Bacon, Onion, and Cheddar Corn Muffins

Onion Cheddar Bacon Corn Muffins

When I was little we would go to my grandmother’s house during the summer – she lived near the ocean, where we would spend our days.  She was an excellent cook, but like all good grandmothers, she wanted her grandchildren to be happy, and always asked us what we wanted for breakfast and lunch.  Of course my sister and I would always choose the same things – and it was because we hardly got these at our house.  We asked for Jiffy Corn Muffins for breakfast, and Kraft Macaroni and Cheese for lunch.  We ate these treats every day – and never got sick of them.  In fact, even today, I often crave a good box of Jiffy Corn Muffins – it is a blast from the past for me to sink my teeth into those sweet little morsels.  Although, over the years, I have discovered that homemade corn muffins can actually taste even better.  I know, can you believe it?  It’s all about bacon…and seriously, what doesn’t taste better with bacon?

This reminds me of another story – and then I promise to get back to these corn muffins.  Years ago my husband’s parents took us to Napa Valley for the weekend, and we stayed at this beautiful B&B in Yountville – this was when Yountville barely existed, and I swear this B&B may have been the only thing in this town.  We woke up to the wonderful smell of bacon – it was incredible.  It got us right up out of the comfortable bed, all dressed – and downstairs for breakfast.  When they told us what was on the menu – we asked where the bacon was?   They laughed – that was just to get people up – they weren’t serving it.  ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING ME????  We were besides ourselves, and the rest of the trip we were craving bacon.

So – what does these two stories have in common?  This recipe that I found in Cooking Light.  This recipe that combines a wonderful corn muffin with the perfect taste of bacon – and add a little onion and cheddar, then you have really have yourself a party in your mouth.  These are the perfect side dish to chili, soup or just about anything you serve for dinner.  Remember, everything is better with bacon – that is if you actually get to eat it…

Ingredients

  • 2  slices bacon
  • 3/4 cup chopped onion
  • 1 1/4 cups fat-free buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1  large egg, lightly beaten
  • 4.5 ounces all-purpose flour (about 1 cup)
  • 3/4 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
  • 2 ounces shredded sharp cheddar cheese (about 1/2 cup)
  •  Cooking spray

Preparation

Cook bacon in a skillet over medium heat. Remove bacon, reserving drippings in pan. Drain bacon; crumble. Increase heat to medium-high. Add onion to drippings in pan; sauté 5 minutes.

Preheat oven to 400°.

Combine buttermilk, olive oil, and egg.

Weigh or lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Combine flour and next 5 ingredients (through pepper) in a bowl, stirring well with a whisk. Make a well in center of flour mixture. Add milk mixture; stir just until moist.

Stir in bacon, onion, and cheese. Spoon into 12 muffin cups coated with cooking spray.

Bake at 400° for 13 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out with moist crumbs clinging. Remove muffins from tins; cool on a wire rack.

For a printer-friendly version of this recipe, please click here:  Bacon, Onion, and Cheddar Corn Muffins

Chocolate Chip-Coffee Muffins

I have been lacking inspiration lately.  I think I have been using most of my brain power at work, which leaves less space for creativity at home.  It is really a drag to cook a wonderful meal, and have no idea how I want to display it, let alone photograph it for the blog.  So – I did something for myself this weekend.  I spent a sinful four hours on myself at another food photography course – taught by the same person as the last one, and this time accompanied by her husband, another amazing photographer.  It was a wonderful way to spend four hours, and I came home completely rejuvenated.  It was four hours that I did not think about work, I did not think about taking care of someone or monitoring what was going on – it was just four hours thinking about food and pictures.

So – I can’t say that this picture benefited from my rejuvenation – but I have taken some other photographs, and I am really excited about them – I can’t wait.  And speaking of anticipation – I have some big plans this weekend to create a recipe for the Girl Scouts – stay tuned for that one…

I saw these muffins in the last issue of Cooking Light, and my daughters were asking for muffins again.  I almost paused when I saw the word coffee – but I figured, as long as they didn’t eat them before going to bed, they would be fine for kids.  These were really quick and easy to make, and made a great snack for school – now I have no idea if they were bouncing off the wall afterwards, but I did not receive a note from either of their teachers, so I think they were fine.  I used mini-chocolate chips, to ensure a chocolate taste in every bite.  Who knows, maybe the combination of coffee and chocolate will give you some inspiration.  It’s worth a try – and if it doesn’t work – at least you made some deliciously tasty muffins!

