Chocolate Chip Sour Cream Muffins

Chocolate chip sour cream muffins

 

As I have mentioned before, my kids love those Hostess mini muffins. They are so expensive and I know, not so good for you. I am always on the look out for some muffins I can make that the kids will eat and I can pronounce all the ingredients. I came across these a while back, I’m sure while browsing Pinterest, and knew they would fit the bill.  One of my favorite recipes, one step pound cake, contains sour cream that gives it a wonderful texture and richness. So, I guess that’s what drew me to this recipe.  This muffin batter is so super fast to put together that I can make it, hop in the shower, get dressed, take them out of the oven and give them to the kids for breakfast before school.  My 7-year-old daughter, Sammie, is not a morning person and absolutely hates to get out of bed for school.  But, when I tell her I made these muffins, she jumps out of bed and runs upstairs to get some. These are just perfect for Monday mornings when no one wants to get up and they are a great way to start the week off with happy kids with big chocolate covered lip smiles.

Chocolate Chip Sour Cream Muffins

Yield: 12 standard muffins or 36 mini muffins or 24 mini muffins + 5 standard muffins

1 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

2/3 cup sugar

3/4 teaspoon baking powder

3/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 large egg

1 cup sour cream

5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled a bit

1 teaspoon vanilla extract   I used vanilla bean paste

1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips   I use ~3/4 cup mini semi-sweet chips with 1/4 cup finely chopped milk chocolate bar  (plus extra chips for the tops)

Coarse sugar crystals  optional

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 F

Place muffin liners in your cupcake tin (how many depends on the size muffins you are making; see yield)

In a large bowl, mix together the dry ingredients: flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

In a medium bowl, combine the wet ingredients: the egg, sour cream, melted butter, and vanilla extract (or paste).  Whisk until well combined.

Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Stir gently with a rubber spatula until just combined.  If you stir too much, you will get dense muffins.

Gently fold in the chocolate chips (and chocolate pieces if you are using)  until just combined through.

With an ice cream scoop. fill each muffin liner about 3/4 full.

Add some decorative chocolate chips to the top of each muffin.   I like to sprinkle coarse sugar crystals on top for sparkle and crunch.

Bake until a toothpick in the center of the muffins comes out clean, about 14-18 minutes.  For the minis, it took about 14 min and the large muffins more like 18 min.

Allow them to cool on a wire rack until cool enough to handle. If you can..

Source:  The Curvy Carrot

Blueberry Streusel Muffins

Blueberry streusel muffins

Ever since I saw these delicious looking blueberry muffins, I have been wanting to make them. But, blueberries have been expensive, so I haven’t.  When I went to the grocery store the other day though, they were $4 for a pint. Not too bad, so I bought them. I was excited to finally make these muffins. But, then I did what I usually do and didn’t read the whole recipe.  Damn. I realized I didn’t have any Sugar in the Raw and I wanted to follow the recipe as written. So, alas, I had to wait another day to go to the store AGAIN. But, actually it is okay because I found a recipe for chocolate chip cookie sandwiches filled with marshmallow fluff frosting that I want to make…so I grabbed some Fluff too. I haven’t made the cookies yet, but I cannot imagine them to be anything short of amazing. Of course, I will share. Anyways, back to the muffins. They were easy to put together and baked up beautifully with perfect rounded tops.  The cake part is fluffy and not too sweet, the blueberries are juicy, and the raw sugar gives the buttery streusel a wonderful crunch.  Oh, the muffins were just as I hoped they would be.

My picky family won’t eat these muffins as they don’t like cooked fruit. But, they sure tear the heck out of any kind of raw fruit, so I can’t complain.  As much as I love blueberry muffins, I can’t shouldn’t eat all 12 muffins myself. So, I will be bringing them to work tomorrow. Too bad there are only 12 though. Actually, make that 11 because I ate one for quality control. I mean, how else could I tell you about them? But, 11 muffins and about 30 coworkers?  Those are bad odds.  I know it will be Monday morning, but they better move fast 🙂

Blueberry Streusel Muffins
Yield: 12 standard size muffins

Crumb Topping

1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 Tbsp granulated sugar     I used vanilla bean sugar
2 1/2 Tbsp chilled butter, diced into small cubes
1 1/2 Tbsp Sugar in the Raw

In the bowl of your food processor: Add 1/3 cup flour, 1 1/2 Tbsp granulated sugar and the cold butter cubes.

