Archive for the 'Muffins' Category

Triple Chocolate Peanut Butter Swirl Muffins

Using this recipe and this chocolate peanut butter, I have created a delicious treat! It took a couple tries, but this final batch is perfect! I think since it’s a muffin, it can be eaten any time. A perfect weekend breakfast (or anytime breakfast, because why not?), a great dessert, a tasty snack, a yummy addition to any potluck…anything you want it to be! That’s the best part of a chocolate muffin. Chocolate muffin, with chocolate chips mixed into the batter, with chocolate peanut butter baked on top. “Chocolate chocolate chocolate peanut butter muffin” could be a more accurate title.

I had to make a few adaptations to the recipe listed above. I kept the cupcake batter the same except I added more chocolate chips, and used a dairy-free milk. The first time I made this recipe, I made the peanut butter swirl the way it is listed in the original recipe (except used chocolate peanut butter instead of regular peanut butter). Because of the extra ingredients already in the chocolate peanut butter, it became a very thin mixture, and didn’t soak into the cupcake. It spread out, bubbled across the top of the pan, and burned. Terrible! Totally not fit for bringing to a potluck, or as a treat for coworkers, or anything…except some tastes of parts that could be pulled away from the burntness. Lots of tastes, actually.

I decided that the chocolate peanut butter could hold up on it’s own, and so skipped the extra ingredients the next time I baked them. I just plopped a teaspoon or so of chocolate peanut butter on top of the cupcake batter, and stuck them in the oven to bake. Voila! Delicious, perfect looking triple chocolate peanut butter muffins! Why didn’t I think of that the first time?

Here’s my version of the recipe. Enjoy!

Triple Chocolate Peanut Butter Swirl Muffins

Yield: about 20 muffins

Ingredients:

For the muffins:
6 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips, divided
2 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tbsp. baking powder
½ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
1¼ cups almond milk
1 tsp. apple cider vinegar
1 large egg
2 tsp. vanilla extract

For the peanut butter swirl:
1/2 cup Chocolate Peanut Butter (like: Dark Chocolate Dreams from Peanut Butter & Co.)

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350˚ F. Line muffin tins with paper liners. To make the chocolate muffin batter, combine the butter and 1/3 cup of the chocolate chips in a heatproof bowl set over a pot of simmering water. Heat, stirring occasionally, until the chocolate and butter are melted and smooth. (Alternatively you can microwave in 20-30 second intervals, stirring in between, until melted and smooth.) Set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer combine the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Whisk or mix briefly to combine. In a liquid measuring cup, combine the almond milk, vinegar, egg, and vanilla and whisk until combined. With the mixer on low speed, blend in the liquid mixture just until combined. Blend in the melted chocolate mixture. Stir in the remaining chocolate chips with a spatula. Divide the batter between the prepared paper liners, filling each no more than 2/3 full. (These muffins will rise a lot!)

Drop a small spoonful of the chocolate peanut butter on top of the chocolate muffin batter. Swirl together using a skewer or knife.

Bake 20-22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool in the pan 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Easiest Banana Bread

I love banana bread. Any kind – you can make it “healthier” or not, I always enjoy a hearty slice of sweet banana bread. Chocolate chips, nuts, applesauce, carob, lots of spices, berries mixed in, you name it, I’ll eat it! This week, my brother got a hold of a ton of bananas (literally) and he made the most delicious banana bread ever. He gave me some bananas, I asked for the recipe, and I was shocked to find out that it was incredibly simple. Too simple, it seemed. But delicious. So, I made it exactly as he instructed, except I made two batches – one in a loaf pan and one batch into muffins. They were scrumptious both ways. Consider this recipe tested and perfected and so simple and quick to whip up, you will want to make it all the time. Except somehow you’ll have to have so many bananas you turn yellow. I think I have eaten enough, except now I want more, but magically we have eaten all the bananas he conjured up! Jesse, go find more!

Banana Bread Ingredients:
4 ripe bananas
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup room-temperature margarine (I used Soy-Free Earth Balance)
2 cups white flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
sprinkle of dried coconut or sliced almonds, for topping

Preheat your oven to 350º F.

Mash bananas in a bowl using a potato masher or fork. You want to create as few lumps as possible. Beat in the sugar and margarine, till you have a smooth consistency. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Mix into the wet ingredients.

Pour into a greased loaf pan, or lined muffin tins. Sprinkle dried coconut, sliced almonds, or a pinch of sugar over batter to give a crunchy topping.

Bake muffins for 25-30 minutes.
Bake loaf for 60-70 minutes.
*Stick a toothpick into the center and it should come out nearly clean (a few crumbs are okay because it is best a bit moist).

