Brownie Muffins

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So chocolatey your head might explode, these fudgy brownie muffins are like individual pieces of heaven. Chewy, squishy, and decadent, they aren’t as dense as brownies, but they are so rich and creamy that they practically melt in your mouth. And, the glossy, wafer-thin top crust is just as delicious as the fudgy layer underneath.

However horrible or amazing your day, these brownie muffins will make it better.

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Brownie Muffins (makes 12)

½ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1-1/4 cups sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 large eggs
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt

1. Preheat oven to 325 F. Spray muffin pan with nonstick spray.
2. In a large mixing bowl, melt the chocolate and butter together in the microwave in 30 second increments, stirring after each until completely smooth and combined. Allow to cool for a few minutes.
3. To the chocolate/butter mixture, stir in sugar, then vanilla.
4. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each egg.
5. Mix in the flour and salt.
6. Use an ice cream scoop to divide batter evenly into 12 muffin cups. Bake for 20-23 minutes until a knife inserted in the center will have moist crumbs. (Be careful not to over-bake.)
7. Allow muffins to cool for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire cooling rack. Or, cool in refrigerator for 30 minutes before transferring to a serving platter.

*These muffins are best served cold.

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Chocolate Zucchini Muffins

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Here’s an ingenious way to sneak green into your child’s diet. With this muffin, you can give your child cocoa with a clear conscience.

The combination of grated zucchini and chocolate is a God-send because the zucchini, which adds moisture, is a vegetable that passes virtually undetected. Whether you refer to this muffin as “chocolate” or “chocolate zucchini,” the flavor speaks for itself.

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Chocolate Zucchini Muffins (makes 30)

3 eggs
1 3/4 cups white sugar
1/2 cup canola oil
1/2 cup applesauce
1/3 cup unsweetened dark cocoa powder (for nice, dark finished color)
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups zucchini, grated
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 heaping tsp cinnamon
3/4 cup mini chocolate chips
brown sugar (for sprinkling on top)


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease muffin pans with cooking spray or line with paper liners.
2. In a large mixing bowl, beat the eggs. Beat in the sugar and oil. Add the applesauce, cocoa, vanilla, zucchini and stir well.
3. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon.
4. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients, mixing until dry ingredients are just moist. Fold in 2/4 of the chocolate chips.
5. Spoon batter into greased muffin pan, filling each muffin cup about 2/3 full.
6. Top with 1/4 mini chocolate chips and some brown sugar.
7. Bake for 20-25 minutes.
8. Remove from pan and let cool on a wire rack.

 

Spaghetti Muffins

My kids love spaghetti. There’s something about the challenge– attempting to twirl the strands onto a fork and slurping up the strays. Pure fun. And what could be even more fun? Picking at the crispy, crunchy, toasted tops of spaghetti muffins.

Here is a great way to recycle and reformat leftover spaghetti. The topping is the icing on the cake of handheld spaghetti nests. They are whimsical for kids and delightfully suited to adult tastes, too.

If you have any leftover, they toast wonderfully.

Spaghetti Muffins (makes 12)

4 cups cooked spaghetti, tossed in cream, butter, or marinara sauce (option: cut spaghetti into about 2 inch strands)
4 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup cheese, shredded
1/2 cup seasoned bread crumbs
1/4 – 1/2 cup cooked meat, finely diced (optional)

Topping
1/4 cup seasoned bread crumbs
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Grease muffin cups with cooking spray or line with paper liners.
2. In a large bowl, mix eggs, cheese, bread crumbs, and meat (optional).
3. Add mixture to pasta and toss.
4. Scoop pasta into muffin cups.
5. Sprinkle Topping over each muffin cup.
6. Bake for 8-10 minutes.
7. Allow to cool.
8. Remove from tins, serve, and enjoy!

Greek Yogurt Chocolate Banana Muffins

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If banana bread doesn’t do it for you, these muffins will have you at hello. They are entirely healthy and delicious. And, who could say no to chocolate?

Soft, tender, with a subtle sweetness and loaded with chocolate flavor, these muffins have far less sugar than a typical bakery-style muffin.

Microwave already-baked muffins to make the chocolate chips warm and melty. Spread with peanut butter if desired! For a sweeter variation, substitute peanut butter chips for some or all of the chocolate chips.

Greek Yogurt Chocolate Banana Muffins (makes 12)

1 cup flour
1 Tbsp cornstarch
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/3 cup miniature chocolate chips (milk chocolate or semi-sweet)
1/2 cup chocolate chips (milk chocolate or semi-sweet)
4 Tbsp cocoa powder
1 large egg
1/2 cup vanilla or plain Greek yogurt
1/2 cup coconut oil, melted and slightly cooled (measured in melted state)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup brown sugar, lightly packed
1 cup very ripe bananas (2-3 bananas), mashed very well

1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Spray muffin pan with non-stick cooking spray (do not use liners, they will stick!).
2. In a medium-size mixing bowl, combine flour, cornstarch, baking soda, salt, cocoa powder, and both types of chocolate chips.
3. In a separate medium-size mixing bowl, whisk together the egg and Greek yogurt. Stir in coconut oil, vanilla, brown sugar and bananas.
4. Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and mix until just combined.
5. With an ice cream scoop, distribute batter evenly into muffin cups.
6. Bake 18 to 20 minutes or until a knife inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean.

