chocolate chip almond muffins

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Apparently December is brunch month for me – with pain au chocolateapple pie biscuits and cinnamon-almond scones and now… muffins! Sure everyone else is helping you make Christmas cookies but here at Wee Eats we are committed to ensuring you are covered for your most important meal of the day.

These muffins are adapted from Monica over at Playing with Flour. She’s got tons of gorgeous goodies over on her blog, I highly recommend you stop by and check her out!

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These are not those big, dense muffins from your nightmares. The almond flour in these muffins give them a remarkably light crumb, they have a touch of sweetness, and then sliced almonds on to give them a nice little “crunch” as if to say “Good morning, Sunshine!”

Although her recipe calls for orange zest, I left it out because I’ve never really been into that whole chocolate-orange thing. Instead, I added a dash of almond extract to complement the almond flour and sliced almonds, and took these guys another route.

almond muffin pin 2

chocolate chip almond muffins

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 12 to 15 muffins

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup mini chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup almond meal
  • 1 stick cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract (optional)
  • 1 cup buttermilk, shaken
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and line a muffin tin with liners. Grease liners, if desired, to aid in easy removal of muffins.
  2. Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together in a medium bowl. Add the mini chocolate chips and toss to coat with the flour mixture.
  3. Place sugar and almond meal into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add butter and beat on medium-high speed until fluffy, about 1 minute.
  4. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until incorporated scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula.
  5. Add vanilla and almond extracts, then add the buttermilk and beat on low speed until combined.
  6. Remove bowl from stand mixer and add the flour mixture. Fold flour mixture into wet mixture, stirring just until combined.
  7. Scoop batter into the prepared muffin cups (the batter will be very stiff), filling them nearly to the top and sprinkle with the sliced almonds.
  8. Bake until muffins are lightly browned and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 12-14 minutes. Let muffins cool in the pans on a wire rack for about 5 minutes, then remove them from the pans and set onto the rack to finish cooling.
http://wee-eats.com/2014/12/16/chocolate-chip-almond-muffins/

[ Recipe adapted from: Playing with Flour ]

whole wheat roasted banana muffins

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I first made these muffins on a whim, I had two super-ripe (on the verge of garbage-can-ripe) bananas sitting in my fruit bowl begging not to be thrown away. I stared at them for a long time, thinking,  relatively certain that every banana bread recipe in the world requires more than two bananas. I could have made some banana pancakes, but at 7:00 PM on a weeknight (after we had just eaten dinner) it might have seemed just a touch odd to start making pancakes.

So, I pondered a moment and decided in a moment of genius to ROAST the bananas. In my big dinosaur brain I figured with SAT-style math equations that two ripe bananas plus the roasting power of the oven (divided by the square root of the deliciousness of regular banana bread) should equal the flavor of at LEAST three bananas… Then I decided to amp up the flavor with a bit of whole wheat flour and tweaked the moisture content just a bit to make sure the texture doesn’t go bananas on me (ha- get it? BANANAS).

Et, voila!

Banana bread was had. Well, banana MUFFINS, to be more exact. But in my world banana “muffins” are really just banana bread poured into a muffin tin.

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They ended up being FRIGGIN DELICIOUS and I couldn’t wait to share them with you guys… except that I didn’t have any to share. Because instead of sharing them with you I shared them with my belly. So I had to buy some more bananas and play that dreadful game we all play when we want to  make banana bread: The Waiting Game.

Buy bananas now, eat banana bread in 5 to 10 days.

Must not consume all of the bananas before said day arrives.

I also fully intended, now that I had purchased a surplus of bananas specifically to make these muffins, to do that thing where you bake a slice of banana on top of the muffin and it looks super pretty.  Unfortunately, due to a fierce smoothie addiction that is apparently contagious (since FH caught it), I ended up with the same issue as last time – only two bananas.

No extra banana fanciness. Maybe next time. For now, make the bananas, maybe press a piece of sliced banana in the top and let me know what kind of magic happens. Throw on some streusel while you’re at it, or stir in some chocolate chips… Or, if you’re evil like me, trick your Future Husband (or person of your choice) by whispering to them menacingly after they’ve raved about how good the muffins are, “Psst – they have whole grain flour in them…” and watch the color drain from their face as they stare at you in horror for making them eat something (almost) a teeny bit healthful.

You monster.

roasted banana muffins

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 50 minutes

Yield: 9 to 12 muffins

Serving Size: 1 muffin

Ingredients

  • 2 (or 3) ripe bananas
  • 1/3 cup neutral vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup all purpose flour (I used 2/3 cup regular all purpose + 1/3 cup whole wheat flour)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F degrees.
  2. Place unpeeled bananas on a foil or parchment-lined baking sheet (for easy clean-up) and roast about 20 to 30 minutes until completely blackened. Remove from oven and cool slightly until cool enough to handle.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour(s), baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.
  4. In a large bowl, mash roasted bananas. Once the bananas close to room temperature, whisk in the sugars and oil until incorporated.
  5. Add the egg and stir to combine.
  6. Add the flour in two additions, and gently fold until combined, being careful not to over-mix.
  7. Bake in preheated oven for 15 to 20 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center of the muffin comes out mostly clean with just a few crumbs clinging to it.

