New Pinterest Recipe of the Week: Pumpkin Nutella Swirl Muffins

Oh my goodness! The holidays and everything that goes with them are starting to take over life here, thus why this New Pinterest Recipe of the Week is so late in getting up. (Maybe I should just start calling it New Pinterest Recipe of the Every Other Week.) Anyway, I’m hoping to have the time to try some new Christmas recipes to post up here in the next few weeks, but until then enjoy this throwback to November, with Pumpkin Nutella Swirl Muffins!

Like I mentioned earlier in the blog, due to my husband’s schedule we did an early Thanksgiving. However, I am not the type to send him off to work empty-handed, especially on a holiday. Since a dinner was being provided, I needed something that would go with the meal, but wouldn’t be a repeat of something already being served. Obviously pumpkin is one of those quintessential fall flavors (just check Pinterest any time between September and November if you have any doubt), and muffins aren’t likely to already be on a Thanksgiving table. Add to the fact that these include Nutella, and I was sold. I found this recipe over at The Novice Chef.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar (I used dark, but it probably doesn’t make much of a difference if you use light brown instead.)
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 2 Tbsp. milk (I used whole milk.)
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • Nutella for swirling

Preheat your oven to 350°F and prepare your muffin tin(s) by adding liners.

In a medium bowl, combine your dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt).

In a large bowl, combine the pumpkin with both the granulated and brown sugars. Add the egg, vegetable oil, milk, and vanilla extract, beating until combined. Slowly add your dry ingredient mixture, mixing until there are no lumps. (I divided the dry mixture into thirds for mixing it in.)

Fill muffin tins about 3/4 full with batter and then top with Nutella. Use a toothpick or a knife point to swirl the Nutella.

Bake for about 15 minutes or until a toothpick or tester stick comes out clean.

Pumpkin Nutella Swirl Muffins

Tweaks and Overall Review

So when buying canned pumpkin, that smallest can one can find (or at least I could find) was 15oz. 15 oz. is more than a cup. Fortunately though, it is not much shy of two cups, so to make my life easier, and yours, too, if you don’t want to have a partially used can of pumpkin puree lying around when you try this, I took the standard 15 oz. can, used the whole thing, and just doubled the recipe. Problem solved. Now, partially since I doubled the recipe and partially since I like a bigger looking muffin, I filled my tins a little fuller than 3/4. That increased my baking time to about 20 minutes and also gave me a yield of 22 total muffins for my double batch.

I was pretty pleased with how these turned out. Big and Little Bit both seemed to enjoy them. The only thing I would tweak on a future attempt is that if you got a bite that didn’t have much Nutella swirl in it, the flavor seemed a little bland. To give the pumpkin batter a little of its own kick, I’ll probably add some cinnamon, nutmeg, or pumpkin pie spice to it the next time I make these. I’m leaning toward the cinnamon just because that seems a pretty safe bet for the other flavors I’d be working with. On the whole though, this was a pretty straight-forward, easy recipe, perfectly suited to when you need some pumpkin flavor in your life.

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New Pinterest Recipe of the Week: Strawberry Chocolate Chip Muffins

So before I get into the recipe, let me just say hello! I know I’ve been silent for a while. If the lack of posts didn’t give you a hint, we’ve been BUSY out here. There just never seemed to be enough time to sit down and write a post. Part of that was Big Bit being on fall break for a chunk of the time. She’s gotten used to having a nice, active day, so when she was on break we had to have something to do (preferably outside the house) or she, and thus the rest of us, would have gone crazy. We filled the time with trips to the zoo, the museum, just going for walks, etc. Anything to get her out of the house and burning off all that energy she has.

Anyway, one of her days at home, Big Bit decided to be my baking helper and so she actually assisted with this particular Pinterest recipe (she was a most excellent mixing assistant). Now, full disclosure, this isn’t my first time making these muffins. I made them once before for Hubs to take on a work shift. The original recipe comes from Sally’s Baking Addiction and it turned out well enough, but not quite to my taste. Granted, part of that was due to the fact that from the get go I was making tweaks to the original recipe, so this time around was for me to tweak my tweaks. Anyway, I’m going to give you my version, but by all means, go back to the source and try the original, if you care to. I’ll explain some of the changes I made further after the recipe.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup packed, light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup and 2 Tbsp unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 cup diced strawberries
  • 1/3 cup mini chocolate chips (I used semi-sweet)

Preheat your oven to 350°F and either spray your muffin tin with non-stick spray or use liners. As you know, I prefer the liner method.

In a bowl, combine your dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, and cinnamon). In a separate, and slightly larger bowl, combine the white and brown sugars with the applesauce until there aren’t any lumps. Once the sugar/applesauce mixture is smooth add the egg. Then take the dry ingredients and add them to the wet, mixing until they are just combined. Gently fold in the strawberries and chocolate chips.