Pulse for a few seconds, just until the butter is evenly distributed throughout and the crumbs just come together in tiny crumbles. Note: The crumb mixture should still be fluffy. If you pulse too much, the crumbs become heavy and sink.

Pour the crumb mixture into a small bowl. Mix in 1 1/2 Tbsp raw sugar lightly with your fingers. Set crumb mixture aside.

Muffins

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup granulated sugar
7 Tbsp vegetable oil     (you can measure 1/2 cup, then remove 1 Tbsp)
1/4 cup buttermilk   shake well
1/4 cup sour cream
2 large egg eggs
1 1/2 cups fresh blueberries    Washed, dried, and all stems removed

Preheat oven to 400F.

In a medium mixing bowl, add the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. With a wire whisk, mix for ~30 seconds or so. Set the dry ingredients aside.

In a large mixing bowl, add 1 cup granulated sugar, vegetable oil, buttermilk, sour cream and eggs. With a wire whisk, mix until well blended, ~30 seconds. Fold the flour mixture into the wet ingredients with a rubber spatula until just combined. Note: the batter should still be a bit lumpy. If you over mix, you will not have fluffy, tender muffins. Who wants that?

Gently fold in the blueberries with a rubber spatula.

With a large ice cream scoop, divide muffin batter evenly into 12 paper lined muffin cups. Take the the crumb topping, fluff it a bit with your fingers and sprinkle the entire top of each muffin (about 1 tbsp per muffin).

Bake muffins about 18 – 22 minutes, rotating the muffin tin halfway through the baking time, until they are lightly golden and pass the toothpick test.

Cool the muffins several minutes in the pan before removing to wire rack to cool.

Source: Cooking Classy

Brown butter blueberry streusel muffins

Brown butter blueberry streusel muffins

I was looking for a recipe to use up some leftover blueberries and well, this recipe had me at brown butter. Okay, at streusel too.  You know how I am a sucker for streusel!  Please don’t be intimidated by the brown butter. It sounds fancy, but really you just melt butter in a saucepan until it turns golden brown.  As long as you don’t burn it, that’s all there is to it.  The first time I made brown butter, I was nervous.  I almost dumped it because there was a bunch of brown specks.  I thought for sure I messed up.  It sure wouldn’t be the first time. But after a quick check online, I realized that’s just right.

I only used half the amount of the blueberries called for in the recipe because that was all baby Alex would spare.  But, I liked it this way because the berries didn’t overwhelm the taste of the muffin. And, oh my goodness, the muffin itself is delicious.  I am the only one in the family who likes blueberry muffins.  I have told you before that my family is a little crazy, right?  I didn’t want to eat all the muffins, so I brought them to work and had some very happy coworkers.  As I was eating my muffin, I was thinking how good it was, even without the blueberries.  It would make a lovely crumb cake muffin that my coffeecake-loving husband would go crazy for.  I think I’ll try that next time, maybe even with a ribbon of cinnamon sugar or sweet cream cheese?  This is the perfect base for experimenting with different flavors. But, I have to say, blueberry is a darn good place to start.

Brown butter blueberry streusel muffins

Yield: 12 muffins

For the muffin:

7 Tablespoons unsalted butter cut into a few pieces

1/3 cup buttermilk    I used regular milk

1 large egg

1 large egg yolk

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

3/4 cup granulated sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

3/4 teaspoon salt

2 cups fresh blueberries   I used about 1 cup

Place rack in the upper third of the oven. Preheat to 375 F. Line a standard muffin tin with 12 cupcake liners.  Set aside.

