These zucchini spice muffins are magical.
I don’t know who Kathie is, but I started with her recipe, played with it here and there, and created something exquisite. Everything came together in perfect balance, in both flavor and texture. I’m going to try to recreate these because I have to find out if it was a fluke or if there really is such a thing as muffin perfection. To quote Briana, who works with me:
The texture is perfect and melt-in-your-mouth-y. I tried to take small bites to prolong the experience, but my desire for “MORE. NOW.” overrode that idea…I was done in three bites. Wah.
See? It’s not just me.
I should have known that something was on my side when I started. The recipe called for 1 1/3 cups of zucchini and that was exactly what I got out of the 2 medium-sized zucchinis waiting for me in the fridge, long after our local store was closed.
Dry ingredients were next. I’m always happy for an opportunity to use my scale. Instead of a combination of whole wheat and all purpose flour, I used whole wheat white flour and toasted wheat germ.
I added the rest of the dry ingredients, using brown sugar instead of white, doubling the cinnamon, and adding some allspice, an idea I got from one of the reviews on the original recipe. After smelling it to refresh my allspice memory, I decided on just a quarter teaspoon, to keep it subtle.
I set that aside, and turned my attention to the zucchini. I moved it to a small mixing bowl, then added half a cup of 1% (not skim) milk.
I added the egg, honey, and then threw in a half teaspoon of vanilla, just for fun. And then instead of using canola oil, I took a risk, and swapped it out for some blood orange infused olive oil, courtesy of Olio in Lititz, Pennsylvania.
Ew. I mixed it all together, which actually made it look even less appetizing.
You know what looks worse than that? This.
Once I mixed the two sets of ingredients just enough, I followed another whimsical urge and added a quarter cup of mini cinnamon chips.
I scooped the batter into muffin tins. Clumsily.
I sprinkled cinnamon sugar across the top of each muffin.
I had heated the oven to 425. I put the tray in, reduced to 400, and baked for 15 minutes. That was all it took. They looked lovely.
I gave them a few short minutes in the tin, but since they were really and truly done, I moved them to a wire rack quickly.
These muffins are sublime. I’m not sure I’ve ever made better ones. The texture is fluffy, not too light or too dense, just perfect. The flavors combine beautifully, their sweetness is tempered by a hint of spice, and the mini cinnamon chips just melted right in, adding little pockets of cinnamon joy. I found myself thinking about these muffins constantly, looking forward to the next one I was going to eat.
Addendum: I have made these twice since and they are always magical and delicious!
KATHIE’S ZUCCHINI MUFFINS RECIPE (original)
My version of Kathie’s Zucchini Muffins (adapted from MyRecipes.com)
5.75 ounces whole wheat white flour (about 1 1/3 cup)
2 ounces toasted wheat germ (about 1/3 cup)
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 heaping teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1 1/3 cups shredded zucchini
1/2 cup 1% milk
2 tablespoons blood orange-infused olive oil
2 tablespoons honey
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large egg
1/4 cup mini cinnamon chips
for the topping:
1 tablespoon cane sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Heat oven to 425 degrees, and spray a 12-cup muffin tin or line with paper cups.
Grate the zucchini, and squeeze the excess moisture out of it with paper towels.
Weigh or measure the flour & wheat germ. Add the sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and allspice, and whisk well to combine.
In another bowl, pour the milk into the zucchini. Add the oil, honey, vanilla, and egg. Mix thoroughly.
Pour the zucchini mixture into the flour and stir just until incorporated. Fold in the cinnamon chips.
Scoop batter into muffin cups. Stir together the cane sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle on top of each muffins.
Put tray in the oven and reduce temperature to 400. Bake for 15 minutes. Let sit in the pan for a minute or two, then move to a wire rack to cool completely.
Eat some, hide the rest. They won’t last.