Chocolate Chip Coffee Muffins= Love!

Your whole breakfast in a muffin!

I’ve never been a humongous fan of Valentine’s day; I just don’t understand the purpose. I care for Nicholas every most days, so why does there need to be a day special day to declare my love? I have always thought that this holiday was just a simple ploy by Hallmark and Florists nationwide to boost their economies :P.

Even though I am not a fan, Valentine’s day is a great opportunity for me to do some baking! Being that this year is on a Tuesday, it makes it difficult for me (and many others) to prepare something special. Nick has classes and labs all day, other people work. This is why I believe this muffin is PERFECT for Valentine’s day: it is a great grab-and-go breakfast for your significant other (or just for yourself…I don’t judge!).

For those that do not know me, I HATE waking up in the morning. In fact, I wake up as LATE as I possibly can before class just to get an extra ten or fifteen minutes of shut eye. This leaves me barely enough time to eat breakfast; usually I find myself eating a cereal bar (on a good day!).

Not only does this muffin provide a filling, quick, on-the-go breakfast, but it also contains one of the best morning beverages: coffee. Nick LOVED these muffins! The taste of coffee is definitely there, but not too powerful. And just when you start noticing the coffee flavor, you get a nice taste of chocolate. Chocolate AND coffee in a muffin…does it get any better?! Being that there is only 1/2 cup of chocolate chips in the recipe, the chocolate is not overwhelming, but rather the perfect amount for you to devour in the morning without feeling guilty!

This recipe is slightly modified from Myrecipes.com

Ingredients

  • 2/3 cup skim milk (the original calls for whole…it doesn’t matter what type you use, I just like to save on calories when possible!)
  • 5 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 3 tablespoons instant coffee granules
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 9 ounces all-purpose flour (about 2 cups)
  • 2/3 cup sugar plus 3 teaspoons sugar (to be used later)
  • 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Cooking spray
  1. 1. Preheat oven to 400°.
  2. 2. Combine first 5 ingredients.
  3. 3. Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, 2/3 cup sugar, the chocolate chips, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl; stir well with a whisk. Make a well in center of flour mixture. Add milk mixture to flour mixture; stir just until moist.
  4. 4. Spoon batter into 12 muffin cups coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle each muffin with 1/4 tsp sugar; this gives it a nice, crisp exterior while adding some sweetness :).  Bake at 400° for 13 minutes or until done. Remove muffins from pan immediately; place on a wire rack
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Cinnamon Sugar Donut Muffins and a Sweet Christmas Gift

A yummy belated Christmas present for your tummy!

This Christmas was fantastic! I was able to spend it with my family, Skype with Nicholas while he was visiting Rome, and I got a present that I was not expecting: a KitchenAid Standing Mixer!! For a baker, this is probably the best gift that one can receive: I tested it out today, and it cut my time preparing in HALF. Now I am purposely looking up recipes that I could use my mixer for :P.

I  made this recipe before receiving my gift, and it is so easy to make that you don’t even need a standing mixer! As I stated in a previous post, my father works for Tastykake. When I was younger, he would bring us home chocolate donuts. Back in the day, the package used to say “Great for Breakfast!”. I would use this as my excuse to eat the donuts for breakfast and it drove my dad crazy!

But alas, this recipe tastes like a donut, but can be eaten for breakfast because of it’s muffin form! This is a moist, sweet, and delicious treat for any time during the day. It is a great alternative to less-healthy fried donuts and it satisfies your sweet tooth just the same!

This recipe is from one of my favorite blogs, Baked Perfection.

Enjoy!

Ingredients:

2 cups flour (I used 1 cup all-purpose flour and 1 cup whole wheat flour)
1 Tbsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
2 large eggs
1 cup low-fat vanilla yogurt
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
4 tbsp oil
1 tsp vanilla

Topping:
1/2 stick butter, melted
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp cinnamon

  1. Preheat oven to 400-degrees F. Line a standard muffin pan with paper cups.
  2. Whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda salt, and cinnamon in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together eggs, yogurt, sugar, oil, and vanilla. Add flour mixture and mix with light strokes until the dry ingredients are just moistened. Do not overmix; batter will not be smooth.
  3. Divide batter among the muffin cups and bake until a toothpick inserted in one or two of the muffins come out clean, 12-15 minutes.
  4. While the muffins are baking, melt 1/2 stick butter and place in a bowl just large enough to hold a muffin. Combine ½ cup of sugar and 1 tsp. cinnamon in a small, shallow bowl. As soon as the muffing are done, dip them one at a time in the melted butter and then roll in the sugar mixture. Set on a rack to cool.

Yields 12 standard muffins.

Stress and Cranberry Orange Muffins

A natural energy boost, that doesn't come with the dreaded crash!

Stress: here at college nobody can avoid it.

Everyone has different mechanisms of dealing with stress. Some go running (I was never athletic), others draw (the only things that I can draw really well are stick figures). The way I personally deal with stress is by baking. Friends ask, “How do you find the time to bake?”. Honestly, I think I would go crazy if I didn’t make the time! It gets my mind temporarily off of my heavy work load, while making me (and ultimately my stomach) happy.