Place a small skillet (not nonstick or you won’t see the color change) over medium heat.  Add the 7 tablespoons of butter.  Move the butter around with a spoon until it is melted, turns a medium brown color and smells nutty. Remove from the heat right away, before it turns black.  Transfer to a bowl to cool.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the milk, egg, yolk, and vanilla until well combined. Stir in the cooled brown butter.

In a separate medium bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Pour in all the milk mixture and stir gently with a spatula. Do not over mix. Carefully fold in the blueberries then divide the batter evenly among the prepared muffin pan.  I used a medium cookie scoop.   Make the streusel topping.

For the streusel topping:
3 Tablespoons very cold unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
3 Tablespoons granulated sugar

Combine the 3 ingredients in a small bowl.  Rub together with your fingers until the mixture is crumbly. Sprinkle evenly over the muffin batter in the cups.

Bake the muffins for 20 – 22 minutes, or until a little golden.  Test with a toothpick.  Cool in the muffin tin for 15 minutes before removing. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Source:  Joy the Baker Cookbook via Pennies on a Platter

Cookies and Cream Donut Muffins

I wanted to make donut muffins for breakfast this morning, but I didn’t really feel like cinnamon.  Crazy, I know.  I’ve done chocolate frosted, vanilla frosted and powdered sugar donut muffins.   They were all delicious.  But, what could I do to make these different?  Ooo, how about cookies and cream?  Don’t Oreos make just about everything better?  I decided to use the recipe for donut muffins from Back in the Day Bakery as the starting point, omit the spices, and fold in crushed Oreos.  Then I added a thick vanilla frosting and some crushed Oreos on top for garnish.  Okay, so maybe these look like cupcakes.  But, they really do have the texture of cake donuts and those are considered breakfast.  So, I am going to go ahead, take it upon myself and declare these perfectly acceptable for breakfast.  I mean, definitely not for everyday, but as a special treat when you want to see your kids eyes light up like it was Christmas.  If you ever wondered why I bake, this is it. ♥

Cookies and Cream Donut Muffins

Yield: 12 muffins (I would have gotten 13, but I wasn’t going to bake 1 extra muffin)

For the muffins:

3 cups of unbleached all-purpose flour

¼ teaspoon baking soda

2 ½ teaspoons baking powder, preferably aluminum-free

¾ teaspoon fine sea salt

¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons whole milk

2 tablespoons buttermilk

8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature

¾ cup sugar

2 large eggs

8 Oreos, coarsely chopped

To make the muffins:

Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 350◦F. Lightly spray 12 large muffin cups with vegetable oil spray.

Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In a medium bowl, combine the milk and buttermilk.

In a large mixing bowl, using a handheld mixer on medium speed, cream the butter for 2 to 3 minutes. I used my Kitchen Aid.  Turn the speed to low and gradually add the sugar. Continue to mix until the mixture lightens in color. Add the eggs one at a time, beating just until combined. Add the dry ingredients in thirds, alternating with the milk mixture, mixing just until smooth. Fold in the chopped Oreos.  Do not overmix or your muffins will be dense.

With a large ice cream scoop or spoon, scoop the batter into the prepared muffin cups, filling them approximately two-thirds full. I had a bit of leftover batter.  Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the tops are firm to the touch and lightly golden.  Let the donuts cool completely on a wire rack before frosting.

For the frosting or glaze:

1 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 tbsp whole milk   I used heavy cream, but I had to add almost 3 tbsp to get it to the consistency I wanted.  If you want more of a glaze, add more cream or milk
½ tsp. vanilla extract
2 crushed Oreos to sprinkle on top

In small bowl, stir together sugar, milk (or heavy cream- start with 1Tbsp) and vanilla extract.  Add more cream or milk, a bit at a time, and whisk until incorporated.  Continue to add more milk or cream until you get the consistency you want. Use immediately to frost/glaze the doughnuts.  Sprinkle the Oreos on top of the frosting before it sets.

Source: the donut muffin is adapted from Back in the Day Bakery.  The frosting is adapted from Sprinkle Bakes.

