Pumpkin Streusel Muffin
The other weekend I hosted a few friends for a boozy brunch – followed by a Hunger Games Marathon. I needed something that was quick and easy, just in case the boozy part started before the brunch part. So I checked out a few of my favorite cookbooks in hopes of a spark, and it worked! While a coffee cake was out of the question, I decided I could easily adapt the recipe to work for over-sized muffin tins – and that they needed a bit of pumpkin. This is loosely based on the “quick coffee cake” recipe from Joy of Cooking, just without the egg and smaller amounts of milk plus pumpkin and vegan – so might be more accurate to say this is inspired by that recipe but whatever!
There were enjoyed with some fake bacon, turkey bacon, buttermilk pancakes, and lots of champagne based fruity drinks. Most likely will go all out next year when the final movie comes out, and might actually do something “on theme” at that point – but there is something to be said about random carbs and champagne.
Cheesy Jalapeno Cornbread Muffins
Apparently Mother Nature forgot to check her calender for it’s snowing in March in the Mid-Atlantic, and that’s just not right (or normal). This is resulting in a very large number of soups in my household, and with that a lot of crusty bread for soaking up every last drop. However one can not survive on crusty bread alone, so I decide to spice things up by adjusting one of my favorite cornbread recipes. The first few times I made this by just topping the muffin dough with the pepper and cheese, but quickly realized that folding them in was the better option – even though it increases the risk of heavy muffins. In my oh-so-scientific experimentation I found that adding folding in the pepper and cheese with the last bit of flour seems to keep the muffins fluffy while still insuring a mostly even distribution of the cheese and peppers.
These muffins are the perfect addition to a nice comforting soup, allowing you to soak up all the goodness – with just the right little kick. For those looking for a real boost serrano peppers can easily be switched in, either seeded or as is. Just be warned that these muffins are rather addicting, so if you serve them to guests be prepared to share the recipe! Or risk having them call you up at dinner time asking for the recipe…
Chocolate Stuffed Muffins
Oh, chocolate – you are amazing. Which is why I was rather thrilled to see that Random Recipes – hosted by the fantastic Dom of Belleau Kitchen along with the Chocolate Log Blog (cuz chocolate!!!) – was going chocolate this month, in addition to the normal rules. I only have two dedicated dessert books, but found that a number of my books had at least one chocolate recipe tucked away. In the end a non-dessert book won out, and with that these delicious chocolate filled muffins from 1000 Vegetarian Recipes. I did make a slight adjustment to the recipe, as the basic muffin directions called for zest which is something I avoid due to an allergy. I also decided to go with milk chocolate chips, while the original recipe didn’t say one way or another.
The best thing about this recipe is that the technique can be used for making other types of filled/stuffed muffins. I could see pieces of fruit, jam, or caramel (!) doing rather nicely in this delicious muffin – or being really naughty and putting brownie or cookie dough in the middle! If I was to do chocolate again I would probably use something more like a chocolate nugget as the chips didn’t really give it as much chocolate as I was expecting – or use a chocolate spread like Nutella!
Apple Caramel Muffin
I’ve never been a big muffin fan, no matter how delicious the first bite is they aren’t interesting enough to hold my attention. However that is also the reason why I’m constantly experimenting with muffins in an attempt to find a combination that will keep me interesting. Part of it is in the texture, there has to be some bite to the muffin, while the other is the repetition in taste. So with those “issues” in mind I set out to create a muffin that I would want to finish and not save for later or hand off to the husband. I had some leftover caramel left along with an apple that was threatening to turn on me. With those two ingredients I figured I stood a chance at creating the perfect (for me) muffin. I made a few muffins each time before finally figuring out the right proportions and the right time to add the caramel – too soon and it blended in while adding it too late resulted in a sticky mess.
These muffins were perfection! They have enough sweetness that they can work as a dessert, but no so sweet that they can’t be served at breakfast or with dinner. The real trick was putting the caramel in the middle allowing for it to bubble up but reducing the chance of it sticking (or burning) on the liners.