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Muffin Fix

Muffins are our answer to everything.

Need a quick lunch snack? Muffins.
Want a light breakfast?  Muffins.
Packing for a road trip? Muffins.
Bored?  Why not do some baking to pass the time?  Why not bake muffins?

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Our other answer to everything is chocolate and peanut butter.  Obviously.

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We don’t want to be redundant, or predictable, but our craving for chocolate and peanut butter is just never quite satisfied.  And we were baking these to share with a friend who’s favourite flavour combo also happens to be chocolate and peanut butter, so in our minds the decision was already made!

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So in case you haven’t guessed already, these are chocolate peanut butter muffins.

Make that chocolate peanut butter swirl with chocolate and peanut butter chips.

Whaddup.

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These little beauties are truly decadent.  And they’re the perfect snack to bring along for post-race snacking, Toronto road-tripping, beach-bumming and post-night-out-breakfasting.  All of which took place in a span of 24 hours this past weekend.

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So the real question is: can you ever have too many muffins?  No, no you cannot.  We suppose the other question is: can you ever have enough chocolate and peanut butter?  Again, the answer is no.  And these little snacks are the perfect marriage between the two.  Win-win!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Swirl Muffins

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Prep Time: 20 minutes
Bake time: 20-25 minutes
Makes: 19-24 muffins (depending on the size)

Ingredients:

For the Chocolate Batter:

1.5 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 c. all purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 c. white sugar
1/4 c. cocoa powder
1 egg, beaten
1 egg white
1 c. milk of choice
1 tsp vinegar
1/2 c. unsweetened applesauce
1/4 c. plain yogurt
1/4 c. honey
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 c. peanut butter chips

For the Peanut Butter Batter:

1.5 c. whole wheat flour
1/2 c. all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 c. white sugar
1 egg. beaten
1 egg white
1 c. milk
1 tsp vinegar
1/2 c. apple sauce
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 c. peanut butter
1/2 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips.

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350F.  Spray two muffins pans with non-stick cooking spray.

In two large bowls, combine the dry ingredients for both batters separately. In two separate smaller bowls, combine the wet ingredients for both batters separately.  Pour the wet ingredients for each batter into the bowls of dry ingredients. (You will have two bowls with two different batters).  Stir both bowls just until everything is combined and there are no dry spots.  Gently stir the chocolate chips into the peanut butter batter and the peanut butter chips into the chocolate batter.

Place a spoonful of the chocolate batter into each of your muffins tins, only filling the muffin tin about 1/3-1/2 full with the chocolate.  Now go along and top the chocolate batter with a spoonful of peanut butter batter.

Using a butter knife, gently swirl the two batters together.  Bake for 20-25 minutes, until the muffins are firm yet still soft.

~twosaucysisters

Do you like muffins?  When you have to make snacks, what are your go-to favourites?

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See a Need, Fill a Need

Does anyone remember the movie Robots?

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There was one line from that movie that always stuck with us- it was Rodney’s motto, “See a need, fill a need!”  Don’t you think that’s a great rule to live by?  We sure do, and that’s what we try to do when we create recipes.  Find out what people want and need and make a recipe that fulfills those requirements.

And that is precisely how these muffins came to be…

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You see, a family member of ours recently underwent knee surgery (Heather, I think you’ll be able to relate to this…) and has been on some serious pain meds for the past few days.  Anyone who has ever had to go through this kind of thing before knows what kind of side effects medications like these can have…

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To put it a little more eloquently, this family member of ours has been experiencing some… difficulty with, you know… “moving things along”.

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The pain killers combined with the fact that he’s pretty well couch-ridden and can’t do a whole lot of moving around to (ahem) “shake things out” has left him with a little difficulty staying, well, regular.

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This family member is also used to being very active, so now that he’s being faced with several months of significantly decreased amounts of exercise, he’s also put in a request that sweets and unhealthy snacks be kept at minimal levels around the house.  (Did we also mention that this particular individual has quite the sweet tooth, and is somewhat lacking in will power? ;))

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He also likes to snack.  A lot. So we knew what we had to do- create a snack that’s full of fibre, but is low in sugar, and unhealthy fats, and of course it has to taste good, too!

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And thus, the super high-fibre date n’ raisin mini-muffin was created!  We decided to make these mini, because that way if he feels like he needs a little snack, he doesn’t have to commit to eating an entire muffin.  But of course, these would be just as delicious if they were full-sized, all you’d have to do is bake them a little longer!

