Java Hut Muffins

Today I bring you one of my favorite muffin recipes. This recipe is a Java Hut original, conceived by the owner of the coffee shop where I worked when I was in high school. Sadly, the Java Hut has closed forever so these super-moist, flavor-packed muffins are no longer being served. My boss Renee took a lot of inspiration from The Mill and Mo Java Cafe, two coffee shops in Lincoln, Nebraska, so it’s possible that those places might offer something similar in their pastry cases. For all my friends who don’t live in Lincoln, you’re in luck because now you can bake these gems in your own kitchen!

Think of this recipe as a choose-your-own-adventure story. As you go through the steps, you can decide whether to bake berry muffins or chocolate chip muffins. Both types of muffins share most of the same ingredients. However, be sure to read through the end of the directions to understand which ingredients they do not share, and the different toppings that go on each before baking. I’ll admit this recipe is a little tricky!

For the complete coffee shop experience, put on a little David Gray radio on Pandora.com or your preferred music listening source and get baking before the sun comes up.

DRY INGREDIENTS

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. baking soda

Mix all dry ingredients in a bowl. In separate bowl mix:

WET INGREDIENTS

  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup oil
  • 2 oz. Hershey’s syrup OR blueberry syrup
  • Just under 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 3/4 cup berries* OR mini chocolate chips

*If using frozen berries, make sure they are thawed before adding to muffin batter. I typically use blueberries, but they can be substituted or combined with raspberries for a variation.

When measuring the buttermilk, first pour your 2 ounces of syrup into a liquid measuring cup (either Hershey’s syrup or blueberry syrup) then top off with buttermilk up to the 3/4 cup line. Add to dry mixture. Then add 3/4 cup berries or mini chocolate chips and mix. Drop foil liners into muffin tin. Spoon batter into muffin tin.

Before baking the blueberry muffins, sprinkle a cinnamon and sugar mixture on top. Before baking the chocolate chip muffins, sprinkle brown sugar on top. Bake at 425 degrees covered with aluminum foil for about 15-20 minutes.

Yields: 6 muffins (Double the recipe to yield a dozen muffins)

NOTES

When we baked the blueberry muffins at the Java Hut, we used Torani brand blueberry syrup since that’s what we had on hand to use in our drinks. You can order a bottle here, or use an alternate. I found a blueberry agave nectar syrup at Whole Foods that worked pretty well when I baked them at home last. Just make sure to keep an eye on them as they bake since a different syrup could cause them to bake faster.

These are very rich and sweet muffins. Because the batter is heavy, the center may collapse and that is totally okay! They almost look like big thumb-print cookies if this happens.

Use the toothpick test to check if they’re done. Last time I baked these they looked done on the outside but were still gooey in the center and needed more time. As always, it’s a good idea to check them before the end of the 15-20 minutes to make sure they don’t burn or get dry.

Happy baking!