Massive, bakery-style muffins brimming with chocolate chips!
Los Angeles is definitely known for their never-ending variety of restaurants and eateries, which is definitely one of the things I LOVED about living down there. In fact, one of my most favorite spots to frequent was Porto’s Bakery in Burbank. It’s easily the BEST bakery I have ever been to, and the daily lines extending out the doors are proof that no bakery in town holds a torch to their gamut of culinary delicacies!
Porto’s has an endless array of baked goods, from international savories like their infamous fried Potato Balls, to mouthwatering sweets like their French mousses, tantalizing individual desserts, and immaculately-decorated cakes. And that’s just the bakery! The other half of the building is a café, where they serve amazing sandwiches along with other lunch favorites.
With our annual mother-daughter LA trips, it’s become a bit of a tradition for my mom and I to stop off at Porto’s on our way to the airport. We like to stock up on some amazing pastries and treats to bring back with us to Portland. That is, if they even make it through the plane ride home…
When we visited last fall, I decided to try one of their big chocolate chip muffins. Although a chocolate chip muffin sounds like something so basic and ordinary, I couldn’t take my eyes away from it’s chocolate chip-studded glory. I just knew it HAD to be good.
And boy, oh boy, OH BOY, was it good! Soft, fluffy, sweet, and STUFFED with chocolate chips! It was then and there that I made it my soul mission to create that very same muffin–perfect in all of its jumbo chocolatey goodness.
And I must say, I think I came pretty damn close…
Let’s dive right into what makes these golden puffs of chocolate heaven so amazing, shall we?
To start things off, I decided to use equal parts canola oil and unsalted butter in the batter. When it comes to fats, oil does a better job of creating that moist, pillowy texture while butter provides better flavor. To further enhance that flavor, I also browned the butter for that extra golden nuttiness we all love!
Instead of milk or buttermilk, I used plain yogurt. Whether it’s plain or flavored doesn’t really make a huge difference. I ended up using vanilla yogurt for a more subtle flavor.
As for the mixing method, it’s pretty straightforward. Combine all of the dry ingredients together, combine all of the wet ingredients together, then gently fold the dry and the wet together until almost combined. Toss in the chocolate chips, and continue folding until chips are evenly distributed. Try to resist the temptation to overmix. A few dry pockets of flour is totally A-OK when it comes to muffin batter! This is a must for creating those soft, bouncy muffins. Remember, we don’t want rock-hard Arnold Schwarzenegger muffins. We want soft, sexy, and voluptuous Sofia Vergara muffins!
Just like Portos’ chocolate chip muffins, I wanted these muffins to be exploding with chocolate chips! No compromising there! While Porto’s uses only regular-sized semi-sweet chocolate chips, I decided to add BOTH mini and regular chocolate chips to my muffins. Mini chips are great when it comes to a more even distribution throughout the batter, while the larger chips are better at creating those big, melty craters of chocolate inside the warm, steamy muffins.
A couple of tips for creating those beautifully peaked muffin tops are to fill the muffin tins to the very top (none of that 2/3 or 3/4 business), and to set your oven temperature to a higher heat–425F degrees. Bake the muffins for 5 minutes, THEN decrease the oven temp to 375F degrees to finish baking the muffins. The initial high heat causes a more rapid rise in the first few minutes of baking and also encourages the outside to bake quicker while allowing the inside to keep rising as it finishes baking.
You might also notice that not only did I add a whopping Tablespoon of baking powder to the batter, but I also added 1 teaspoon of baking soda as well. Just like the initial high oven temp, both leavening agents are key to creating sky-high, almost explosive domes.
For that authentic bakery look, I decided to make my own parchment liners. With my BARE hands. Yep…and they’re a real pain in the arse to make. No matter how many times I watched the Youtube tutorial, I just couldn’t get them to turn out exactly like they’re supposed to.
Oh well, we can’t all be born with that magical Martha Stewart touch.
Jumbo Chocolate Chip Muffins
Yields: 8-9 jumbo muffins
17-18 standard size muffins
1/4 cup unsalted butter
2 and 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup canola oil
1 and 1/2 cup yogurt (I used vanilla-flavored)
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 and 1/4 cups regular size semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 425F degrees. Spray a jumbo muffin pan with non-stick cooking spray, or line with paper liners.
In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium-low heat. As the butter melts, it’ll start to foam, then turn a clear golden color. Continue to stir the butter, scraping up any browned specks from the bottom of the pan as it starts to brown. It should have a nutty aroma.
Once browned and nutty, turn off the heat and allow to cool for at least 5 minutes.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt until combined; set aside.
In another bowl, whisk both sugars and the eggs together until thickened and combined, about 45 seconds. Whisk in the browned butter and the canola oil. Add the yogurt and vanilla, and continue whisking until combined.
Using a rubber spatula, gently fold the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until almost combined. Pour in the chocolate chips, folding until just combined. Batter should still be lumpy with a few spots of flour.
Spoon batter into prepared muffin pan, filling all the way to the top. Sprinkle with more chocolate chips, if desired.
Bake at 425F degrees for 5 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 375F degrees and continue to bake for another 22-23 minutes until muffin tops are golden. A toothpick inserted in the center should come out with few moist crumbs attached. Allow to cool in the pan for 10 minutes before serving.
*For standard size muffins, bake the muffins at 425F degrees for 5 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 375F degrees and bake for an additional 13-14 minutes.