Peanut Butter Nutella Swirl Banana Muffins

Do not despair, these muffins are another way to use up bananas that have gone to the dark side. Besides making these muffins soft and squishy, bananas bump up the nutritional factor of Peanut Butter Nutella Swirl Banana Muffins. Peanut butter makes them more protein-dense, and Nutella adds that one-of-a-kind flavor. These beauties exit the oven perfectly domed, swirled, and once topped with Nutella drizzle, the muffins will disappear in minutes.


Peanut Butter Nutella Swirl Banana Muffins (makes 12)

4 overripe bananas, mashed
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
3/4 sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp salt
1/4 cup Nutella

*Optional: 1/4 cup Nutella to drizzle on top

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Spray muffin pan with non-stick baking spray.
2. With an electric mixer, beat together the bananas and peanut butter.
3. Mix in sugar, egg, and vanilla.
4. In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt.
5. Mix dry ingredients into wet ingredients until a batter forms.
6. Scoop out 1 cup of the batter and set aside.
7. To the big bowl of batter, mix in the Nutella until the batter is uniformly brown (be sure to scrape the sides of the bowl to incorporate all ingredients thoroughly).
8. Distribute brown batter into muffin cups evenly.
9. Add a dollop of the light brown batter set aside to each muffin cup, and swirl with a toothpick.
10. Bake for 20 minutes.
11. *Microwave Nutella for about 15 seconds and drizzle over muffins.

 

Banana Blueberry Muffins

Quick to throw together and bake, these Banana Blueberry Muffins are light, moist and ready to bring sunshine to any kind of quarantined-day-of-the-week. Their golden-brown tops crisp beautifully and are sure to wow your house guests/Zoom-onlookers.

Like most banana bread recipes, the use of overripe bananas is key. To that end, I usually buy too many bananas and let a few sit on the counter for a week or so. As bananas ripen, they become easier to mash and their sweetness intensifies. If you don’t have a week to spare, roasting them in the oven will create the same “overripe” results.

These muffins can be made in a pinch using just two mixing bowls, which is perfect for last-minute-baking when you don’t feel like hauling out the mixer.

Banana Blueberry Muffins (makes 12)

3 large ripe bananas
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg, beaten
1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 cup blueberries
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F and spray muffin tin with non-stick baking spray.
2. In a large mixing bowl, mash bananas.
3. Add sugar and egg.
4. Add butter and blueberries.
5. In a separate mixing bowl, combine dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt).
6. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and stir until just combined.
7. Use an ice cream scoop to distribute batter evenly into muffin cups.
8. Bake for 12 minutes or until muffin tops turn golden-brown and a knife inserted comes out clean.

Spinach Ricotta Frittata Muffins

Just the act of baking Frittata Muffins makes you feel like you are hosting a lavish brunch, even if you aren’t (for now)…

This recipe involves minimal steps. Each Spinach Ricotta Frittata Muffin makes a no-mess meal that fits perfectly into school lunch boxes (note for future). Dense with protein from the ricotta/spinach duet, these muffins are dainty but strong and full of flavor. Although they do not contain butter, their golden edges are crisp and fried-like. They are delicious, right out of the oven, at room temperature, and even cold.

I recently learned the right way to crack an egg, thanks to Key Lime Lexi. Her technique was so much fun to practice for this batch. Lexi’s new cooking series highlights engaging projects, fun for families to do together at home. Her site provides a wealth of information, from delicious recipes to know-how tips in the kitchen.

These muffins bring memories of Sunday brunch and work well for breakfast, lunch, snacks, and dinner.



Spinach Ricotta Frittata Muffins (makes 12)

4 large eggs
1 cup ricotta cheese (low far or full fat)
1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
½ cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1 cup (or one 10oz box) frozen chopped spinach
1/4 tsp salt
onion powder (to taste)
garlic powder (to taste)

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease muffin pan with cooking spray or line with paper liners.
2. Thaw spinach in microwave and squeeze out extra juice.
3. In a large mixing bowl, whisk eggs and stir in ricotta, mozzarella, and Parmesan cheeses.
4. Stir in spinach, salt, onion powder, and garlic powder.
5. Use an ice cream scoop to spoon mixture into muffin cups.
6. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until muffins are set and golden on top.

 

 

Mac and Cheese Muffins

God knows, we all need comfort food, let alone more dinners that aren’t “same old.” We may not have answers about the current crisis, but Mac and Cheese can provide a needle of normalcy in the haystack of chaos.

