Cappuccino Chocolate Chip Muffins Recipe

Espresso and chocolate — all in a cake-like breakfast muffin. It’s a perfect way to start the day!Cappuccino Chocolate Chip Muffins Recipe -- Espresso and chocolate — all in a cake-like breakfast muffin. It’s a perfect way to start the day!I’ve had this recipe in my mind for a month, and some of the ingredients on my kitchen counter for almost as long. I’m thrilled to have baked yesterday!

After over eight weeks in the hospital, my dad is finally back home.  (If you haven’t been following my dad’s story, it’s began here.)

I almost didn’t recognize him after two months — not because of his thinner, paler self, but because he wasn’t the same.  I guess this might make sense after major open-heart surgery that was followed by a series of horrible complications and so much time away from home— but I’d never expected him to seem so vacant.  I know that sounds dark, but when I’d talk to him, it was like he wasn’t there.  And yet, he was lucid.Cappuccino Chocolate Chip Muffins Recipe -- Espresso and chocolate — all in a cake-like breakfast muffin. It’s a perfect way to start the day!I imagine he was thinking about how he was supposed to be better, not worse.  How he was only supposed to be in the hospital for 4 to 7 days, not close to 60.  How he was told he’d be able to hike soon, not never again.

Watching him work with the physical therapists was difficult.  There he was, taking excruciatingly slow, weak, wobbly steps with a walker, to get to a chair just a few feet away.  When he’d arrive at the chair, it was as if he’d run a marathon – twice. He was taken over with exhaustion. This guy has climbed some of the highest mountains, and hiked more miles than anyone could ever count— all while carrying heavy camera equipment.  This could not be my dad.  And yet, there he was . . .Cappuccino Chocolate Chip Muffins Recipe -- Espresso and chocolate — all in a cake-like breakfast muffin. It’s a perfect way to start the day!Seeing him every day was probably too often for me to really notice the tiny improvements that were happening. The doctors kept telling me he was getting better — just very slowly.

I was so worried about bringing him back to his big house, to my mom who was missing him terribly, to his rambunctious, adorable dog, to everything.  I was told he’d need a full-time caregiver.  My mom has had one for 2 years now.

I was so scared about how I would be able to manage my parents’ house, the two of them, their caregivers, the dog and everything else that comes with that.  How would I add all of that to my life — my own house, my two boys, my husband, my dogs, my work? Cappuccino Chocolate Chip Muffins Recipe -- Espresso and chocolate — all in a cake-like breakfast muffin. It’s a perfect way to start the day!Within 2 days of being home, I could see my dad again — I could see bits of his personality, his smile, his sense of self.  At first just glimmers of it, and now one week later, he’s really coming back. Mentally anyway. Physically, he has a long road ahead, but he’s getting noticeably stronger every day.

He’s become a pro with the walker, which I’m convinced he won’t need after a while, and his dog is jumping on his lap — and he loves it!  As time goes by, I’m more and more optimistic he’ll be on a trail again one day. And the best part . . . . so is he.

The reunion between my mom and dad was one of the sweetest moments I’ve ever witnessed between two people.  So much love after fifty-two years.

So I still haven’t quite figured out how I will manage everything, but somehow I seem to be doing it.  It’s an adjustment, and I suspect we’ll all just settle into this new rhythm and be okay.

Is it too late to talk about the deliciousness of these muffins?  Have I missed my window?
Cappuccino Chocolate Chip Muffins Recipe -- Espresso and chocolate — all in a cake-like breakfast muffin. It’s a perfect way to start the day!They’re light in texture, rich in flavor, and exactly what I want for a comforting breakfast with my coffee.

I’m so happy and relieved to be finally coming up for air and getting back in my kitchen!

Enjoy the recipe!

