I had this post ready to go yesterday.
I just couldn’t bring myself to do it though.
I couldn’t bring myself to post something. . . this sweet right on the tails of Easter.
This holiday magically transforms me into a child with a raging sweet tooth.
OK, so maybe it’s not the holiday.
And maybe I always have a raging sweet tooth.
But usually I’m somewhat capable of keeping it in check.
But those jellybeans are evil.
And there were so many of them. . . taunting me!
I tried to ignore them, but they just kept at it and at it.
Until finally I ate their leader.
And all his mean little jellybean friends.
All. Of. Them.
How many jellybeans are in a 1 lb bag? . . . or *cough*. . . two?
So I couldn’t stomach the thought of sweets yesterday.
Or so I thought until I discovered a sleeper cell of jellybeans hidden in the bottom of a paper bag of empty eggs.
I wasn’t searching for anything! They just appeared when I was cleaning.
And again with the taunting!
They’re evil I tell you!!
I thought yesterday would be a day of salad and recovery, but we can all see: I thought wrong.
Today though, I know I’ve cleared the house of all those poorly mannered little beans and I can move on with cleansing my body with veggies and wholesome foods.
Especially because there are none of these in my house right now threatening my resolve.
But even if there were – they aren’t pure evil.
They’re a little more like a naughty librarian in reverse.
They look a little wild and crazy on the outside, but on the inside, they’re quite sensible.
The name was an issue for me – I just couldn’t decide what to call these.
Birthday Breakfast Muffins?
Birthday Cake Muffins?
Brown Butter Yellow Squash Birthday Cake Muffins??
In the end, I figured you kind of need to know what goes in them, and what the point is, so I shoved it all in the title and used some parentheses to tell you when to just whisper part of the title in your head.
BIRTHDAY CAKE MUFFINS!!
Shhhhh! (with yellow squash, whole wheat and brown butter. . . . )
The bottom line is that they’re pretty darn tasty.
Muffins in general are not exactly healthy, but sometimes you can fiddle with them enough that you can convince yourself they might be. . . .
A little bit, at least.
Springtime is birthday time in our house – for half of us, at least – and I always feel a little twinge of disappointment when one of them falls on a weekday.
So I got this idea in my head that I wanted to bake up a muffin that tasted like birthday cake, but had a healthy enough quality to it that we could eat it with a school-morning breakfast and not actually be eating full-on cake.
And this is what was born.
Happy birthday, my baby Birthday Cake Muffin.
I snuck in some finely shredded yellow squash and whole wheat flour. I was able to cut out some of the fat because the browned the butter adds a deliciously deep and nutty flavor. Then I threw in some white chips to act as the “frosting”, and almond extract just because I love it.
After hemming and hawing in my own mind over whether or not to add nutmeg, I called my sister – the nutmeg lover, and asked her what she thought.
Of course she said yes – baked things are always better with a little nutmeg – (almost always, anyway).
So in the end, I threw in a dash of freshly grated nutmeg and was glad I did.
These had a simple glaze and some sprinkles on the top – it was a birthday, after all, but they were quite good without it too.
And yes – they could be lightened up even more by using low-fat buttermilk and reversing the flour ratio, and adding in a little wheat germ or flax seed, and using fewer white chips – but again – BIRTHDAY muffins, people!
Birthday Cake Muffins (with yellow squash, whole wheat, and brown butter)
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup all-purpose flour
2/3 cup whole wheat flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 large egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
a couple of dashes of freshly grated nutmeg
1 1/3 cup small shredded yellow squash (this was about 2 small-ish yellow squash, and the food processor worked great for shredding.)
1/2 cup Nestle premium white chips
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Line a 12 cup muffin tin with paper liners.
Start by browning the butter. To do this, add the 3 tablespoons of butter to small pan. Heat it slowly over medium-low heat. Watch it closely as it melts. The oils and solids will separate, then the solids will begin to brown. When you see this happen, remove the pan from the heat, watch it till the solids are golden, then pour it into another dish to cool. Use a rubber spatula to scrape the pan clean. You must remove it from the pan, or it will burn.
Set the butter aside.
Combine the flours, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl. Whisk together.
Combine Buttermilk, large egg, vanilla, almond extract, browned butter and nutmeg in a separate bowl. Whisk together well and evenly.
Make a well in the center of the dry mixture, and add the wet mixture all at once. Whisk together just until all ingredients are wet, and STOP. Don’t over-mix! Gently fold in squash and white chips until they are distributed throughout the batter evenly.
Divide the batter evenly between the cups – it should make 10-12 muffins.
Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the tops are golden and a toothpick inserted in the middle of a muffin comes out clean.
Cool on wire racks for 2 minutes, then remove the muffins from the pan and let them cool completely.
For the glaze:
Whisk together 1/2 cup powdered sugar, 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract, 1/8 teaspoon almond extract, and about 2 tablespoons heavy cream. (If you are not a fan of the almond flavor, just use vanilla!)
When the muffins are mostly cool, dip each top into the glaze and rest upright. Decorate with a pinch of sprinkles while the glaze is still wet.