Healthy Egg Muffins

Healthy Egg Muffins

Seasonal allergies are a problem in our house.

Not for me … yet.  Like vertigo, I know it’s only a matter of time.

In fact allergies weren’t a problem for Mom and Dad until the past few years.  Suddenly it was like pollen was attacking them.  The sneezing, sniffling, and nose blowing are both annoying and hilarious.

Healthy Egg Muffins

Healthy Egg Muffins

There are itchy, watery eyes, scratchy throats, and more unusual things you wouldn’t normally associate with allergies, like a fluttering sensation in your chest that might make you think you are having a mild heart attack.  Nope, just allergies.

Sneezing presents its own risks.  They come with little warning when Mom is in the middle of cooking, cleaning, eating, driving.  And if she doesn’t brace herself, bad things happen.

Healthy Egg Muffins

The other day, in fact, Mom sneezed three times and threw out her back.  A few innocent little sneezes and Mom was in debilitating pain for about a week.  We cancelled plans to attend a charity event (but the weather was gross, so it was fine) and Dad hit up Books on the Lake with me (more on that next week).

Of course, it doesn’t help that Mom is like many other moms out there and couldn’t sit still most of the time.  Rest assured, I did everything I could to help, but Mom still tackled many tasks.

Luckily, her back is healed thanks to a little forced rest, time, and lots of turmeric (it works, people!) but she is waiting, bracing herself with each sneeze, hoping it doesn’t happen again.

Healthy Egg Muffins

Healthy Egg Muffins are sure to keep her feeling good.  They are easy to make, full of nutrition, gluten free, and the perfect on the go breakfast.  They are super adaptable to whatever ingredients you have on hand.  Because Dad loves these, I made them with Egg Beaters since he tries to avoid too much cholesterol.  I also added lots of broccoli and cauliflower and ham and cheese.

Mushrooms, spinach, onion, and kale would be great in these and you can of course use regular eggs.  Bacon can swap in for the ham, and any kind of cheese will be fabulous.  What’s even better is that these freeze perfectly.  Let them thaw in the refrigerator overnight to just grab in the morning or warm them briefly in the microwave.

Healthy Egg Muffins

Healthy Egg Muffins

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 12 muffins

Ingredients

2 cups Egg Beaters
1 cup broccoli florets, broken into small pieces
1 cup cauliflower florets, broken into small pieces
¾ cup Colby jack cheese, torn into pieces or shredded
¾ cup ham, torn into small pieces
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
½ teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon ground turmeric

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a muffin tin with paper liners.
  2. In a large bowl, stir together the Egg Beaters, broccoli, cauliflower, cheese, ham, pepper, salt, and turmeric until well combined.
  3. Divide the mixture evenly among the muffin cups. Bake 15-20 minutes, until golden brown on top and springy when touched. Serve immediately or cool completely in pan. Store in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 3 days or in the freezer, individually wrapped in parchment and foil and placed in a zipper bag. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight or in the microwave about 1 minute.
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http://piesandplots.net/healthy-egg-muffins/

Favorite Recipes of 2016

It’s been another delicious year and here are some standout recipes you may have missed – perfect for holiday baking!

Coca-Cola Cupcakes with RITZ Crust

Coca-Cola Cupcakes with RITZ Crust

I couldn’t get enough of these sweet and salty totally over the top treats!

Peach Slab Pie with Crumb Topping

Peach Slab Pie

You all know I am peach obsessed and a slab pie just means there is even more to love!

Peach Fritters with Maple Bourbon Glaze

Peach Fritters

Another peach recipe!  This was my first foray into doughnuts, but it will not be my last.

Lemon Poppy Seed Zucchini Muffins

Lemon Poppy Seed Zucchini Muffins

I didn’t think the classic zucchini muffin could be improved, but these are my favorite flavorful breakfast.

Rice Krispies Treat Birthday Cake

Rice Krispies Treat Birthday Cake

Rice Krispies Treats will always be a nostalgic favorite.  This dessert looks like a cake on the outside, but is a surprise of gooey marshmallow goodness inside.

Yeasted Waffles with Peach Syrup

Yeasted Waffles with Peach Syrup

I don’t make waffles enough and this recipe proves that.  The syrup is to die for!

