Soft Pretzel Muffins

FullSizeRender_5.jpg
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.

FullSizeRender.jpg

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).

FullSizeRender_1.jpg

Advertisements

Lemony Blueberry Cream Cheese Muffins

DSC_0001 DSC_0004

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)!

DSC_0007 DSC_0015

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.

DSC_0014

 

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

Cheese Meltin’ Muffins

FullSizeRender_3.jpg

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.

IMG_6483.JPG
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

FullSizeRender_5.jpg

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.

FullSizeRender.jpg

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.

FullSizeRender_4.jpg

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