Makes 12 large or 24 small muffins.
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup milk
3 (1 ounce) squares bittersweet chocolate
1/3 cup butter
2 tablespoons melted butter for preparing pan
2/3 cup sliced almonds (additional almonds may be sprinkled on top of batter)
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/3 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup milk
3/4 cup raspberries, fresh or frozen, dusted with 3 tablespoons cocoa
Combine cup brown sugar with 1/4 cup milk, 3 squares bittersweet chocolate and cup butter in a small saucepan. Heat and stir over very low heat until chocolate and butter melt. Cool.
Prepare muffin pans with melted butter, coating thoroughly with sliced almonds while the chocolate mixture cools. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Beat together the cup sugar, 1 teaspoon vanilla and 2 eggs until fluffy. Sift the dry ingredients. Add the two mixtures, along with the 1/2 cup milk, blending just until combined. Fold in the raspberries. (If using frozen berries, do not let them thaw.)
Place batter into prepared muffin pans, and position pans in center of preheated oven. Bake about 20 minutes, depending on size of muffins. Larger muffins will require a little more time to complete baking.
Variation: Dust buttered pans with oatmeal and omit raspberries. Serve muffins warm with seedless raspberry jam to enjoy the flavor combination of chocolate and raspberries.