Animal Cracker Ice Cream Cake

Animal Cookie Ice Cream Cake

Move over store bought ice cream cakes, there is new competition in town!

Carrot Cream Cheese Coffee Cake

Carrot Cream Cheese Coffee Cake

Another favorite breakfast, this is everything we love about carrot cake with added crumb topping.

Mom's Individual Meatloaves

Mom’s Individual Meatloaves

So the bullies on Reddit may say this is the ugliest food photo ever, but I make these all the time and they never disappoint.

Gluten Free Monster Cookie Bars

Gluten Free Monster Cookie Bars

One of those recipes when I could not stop grabbing a taste.  It is pure peanut butter goodness!

And one of my favorite fashion posts of the year: Summer Sundress.  I can’t wait to break out all my summer clothes and enjoy going outside again.

Summer Sundress #FashionFriday

Here’s to an awesome 2017!

Healthy Apple Cinnamon Muffins

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #YogurtInspiration #CollectiveBias

Healthy Apple Cinnamon Muffins

I used to eat yogurt every morning for breakfast.  And I loved it.  There are so many flavors to choose from and it’s super good for you.  But then I got a little bored.  Luckily, yogurt is still there providing some #BreakfastInspiration, because it is good for so much more than eating as is.

Dannon Oikos is my go-to.  While I love the traditional with all-natural non-GMO ingredients, when shopping at my local Meijer, they were out of the Apple Pie flavor I was searching for, so I picked up Salted Caramel Triple Zero because caramel and apples are a match made in heaven.

Shopping at Meijer

Triple Zero has 0 added sugar, 0 calories, and 0 artificial sweeteners, hence the Triple Zero.  It fuels performance and exercise, but does sacrifice a bit of flavor.  The good news is, in these Healthy Apple Cinnamon Muffins, you will never, ever know that.

Healthy Apple Cinnamon Muffins

Healthy Apple Cinnamon Muffins

Oikos is totally made for incorporating into recipes.  These are some of the fluffiest, moistest, most flavorful muffins I have ever made.  The tang of the yogurt and the tartness of the applesauce keeps the muffins from being too sweet, while the pecans add crunch and the pieces of apple are little juicy flavor pockets.

Healthy Apple Cinnamon Muffins

Healthy Apple Cinnamon Muffins

I feel so good about eating these muffins because yogurt has the protein, calcium, and vitamin D my body needs.  Plus, I am super excited to try different variations on these muffins by using different fruit, nuts, and yogurt.  You should feel free to experiment too.  Blueberries, walnuts, and vanilla yogurt sounds great.  Or strawberries, almonds, and Banana Cream.  Oikos has tons of flavors to check out.

So the next time you need to revamp breakfast, turn to Oikos and my Healthy Apple Cinnamon Muffins.

Healthy Apple Cinnamon Muffins

Healthy Apple Cinnamon Muffins

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes

Yield: 12 muffins

Ingredients

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 cup packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 cup applesauce
2 5.3 ounce containers Oikos Triple Zero Salted Caramel
2 cups diced and peeled apple
¾ cup pecans

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. line a muffin tin with paper liners.
  2. In a large bowl, stir together sugar, eggs, applesauce, and yogurt. Add flour, cinnamon, ginger, and baking powder and mix until fully combined.
  3. Stir in the apple and pecans until well distributed. Divide batter evenly among muffin cups, filling all the way to the top.
  4. Bake for 22-25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center of the muffins comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs. Serve warm or cool completely. Muffins may be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days or frozen, wrapped individually in parchment and foil and placed in a zipper bag for up to 3 months. Thaw in the microwave about 1 minute.
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http://piesandplots.net/healthy-apple-cinnamon-muffins/

Lemon Poppy Seed Zucchini Muffins

Lemon Poppy Seed Zucchini Muffins

Once upon a time I thought it would be easy to start a food blog.  An if you bake it, they will come kind of thing.

It turns out that is not the case … at all.  It’s time consuming with baking and writing and photographing and posting and promoting.  Sometimes inspiration doesn’t strike in one of those arenas or the sun isn’t out so pictures won’t turn out and it’s raining so a soufflé won’t rise.

Lemon Poppy Seed Zucchini Muffins

And it’s hard to get people to read your blog and follow you on social media and care about your blog in general.  People say mean things like your food is ugly and you are weird.  For some reason people really take joy in this.

