Orange Creamsicle Muffins

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“What on earth is that?” 5-year-old Michael asked. I’m sorry, Michael, for not exposing you sooner. But here it is in muffin form, a childhood classic.

These muffins are dense like fudge but as light and refreshing as a cold glass of orange juice. The orange flavors of orange juice and zest with creamy white chocolate chips makes a delicious combination.

Serve for breakfast, snack, or dessert and remember how sweet it is to be a kid.

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Orange Creamsicle Muffins (makes 12)
2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar, mixed with 1 tbsp orange zest
1 Tbsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 egg
1/4 cup canola or vegetable oil
1 cup white chocolate chips

1.Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease muffin pan with cooking spray or line with paper liners.
2. In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar/orange zest mixture, baking powder, and salt.
3. In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together orange juice, heavy cream, egg, and oil.
4. Pour wet ingredients over the dry mix. Stir until just combined. Fold in white chocolate chips.
5. With an ice cream scoop, fill muffin cups 2/3 full.
6. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean.
7. Let cool in pan for 5 minutes before removing to a cooling wire rack.

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Lemony Muffins

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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.

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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

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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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

Onion Soup Muffins

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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.

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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.

 

Red Velvet Cream Cheese Muffins

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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!

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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.

 

 

Strawberry, Banana & Nutella Muffins

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If you like Nutella, here’s a delicious fusion of the chocolate-hazelnut spread with strawberries and banana.

The spread was invented during the 1940s when cocoa was in short supply. An Italian pastry baker used hazelnuts to enhance the chocolate he had in his bakery. Mixed with hazelnut, a family could use a jar of spreadable chocolate for many weeks. Nutella owner, Michele Ferrero, sometimes referred to as a real-life Willy Wonka, died last Saturday (yes, Valentine’s Day) at the age of 89.

These crumbly muffins are a muffinized™ version of the crepe filled with chocolate, sliced banana, and fresh-cut strawberries.

The bananas and strawberries add vitamins and fiber to the classic Nutella sandwich on white bread, which kids in Holland and Israel love to eat for lunch.

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Strawberry, Banana & Nutella Muffins (makes 18-20)

3 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1 Tbsp + 1 tsp baking powder
1 cup sugar
½ cup canola oil
2 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk (If you don’t have buttermilk on hand, pour 1 Tbsp of vinegar into a measuring cup, add 1 cup of milk and let sit for 5 minutes.)
1½ cups fresh strawberries, chopped/diced
2 ripe (but not mushy) bananas, sliced thin
½ cup (more or less) Nutella

Topping:
1 Tbsp turbinado sugar
1 Tbsp Nutella

1. Preheat oven to 350 F degrees. Grease muffin pan with cooking spray.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder, and sugar. Set aside.
3. In a large bowl, whisk together oil, eggs and vanilla.
4. Gently fold in the flour mixture in three parts, alternating with the buttermilk. NOTE: DO NOT overmix! Mix only until all the flour has been incorporated and the majority of lumps are gone.
5. Gently fold in the strawberries.
6. Spoon some batter into each cup, about 2 tablespoons.
7. Place two banana slices at the bottom of each liner.
8. Spoon or pipe ½ Tbsp or so of Nutella over the banana slices. NOTE: You may put Nutella in a ziploc sandwich bag, cut the tip and squeeze it over the banana (much easier than spooning).
9. Fill each muffin cup with the remaining batter to ⅔ full, making sure to get strawberries in each cup.
10. Top each muffin with a generous sprinkling of sugar and drizzle some Nutella on top.
11. Bake muffins for 20-22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into a muffin comes out clean.
12. Let cool in pan for 4-5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

NOTE: If you want to eat these warm, you can, but I suggest letting the muffins cool for at least 30 minutes so the Nutella has time to set.