Vanilla and Chocolate Chip Muffins

Please don't shoot, but we don't really understand the cupcake craze. They're cute, yes, and there's the portion control factor, but we still don't think they merit the obsessive blogging and photographing and selling for $6 each, etc. Perusing the cookbook section of Penn's bookstore yesterday, we found like 5 books on cupcake decorating alone.

Muffins, however, are the underrated, modest back-up singers to the attention-mongering cupcake divas. Though they are frequently just as sweet and much tastier than cupcakes, they're not showing off about it. They're also healthier, and more versatile -- there's a whole galaxy of savory and fruity muffin-making that doesn't involve buttercream frosting or German chocolate anything (note: we are not opposed to buttercream or German chocolate generally, just in cupcake excess).

So I guess now would be a good time to disclose after making fun of all of the cupcake books at the bookstore yesterday, we purchased a muffin one. It's called Muffins Galore, and I love it. We decided to start with a simple recipe for chocolate chip muffins to bring for breakfast for our team members participating in Philadelphia's Race for Hope this morning, which raises money for the Brain Tumor Society. I've eaten two already today, and they are perfectly spongy with a great vanilla flavor. Completely simple and so yummers.

Ingredients (makes 12 muffins):
2 cups self-rising flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 cup butter
1/3 cup superfine sugar
1 cup milk or semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup milk (skim works)
1 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 400. Line your muffin pan with paper muffin cups. Mix the flour and baking powder together in a large bowl, add the butter and rub it into the mixture. Stir in sugar and chocolate chips. In a separate bowl, combine the eggs, milk and vanilla, then pour this mixture over the dry one. Mix until combined, and spoon batter into the muffin cups. Bake for about 20 minutes, until well-risen and golden. Cool for about 10 minutes, and serve.