Back in the Day Bakery’s Cinnamon Sugar Doughnut Muffins

I’m sure I have said this before, but I am in love with The Back in the Day Bakery Cookbook.  Everything I have made from it has been amazing and there are still so many more recipes I have bookmarked to try.  While looking through the book again, I saw these cinnamon sugar doughnut muffins.  Now, a few months ago, I made a similar recipe from the famed Downtown Bakery and Creamery.  But, those were so good that I figured I would give this recipe a try and see how they compare.   Two great things about doughnut muffins are 1. you don’t need a special pan and 2. they are baked, not fried (can we just pretend there aren’t 2 sticks of butter?).  The batter is super easy to prepare and comes together quickly- even with a baby at your feet pulling everything out of every cabinet within his reach.  After they bake, you are supposed to let them cool before coating them in melted butter and then rolling them in cinnamon sugar.  You know I couldn’t wait.  Okay, so I burned my fingers. but just a little.  Oh well, it was worth it.  Besides, I had to have breakfast on the table ASAP before Jack and Sammie started whining that they were hungry and wanted cereal instead.  Why is it so hard to compete with Frosted Flakes?  Damn you Tony! 😀

I have to say, these tasted just as good as those muffins from Downtown Bakery and Creamery.  But in Back in the Day Bakery’s favor, I think theirs baked up a bit taller, fluffier and more tender.  So, I may have found a new favorite doughnut muffin.  But, to be fair, I haven’t had the Downtown Bakery and Creamery’s muffins in awhile.  So, I am going by memory…which I’ll admit, some days isn’t so good.  I think this calls for a head-to-head competition.

Back in the Day Bakery’s Cinnamon Sugar Doughnut Muffins

Yield: 12 muffins

For the muffins:

3 cups of unbleached all-purpose flour

¼ teaspoon baking soda

2 ½ teaspoons baking powder, preferably aluminum-free

¾ teaspoon fine sea salt

¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg    I used ground nutmeg from a jar

¼ teaspoon ground cardamom   I omitted because I didn’t have any

¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons whole milk

2 tablespoons buttermilk

8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature

¾ cup sugar

2 large eggs

For the coating:

8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted

1 cup sugar mixed with 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

To make the muffins: Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 350◦F. Lightly spray 12 large muffin cups with vegetable oil spray.

Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, nutmeg, and cardamom. In a medium bowl, combine the milk and buttermilk.

In a large mixing bowl, using a handheld mixer on medium speed, cream the butter for 2 to 3 minutes. I used my Kitchen Aid.  Turn the speed to low and gradually add the sugar. Continue to mix until the mixture lightens in color. Add the eggs one at a time, beating just until combined. Add the dry ingredients in thirds, alternating with the milk mixture, mixing just until smooth; do not overmix- or they will be dense.

With a large ice cream scoop or spoon, scoop the batter into the prepared muffin cups, filling them approximately two-thirds full. I had a bit of leftover batter.  Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the tops are firm to the touch and lightly golden.

While the muffins bake, set up two bowls to dunk them in. In one bowl you will have the melted butter, and in the other bowl you will have the cinnamon sugar.

Let the doughnuts cool completely on a wire rack. If you can wait, I couldn’t 😀 Dunk them in the melted butter, then coat them with the cinnamon sugar. The muffins can be stored in an airtight container for up to 2 days.

Source:  The Back in the Day Bakery Cookbook

Blueberry muffins with doughnut topping

When I was looking for a recipe to use up my very brown bananas, I came across this recipe for blueberry muffins with doughnut topping.  Now, with a name like that, you have to agree that these muffins had to be made.   And soon. But, as was the problem with the last batch of blueberry muffins I made, no one here will eat them.  Ugh.  Luckily, I was going to my parents in the morning to help them with their garage sale.  So, I got to unload both my muffins and a bunch of the old clothes Sammie and Alex outgrew.  When I got there, my sister and her two kids attacked me for muffins before I even got in the door.  At least her kids loved them.  But, I have to admit, they mostly ate off the cinnamon sugar top, giving the half eaten bottoms to papa. 😀 My poor dad.  He didn’t even get the best part.

