Tag Archives: muffins

Muffin Monday: Double Chocolate Chip Muffins

As many of you already know, I love reading food blogs (so much that I might even say I’m obsessed with it) and that is why I decided to start my own food blog. Since Mind Your Bees and Trees is so new, I’m always looking for new ways to get more involved in the blogging community and meet fellow food bloggers. Today is my first time joining other bloggers for a community post and I’m so excited about it.

Welcome to Muffin Monday! Muffin Monday is an initiative started by Anuradha at Baker Street. Anuradha describes Muffin Monday as “a culinary journey of sharing a wickedly delicious muffin recipe every week to make the world smile and beat glum Monday mornings.” Be sure to check out Baker Street today to see who else joined in on Muffin Monday.

I love muffins so I was pretty excited when I first saw this idea. I was even more excited to see that this week’s recipe involved chocolate—yummy! As always, I made this recipe with unprocessed sugar, but instead of using honey or agave this week, I got to test out my new organic whole cane sugar. The sugar looks nothing like regular white sugar and smells a bit like molasses so I was curious to see how it would taste in these muffins. I’m happy to report that the muffins turned out really well. There was not a strong molasses flavor (like there was with my peanut butter oatmeal chocolate chip cookies)—just chocolately deliciousness :).

My husband and I both enjoyed one of these muffins right out of the oven, and for breakfast the next morning. Do you know what is better than double chocolate? Double chocolate with peanut butter! For breakfast this morning, I heated up the muffin and then spread peanut butter on it (for protein of course ;)). Since the muffin was warm the peanut butter melted all over the muffin—oh man it was sooooo good. YUM!!

Double Chocolate Chip Muffins
*Recipe adapted from Nigella Lawson. The original recipe was in grams so I converted it to cups using my scale—hence the slightly strange measurements.

Ingredients
1 3/4 cups + 2 tbsp (or 1 7/8 cups) plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 tbsp best quality cocoa
3/4 cup + 3 tbsp sugar (I used organic whole cane sugar)
1 cup chocolate chips (plus more for sprinkling later)
3/4 cup walnuts, chopped
1 cup (+ a little extra) milk (I used skim)
6 tbsp oil (I used unsalted butter, melted)
1 large egg
1 tsp real vanilla extract (I used 2 tsp)

Directions
Preheat oven to 375°F and grease a 12-cup muffin pan or fill with paper liners.

Combine all dry ingredients in a large bowl and set aside.

Combine all wet ingredients and add to dry ingredients, stirring until just combined and no dry spots remain. The batter will be slightly runny.

Fill muffin cups with batter and sprinkle more chocolate chips on top.

Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the muffins have risen and are springy to the touch.

If you’re interested in joining Muffin Monday, please contact Anuradha at Baker Street.

Question: What do you do to beat glum Monday mornings?

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Baking with Honey

After my first experiment baking with honey, I decided to look up some tips on baking with honey because I felt the cookies I made were very rich (although delicious).  I also wanted to find out what sort of recommendations are out there for substituting sugar with honey.  I know from my many baking experiences that baking is definitely a science and the smallest change in ingredients or measurements can make a huge difference in the final product.  Since honey is a liquid, I figured it would change the properties of the ingredients and how they worked together in the baking process.  I found some good advice and tested it out this evening on some Maple Honey Pumpkin Muffins.  Here are the helpful tips with the recipe to follow:

  • Reduce the amount of liquid in the recipe by ¼ cup
  • Add ½ tsp baking soda for each 1 cup of honey
  • Lower baking temp by 25°

I decided to test out this advice with pumpkin muffins because I had some leftover pumpkin and don’t want it to go bad over the next two weeks while we’re in China.  The recipe comes from Ellie Krieger on the Food Network who is known for her healthy recipes.  By substituting all of the brown sugar with honey and maple syrup, these muffins are even better for you because unprocessed sugars take longer to digest and therefore do not cause the huge surge (and consequent drop) in blood sugar levels as processed sugars do.

Maple Honey Pumpkin Muffins

Recipe adapted from Ellie Krieger, Food Network

Ingredients

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole-grain pastry flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 3 tablespoons unsulphered molasses
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup lowfat buttermilk (I made my own using milk and lemon juice)
  • 1/4 cup raw, unsalted pumpkin seeds (optional)

Directions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  Coat a 12-cup muffin pan with cooking spray.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the all-purpose and whole-wheat flours, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and nutmeg.

In a large bowl, whisk the sugar, molasses, oil and 1 egg until combined. Add the other egg and whisk well. Whisk in the pumpkin and vanilla. Whisk in the flour mixture in 2 batches, alternating with the buttermilk. Whisk just until combined.

Pour the batter into the prepared muffin pan and sprinkle with the pumpkin seeds. Tap the pan on the counter a few times to remove any air bubbles. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center of 1 of the muffins comes out clean.  (**Mine were done after 18 minutes, they maybe could have come out after 16 or 17 minutes.)

Let cool on a wire rack and enjoy!

**I didn’t have any pumpkin seeds so I didn’t use them, but I’m sure they would add a nice texture.  I think these muffins would also be great with chopped walnuts or pecans added to the batter.  Oatmeal would probably also make a great addition!

QuestionHave you ever replaced all of the sugar in a recipe?  What did you use instead and how did it turn out?

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