 

 

Blueberry Muffins

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Been-there-done-that? These blueberry muffins are worth it.

As a Mom of three kiddos, I’m always looking to streamline. Since my almost-one-year-old can eat a whole box of blueberries by his lonesome, I muffinize® by pumping healthy ripe blueberries into an easy batter that makes super moist muffins with a delicate crust.

Blueberry Muffins (makes 12)

½ cup butter, softened
1 ¼ cups sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups flour
½ tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
½ cup milk
2 cups blueberries, washed, drained and picked over
3 tsp sugar

1. Preheat the oven to 375. Grease muffin pan with non-stick cooking spray.
2. Use a hand-mixer to cream* butter and sugar until light. (*To cream butter without a mixer: use the tines of a fork to mash sugar into butter. With a spoon, stir mixture until light and fluffy. The butter is “creamed” when it has almost doubled in mass and it has lightened to a yellowish-white color.)
3. Add the eggs, one at a time, and mix well. Add vanilla.
4. In a separate large mixing bowl, combine flour, salt, baking powder and cinnamon.
5. Add creamed mixture and milk to the flour mixture and mix until combined.
5. Crush 1 cup blueberries with a fork, and mix into the batter.
6. Coat remaining whole berries with flour and then fold them into the batter.
6. Distribute batter into each muffin cup. Sprinkle the 3 teaspoons sugar over the tops of the muffins, and bake at 375 degrees for about 30 minutes.
7. Remove muffins from tin and cool at least 30 minutes. Store, uncovered, or the muffins will be too moist the second day, if they last that long.

Soft Pretzel Muffins

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If you grew up in South Philly you know that “Wawa” isn’t just the sound a baby makes. Your loved ones have probably sent you care packages with “Tasty Kakes,” and you know that a warm, chewy soft pretzel pulls apart at the knot and has just the right amount of salt crystals on top.

These muffins may be missing the traditional pretzel shape but they pull apart like the knotted version and their texture brings home the street vendor.

Serve warm, right out of the oven or leave on the counter and watch them disappear. These muffins are scrumptious by themselves, but you could serve alongside cheese or spicy mustard dip.

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Soft Pretzel Muffins (makes 12)

6 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
1 1/2 cups warm water
2 Tbsp light brown sugar
1 package active dry yeast (2 1/4 tsp)
2 1/2 tsp kosher salt
4 1/2 to 5 cups all-purpose flour

1. In a large microwave-safe bowl, melt butter in the microwave.
2. Add water, sugar, yeast and mix to combine. Let sit for 5 minutes.
3. Add salt and flour and mix with a spoon until dough is smooth and begins to pull away from the side of the bowl (If dough appears too wet, add additional flour, 1 tablespoon at a time).
4. On a flat surface, knead dough with hands and form a ball.
4. Oil a bowl with vegetable oil, add the dough and turn to coat with the oil. Cover with a damp towel or plastic wrap and place in a warm spot until the dough doubles in size, about 1 hour.
5. Preheat oven to 425 F. Spray muffin cups with non-stick cooking spray.
6. Pull off golf ball-size pieces of dough and distribute into muffin cups (roll dough into mini ropes and twirl or just plop into individual muffin cups).
7. Brush tops of each muffin cup of batter with the egg wash and season liberally with the coarse salt.
8. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes until golden brown.
9. Serve warm, right out of the oven with a condiment of your choice (cheese sauce, spicy mustard dip, ketchup, chocolate sauce).

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Lemony Blueberry Cream Cheese Muffins

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This recipe takes the well-known concept of the blueberry muffin to a whole new level. These muffins are extra special because they have a surprise inside: delicious, lemony cream cheese! They are great on their own, but the lemon cream cheese filling with the plump, juicy blueberries makes these muffins marvelous.

My son didn’t notice the cream cheese filling until the second bite when his “mmmm” escalated to “MMMM!” He loved the surprise filling.

A fresh blueberry muffin with lemony cheesecake flavors in the mix is the perfect way to start any morning. Surprise your loved ones with these muffins-they will love them (and you for baking them)!

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Lemony Blueberry Cream Cheese Muffins (makes 9)

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup sugar
zest of 1 large lemon
1/4 cup canola oil
1 egg, large
1/3 cup whole or skim milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen)

Cream Cheese Filling:

3 Tbsp cream cheese
1 tsp lemon zest
1 Tbsp sugar
turbinado sugar (for sprinkling on muffins before baking)

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease muffin cups or line with muffin liners.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder, and cinnamon.
3. In a small bowl, add the sugar and lemon zest. Rub sugar and zest together, until fragrant. Add to the flour mixture and whisk again.
4. In a separate medium bowl, mix canola oil, egg, milk, and vanilla.
5. Incorporate the wet ingredients into flour mixture. Add slowly and do not over mix. (The batter will be lumpy and thick.) Gently fold in the blueberries.
6. In a small bowl, mix together the cream cheese, lemon zest, and sugar until smooth.
7. Fill each muffin cup half way with batter. Next, add about 1 teaspoon of cream cheese filling to each muffin cup. Cover each cup with remaining batter so you can’t see the cream cheese filling. Sprinkle each muffin with turbinado sugar.
8. Bake muffins for 17-20 minutes, or until muffins are golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean.
9. Let muffins cool on a cooking rack.

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