Like most muffins, these were simple to prepare.  You just need to make sure to mix with a gentle hand and not overdo it or you will have tough muffins.  And, no one wants that!  I love the lemon flavor in combination with the sweet blueberries.  I didn’t think just the lemon zest was enough, so I added a bit of lemon extract to make the lemon flavor a bit more pronounced.   When the muffins are warm, you dip their tops in melted butter and then roll them in cinnamon sugar.  The cinnamon sugar crust is a perfect texture contrast to the fluffy, lemon scented cake.  If you have some blueberries on hand, these are a must make.  If you don’t, buy some….

Blueberry muffins with doughnut topping

Yield: 12 muffins

Muffins:
2 cups (255 grams) all purpose flour
½ cup (100g) granulated sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
¾ cup (180ml) cold buttermilk, well shaken
3 oz. (3/4 stick/85 gram) unsalted butter, melted and tepid
2 large eggs, room temp
2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 ½ cups (8 oz/225g) fresh blueberries, pick over for stems

I added a few drops of lemon extract   optional

Doughnut topping:
½ cup (100g) granulated sugar
1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
3 oz (3/4 stick)  unsalted butter, melted-  I used 1/2 stick and it was plenty

Center rack in oven and preheat the oven to 375°F. Lightly coat a 12-cup standard muffin pan with nonstick spray, then flour the cups, tapping out excess.  Or butter and flour the cups.  Or, line with fluted paper or foil liners.  Have all ingredients at room temperature except the buttermilk.

To make the muffins:  In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In a medium bowl, stir together the buttermilk, butter, eggs, lemon zest and vanilla until combined. Add the buttermilk mixture to the flour mixture and stir gently with a rubber spatula just until moistened.  Do not beat until smooth, or the muffins will have a coarse texture. Using a spatula, fold in the blueberries just enough to incorporate them into the batter.  The batter will be very thick,

Using an ice cream scoop ( 2 1/4 inches in diameter/#16), fill the prepared pans with the batter ¾ full. Bake the muffins until golden, spring back when gently pressed in the center, and are starting to pull away from the muffin cups, 18 to 23 minutes.  Cool in the pan just until they can be handled, 10 to 15 minutes.

Make the topping: In a small bowl, stir together the sugar and cinnamon. While the muffins are still warm, gently remove them from the pan one at a time, dip the tops in the melted butter, and roll into the cinnamon sugar to coat. Place on a wire rack.
Serve warm or at room temperature.  Store at room temperature up to 2 days in an airtight container.  They may be frozen up to 10 days, then thaw at room temperature for 1 to 1.5 hours.

Source:  Baking for All Occasions by Flo Braker

Banana Bottom Pineapple Cheesecake Swirl Cupcakes

I had a pile of brown bananas on the counter, teetering the fine line between perfect for baking and perfect for the garbage. So, what could I do, but make some banana cupcakes?  But, not just any banana cupcake would do.  No, these ones have a pineapple cheesecake swirl.  Have you ever heard of such a thing?  I hadn’t and it sure sounded amazing.  Besides, the recipe is from Flo Braker.  No doubt it was going to be delicious.  The banana cake batter and the pineapple cheesecake filling are both easy to put together. Just be prepared for lots of dishes.   You then layer banana cake batter, followed by pineapple cheesecake, and top with more banana batter and bake.   Because of the cake flour, these cupcakes bake up super light and fluffy.  I love how you can see the lighter swirl of cheesecake on the outside of the muffin, giving you just a hint of what’s inside.  The cheesecake filling is creamy and when you bite into a tiny chunk of sweet pineapple, you get a burst of flavor.  It is just perfect in combination with the light banana cake.