You have to learn to tune it out.  To grow thick skin, which is not easy.  You also have to train yourself not to get caught up in the fact that other bloggers are going to be exponentially more popular than you regardless of whether your recipes are as good as theirs or not.

Somewhere in the middle of all of this, I had to decide what I wanted.  I want to be a writer, but the blog is a good way to keep track of the amazing recipes I make and share them with you in case you might want to try them as well.

Lemon Poppy Seed Zucchini Muffins

Deciding that has taken most of the pressure off, but there are times, moments, when I think about what could be if my post takes off on Pinterest or something of the like.  Then I check my traffic numbers and snap back to reality and realize really, it’s okay, because being the most popular blogger out there isn’t really what I want, but it might be someone else’s dream come true.

These Lemon Poppy Seed Zucchini Muffins are definitely a breakfast dream come true.  They are packed with flavor with lemon zest, poppy seeds, olive oil, ground ginger, and crystallized ginger and a lemon glaze.  Plus, they are so tender, they almost fall apart when you peel the paper off.  No dry, lifeless muffins here.

Before zucchini season runs out, you have to try these muffins.  You’ll never look at zucchini muffins the same way.

Lemon Poppy Seed Zucchini Muffins

Lemon Poppy Seed Zucchini Muffins

Lemon Poppy Seed Zucchini Muffins

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes

Yield: 12 muffins, plus 1 small cake

Ingredients

3 cups grated zucchini

2 cups granulated sugar

2 cups all-purpose flour

½ teaspoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon baking soda

1 tablespoon ground ginger

3 tablespoons poppy seeds

2 tablespoons chopped crystallized ginger

Zest of 2 lemons

1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

1 cup extra virgin olive oil

3 large eggs

2 cups confectioners’ sugar

Juice of 1 lemon

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. line a muffin tin with paper liners. If you have a ramekin handy, pull it out as well for the extra batter.

In a large bowl, stir together flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, ginger, and poppy seeds. In another large bowl, stir together sugar, crystallized ginger, lemon zest, vanilla, and olive oil until well combined. Add the eggs one at a time and mix to combine.

Stir in the flour mixture. Then grab a handful of zucchini at a time, wring out the excess liquid, and add to the batter. Stir the zucchini in. scoop batter into the prepared muffin tin. Place any leftover batter in a ramekin or another oven safe dish.

Bake for about 25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs.

Allow muffins to cool for about 10 minutes, before making the glaze. In a medium bowl, stir together sugar and lemon juice until combined, adding more sugar or juice as necessary to achieve a spreadable glaze. Spoon evenly over the muffins. Serve warm or cool completely in the pan. Muffins may be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days or frozen, wrapped in parchment and foil and placed in a zipper bag for up to 3 months. Thaw in the microwave for about 1 minute.

Notes

Recipe adapted from Food 52

http://piesandplots.net/lemon-poppy-seed-zucchini-muffins/

Cherry Pie Muffins

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #EasterMadeEasy #CollectiveBias

Cherry Pie Muffins

Easter will be here before you know it.  It’s one of my favorite holidays with the candy, spring weather, and blooming flowers.  Plus, there’s always Easter brunch.

It’s such a great time to sit down with the people who mean the most to you and celebrate.  And for me, it is all going to start with these Cherry Pie Muffins.  These muffins don’t just taste like cherry pie, they are actually made with it!  A Mrs. Smith’s Cherry Pie to be exact.

Deconstructing the Pie

Mom told me when she was growing up Mrs. Smith’s pies were always on the table for holidays and big family dinners.  They were her favorite and then when she began her own life and family, she continued serving them.

Shopping at Walmart

We love Mrs. Smith’s pies because they taste like we made them and are made with real butter, unlike all the other frozen pies on the market.  While Mrs. Smith’s pies are perfect for Easter or any other holidays, they are great for beating the Monday blues and celebrating the weekend or any other occasion.

Edwards Pie

When we aren’t in the mood for a fruit pie, we turn to Edwards’ pies for a creamy treat with lots of different layers, flavors, textures, and a home baked cookie crust.  Now I can’t pick.  Luckily we don’t have to!  Join Ibotta and you can earn $1.00 for each Mrs. Smith’s and Edwards pie you purchase.  You can stock up at Walmart, just like I did.

