Posts tagged muffins

Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Muffins

Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Muffins

Happy National Chocolate Chip Day! To commemorate the invention of chocolate chip cookies by a creative baker back in the 1930s, May 15th is the day to bake up a batch. But cookies are so 2013. Make muffins instead to pair chocolate chips with something a little healthier – oats.

 Open chocolate chip oatmeal muffins

Recipe

Makes 12 regular-sized muffins

 

Ingredients

1 cup whole wheat flour (or go half whole-wheat, half all purpose or use just all-purpose)

1 cup oats

1 tsp. baking soda

1/4 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1/4 tsp. nutmeg (opt.)

1/3 cup brown sugar

1 egg

1/4 cup butter, softened

1 tsp. vanilla

1 cup milk

1 cup mini-chocolate chips

2 tbsp. ground flax seed (opt.)

 

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. In a large bowl mix together the dried ingredients.
  3. In another bowl, mix together the wet ingredients.
  4. Gently stir the wet ingredients into the dry ones until just softened.
  5. Fill each of the muffin tins up 2/3 full. (You can use muffin papers or generously grease the pan with baking spray.)
  6. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until just browned around the edges.

Optional: Add sugar crystals, chopped nuts, or extra mini-chocolate chips on top of the batter before baking.

*Recipe adapted from How Sweet It Is.

 

Stacked chocolate chip oatmeal muffins

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Kid-pleasing zucchini chocolate chip muffins

Do you have a favorite zucchini bread recipe? I had some extra zucchini on hand this week that needed a home so I used a quick bread recipe from Eating Well. But instead of bread–which takes around an hour to bake–I made muffins instead shaving a good 40 minutes off the cook time.

My kids ate these muffins as dessert after dinner, as treats for school, and after school snacks… Yeah, they really liked these. My youngest even told me these were “the best kiwi muffins, ever.”

Recipe

Courtesy of Eating Well

Prep time: 15 minutes + 15 cooking

Servings: 18 muffins

Ingredients:

3/4 cup low-fat milk
2 large eggs
3/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups shredded zucchini (about 2 small zucchini; I used my Cuisinart)
2 cups white whole-wheat flour (I used half whole wheat, half all-purpose)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chocolate chips

My additions (opt.):

1 tablespoon ground flax

1/3 cup chopped walnuts

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the milk, oil, eggs, vanilla, and sugar.
  3. Stir the flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon together in another bowl.
  4. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and stir until just moistened.
  5. Stir the chocolate chips and zucchini into the batter. (You can also stir in the optional additions here too.)
  6. Fill muffin cups 2/3 full with the batter.
  7. Bake for around 15 minutes or until just browned (insert a toothpick into the center of a muffin to test for doneness, if the toothpick comes out clean, your muffins are done!).
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Triple chocolate coconut banana muffins

Sometimes my kids won’t eat bananas around our house just waiting for them to get ripe enough so that I’ll make these muffins. I’ve been meaning to pass along this recipe for awhile, but I do the batter just a little bit differently each time–sometimes I mix up the kinds of sugar I use, other times it’s the flours that get tweaked.

But I made a batch this week that was so good I had to pass this recipe along. So if you have some bananas that are getting ripe and you love the combination of chocolate and bananas, these muffins are for you!

Recipe

Ingredients

3 cups whole wheat pastry flour (or 1 1/2 cups all-purpose, 1 1/2 cups wheat flour)

1 cup sugar

2 tablespoons dark cocoa powder (if available, or regular cocoa)

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup coconut flakes (unsweetened preferred)

1 1/2 cups Greek yogurt

2 eggs

3 ripe bananas

8 tablespoons butter

1/4 cup chocolate chips

1/2 teaspoon almond or coconut extract

2/3 cup mini chocolate chips

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Mix the dry ingredients together in a small bowl.
  3. In another bowl, beat the bananas until smooth and then add the yogurt, eggs, and extract.
  4. Melt the butter and chocolate chips together in a glass measuring cup in the microwave (I usually set it for half power for a minute, then stir.)
  5. Stir the dry ingredients into the yogurt mixture just until blended.
  6. Gently blend the chocolate-butter into the yogurt mixture, then stir in the mini chocolate chips.
  7. Fill 24 muffin cups 2/3 full.
  8. Bake for 20-25 minutes.

*Tweaked from The America’s Test Kitchen Family Cookbook recipe for Big Beautiful Muffins.

