With Christmas only a week and a half away (can you believe it?!), I’ve been thinking a lot about baking. I’m doing my major cookie baking this weekend, but I made these muffins a couple of weeks ago as the official kick-off of my holiday baking. They were on my baking list last year, but I didn’t get around to making them because I was hugely, uncomfortably pregnant. I didn’t forget about them all year, though, and I was so excited to try them this Christmas. Thankfully, they lived up to my high expectations. I would have been really disappointed if they hadn’t.
In these muffins, salty pistachios are combined with chunks of semi-sweet chocolate and sweet strawberry jam to create the perfect balance of flavors and textures. It’s such a pleasant surprise to bite into a muffin and get the melty chocolate, crunchy nuts, and gooey jam all in one bite.
The flavors work so well together, and to top it off, with the green pistachios and red strawberry jam, these are quite a festive treat! They’ll be a yearly baking staple for me from now on. Yum!
Pistachio Chocolate Chunk Muffins
adapted from Pillsbury Christmas 2007
2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chunks, divided
1/2 cup pistachios, coarsely chopped and divided
1 cup milk
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/3 cup strawberry jam
1. Heat oven to 375 degrees. Line muffin cups with paper liners.
2. In a large bowl combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; mix well. Set aside 1/3 cup chocolate and 2 tablespoons chopped pistachios and add the remaining into the dry ingredients.
3. In a small bowl combine milk, butter, lemon peel, vanilla, and egg; blend well. Add to dry ingredients all at once; stir just until dry ingredients are moistened.
4. Fill each paper-lined muffin cup with 1 heaping tablespoon of batter. Spoon half a teaspoon of jam into each cup. Spoon 1 heaping tablespoon of batter on top of the jam. Top with reserved chocolate and pistachios.
5. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes; remove from pan.