Avocado Brownie Muffins

DSC_0433

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.

DSC_0446 DSC_0440

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 Ricotta Muffins

DSC_0047   DSC_0004

These muffins are packed with protein and taste like smooth, creamy, cheesecake. Serve for breakfast, dessert, or after-school snack. My kids love the rich chocolate flavor, and I love the wholesomeness of the ricotta and milk.

Note: For best results, use whole milk ricotta, but lowfat also works well. You can substitute canola oil for some or all of the butter.

Chocolate Ricotta Muffins (makes 18)

1 cup ricotta cheese
2 large eggs
1 1/3 cup milk
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
4 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted and cooled OR 1/4 cup canola oil
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cups granulated white sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2/3 cup cocoa powder, sifted
1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease muffin pans with cooking spray or line with paper liners.
2. In a medium sized bowl, whisk ricotta cheese and then add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add milk, vanilla extract, and cooled and melted butter, mixing well. Set aside.
3. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and cocoa powder.
4. Add the ricotta mixture to the flour mixture. Stir just until combined and then fold in chocolate chips. (Do not over mix this batter or the muffins will be tough when baked.)
5. Divide the batter amongst the 18 muffin cups using two spoons or an ice cream scoop.
6. Bake for 25 minutes or until lightly browned and a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean.
7. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool.

DSC_0045   DSC_0039

Lemony Muffins

DSC_0410 DSC_0408

Vibrant like sunshine. Distinct citrus flavor. Not a hint of sourness. Lemony muffins are super moist, fluffy yet dense. The delicious glaze adds texture and sweetness to the unmistakably lemonylicious dessert-snack-breakfast.

The color of these muffins is a natural yellow, so brilliant. As pleasing to the eye as they are to the palate, these gorgeous muffins make a sweet treat for whatever occasion.

DSC_0435 DSC_0430 DSC_0418 DSC_0428

Lemony Muffins (makes 16)

1½ cups flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
3 eggs, at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp lemon extract
1 cup sugar
2 Tbsp butter, softened
⅓ cup of lemon juice
½ cup oil
zest of one lemon

Glaze:

1 cup powdered sugar
2 Tbsp whole milk
½ tsp lemon extract

1. Preheat your oven to 350 F. Grease muffin pans with cooking spray.
2. In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Mix well.
3. In a separate mixing bowl, combine eggs, vanilla extract, lemon extract, sugar, butter, lemon juice, and oil.
4. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix until smooth.
5. Add the lemon zest and mix again.
6. Spoon batter into muffin cups, to ¾ full.
7. Fill the empty muffin tins halfway with water for even baking.
8. Bake for 20 minutes until a knife inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean and the edges are just browned.
9. While muffins are baking, whisk together glaze ingredients. Let glaze stand to thicken.
10. Allow muffins to cool for 5 minutes before transferring them to a wire cooling rack.
11. Pour, drizzle, or spoon glaze on muffin tops.

 

Lemony Muffins

DSC_0410 DSC_0408

Vibrant like sunshine. Distinct citrus flavor. Not a hint of sourness. Lemony muffins are super moist, fluffy yet dense. The delicious glaze adds texture and sweetness to the unmistakably lemonylicious dessert-snack-breakfast.

The color of these muffins is a natural yellow, so brilliant. As pleasing to the eye as they are to the palate, these gorgeous muffins make a sweet treat for whatever occasion.

DSC_0435 DSC_0430 DSC_0418 DSC_0428

Lemony Muffins (makes 16)

1½ cups flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
3 eggs, at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp lemon extract
1 cup sugar
2 Tbsp butter, softened
⅓ cup of lemon juice
½ cup oil
zest of one lemon

Glaze:

1 cup powdered sugar
2 Tbsp whole milk
½ tsp lemon extract

1. Preheat your oven to 350 F. Grease muffin pans with cooking spray.
2. In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Mix well.
3. In a separate mixing bowl, combine eggs, vanilla extract, lemon extract, sugar, butter, lemon juice, and oil.
4. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix until smooth.
5. Add the lemon zest and mix again.
6. Spoon batter into muffin cups, to ¾ full.
7. Fill the empty muffin tins halfway with water for even baking.
8. Bake for 20 minutes until a knife inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean and the edges are just browned.
9. While muffins are baking, whisk together glaze ingredients. Let glaze stand to thicken.
10. Allow muffins to cool for 5 minutes before transferring them to a wire cooling rack.
11. Pour, drizzle, or spoon glaze on muffin tops.

 

Flourless Double Chocolate Peanut Butter Muffins

DSC_0416 DSC_0415

For my readers who have requested gluten-free recipes, I consider it my duty to muffinize™ the crumbly, dry baked goods they are generally stuck with.

Moist, rich, and decadent, these muffins satisfy the chocolate-peanut butter craving. The recipe is dairy-free, oil-free, and contains no refined sugar. So how could the muffins be good? Believe.

With the help of a blender, the batter is transformed in minutes. No gluten means no risk of over-mixing the batter, which could create tough muffins.

