Thursday, July 4, 2013

Savory Broccoli and Cheese Muffins

Confession: I actually made these muffins on Sunday, but... I've been too lazy to write up an accompanying blog post.

I have been finding it difficult to muster up any ounce of motivation at the moment. (I did finally sign up for my road test but uh yeah... I've been putting that off for three years.) What can I say. I am a master procrastinator.

In any case, Sunday night was the Confederations Cup final, and I really did stay at home, instead of going out with my parents to my favorite Chinese restaurant (well, the only good one in Ithaca), in order to watch Brazil beat Spain. I probably wouldn't have been too upset if Spain had won, since they're my second favourite national team, but the Green and Yellow are my number one.

I promise it was a coincidence that these muffins are also green and yellow, but we'll roll with it. (Accidentally on purpose!)

I heavily adapted this broccoli and cheddar muffins recipe, using larger florets to make a little broccoli tree in the center! I didn't trim my florets enough so some of them peeked out over the top of the muffins, but I mean, it's the taste that's the most important, and these are definitely some tasty muffins.

Anyway, since it's still very hot and humid right now, I think I'll just let the recipe and photos take it from here. (And let me tell you: I loved photographing these muffins. So photogenic!)

- ½ cup broccoli florets, cut into bite-sized pieces
- 6 small broccoli florets
- ¼ cup vegetable oil
- 1 large egg
- ½ cup water
- 1 cup AP flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp salt
- ½ or 1 tsp paprika
- ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
- ⅓ cup shredded cheese
• This recipe yields 6 muffins.
• I used a ½ cup of bite-sized broccoli, but I think that if you wanted more, ¾ cup would still work.
• You could use buttermilk or milk instead of water, but I didn't have any on hand.
• Original recipe would call for ½ tsp mustard powder instead of paprika, but again, I didn't have any of that in the kitchen, and I think I would prefer paprika anyways.
• I used ½ tsp cayenne pepper because I wanted my muffins to be extra-spicy, but they're still spicy even with ¼ tsp.
• I used a mixture of Colby Jack cheese (I only had a little left in the bag, so might as well use it up!) and a Four Cheese blend.
• This recipe can easily be doubled if you're looking to serve more people and/or have more leftovers for breakfast, brunch, etc.
• I promise this recipe is not as difficult or lengthy as these notes and ingredient list are! :D

Preheat your oven to 350°F and either line a 6-cup muffin tin with paper liners sprayed with cooking spray OR simply spray each cup of the muffin tin, sans liners. (I tried both ways, and they work equally well.) Set aside.

Cut a handful of broccoli florets into bite-sized pieces, but leave 6 florets whole. (I ended up using just over half of a head of broccoli.) Then trim the 6 remaining florets down to size. (Mine were a little too large, so the batter didn't completely cover them in the muffin tin, but I'm okay with that.)

In a large bowl, mix together the oil, egg, and water.

In a large measuring cup or medium bowl, add together the flour, baking powder, salt, paprika, and ground cayenne pepper.

Add the dry ingredients into the wet, and mix until just combined.

Gently fold in the shredded cheese and bite-sized broccoli.

Pour out some the batter into the muffin cups until they are 3/4 full. Then place one of the broccoli florets in the center of each muffin cup. Top with remaining batter, filling the muffin cups. Try to spread the batter to cover the broccoli florets. Alternately, you could place the florets into the cups first, before pouring the batter around them. This way might make it easier to cover up the florets entirely. OPTIONAL: You could top with more shredded cheese.

Bake for approximately 30 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Voila! Tasty cheesy broccoli muffins.

These look so cute when cut in half, revealing the tiny broccoli tree!

I think these tasted best when still nice and toasty, about 30 minutes after coming out of the oven. However, they still taste good the next day. (and probably after that too, but they didn't last that long with me in the house!) You could even stick them briefly into the microwave or toaster oven to reheat them.

Yum. The broccoli is nice and soft, just like it would be in a cheddar broccoli soup, and the cayenne gives a nice kick to the tastebuds. (Ooh yes, I do love spicy food.)

(I immediately ate three. And I'm not remotely remorseful about that.)


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