Hot Chocolate Cookie Muffins

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Feeling festive now that every radio sings some sort of merry jingle? Reminiscing about the warm cup of hot chocolate waiting for your return from sledding down the driveway? Remember that attempt to make a good-looking snowman with your mittens clipped to your winter coat?

Almost too cute to eat, these Hot Chocolate Cookie Muffins taste like Christmas! On a cake plate, they look picturesque, and their flavors capture the wintery holiday with sugar cookie bottoms, candy-cane handles, chocolate fudge fillings, and melted marshmallows.

If you decide to make these off-season, or in honor of another holiday, switch the “holiday sprinkles” with a color of your choice. You could also use the loops of pretzels as handles.

Hot Chocolate Cookie Muffins (makes 12)

1 cup sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter (softened)
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 cup sour cream
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 cups flour
2 Tbsp sprinkles

Fudge Filling:
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk
1 tsp vanilla extract

You will also need:
12 candy canes (make sure you have more than 12, some may break)
tiny marshmallows
1 Tbsp white chocolate chips (melted)

Make Cookie-Muffin Base:
1. Preheat oven to 350F. Spray muffin tin with cooking spray.
2. With a hand mixer, cream together sugar and butter. Add egg, vanilla, sour cream, salt and baking soda and mix thoroughly.
3. Add flour and mix until smooth and flour is absorbed (texture will be dough-like).
4. Add 2-3 Tbsp sprinkles and mix until just combined.
5. With an ice cream scoop, distribute dough evenly in each muffin cup.
6. Bake for 20 minutes (make sure they don’t get too brown at the end, if they start to brown too much, take them out).
7. Immediately after taking muffin pan out, use a teaspoon measuring spoon to push into the middle of each muffin, creating a space for the fudge filling. (Do not push through the muffin completely).
8. Let cool in the pan 10-15 minutes, then, run a knife along the sides to pop them out.

Make the Fudge Filling:
9. In a microwave-safe bowl, combine the chocolate chips and condensed milk. Melt by microwaving in 1 minute increments before stirring.
10. Add vanilla and stir until smooth.

Assemble Muffins:
11. Cut the rounded part of off of the candy canes and adhere them to the side of each muffin with melted white chocolate.
12. Fill each cavity with fudge and put several tiny marshmallows on top.

Strawberry Shortcake Muffins


One of the best smells of my childhood was the scent of my strawberry shortcake doll. These muffins come close.

Full of fresh strawberries and topped with a sugar crust, they have all of the flavor and richness of the classic strawberry shortcake.

Nostalgic and delicious, here’s an excuse to have cake for breakfast, guilt-free.
Add a pat of butter…yum.

Strawberry Shortcake Muffins (makes 12)

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
3/4 cup granulated white sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter cold and cut into cubes
1 egg
1 cup heavy cream or half-and-half cream
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups diced fresh strawberries (large or small, to your liking)
Confectioners sugar, for dusting

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray muffin tin with nonstick spray.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and sugar. Cut in the cold butter with two knives until it is in small pea-size pieces.
3. In a small bowl, mix together the egg, vanilla and cream.
4. Add egg mixture to the flour mixture. Stir with a spoon just until blended.
5. Gently mix in the diced strawberries.
6. Spoon batter into 12 muffin cups.
7. Bake for 25 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center will have moist or no crumbs.
8. Cool completely in the pan before removing, as muffins are very soft while warm.
9. Once muffins are cooled, sprinkle tops with confectioners sugar.

Brownie Muffins

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So chocolatey your head might explode, these fudgy brownie muffins are like individual pieces of heaven. Chewy, squishy, and decadent, they aren’t as dense as brownies, but they are so rich and creamy that they practically melt in your mouth. And, the glossy, wafer-thin top crust is just as delicious as the fudgy layer underneath.

However horrible or amazing your day, these brownie muffins will make it better.

