Whole Wheat Spinach n’ Feta Muffins

FullSizeRender_7.jpg

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.

FullSizeRender_2.jpg


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.

Mashed Potato Muffins


While they bake in the oven, they may smell like French fries, but these muffins are a whole lot healthier. Their crisp, hash brown-y crust and fluffy potato middle will reinvent your leftover mashed potatoes.

Post Thanksgiving, load them up with leftover Turkey or take them to a new level with tons of cheese, bacon bits and chives. Keep them simple with just salt and pepper, or omit the chives on top for kids who prefer their muffin to look “clean,” without garnish.

MuffinizⓇ this classic comfort food and keep your forks in the silverware drawer.

Serve with sour cream.

Mashed Potato Muffins (makes 12)

3 cups mashed potatoes*
1 large egg
1 1/4 heaping cups Cheddar and mozarella cheese, shredded and divided
3 Tbsp chives, chopped and divided
salt and pepper, to taste

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2. Grease muffin pan with non-stick cooking spray.
3. In a large bowl, combine mashed potatoes, egg, 1 cup cheese and 2 tablespoons chives.
4. Add salt and pepper and stir.
5. Use an ice cream scoop to divide the potato mixture into the prepared muffin pan (use the back of spoon to pack potatoes down into each cup for a flattened top or leave as is for a more puffy/textured muffin top).
6. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes until golden brown and crisp around the edges.
7. Remove pan from the oven, sprinkle muffin tops with the remaining 1/4 cup cheese, and return them to the oven for 3 more minutes.
8. Remove muffins from the oven and allow them to cool in the pan for 5 minutes.
9. Transfer muffins to a serving dish, top them with the remaining 1 tablespoon of chives (optional) and serve immediately.

Notes:
*To measure mashed potatoes, scoop and pack them into a measuring cup and then level it off.
*Mashed potatoes can vary in thickness. To thicken consistency, add an egg to the mixture.

img_5860

Inside-Out Carrot Cake Muffins

FullSizeRender_2.jpg

Sweet, but not too sweet. “Vegetable” that’s tasty. Muffin, not cupcake. This recipe is original take on an all time favorite. The inside-out-treat is heaven on earth with frosting baked inside.

The muffin itself is soft, fluffy and moist inside. The peaks of frosting on top are just waiting to be licked.

fullsizerender_8

Inside-Out Carrot Cake Muffins (makes 18)

1 cup sugar
2/3 cup oil
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup carrot puree
3/4 tsp salt
1 1/4 tsp cinnamon
1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda

Cream Cheese Filling

8 oz cream cheese, room temperature
1/4 sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 pinch salt

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease muffin pan with cooking spray or line with paper liners.
2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk to blend: flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.
3. In another large mixing bowl, whisk until fully incorporated: sugar, oil, eggs, vanilla and carrot puree.
4. Pour wet ingredients over the dry ingredients. Stir just until combined.
5. In another medium-size bowl, make the Cream Cheese Filling: whisk together all ingredients until smooth.
6. Spoon some carrot batter into each muffin cup to about ¼ full, followed by about one heaping teaspoon of filling directly into the center. Place dollops of remaining carrot batter on top of the cream cheese mixture to fill ¾ of each cup.
7. Bake for 18 minutes until edges start to brown and the muffins are firm to the touch (If some filling oozes from the top, rest assured your muffins will be perfect!).
8. Remove muffin pans from the oven and cool in pans for 5 minutes.
9. While muffins continue to cool, fill a ziplock bag (with the corner snipped) with the remaining cream cheese filling and pipe into the hole where the filling broke through the top of the muffin. (With the remaining frosting, fill the small hollow cavity inside of each muffin.).
10. Serve warm or at room temperature.

FullSizeRender.jpg

 

Spider Muffins (Creamy Cornbread Muffins)

DSC_0005 DSC_0012

Inspired by a recipe for New England Spider Cake, these muffins don’t require a “spider,” or even resemble the insect.

“Spider” is the name of the cast-iron skillet, used in Vermont for making cornbread. This recipe works just as well in a muffin pan as in the cornbread skillet used during the nineteenth century.

The “trick” to making these muffins is to pour cold cream over the batter, prior to placing it in the oven. As the muffins bake, the cream sinks, forming a custardy middle layer. This produces a muffin of different textures and flavors: the center is sweet and creamy while the top and bottom is buttery and crisp.

This cornbread-pudding-soufflé is like nothing else! Now, take pleasure in telling your children you’re making “spider muffins.”

