I realize that it hasn’t been that long since I shared the recipe for The Perfect Chocolate Chip cookies. Why all the chocolate chips, Katie? This last installment of choco-ness occurred last night at 10:30 pm when I realized my Father in law was supposed to drop by today for a short visit and to see our new place. My Father in law hates cinnamon. Who hates cinnamon, you ask? I don’t know. Him. And maybe one of those children raised with wolves who has no language. So pretty much 99.9% of my recipes were out. I’ve also been on a muffin kick lately, baking up a batch and freezing half for after D-day. Believe me you- you’ll be seeing more muffins out of me yet. So remember when I told you Gil is obsessed with chocolate chips? He’ll put roughly a cup of them in one single pancake. It’s grossly delicious. So hence the Chocolate Chip Muffin.
Who is that strange-looking old man in the picture, you ask? Why, how observant of you my friend! That is none other than the Chofetz Chaim. Rabbi Israel Meir HaCohen Kagan, born in 1838 in Poland, is known widely as the Chofetz Chaim after his highly acclaimed book with the same name that discusses the importance of guarding ones tongue against gossip. I cannot express the greatness of the Chofetz Chaim in only one short paragraph on this blog. He was a giant in this world and will surely be in the next. We have his portrait hanging prominently on our living room wall to remind us that we are always being watched…. Just kidding. To remind us that being respectful towards others, in our thoughts and words, is of the utmost importance in life.
This month in the Jewish Calender ushers in the most intense time of the year. It is meant to be a period of serious personal reflection, as the high holidays including Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement) are nearing closer. The Chofetz Chaim speaks about a respect for all people, not just those you agree with, or your close personal friends. To hold your tongue before saying that one bit of juicy gossip, or speaking kindly to that person on the street you would absolutely LOVE to avoid, or loving those who hate cinnamon, without judgment- these are all goals I strive to work on and hope that it elevates my world even the slightest bit. And plus, it’s not that hard to keep your lips sealed when your mouth is full of Chocolate chip muffin.
(To read more about Judaism or the high holidays, visit www.chabad.org
Disclaimer: I don’t necessarily agree with all of Chabad, but it is an incredible resource that has helped me on my path to discover Judaism. Check it out.)
Chocolate Chip Muffins adapted from Foodbeam
1 1/2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda (forgot this! woops…)
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup chocolate chips
125g margarine (or about 1 stick of butter), softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1/2 cup milk or rice/soy milk
Preheat the oven to 375° F (190°C). Grease and flour 12 muffin cups, or line with liners and spray with non-stick cooking spray. In a large bowl or mixer, cream the margarine and sugars until smooth. Mix in the vanilla extract and beat in the eggs, one at a time. Sift in the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt into the bowl. In another bowl, toss the chocolate chips with 1 tablespoon of flour, this helps keep them from sinking to the bottom of your muffin. Slowly add the milk to the margarine and flour mixture, and stir until just combined. Stir in the chocolate chips and divide the batter between 12 muffin cups. Bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean. Place the muffin pan onto a wire rack and allow to cool for 5-10 minutes. Remove the muffins from the pan and let cool for a few minutes on the wire rack. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days. You can also double wrap them (plastic wrap them individually, then put into a larger bag if you are freezing a bunch) and freeze forever, just take them out of the freezer the night before and place in the refrigerator to defrost.