“Tropical Vacation” Muffins

I could write something cheesy about how these orange blueberry pineapple coconut muffins will send you on a little breakfast tropical vacation, in which you will dream about going somewhere warm, sunny, with ocean breezes and a very able-bodied person answering your every whim. But honestly, I don’t want to exoticize these muffins, and all of that sounds vaguely colonialistic, so I’ll spare you the sit-next-to-a-pristine-pool-with-a-pina-colada-in-hand-fantasy and just give you the recipe for these scrumptious muffins. You’ll want to eat them forever. You might even make a second batch next week. And maybe you’ll even double that, so you can freeze some and continue enjoying them as the days pass…You might even want to eat them for breakfast every day on the way to work so that you can pretend you’re going on vacation instead of to teach and video-tape yourself looking like a fool (and using so many hand-gestures while talking to your students…). Maybe that’s just me. But I think you’ll want to bake these muffins at least once and enjoy every single fruity bite of their goodness. This is kind of a random post, but hey, it’s been a long week and it’s not over yet!

And, let’s just notice that these muffins are purely agave- and fruit-sweetened, so they’re 110% healthy, right? I can eat them all day long?

Tropical Muffin Ingredients:
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. egg replacer
3/4 cup orange juice
1 cup water (carbonated water will make your muffins rise a bit more than regular tap water)
1/4 cup agave
1 1/2 Tblsp. finely grated orange zest
1/4 cup canola oil
1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1/2 cup diced pure pineapple
1/2 cup fresh blueberries

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a muffin tin or use cupcake papers to line the tin.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt, and whisk.

In a separate bowl, dissolve the egg replacer into the orange juice, then add the water, agave, orange zest, and oil, and mix until smooth. Combine the wet ingredients with the flour mixture. Fold in the coconut, pineapple, and blueberries.

Pour the batter into the muffin tin almost to the top and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Set aside to cool.

SweetHeart-Healthy Banana Blueberry Spelt Muffins

Happy Valentine’s Day!


I know it’s a Hallmark Holiday, but I always love to celebrate it with lots of pink and hearts. All the love floating around just makes me smile 🙂

Right now, I’m student teaching in a third grade class, and the students were so thrilled about the holiday – their excitement was contageous! My Cooperating Teacher has really set up a lovely community in the classroom, where the students feel comfortable with each other and with her; the Principal even commented on Friday that the class is just like a family, where there is trust and love and safety – and where the students are so close that they want to celebrate holidays exorbitantly together! These eight and nine year olds didn’t just bring in store-bought cards for their friends for Valentine’s Day, in fact, many of them brought goody bags filled with candy and chocolate and sweet notes for every single student in the whole class! One of our tables was literally covered, piled high with pink boxes of chocolate and red-wrapped chocolate roses, and one student even gave me a foot-long Valentine’s pen! It’s pretty incredible and I plan on treasuring it for a long time. It was hard to get any academic work done on such a celebratory day!

My students inspired me and I stayed up way too late on Thursday night making them all collaged cards and I had so much fun that I ended up making cards for all my friends…And then on Friday evening I had a crafts night with my girlfriends and made more V-day cards…And Saturday I spent the evening baking these delicious Banana Blueberry Muffins with my friend Talia and of course I had to put them in the festive paper liners that my mom bought me as a surprise! Aren’t they cute? Thanks, Mom!

Talia and I are not eating sugar, and she’s currently not eating wheat, so we did a lot of experimenting and adapting, and came up with this muffin recipe using spelt flour and date sugar. We were really into how delicious the batter was, and then how tasty the muffins were after they were baked, but we were a little concerned that they might not pass the test for “normal people” who eat white flour and white sugar all the time. We asked some friends to taste them, and they said they were good! So, this recipe is a great “heart healthy” (for Valentine’s Day as well as your real beating human heart) breakfast muffin, and with all the healthy additions it is certainly a great snack and was approved by all! However, if you don’t have those specialized ingredients on hand, and don’t have the same dietary concerns, then you can easily use white sugar instead of date sugar, and use white (or whole wheat) flour instead of the spelt. You could even make this recipe into a quick-bread, which would be delicious, and you can add in nuts or chocolate chips if you want!

Banana Blueberry Spelt Muffin Ingredients:
Makes 12 regular sized muffins, or 24 mini-muffins

2 cups whole spelt flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup date sugar
1/3 cup canola oil
2 ripe bananas, mashed
2 Tblsp. ground flax seed
3/4 cup water
1 cup unsweetened almond milk (or any non-dairy milk)
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Lightly grease your muffin tins, or line with paper liners.
In a medium-sized bowl, mix the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt together.
In a large bowl, beat the date sugar and oil together, then add the mashed bananas. Stir in the flax. Add the water, non-dairy milk, and vanilla, and mix thoroughly.
Add the flour mixture and stir until all ingredients are just combined.
Gently fold in your blueberries last.
Fill each muffin tin 3/4 full with batter. Bake regular sized muffins for 20-25 minutes, and mini-muffins only about 15 minutes. You’ll know they’re done when they begin to brown on top and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Something Fruity, Cakey, Alternatively Sweetened

Those were the only requests made by my friend Rachel for her birthday cake. Actually, she suggested a loaf-type-dessert, but I thought that since it was her birthday after all, she should have something that more closely resembled a cake! I’ve always loved this recipe, which originated from The Candle Cafe Cookbook, and is for their Lemon-Poppyseed Muffins. However, as I made it this time with my baking buddy Julie, I took out the cane sugar (substituting date sugar instead), added extra lemon zest, and doubled the whole recipe to fit into a large bundt cake pan. I’ve never baked with date sugar before, and I wasn’t sure exactly how it would react in a cake – the results were fabulous. I barely noticed a difference from how the original recipe tastes, except for a slightly “darker” flavor, a little bit like I had added a touch of molasses. It’s nice to know that you can substitute a totally natural sweetener for the highly processed white cane sugar that is in so many baked goods, making them a little more nutritious as well as ethically healthy (i.e.: animal-friendly).