Notes

*If you would like to top these with streusel or just a bit of crumbled brown sugar, it will yield a slightly sweeter muffin.

*You can still see little chunks of banana in my muffin - if you don't want chunks just mash your bananas to be chunk-free!

*These were great with 2 bananas (which was all I had on hand) but if you want to add a third banana (mashed or chopped) I would keep the rest of the ingredients the same.

http://wee-eats.com/2014/03/11/whole-wheat-roasted-banana-muffins/

Apple Muffins

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Apple season is upon us, and as we’ve already discussed that pies are not my favorite thing to make, and after achieving great success with apples in cake form, I turned my focus to the next logical apple vessel: muffins.

I recently inherited a wonderful America’s Test Kitchen cookbook, called the “Quick Family Cookbook.”  While it’s not winning any awards in the style department, it is chock-full of AMAZING recipes.  And, I see that it’s super cheap on amazon.  If you don’t own this book, quickly run to amazon (or your local bookstore, whichever you prefer to support) and pick up a copy right now.  Like, “now,” as in before you even finish reading this post.

Do it.

Anyway, back to the muffins!

They require ingredients that you probably have on hand and very minimal effort, and  what you get in return is a light, flavorful muffin packed with apple flavor.  This muffin is light enough that it won’t make you feel guilty about going in for a second one, and flavorful enough to sate even the strongest apple craving.

 

Apple Muffins

Yield: 12 muffins

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 cups applesauce
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 10 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375F degrees and prepare a 12-cup muffin tin (either grease or line with liners)
  2. 1. In a large bowl, whisk flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt to combine.
  3. 2. In a separate bowl, mix the applesauce, vanilla, and sugar. Whisk in the melted butter until smooth, then whisk in the eggs one at a time, being careful not to overmix. .
  4. 3. Gently fold the applesauce mixture into the flour mixture just until combined. It might be a little lumpy, that's OK.
  5. 4. Portion batter into prepared muffin cups, Bake 15 to 18 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean. Cool slightly before removing from the pan.

Notes

These are great with a sprinkle with sugar or cinnamon sugar (because what doesn't taste better with a sprinkle of cinnamon sugar?) For my usual cinnamon-sugar, I mix 1 teaspoon of cinnamon with 1 Tablespoon of sugar).s - sprinkle on top of muffins before putting them into the oven.

Try adding chunky applesauce or some apple chunks to boost up the apple-appeal even further.

http://wee-eats.com/2013/10/29/apple-muffins/

[ Adapted from The America’s Test Kitchens Quick Family Cookbook ]

healthy choco-nana protein muffins

 

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Since I’ve been working on my fitness lately, I’ve been trying to work more nutritious items into my life.  So I’ve been reworking some recipes that would normally cause me to feel guilt, and finding a way to make myself feel less guilty after eating them.  So, I got some vanilla protein powder, and I’ve been pretty much putting it into everything with reckless abandon.  You know, for science.

It’s basically the recipe-equivalent of throwing everything against the wall and “seeing what sticks,” so to speak.  I’ve been mixing it with granola bars, shakes, my morning oatmeal, and even rice krispy treats.  Seriously.

So far, pretty much everything has been a success.

So when I saw these “skinny chocolate banana muffins” on Sally’s Baking Addiction, clearly my first thought was to add protein (since they’re already “skinny,” part of the work has already been done for me!

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Of course I modified the recipe a bit, I was worried that the extra protein from the protein powder would make them gummy or dry.  If you’ve ever eaten a packaged protein snack, you probably know exactly what texture I’m talking about here.  I was torn between using some cake flour or additional oil (since the oil would add fat), but ended up going with a little bit of vegetable oil, which should help with both the crumb and the density of the finished product.

I swear you wouldn’t even know that these were healthy.  I took the leftovers to work and left them in the break room for my unsuspecting coworkers…  and I waited.  Everyone was raving about how good the muffins were, none the wiser that they were actually “healthy*”

*Note, by “healthy” I mean “healthier than your average muffin”

Chocolate Banana Protein Muffins

Makes 12 muffins

Printable Recipe

  • 3 large over-ripe bananas
  • 2 scoops protein powder (I used vanilla ViShake mix)
  • ⅔ granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 3 Tablespoons applesauce
  • 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup cocoa powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup + ½ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, separated

1. Preheat oven to 375F and line a muffin tin with liners.

2. In a medium bowl whisk the flour, protein powder, cocoa powder, salt, baking soda and baking powder; set aside.

3. In a large bowl, mash the bananas with sugar and applesauce until smooth.  Stir in egg and vanilla. Fold in dry ingredients, being careful not to overmix.  When the batter is almost fully mixed, fold in 1 cup of chocolate chips.

4. Divide batter evenly between 12 muffin cups, filling them almost to the top.  Sprinkle with additional ½ cup of chocolate chips (if desired).  Bake for 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out mostly clean with just a few crumbs sticking to it.