While we are isolated with more (super-imposed) together time than ever before, these muffins offer home-cooking that our families long for, while at home 24-7.

Mac and Cheese Muffins have been a highlight at my family’s Thanksgiving dinners, and lately, we have a lot to be thankful and hopeful for, especially our health.

The muffins’ layered textures melt in the mouth —the crunchy top is crisp and buttery. These muffins freeze well, re-heat easily and make tasty lunchtime treats.

Macaroni and Cheese Muffins (makes 18)

2 cups elbow macaroni, uncooked
1 Tbsp butter
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup Cheddar Cheese, shredded
1 cup milk (whole or skim)
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1 cup Mozzarella cheese, shredded
1/2 cup cottage cheese
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp salt (to taste)
1 tsp pepper (to taste)

Crunchy Topping

1/2 cup seasoned dry bread crumbs
2 tsp olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup Cheddar cheese, shredded

1. In a bowl, stir together the bread crumbs, olive oil, and salt.
2. Add cheese.

Muffins

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners or grease tin with nonstick cooking spray.
2. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add the macaroni and cook for about 8 minutes (until slightly firm).
3. Remove pot from heat, drain macaroni, and return macaroni to pot. Stir in butter and beaten egg until pasta is evenly coated.
4. Add to the pasta the Cheddar cheese, milk, Parmesan, mozzarella, and cottage cheese. Add garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper. Stir.
5. Distribute mixture into each cup of prepared muffin tin.
6. Sprinkle the Crunchy Topping mixture over the tops.
7. Bake for 30 minutes or until tops are nicely browned.
8. Allow to cool for a few minutes before removing muffins from the tin (this allows the cheese to set and muffins to take shape).

Pasta Muffins

There’s something satisfying about squirreling away peanut butter and canned soups in a pantry. Since the COVID-19 pandemic has turned my house into a suburban bunker, my entire mentality toward wasting food has changed. However, ingredient recycling is not a new phenomenon. We’re familiar with French Toast as a method of resurrecting stale bread, Fried Rice a way to convert leftovers into meals, and Smoothies, a chic solution for overripe bananas.

Making Pasta Muffins is a great way to recycle leftover pasta! I stumbled on this recipe when I found myself this week with limited time and day-old pasta no one was excited about. This recipe is so easy – there’s no way to mess it up. Once cooled, place the muffins in plastic bags and freeze a stash for later. They can be warmed up in seconds.

Pasta Muffins (makes 12)

4 cups cooked pasta, tossed in cream, butter, or marinara sauce (if spaghetti, cut into about 2 inch strands)
4 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup cheese, shredded
1/2 cup seasoned bread crumbs (I like Italian seasoning)
1/4 – 1/2 cup cooked meat, finely diced (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Grease muffin cups with cooking spray or line with paper liners.
2. In a large bowl, mix eggs, cheese, bread crumbs, and meat (optional).
3. Add mixture to pasta and toss.
4. Scoop pasta into muffin cups.
5. Bake for 8-10 minutes.
6. Allow to cool.
7. Remove from tins, serve, and enjoy!

Blender Banana Muffins

For the easiest ever #quarantinebaking, this recipe is dedicated to those who have overripe bananas and no flour in their post-Covid pantry.

Just blend and bake!

These gluten-free muffins call for just FIVE ingredients. After 15 minutes in the oven, they’ve filled your kitchen with wonderful smells and created a protein-packed snack or muffinized meal. You can substitute different kinds of nut butters if you’re allergic to peanut butter and experiment with different toppings like coconut, chocolate chips, and dried fruit or raisins.

Blender Banana Muffins (makes 12)

2 cups peanut butter
4 large eggs
4 medium-size bananas, very ripe
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup honey (optional)
*optional toppings: dark chocolate chips, white chocolate chips, coconut, raisins, craisins

1. Preheat oven to 400F. Spray muffin pan with non-stick baking spray.
2. Place ingredients in blender and blend until fully incorporated.
3. Pour batter into muffin tin.
4. Add toppings* to each muffin cup. Use the back of a spoon to push toppings into batter slightly.
5. Bake for 15 minutes, until a knife inserted comes out clean. Leave in pan for 5 minutes to cool before transferring to wire cooling wrack or serving platter.

 

Orange Creamsicle Muffins

DSC_0179

“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.

DSC_0190  DSC_0194

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.

DSC_0174

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.