Cherry Pie Muffins

 

Cherry Pie Muffins

Now back to these muffins.  When I shared these with my neighbors, they received reviews as the best muffins ever.  So clearly you need to make these.  They are cinnamon-y and loaded with the cherry pie filling and then topped with a pie crust streusel.  That’s right.  I said it.  PIE CRUST STREUSEL!

In fact you better not wait until Easter to make these muffins and serve a Mrs. Smith’s or Edwards pie!  Head to the store today!  What flavor do you want to try first?

Cherry Pie Muffins

Cherry Pie Muffins

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 35 minutes

Total Time: 55 minutes

Yield: 12 muffins

Ingredients

1 Mrs. Smith’s Cherry Pie

Muffins

1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

½ teaspoon kosher salt

½ cup granulated sugar

2 large eggs

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

½ cup olive oil

¾ cup milk (I used almond, use what you love)

2 cups of the filling from the pie

Topping

¼ cup old fashioned rolled oats

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1 heaping cup crust from the pie

2 tablespoons granulated sugar

2 tablespoons olive oil

Instructions

Prepare the pie according to the instructions on the box. Cool completely, preferably overnight.

When ready to make the muffins, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a muffin tin with paper liners.

Make the muffins. In a medium bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt.

In a large bowl, stir together sugar, eggs, vanilla, and oil until well combined. Alternately add the milk and flour mixture, beginning and ending with the flour. Stir until combined. Stir in the cherry pie filling until distributed.

Make the streusel. In a small bowl, stir together oats, cinnamon, the pie crust, sugar, and olive oil until combined.

Using an ice cream scoop, evenly distribute the batter in the muffin tin. Top with the streusel.

Bake 30-35 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center of the muffins comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs. Serve warm or cool completely in pan. Muffins may be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days, or frozen, wrapped in parchment and foil and placed in a zipper bag for up to 3 months. Thaw in the microwave about 1 minute.

Notes

Additional time to bake and cool the pie is necessary

http://piesandplots.net/cherry-pie-muffins-2/

Very Vanilla Muffins

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #CarnationSweepstakes #BetterBreakfast #CollectiveBias

Very Vanilla Muffins

What are mornings like in your house?  Are you running around frantically trying to get out the door?  Or do you enjoy a leisurely breakfast while reading the newspaper?

I fall somewhere in the middle.  I used to skip breakfast all the time but now it is an important part of my day.  Eating a nutritious breakfast without falling into a rut is tough though.  That’s why I turn to Carnation Breakfast Essentials ® that I pick up on my trips to Kroger.

Shopping at Kroger

Carnation Breakfast Essentials ® gets me going with nutrients and protein that my body craves so I can start my day right and have energy to write, run the blog, exercise, and more.

I have fallen in love with the French Vanilla Carnation Breakfast Essentials® Ready-to-Drink Bottles.  They are great for a quick meal on the go with the rich vanilla flavor.  They also work in smoothies and even oatmeal.

Very Vanilla Muffins

When I feel like getting creative, I turn to Carnation Breakfast Essentials® Powder to make things like these Very Vanilla Muffins.  These muffins are such a classic and feel like an indulgent breakfast without being heavy or too caloric like muffins can be.

The Carnation Breakfast Essentials® Powder combines with vanilla bean paste to lend tons of flavor to these tender muffins.  And then just to add a little more excitement to breakfast, I topped them with a glaze made from French Vanilla Carnation Breakfast Essentials® Ready-to-Drink Bottles.  The glaze really makes them special.

Very Vanilla Muffins

 

Very Vanilla Muffins

These muffins are perfect for a make ahead breakfast that you can enjoy throughout the week.  They can even be frozen for mornings that are super busy.

I hope Carnation Breakfast Essentials® and I have inspired you to get into a better breakfast.  You can join me in taking the Carnation 7-Day Breakfast Challenge to eat a nutritious breakfast every day for one week.  It’s a great way to make sure we all start our days on the right foot.

