Category Archives: Muffins

Gluten-Free Banana Chocolate Muffins

Happy October everyone! Now that fall is in full swing here, it’s clear that pumpkin overload is in full effect. (Not to be confused with Full Force.) I’m sure you see it too, with the overflow of pumpkin-y things in every shop. We often shop at Trader Joe’s, and it’s clearly the case there. They have more pumpkin products than you ever thought could exist. (Or should exist, really.)

You can almost plot out the seasons by what food is prevalent at Trader Joe’s. The season before pumpkin season at Trader Joe’s seems to be mango season. It’s the same as with pumpkin, just with mangoes. I knew the seasons had started to change when the mango and pumpkin products overlapped briefly. But the mangoes have been fully replaced by pumpkins now.

Alas, seasons change. Time marches on. Sometimes things slip through the cracks. Most recipes I write about soon after I make them, but some sneak past (they’re sneaky like that), and I don’t get to write about them till much later. So I’m writing to you this week about another one of those. I bring you another entry from my (soon-to-be-picked-up-and-become-a-major-tv) series, recipes of future past.

I haven’t been baking as much gluten-free these days. Which means I have a lot of gluten-free flour stocked up, so I really need to do so again. But this was a good gluten-free muffin recipe from the New York Times. You might remember the gluten-free whole grain cheese and mustard muffins I had written about previously. These banana chocolate muffins are their siblings. That is to say, they came from the same article.

These days I generally use regular recipes and just substitute in gluten-free flour. But back in the day when I made this, I wasn’t as confident that I could do that, and so I sought out recipes that were specifically gluten-free. In this case, I followed the ingredients listed in the recipe and I used the different gluten-free flours they listed.

Bananas seem to go well in muffins. They’re in this recipe. They’re in the gluten-free peanut butter banana chocolate chip muffins I made. And they’re in one of my favorite muffin recipes ever from Moosewood Cookbook.

It’s been a while, but as I remember these, they were good muffins. Banana-y and cocoa-y, with bits of chocolate inside. As with some other gluten-free baked goods, they were best fresh or warmed up. After a while though, the texture is different, and they end up being more grainy.

They look pretty decadent, but they’re not as ridiculous as they might seem. Check out the ingredient list.

As they’re way in the past at this point, and I didn’t have much in the way of notes, I don’t have much more to say on them. But let me know if you try them out. I’d love to hear your take on them. Or if you have any favorite muffin recipes, gluten-free or otherwise, feel free to share those as well. Or favorite banana recipes. Or, you know, the location of the fountain of youth. I’m not picky.

Recipe courtesy of The New York Times.

Gluten-Free Whole Grain Cheese and Mustard Muffins

This week I bring you another recipe from my long-ish running series, “Recipes of Future Past”. This one also happens to be gluten-free, and is near the beginning of my gluten-free baking.

Before we discovered that my wife didn’t get along that well with wheat, I had never considered baking gluten-free. I had heard of it, but there wasn’t any real impetus to do so. Shortly after we found out, I decided that I would try gluten-free baking.

I looked up some gluten-free recipes that looked interesting, and I went out and got a whole bunch of different gluten-free flours. I used them in a couple of recipes, but after that, they mostly just sat there unused. That’s because it got complicated. I found that many gluten-free recipes used specific flours. There are so many different kinds, and everyone uses different ones. So having enough for all of the different recipes would mean stocking many, many different kinds of flour. It just wasn’t practical.

What I soon realized though, is that I didn’t have to go that route. I stumbled upon a really great all-purpose gluten-free flour from Trader Joe’s. At that point, I didn’t need to seek out recipes that were specifically gluten-free. I could use any recipe and just substitute the all-purpose gluten-free flour for the “regular” flour. And with this particular gluten-free flour, it works. No more stocking up on half a dozen different kinds of flour. No more researching recipes specially crafted to be gluten-free. Just one substitution and I’m done. Thank you, Trader Joe’s!