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Guest post: Brette Sember, The Muffin Tin Cookbook

Just in time for Easter, Brette Sember, shares some recipe ideas for making much more than sweets and sides in your muffin tins–you can make your whole meal! Thanks Brette, and make sure to check out her newly released The Muffin Tin Cookbook for more recipes.

Easter in a Muffin Tin

After the baskets have been found, eggs have been hunted, and chocolate has been consumed (or at least the ears bitten off), it’s time for Easter brunch. By the time I get through the festivities of the morning, I want something simple and delicious, and I’m thrilled if it’s a dish my kids want to help make. This Easter, I’m going to be cooking brunch in muffin tins. Muffin tins are my new go-to kitchen cooking item. Your muffin tins can do much more than just cupcakes and muffins! This versatile pan can be used to make entrees, appetizers, breakfasts, sides, breads, desserts, and much more.

One at a Time

Muffin tins are a handy way to cook a variety of dishes easily, but are also a great way to manage portion control. You can’t fool yourself by saying you’ll just have a little more—one “muffin” cup is one portion.  Muffin tin cooking is easy to serve too. You can bring the whole tin to the table (cute if you have a blue stoneware muffin tin), or arrange the cups on a plate. Perfect for Easter brunch are the pretty cupcake “trees” you can buy; display your brunch delectables this way.

Kid Friendly

Muffin tin cooking is a great way to get your kids interested in cooking and eating healthy foods. They love choosing the liners, arranging food in the cups, and seeing the transformation when it comes out of the oven. There’s something about food that is round, small, and perfectly shaped that appeals to kids. They’ve been conditioned to believe that anything served in a cupcake liner is fun and delicious, so they’ll be willing to try many new foods this way. Since Easter is already a day filled with surprises and the unexpected, build on this excitement by serving up brunch gorgeous muffin tin cups.

Variety Makes Muffin Tin Cooking Fun

There are so many types of muffin tins available now. Not only can you buy cast iron, nonstick, and silicone tins, but they come in so many sizes: regular, jumbo, mini, and even in squares now. Everyone grew up with paper muffin cup liners, but today there are many choices in that realm as well. You can buy colored or patterned paper liners, foil-lined paper liners, and reusable silicone liners. The reusables are my favorite because not only are they nonstick, colorful, and green, but you can even use them by themselves on a baking sheet without a muffin tin pan. You can even use things like slices of ham, tortillas, and pie crust as your cup liners, for tasty results.

Recipes

Ham and Egg Cups

Makes 1 (make 1-2 cups per person at your table)

Ingredients

1 slice round or oval deli ham

1 egg

Salt and pepper, to taste

½ tablespoon shaved Parmesan cheese

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  2. Prepare 1 regular muffin cup by spraying it or using a muffin cup liner.
  3. Place the center of the ham into the middle of the cup, and arrange the edges along the inside of the cup. If it sticks up a bit above the cup, that’s fine.
  4. Crack the egg, and place it inside the ham.
  5. Season with salt and pepper, and add the cheese.
  6. Bake for 15 minutes, until the white of the egg is set.

Buckwheat Pear Muffins with Glaze

Makes 12

Ingredients

1 egg

½ cup plus 2 tablespoons skim milk

¼ cup vegetable oil

½ cup sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

1 cup buckwheat flour

½ cup flour

1 pear, peeled, cored and chopped (about 1 cup)

¼ teaspoon nutmeg

¼ teaspoon cinnamon

Glaze (recipe below)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F, and prepare 12 regular muffin cups by spraying with cooking spray.
  2. Mix egg, milk, oil and sugar, then add dry ingredients.
  3. Stir in pear and spices.
  4. Divide among muffin cups and bake for about 16 minutes. Drizzle with glaze if desired.

Glaze

1 cup powdered sugar

2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon milk

  1. Completely combine in a bowl, then drizzle over the tops of the muffins. Serve.

Along with The Muffin Tin Cookbook, Brette is also the author of The Parchment Paper Cookbook and The Organized Kitchen. Her web site is BretteSember.com and she blogs at MarthaAndMe.net and NoPotCooking.com.

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Buttermilk apple muffins

Muffins are my comfort food. So this week as the temperatures dipped into the teens and the snow finally came rolling in (it’s still a blur of white outside the window), I decided to play around with the ingredients of an apple muffin recipe I’ve had since high school.

The original recipe calls for mixing in the buttermilk and apples separately just before turning out the batter into the muffin cups. Recalling an oatmeal cookie recipe that keeps the raisins soft by marinating them in whisked eggs and almond extract, I thought I’d try letting my apple dices take a dip. I wanted them to bathe in flavor so I mixed in the cinnamon, nutmeg, and lemon zest too.

