Thursday, January 13, 2011

Better Than Cupcakes

Back with my trusty little camera phone & all the high quality photos it provides.

3 hour school delay here--ice.  Using my super secret ability to predict the future and know that I would have bored and snacky kids on my hands, I baked up some chocolate *goodness* yesterday. 

Just turn your head to the left a bunch, or lay down on your left side, squint your eyes a bit and these will look delicious!

Chocolate Ricotta Mini Muffins!  By *goodness* I mean yummy, yet healthier than your typical Costco version of a muffin.  These are much lower in sugar, amazingly lower in fat and the ricotta bumps up the protein.  The chips?  Hey, if a peanut butter chip will get your kid to eat's worth it!

Chocolate Ricotta Mini Muffins

2 1/3 cups flour
3/4 tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking powder
6-8 Tbl. cocoa powder (go for 8, which is 1/2 cup--it's chocolate, afterall)
1 cup sugar
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips or peanut butter chips
1 cup ricotta cheese (non-fat, low-fat or full-fat)
2 large eggs
1 1/3 cups milk
1 Tbl. vanilla extract
1 Tbl. melted butter or vegetable oil (I use oil)

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line mini muffin cups with papers or spray with non-stick cooking spray.  Regular sized muffins will work too.

2.  Mixing is a bit different than usual.  Combine the flour, salt, baking powder, cocoa (I sift first), SUGAR, and CHIPS is the big bowl. 
3.  Now mix up the ricotta, eggs, milk, vanilla, and oil or butter in a medium bowl.  

4. Add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients and gently mix in. 

Mmmmmm....looks good.  Not really, the ricotta makes it look kinda grainy and the better isn't all that yummy, but have will be!

5.   Fill muffin cups almost full with batter.  I like to use a cookie scoop to measure out batter for mini muffins.

6.  Bake mini muffins for 15 minutes, regular sized muffins for 20, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Cool for a minute or two and then remove from pans & cool completely on a wire rack.

Pack some up for your college student.  They fit perfectly in a little Dollar Store Christmas tub and they'll remind her of home and how much she loves your baking.

Having a golden retriever available to clean up any batter or loose muffins that fall on the floor is a must--raw, cooked...Belle's willing to help either way.

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