Very Vanilla Muffins

Throughout February you can complete breakfast missions for the chance to win prizes.  Ready to get started? Follow these easy steps

  1. Sign up at CarnationBreakfastChallenge.com.
  1. Complete a simple yet fun breakfast mission for a chance to win. New prizes revealed every day!
  1. Come back any day in February to complete missions and see new prizes. The prizes range from a Fitbit to a GoPro and other awesome stuff!
  1. Head to your favorite store to purchase a Carnation Breakfast Essentials® Nutritional Product and upload your receipt for five extra entries per day.

And now that we all have these Very Vanilla Muffins and Carnation Breakfast Essentials® in our lives we can get started.  What are you going to make for breakfast?

Very Vanilla Muffins

Very Vanilla Muffins

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 12 muffins

Ingredients

Muffins

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

½ teaspoon kosher salt

½ cup granulated sugar

2 packets Vanilla Carnation Breakfast Essentials®

1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste

¼ cup olive oil

2 large eggs

1 ¼ cup milk

Glaze

1 cup confectioners’ sugar

¼ cup French Vanilla Carnation Breakfast Essentials® Ready-to-Drink Bottles

1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste

Instructions

Make the muffins. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a muffin tin with paper liners.

In a large bowl stir together sugar, Vanilla Carnation Breakfast Essentials®, vanilla bean paste, olive oil, and eggs until well combined.

In a medium bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, and salt.

Alternately add the milk and flour mixture, beginning with the milk and ending with the flour. Mix just until the batter comes together, a couple lumps are okay.

Scoop the batter into the prepared muffin tin, filling almost to the top. Bake for about 20 minutes, until muffins are risen, golden brown, and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs.

While the muffins cool slightly, make the glaze. In a small bowl, wish together sugar, French Vanilla Carnation Breakfast Essentials® Ready-to-Drink Bottles, and vanilla bean paste, adding more sugar or Carnation as necessary to achieve a thick, yet spreadable glaze. Spoon over the muffins.

Serve warm or store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days. Muffins may also be frozen, wrapped in parchment and foil and placed in a zipper bag for up to 3 months. Thaw in the microwave for about 1 minute.

http://piesandplots.net/very-vanilla-muffins/

Bakery Style Blueberry Muffins

Bakery Style Blueberry Muffins

I have amassed quite the collection of shoes, clothes, and handbags over the past ten or twelve years.

Among all that stuff, I definitely have my favorites. Don’t we all?

There’s my comfortable, yet sophisticated gray sweater. That classic black pencil skirt. My fancy jeweled clutch perfect for a special occasion.

Bakery Style Blueberry Muffins

And my big, tall, patent leather platform sandals. I could probably go mountain climbing in them. Not that I have! I do wear them everywhere though. Seriously EVERYWHERE!

They’ve been to the grocery store, the mall, to see Katy Perry, on walks around the neighborhood, the farmers’ market, and more. They almost went to see Taylor Swift.

Almond Breeze Original

But then before the concert, I put them on and they felt … off. I couldn’t put my finger on it, but they just didn’t feel right. So I quickly changed my shoes and went on with my night.

Fast forward to a couple weeks later, and I took them to the shoe repair. It turns out, they are broken, like seriously broken. They shoe basically split in two! How is this even possible???

Bakery Style Blueberry Muffins

I hate to say good-bye to them, but I got a shiny new (purple!) pair on sale. I’ll have to show them to you soon!

I’m not even thinking about saying good bye to these Bakery Style Blueberry Muffins. They are giant, overloaded with blueberries and topped with an addictive crumb topping that I may or may not have kept picking off the baked muffins.

Bakery Style Blueberry Muffins

I made them with Almond Breeze Almondmilk Original. It’s the perfect milk for just about anything. I’ve used it in cauliflower soup, oatmeal, pudding, and pretty much every baked good you can imagine. It complements these fluffy muffins in just the right way.

These are the blueberry muffins of your dreams, so while its peak blueberry season, whip up a batch of these and then maybe another. They’re that good.

Bakery Style Blueberry Muffins

Bakery Style Blueberry Muffins

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 50 minutes

Yield: 12 muffins

Ingredients

Topping

1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour

½ cup granulated sugar

½ teaspoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 stick unsalted butter, melted

Muffins

3 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

½ teaspoon kosher salt

¾ stick unsalted butter, room temperature

1 ¼ cups granulated sugar

1 large egg, plus 2 large egg yolks

1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste

1 cup Almond Breeze Almondmilk Original

2 ½ heaping cups fresh blueberries

Instructions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line a muffin tin with paper liners.

