National Pumpkin Day! Pumpkin Cinnamon Chip Muffin Recipe

Happy National Pumpkin Day! Happy Friday! Today is a great day because pumpkin day and Friday happened to land on the same day this year. That calls for celebration! Celebration in the form of these super tasty, borderline addictive Pumpkin Cinnamon Chip Muffins. I’m one of those people who believes pumpkin is a year-round flavor but I still love celebrating its abundance in the fall. Especially in the form of baked goods. Considering my love for pumpkin, I was a bit shocked at the lack of pumpkin recipes in the index! Clearly that needs to change, starting with these muffins…

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National Apple Day! Jumbo Apple Cinnamon Muffins | Apple Season Recipes

Happy National Apple Day! I got back from a two-week east coast trip this week and it’s been a whirlwind getting back into a regular routine. Organizing my planner last night, I realized that I have only two free weekends as of right now through the end of the year. Goodbye sleeping in, productive hours of writing, movie nights, delightful Sunday night dinners, and freedom. The last few months of the year are always the craziest as many of you can probably relate to as well. I can’t help but love them anyway. The 31 Nights of Halloween is on the TV every night like clockwork lately...I’m regretting that Sweeney Todd movie night. I just bought a bunch of pumpkins for the front porch too. ..

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Chocolate Chip Muffins For World Baking Day!

Happy World Baking Day! Dig in to your favorite treat today whether that's a dark chocolate cake or savory foccacia. Need a little inspiration? Today, we have a simple recipe for Chocolate Chip Muffins you're going to love. I am notoriously not the best baker. My attempts at creating sweets have ended in disaster. Cookies have turned into hockey pucks or liquefied. Frosting has turned into a sand-like substance. Luckily, muffins and sweet breads seem to be my saving grace. I've been able to adapt to a basic recipe and play with added ingredients. That's how this guy came to be.

There are two people in the world: cooks and bakers. A very small few can excel at both but something I've learned is that cooks don't like to measure and bakers love the process of baking (and they depend on measurements). I personally hate measuring. I like to play around but baking needs to be exact. I also hate having to use more bowls than I feel necessary. Who decided that you need to separate the wet and dry ingredients before mixing them together? Well, guess what? You can make these tasty muffins in ONE BOWL! I call that amazing. So if you're like me and prefer quick baking recipes and one bowl masterpieces, this is it. 

Chocolate Chip Muffins
Ingredients: 
3/4 butter, melted
1 large egg
3/6 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup sugar
2 cups flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup chocolate chips

Directions:
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Prepare a muffin tin or cups with cooking spray.

2. In a small bowl, whisk together butter, egg, milk, vanilla and sugar until the sugar has incorporated well into the liquid and is almost dissolved (it will still be grainy). Gradually add in the flour followed by the baking powder and salt. Mix well until the batter is smooth. If it gets too heavy for your whisk, switch to a rubber spatula. When the batter becomes smooth, fold in the chocolate chips. 

3. Fill the muffin cups about 1/2 - 2/3 of the way full. Bake for 15-20 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool on a cooling rack. NOTE: Do not open the oven until 15 minutes has passed. Opening the oven will cause the muffins to fall so don't let the hot air escape unless you think the house is about to set on fire.

Yields: 18 muffins

Are you a cook or a baker? Tell us why in the comments below!

Behind the scenes...this sweet girl likes to make it hard for me to take pictures. 

Behind the scenes...this sweet girl likes to make it hard for me to take pictures. 

Lemon Blueberry Muffins - Mother's Day Brunch (cont.)

What is simple that can be made ahead of time with a small mess? Muffins. These are honestly my go to for whenever I get myself caught in a pinch. Need something for a potluck? Muffins. Need something for Christmas morning? Muffins. Need something for company coming over in less than an hour. Muffins. They whip up in one bowl and chances are you have all the ingredients for a basic recipe already in your pantry. Make them spectacular by throwing whatever else you have on hand into them.

I love these Lemon Blueberry Muffins for Mother's Day because they're the perfect spring treat. The brightness from the lemon and sweet tartness from the blueberries is a fantastic combination. For an extra punch of lemon, add a little zest in as well as the juice. It just takes the flavor to another level without you having to do much. They'd also be delicious using strawberries or raspberries. 

LEMON BLUEBERRY MUFFINS
Ingredients: 
3/4 cup butter, melted
1 large egg
3/4 cup milk
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1/2 cup applesauce
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 cups flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
Dash of salt
1 cup blueberries

Directions:
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Grease a muffin tin or muffin cups with cooking spray.

2. Whisk together in a medium-sized bowl butter, egg, milk, lemon zest and applesauce. Add in brown sugar and whisk till smooth. Add in flour, baking powder and salt and continue to mix until the batter is smooth (a few lumps are ok). Fold in cup of blueberries just until they are well incorporated to the batter.