Spider Muffins (Creamy Cornbread Muffins) (makes 24)

2 cups milk
4 tsp white vinegar
1 cup all-purpose flour
¾ cup yellow cornmeal
¾ cup sugar
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
2 eggs
3 Tbsp butter, melted
1 cup heavy cream
Maple syrup, for serving

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray muffin pans with cooking spray.
2. Combine the milk and vinegar in a bowl and set aside to sour (wait 5 to 10 minutes — you’ll see the milk get lumpy).
3. In another bowl, combine flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking soda, and salt.
4. Whisk eggs into the soured milk. Stir into dry ingredients and set batter aside.
5. Add melted butter to batter (batter will seem liquidy).
6. Distribute batter evenly into 24 muffin cups.
7. Pour cream into the center of each muffin cup.
8. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the edges start to turn golden brown.
9. Serve warm, with maple syrup if you’d like.

Now, put on some cozy slippers, curl up, and indulge in sweet, simple deliciousness.

 

Onion Soup Muffins

DSC_0422

Ladies and gentlemen, this is quite a muffin.

I have fond memories of ordering French onion soup at a small restaurant in Elkin’s Park, PA, named Winston’s. The French onion soup was to die for. I remember eating the cheese first by twirling the spoon and “cutting” by pressing the cheese against the side of the soup bowl. The cheese would dangle from the spoon. And once the cheese was gone, the bread and broth was full of onion-y deliciousness.

These savory muffins are as much of an experience as eating the melted, bubbly cheese on top of the bowl.

The layers of flavors in these muffins mimic the half-crisp, cheese-covered croutons half submerged and soaked in delicious onion broth. They make the perfect accompaniment to soup, eggs, or greens.

DSC_0420 DSC_0426

Onion Soup Muffins (makes 6)

1 1/2 Tbsp butter
1 medium-large onion, halved and thinly sliced into half-moons
1/2 tsp salt, divided
1 large clove garlic, minced
1/3 cup yellow cornmeal
2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp dried thyme
1/8 tsp black pepper
1/2 cup milk (I used whole)
1 large egg
1 Tbsp canola oil
1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
2 oz smoked Gruyere cheese, shredded (you may use Swiss, Asiago, Mozzarella, Pecorino Romano, or any combination of cheeses instead of Gruyere)

1. Preheat oven to 375F. Grease muffin pan with cooking spray.
2. Melt the butter in a medium skillet over medium heat; stir in the onion and 1/8 teaspoon salt. Cook until the onions are a rich caramel color, about 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic and cook 1 minute more, stirring constantly. Set aside to cool.
3. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, thyme, black pepper, and remaining 1/4 + 1/8 teaspoon salt in a medium bowl.
4. In a separate medium mixing bowl, whisk together the milk, egg, oil, and Worcestershire.
5. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until just combined, being careful not to over-mix. Fold in the caramelized onion and shredded cheese.
6. Fill each muffin cup with batter.
7. Fill the empty muffin tins halfway with water for even baking.
8. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean.

 

Spinach Ricotta Frittata Muffins

DSC_0014

These spinach ricotta frittata muffins are the most go-to of my muffin repertoire. Muffinizing frittata is effortless and involves minimal steps. Each of these is a no-mess meal that requires not a single fork. Serving them for company is impressive, and they fit perfectly into school lunch boxes.

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 seem to hint of butter. They are delicious, right out of the oven, at room temperature, and even cold.

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

DSC_0016   DSC_0026

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.

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins

pumpkin cream cheese

The quintessential Fall flavor has become a poster vegetable for Winter baking. These pumpkin muffins are full of gooey deliciousness inside (so don’t think “mess” when you see “cream cheese filling”).

Roasting and puree-ing the meat of a pumpkin is a time-consuming endeavor (I’m not speaking from experience); this is why Libby’s invented canned pumpkin puree. For the canned pumpkin, you can also substitute sweet potato.

pumpkin cream cheese (2)   pumpkin cream cheese (1)

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins (makes 16-18)

2-2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1 cup granulated sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
3 large eggs
1 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 cup canola oil
2 tsp vanilla extract

Filling

1 (8 oz) block cream cheese (regular or reduced fat), room temperature
1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease 18 muffin cups or line them with paper liners.
2. Filling: In a medium bowl, combine the cream cheese, brown sugar, egg, and vanilla. Beat until smooth; set aside.
3. Muffins: In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, brown sugar, granulated sugar, baking powder, salt, and pumpkin pie spice. Add the eggs, pumpkin, oil, and vanilla. Beat until well blended.
4. Fill muffin cups about one-third full with the muffin batter, then put about 1 tablespoon of the cream cheese mixture in the center of each. Top with about 1 more tablespoon of the pumpkin batter, or until cups are about 3/4 full.
5. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until firm.