5.  When done baking, cool in pan 5 minutes, then turn out onto wire rack to cool completely.  Store in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

[ Recipe adapted from Sally’s Baking Addiction ]
protein-muffin pin

 

Sunday Brunch: Bouchon Bakery’s Blueberry Muffins

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These muffins will change your life.  They are so light and moist that you will forget all about those dense, dry, or gummy things from the bakery case at the grocery store.  These particular muffins have juicy berries, a hint of lemon, and crunchy almond streusel.  It’s everything you could possibly ask for in a muffin (and maybe even a little more).

The magic takes place overnight.  Now I know muffins are usually in the family of instant gratification, but Thomas Keller insists that the overnight rest to allows the flour to fully hydrate and gives the flavors time to marry.

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Is it really worth it? All that t extra time between mixing and eating just so it can hang out in the fridge?

In a word: Yep.

I was positive I overbaked these muffins.  Positive.  I spent all this extra time waiting for them to cook to a perfect golden-brown, so by the time they reached that color, I did my toothpick test and it came out dry as a bone.  Now, with the the toothpick test I usually looks for a few crumbs to show there is still some moisture in there, so of course I was devastated.  After the overnight rest, I was going to have to start all over again.  I took a bite anyway, just to see how they were.

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They were perfect.  They had a perfect tender crumb and bright, blueberry flavor, with just a subtle almondy sweetness from the streusel.  If I were to do it over again, I would probably add some brown sugar to the streusel to make it more streusely (totally a word).

I adapted this muffin recipe from Shannon at A Periodic Table, who makes it a little more user-friendly for the average home cook, who may not want to measure 72 grams of eggs.  Since I was using her recipe, I didn’t even realize that I was leaving out the molasses called for in the book (which may lend a darker hue to these pale muffins) but, to be honest, I didn’t miss it one bit, and her addition of lemon helps to brighten up the flavor of these beautiful muffins.

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You can find the original recipe on page 76 of the Bouchon Bakery Cookbok, and if you don’t have molasses in your pantry, don’t fret, your muffins will survive just fine without it.  I added the almond streusel from the book, but it really wasn’t necessary, the muffins would’ve been just as delicious without it.

Bouchon Bakery’s Blueberry Muffins

Yields 1 dozen muffins

Printable Recipe

For batter:

  • ¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup + 1 ½ Tablespoons cake flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 7 Tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 Tablespoons unsulfured blackstrap molasses* (I left this out)
  • 3 Tablespoons clover honey
  • 2 large eggs
  • ½  teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • ¼  cup buttermilk + 2 Tablespoons (reserved for post-batter rest)

For berries:

  • Scant 1 cup of frozen berries
  • 1 Tablespoon all-purpose flour

For streusel:

  • ¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup almond flour
  • ½ cup granulated sugar* (Optional: use ¼ cup granulated sugar and ¼ cup brown sugar, or replace all of the granulated sugar with brown sugar)
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 stick (8 Tablespoons) unsalted butter

 

  1. Toss berries with 1 Tablespoon of flour and return to the freezer.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flours, baking soda, baking powder, and kosher salt; set aside.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium speed until pale.  Scrape down the sides and add the sugar, continue beating until light and fluffy; about 2-3 minutes. Scrape down the sides and bottom of bowl (again) and add the lemon juice, zest, and honey (molasses too, if using) and continue beating to incorporate.  Scrape down the bowl, and add the eggs and vanilla, mix on low speed until combined; about 30 seconds.
  4. Add the flour mixture and buttermilk in 2 additions (flour-buttermilk-flour-buttermilk) mixing on low just until incorporated. Be extremely careful not to over-mix the batter. Scrape down the bottoms and sides of the bowl one last time, and then either transfer to a new bowl or leave in that one, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight or up to 36 hours.
  5. While that is doing its thing, you might as well make the streusel.  Mix all of the dry ingredients together in a medium bowl, melt the butter in the microwave and stir into the dry ingredients with a fork until completely mixed.  Cover and refrigerate until show time.
  6. When ready to make the muffins, take the batter out of the fridge and set on the counter to come to take the chill off.   Preheat the oven to 425˚F and line a muffin tin with paper cups.
  7. Once the oven is preheated, add the reserved 2 tablespoons of buttermilk to your batter and gently fold into the batter to loosen it.  The batter will be very thick (and conveniently scoopable).  Sprinkle the berries over the top of your batter and gently fold into batter, using as few strokes as possible.
  8. Scoop batter into muffin cups, and sprinkle with up to 3 tablespoons of streusel, lightly pressing the streusel into the muffin batter.
  9. Place the pan in the oven and lower the temperature to 325˚F.  Bake for 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.  Cool completely on a wire rack.
  10. These muffins are best served fresh, but can be stored in an airtight container up to 3 days, or individually wrapped and frozen once cooled.  Set out overnight to thaw or reheat, wrapped in foil, in a 325˚F oven for 20-30 minutes until heated through.

 

 Adapted from A Periodic Table & The Bouchon Bakery Cookbok