Right before the kids went back to school, we vacationed on the beautiful Emerald Coastline of Florida with some dear friends of ours. Everyday was filled with fun on the beach, swimming in the pool and the sounds of the surf. Ahhh...so wonderful and relaxing!! What made our vacation even more perfect was the view out our condo window. There's nothing like waking every morning and looking out over the balcony and seeing the beauty of the ocean, sand and sky. I could even stand in the kitchen and still have a perfect view of the ocean and skyline. I was in heaven...what better environment to spark some creativity in the kitchen!!
The family we vacationed with also has four kids which made it double the fun for me to plan fun and tasty meals. Whenever we vacation we plan to dine out maybe once or twice, but most of our meals are eaten in our condo. After spending the majority of the day in the hot, summer sun, our kids are always wiped out and the last thing they have the patience for is to get cleaned up to go out to eat. So dining in allows the kids to clean up and put on their jammies and the added plus is it saves us quite a bit of money. Always a bonus!!
On one of our first mornings I baked these delicious All-Star Muffins that I found in my "King Aurthur Flour Baker's Companion" cookbook. This particular recipe grabbed my attention because of its simplicity and many variations that are offered. One of the variations that practically leaped off the page at me was the toffee chocolate chip addition. Holy Yum....chocolate and toffee chips for breakfast! Perfect for vacation!!
These baked up simply perfect!! Light and fluffy on the inside and just a little crispy on the edges. And the chocolate and toffee??? Oh. My. Goodness. Absolutely sinful!! The kids devoured these right up and the few that were leftover after breakfast were quickly eaten during lunch time. These will definitely become a "go-to" muffin for our breakfasts. I can't wait to bake up and blog about the other variations. :-)
From the heart of my kitchen to yours, may your experience be fun and the food always flavorful. Enjoy!
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour or cake flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons butter
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup sour cream
10-ounce bag of Heath bar bits
1 1/2 cups chocolate chips
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and lightly grease 16 muffin cups or use paper liners.
In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt, then set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar together with a handheld or stand mixer until light and fluffy and almost white in color. Scrape down the bowl to make sure all the butter is incorporated, then add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the vanilla and sour cream and mix until incorporated. Add the dry ingredients and mix on low speed just until the batter is smooth.
Add the Heath bits and chocolate chips to batter.
Fill muffin cups and bake for 18-24 minutes, until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean.
Remove them from the oven, cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then remove the muffins from the pan to finish cooling on a rack. (Muffins left in the pan to cool will become tough from steaming.)
Source: The King Arthur Flour Baker's Companion