Make the crumb topping. In a medium bowl, stir together flour, sugar, salt, and cinnamon. Add butter and stir until clumps of various sizes form. Set aside.

Make the muffins. In a medium bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, and salt.

In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. I did this by hand, but a hand or stand mixer will also work. Beat in egg and egg yolks one at a time. Beat in vanilla bean paste until once again light and fluffy.

Alternately add flour mixture and almond milk. You should do 3 additions of flour and 2 of milk. Stir just until the batter is mixed. Stir in fresh blueberries until well distributed.

Using a regular sized ice cream scoop, scoop batter into the prepared muffin tins. Distribute crumb topping over muffins, pressing it into the batter gently.

Bake for about 30 minutes until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean or with just a few moist crumbs. Serve warm or cool completely. Muffins may be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days or frozen, wrapped in parchment and foil and placed in a zipper bag for up to 3 months. Thaw at room temperature about an hour or in the microwave about 1 minute.

Notes

Recipe adapted from Martha Stewart

http://piesandplots.net/bakery-style-blueberry-muffins/

This post is sponsored by Almond Breeze Almondmilk.

Doughnut Muffins

Doughnut Muffins

This spring may be the best I can remember. Sure, it’s not super warm out and we’ve had quite a bit of rain as of late (but April showers bring May flowers, you know), but we haven’t had measurable snow since the very beginning of March.

The temperatures are seasonably warm, the birds are singing all the time, the daffodils and tulips are just starting to bloom, and having the windows open keeps it just a little too chilly in the house in the best possible way. Eating dinner when it’s still light outside is such a treat too. It changes my whole outlook on life.

Doughnut Muffins

I always thought summer was my favorite season, but I’m realizing when spring actually decides to grace us with its presence it may best summer by just a little. Don’t get me wrong, I love those warm, even hot days, with the sun beating down, the flowers in full bloom, their scent wafting through the air with the breeze.

But spring signals so much hope. The world comes alive with color and plants and animals. After the long, desolate winter, spring is such a delightful time. It makes me feel alive right along with the rest of nature.

Perhaps I just feel that way about this spring since there’s no longer any snow on the ground and my winter coat has been safely stowed away. Whether this spring is an anomaly (though it shouldn’t be) or a sign of wonderful things to come, I am making sure to enjoy it as much as possible.

Doughnut Muffins

I don’t know why, but these Doughnut Muffins remind me of spring. They don’t have any especially springy ingredients, but they make me feel bright and springy on the inside!

When these are baking, they seriously smell like the best doughnuts EVER! It’s crazy because they are clearly not doughnuts, but if you close your eyes and inhale, you’ll think you’re in the middle of a doughnut shop.

They don’t quite taste like doughnuts, but that’s okay because they are still amazing. These beautiful, domed muffins have a firm exterior with a fluffy, moist interior, and that glaze with the little vanilla bean specks. Let me just say make extra.

Doughnut Muffins

Doughnut Muffins

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes

Yield: 12 muffins

Ingredients

Muffins

3 cups all-purpose flour

2 ½ teaspoons baking powder

¼ teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon kosher salt

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

10 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature

1 cup granulated sugar

2 large eggs

1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons milk (I used almond, use what you love)

Glaze

1 ½ cups confectioners’ sugar

2-3 tablespoons milk (I used almond, use what you love)

1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste

Instructions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a muffin tin with paper liners.

In a medium bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.

In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. I did this by hand, but you could use a hand or stand mixer. Beat in the eggs one at a time, followed by the vanilla bean paste.

Alternately add the flour and milk, beginning and ending with the flour. You should do three additions of flour and two of milk. Once the flour and milk are fully incorporated, scoop the batter into the prepared pan, filling the tins almost all the way full. Bake 15-20 minutes, until golden brown on top and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs. Cool while you prepare the glaze.

For the glaze, whisk sugar, milk, and vanilla together in a medium bowl. Add more sugar or milk as necessary until a thick, yet pourable glaze is formed.

