Peanut Butter Nutella Swirl Banana Muffins

Do not despair, these muffins are another way to use up bananas that have gone to the dark side. Besides making these muffins soft and squishy, bananas bump up the nutritional factor of Peanut Butter Nutella Swirl Banana Muffins. Peanut butter makes them more protein-dense, and Nutella adds that one-of-a-kind flavor. These beauties exit the oven perfectly domed, swirled, and once topped with Nutella drizzle, the muffins will disappear in minutes.


Peanut Butter Nutella Swirl Banana Muffins (makes 12)

4 overripe bananas, mashed
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
3/4 sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp salt
1/4 cup Nutella

*Optional: 1/4 cup Nutella to drizzle on top

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Spray muffin pan with non-stick baking spray.
2. With an electric mixer, beat together the bananas and peanut butter.
3. Mix in sugar, egg, and vanilla.
4. In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt.
5. Mix dry ingredients into wet ingredients until a batter forms.
6. Scoop out 1 cup of the batter and set aside.
7. To the big bowl of batter, mix in the Nutella until the batter is uniformly brown (be sure to scrape the sides of the bowl to incorporate all ingredients thoroughly).
8. Distribute brown batter into muffin cups evenly.
9. Add a dollop of the light brown batter set aside to each muffin cup, and swirl with a toothpick.
10. Bake for 20 minutes.
11. *Microwave Nutella for about 15 seconds and drizzle over muffins.

 

Spinach Ricotta Frittata Muffins

Just the act of baking Frittata Muffins makes you feel like you are hosting a lavish brunch, even if you aren’t (for now)…

This recipe involves minimal steps. Each Spinach Ricotta Frittata Muffin makes a no-mess meal that fits perfectly into school lunch boxes (note for future). Dense with protein from the ricotta/spinach duet, these muffins are dainty but strong and full of flavor. Although they do not contain butter, their golden edges are crisp and fried-like. They are delicious, right out of the oven, at room temperature, and even cold.

I recently learned the right way to crack an egg, thanks to Key Lime Lexi. Her technique was so much fun to practice for this batch. Lexi’s new cooking series highlights engaging projects, fun for families to do together at home. Her site provides a wealth of information, from delicious recipes to know-how tips in the kitchen.

These muffins bring memories of Sunday brunch and work well for breakfast, lunch, snacks, and dinner.



Spinach Ricotta Frittata Muffins (makes 12)

4 large eggs
1 cup ricotta cheese (low far or full fat)
1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
½ cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1 cup (or one 10oz box) frozen chopped spinach
1/4 tsp salt
onion powder (to taste)
garlic powder (to taste)

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease muffin pan with cooking spray or line with paper liners.
2. Thaw spinach in microwave and squeeze out extra juice.
3. In a large mixing bowl, whisk eggs and stir in ricotta, mozzarella, and Parmesan cheeses.
4. Stir in spinach, salt, onion powder, and garlic powder.
5. Use an ice cream scoop to spoon mixture into muffin cups.
6. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until muffins are set and golden on top.

 

 

Mac and Cheese Muffins

God knows, we all need comfort food, let alone more dinners that aren’t “same old.” We may not have answers about the current crisis, but Mac and Cheese can provide a needle of normalcy in the haystack of chaos.

While we are isolated with more (super-imposed) together time than ever before, these muffins offer home-cooking that our families long for, while at home 24-7.

Mac and Cheese Muffins have been a highlight at my family’s Thanksgiving dinners, and lately, we have a lot to be thankful and hopeful for, especially our health.

The muffins’ layered textures melt in the mouth —the crunchy top is crisp and buttery. These muffins freeze well, re-heat easily and make tasty lunchtime treats.

Macaroni and Cheese Muffins (makes 18)

2 cups elbow macaroni, uncooked
1 Tbsp butter
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup Cheddar Cheese, shredded
1 cup milk (whole or skim)
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1 cup Mozzarella cheese, shredded
1/2 cup cottage cheese
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp salt (to taste)
1 tsp pepper (to taste)

Crunchy Topping

1/2 cup seasoned dry bread crumbs
2 tsp olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup Cheddar cheese, shredded

1. In a bowl, stir together the bread crumbs, olive oil, and salt.
2. Add cheese.

Muffins

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners or grease tin with nonstick cooking spray.
2. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add the macaroni and cook for about 8 minutes (until slightly firm).
3. Remove pot from heat, drain macaroni, and return macaroni to pot. Stir in butter and beaten egg until pasta is evenly coated.
4. Add to the pasta the Cheddar cheese, milk, Parmesan, mozzarella, and cottage cheese. Add garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper. Stir.
5. Distribute mixture into each cup of prepared muffin tin.
6. Sprinkle the Crunchy Topping mixture over the tops.
7. Bake for 30 minutes or until tops are nicely browned.
8. Allow to cool for a few minutes before removing muffins from the tin (this allows the cheese to set and muffins to take shape).

Pasta Muffins

There’s something satisfying about squirreling away peanut butter and canned soups in a pantry. Since the COVID-19 pandemic has turned my house into a suburban bunker, my entire mentality toward wasting food has changed. However, ingredient recycling is not a new phenomenon. We’re familiar with French Toast as a method of resurrecting stale bread, Fried Rice a way to convert leftovers into meals, and Smoothies, a chic solution for overripe bananas.