So what makes these high fibre?  They have wheat bran, oat bran, rolled oats, and whole wheat flour.  They also have dates and raisins, which are also good sources of fibre.  So when all’s said and done, one of these mini muffins has 2 grams of fibre, which, considering their size, is quite a bit!  And if you were to make them into large muffins, they’d be about 3 times the size, which would put them at about 6 grams per muffin!

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You could even amp-up the fibre content even more by adding some ground flax seeds and chopped almonds to these muffins- something we would’ve done if we hadn’t been all out!

And as for the taste?  Well, we realize that you don’t often hear people saying “yummm… fibre…” but we promise you will love these!  Everyone in our family loved these- in fact, we just made these yesterday, and we’re already thinking we’ll have to make another batch pretty soon…

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Mmmm fibre! 🙂

Date-Raisin Mini Muffins

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Prep time: 15min
Bake time: 10-12min
Makes: 30 mini muffins

Ingredients:

1 c. whole wheat flour
1 c. bran
1/2 c. oat bran
1/2 c. oats
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt

1 egg
1/2 c. yogurt (any kind will do, we used strawberry!)
1 c. milk of choice
1 tsp white vinegar
1/4 c. maple syrup

1/2 c. dates
1/2 c. raisins

Directions:

Pre-heat oven to 350F.
Combine milk and vinegar and set aside for 5min (to make “butter milk”).
In a large bowl, combine the dry ingredients. In a separate bowl, combine the wet, only adding the milk after having sat for 5 min.
Pour wet ingredients into the dry along with the dates and raisins and stir until just combined.
Fill greased mini-muffin tins with the batter.
Bake for 10-12 minutes.

~twosaucysisters

Have you ever had a surgery and experienced difficult side effects after wards? What did you do to overcome those difficulties?

Pillows of Sunshine

We love lemon, as is evident here, here, here and here.

We also love muffins.

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So why not make lemon muffins?

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And of course, we love to put poppy seeds in whenever we bake with lemon!

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We also love the lemon + coconut pairing, so naturally we made these muffins with part coconut flour.

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The coconut flour just makes them so pillow-y soft with a hint of sweetness, yet the lemon gives them a sunshine-like brightness, they really couldn’t have turned out any better!

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We hope these muffins bring some sunshine to your day like they did to ours!

Lemon-Coconut Muffins

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Prep time: 10min
Bake time: 15-20min
Makes: 12 muffins

Ingredients:

1 c. whole wheat flour
1/2 c. white flour
2 tbsp coconut flour
1.5 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 tbsp poppy seeds
1/4 tsp salt
2 tbsp white sugar

1 egg
juice of 1 lemon (~1/4 c.)
zest of 1 lemon
1 c. milk of choice
2 tbsp coconut oil, melted
2 tbsp honey
1/3 c. plain yogurt
1/2 tsp coconut extract (optional)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350F.
In a medium sized bowl, combine all of the dry ingredients. In a separate bowl, mix together the wet ingredients. Pour the wet into the dry and stir until just combined.
Divide batter evenly between 12 greased muffin cups.
Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until lightly browned and firm to the touch.

~twosaucysisters

Leftovers

Did you make yesterday’s blueberry buttermilk pancakes?

You did?  Perfect!  Because you probably have leftover buttermilk, and perhaps even some leftover blueberries now, don’t you?

How did we know?  Call it foodie intuition 🙂

Anyways, if yesterday’s pancakes got you on the same blueberry buttermilk kick that we’ve been on lately, then this post is especially for you 🙂

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These are the muffin form of yesterday’s pancakes, and they are seriously good.

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But we have to tell you, it took us a couple tries to get these right.  We have been making muffins for years (in fact, muffins were the first thing we ever made without the help of our mother!) so by now we’ve got the whole procedure pretty much down pat.

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In fact, aside from the occasional leaving-out of ingredients (aka- forgetting the baking soda) we have never actually had a batch of muffins fail.  So when the first batch of these didn’t quite turn out, we started to wonder if we had lost our touch!

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It’s not that the first round didn’t taste good, they just didn’t have that light and fluffy texture that you come to expect from a muffin.  When they first came out of the oven they were big and round and beautiful-looking, but within minutes of cooling, they had collapsed, and ended up being somewhat dense.  Of course, we ate them anyways, but we knew we had to have another crack at them as soon as the first batch was gone.

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Round two turned out to be a resounding success, so we deemed them blog-worthy and here they are in all their glory!  A fluffy muffin made with whole wheat flour and bursting with juicy blueberries just for you.