Ingredients

  • 2/3 cup whole milk
  • 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
  • 1/2 cup semisweet mini-chocolate chips
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Cooking spray

Preparation

Preheat oven to 400°.

Combine first 5 ingredients.

Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour and next 4 ingredients (through 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.

Spoon batter into 12 muffin cups coated with cooking spray. Bake at 400° for 18 minutes or until done. Remove muffins from pan immediately; place on a wire rack.

For a printer-friendly version of this recipe, please click here:  Chocolate Chip-Coffee Muffins

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Vegan Pumpkin Muffins

I never shy away from baking for my kids schools when asked.  It is something I love doing – and gives me a great excuse – especially when they are looking for something on a Monday…weeknight baking is sometimes challenging, but I usually find a way to fit it in – while my laptop is on the counter and I am typing emails in between steps.

This one really got me though.  There are some kids in my daughter’s class who are allergic to seeds and nuts – not just a mild allergy either – severely allergic.  I guess there are also dairy allergies in the class, so the teacher just decided to cover all her bases and asked for nut-free, seed-free, non-chocolate vegan muffins.  What fun!  Now we have a challenge.  I combed the internet for the perfect recipe, and found this one from Namely Marly, which I highly adapted to basically a new recipe.

So, as I was making these, my older daughter came downstairs to see what I was doing and if she could help.  I told her I was making a nut-free, seed-free, vegan pumpkin muffins, and she just gave me this look – it was not a look of “Mom, you are the greatest!!”  Instead she went into this…”Mommy, I told all my friends that you are the best baker ever, I can’t bring these in, they will never believe me!”  I told her to trust me, as I cringed inside.  Making muffins without eggs wasn’t going to be pretty.

They came out of the oven, and they actually looked and smelled pretty good.  I couldn’t help but to rip right into one, and aside from the strange silky smooth consistency (probably because without the egg, the ingredients don’t completely bind?), they were pretty good.  So – the next time you get a strange request to make something for school – I highly recommend these – my daughter said they were actually a hit – and for a 4th grader to say that, it means a lot.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup rice buttermilk (rice milk combined with 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar)
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup mini-chocolate chips (optional)

Preparation

Heat your oven to 375 degrees F. Spray your muffin pan with vegetable spray or use paper liners.

Combine the flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl. In a separate small bowl, add the rice milk and apple cider vinegar. Let this sit for a minute so the vinegar can combine with the rice milk. Next add the pumpkin, vanilla, and vegetable oil. Stir until combined. Add to the flour mixture, and stir until combined. You can also add chocolate chips if you’re in the mood, but those are optional. Be careful not to stir the batter too much. Spoon batter into the prepared muffin pan, until about 2/3 full.

Bake for approximately 20 minutes (for regular muffins) and 10-12 minutes for mini-muffins and let cool for about 5 minutes before diving in.

Makes 12 regular sized muffins or about 3 dozen minis.

For a printer-friendly version, please click here:  Vegan Pumpkin Muffins

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Chocolate-Chocolate Chip Muffins

Another weekend down, and only two more before school gets out.  Our weekends have been jam-packed with end-of-the-year activities.  Fortunately most of them come with an opportunity to bake – unfortunately there doesn’t seem to be a lot of time to do so – but I am finding time when I can, and so far I have been pretty happy with the results of my “power baking” – as I like to call it.  I have lots of fun stuff to share…so stay tuned.

So what exactly is the different between a cupcake and a muffin?  Aside from the fact that people often feel like it is ok to eat a muffin, like they are healthy or something , as opposed to a cupcake.  I am starting to think that the difference is the frosting.  The muffin doesn’t have any, while the cupcake does.  Although, the muffin can have a topping, just as long as it is not creamy?  I’m pretty sure that must be the definition.  I decided to “Bing-It” and see the real answer.  Well, obviously this is not the first blog post to cover this topic – in fact, it seems as though I may have just discovered the most popular food blog topic out there.  And yes, I was indeed correct – everyone basically came to the same conclusion.