Making Pasta Muffins is a great way to recycle leftover pasta! I stumbled on this recipe when I found myself this week with limited time and day-old pasta no one was excited about. This recipe is so easy – there’s no way to mess it up. Once cooled, place the muffins in plastic bags and freeze a stash for later. They can be warmed up in seconds.

Pasta Muffins (makes 12)

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

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. Bake for 8-10 minutes.
6. Allow to cool.
7. Remove from tins, serve, and enjoy!

Blender Banana Muffins

For the easiest ever #quarantinebaking, this recipe is dedicated to those who have overripe bananas and no flour in their post-Covid pantry.

Just blend and bake!

These gluten-free muffins call for just FIVE ingredients. After 15 minutes in the oven, they’ve filled your kitchen with wonderful smells and created a protein-packed snack or muffinized meal. You can substitute different kinds of nut butters if you’re allergic to peanut butter and experiment with different toppings like coconut, chocolate chips, and dried fruit or raisins.

Blender Banana Muffins (makes 12)

2 cups peanut butter
4 large eggs
4 medium-size bananas, very ripe
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup honey (optional)
*optional toppings: dark chocolate chips, white chocolate chips, coconut, raisins, craisins

1. Preheat oven to 400F. Spray muffin pan with non-stick baking spray.
2. Place ingredients in blender and blend until fully incorporated.
3. Pour batter into muffin tin.
4. Add toppings* to each muffin cup. Use the back of a spoon to push toppings into batter slightly.
5. Bake for 15 minutes, until a knife inserted comes out clean. Leave in pan for 5 minutes to cool before transferring to wire cooling wrack or serving platter.

 

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.

 

 

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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Whole Wheat Spinach n’ Feta Muffins

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Still warm and straight out of the oven, my 7 year-old grabbed one of these and said:
“Mom, this is like lunch and dinner in a muffin.” Bingo.
“It’s like a grilled cheese with spinach.” Right again.
“Mom, I’m amazed.”

These muffins, a complete balanced meal, not only satisfy salty cravings, but add fiber and smell divine. Everything works together: the carmelized onion, buttery spinach and pockets of creamy salted feta and cheddar.

These muffins will have you at first bite. Their crisp outside and soft inside make it impossible to stop.

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Whole Wheat Spinach n’ Feta Muffins (makes 21)

1 1/2 cups onion, chopped (1 large onion)
1 Tbsp butter
2 cups spinach, chopped
1 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
2 tsp baking soda
2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded
1 cup feta cheese, crumbled
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups milk
2 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 325 F. Spray muffin pans with non-stick cooking spray.
2. In a skillet, cook onion and butter over medium heat until onions are tender.
3. Add spinach and cook until just wilted.
4. In a large mixing bowl, combine flour and baking soda.
5. Add onion and spinach mixture, cheddar, feta, eggs, milk, and cayenne pepper (optional). Combine and mix thoroughly.
6. Distribute batter evenly into muffin cups.
7. Bake for 35 minutes. Serve warm.

Cheese Meltin’ Muffins

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Just out of the oven, these muffins on the counter, my 7-year-old took one bite and said, “I love how it all melts together.”  They are gloriously cheesy, just waiting to be pulled apart.

The recipe is beyond easy. Use any cheese you have on hand. I was planning to use Colby Jack, but after returning from a road trip I discovered it was moldy, so I improvised with goat, mozzarella, American and parmesan.

Buttery crisp on the outside and molten inside, these muffins make a great snack for kids. Served with milk, they make a protein-packed meal. And, mini or regular sized, they make a wonderful portable appetizer for your next cocktail party.

Even better, they make great egg sandwiches. Leftovers may be halved, popped into the toaster and spread with jam. Delicious as-is, or with a bowl of soup.

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Cheese Meltin’ Muffins (makes 12)

1 1/2 cups flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3 heaping cups cheese (I used goat, mozzarella, American and parmesan)
1 cup milk
1 egg
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) salted butter, melted
1 pat (1 tsp) butter (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 375 F degrees. Grease muffin pan with cooking spray.
2. In a medium-size mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. Stir in cheese.
3. In a separate medium-size mixing bowl, whisk together the egg, milk, and butter.
4. Pour wet mixture into dry mixture and stir to combine.
5. With an ice cream scoop or spoon, distribute batter into each muffin cup.
5. Bake for 22 to 25 minutes until muffin tops start to brown.
6. As the muffins come out of the oven, rub a small pat of butter over the tops.
7. Serve warm from the oven with a pat of butter or jam.

Chocolate Pecan Pie Muffins

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For die-hard pecan-pie fans, these muffins are a pie-brownie hybrid. Infused with chocolate, a sticky, bite-size pecan pie is not only gooey, sweet, buttery and energy-packed, but perfect for both chocoholics and brownie-lovers.

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Chocolate Pecan Pie Muffins (makes 18)

¾ cups light brown sugar
¼ cup granulated sugar
¾ cup light corn syrup
3 large eggs
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
¼ tsp salt
4 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
1 heaping cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, melted and cooled
1 ½ cups pecans, chopped

1. Prehead oven to 350 degrees. Grease muffin pans with cooking spray.
2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk the light brown sugar, granulated sugar, corn syrup, eggs, vanilla, flour and salt until smooth.
3. Whisk in the butter and chocolate.
4. Fold in the pecans.
5. Use an ice cream scoop to distribute batter evenly into each muffin cup.
6. Bake for 20 to 22 minutes.
7. Let muffins cool in pan and then transfer to refrigerator to chill.
8. Use a sharp knife to run around the edges of the muffins to remove them from the pan.
9. Serve cold.