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.

Pumpkin Nutella Swirl Muffins

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Bursting with the flavors of Fall, these pumpkin Nutella muffins are swirling perfection. The pumpkin puree makes these muffins silky moist. And the Nutella doesn’t drip or spill all over.

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Pumpkin Nutella Swirl Muffins (makes 12)

2/3 cup pumpkin puree
1 1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup Nutella

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray muffin pans with cooking spray.
2. In a medium-size bowl, whisk together the pumpkin, sugar, egg and coconut oil.
3. In a separate medium-size bowl, combine the flour, cinnamon, baking powder and salt.
4. Pour the wet ingredients into the flour mixture and stir to combine.
5. Fill each muffin cup with pumpkin batter to 1/4 high.
6. Add a dollop of Nutella to each muffin cup and use a toothpick to swirl.
7. Top with the remaining pumpkin batter, add a dollop of Nutella to each muffin cup, and swirl with a toothpick.
8. Bake for 25 minutes.
9. Let cool for 5 minutes in the pan, before removing to a wire cooling rack.

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Inside-Out Carrot Cake Muffins

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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.

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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.

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Spider Muffins (Creamy Cornbread Muffins)

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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.

 

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.

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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.

Avocado Brownie Muffins

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Whether life’s simple pleasures include avocado is up for debate, but fudge and brownies are first on the list, and this muffin combines both while concealing the debatable fruit.

Dark chocolate and fudgy mousse come together with avocado in this incredibly decadent muffin that tastes like a brownie. In addition to being velvety smooth, this recipe just so happens to be grain-free and dairy-free.

The pureed avocado adds a creamy texture without influencing the taste.

If you ever make a muffin, this is the one to make.

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Avocado Brownie Muffins (makes 12)

2 large ripe avocado, mashed (about 2 cups) 
2 eggs 
2 tsp vanilla 
1 Tbsp water 
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (equivalent to 1/2 cup melted chocolate)
1 cup + 1 Tbsp cocoa powder 
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp baking soda 
Pinch of salt

1. Preheat your oven to 355°F.
2. Grease muffin pan with non-stick cooking spray.
3. In a food processor or blender, puree avocado with eggs, vanilla and water until smooth.
4. In a microwave safe bowl or glass measuring cup, melt chocolate in 30 second increments until smooth.
5. Add melted chocolate to avocado mixture and mix through.
6. Add cocoa, sugar, baking soda and salt and mix until just combined.
7. If mixture is too thick, add 1 tablespoon of water and combine.
8. With an ice cream scoop, spoon mixture into muffin pan. Smooth out tops (optional).
9. Bake for 20-23 minutes or until an inserted knife comes out clean.
10. Allow muffins to cool for 4 minutes before removing them from the pan. Chill in the fridge.

*Notes:
These will last in the refrigerator for a few days (and are even better after a day or two). They keep in the freezer for months.

 

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.