Raspberry and Chocolate Muffins

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I make a batch of these at least once a week for school break time and afternoon tea. The boys favour raspberry and white chocolate (or any kind of chocolate) but I do try to mix it up. They are endlessly flexible – you can add apples and cinnamon with wholemeal flour, grated carrot, fudge bits and pear, sultanas, blueberries, pineapple…there are endless variations.

Ingredients
250g plain flour (white or wholemeal)
120g soft brown sugar (or 100g caster)
1tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
100ml oil (grapeseed or sunflower are my preferences)
2 eggs (large)
100g (ish – I use roughly three good spoonfuls) plain yoghurt (unsweetened)
200g bar chocolate (dark, milk, white) or choc chips
200g frozen raspberries

Method
Heat oven to 180 C/350 F/Gas mark 4
Prepare a muffin tin – either oil and flour or use paper cases/greaseproof paper
Weigh and measure out dry ingredients (minus chocolate).
Chop up the chocolate if using a whole bar, pieces are better left uneven.
Measure out oil in a jug or bowl, add eggs, whisk lightly to combine.
Add the oil and egg mixture and the yoghurt to the dry ingredients and mix well.
Add the chocolate and the raspberries, again, mix well.
Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin.

Bake until well risen and golden brown.
Leave to cool in the tin for a few minutes then move them to a cooling rack.
Try hard to resist eating them warm – very tricky!
In an airtight tin they keep for about four or five days I think – ours rarely last past day three!

Banana and chocolate variation

As above but with only 100g sugar or 80g if using white (the bananas add a lot of sweetness). Three medium to large ripe bananas, mashed well. Leave out the yoghurt since the bananas are moist enough to achieve the desired consistency. Frozen bananas work particularly well in these.


 

Possibly the best ever chocolate chip cookies ever!

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This is the recipe that more people ask me for than any other. They are supremely easy to make since they require no creaming of butter and sugar, simply melt and mix. They will keep for a few days in an airtight container but I guarantee they will disappear at lightning speed.

Ingredients
180g butter, melted and cooled slightly
130g soft brown sugar
30g caster sugar
1 large free range egg
2tsp vanilla extract
330g plain flour (wholemeal or white)
1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda
200g chocolate – dark, milk, white or a mixture, chopped

Method
Put the melted butter, sugars, egg and vanilla extract into a bowl and beat well until thick and shiny.
Mix in the dry ingredients, beat well. If the mixture is a little stiff I sometimes add a splash of milk.
Put spoonfuls of mixture onto two baking trays lined with greaseproof paper. Squash down slightly with a fork. Measure with an ice cream scoop or similar if you are so inclined and like consistently sized biscuits – I prefer just to roughly spoon them on. I find this makes for much more fun and competition between the children!)

Bake at 180 C/350 F/Gas mark 4 for about 15 minutes, swapping the trays over about halfway through and until they are all a roughly even colour.

Leave for a minute or two then transfer to a cooling rack. Or serve warm with ice cream and strawberries…

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