Spoon out your batter into your muffin tin (I got an even dozen). Bake for 15-20 minutes depending on your oven. When done the tops should be lightly browned and a tester stick should come out clean. Mine took closer to the 20 minutes than the 15, so unless your oven runs hot, I wouldn’t check them until about 17 minutes in to the bake time, and even then they might need an extra minute or two. Allow them to cool and then enjoy.Strawberry Chocolate Chip Muffins

Tweaks and Overall Review

Ok, so what did I change and why. Well, first off, I increased the amount of cinnamon used. I just like the taste of cinnamon, so this was totally a personal preference. Second, the original recipe calls only for an egg white, but I just went ahead and used a whole egg. Granted, that makes my version less “skinny” than the original, but for only doing a batch of these at a time, unless I happen to have a spare egg white lying around (which I never do), I’ll just use the whole egg and skip separating it and then trying to figure out something to do with the yolk. Using the whole egg rather than just the white does make the muffins a little richer, but since I’m not overly concerned about calorie counts for myself, I don’t mind. If you want to go ahead and just use an egg white like in the original, go ahead. It shouldn’t have to much of an impact on the overall flavor. When it came to strawberries I upped the amount from 2/3 of a cup to a full cup. The first time I made these I stuck with the original measurement and there just didn’t seem to be enough strawberry flavor in combination with the chocolate. Part of that was my use of semi-sweet chips rather than a milk chocolate or even a dark chocolate chip, so the chocolate flavor was pretty strong to begin with. By increasing the amount of strawberry pieces in the batter, I was able to get a better balance between the chocolate and the strawberries.

I’m really happy with how this batch turned out. The original recipe was good, but now I think I’ve got this to where it suits my own tastes perfectly. Once again, they were a huge success when my husband took them to work. I hope you like them, too. I’d be really interested to hear from other people who try this recipe both ways and what their thoughts are or any tweaks they make themselves.

Enjoy your muffins!

New Pinterest Recipe of the Week: Peach Oatmeal Muffins

Something kind of funny happened when I decided to make these. I knew I had all the ingredients on hand, which was delightfully convenient since waddling my pregnant butt around the commissary is getting more tiresome by the day. Funny thing was though, I had exactly the amount I needed for two of my ingredients to make this batch of muffins, no more, no less. I guess it was meant to be.

As a treat to myself, I splurged on some beautiful, organic peaches this past week. When I’m pregnant, I love a good peach, or anything peachy, really. It’s one craving that has been consistent in all my pregnancies (and this is #3). So having such lovely peaches on hand (and they really were), I knew that this week’s New Pinterest Recipe had to be something with peaches in it. I found this recipe over at Damn Delicious and it seemed perfect for my needs: peachy, wouldn’t take too long (because standing in a kitchen when almost 9 months pregnant is tiresome as well), and not completely unhealthy (The peach and the oats totally balance everything else out, right? Right!). So here we go: Peach Oatmeal Muffins.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 tsps. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1 cup chopped peaches (I ended up using closer to 1 1/2-2 cups since one chopped peach didn’t give me quite enough, so I ended up using two, which since they were rather large, was more than enough. But like I said, this pregnant lady loves peaches so having extra was not an issue for me.)
  • Cinnamon-sugar for sprinkling on top

Preheat the oven to 400°F and line a standard 12 cup muffin tin with paper liners.

In a large bowl, combine your flour, oats, sugar, baking powder, and salt (your dry ingredients).

In a smaller bowl, or a large measuring cup, whisk your egg, sour cream, and butter together (the wet ingredients).

Pour the wet ingredients over the dry, and combine until just moist.

Add peaches and gently stir to combine.

Distribute batter evenly in your lined muffin cups and top with a sprinkling of cinnamon-sugar.

Bake for about 16-18 mins. Makes about 10-12 muffins.

Peach Oatmeal Muffins

Tweaks and Overall Review

I ended up with 12 muffins in my finished batch. Considering that I had probably almost doubled the amount of peach in mine, a standard batch would probably turn out 9 or 10. Also, because I filled my muffin tins almost to the brim, my baking time was a little longer. I took them out at 20 mins., since at 18 they were still just a little too underdone and I wanted slightly more color on the tops. Finally, I will take this chance to emphasize: Use liners for this one! It will make your life easier. Even if you usually don’t, use liners this time. Oh, and be sure and use fresh peaches. I know that makes this more of a seasonal recipe, but just don’t bother with frozen on this one. The flavor just won’t be the same.

These turned out so well. I was really pleased. You can definitely taste the oats, but there is plenty of peach to go with it. One of my taste testers described them as being like peaches and cream oatmeal in muffin form. These are definitely something to eat same day as baking, since hopefully you are using nice, juicy peaches, so I wouldn’t recommend letting the muffins sit too long. I don’t imagine that being a problem though. These are definitely getting added to the regular baking rotation. Hopefully I’ll get another good batch of peaches and can make them again soon, because these were just that good.

New Pinterest Recipe of the Week: Fresh Strawberry Muffins

A friend of ours, Andie, had a longish layover on her way to visit some family back home, so instead of having her languish in the airport for hours, the girls and I went and picked her up so she could spend the time with us. We used to be stationed together, and the whole family has missed her now that we are no longer in the same zip code (or time zone for that matter). Frankly, Andie is the kind of friend every mom should have. She’s an awesome girlfriend to hang out with, but also adores the girls and was almost always able and willing to babysit or take Big Bit out for a while. So yeah, to sum up, Andie is awesome.