I found these beauties in Cooking Light, and my younger daughter decided she needed to help.  She hopped on the counter, and was ready.  She did a great job, especially placing the chocolate chips on top.  She took her job very seriously, and as you can see, she was meticulous.  These cupcakes – I mean muffins – were decadent – definitely on the edge of a cupcake without the frosting.  They were moist and chocolately, and definitely good with a cup of coffee – although just as good after dinner (we had them both ways).  So, give these a try, and make sure you tell people they are muffins, maybe they will feel better about eating a few…

Ingredients

  • 7 9/10 ounces all-purpose flour (about 1 3/4 cups)
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate minichips, divided
  • Cooking spray

Preparation

Preheat oven to 400°.

Weigh or lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour and next 5 ingredients (through salt) in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk. Make a well in center of mixture. Combine 1 cup water and next 4 ingredients (through egg) in a bowl, stirring well with a whisk. Stir in 1/4 cup minichips. Add oil mixture to flour mixture, stirring just until moist.

Place 12 muffin-cup liners in muffin cups, and coat liners with cooking spray. Divide batter evenly among prepared muffin cups. Sprinkle remaining 1/4 cup minichips evenly over batter. Bake at 400° for 15 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes in pan on a wire rack.

For a printer-friendly version of this recipe, please click here:  Chocolate-Chocolate Chip Muffins

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Sweet Streusel Muffins

Before I say anything else, my daughter saved these muffins.  Yes, I am serious.  So, things have been pretty busy lately, so busy that I haven’t had a lot of time to bake.  My blog is definitely suffering…as well as my family, but don’t worry, I have some plans to bake for our temple auction – and boy have I picked out some goodies.  Let’s hope they turn out well.  I just love baking things for the first time when they are to be used for raising money, no stress at all…

Ok, back to my daughter saving these muffins.  I was baking muffins for my other daughter’s Valentine’s Day breakfast, when my older daughter walked into the kitchen.  She wanted to know what I was making, and at that point I was sprinkling the streusel topping on the batter before covering the topping with more batter – and I have to admit, the topping did not look right, I couldn’t believe there was no butter.  I was just about done when my daughter took the book where the recipe was – The Wooden Spoon Bread Book – and informed me that I forgot to turn the page.  She was right – and there was the last ingredient – the butter.  I love this book – everything I make from it comes out wonderfully – but the recipes are printed differently.  Instead of listing all of the ingredients first, then giving you the instructions – it mixes everything up.  So you will get a few ingredients and then instructions on what to do with those ingredients, then some more ingredients, and some more instructions.  It is great – as long as you read the recipe entirely before starting – which of course I failed to do.

So – fortunately she caught me at the perfect time.  I made another batch of topping – and I was good to go.  The muffins turned out beautifully – and very delicious – not too sweet, and perfect with a nice cup of coffee, or glass of milk if you happen to be under 10.  I highly recommend them, but remember to read the whole recipe first…

Ingredients

muffins

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup oil
  • 1 cup milk

topping

  • 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 4 tablespoons butter

Preparation

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  Grease a 24-cup mini mufin pan.  Sift together and set aside the flour, salt and baking powder.  In a mixing blowl, beat the egg and stir into the egg the sugar, oil, milk, and sifted dry ingredients in that order.

Make the streusel topping by combining the flour, sugar, cinnamon and butter in a bowl.  Rub the butter into the flour mixture with your fingers or cut with a pastry blender.

Spoon a teaspoon of batter into each muffin cup.  Sprinkle a teaspoon of topping in each cup.  Divide the remaining batter evenly and spoon over the streusel in muffin cups. Divide the remaining streusel evenly and sprinkle over the top of the batter.  Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until lightly browned.  Serve warm.

Makes 24 muffins.

For a printer-friendly version of this recipe, please click here:  Sweet Streusel Muffins

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Bacon and Egg Muffins

As I have mentioned before, most of my friends do not cook – and although all of my friends like to eat, I have very few that are obsessed with food like me, or that I would consider a “foodie.”  Most of my friends find it humourous that I want to talk about food and restaurants all the time .  Other friends are just happy that I love to cook, and definitely benefit from the endless baked goods that come from my kitchen.