Thanks to the banana and honey, the taste is sweet but not too sweet, the texture fudgy but still cakey and springy like muffins. The peanut butter is there, but does not overwhelm. The chocolate flavor is enhanced by the ever-presence of mini chips.

These muffins are a wonderful way to justify having chocolate for breakfast.

DSC_0431 DSC_0430 DSC_0429 DSC_0414

Flourless Double Chocolate Peanut Butter Muffins (makes 6)

1 medium/large ripe banana, peeled
1 large egg
heaping ½ cup creamy peanut butter
1/3 cup unsweetened natural cocoa powder
3 tablespoons honey (agave, brown rice syrup, or maple syrup may be substituted)
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
pinch salt, optional and to taste
heaping 1/2 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 Tbsp mini semi-sweet chocolate chips (for sprinkling)

1. Preheat oven to 400 F. Spray muffin pan with cooking spray.
2. To the canister of a blender, add banana, egg, peanut butter, cocoa powder, honey, vanilla extract, baking soda, and salt. Blend on high speed until smooth and creamy, about 1 minute.
3. Transfer batter to a mixing bowl. Fold in heaping 1/2 cup chocolate chips and stir.
4. Use an ice cream scoop to distribute batter into muffin cups to ¾ full.
5. Sprinkle each muffin with a generous pinch of chocolate chips.
6. Bake for 13 to 18 minutes*, or until the tops are set, domed, springy to the touch, and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, or with a few moist crumbs, but no batter.
7. Allow muffins to cool in pan for 10 minutes until they’ve set.**

*Watch muffins closely and bake until done.
**These muffins will keep airtight at room temperature for up to 5 days, or in the freezer for up to 4 months.

 

 

Bowl of Oatmeal Muffins

DSC_0411 DSC_0429

Who has time to cook the old-fashioned way? A pot of oatmeal is just as comforting in the form of a moist oaty muffin.

DSC_0446 DSC_0453 DSC_0452 DSC_0449

This gluten-free recipe requires a single bowl. Whisk and add the most common ingredients, just staples you may have in your pantry. Include whatever toppings you want to use up: dried fruits, nuts, blueberries, chocolate chips. Walnut, raspberry, and chocolate is an amazing flavor combination.

With these muffins you can have chocolate in the morning and still be hearty and healthy. Muffinize™ this old-fashioned breakfast and stock your freezer.

DSC_0458  DSC_0406

Bowl of Oatmeal Muffins (makes 18)

2 eggs
½ cup butter, melted and cooled
1 cup packed brown sugar
½ cup applesauce
1½ cups milk (skim or whichever percentage of fat you prefer)
2 tsp vanilla extract
½ tsp salt
1 Tbsp ground cinnamon
3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
2 tsp baking powder
Optional: your favorite toppings (dried fruit, nuts, chocolate chips, etc.)

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a muffin tin with paper or paper/foil muffin liners.*
2. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, butter, and brown sugar until sugar is dissolved. Add the applesauce, milk, vanilla, salt, and cinnamon. Whisk until well combined. Stir in the oats and baking powder.
3. Fill the muffin tin with ¼ cup of the oat mixture in each muffin cup. Add your favorite toppings. With a spoon, push the toppings down into the oat mixture.
4. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Let them cool completely in muffin pan before serving. Store in an airtight container or freeze in a zip top storage bag.

*Do not skip the muffin liners in this recipe.

Red Velvet Cream Cheese Muffins

DSC_0434

A red carpet delicacy, these cream cheese muffins are a muffinized™ Red Velvet cake, perfect for watching the Academy Awards (tonight). The color is rich and red, thanks to the beet powder, which is undetectable by taste.

The cream cheese swirled into the batter adds a subtle tang and provides extra moisture. The crumb topping is sweet, sandy, and slightly crunchy – it’s difficult not to pick off each crumb one by one!

DSC_0422

Red Velvet Cream Cheese Muffins (makes 12)

Crumb Topping*
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
5 Tbsp unsalted butter, diced into cubes
*recipe yields extra crumb topping

Cream Cheese Mixture
4 ounces brick-style cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Muffins
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt, or to taste
1 large egg
1/2 cup canola or vegetable oil
1/3 cup buttermilk
2 Tbsp natural unsweetened cocoa powder
4 tsp beet powder (or 2 tsp red liquid natural food coloring)

1. Preheat oven to 375 F. Spray muffin pan with cooking spray.
2. Crumb Topping– In a medium mixing bowl, add the sugar and flour. Use two forks or a pastry cutter to cut in the butter until you have coarse crumbs; set aside.
3. Cream Cheese Mixture– In a separate medium mixing bowl, combine the cream cheese, sugar, vanilla, and beat with a handheld electric mixer until smooth, or whisk by hand until smooth; set aside.
4. Muffins– In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt; set aside.
5. In a separate medium mixing bowl, whisk together the egg, oil, buttermilk, cocoa powder, and beet powder.
6. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and stir just until moistened. (Do not overmix. Batter is thick and lumpy.)
7. Fold the cream cheese mixture into the muffin batter, being careful not to overmix. Some streaks of cream cheese should remain.
8. With an ice cream scoop, spoon batter into muffin pan, filling each cavity to two-thirds full. (Do not overfill. If cavities are too full, the crumb topping will spill onto muffin pan).
9. Evenly sprinkle each muffin with the crumb topping.
10. Bake for about 17 to 19 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean. Allow muffins to cool in pan for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire cooling rack to cool completely.