But this recipe was made before I figured all of that out. IIRC, I went out and found some millet. It was not a grain I was familiar with, but hey, why not. I don’t remember what gluten-free all-purpose flour I used for this, as I believe it predated my using Trader Joe’s gluten-free flour. My guess is that it was probably Bob’s Red Mill, as that’s the brand I generally find when I’m looking for alternative flours. I did not use the optional walnuts.

I enjoy mustard, and I enjoy cheese, so I figured this would be a good gluten-free recipe to try. And as I recall, it was. I remember them being decent muffins. The only caveat is that between the cornmeal and the millet, I believe they were a little grainy.

It was a while back that I made them, so I don’t remember them all that well at this point. I would have to try making them again in order to have more to share. But given that I would have to get millet specifically in order to make them means I’m not all that likely to do so, unless I can find a reasonable substitute. If that happens, I’ll be sure to let you know.

I should also mention that around the time I made these, I also made another set of muffins that I found at the same time from the same source: Gluten-Free Banana Chocolate Muffins. As I’m constantly expanding the Recipes of Future Past section, you will probably hear about these sooner or later.

If you happen to make these, let me know how they go. I’d love to hear. And if you have any other gluten-free recipes, or recipes that you’ve successfully gluten-freeified, feel free to share. I’d love to hear about those, too.

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Recipe courtesy of The New York Times.

Cinnamon Sugar Mini Donut Muffins

This is part four and, sadly, the end of this cycle of The Buttermilk Chronicles. If you’ve been following along, there have been 3 different biscuit recipes so far. There was the first one (blue cheese and scallion), the second one (gluten-free¬†feta and scallion), and the third one which was straight up buttermilky goodness. I promised you it wouldn’t be all biscuits, though, and today I am keeping my promise. These are silly and delicious little desserts, and they’re very easy to make. They look like a muffin and taste kinda like a donut. The cinnamon and sugar also give them a nice little crunchy texture.

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A few things you should know (about this recipe at least, I can’t speak for your life in general): I used applesauce instead of an egg. I didn’t have any eggs, and I didn’t want to get them just for this recipe, as that might have started a cycle of The Egg Chronicles. (The silver lining would be that it would answer the age old question: which came first the buttermilk or the egg.) I finished up the last of the buttermilk. Kudos to me! Seriously, it took a lot of dedication. I’m not saying I’m ready for a marathon, but I was able to see this through. And I used 1 1/2 tsps cinnamon in the topping. (I almost ran out.)

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This was my first time using my new mini muffin tray. (It’s actually called “petite”, which is slightly bigger than mini. Who knew?) I didn’t have floured cooking spray, so I used regular cooking spray and threw some flour on top. It was a little messy. Shocking, I know.

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I used my trusty KitchenAid with the paddle attachment. I can’t remember if I’ve used the paddle attachment before. I use the whisk attachment by default generally. In retrospect, I think some recipes might have asked for the paddle attachment, but I haven’t been paying attention. Oops. Generally applesauce is a good egg substitute. But I could tell after beating it that it wasn’t light and fluffy like it would have been with an egg.

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I filled up the muffin tray. They came up mostly to the top for all 24 in the pan. I tried baking them for 9 minutes, but they didn’t seem ready. I tried the other 2 minutes, but they still didn’t seem ready. I did an extra 2 and they were ready. They smelled nice and cinnamony. (That’s a word, right?) They didn’t rise as much as I thought they should have. I think that was partially because the applesauce didn’t do the same job as the egg. Plus, the tins are a little bigger than mini tins, so they had more space to fill.

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I then made the coating which was easy enough.

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I flipped the tray over to release the muffins. A few fell out, but not all. I tapped it a few times and many more came out. (Mostly right side up! I guess they’re like cats in that way.) The last few didn’t come out on their own. I had to cut around the edges (with a plastic knife of course) to loosen them and remove them. I could see on the bottom of a few of them that the flour residue had baked. So there was probably too much flour in those.