As previously stated, everyone at college experiences stress in one form or another. As a research assistant in a lab on campus, I know my peers feel the same strain. Bringing in my baked goods and brightening their day improves my mood and the overall mood of my immediate environment. Essentially everybody wins when I bake!

Today I wanted to bake a muffin that encompasses the flavors of Autumn while also making me feel energized. With two exams, three quizzes, and a reading comprehension test in Italian this week, I can use all of the energy that I can get!

The sweetness of the cranberries combined with the sour citric taste from the orange zest and juice combine to make a delicious and nutritious muffin.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup AP flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup milk (I used skim)
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest
  • 1 cup fresh cranberries, chopped
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons orange juice (no pulp)
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon white sugar (will be used later in recipe)
  • 1/4 cup wheat germ (optional)
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a standard muffin tin with paper liners.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, 3/4 cup sugar, salt, baking powder, wheat germ, orange zest and chopped cranberries.
  3. In a large bowl combine the milk, egg, vanilla, vegetable oil, and orange juice. Mix well. Add the dry ingredients all at once. Mix only until dry ingredients are moistened. Fill muffin tins 2/3 full. Sprinkle the tops of each muffin with 1/4 teaspoon white sugar.
  4. Place in the oven for 15 minutes, or until tops of muffins are golden brown.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

FALL in love with these Autumn muffins

I know what you are probably thinking: two muffin posts in a row.

As a college student, muffins are an awesome way to quickly make “grab-and-go” breakfasts for the week.

However, between Nicholas, my roommate, and my lab-mates, these muffins are usually gone in a day. Hence why my breakfasts are typically eggo waffles or french toast sticks.

ANYWAYS…back to the topic at hand: these delicious pumpkin chocolate chip muffins. At first Nicholas (AKA the 6’2 human garbage disposal) was skeptical. You see, pumpkins aren’t a common indulgence for him. When Nicholas said that he wasn’t sure if he liked pumpkin, I knew that my next recipe HAD to include pumpkin as a main ingredient. Needless to say, four muffins later (AND after having pumpkin ravioli for dinner) I think Nicholas ruled in favor for pumpkins.

Nicholas, my taste-tester and human garbage disposal

Off topic again…I’ll stop my rambling. When I ate these muffins, I immediately felt like a mixture of heaven and autumn were in my mouth. This recipe is based off of the one on Allrecipes with some slight alterations.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups AP flour
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin puree
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 3 teaspoons white sugar
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Fill a muffin tin with paper liners.
  2. Combine sugar, oil, and eggs. Add pumpkin  and water. In a separate large bowl, mix the flour, baking soda, baking powder, spices and salt. Add the wet mixture and stir in the chocolate chips**.
  3. Fill muffin cups 2/3 full. Sprinkle each muffin top with 1/4 teaspoon of sugar to add sweetness and give it a beautiful crisp top. Remove after 15-18 minutes, or whenever a toothpick inserted comes out clean. The tops should be firm and the edges should have a brown hue.
** before I mixed the chocolate chips into the batter, I ran them under water. This tends to help prevent them from sinking to the bottom of the muffins.

Super Healthy Blueberry Muffins!

Healthy AND Yummy!

I love chocolate.

Actually, that is a tremendous understatement….I REALLY  love chocolate.

However, there are times (albeit rarely) that I feel like I should cut back on the chocolate and start eating healthy (or at least healthier…). It is during these moments that I whip up a batch of these amazing, healthy (and easy to make) muffins.

Nick LOVES these things; 1/3 of the batch goes straight to him.

Here’s what you need:

1 cup AP flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup white sugar
1 cup fresh blueberries
1 cup soy milk (you can use any type of milk, however I love the flavor that the soy milk infuses into the muffins!)
1/4 cup wheat germ (totally optional!)
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 cup of vegetable oil
1 egg
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 additional teaspoons of sugar (these will be used later in the recipe!)

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Grease bottoms only of 12 muffin cups or line with baking cups (I would really recommend using liners; it makes clean up a ton easier!)
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, 1 cup of sugar,  blueberries**, salt, baking powder, and wheat germ. In a large bowl, mix together the egg, milk, vegetable oil, and vanilla extract. Blend well.  Add dry ingredients all at once, mixing just until dry ingredients are moistened. The batter WILL be lumpy.
  3. Fill the cups 2/3 full. This is the crucial last step to take these muffins to a whole new level: add 1/4 tsp of white sugar to the top of each blueberry muffin cup. This will add a little extra (needed) sweetness, while giving the tops of your muffins a wonderful crisp look.
  4.  Bake for 15-18 minutes. Tops will look firm, and edges will be nicely browned.
**before I put the blueberries into the dry ingredients, I rinse them off while checking and removing any stems! I also try to dry them a little with a few paper towels…you do not want to add too much water to the mixture!