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 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.

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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Funfetti Muffins

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This recipe is for sprinkle lovers – young, old, and in between. As my six year-old puts it: “Sprinkles are just fun.” He’s right.

Bake this recipe from scratch, and you will never use a commercial cake mix again!

The batter is buttery and rich with vanilla flavor. The crumb is incredibly moist. The ingredients in this simple recipe, you might likely find in any kitchen.

The muffins stay moist (and get even moister after a few days) because the butter and yogurt do a fabulous job keeping the cake together.

Each tender bite of this childhood favorite is loaded with sprinkles, colorful and bright. You could easily use sprinkles to match wedding colors or a birthday theme.

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Funfetti Muffins (makes 12)

1 and 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 large egg
1/4 cup yogurt  (plain or vanilla; or greek yogurt; or sour cream)
3/4 cup milk (cow’s milk; or soy milk; or almond milk)
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
2/3 cup sprinkles (not nonpareils)**

1. Preheat oven to 350F degrees.
2. Spray muffin pan generously with nonstick spray. Set aside.
3. In a medium bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
4. In a large microwave-safe bowl, melt butter in the microwave. Whisk in the sugars vigorously getting out any brown sugar lumps – mixture will be gritty. Whisk in egg, yogurt, milk, and vanilla extract until combined. Slowly mix in dry ingredients until no lumps remain.
5. Slowly stir in sprinkles, but do not over-mix because the sprinkles will bleed their color into the batter.
6. With an ice cream scoop, distribute batter into prepared muffin cups.
7. Bake for 25 minutes.
8. Remove muffins and cool completely on a wire cooling rack.*

*Muffins stay fresh covered at room temperature or in the refrigerator for 5 days.

**Instead of the sugar-laden sprinkles that you find at the supermarket, you can make all-natural rainbow sprinkles from shredded coconut and all-natural food dyes made from spinach, beetroot, and other vibrant veggies.

 

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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