Personally, I loved this cake as it was (and I love it so dearly in muffin form too!), with tons of crunchy poppy seeds in every single bite, but I was told that it would be extra delicious with a lemon glaze drizzled over. I would do this right after taking the cake out of the oven, and as the cake cools it will create a crispy crunchy sweet top. …And after writing this post and looking at my pictures again, I’m wishing I had an extra slice leftover to nosh on right now!

Lemon-Poppy Seed Muffins Ingredients:
Makes 12 muffins (double this recipe if you’d like to make a bundt cake)

2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (or a combination of 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour and 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour)
1/4 cup date sugar (you can easily substitute 1/4 cup of cane sugar, if you want, and you will be back at the original recipe!)
1 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. sea salt (fine grained)
1/2 cup Earth Balance margarine, slightly melted
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup almond milk (or your favorite non-dairy milk)
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 cup poppy seeds
3 tsp. grated lemon zest

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a muffin tin, line tins with cupcake papers, or grease and flour a bundt pan.

Sift the flours, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into a large mixing bowl and whisk to mix. In a separate bowl, whisk together the margarine, maple syrup, almond milk, and lemon juice until foamy. Pour the wet ingredients into the flour mixture and mix until the batter is smooth. Fold in the poppy seeds and lemon zest.

Pour the batter into the muffin tins or bundt pan, dividing evenly and spreading flat across the top. Bake on a center rack of the oven for 20-25 minutes for muffins, or 55 minutes for a cake – make sure to do a toothpick test by sticking a toothpick into the center, and if it comes out clean you can take the pan out of the oven. The muffins are best served while warm, but if you choose to make the cake then leave it to cool in the pan for at least 30 minutes before extracting it. Take your cake out of the pan and let cool completely before eating.

Veggie Garden Cupcakes

I was making these cupcakes for the Vegan Bakesale happening this afternoon, and since it is a benefit for the Laurel Elementary School gardening program, I decided a garden theme would be appropriate. The cupcake base is a Carrot-Zucchini Muffin (from Colleen Patrick-Goudreau’s The Joy of Vegan Baking), and is certainly moderately healthy (it has veggies in it!!). I threw together the frosting (sorry I don’t have a recipe to share, I didn’t measure this time!) with Earth Balance and Tofutti Cream Cheese as the creamy base, with vanilla extract, powdered sugar, and cocoa powder whipped in. I sifted regular cocoa powder on top of each cupcake, along with a sprinkling of Black Cocoa Powder to make the top look like rich dark soil. We then plunked our Marzipan veggies on top and called it a day. Hopefully they’ll be a big hit at the bakesale!

The vegetables are made from Marzipan! They are fully edible, although perhaps too cute to really eat. It took a loooooong time, but Julie, Sari, and I made 20 tiny vegetables (and an apple…) out of Marzipan that we dyed with food coloring. It was like making little sculptures out of modeling clay, except you get to eat them afterwords. It was really fun to make them, and we got quite carried away making different shapes. We made peas in a pod, carrots, string beans, tomatoes, radishes, lettuce, purple cabbage, eggplants, apples, and my favorite which was the stalk of brussels sprouts!

Gingerbread Flax Muffins

I’m in New York on vacation right now, visiting friends (who are basically like family; it is amazing to be able to drop in on a whim, and be welcomed so warmly! And every time I visit, I feel like I never left…). It is cold here. Very cold. My bones were cold today…And I know, I’m from California, I might be a weather-wimp, but really, all the East Coasters were cold too! One thing that makes me warmer is cooking, and keeping the oven on. We baked apple muffins this morning, and after braving the biting wind to get into the city to the Whitney Museum and back, we came home and made a hearty “kitchen sink” vegetable soup.

You must be wondering, the title of this post has nothing to do with apples or soups, so will I get to the point yet? Truthfully, this post is about the muffins I made last week. I had a close family friend and her son over for brunch (it was actually on Christmas Eve morning, has it really been that long?), and I wanted to surprise them with a tasty treat to follow our bagels. It needed to be both adult- and kid-friendly, and have a seasonal twist so that it would feel appropriate for the holiday. I was inspired by Isa’s Gingerbread Flax Muffins on The Post Punk Kitchen Blog, and whipped them up that morning. They were easy and scrumptious. The only changes I made to Isa’s recipe were to add about a tablespoon of freshly grated ginger and a sprinkling of some diced candied ginger on top. I also put a pinch of coarse sugar on top of each muffin to give it a crunchy outside. Soft and moist in the middle, with a healthy dose of gingerbread spices, this muffin pleased everyone’s palettes and even had 3 year old Dylan coming back for seconds, thirds, and tastes of a fourth!


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