Are you trying to figure out what to do with your brown bananas too? I think you just found it.  😀

Banana Bottom Pineapple Cheesecake Swirl Cupcake

Yield: 15 cupcakes

Pineapple Swirl Filling:

One 8-ounce (225 gram) can of crushed pineapple
6 ounces (170 grams) cream cheese, at room temperature
1/4 cup (50 grams) granulated sugar
1 large egg, room temperature
1/4 teaspoon salt

Banana Cupcakes:

1 3/4 cups (200 grams) cake flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup (255 grams/9 oz) mashed ripe bananas (2 medium bananas or 3 small)
3 tablespoons whole milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
4 ounces (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup (200 grams) granulated sugar
1 large egg, room temperature

Before baking:  Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F.  Lightly coat a 12-cup standard muffin pan with nonstick spray, then flour the cups, tapping out the excess flour.  I used Pam for Baking because it already has flour in it.  Or, butter and flour the cups. Or, line the muffin pans with fluted paper or foil liners.  Repeat with a second muffin pan, preparing only 3 cups and spacing them evenly around the pan. Spacing the cups promotes even baking when not all of the cups are filled.  Have all ingredients at room temperature.

To make the pineapple swirl filling:  Drain the pineapple in a sieve over a small bowl. Press the pineapple against the sieve with the back of a spoon to release as much of the juice as possible. Drain the pineapple further on a few sheets of paper toweling. Discard the liquid.  I put the pineapple into a clean, super thin dishtowel, closed it around the pineapple and twisted it until most of the liquid was gone.  

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or use a handheld mixer), beat the cream cheese on very low speed until smooth. Add the sugar and beat until the mixture is smooth. Add the egg and salt, mixing just until the ingredients are blended and creamy.  Gently twist the paper towels around the crushed pineapple to absorb any additional juice, and then stir in 1/3 cup of the pineapple. Save the remainder if you have any for another use.  I saved the leftover juice and pineapple in a container and froze it to put in smoothies for the kids.

To make the banana cupcakes: Sift together the cake flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt onto a sheet of waxed paper.  Put the mashed bananas into a medium bowl, add the milk and vanilla and mix together with a rubber spatula.  In the bowl of the stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar on medium speed until well blended, about 3 minutes. Beat in the egg just until incorporated. Add the banana mixture (it will look curdled but that’s okay; it won’t after you add the flour mixture) and beat on medium-low speed until it is incorporated. On the lowest speed, add the flour mixture in two or three additions, mixing just until smooth after each addition.

Spoon 1 tablespoon of the cupcake batter into each prepared muffin cup, spoon 1 tablespoon of the pineapple filling over the batter and then top each with 2 more tablespoons of the banana batter.  If your oven is wide enough, bake 2 muffin pans side by side, spacing them about 1 inch apart. If not, put the second pan on a rack in the upper third of the oven. Bake the cupcakes until they are golden and spring back without leaving an impression when gently pressed, 22 to 24 minutes.  I would start checking at about 17 minutes.  Transfer to a wire rack and let cool in the pan for 10 minutes.  Gently tap the pan on the counter to see if the cupcakes release from the side.  If not, trace around each form with a small knife to free the cupcakes.  Invert a rack on top of the cupcakes, invert the cupcakes onto it, and carefully lift off the pan.  Place the cupcakes right side up on the rack and let cool completely.

According to Flo Braker, these freeze beautifully.  Place them in a sturdy covered container, label with the contents and date, and freeze up to 10 days.  Thaw at room temperature for about 1 hour.  I put some in the freezer, so I guess I will have to test this.

Source:  Baking for All Occasions by Flo Braker

Toll House Style Tartlets

This morning I decided to make lemon cheesecake tassies.  They sound fabulous right?   Though they tasted good, they all stuck in the pan and were a big mess.  Ugh.  So, I decided to try a different recipe, along the same lines, chocolate chip cookie tartlets.  It seemed sure to be a winner.  So, I made the dough, refrigerated it, and then read in the recipe that I was to “pack” it into the muffin wells.  Hmmm…I interpret pack it to mean fill it.  I thought to myself won’t it run over?  But, the first run of the recipe I like to follow it as written so I packed those wells full, put them in the oven and hoped for the best.  Well, I should have gone with my gut, because darn it if those cookie tartlets didn’t run into each other, creating another giant mess.  So frustrating!  But, I tasted one and it was delicious.  Luckily I had some dough left, so I decided to fill the wells about 2/3 full this time.  Now they baked into perfect little blondie muffins, a bit crisp on the outside and soft and chewy on the inside.  The top sinks in a bit, creating the perfect bowl for a small scoop of your favorite ice cream and some chocolate syrup.  A warm, mini cookie sundae, super cute!  Now, how can I still be mad?? 😀

