The Merchant's Love has been out in the world for five years today! This book is a cozy fantasy romance (though I hadn't heard the term then!) and has always felt like a warm hug in book form to me. In it, Faelen, a bookish, demisexual royal, and Maxen, a devoted, bisexual merchant, fall in love over books and baked goods. So every year, I feel the need to bake to commemorate the anniversary. This year, I made some chocolate chocolate chip muffins and thought I would share the recipe.
The original recipe came from the Food Network website, but I changed it a bit, adding more chocolate and salt and a pinch (or more, depending on my mood) of cinnamon and using olive oil when it called for vegetable oil. It's super easy and quick, and reliably delicious:
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
pinch (or more) cinnamon
1 cup milk
1/3 cup + 2 teaspoons olive oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup chocolate chips
Preheat the oven to 400F. Line a 12 cup muffin pan with liners (or spray the pan).
Mix the dry ingredients. Add the wet ingredients and mix until no streaks of flour remain. Stir in the chocolate chips.
Spoon into the muffin pan evenly (the cups will be fairly full). Bake for 20 minutes, until a toothpick in the center comes out clean.
Makes 12 muffins.
About The Merchant's Love:
Faelen, cousin to the prince and son of a diplomat, has finally come home to Tournai after years away. The pull to return was almost tangible, and the sense of rightness at being back is absolute. He wants nothing more than to put down roots and build a life among family while pursuing his linguistic studies. Becoming involved in magic meant to protect Tournai isn’t part of his plans…and falling in love is even more unexpected and unfamiliar, but he finds himself doing just that as his friendship with Maxen deepens into something more.
Maxen, second son of a wealthy merchant family, longs to leave Tournai and visit everywhere he can. All his life, he’s found places on maps and dreamed, planning out routes to get to them. For now, he’s tied to Tournai’s capital city by family obligations and his position in their shipping business. Someday, though, he’ll be able to travel. His sudden attraction to Faelen shocks him, but their friendship soon becomes a necessary part of his life. Love, however, has no place in his plans, especially not love for a royal cousin with secrets who wants nothing more than to stay in one place.
For Faelen and Maxen to build something real between them, they must resolve their differences, but when magic goes awry and all Faelen’s secrets are revealed, will Maxen remain at his side?