Butter, the first part of the topping.

Butter, the first part of the topping.

Cinnamon sugar, the second part of the topping.

Cinnamon sugar, the second part of the topping.

Dipping them in butter and cinnamon sugar was easy enough, although they seemed kinda small to handle. I almost ran out of topping. The last couple didn’t get quite as much.

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I made them late at night. And so I had to do cleanup late at night. I might bake more if I didn’t have to do any cleanup. Often I don’t have to, as my wife is awesome and does cleanup much of the time. But she was already asleep, and having to do it tonight reminded me that I don’t like doing it so much.

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And for the $64,000 question: how did they taste? I thought they were good, but not amazing. I can think of four things I did different than the recipe: the tin was a different size (petite vs mini), the cooking spray was different (regular plus flour instead of floured spray), I used applesauce instead of an egg, and I baked them a little longer. Of all those, I think it was the applesauce substituting for the egg that caused the problem. They were still good, they were just not light and fluffy and muffiny. (That’s a word, too, right?) They reminded me a little of the apple snickerdoodle blondies. They had a similar flavor, and I had made the same substitution there. And in both cases they were a little bit more spongy than fluffy.

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As I said, I thought they were decent, but not awesome. In the interest of full disclosure, my wife disagreed with me. She thought they were great. And when she took them into work, her coworkers agreed with her. I’m very glad people enjoyed them. I think my only hesitation with them is that I believe that they can be so much more. Perhaps next time I will try them without any substitutions and see how they turn out.

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So thank you for following along with this cycle of The Buttermilk Chronicles. There may be more in the future, for wherever there is Buttermilk, The Chronicles are not far behind. But next week we’ll be back to our regularly scheduled programming. (As much as any programming on here is regular. ūüôā ) But in the meantime, I’m curious to know: do you have a good egg substitute? Is it applesauce? Is it something else? I always love having more tools in my toolbox, so I appreciate any help you can give.

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Recipe courtesy of Averie Cooks.

Bacon, Egg, and Cheese Muffins

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I’ve had the idea for making these muffins for a long time. I don’t remember quite when or where I thought of the idea, but it’s been mulling around in my head for a while. I figured someone must have done it before, but I couldn’t find a recipe that really spoke to what I was trying to do. When I finally got around to making them, I was all set to work with one that I had found which looked decent, but I didn’t have the right ingredients.

Then I had a flash of genius. Or maybe just a dash. I remembered the awesome muffins I made using a recipe in one of the¬†Moosewood Cookbooks. I think it’s the first cookbook¬†my mom ever got for me. I’ve made their banana chocolate chip muffins a bunch. (Pun semi-intended.) I hadn’t made them in a while, but every time I had made them, they were totally awesome and everyone loved them. It’s definitely the recipe I’ve used most from that book. In fact, I think it was making those muffins many years ago which prompted me to have to buy muffin tins of my own. It’s those muffin tins that I still use today.

Their recipe is plain, and they have a lot of different options that you can use to make different kinds of muffins. I guess¬†must¬†use would be a better description of the recipe, as they say you can’t really make them plain. Since they use it as a base for all of their muffins, I thought why not use it as a base for my muffins?

Those of you who know the Moosewood Cookbook are probably a little confused and/or shocked right now. How could I take a recipe from a healthy cookbook and turn it into something so unhealthy? Isn’t that heresy? Well, maybe. But hopefully the base of the recipe will make the muffins a little healthy. And it’s a good recipe in any case.

Since I was kinda making up the recipe, I just had to wing it as far as the ingredients went. I had four eggs left in the fridge that I wanted to use up. The base recipe called for two, so I put aside the other two for scrambled eggs. I used four strips of bacon. It seemed like enough. I cooked the bacon a couple of minutes on each side. (It was already pre-cooked.) I let it sit while I cooked the scrambled eggs in the bacon grease. I let everything cool so as to not mess up the muffin mixture.