 Toll House Style Tartlets

Yield:  24 mini tartlets per recipe, I got 31 – even more if you fill the wells about 2/3 full.

1 cup (8 oz) unsalted butter, melted

1 1/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar

1/4 cup white sugar

1 egg

1 egg yolk

1 tsp vanilla

1 tsp baking soda mixed with 1 tablespoon hot water

2 cups all purpose flour

1/4 tsp salt

2 1/2 cups mini semisweet chocolate chips  I used 1 bag, about 2 cups and it was plenty

Line a baking sheet with parchment.  Spray a 24 cup mini muffin pan with nonstick spray.  Set aside.

In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle, cream the butter and both sugars until fluffy.  Blend in the egg, egg yolk, and vanilla.  Stir in the baking soda mixture, then the flour and salt. Stir in the chocolate chips.

Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350F.  Pack the batter into the mini muffin cups – I suggest to only about 2/3 full or they rise too much and will run together.  Place the muffin pan on the prepared baking sheet.

Bake for 15 to 17 minutes, or until just set.  I would start checking at about 10 minutes.  Let cool completely on wire racks.  Freeze, in the pan, for 45 minutes to 1 hour.   I did not freeze them.

Remove the cookies from the cups.  To store, wrap each cookie in waxed paper or cellophane and refrigerate for up to 1 month.  Serve cold.  I served warm and at room temperature.

Source: The New Best Of Better Baking.com

Downtown Bakery and Creamery Donut Muffins: 4 New Flavors

I am a fly by the seat of my pants kind of girl when it comes to menu planning.  So, early Sunday morning, I decided I need to quickly think of a special breakfast to make my family for Easter.  I thought the donut muffins from Downtown Bakery and Creamery would be a great choice.  But then I remembered that my daughter, Sammie, didn’t like the cinnamon sugar very much.  What’s not to like about cinnamon sugar?  I can’t say I get it, but I know she loves chocolate like me.  So, I decided to make some with chocolate glaze.  Then as long as I was making chocolate glaze, I might as well make vanilla glaze for my husband too.  Oh, but wait, how about vanilla bean sugar?  And regular powdered sugar?  So, very quickly plain cinnamon sugar donut muffins spiraled into 5 different flavors.  All the toppings are easy to do, but it does end up dirtying a bunch of dishes.  I always have cinnamon sugar, vanilla sugar and powdered sugar on hand, so those were ready to go.  Then, I was able to make the two glazes while the muffins baked.  So, while it seems like a lot of work to make all those toppings, it really wasn’t.  Jack and Sammie both said “Wow!” when they saw all the flavors (especially the sprinkles!) and they each inhaled 4 muffins.  Well, Sammie ate the tops off of 4 muffins.  😀 What better way to start off Easter than with a super delicious breakfast, followed by searching for baskets, hunting for eggs and spending the day with the people I love more than anything?  For me, it doesn’t get much better than that!

Downtown Bakery and Creamery Donut muffins 5 ways:

Donut muffin recipe:

  • Again I made half of the original recipe and baked them in a mini muffin pan.  This time I got 36 muffins and I baked them for 15 to 18 minutes.

5 Toppings:

Cinnamon Sugar: (the original)

Cinnamon Sugar

melted butter- 2 sticks for original recipe, 1 stick for half a recipe (1/2 stick if you are doing multiple flavors)

Brush the warm muffins with melted butter and roll in cinnamon sugar.