Dip each muffin into the glaze and allow the excess to drip off before placing on a rack or serving platter. Serve warm or at room temperature. Muffins may be stored at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 5 days or frozen, wrapped in parchment and foil, and placed in a zipper bag for up to 3 months. Thaw in the microwave about 1 minute.

Notes

Recipe adapted from Cooking Classy

http://piesandplots.net/doughnut-muffins/

Coffee Cake Muffins

Coffee Cake Muffins

See these muffins? They look fluffy, rich, buttery. You want to reach through the screen and grab a crumb right off the top, don’t you? Would you believe me if I told you they aren’t made with butter? Not a drop. Instead they’re made with I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter!

I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter! was a staple of my childhood. I smeared it on wheat bread (I swear I can still taste that addition to dinner), I mixed it with spaghetti and parmesan cheese, I started my morning by spreading it on toast with blackberry jam. But then, it slipped from my refrigerator and diet.

I Can't Believe It's Not Butter

I’m so glad I rediscovered I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter! now and realized it’s good for a whole lot more than spreading on toast. I mean, it’s still good for that, but it can also be used for sautéing, cooking, and even baking. I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter! has enough recipes to keep you busy discovering the versatility of this product. And even better, it’s soft and spreadable right from the container, no waiting for it to come to room temperature. Woo hoo!

Even better, I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter! has a new and improved formulation offered in Original, Light, and Olive Oil varieties. It has ingredients you’ll recognize and be able to pronounce: vegetable oils, water, and a pinch of salt. Plus, it’s the first spread from Unilever in the US to be made with non-GMO ingredients. All of that with a suggested retail price of only $3.09!

Coffee Cake Muffins

I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter! is a great replacement for butter because it has 40% fewer calories and 70% less saturated fat than butter. It’s a good source of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids, as well as omega-3 ALA. These fats are similar to the good fats found in avocados, walnuts, and almonds. Butter can’t say that! It also has 0 grams trans fat, is cholesterol free, and has no partially hydrogenated vegetable oils.

Now back to these muffins. Can you believe they have all those benefits from I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter!? I couldn’t either.  The buttery flavor is remarkable. And when combined with that cinnamon streusel topping, the smell and taste is indistinguishable from traditional coffee cake. The muffins are fluffy and springy, the topping a little crunchy, and that gooey streusel center? Is it okay if I steal that out of all the muffins?

I baked them with Mom, which brought me right back to those childhood days of eating dinner with Mom and Dad, a tub of I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter! on the table. Memories like that are so important to keep fresh in my mind, especially at the holidays. Creating new memories is pretty awesome too!

I say stock up on I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter! because it is going to be a new staple in your cooking and baking routine. Traditional butter better watch out! Check out the new I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter and then leave a review on www.TheNewICB.com.

Coffee Cake Muffins

Coffee Cake Muffins

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes

Yield: 10 muffins

Ingredients

Cake

1 cup all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground ginger

½ teaspoon kosher salt

2 teaspoons baking powder

½ cup I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter

½ cup packed light brown sugar

½ cup granulated sugar

2 large eggs

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

½ cup sour cream

Streusel

1 ¼ cup all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

½ cup packed light brown sugar

½ cup granulated sugar

½ cup I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a muffin tin with 10 paper liners.

Make the muffins. In a medium bowl stir together flour, cinnamon, ginger, salt, and baking powder.

In a large bowl, cream I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter and sugars until light and fluffy. I did this by hand, but a hand or stand mixer would work as well. Add eggs, one at a time, and mix until fully combined. Mix in vanilla. Add half of the flour mixture and stir it in until just incorporated. Stir in the sour cream. Stir in the rest of the flour mixture until a batter is formed.

Make the streusel. In a medium bowl, stir together flour, cinnamon, and sugars. Add the I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter and mix with fingers, forks, or a pastry cutter until it is distributed in pea-sized pieces.

Using a small ice cream scoop, fill paper liners about ¼ of the way full. Sprinkle with a generous amount of streusel topping. Scoop remaining batter over top. Sprinkle with another generous amount of streusel.

Bake for about 30 minutes, until golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center of the muffins comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs. Cool completely in pan. Muffins may be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days, or frozen, wrapped in parchment and foil and placed in a zipper bag for up to 3 months. Thaw at room temperature for about an hour or in the microwave for 1 minute.

http://piesandplots.net/coffee-cake-muffins/

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Honey Nut Muffins +Giveaway!