3. Carefully spoon batter into muffin cups till they are about 1/2 - 1/3 of the way full. Bake for 15-20 minutes until a knife or toothpick comes out clean. Remove from the muffin tin and allow to cool on a cooling rack.

Yields 18 muffins.

Are you ready for Mother's Day? We only have a few days left. See below for a few more sweet recipes to serve mom on her special day.

Best Ever Banana Muffins - The Busy Baker
Chocolate Stuffed Pancakes - My Frugal Adventures
Fresh Melon Basil Salad - Self Proclaimed Foodie
Glazed Strawberry Muffins - Garnish & Glaze
Lemon Rolls - Love From The Oven
Mini Lemon Poppy Seed Donuts - Home Made Interest
No-Bake Strawberry Cheesecake Mousse - Baked By An Introvert
Raspberry Almond Scones - Two Peas & Their Pod
Skinny Chocolate Chip Buttermilk Scones - Skinnytaste
Strawberry Cheesecake Strawberry Bites - The Kitchen Is My Playground
Strawberry Vanilla Crescent Rolls - Will Cook For Smiles

Bringing The Force Into Breakfast With General Mills and Star Wars

This post is sponsored by General Mills through Linqia but the content and opinions expressed here are my own.

In just a few short weeks, the newest addition to the Star Wars legacy is premiering in theaters. Tickets are already beginning to sell out, if not already, for the midnight premiere and fans all over are vigorously counting down the days till they are reunited with their favorite characters. Just a few days after the premiere is another big date, Christmas! With the holiday season officially here, we can lose sight of important, every day tasks like breakfast. Whether you're short on time or too drained to actually make something, the trusty breakfast routine that never fails is a classic bowl of cereal. If you have some extra time on your hands one night, it's also nifty to whip up a  batch or two of jumbo muffins. They're easy to grab on the go and always satisfying. Keep reading for my Cinnamon Apple Muffins with a crunchy topping. 

Regardless of what time of day it is, cereal is one of the best comfort foods that is out there and it's the easiest to prepare. Nothing reminds me of my childhood more than mixing together my favorite cereals. I used to go nuts whenever we would have a few different boxes open at a time. I still will pour myself a bowl at night when I'm working late or just craving something I can't put my finger on. Now with the specialty marked boxes of General Mills cereal, I have an excuse to open several boxes with my little cousins who are HUGE Star Wars fans, show them my favorite way to eat cereal and see exclusive scenes from The Force Awakens movie in the droid view finders. There are six to collect and who doesn't love a special surprise from a cereal box? In fact, get your own droid view finder with a coupon for 75 cents off all General Mills cereal. Choose from Mini Trix, Honey Nut Cheerios, Cinnamon Toast Crunch or Reese's Puffs. Each General Mills Cereal is made with whole grain oats and contains at least ten grams of whole grains per serving. 

If you happen to want something different than a bowl of cereal for breakfast or perhaps you don't want to eat something cold when it's 25 degrees outside (welcome to Chicago), I have a tasty muffin recipe that you will love. These Cinnamon Apple Muffins are made with applesauce but would also be great with chopped apples for an extra punch of flavor. For a little texture, I lightly crushed some Cinnamon Toast Crunch and sprinkled it over the tops of the muffins before baking them. You don't want them to be crumby but you want them to be lightly broken up. Put these in the microwave for 10-15 seconds and you've got yourself a warm breakfast. Bring fun back into your breakfast with General Mills and The Force AwakensMake sure to visit the Big G Cereal Tumblr page to fan out on all things Star Wars. 

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Cinnamon Apple Muffins with a Crunchy Topping
Mix breakfast favorites, cereal and muffins, in this tasty recipe.
Ingredients
  • 2 cups Flour
  • 2.5 teaspoons Baking Powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • 1/4 cup Sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Cinnamon
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 cup Milk
  • 1/4 cup Butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup Applesauce
  • 1/2 cup Cinnamon Toast Crunch Cereal, lightly crushed
Instructions
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Grease muffin cups before placing in the muffin tin and set aside.Mix together in a large bowl flour, baking powder, salt, sugar and cinnamon. Slowly fold in the egg. Add in milk, butter and applesauce. Mix until well incorporated. Pour into a muffin tin about 2/3 to 3/4 of the way full. Top with Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal. Bake in the oven for 25 minutes or until a knife or toothpick comes out clean. Remove from the muffin tin and allow to cool.
Details
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 6 jumbo muffins or 12 regular sized muffins

Celebrating National Apple Day: Cinnamon Apple Bread with a Brown Butter Glaze

We are in the prime of apple season. What better time to celebrate National Apple Day? To celebrate, we have a delicious recipe that you'll want to make triple batches of: Cinnamon Apple Bread with a Brown Butter Glaze. This recipe is packed with fresh apples and plenty of cinnamon. Everyone will be asking for anonther piece before they're even done with their first.

cinnamon apple bread.jpg

Using fresh apples gives this bread extra moisture so that it never dries out. I also subbed the oil for applesauce to cut calories which also enhances the sweetness of the apples. This bread is so good that it honestly doesn't need the brown butter glaze but it definitely doesn't hurt. 