Vanilla Bean Sugar:

Vanilla bean sugar

melted butter- 2 sticks for original recipe, 1 stick for half recipe (1/2 stick if you are doing multiple flavors)

Brush the warm muffins with melted butter and roll in vanilla bean sugar.

Powdered Sugar:

about 1/2 cup powdered sugar in a small bowl

Roll warm muffins in powdered sugar

Chocolate glaze:  (This is the original recipe, I made half and still had lots left over.)

5 Tbs. unsalted butter

4 oz. semisweet chocolate chips

2 cups confectioners’ sugar

1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

1/4 cup hot water

sprinkles optional

Fill the bottom pan of a double boiler with 1 inch of water and bring to a simmer over medium heat. In the top pan of the double boiler, melt the butter and chocolate chips. I melted the chocolate and butter in the microwave.  Remove from the heat and whisk in the confectioners’ sugar, vanilla and hot water until combined. Set the top pan over the simmering water and keep the glaze warm until ready to use.  Dip the doughnuts, one at a time, into the warm glaze, covering the top half of each doughnut with glaze. Immediately add sprinkles if desired.  Place the doughnuts, glazed side up, on the wire rack and let the glaze set for 10 minutes

Vanilla glaze:  This is the original recipe, I made half and still had lots left over.

Follow the instructions for preparing the chocolate glaze, omitting the chocolate chips and decreasing the hot water to 3 Tbs.

Sources:  Fine Cooking for the donut muffins.  Williams-Sonoma for the chocolate and vanilla glaze.  Better Homes and Gardens for the vanilla bean sugar.

Note:  You will need to use your judgment to adjust the amount of topping depending on whether you make the original recipe or half recipe, regular sized muffins or mini, and the number of flavors you decide to make.

Mini Maple Pancake Muffins

I don’t have time to make a big breakfast Monday through Friday because I have a first grader to get on the bus by 7:20, a preschooler to be at school by 9, and a baby to carry along for the ride.  So, it is cereal, muffins, or Pop-tarts for breakfast on those early school mornings.  On the weekend, I wake up all excited to make a big breakfast and ask the kids what they would like to eat. Usually my excitement is met with…”We just want cereal”. Ugh. But, when I offer to make these Mini Maple Pancake Muffins, they often accept the compromise.  I love that I can have the batter mixed in less than 10 minutes and baked in 9 minutes, so breakfast is on the table in less than 20 minutes!  They don’t need much to dress them up, just a dusting of powdered sugar and some sweet whipped cream. They are so cute and just the right size to pop in your mouth. So when you are looking for a quick, delicious, kid friendly breakfast, this is it!



Mini Maple Pancake Muffins

 Yield: 24 mini muffins

1 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
2 Tbsp sugar
2/3 cup buttermilk
1 egg
2 tbsp pure maple syrup (I just use pancake syrup)
2 tbsp melted butter
1/2 cup milk chocolate chips (I prefer mini semi-sweet chips)

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray a mini muffin pan well with cooking spray.

In a medium bowl mix the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and sugar) together with a wire whisk.

In a small bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients (buttermilk, egg, syrup, melted butter). Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Add in the chocolate chips, stir to distribute.

Using a small spoon, drop some batter in each well of the muffin tin, filling a little over 2/3s full. Sprinkle with chocolate chips if desired.

Bake at 350°F for 8-9 minutes, or until they start to brown.  Let cool for about 5 minutes before using a small spoon to pop them out onto a serving plate. Serve with syrup or dusted with powdered sugar and whipped cream.

Source:  Bakerella

Helpful hints:

  • I almost never have buttermilk, because it goes bad before I can use it all. So, in a liquid measuring cup, I put 2 tsp of lemon juice and add milk up to the 2/3 cup mark. I do this first and let it sit while I prepare the rest of the ingredients.
  • Make sure to generously spray inside the wells and the across the top of the muffin tin. I have found that a small spoon works the best for removing the muffins. If any part sticks, run the spoon around it, and it should come free without damaging the muffin. And if it does, no worries, it still tastes delicious!
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