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I then made the base muffin recipe. I added in the bacon and eggs. I also added some shredded cheese. (I used Trader Joe’s Light ShreddedThree Cheese Blend.) Then I baked per the instructions.

A few other notes: I didn’t have vegetable oil handy, so I used olive oil. I sprayed the muffin cups, but I only had four left. So I put the rest directly into the muffin tin. I put the bacon, egg, and cheese in when it said to put in the fruits and veggies. The other options¬†listed in the book called for approximately two cups of “stuff” on top of the base recipe. So I used two cups of stuff as well. The eggs and bacon (ripped into pieces) added up to about one cup, so I then added one cup of the shredded cheese.

I baked them for a total of 25 minutes. At first, they¬†didn’t seem done. It could have been because of cheese making them seem gooeyin the middle. They smelled delicious. My wife said she could smell the bacon and cheese while they were baking. I removed them from the tins and let them cool on a wire rack.

So how did this amalgamation of a healthy muffin with decidedly unhealthy ingredients turn out? I tasted one before it even really cooled, while it was still warm. Wow. It was delicious. They had a great texture: crisp on the outside and moist on the inside.

Some muffins had more eggs and bacon, some had less. I guess that’s to be expected. I probably could have put more eggs and bacon in. Maybe another one or two eggs and maybe another couple of strips of bacon. I would then reduce the cheese to compensate, so there’s the same total amount of “stuff” in them.

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I used the lower end of the scale for the amount of brown sugar they suggested. But since the recipe is a little sweet to begin with, they turned out a little sweet. Not super sweet, but they were definitely sweeter than you might expect for a savory muffin. So maybe they’re swavory? (Remember that word. It’ll be the next big thing, and you heard it here first.) I would reduce the brown sugar in the recipe, too.

They were really good for the first few days, but after a while something changed in the texture. I’m not sure exactly what it was, but my guess is it was the eggs that ended up being weird. Maybe they needed to be reheated? Maybe they just don’t last that many days? Maybe the recipe needs to be tweaked a little bit.

All in all, not bad for my first attempt at making this. My wife mentioned that I totally frankensteined it. To which I replied, the original recipe is itself kind of a frankenstein to begin with.

Let me know if you try these out, and if so, how they turn out for you. I’d also love to hear if you have a favorite Moosewood recipe. And if you’ve ever had anything swavory, we definitely must talk!

Base muffin recipe courtesy of Moosewood.*

* I got the recipe from their awesome cookbook,¬†Moosewood Restaurant Cooks at Home. They don’t have the recipe online, but if you’re interested, you should really buy the book. (I’m not making any money off of this, I just think they’re kinda amazing.)

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Peanut Butter Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins – Gluten-Free

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Muffins! Muffins are great. I love muffins. Just the sound of the word itself is delicious, don’t you think? This recipe is the first to use the “Muffin” category on the blog. The first of many, I hope.

I was looking for fun recipes to make one day, and I found this one. I kinda had to agree with the author when I read their post about the recipe. I mean, peanut butter, chocolate, and banana? Awesome, right? Right. I made these gluten-free by substituting gluten-free flour for the regular flour. They turned out delicious but a little bit grainy (from the gluten-free flour). More so as the days went on. The recipe ended up making so many, I had to freeze them.

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As regular readers of this blog may know, I make these recipes some time in advance, write down notes about them, and then eventually write out the blog posts when I get a chance. Unfortunately, I didn’t write much down for this one. So I don’t have much more to say. Perhaps one day I will make these again and be able to expound upon them further. However, for now this will have to suffice.

But fret not! Using the recipe below, you can make these yourselves. If you do, please let me know how they turned out. You could even write a guest post for the blog!

Recipe originally from Cooking Light Bulletin Boards, via adaptation by Noble Pig.