*Notes:
Muffins will keep airtight at room temperature for up to 3 days, or in the freezer for up to 4 months.

 

 

Flourless Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Muffins

DSC_0413 DSC_0412

OK gluten-free lovers, here’s to satisfying your sweet tooth!

These are the fluffiest, most moist baked products on the global gluten-free menu. The texture is reminiscent of peanut butter fudge. They are more cakey than the usual muffin. The peanut butter does not overwhelm, and the banana flavor is barely detected, albeit the riper the banana the sweeter the muffin. The melty chocolate chips complement the peanut butter in every bite.

Let’s talk all the things these muffins are not. They are gluten-free, grain-free, soy-free, dairy-free, oil-free, and refined sugar-free. So how could they be good?

Trust, but verify.

With the help of a blender, the batter is transformed in minutes into the best excuse for eating chocolate for breakfast.

DSC_0436 DSC_0427 DSC_0425 DSC_0423

Flourless Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Muffins (makes 12)

2 medium ripe bananas, peeled
2 large eggs
1 heaping cup creamy peanut butter
6 Tbsp honey (or agave or maple syrup)
2 Tbsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp baking soda
pinch salt, optional and to taste
1 heaping cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 Tbsp mini semi-sweet chocolate chips (for sprinkling)

1. Preheat oven to 400 F. Grease muffin pan with cooking spray.
2. To the canister of a blender, add bananas, eggs, peanut butter, honey, vanilla extract, baking soda, and salt. Blend on high speed until smooth and creamy, about 1 minute.
3. Transfer batter to a mixing bowl. Fold in heaping cup of chocolate chips and stir.
4. Use an ice cream scoop to distribute batter into muffin cups to ¾ full.
5. Sprinkle each muffin cup with mini chocolate chips.
6. Bake for 13 to 18 minutes*, or until the tops are set, domed, springy to the touch, and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, or with a few moist crumbs, but no batter.
7. Allow muffins to cool in pan for 10 minutes until they’ve set.**

*Watch muffins closely and bake until done.
**These muffins will keep airtight at room temperature for up to 5 days, or in the freezer for up to 4 months.

 

 

 

 

Coconut Muffins

DSC_0007

luscious and decadent, and not too sweet

My kids could not figure out the curly “things” on top.

Cheese? No…coconut.

In America, we do not see coconuts often, but hands down, the flavor is mouth-watering, especially in these muffins that are full of applesauce, coconut milk, and shredded coconut. The moist, home-baked goods practically call your name by filling your house with amazing aromas.

The coconut flavor is not overwhelming. For a stronger taste, substitute coconut extract for the vanilla. For a sweeter muffin, increase the amount of sugar in the recipe.

The tops round out nicely, in golden brown. The coconut flakes form toasty edges on top. Call these “muffins” if you like, but these are like CAKE.

DSC_0012 DSC_0006 DSC_0020 DSC_0017

Coconut Muffins (makes 12)

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 14 oz. can unsweetened coconut milk (a generous 1 1/2 cups)
1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup shredded coconut (plus 1/4 cup to sprinkle on tops)

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Grease muffin pan with cooking spray or line with paper liners.
2. In a large mixing bowl, stir together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
3. In a separate bowl (or a liquid measuring cup), combine coconut milk, applesauce, and vanilla.
4. Make a well in the dry ingredients, add the wet ingredients, and stir just to combine. Fold in the shredded coconut.
5. Spoon batter into greased muffin pan, filling each muffin cup about 2/3 full. Sprinkle additional shredded coconut on top.
6. Bake for 15 minutes and allow to cool before removing muffins from tin.

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Muffins

DSC_0381 DSC_0383 DSC_0385 DSC_0388

A bowl of creamy old-fashioned oatmeal is a healthy and nutritious way to start the morning, but who has time to cook the old-fashioned way. Amp up your morning bowl of oatmeal by muffinizing™, and start enjoying the old-time breakfast anew.

Incredible is an understatement. These muffins are hearty and filling. Sweet, but not too sweet. Serve for dinner on a cold winter’s day alongside some soup, or for breakfast year-round.

DSC_0386 DSC_0399

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Muffins (makes 18-20)

1 1/2 cups oats (old fashioned or quick oats)
2 and 2/3 cups flour (white, whole-wheat, or a mixture of both)
2/3 cup sugar
4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 eggs, beaten
1 1/2 cups milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup butter, melted (cooled)
1 heaping cup chocolate chips (mini or regular) or raisins or chocolate and raisins

1. Preheat oven to 400 F. Grease muffin pan with cooking spray.
2. In a large mixing bowl, combine oats, four, sugar, baking powder, and salt.
3. In a separate bowl, mix the eggs, milk, vanilla, and butter.
4. Stir the egg mixture into the flour mixture until moistened. Fold in chocolate chips.
5. With an ice cream scoop, spoon batter into muffin cups to 2/3 full.
6. Bake for 16-18 minutes, or until tops are light golden.