You’re welcome 🙂

Blueberry Buttermilk Muffins

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Prep time: 10min
Bake time: 15-20min
Makes: 12 muffins

Ingredients:

1.5 c. whole wheat flour
1/2 c. unbleached white flour
1.5 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon

1 egg
2 Tbsp coconut oil
1/3 c. Apple juice
3/4 c. buttermilk
1/3 c. plain yogurt
1/4 c. date paste

1 c. frozen blueberries

Directions:

Pre-heat oven to 350 F.
In separate bowls, combine the wet and dry ingredients. Add the wet to the dry, stirring just to combine. Carefully fold in the blueberries, trying to avoid blue colour “bleeding” into the rest of the batter.
Bake for 15-20 min, or until they are lightly browned and firm to the touch. Cool on a wire rack and enjoy!

~twosaucysisters

Have you ever had a baking failure? Did you succeed the next time you tried? We’ve had plenty of baking failures, and sometimes they took more than 2 tries to perfect!

Fuel for the Season

Hi everybody!  Long-time no-see! 🙂

Between finishing the last of our exams and making the trek home for the holidays, we have been super busy and have neglected to write anything for a few days.  Yes, we’re going to be cliche here and blame Christmas for our laziness.  We’re pretty sure that’s some kind of right of passage this time of year anyways, so we’ll take advantage of it while we can 😉

But the great thing is, now that we have exams behind us (yay!) we can throw ourselves into full Christmas mode with no reservation!  This also means that we have less than five days to do all of our Christmas shopping.  This is going to be an interesting 5 days…

So we had to prepare.  What does 4 days of fighting through packed mall crowds require?  Fuel.  And what better way to give yourself a much-needed energy boost than with a muffin?

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A Christmas-themed muffin, of course! 🙂

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There’s a bit of a story behind these muffins.  An extremely long time ago, we went into a little coffee shop somewhere in London (it was so long ago that neither of us can remember which one it was) and saw in their display case these big green muffins.  We didn’t actually buy one so we don’t know what they tasted like, but they had pistachios in them.  We love pistachios, and we both thought that they looked really cool because they were so green!  We decided right there that we were going to make our own green muffins, and now, almost a year later, we’re finally getting around to it!

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But given that this is the Christmas season, just making a green muffin didn’t seem like enough.  So we threw in some dried cranberries to make them green and red!  (a few chocolate chips may have fallen into the batter as well… 🙂 )

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And what is the secret to the bright green colour?  2 things: pistachios, and spinach!  Yes, spinach.  The leafy green vegetable has this amazing ability to blend right into whatever it is you’re baking, making it bright green, but leaving no spinach-y taste at all!  We’ve had success in the past with putting spinach into baked goods, so we were pretty confident that it would work for these, too 🙂

We’re also pretty confident that the muffins in that coffee shop were not made green by the addition of spinach, but just adding food colouring is way too boring, not mention significantly less healthy!

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Topped with a little bit of almond butter, these muffins are the perfect mid-afternoon pick-me-up.  They’re also a good size for tossing into your purse to take with you into the war zone mall during those last-minute shopping trips 🙂

Green Cranberry Pistachio Muffins

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Prep time: 10min
Bake time: 15-20min
Makes: 12 muffins

Ingredients:

1 1/2 c. whole wheat flour
1/2 c. white flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 c. pistachios

1 c. mlk
1 c. spinach
1/2 c. Apple sauce
1/4 c. date paste
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/8 tsp almond extract (optional)

1/2 c. pistachios
1/2 c. dried cranberries
1/4 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips

Directions:

Pre-heat your oven to 350 F.
Grind the first half-cup of pistachios into a fine powder, then combine all the dry ingredients in one big bowl. Combine the wet ingredients in a separate bowl, then pour the wet into the dry. Add the other 1/2 cup of pistachios, dried cranberries and chocolate chips, and stir until just combined.
Spoon evenly into 12 greased muffin cups, and bake for 15-20min, or until slightly browned on the top and firm to the touch.

-twosaucysisters

Have you finished your Christmas shopping yet?

Muffin Mayhem

Remember the other day when we said that we don’t like to just hide all of our zucchini away in baked goods?  Well, we’d like to retract that statement (sort of).  You see, we finally gave in.

Yes, we made zucchini muffins.

Now we don’t want you to get the wrong idea here.  We LOVE zucchini bread, muffins, and cake, its just that when we have fresh-from-the-garden zucchini, we don’t want to just use it all in baked goods.  We want to give it a chance to shine.  We want to be able to really taste how fresh and delicious it is.  But when you have 10 pounds of zucchini sitting on the counter, sometimes you just have no other choice.  We couldn’t very well serve zucchini noodles to our family every night of the week!

We think these muffins were a pretty good compromise, though 🙂

It was pretty obvious that our family loved them, too, because these babies were gone in a day and a half!  As a matter-of-fact, they were such a big hit that we made them again, but doubled the recipe!  Our family really likes muffins.