This would also be good with pears. If, for some reason, apples aren't your thing, pears would be a good substitution, cranberries, or simply no fruit at all. You can just keep this a simple cinnamon bread recipe. This recipe gave me a loaf of bread and six jumbo muffins with enough glaze for the bread and two muffins. 

A tip for the glaze, it will take about 10-15 minutes for the butter to brown. You want to keep it moving so it doens't burn. There's a big difference between burnt butter and browned butter. The melted butter will deepen in color getting golden brown. It will give off a sweet, nutty scent as well which is a big clue to knowing it's almost ready.

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Cinnamon Apple Bread with a Brown Butter Glaze
Moist, delicious cinnamon apple bread perfect for fall and holiday get togethers. The brown butter glaze is 100% optional but phenomenal.
Ingredients
  • 1 2/3 cup Sugar
  • 2/3 cup Applesauce
  • 1/2 cup Milk
  • 2 teaspoons Vanilla
  • 4 large Eggs
  • 3 cups Apples, chopped (about 3 total)
  • 3 cups Flour
  • 2 teaspoons Baking Soda
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 2 teaspoons Ground Cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon Allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon Baking Powder
  • 1 stick Unsalted Butter
  • 1 cup Powdered Sugar
  • 4 tablespoons Milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon Vanilla
Instructions
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease the bottom of a loaf pan and 6 jumbo muffin cups.In a large bowl, mix together the sugar, applesauce, milk, vanilla and eggs till smooth. Add in the apples and mix well. Slowly add in your dry ingredients until the batter is well combined.Pour batter about 2/3 of the way in a greased loaf pan. Fill the muffin cups with the remaining batter. The muffins will bake for about 20 minutes and the bread will take about an hour. Test with a knife or toothpick to make sure the inside comes out clean. Let cool.While your bread is cooling, prepare your glaze. Brown one stick of butter in a small saucepan. It will take about 10 minutes or so but the end result should be a rich, golden brown color. Take off the heat and slowly incorporate the powdered sugar, vanilla and the milk one tablespoon at a time. If you find your desired consistency before 4 tablespoons of milk, that's fine. If you need a little extra, that's ok too. Just follow your gut.Pour the glaze over the bread and let cool for a few minutes until it because sticky. Serve!
Details
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 1 loaf + 6 jumbo muffins

Raspberry Muffins With A Chocolate Espresso Glaze

Baking season is in its prime right now and although today's recipe might not be pumpkin-licious, it is berrylicious and super easy to manage. I personally love raspberries and find them really easy to cook or bake with because there's not a lot of required work. These muffins use a basic recipe plus the berries and have an added twist with an energy packed glaze.

These muffins are a great mid-morning snack. Not only are they tasty but they give you  an extra boost of energy thanks to the espresso. If you're like me and not up to brewing your own espresso simply for baking, stop at the nearest coffee shop. I just grabbed four shots from the Starbucks down the road and saved myself and extra step...and mess.

A few tips before you bake, prepare a cookie sheet with wax paper and set the muffins on there when you're ready to add the glaze. It makes things less messy and easier to transfer to the fridge so that the glaze hardens quicker. If you're not a fan of coffee or espresso, feel free to swap it out for water or milk if you want a creamier glaze. 

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Raspberry Muffins with a Chocolate Espresso Glaze
Easy muffin recipe with an energy kick built into the glaze
Ingredients
  • 1.5 cups Flour
  • 1/2 cup Sugar
  • 2 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1 Egg
  • 1/2 cup Milk
  • 1/3 cup Butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup Raspberries, halved
  • 3 tbsp Butter
  • 1.5 cups Confectioner's Sugar
  • 4 tbsp Cocoa Powder
  • 4 shots Espresso
Instructions
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.Mix the dry ingredients together in a medium size bowl and set aside.Mix together the egg, milk and butter. Slowly incorporate into the dry ingredients and mix well. Gently incorporate raspberries.Fill muffin cups one half to three quarters of the way with the batter. Bake 20-25 minutes or until a knife comes out clean. It took mine 22 minutes to bake. Take muffins out of the muffin pan and let cool.While the muffins are cooling, start to prepare your glaze. Melt butter in a saucepan and slowly whisk in cocoa powder and espresso. Stir until the mixture comes to a boil and thickens. Remove from the heat and gradually add in confectioner's sugar. Stir the glaze until it is smooth and thick.Ladle the glaze over the muffins generously. You will have quite a bit left over so halve the recipe if you don't plan to use later. If you want the glaze to harden, refrigerate the muffins for about an hour or so until you can touch the glaze without leaving a smudge mark.
Details
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 10 jumbo muffins