I wasn’t done experimenting. I wanted to keep the calories and fat to a minimum in these snowy day treats, so I used Land ‘O Lake Light butter that nixes half the fat of the good stuff (my take: using it in baking is fine, but it’s too stiff for spreading and using in frosting as you would regular butter).

Now for the sugar. I cut part of it, and then replaced it with something I found at my local natural foods grocer, Mustard Seed Market. Coconut sugar. I love the flavor of real coconut anyway. I’m not convinced that there’s any real health benefits from the coconut sugar, the brand is Madhava and it’s organic. It still has 15 calories per teaspoon just like your average table sugar. But what intrigued me was the flavor: kinda a cross between molasses and shredded coconut, the package calls it “a caramelized maple flavor.”

You don’t have to use light butter or coconut sugar in your muffins, but please, do soak the apples!

Recipe

Prep time: 15 minutes

Servings: 16 regular-sized muffins

Ingredients

1/2 cup butter, room temperature

2/3 cup white sugar

1 egg

1 cup buttermilk

1 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 cups diced apple

1 cup flour

3/4 cup whole wheat flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon lemon zest

1/2 cup chopped walnuts or almonds

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg (optional)

3 tablespoons ground flax (optional)

Oatmeal

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Peel and dice the apples and then soak them in the buttermilk, cinnamon, and nutmeg (if using) for 10 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, cream the sugar with the butter until it’s light and airy.
  4. Add the egg and mix well.
  5. In a separate bowl combine the dry ingredients.
  6. Gently stir the dry ingredients in with the creamed mixture, then add the buttermilk-soaked apples and nuts.
  7. Divide batter in 16 regular-sized muffin cups and top with a few oatmeal pieces.
  8. Bake for 20 minutes or until just browned.
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Bakery Blueberry Muffins

A lone bag of fresh blueberries in the freezer inspired me to make one of my kids’ favorite after school snacks–blueberry muffins.

But making blueberry muffins without them turning, well blue, can be tricky. If the batter is too thin then the berries end up sinking to the bottom of the muffin cup and you end up with a layer of blueberry in your muffin. And if it’s too thick? Then the blueberries break apart as you’re trying to stir them in.

This muffin recipe fixes both problems with a heaping tablespoon of baking powder to keep the blueberries from sinking. It’s also a stiff batter that you can still stir the berries into, without them getting mushed (just stir gently!).

Instead of fresh blueberries, I like to use frozen ones. I find that the blueberries tend to stay intact better as I stir if they’re more solid. Over the summer, I’ve been buying extra blueberries to use through the winter, but you can still find fresh ones at the store, at least for a little while. Freeze ‘em yourself or buy frozen to make these muffins.

Recipe

Prep time: 15 minutes + baking

Servings: 12 muffins

Ingredients

2 cups flour

1 cup sugar

1 Tablespoon baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

6 Tablespoons butter

1 egg

2/3 cup milk + 2 Tablespoons

1 Teaspoon vanilla

1 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen)

Directions

  1. Heat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Mix the dry ingredients together in a food processor. Add the butter, cut up, and process until it has the texture of cornmeal (alternatively, you can cut the butter in with a pastry cutter). Pour into a large mixing bowl.
  3. In another bowl mix together the milk, egg and vanilla.
  4. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry mixture until fully incorporated. The batter will be thick.
  5. Gently fold the blueberries into the batter being careful that they don’t break apart.
  6. Add batter in spoonfuls into 12 muffin cups lined with paper or baking spray. (I like big blueberry muffins so I usually only have 10.)
  7. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until just browned.
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Bakery Bran Muffins

As promised, these muffins are moist, rich and full of good-for-you ingredients.

A few things: first, yes, you can substitute soured milk (milk + fresh lemon juice) for the buttermilk, but I  wouldn’t. Real buttermilk makes a big difference. Next, golden raisins rock. Forget the drier, regular variety and go for something chewier. Finally, this comes from The America’s Test Kitchen Family Cookbook (the same folks as Cooks Illustrated). I’ve tweaked the recipe–in my book, you can’t have bran muffins without honey and whole wheat.