Honey Nut Muffins

This giveaway is CLOSED!  Congratulations to Linda on winning!

Spring has finally sprung. The sun comes up earlier and stays out later. The flowers are blooming, the trees have leaves, the birds are singing, my coat is in the closet, and I’ve even gotten to take a few walks outside. Life is good!

It’s amazing to me how much the nicer, warmer weather impacts my mood. I feel like doing so much more. I want to be productive and make stuff happen. I’m happier and feeling more positive, like the world is my oyster. At least for the next few months until fall and winter roll around again. But we don’t have to think about that right now.

Honey Nut Muffins

Despite warmer temperatures, I still love to bake. It’s been way too long since I’ve made muffins, so I whipped some Honey Nut Muffins to celebrate Peanut Butter & Co’s The Bee’s Knees. Peanut butter and honey is such a great combination, so to have honey in the peanut butter is an added bonus.

These muffins are crazy good! Look at those beautiful, bakery worthy domed tops. I want to dig in to one right now. The soft muffins are accented with crunchy peanuts and finished with a delectable crumb topping. These are a serious treat for any peanut butter lover!

Honey Nut Muffins

Peanut Butter & Co. has also been kind enough to offer two jars of The Bee’s Knees as a giveaway for one lucky reader! You will fall in love with this creamy and flavorful peanut butter. And it’s a good thin, they’re giving two jars – one to bake with, one to eat with a spoon. Not that I did that 😉

Honey Nut Muffins

To enter the giveaway answer the question: What is your favorite thing about spring?

To earn additional entries:

Follow @piesandplots on Twitter. Come back and let me know you’ve followed in an additional and entirely separate comment.

Like Pies and Plots on Facebook. Come back and let me know you’ve liked me in an additional and entirely separate comment.

Follow Pies and Plots on Pinterest. Come back and let me know you’ve followed in an additional and entirely separate comment.

Follow @piesandplots on Instagram. Come back and let me know you’ve followed in an additional and entirely separate comment.

Subscribe to Pies and Plots via email using the form at the top of the page on the right hand side. Come back and let me know you’ve followed in an additional and entirely separate comment.

IMPORTANT: This giveaway is open to residents of the US only.

The giveaway ends Thursday, May 22, 2014, at 11:59 pm EST.

The winner will be chosen via the Random Number Generator on random.org. The winner will be notified by email and will have 24 hours to respond. If the winner does not respond, a new winner will be chosen. Good luck!

As a member of Peanut Butter & Co.’s Yum Squad food blogger club, I received product and the giveaway in exchange for this post. All opinions expressed are my own.

Honey Nut Muffins

Honey Nut Muffins

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 35 minutes

Yield: 12 Muffins

Ingredients

Muffins

2 cups all-purpose flour

3 teaspoons baking powder

½ teaspoon kosher salt

1 cup packed dark brown sugar

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

¾ cup PB&Co The Bee’s Knees peanut butter

1/3 cup canola oil

1 cup milk (I used almond – use what you love)

¾ cup dry roasted unsalted peanuts

Topping

2 tablespoons PB&Co The Bee’s Knees peanut butter

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons packed dark brown sugar

2 tablespoon dry roasted unsalted peanuts

1 tablespoon canola oil

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a muffin tin with paper liners.

Make the muffins. In a medium bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, and salt. In a large bowl, stir together sugar, eggs, vanilla, peanut butter, and oil until fully combined. Alternately add flour mixture and milk, beginning and ending with the flour. I did three installments of flour and two of milk. Stir in the peanuts until fully distributed. The batter will be thick – that’s okay.

Make the topping. In a small bowl, mix peanut butter, flour, brown sugar, peanuts, and oil together with a spoon or your fingers until clumps form.

Using an ice cream scoop, scoop batter into the prepared pan and top with some of the topping, pressing it gently into the batter. Bake for about 20 minutes, rotating halfway through if necessary. Serve warm or cool completely in the pan. Muffins may be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days, or frozen, wrapped in parchment and foil and placed in a zipper bag, for up to 3 months. Thaw at room temperature about an hour or in the microwave for about 1 minute.

http://piesandplots.net/honey-nut-muffins/

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