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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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.

 

 

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.

Popcorn Muffins

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As if “popcorn” is not the epitome of flavors, this buttered popcorn muffin is oozing with a creamy caramel center. The recipe blends the salt of popcorn with the sweetness of Dulce de Leche.

These muffins are made with air-popped popcorn. Make a double batch for your Super Bowl gathering or movie night. Serve for an after-school or midnight snack.

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Popcorn Muffins (makes 12)

1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
1-1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup milk
2 cups unsalted popcorn, popped
12 pieces of popcorn for decoration (optional)
¼ cup (12 tsp) Dulce de Leche Caramel spread

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, baking powder, and salt.
3. In a separate mixing bowl, whisk eggs, milk, vanilla and butter.
4. Pour wet ingredients over the dry mix. Stir until completely incorporated.
5. Fold in 3 cups of popcorn and stir (popcorn will break up into smaller pieces).
6. Fill muffin cups 1/3 full. Spoon 1tsp Dulce de Leche spread on each muffin cup and cover with the remaining batter.
7. Place one piece of popcorn on the center of each muffin cup.
8. Bake for 15-18 minutes.

 

Hot Chocolate Muffins

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This muffin is as comforting as a steaming mug of cocoa on a freezing cold day. In fact, the recipe was “born” on a blistery day (negative four degrees in Chicago) when 2-year-old Michael was up for the day at 4:30am.

As the muffins bake, the marshmallow filling melts the way the jet-puffed candy dissolves into creamy hot chocolate. The toasted marshmallow top creates a perfectly browned hue and adds a touch of sweetness – a must. Serve with warm milk or as dessert on a snowy day.

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Hot Chocolate Muffins

2 cups all-purpose flour
½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup sugar
1 tsp baking powder
½  tsp baking soda
½  tsp salt
2 large eggs, beaten
½ cup buttermilk
½ cup sour cream
½ cup (4 oz) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 tsp vanilla
½ cup small marshmallows OR 12 large marshmallows

Marshmallow Filling*

1 cup cream cheese, whipped (at room temperature)
1 cup marshmallow cream (Fluff)
1/3 cup sugar
1 egg, beaten
1 tsp vanilla

* recipe yields extra filling

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease muffin cups with cooking spray or line with paper muffin liners.
2. In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
3. In a separate mixing bowl, combine eggs, buttermilk, sour cream, butter and vanilla.
4. Pour liquid mixture into dry mix and combine.
5. Distribute batter into muffin cups to 1/3 full.
6. For the Filling, whisk together cream cheese, marshmallow cream, sugar, egg and vanilla until smooth.
7. Place one heaping teaspoon of filling and a few small marshmallows into each center.
8. Top with remaining muffin batter to no more than ¾ full (or else muffin tops will expand and reach one another during the baking process).
9. Place about 3-4 small marshmallows and/or 1 large marshmallow on each muffin top and prod into batter (be sure to prod into batter or else the marshmallows will slip off during the baking process).
10. Bake 16-18 minutes.
11. Allow to cool 5 minutes before transferring to wire racks to cool.

 

Sweet Potato Chocolate Chip Muffins

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Instead of crying over the pantry full of baby food that my toddler had outgrown, I incorporated the “passé” puree into a sophisticated muffin.

I love giving sweet potato muffins to my family, guilt free. The Vitamin A in the sweet potato and the fiberous whole wheat flour compensate for the bursts of the delicious sweetness of the chocolate morsels. These speckled muffins are beautiful-looking and will complete the Halloween-inspired playdate.

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Sweet Potato Chocolate Chip Muffins (makes 30)

4 eggs
2 cups sugar
1 cup (16 oz.) mashed or pureed sweet potato (without butter, salt, or milk)
3/4 cup milk
3/4 cup oil
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp salt
1 – 1 1/2 cups chocolate chips (1 12 oz. package)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease muffin cups with cooking spray or line with paper liners.
2. In a large mixing bowl, beat eggs, sugar, sweet potato, milk, and oil until smooth.
3. In a separate bowl, whisk flours, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt.
4. Add dry ingredients to liquid ingredients, and stir just until combined.
5. Fold in chocolate chips.
6. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups, until 3/4 full.
7. Bake 16 to 20 minutes.
8. Cool on wire rack.

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Pizza Muffins

Pizza Muffins

What child doesn’t like pizza? Mine! I’m continually perplexed that the even the smell of pizza doesn’t excite my kids. However, I’ve discovered that pizza in muffin-form is a gazillion times more interesting and fun.

This muffin doesn’t ooze or drip. The melted cheese on top looks like frosting on a cupcake. Try adding chopped mushrooms, onion, peppers, or sardines to the batter. Eat these muffins hot or cold. Serve for lunch or snack with a side of spaghetti or pizza sauce for dipping.

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Pizza Muffins (makes 18)

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp dried basil leaves
1/2 tsp dried oregano
2 Tbsp white sugar
1 cup tomatoes, seeded and diced
2 1/2 cups sharp cheddar cheese (or mozarella or both), shredded and divided
1 egg, beaten
1 1/2 cups buttermilk

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease muffin cups with olive oil or cooking spray or line with paper liners.
2. In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, basil, oregano, and sugar. Stir well until blended.
3. Mix in tomatoes and 1 1/2 cups of cheese.
4. In another bowl, beat egg, whisk in buttermilk, and stir until combined.
5. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups until half full.
6. Sprinkle remaining 1 cup cheese on top of muffins.
7. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into center of muffins comes out clean.