Chocolate Protein Muffins

3 minute read

A tasty way to supplement a classic baked good with some extra protein.

Ingredients

  • 2 sticks of butter (1/2 cup)
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup chocolate protein powder
  • 1/4 cup chia seeds
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1 bag chocolate chips (8-12 oz)

Directions

Mixing

I started off the same way I do when making chocolate chip cookies:

  • Dump chia seeds into a cup or small bowl, add the water, and mix well.
    • Set the mixture aside until needed. It should be a gel by the time you’re ready to use it.
  • Chop the butter into slices in the mixing bowl; beat with sugar (both brown and white) until smooth.
  • Add eggs; beat on low until smooth
  • While the mixer continues, slowly add the vanilla.
  • Gradually incorporate the flour, a quarter cup at a time, to avoid spillage.
  • The baking soda can be either be mixed with the flour at the beginning, or also gradually added to the mixing bowl while continuing to beat on low.
  • Also incorporate the protein powder and about half of the chia seed gel from earlier.
  • Check the consistency of the mixture at this point. If the protein powder still looks fairly separated from the rest of the ingredients, add another 1/8 to 1/4 cup of water to the remaining chia seeds and let sit for a minute before adding the other half of the seeds.
    • If the protein powder seems integrated, just added the rest of the chia seeds without extra water.
  • Quickly mix in the bag of chocolate chips.

Baking

  • Pre-heat oven to 375.
  • Fill muffin cups approximately halfway.
    • Everything should fit into two 12-cup muffin tins.
  • Bake for 12-15 minutes until golden brown.
  • Let cool for 30 minutes before removing muffins from tins.

Explanation

This recipe is very loosely based on Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookies.

I wanted to make some chocolate chip cookies, but also wanted to sneak some protein in. The recipe I came up with morphed into its own thing, which doesn’t quite cover the cookies requirement, yet is still surprisingly delicious. When I was thinking about this recipe, I knew that I wanted to substitute about half of the flour in a normal cookie recipe for protein powder. That, in turn, meant I was going to have to come up with some way of binding all the ingredients together, since the gluten in flour is largely what’s responsible for giving cookies their structure and consistency. One easy fix for more binding is an extra egg, so I added that in. But I had a feeling 1 egg wasn’t going to make up for a whole cup of protein, which can get really gritty if not handled properly.

When I was in undergrad, I spent a year and a half working in a plant biochemistry lab studying chia seeds. So I know more than I ever wanted to about how adding water to them can make them turn into a glue. It turns out that chia seeds need a while to produce their mucilage, which is why I recommend adding the water to the seeds before doing anything else. Why the cookies turned into muffins is something other people might be able to explain but I don’t have a clear reason. If I had to guess, it was the combination of beating the eggs (including the extra egg) a lot, with the extra structure provided by the chia mucilage.

In the end, these muffins turned out to be light and tasty. They’re not overly dense or gritty, they have the right amount of sweetness, and they’re a nice quick breakfast or bedtime snack.

Results

Muffins in a container

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