Last year my older daughter had a secret crush on a boy in her class.  I say it is secret, because she didn’t talk about it – but it was obvious to me.  One day she asked if I could become friends with his mother so that I could invite her over to our house, and his son could come too.  Ok, that was how I figured out about the crush…  I don’t have a lot of free time in my life to socialize, but over the course of the school year, I realized that we actually did have a lot in common – specifically food.  On the occasion I would make it to school to pick my daughter up, it was so great to talk to someone about food and restaurants while  waiting for the bell to ring.

A few months ago she told me about these muffins she made – and she said I had to make them for the blog.  When someone like that gives me a tip, I listen.  She said they were delicious, and looked outrageous – and she was right.  I made these for dinner one night, and they were a big hit – the tender muffin with big chunks of salty bacon – and that egg in the center, delicious!!  They are super easy, but read the directions carefully.  Thanks for the great recipe and for sharing my love for food!

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 pound thick-cut bacon, cooked crisp and finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh chives
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 7 large eggs
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Preparation

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  Grease 6 jumbo muffin tins (or 1-cup ramekins) with non-stick spray and set aside.

Whisk the flour, salt, baking powder, sugar, bacon, chives and cheese in a large bowl.  Combine the milk and one egg in a small bowl, and add to the dry ingredients, along with the melted butter.  Fold the ingredients together gently until no dry spots remain.

Spoon about 1/4 cup batter into each of the muffin tins.  Using a soft spatula, spread the batter up the sides of the tins a bit, leaving a depression in the middle of the batter.  Crack an egg into the center of each cup, and divide the remaining batter between the cups, making sure you cover the yolkIt’s easiest if you work with small dollops of batter.  When you cover the yolk, it will spread out when it bakes.

Bake the muffins for 20 to 25 minutes, until the visible egg white is set and the muffins are just barely beginning to crack.  (They won’t be very brown.)  Cool 5 minutes, then run a small knife around the edges of each muffin to release.  Serve hot.

Makes 6 muffins.

For a printer-friendly version of this recipe, please click here:  Bacon and Egg Muffins

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Savory Spinach, Feta, and Roasted Pepper Muffins

 

I have been trying really hard to improve the photos in my blog, but every once in a while, my patience is low, I am feeding guests, and I am starving.  I just can’t get a good picture, and I give up.  This is exactly what happened here – so I apologize.  I know it is always so much more appealing to make something when the picture looks good – but trust me, these were excellent – so much better than the picture portrays.

I saw this recipe in Bon Appetit, and I just love the idea of a savory muffin.  You don’t see a lot of savory muffin recipes – mostly they are savory biscuit type recipes – which I happen to love.  Therefore, I had to make these – I thought they would go great with an egg dish – for dinner.  The muffins were delicious.  They were slightly sweet – but the cheese really solidified them as a savory muffin.  They were plenty moist, and went perfectly with the quiche I made for dinner.  I couldn’t find parpadew peppers, so I just used roasted red peppers, which are also slightly sweet – so they were a perfect substitution.  These also would be great for brunch – and they are very easy to make.  So – sorry about the picture, but trust me, they are worth making.

Ingredients

  • Nonstick vegetable oil spray
  • 2 3/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup thinly sliced spinach leaves
  • 3/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 1/2 cup chopped drained mild Peppadew peppers or roasted red peppers from a jar

Preparation

Preheat oven to 375°F. Spray 12 standard (1/3-cup) muffin cups or 6 large (3/4-cup) muffin cups with nonstick spray. Whisk flour, sugar, baking powder, paprika, and salt in medium bowl. Whisk milk, oil, and eggs in large bowl to blend. Add dry ingredients; whisk just until blended. Add spinach, feta, and peppers; fold to incorporate evenly. Divide batter among prepared muffin cups (cups will be filled to top).

Bake muffins until tester inserted into center comes out clean, 25 to 28 minutes for standard muffins and 33 to 35 minutes for large muffins. Cool 5 minutes. Run knife around muffins to release from pan. Invert pan to release muffins, then turn muffins right side up and cool completely.

Makes 12

For a printer-friendly version of this recipe, please click here:  Savory Spinach, Feta, and Roasted Pepper Muffins

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