin
emerges with only a few moist crumbs clinging to it. Do not overbake.
Most times, the jam will sink to the bottom of these muffins--OK.
Immediately remove baked muffins, still in paper liners, from muffin
tin. Cool until warm. Serve, or store airtight for a day or so at
room temperature, then reheat. Freeze for longer storage. If muffins
have been frozen, defrost at room temperature, still in wrappings,
before reheating briefly in microwave at 50% (medium) power just
until warm. Be careful when muffins are warm or reheated; jam may
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