Chocolate Zucchini Muffins

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Here’s an ingenious way to sneak green into your child’s diet. With this muffin, you can give your child cocoa with a clear conscience.

The combination of grated zucchini and chocolate is a God-send because the zucchini, which adds moisture, is a vegetable that passes virtually undetected. Whether you refer to this muffin as “chocolate” or “chocolate zucchini,” the flavor speaks for itself.

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Chocolate Zucchini Muffins (makes 30)

3 eggs
1 3/4 cups white sugar
1/2 cup canola oil
1/2 cup applesauce
1/3 cup unsweetened dark cocoa powder (for nice, dark finished color)
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups zucchini, grated
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 heaping tsp cinnamon
3/4 cup mini chocolate chips
brown sugar (for sprinkling on top)


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease muffin pans with cooking spray or line with paper liners.
2. In a large mixing bowl, beat the eggs. Beat in the sugar and oil. Add the applesauce, cocoa, vanilla, zucchini and stir well.
3. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon.
4. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients, mixing until dry ingredients are just moist. Fold in 2/4 of the chocolate chips.
5. Spoon batter into greased muffin pan, filling each muffin cup about 2/3 full.
6. Top with 1/4 mini chocolate chips and some brown sugar.
7. Bake for 20-25 minutes.
8. Remove from pan and let cool on a wire rack.

 

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Lemony Blueberry Cream Cheese Muffins

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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)!

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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.

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Chocolate Chip Cookie Muffins

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These muffins taste like homemade chocolate chip cookies. They have a sweet, chewy, golden top and a soft, cookie dough-texture throughout. Melted chocolate chunks abound in every single bite, and the chunks on top are irresistible.

These muffins are easy to bake and disappear fast. To reheat, pop them in the microwave for 10 seconds, then sink your teeth into the melty, moist chocolately deliciousness.

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Chocolate Chip Cookie Muffins (makes 18)

1 ½ cups flour
½ tsp salt
¾ tsp baking powder
¾ cup sugar
1 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
¾ cup light brown sugar, packed
3 eggs
1/3 cup milk (whole or skim)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chunks or chips
1/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chunks or chips (optional, for sprinkling on tops)

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray muffin pan with cooking spray or line with paper liners.
2. In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, salt, baking powder, and sugar.
3. In a separate bowl, combine butter and brown sugar. Mix in eggs, milk, and vanilla extract.
4. Stir wet ingredients into dry ingredients until combined.
5. Fold in 1 ¼ cups chocolate chunks/chips.
6. Use an ice cream scoop to spoon batter into muffin cups, to two-thirds full. (Add some water to any empty muffin cups to ensure even baking.)
7. Prod a few chocolate chips/chunks into the top of each muffin cup (optional).
8. Bake for 17 to 20 minutes or until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean (with the exception of melted chocolate).
9. Allow muffins to cool in pan for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire cooling rack to cool completely.

 

 

Chocolate Ricotta Muffins

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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.

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Vanilla Muffins

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These comforting vanilla muffins are a light, fluffy classic. Enough said.

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Vanilla Muffins (makes 12)

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
2 large eggs
1/2 cup whole milk
1 tsp vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease muffin pan with cooking spray or line with paper liners.
2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt.
3. In a separate mixing bowl, mix butter, eggs, milk, and vanilla.
4. Pour wet ingredients over the dry ingredients. Stir until just combined.
5. Spoon batter into greased muffin pan, filling each muffin cup about 2/3 full.
6. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the muffin comes out clean.

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Hamantaschen Muffins

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You might think it’s difficult to turn hamantaschen into muffins, but yes you can muffinize™ the traditional pastry that is served on the Jewish holiday of Purim.

The classic Purim cookie is a three-cornered cookie called “hamantaschen,” which means “Haman’s Pockets” in Yiddish.

The original filling was an Eastern European jam of prune or sweetened poppy seeds. In modern-day Tel Aviv and New York, hamantaschen has been modernized, with lemon, cherry, apricot, chocolate and amaretto.

Now, the cookie’s being transformed yet again. These muffins may be lacking the “three corners,” but they have pockets full of the taste of the original hamantaschen.

Experiment with different fillings, or go traditional.

Pictured below are cherry, apricot, chocolate-hazelnut, and prune-filled hamantaschen muffins.

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Hamantaschen Muffins (makes 12)

2 2/3 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup butter, melted and cooled
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 large eggs
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1 cup milk

Topping:
4 Tbsp butter, melted
1/3 cup sugar
12 oz jar jelly, jam or preserves

1. Preheat oven to 425 F. Grease muffin pan with cooking spray or line with paper liners.
2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk flour, sugars, baking powder, baking soda, nutmeg and salt.
3. In a separate mixing bowl, whisk butter, oil, eggs, vanilla and milk.
4. Pour wet ingredients over dry mixture and stir until thoroughly combined.
5. Bake for 15 minutes, until muffins are golden and tops spring back when touched lightly.
6. Let muffins cool for 15 minutes, then use a cupcake corer or knife to cut a hole in the top of each.
7. Dip each muffin in melted butter, then sugar.
8. Fill each hole with jelly.
9. Dip cut-outs from muffins into leftover melted butter and sugar (optional).

 

Cream Cheese Chocolate Muffins

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Rich, creamy, and decadent, these muffins look heavenly and make a perfect dinner party dessert. The chocolate is fudgy and rich. The cream cheese filling makes a creamy, chewy kind of sink-hole for the crunchy chocolate chips.

Chances are you may already have the ingredients for this recipe, which is easy to whip up last minute and only requires two mixing bowls. These are impressive for a bake sale, charity, or dinner party.

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Cream Cheese Chocolate Muffins (makes 18)

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup baking cocoa
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup water
1/3 cup canola oil
1 Tbsp white vinegar
1 tsp vanilla

Filling

1 cup (8oz.) cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup sugar
1 egg
1/8 tsp salt
2 cups chocolate chips (or 1 cup chocolate chips and 1 cup peanut butter chips)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease muffin cups with cooking spray, or line with paper liners.
2. In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, and salt. Add water, oil, vinegar, and vanilla. Mix well.
3. For the Filling: In a separate mixing bowl, combine cream cheese, sugar, egg, salt, and chocolate chips. Mix well.
4. Use an ice cream scoop to spoon batter into muffin cups until half full.
5. Top each muffin cup with 2 Tbsp of Filling.
6. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes.
7. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan to place on a wire cooling rack.