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Brownie Muffins (makes 12)

½ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1-1/4 cups sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 large eggs
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt

1. Preheat oven to 325 F. Spray muffin pan with nonstick spray.
2. In a large mixing bowl, melt the chocolate and butter together in the microwave in 30 second increments, stirring after each until completely smooth and combined. Allow to cool for a few minutes.
3. To the chocolate/butter mixture, stir in sugar, then vanilla.
4. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each egg.
5. Mix in the flour and salt.
6. Use an ice cream scoop to divide batter evenly into 12 muffin cups. Bake for 20-23 minutes until a knife inserted in the center will have moist crumbs. (Be careful not to over-bake.)
7. Allow muffins to cool for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire cooling rack. Or, cool in refrigerator for 30 minutes before transferring to a serving platter.

*These muffins are best served cold.

Spider Muffins (Creamy Cornbread Muffins)

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Inspired by a recipe for New England Spider Cake, these muffins don’t require a “spider,” or even resemble the insect.

“Spider” is the name of the cast-iron skillet, used in Vermont for making cornbread. This recipe works just as well in a muffin pan as in the cornbread skillet used during the nineteenth century.

The “trick” to making these muffins is to pour cold cream over the batter, prior to placing it in the oven. As the muffins bake, the cream sinks, forming a custardy middle layer. This produces a muffin of different textures and flavors: the center is sweet and creamy while the top and bottom is buttery and crisp.

This cornbread-pudding-soufflé is like nothing else! Now, take pleasure in telling your children you’re making “spider muffins.”

Spider Muffins (Creamy Cornbread Muffins) (makes 24)

2 cups milk
4 tsp white vinegar
1 cup all-purpose flour
¾ cup yellow cornmeal
¾ cup sugar
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
2 eggs
3 Tbsp butter, melted
1 cup heavy cream
Maple syrup, for serving

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray muffin pans with cooking spray.
2. Combine the milk and vinegar in a bowl and set aside to sour (wait 5 to 10 minutes — you’ll see the milk get lumpy).
3. In another bowl, combine flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking soda, and salt.
4. Whisk eggs into the soured milk. Stir into dry ingredients and set batter aside.
5. Add melted butter to batter (batter will seem liquidy).
6. Distribute batter evenly into 24 muffin cups.
7. Pour cream into the center of each muffin cup.
8. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the edges start to turn golden brown.
9. Serve warm, with maple syrup if you’d like.

Now, put on some cozy slippers, curl up, and indulge in sweet, simple deliciousness.

 

Avocado Brownie Muffins

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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.

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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 Pecan Pie Muffins

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For die-hard pecan-pie fans, these muffins are a pie-brownie hybrid. Infused with chocolate, a sticky, bite-size pecan pie is not only gooey, sweet, buttery and energy-packed, but perfect for both chocoholics and brownie-lovers.

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Chocolate Pecan Pie Muffins (makes 18)

¾ cups light brown sugar
¼ cup granulated sugar
¾ cup light corn syrup
3 large eggs
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
¼ tsp salt
4 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
1 heaping cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, melted and cooled
1 ½ cups pecans, chopped

1. Prehead oven to 350 degrees. Grease muffin pans with cooking spray.
2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk the light brown sugar, granulated sugar, corn syrup, eggs, vanilla, flour and salt until smooth.
3. Whisk in the butter and chocolate.
4. Fold in the pecans.
5. Use an ice cream scoop to distribute batter evenly into each muffin cup.
6. Bake for 20 to 22 minutes.
7. Let muffins cool in pan and then transfer to refrigerator to chill.
8. Use a sharp knife to run around the edges of the muffins to remove them from the pan.
9. Serve cold.

Piña Colada Muffins

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This muffinized™ piña colada is full of the flavors of pineapple and coconut, without the rum. Adding pineapple also intensifies sweetness without adding additional sugar.

Out of the oven, the scent is wonderful in these almost-cupcakes that contain no butter or oil.

Fresh and light, this muffin is dense and yummy. There are bits of pineapple in each bite, and the flavor is reminiscent of a macaroon.

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Piña Colada Muffins (makes 18)

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 top)
1 cup diced pineapple or diced dried pineapple

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 ½ cup shredded coconut and pineapple.
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.