What does this have to do with Fresh Strawberry Muffins? Well back when we were in the same zip code, Andie was my partner in crime when it came to baking, so when she was here we did exactly what we used to: Stuck in a Disney movie for white noise and kid entertainment (in this case a double feature of Cinderella and The Little Mermaid) and got to baking. We decided to make these muffins that I found from Real Mom Kitchen since they looked delicious but didn’t make too large a batch or take too long to bake (we did have to get Andie back to the airport in time for her next flight).

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup of butter, softened (I used unsalted)
  • 3/4 cup of sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cups of flour (I used all-purpose)
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups of fresh strawberries, chopped (I had closer to 2 cups, but I wanted to finish off the box I had bought. Anyway, who doesn’t mind some extra strawberries?)
  • 3 tsp. sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon

Heat oven to 400°F.

Cream together the butter and sugar. Add the egg and mix well.

In a small bowl, sift together your flour, baking powder, and salt. Add flour mixture to wet ingredients, alternating with the milk. Add vanilla. Gently fold in strawberries, trying to get an even distribution in the batter.

Spoon batter into muffin pan(s). (I recommend lining them with wrappers for easier clean up.)

Sprinkle cinnamon and sugar over the tops of the muffins.

Bake 20-25 mins.

Makes approx. 12 muffins. Best eaten fresh as they tend to get gooey after a day due to the moisture from the strawberries.

Fresh Strawberry Muffins

Tweaks and Overall Review

These turned out beautifully! Our total bake time was 23 mins., so right in line with the recipe called for. We ended up getting 18 muffins from our batch, but that was probably due to adding the extra half cup of strawberries, which is the only real tweak I made to this recipe. The cinnamon-sugar made for a wonderful crunchy top for the muffins while the insides were moist and delicious. They weren’t overly sweet, but had a nice strawberry flavor and also weren’t as dense as I was originally expecting them to be. Now I can’t personally vouch for the whole “they get gooey after a day,” since none of ours lasted that long (They were that good!), but given how juicy our strawberries were, I think this advice is valid.

Overall a very good recipe, especially if you are hosting an event or have enough people in the house to know that these will get eaten on baking day.

New Pinterest Recipe of the Week: Raspberry Sour Cream Muffins

When I am pregnant there is one thing I do a lot of, or at least more than usual. I bake. Nesting isn’t necessarily cleaning or organizing for me. More likely it’s the absolute need to make brownies at midnight (pregnancy #1), or some similar harebrained baking scheme. Anyway, the other day I went on what I consider my first pregnancy-related baking binge. The girls were behaving, Hubs was home from work to help keep an eye on them, and so I went for it. I made banana bread (my tried and true recipe, which I’ll post later this week) and these muffins. The recipe comes from Slice of Southern and was really easy to make.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tbsp. baking powder
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 6 Tbsp. canola oil
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 cup raspberries (You can use frozen, but I used fresh because, if you can find nice ones in season, why settle for anything less?)

Preheat the oven to 400°F and either grease a muffin pan or use paper liners.

In a large bowl add flour, baking powder, and salt, stirring to mix. In another smaller bowl, lightly beat your two eggs and then add the sugar, canola oil, sour cream, and vanilla. Stir until just blended. Pour your wet ingredients into your dry ingredients and stir until just moistened, taking care not to over mix. Gently fold in your raspberries, doing your best not to mash them. (If you have used fresh, this may be harder if you have some really ripe ones mixed in. Don’t worry if a couple don’t survive folding intact, it just makes some pretty swirls of color on your finished muffins.)

Spoon your batter (it will be rather thick) into your prepared muffin pan. (I portioned out about 1/4-1/3 cup of batter per muffin and that made pretty good sized ones.) Bake for 20 mins. or until golden brown. Allow to cool 5 minutes in the pan and then transfer to a wire rack.

Makes approx. 12 muffins.

IMG_1415

Tweaks and Overall Review:

The main thing I changed, more out of caution than anything else, was I lowered the oven temperature to 375°F. My oven tends to run slightly hot and I was using dark bakeware, so I just wanted to be sure these didn’t get burned. Changing the oven temperature added another 5 mins. at 375° and then an additional 5 mins. at 400° in order to get a nice golden color on the tops of the muffins. Whether this was truly necessary is debatable, but the muffins turned out fine either way.

This makes a very dense muffin. These will definitely fill you up if you make them for breakfast. They have the barest hint of sweetness, but the most prevalent flavor is the slight tartness of the raspberries. These will not be short on raspberry flavor. Every muffin I had contained at least three raspberries in it, if not one or two more. They tasted best warm from the oven with a bit of butter, but still kept well for the next day. I wouldn’t recommend trying to make them last one or two days past baking though, as the raspberries within the muffins stay quite moist and moisture is generally not a friend to food preservation.