Chocolate Cinnamon Babka Muffins.
Breaking news! You need these puffy chocolate muffins in your life ASAP.
I realize that I’m over-the-top dramatic about 145% of the time, but this is not a test, not a drill. These little chocolate swirl breads are absolutely incredible and rich and divine and perfect for the holidays.
Or perfect for a Monday because that’s when I devoured nearly an entire pan myself.
These were a last minute addition to the holiday recipes I have to share. I’ve been spying these stunning loaves of chocolate swirled babka bread all over instagram for the last month or two and at the eleventh hour, decided I absolutely NEEDED it in my life.
I wasn’t even sold on the muffins. I actually was REALLY into the idea of chocolate babka French toast (um, you should probably do this!) but for some reason, eyed up my muffin tin and figured these little bite sized versions would be totally ideal.
For what it’s worth, I still really want the chocolate babka french toast. I might do it. Would it not be the richest breakfast in the universe?!
And! Want to hear something crazy? I made these two days before I went into labor – and stored the extras in a resealable bag once they had cooled. When I got home that weekend, baby and all, the bag of muffins was still on the counter and in a moment of starvation, Eddie warmed one up for me and I ate it. It was still fresh! I mean, not like the freshest of the fresh, but I think that in the event that you’d like to make these a bit ahead of time, you’ll be good.
Now trust me – they do taste best mere minutes after the oven – when, you know, you can’t wait to take a bite and burn every last taste bud off of your tongue.
I would have no idea what that’s like. Not me. Not I.
Just look at those adorable little swirls.
It’s kind of like cinnamon roll meets muffin meets pastry meets chocolate crossiant. A hybrid of all the delicious breakfast things in the world. Except bacon, of course.
Perhaps the most exciting part: holiday breakfasts shared with family and friends? The calories don’t count. Trusssst me.
Chocolate Cinnamon Babka Muffins
1 cup whole milk, warmed
1/2 cup + 2 teaspoons sugar
3 teaspoons active dry yeast
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 large eggs + 1 large egg yolk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
12 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened and cut into pieces
1 large egg
1 tablespoon heavy cream
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
12 ounces high-quality semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
1 1/2 tablespoons cinnamon
3 tablespoons sugar
In the bowl of your electric mixer, stir together the warm milk, 2 teaspoons sugar and yeast. Let sit until foamy, about 5 minutes. With the paddle attachment on the mixer, beat in 1 cup of flour until combined. Add in the eggs, yolk, vanilla extract, salt and remaining 1/2 cup sugar. Beat on medium-low speed until combined. Gradually add in the remaining flour 1/2 cup at a time, beating on medium-low speed. Once a sticky dough has formed, add the butter pieces in a few handfuls at a time. Beat for 4 to 5 minutes, until the dough is shiny and stringy and soft.
Place the soft and sticky dough in a well oiled bowl and cover with a towel. Let rise in a warm place for 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
Remove the dough from the bowl and place it on a floured workspace. Whisk together the egg and heavy cream. Roll the dough out into a large rectangle (mine was about 12x20) and brush the edges with the egg wash. Gently spread the 6 tablespoons softened butter all over the dough - try not to press too hard and tear the dough, just gently rub it on with your hands. Add the chopped chocolate, the cinnamon and the sugar. Starting at the bottom, roll the dough tightly up into one large log as if you were about to make cinnamon rolls.
Preheat the oven with 350 degrees F. Rub two muffin tins with softened butter.
Slice the dough into 24 somewhat equal rounds (they will look like cinnamon rolls!) and place each round in the muffin tin. Cover the muffin tins with a towel and let rise for another 30 to 60 minutes. Brush the tops with the remaining egg wash.
Bake the breads for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the tops are golden and set. Let cool slightly before removing from the tin. Serve immediately. I have stored these once they are completely cool - in a resealable bag then warmed them for a few seconds before serving.
[adapted slightly from gourmet]