And these ones are literally packed with zucchini!  We figured it out that there is approximately 1/4 c. of zucchini in each muffin!

Muffins are really, really easy to make healthier, too.  In fact, the first thing we ever baked on our own were muffins, so I guess you can say they’re where we got our start 🙂  First of all, subbing part or all of the flour for whole wheat is an easy substitution to make, and instantly increases the nutritional value of your muffins.  The other big thing is sugar.  In our experience, most muffin recipes call for at least double the amount of sugar than they really need.  We also tend to replace a lot of oil and/or butter with apple juice or apple sauce, because we have found that muffins with too much oil just get very heavy and greasy.  Substituting with those ingredients also adds some sweetness to the muffin, so it allows you to cut back on the sugar even more.

The first time we made these muffins, we put in half a cup of sugar, but when we made them the second time, we only put in a third cup of sugar and you can’t even taste the difference!

We also used multigrain flour for added texture, which is why you’re seeing little white specks in the photos.

Just check out that texture!

After the first batch, our brother oh-so-casually mentioned how he thought putting apple in zucchini muffins would be delicious, so of course we took the hint, and added diced apple the second time around.  And he was totally right 🙂

These are classic zucchini muffins, made much healthier.  And you know, classics are classics for a reason, right?  So if you also have zucchini coming out the ying-yang, you should definitely give these muffins a try!  We promise you won’t be disappointed!

Multigrain Zucchini Muffins

Prep time: 10-15min

Bake time: 20-25min

Makes: 12 muffins

Ingredients:

2 c. multigrain (or whole wheat) flour

1 c. unbleached white flour

2 tsp baking soda

2 tbsp cinnamon

2 tsp nutmeg

3 c. grated zucchini

2/3 c. liquid – 1/2 c. apple juice, then fill to the 2/3c. line with oil

2 eggs

1 tsp vanilla

1/3-1/2 c. white sugar*

1 tbsp date paste

1/2 c. each walnuts and raisins

Directions:

Pre-heat oven to 350 F.

Combine all dry ingredients in a large bowl.

Combine all wet ingredients in a separate bowl and mix thoroughly. Add wet to dry, and add raisins and walnuts. Stir to just combine.

Spoon batter evenly into 12 greased muffin tins, and bake for 20-25min until done.

*Depending on if you like a sweeter muffin, we’ve done both and they were both fabulous!

-twosaucysisters

What’s your favourite kind of muffin?

What was the first thing you ever cooked or baked on your own? 

Snack Attack

Several years ago, we saw a McDonalds billboard that said “Dinner is a long way from lunch”. We heartily agree! It was an advertisement for their snack wraps.

Different ad, but we still agree!

We’ve never actually had a McDonalds snack wrap, seeing as we don’t go there often ever.  But we do enjoy snacking, and believe that healthy snacks are an important part of the diet.  It is a long way from lunch to dinner, and who doesn’t love snacks? Having a healthy snack in the afternoon can help to prevent you from over eating in the evening, as well as provide you with some good nutrition.

The easiest way to have healthy snacks is to prepare in advance.  We like to make a bunch of healthy snacks that we keep in the fridge that we can throw in a lunch bag/pop into our mouths as we head out the door!  They’re also great if you’re having a “hungry day” and need an extra little boost.

So we bring to you: Mini Muffins. Easy to throw into a bag and bring along, easy to toss in your mouth snack hole while you’re out and about, and a great little whole grain treat to tie you over until dinner!

Cute little muffins!!

We’re calling these “everything” muffins, because they have a little bit of a lot of stuff in them.  With the chai spices and whole wheat flour, these little guys are big on flavour and fiber, and are pretty cute to boot!

Chai Spiced Everything Mini Muffins

Makes: 24

Prep: 10-15min

Bake time: 14min

Ingredients:

1 c. whole wheat flour

1/2 c. bran

1/2 c. oat flour

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1 tbsp sugar

2 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp each ginger, nutmeg, allspice, cloves

1/4 apple, diced

1/3 c. diced pineapple, no juice

1/2 peach, diced

1/3 c. grated carrot

1/3 c. raisins

1 tbsp oil

2 tbsp plain yogurt

3/4 c. milk

1 egg

1/2 tsp vanilla

1 tbsp honey

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350C.

Mix all dry ingredients.

In  separate bowl, combine wet ingredients.  Add to dry.

Stir in raisins.

Spoon batter into 24 prepared min muffin tins.

Bake for 14-15 min.

~twosaucysisters

What do you like to have for snacks during the day?