Category Archives: Muffins

Chocolate Chocolate Chip Chai-spiced Zucchini Muffins

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Mmm!  James just started rehearsal for Cymbeline, the second show at the Delacorte Theater this summer.  You know, the Delacorte in Central Park where Joe Papp’s Shakespeare in the Park has put on outdoor summer shows for decades.   The Delacorte, where you can’t possibly get a ticket unless you win the lottery, hire someone to sleep online for you overnight, know someone, or donate a pile of dough to the Public.  But outdoor Shakespeare for the people is a lovely ideal . . .

Anyway, rehearsals just started and James fueled everyone up with the following healthy (ahem, zucchini, right?) chocolatey muffins.

Chocolate Chocolate Chip Chai-spiced Zucchini Muffins

Ingredients:
3 eggs
2 cups white sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups grated zucchini
1/2 cup chocolate chips
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 + 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom

Method:

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease or line two 12 cup muffin tins with paper liners.

2.  In a large bowl beat the eggs. Beat in the sugar and oil. Add the cocoa, vanilla, zucchini, chocolate cups and stir well.

3.  Stir in the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and cardamom. Mix until just moist.

4.  Pour batter into prepared muffin tins filling 2/3 of the way full. Bake at 350 degrees F for 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from pan and let cool on a wire rack. Store loosely covered.

Brownie Batter-Stuffed Cupcakes with Fluffy Peanut Butter Icing

Brownie Stuffed Cupcakes 2
These were served at the Easter Sunday Wine and Unwind, hence the pink bunny rabbit.

These are so impossibly decadent that I will let the recipe speak for itself:

Brownie Batter-Stuffed Cupcakes

Ingredients:

For the brownie batter portion (to keep it simple, you can also use a boxed brownie mix):

3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup boiling water
2 cups white sugar
2 eggs
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt

In a large bowl, stir together the cocoa and baking soda. Add vegetable oil and boiling water. Mix until well blended and thickened. Stir in the sugar, eggs, and remaining 1/3 cup oil. Finally, add the flour, vanilla and salt; mix just until all of the flour is absorbed.

Set aside (DO NOT BAKE YET!!)

For the cupcake portion:

1 (18.25 ounce) package chocolate cake mix (you could also use white or yellow)
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 1/3 cups water
3 egg whites

Method:

1.  Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F.  Using mini-muffin pans, line 48 muffin cups with paper liners.

2.  Mix the cake mix, 2 tablespoons canola oil, 1 1/3 cup water, and 3 egg whites in a large bowl with an electric mixer on low speed until combined. Mix on medium speed for 2 minutes.

Now there are two ways to proceed:

3.  For a chewier brownie interior, spoon the brownie batter into prepared muffin cups, filling each cup 1/3 full. Spoon the cake batter over the brownie batter, until muffin cups are each 2/3 full.

4.  For a more molten brownie interior, start by adding 1 tablespoon of cake batter to each paper lined cup, then your brownie batter then top with cake batter. This will make them easier to remove from the liner too.  (This was James’ preferred method.)

5.  Bake in the preheated oven until the tops spring back when lightly pressed, about 20 minutes.

Fluffy Peanut Butter Frosting:

Ingredients:

1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup creamy peanut butter
3 tablespoons milk, or as needed
2 cups confectioners’ sugar

Method:

Place the butter and peanut butter into a medium bowl, and beat with an electric mixer. Gradually mix in the sugar, and when it starts to get thick, incorporate milk one tablespoon at a time until all of the sugar is mixed in and the frosting is thick and spreadable. Beat for at least 3 minutes so it is nice and fluffy. James piped the icing on to the cooled cupcakes using his trusty pastry bag and a flower tip, and topped that with jellybeans.

Needless to say, they were a big hit with the Hamilton cast.

Stuffed cupcakes
I mean, really, what else is there to say?

Triple Berry Muffins

muffin 2 photo

With berries coming into season,  this is one of James’ favorite recipes for them. This also proves that not everything he bakes is chocolate.

These were made for the last morning production meeting of “The Master Builder” before they moved into the theatre for tech rehearsals on Tuesday.  No wonder James is always working!!


(NOTE:  For those of you looking for a gluten-free version of this recipe, check out my new blog, No Really, it’s Gluten-free!)

Triple Berry Muffins

Ingredients:

1/2 teaspoon salt
3 cups all-purpose flour
1-1/2 cups  sugar
4-1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2  teaspoon baking soda
2 eggs
1-1/4 cups milk
1 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup fresh raspberries
1/2 cup chopped fresh strawberries
1 cup fresh blueberries

Method:

1.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  In a large bowl, combine the first six ingredients (through baking soda.)  In another bowl, beat the eggs, milk and butter; stir into dry ingredients just until moistened.


2.  Fold in berries.  Fill paper-lined muffin cups three-fourths full. Bake at 375 degrees for 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.  Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks.


Yield: about 18 muffins