Monday, April 20, 2015

Dark Chocolate Cherry Trail Mix Muffins {Monday Muffins}

Dark Chocolate Cherry Trail Mix Muffins {Monday Muffins}

Sweet with a crunch, these little gems are a satisfying snack of dried cherries, dark chocolate, and almonds. Inspired by the samples at Costco. What, is it just me who loves to sample?

Please tell me I'm not the only one delighted to eat my way through Costco on a Saturday afternoon.

I don't try every last sample [ewww protein drinks] but I can't help but give many of them a go. When my spouse was buying new glasses we were at Costco several Saturdays in a row. [Shopping, ordering, receiving, clicking, double clicking, returning for replacement, picking up replacement . . . great customer service in the Optical department.] One two of those trips I sampled some dark chocolate cherry trail mix. Crunchy-sweet-awesome! After the second sample I decided I wanted to make it into a muffin, and this is the result.

I got my start making muffins using the recipes from Muffins: A Cookbook (Amazon Affiliate link) written by a couple of classmates of my mom, Joan Bidinosti and Marilyn Wearring. Over the years and the pans of muffins I've become comfortable with the muffin formula to branch out on my own. I like to make a not-so-sweet muffin--¼ cup of sugar in a batch of muffins is fine by me! Due to the added fruit and chocolate this is an extra sweet (by my standards) muffin, but it's still got whole oats and I'd serve it for brunch or an after school snack.

In fact, these muffins went to the Fisher House for a brunch.

For other recipes using dried cherries, please see my Cherry Recipes Collection, part of the Visual Recipe Index by Ingredient.

Note: these muffins follow my soaked oatmeal method which requires an hour long presoak of oats and buttermilk. If I plan to mix up a batch or 3 I'll go ahead and assemble pint jars of 1 cup each oats and buttermilk, covered with these handy dandy reusable lids (Amazon affiliate link), and store them in my refrigerator up to a week.

Dark Chocolate Cherry Trail Mix Muffins (makes 36 mini muffins or 12 regular size)

1 cup oats (the old fashioned kind, it's how I roll . . . get it? Rolled oats?)
1 cup buttermilk
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
¼ cup vegetable oil
¼ cup brown sugar
¼ cup milk (I use 2%)
½ cup chopped dried cherries
½ cup chopped salted almonds
1 cup (4 ounces by weight) unbleached all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt (I use kosher)
½ cup dark chocolate chips

At least 1 hour but up to a week before you're ready to bake (see Note above) mix up oats and buttermilk. If you're going to leave it out on the counter for an hour, mix them in a large bowl to which you'll add the rest of the ingredients.
When you're ready to bake, preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and spray a 24 well mini muffin pan with a vegetable oil spray or line with paper liners. [These came out of the pan easily for me and I did not need liners.]
In a large bowl, mix buttermilk-soaked oats, egg, vanilla, vegetable oil, sugar and milk until well blended. Stir in cherries and almonds. Dump flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt on top, and stir briefly. Add chocolate chips and stir until just blended. Scoop (I like this scoop and I cannot lie Amazon affiliate link) into prepared pan. Bake for 12 minutes at 400 degrees, then remove from oven and cool in the pan for 5 minutes before transferring to a rack to completely cool.
If using a regular size muffin pan, bake for 15 minutes and cool in pan like above.
This lovely plate is courtesy of my nieces and nephew!
This post is shared on What's Cookin' Wednesday


  1. Dark chocolate cherry trail mix muffins. Sign me up please. I love all the flavors and textures happening here.

    Costco samples: guilty as charged. At least all the chocolate ones.

    1. Meghan,
      I'm so glad I'm not alone with the Costco samples! I'm pretty pleased with how this muffin turned out--glad I can share it.

  2. Oh yes, a favorite hobby of mine is to eat my way through Costco.

    1. Pam,
      It's important to have hobbies, you know?
      Thanks for normalizing mine!

  3. Muffins can come to me every single day of the week :) This recipe sounds absolutely awesome, wow! Thanks for sharing.

    1. Cecilia,
      I think I'm more of a cold weather muffin gal. In the summer the oven heats up my bedroom too much (don't ask, but it always seems too hot to sleep if I've used the oven). However, it's 40s and rainy today, which is perfect for a batch of muffins so I made one!
      Thanks for stopping by!

  4. eww protein drinks? I'll tag along next time. You can eat the veggies, I'll eat the ...protein stuff.

    Dark chocolate and cherry is one of my favourite combinations and chucked in a muffin? I think they call this a winner!

    1. Arman,
      I get plenty of protein over the course of a day, I sure don't need to drink any more. Unless it's one of Meg's PB Banana Chocolate Smoothies--that kind of protein drink I can get my mouth around!
      Tag along with me, you can push the cart. It's considered a high honor in this country.

  5. What a fun recipe! This is a keeper.

    1. Gwen,
      I sure like to hear that--these are terrific muffins.

  6. Great breakfast treat! Thanks for linking up with What's Cookin' Wednesday!