Recipe

Prep time: 15 minutes + baking

Servings: 18 muffins


Ingredients

1 1/4 cups buttermilk

1 cup unprocessed wheat bran

1 cup unsweetened applesauce

1 cup golden raisins

3/4 cup lightly packed brown sugar

2 Tablespoons honey

1 egg

4 tablespoons butter, melted

1/4 cup molasses

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 cup whole wheat flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 Tablespoon ground flax (optional)

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg (optional)

3/4 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

Directions

  1. Soak the bran in the buttermilk for 10 minutes.
  2. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  3. Coat your muffin tin pan with baking spray.
  4. Combine the applesauce, raisins, sugar, egg, butter, honey and molasses together in a large bowl.
  5. In another bowl combine the flours, baking powder, baking soda, spices and ground flax.
  6. Add the soaked bran to the wet mixture and then fold in the dry ingredients. Stir in walnuts.
  7. Fill muffin cups 2/3 full.
  8. Bake for 12 to 17 minutes or until golden brown.
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Culinary confession: I don’t like muffin papers

Muffin papers annoy me. Bad.

Follow me here–what happens when you use muffin papers? It’s nearly impossible to get every last crumb. Some of it always ends up trapped in the folds of the paper, especially when you try to eat it when it’s still hot (which I do. Constantly). Add to that, the outside of the muffin doesn’t get that golden, crisped texture when you use the moisture-trapping papers.

So yes, muffin papers are terribly convenient, but I try to avoid them in favor of perfectly browned, paperless muffins.

Check back in tomorrow for my favorite bran muffin recipe. (Promise–it’s not dry and even kids will ask for seconds.)

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The orange bowl: a new take on muffin tins

Have you noticed more sniffling lately? On Sunday at church I couldn’t help but notice a plentiful chorus of coughs and sneezes mixed in with the music. Along with washing my hands just a little more carefully these days (and insisting my kids do the same), I’m searching my kitchen for ideas to ward off colds.

My favorite cold-buster: rich-in-vitamin-C oranges. Juiced. Zested. Peeled. My guess is you’re already a master of all those methods of serving oranges. So I tried brainstorming new ways to add more vitamin C to my kids’ snack times. Along with other good-for-them ingredients (any excuse to use ground flax, seriously I’m glad its good for you because I love the nutty flavor it gives anything you put it in).

I remembered a few weeks back after reading Cooking for Geeks I tried out brownies baked in an orange shell. I wondered if I could do the same, only with something a bit, well, healthier.

My first batch of muffins al a orange failed. Miserably. Think gooey gobs of half baked batter in a nearly burnt orange shell. Ew, just ew. I figured maybe brownies was the only batter meant for oranges (man, I would have liked that excuse to keep making exclusively chocolate-filled oranges:).

I tried to remember what I’d done with the brownies that I might be missing here. I thought of it: my husband. See, before, he’d been the one to clean out the oranges. This time I’d done it myself leaving plenty of orange meat inside thinking, Eh, it’ll bake in. Not quite.

Once I passed over the orange shelling duty, the problem of gooey batter disappeared. I also decided to put the orange rinds right into the muffin pan instead of balancing them on a cookie sheet. As you can see, properly shelling the oranges did the trick. And my kids snacked on the leftover orange sections while the muffins cooked (I mixed in regular paper wrappers too).

Here’s the recipe:

2 Oranges (or however many you want to shell)

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1.2 cup whole wheat flour

3/4 rolled oats

1/4-1/3 cup brown sugar (depending on how sweet you want it)

3 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg (optional, but good)

1 tablespoon ground flax (again, opt. but good)

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 egg

1/4 cup oil

1/3 cup milk

2/3 cup apple sauce

1/2 Tablespoon fresh orange juice

  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  • Cut the oranges in half and then remove the orange sections from the rind carefully (I suggest using a grapefruit spoon although a regular spoon will work too).
  • Mix all of the dry ingredients in a regular-sized baking bowl. (I like to pulse my old-fashioned oatmeal a few times in a food processor before adding it in.)
  • Mix all of the liquid ingredients in a smaller baking bowl.
  • Add the wet ingredients to the dry mixture and stir just until moistened.
  • Fill each muffin cup (or orange shell) about 2/3 of the way up. DO NOT overfill.
  • Top with whole oatmeal, if desired.
  • Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until just browned.
  • Note: I’d suggest serving the orange-shelled muffins within a day or so of baking for the best flavor.

But I’m not stopping at vitamin C, there’s a few more tricks I’m trying out this year to keep colds away. For a slideshow of up-to-date research on what you can do at home, look through these suggestions. (I like the idea of mushrooms as cold-busters.) I’ve been looking through the site as part of the Motherboard team. Once a week, I’ll be posting about the exciting things not to miss on the their site, and their affiliates.

How about you? Any family recipes or tips for keeping running noses from, well, running?

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