Oreo Cheesecake Muffins

Oreo and cheesecake in the same bite. It does not get any better.

These creamy, dreamy muffins have Oreo crusts with thick cheesecake layers infused with even more Oreo crumbs. Topped with piles of broken Oreos, they look like speckled works of art and disappear fast. Every bite has the sweet crunch of Oreo and the smooth, whipped tanginess of cheesecake. Sink your teeth in these or make them just because they look marvelous.

Oreo Cheesecake Muffins (makes 12)

12 muffin liners
12 Oreos
2 (8 oz) blocks cream cheese, softened to room temperature
2/3 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs
1/2 cup Oreo cookie crumbs (5 Oreos, crushed with rolling pin or equivalent)
5 Oreos broken into crumbs and bigger pieces (for topping)

1. Preheat oven to 350F.
2. Place 12 muffin liners in a muffin pan and then place one Oreo cookie in each liner.
3. In a medium mixing bowl, beat cream cheese with an electric mixer.
4. Once batter is smooth, scrape bowl down.
4. Mix in sugar and vanilla until smooth and then scrape bowl down the sides to make sure everything is incorporated.
5. Beat in eggs and scrape bowl down and beat once more until smooth.
6. Sprinkle Oreo crumbs and/or larger pieces, and mix.
7. Use a medium ice cream scooper to distribute batter into each muffin cup.
8. Bake for 15 minutes or until center of cheesecake muffins jiggle slightly and edges are set.
9. Cool to room temperature (about 1 hour), then place in refrigerator for at least 2 hours before serving.

*Scraping the bowl down is important (as stated in instructions). It prevents unmixed cream cheese from lingering in the batter.
*These muffins are perfect for freezing for later. You can make them months ahead of time. Wrap well before freezing and thaw overnight in fridge before serving.
*Cream cheese combines best with other ingredients if it’s room temperature. Take cream cheese out of fridge at least 30 minutes before you plan to use it. Or, microwave it for 15-20 seconds.
*There is no wrong way to make Oreo cookie crumbs and pieces. Crush with a blender or food processor, place them in a large plastic bag and smash them with a rolling pin, chop with a knife, or break up with your hands.
*Use a combination of Oreo cookie crumbs and larger pieces. For a lighter cheesecake batter, reduce the crushed Oreos or eliminate them and add more chopped, large pieces.

One Bowl Chocolate Muffins

I’m a huge fan of anything one-pot or one-bowl, especially if it involves chocolate. The point of this recipe is to have an easy, go-to recipe for chocolate muffins up your sleeve. Add bonus points for cutting down on the endless dishes.

This simple recipe is one of my favorites because of the minimal mess and the irresistible taste of a torte-turned-to muffin. The (almost) flourless muffin is dense and fudgy, not light or birthday cakey, and the jam lends great flavor and texture.

Whip these up the next time you crave chocolate and need to be spontaneous.


One Bowl Chocolate Muffins (makes 12)

1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup seedless strawberry (or other berry) jam
1/2 cup sugar
2 large egg
1/2 cup + 4 Tbsp flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
2. Grease muffin pan with non-stick cooking spray.
3. In a medium bowl (large enough to hold all of the batter), melt the butter in the microwave in short pulses.
4. Once the butter is melted, stir in the chocolate chips. Stir the chocolate constantly until it melts completely into the butter. (Microwave the mixture in short pulses, if necessary to melt completely.)
5. Add the jam and sugar and stir vigorously.
6. Add the eggs and stir very well.
7. Add flour, baking powder and salt over the batter and stir just until well-combined.
8. Pour batter into the pan and bake 18 to 21 minutes, until a toothpick inserted comes out with only moist crumbs clinging to it.
9. Allow muffins to cool completely in pan before transferring them to a wire cooling rack.

Spinach and Ricotta Turkey Meatloaf Muffins

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This meatloaf muffin is the perfect spin-off of a culinary classic, which many children despised during the early twentieth century.

The muffin is densely packed with wholesome protein and vegetable, but it does not feel or taste heavy. The filling makes it moist, with creamy ricotta cheese in every bite. The confetti-looking pieces of speckled spinach add pizazz.

The ricotta/spinach combination works perfectly. Consider the two an inspired duo, helped along by the saltiness of Parmesan and good old-fashioned salt and pepper. The muffins stand alone beautifully and can be served with salad or a side of baked fries. The topping is optional for those who like marinara.

If meatloaf is on your menu this week, try this lighter version. If you intend to serve leftovers, omit the mozzarella on top because it does not reheat as well as the rest of the ingredients.

This recipe is great to make with beef or a mix of turkey and beef.

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Spinach and Ricotta Turkey Meatloaf Muffins (makes 12)

1 Lb ground turkey
10 oz. frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
1 cup ricotta cheese
1 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1 egg, beaten
½ cup seasoned breadcrumbs (or 14 Ritz crackers, crushed)
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp black pepper

Topping (optional)

1/2 cup marinara sauce
1/3 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded

1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease muffin pan with cooking spray or line with paper liners.
2. In a large mixing bowl, combine and mix thoroughly with hands the turkey, spinach, ricotta cheese, Parmesan cheese, egg, breadcrumbs, salt, and pepper.
3. Distribute turkey mixture into the muffin-pan cups and press with back of spoon.
4. Spoon the marinara evenly over muffin cups. (optional)
5. Sprinkle mozzarella over marinara (optional).
6. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes.