Rainy days are perfect for baking with kids. It makes being stuck inside more tolerable (unless you’re one of those people who says “screw the rain, let’s jump in puddles!”… but I’m not one of those people. I have beige rental carpets that beg to stained with mud, so that’s not how we roll around here). It gives my children something fun to do besides bash each other’s heads into the radiators (true story, we spent an hour at the doctor this morning because Chris was bored and thought body slamming Emma was an awesome idea). It makes the house smell amazing (unless you burn something). Enough said.
Today it rained so we chose to make muffins. Muffins are easy, forgiving and budget friendly – perfect for an impromptu rainy day baking session. I’m a blueberry muffin girl all the way, but we had an abundance of zucchini in the fridge so I figured I’d put it to good use. Although I have a trusted standby recipe from my Joy of Cooking cookbook, I decided instead to take a gamble with one I found on allrecipes.com. I’m glad I did. For about two hours our kitchen was total muffin mayhem: we had batter on the floor, flour in our hair and shredded zucchini on the kitchen window (don’t ask). Despite the utter chaos, the final product was nothing short of awesome.
What is your favorite kind of muffin? Tell us in the comments section below!
Zucchini Chocolate Chip Muffins (adapted from THIS recipe)
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour 3/4 cup brown sugar 1 teaspoon baking soda 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg 1/2 teaspoon salt 1 egg, lightly beaten 1/2 cup applesauce 1/4 cup yogurt 1 tablespoon lemon juice 2 teaspoons vanilla extract 1 1/2 cup shredded zucchini a handful of semi sweet chocolate chips (about 1/3 cup-ish? I just eyeball it)
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a muffin tin or line with cupcake paper cups.
2. In a bowl, combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. In a separate bowl combine the egg, applesauce, brown sugar, yogurt, lemon juice and vanilla, mix well. Stir wet mixture into dry ingredients until just moistened. Lightly fold in zucchini and chocolate chips with a spatula.
3. Fill muffin cups three-quarters full. Bake for 20-25 minutes for mini muffins, 30-35 minutes for regular muffins, or until muffins test done. Let cool for 10 minutes in the pan before moving to a cooling rack.
A few tips and tricks:
* If you feel compelled, you can use whole wheat flour in this recipe. I usually do 1/2 whole wheat and 1/2 all purpose flour to keep my muffins from being too dense.
* I used yogurt because I have a ton of it in my fridge, but the original recipe calls for milk if you don’t have any yogurt on hand.
* Using room temperature ingredients makes for the best muffins ever. We’re impatient here and used them straight from the fridge, but if you’re savvy enough to plan your baking endeavors ahead of time feel free to follow the room-temp rule.
* If you weren’t born with the ability to inhale an entire batch of freshly baked muffins in one sitting (like someone I know… cough cough me cough cough), you can rest assured that leftover muffins freeze beautifully. When you want one just pop it in the microwave (or foil wrap that sucker and put it in the oven) to thaw it and relive the freshly baked muffin experience. OOOOOOOR if you’re adventurous you can prepare the batter ahead of time and freeze it in an oiled muffin pan overnight. In the morning pop out the frozen batter “discs” into a ziplock bag to store in the freezer. When you’re ready for fresh muffins just stick them back in an oiled muffin pan, allow for time to thaw and then follow the baking directions for your recipe.