5.0 from 1 reviews
Cappuccino Chocolate Chip Muffins Recipe
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Makes approx. 16 muffins
Ingredients
  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons plus ½ teaspoon instant espresso powder (I like Medaglia D'Oro)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup half and half
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 cup mini chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F, adjust the racks close to the center. Prepare muffin tins with approximately 16 paper cups.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine softened butter with ½ cup of the sugar, 2 tablespoons of the espresso powder and salt. Mix just until everything is evenly incorporated. Add the egg and use a whisk to blend it into the batter. Now add the half and half and vanilla and mix until smooth.
  3. Add the flour and baking soda and mix just until you no longer see dry spots. Then fold in the mini chocolate chips.
  4. Fill each muffin cup about ¾ the way up with the batter. (This is easily done with an ice-cream scoop.)Cappuccino Chocolate Chip Muffins Recipe -- Espresso and chocolate — all in a cake-like breakfast muffin. It’s a perfect way to start the day!
  5. In a small bowl, mix the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar with the remaining ½ teaspoon of espresso powder. Generously sprinkle this mixture evenly over the muffin batter in each cup.Cappuccino Chocolate Chip Muffins Recipe -- Espresso and chocolate — all in a cake-like breakfast muffin. It’s a perfect way to start the day!
  6. Bake in the preheated 375 degree F oven until they’re set, about 18 minutes.
  7. Let them cool in the muffin tins for at least 15 minutes before serving.

 

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Comments

  1. says

    Oh Valentina, I’m so sorry to hear about all that you’re going through with your dad, but I’m optimistic on his health as well. With the love of you, your mom and his precious pooch, he’s bound to be himself again soon. Sending you and your family strength and fast healing!

  2. says

    I am so sorry to hear about what a long struggle it’s been… How good to see some signs that he is getting stronger every day! Thinking of you and praying for your family with much love.

  3. says

    This is tough stuff. We’ve been going through similar things with Ken’s mom for almost 2 years now. I promise you– all the cliches you hear about lights at the end of the tunnel and the rewards you’ll feel all the way to your deepest soul– are all true. XOGREG

    • valentina says

      Thank you, Greg. This is encouraging. It’s tough indeed and I know you get it. Much love to you, Ken, his mom and all around you. xoxo

  4. Linda says

    Valentina, you are a remarkable young woman. Take time for yourself and remember how much you are loved. You honor your whole family with the way you are. Makes me so proud to know you all…wish we didn’t live so far away. We would be pitching in right now, too. So hang in there. The McThralls love you all.

    • valentina says

      Linda, thanks so very much for this lovely note. Such kind words and I truly appreciate every one of them! Much love to YOU! XOXO

  5. says

    I am so relieved to hear he is home, and that his progress is palpable now. This is such a hard thing to go through, for ALL involved. I’m sure he is so very grateful to you for your loving care and attention to him, to your mom, and to the whole situation. Cheers to homecomings! And I fully intend to make your muffins, too. I can taste them through the screen.

    • valentina says

      Thank you so much Dorothy. Yes, tough times for all. I know you really get it. Now about the muffins . . . ENJOY! XOXO Valentina

  6. Adrienne Salinger says

    Beautifully written, Valentina. I think about you and Jim and Carole ten times a day. I am so relieved that Jim is doing better. I can’t imagine how you are managing all of it. You are a champion! And I’m going to make the muffins too. Much love to all of you.

    • valentina says

      Thanks so much Adrienne. Not feeling quite like a champion, but I’ll take it. 😉 Much love to YOU and thanks for checking out the recipe. XOXO

  7. Elaine says

    Your Dad sounds like an incredible man. May he continue to experience restoration! On the lighter side of things, will the recipe work if I substitute gluten free flour? (I’ve got celiac disease.)

    • valentina says

      Hi Elaine, I haven’t tried this recipe with GF flour, so I can’t say exactly how it would turn out. If you want to give it a go, I’d use an all-purpose GF blend (same amount), and add 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum. My oldest son has Celiac Disease — he was diagnosed at age 5, and he’s now 13. So I actually usually bake GF — I opted not to for these since he’s not big into coffee flavor. 😉
      Thank you so much for the kind words about my dad. Much appreciated.
      Let me know how the GF version turns out if you try it. Thank you! ~Valentina

  8. says

    Oh how my heart hurts for you. I am praying and believing your dad will make a full recovery. I know it is a very hard season for you right now. I think you are handling it with so much grace and strength, you probably didn’t know was even there. I know your parents appreciate all you do.

    Your recipe looks delightful!

    • valentina says

      Cathy, I so appreciate these kind words. True, sometimes I don’t know where even the energy comes from. We all just rise up when we must, I think. Much love to you. XOXO

  9. says

    Wow, what a tough situation for you and your family. I’ve had to deal with some similar things this past year, including an aunt with heart surgery that had complications, and slowly but surely, she got her get-up-and-go again. I know your dad will get his too. Keep the faith! XO

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