Double Chocolate Cream Cheese Filled Muffins

What can I say? These muffins are epic. This is your ideal recipe to whip up on a cold, blustery day like it is in Wellington at the moment, infact all over New Zealand I believe!

I like them best straight out of the oven when the piping hot cream cheese just oozes out from between the chocolatety goodness. Incredible.

Guess you’ll just have to try the recipe to know what I’m talkin’ ’bout 🙂

Double Chocolate Cream Cheese Filled Muffins
Makes 12

  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 2 tsp milk
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup cocoa
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips

Filling:

  • 100 grams cream cheese, softened (I used light Philadelphia cream cheese)
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp flour

Preheat oven to 180 degrees. Line a muffin tin with paper liners or spray well with non stick cooking spray. Set aside.

In large bowl, beat the oil, sugar, eggs, vanilla, sour cream and milk until well combined and light in color, for 3 minutes or so. Fold in remaining ingredients until just combined.

In small bowl, mix cream cheese, sugar and flour together until smooth. Set aside.

Scoop 1 large spoonful of muffin batter into prepared muffin tins to be 1/3 way full. Drop small spoonfuls of cream cheese mixture into middle of muffin batter (should be about 1 1/2-2 teaspoons per muffin). Scoop another large spoonful of muffin batter and pour overtop cream cheese mixture. Muffin tins should be filled 2/3-3/4 way full.

Bake 20-25 minutes. Remove from oven and cool 10 minutes before removing from tins. Once cooled, store in air tight containers, ideally in the fridge.

They also freeze particularly well 🙂 Enjoy.

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Feta and Paprika Cheese Straws

It is fair to say, I love a good dip. Cheese ball, hummus, salsa, pesto, or just the well-known kiwi onion dip. Yip, dip rocks! Needless to say I’m often on the lookout for things to dip in dip.

From memory, they were big in New Zealand in the seventies, being cheap and relatively easy to make. I came across this recipe in the one of the midweek papers a couple of weeks ago. To be honest, at the time, I was more caught drooling over the plum sauce recipe than the straws but since I am very much plum-less…I had to make do.

A word of warning – these are very addictive! Pair them with some homemade plum sauce and you’ll have yourself a rather attractive looking snack! They’re best eaten warm from the oven, but if you need to make them ahead, leave them to crisp up in a cool oven before removing to an air-tight container – they’re less likely to soften.

Feta and Paprika Cheese Straws

  • 1 cup self raising flour
  • 1 teaspoon dried mustard
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 60 grams butter, diced
  • 1/2 a cup grated cheese
  • 1/2 a cup feta cheese, crumbled

To make the cheese straws, preheat your oven to approx 190 degrees. Grease an oven tray. Sift the flour and paprika into a bowl. Rub in the butter with your fingertips until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. I found I had to add a little more water to the mix at this stage as it seemed a little dry! Stir in both the grated cheese and the crumbled feta cheese.

Next, lightly beat the egg and add to the mixture. Stir until a dough is formed and then roll out on a floured surface. You want to make sure the dough is roughly 5mm thick before slicing into strips. I  found a pizza cutter (if you have one!) was ideal for this part.

Transfer the strips onto a cooked tray lined with paper. Lightly brush with a bit of milk and sprinkle with sesame seeds or poppy seeds. Bake for around 10 to 12 minutes or until golden. Cool on a wire rack and store in an air tight container.

This recipe makes approximately 16 straws.

Banana Muffins

Muffins, muffins, what to write about muffins?

I personally think muffins are completely underrated. Or should I say, homemade muffins are completely underrated. My opinion of muffins is often tainted by the cafe or supermarket type – often too dry, too dense, too sweet…….I could go on. They really make you forget how incredibly moist and delicious a fresh, baked-from-scratch muffin can be.

A muffin recipe would have to be one of the easiest recipes to follow. So easy and often with very few ingredients, you can have these in the oven in 10 minutes flat. The greatest thing about this recipe is that the *best* banana aroma fills your house as they bake…

Banana Muffins

  • 1 1/2 cups self raising flour
  • 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 2 ripe bananas

Preheat oven to 180 degrees. Spray 12 cup muffin tray with cooking spray.
Sift flour into a bowl then add sugar, oil and milk. Mix well but do not beat. Add mashed bananas and fold through mixture. Fill muffin cups 3/4 full. Bake for 15-20 mins until golden.

Rolled Oat and Sultana Square

Well, this *thing* has many names in my family but it sits in Mum’s recipe book under “Crunch”….why? I do not know. For the benefit of the reader I have renamed this *thing* to ‘Rolled Oat and Sultana Square’. This is literally an Anzac Biscuit in a slice. Yum!

This thing has been around. It was the slice that filled our school lunchboxes for many years and the slice that traveled throughout New Zealand as we went to our regular camping spots as kids, baking in the heat of the caravan during summer or taken to the beach only to end up a little bit crunchier… This slice even turned up to our netball and hockey games. A lot of my blog posts stir up memories of years past but if I was to really remember one baked item from my childhood, it would be this one.

This recipe is very tasty, easy to cook and perfect for the school (or errr, work?) lunch box!

Rolled Oat and Sultana Square

  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 1 cup flour
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 1 cup coconut
  • ¾  cup raisins
  • 150 g butter
  • 2 tablespoons golden syrup
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

Put the rolled oats, flour, sugar, coconut, and raisins into a large bowl. Melt the butter and golden syrup together. Add the baking soda and stir.

Pour into the try ingredients and mix until well combined. This will create quite a moist mixture. Press into a sponge roll tin. Bake at 180 degrees for about 25 minutes.

The South Island Cheese Roll

No, I am not a South Islander but yes I do love their cheese rolls. In the last few months I’ve read a number of things about the famous southland cheese roll so I decided to jump on the bandwagon! If you know the cheese roll from your childhood – welcome back!

A cheese roll is fairly basic. So basic, it is hardly worthy of its own blog post but I figure because I love a good cheese roll and this blog is all about sharing my favourite recipes with you…why not!

For the people that are not quite so familiar with this tasty treat – a cheese roll is created by covering a slice of bread in a filling consisting of grated cheese, and then rolling it into a tube shape before toasting in an oven. Easy. However it is more about what you add to the cheese that counts here and can sure enough make or break.

Though ingredients typically include onion, Worcestershire sauce and onion soup mix, other fillings such as crushed pineapple or sweet corn can be just as delicious! This filling mixture is prepared separately before being added to the bread, rather than the filling simply being a slice of cheese covered with any other ingredients – like the beloved mouse trap!

Cheese rolls are a very popular food in Otago and Southland and are found at cafes and other foodie outlets. Sadly, toasted cheese rolls are virtually unknown in the North Island! Booooo! I decided this recipe is about sharing the cheese roll love across the North Island of New Zealand. Get your cheese roll fix. Enjoy!

The Southland Cheese Roll

  • 1 loaf of wholegrain sandwich bread
  • 1 can of reduced cream
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 Maggi onion soup mix
  • 300 grams of cheese

This recipe has to be the easiest recipe in my entire recipe book! Mix together the can of reduced cream (a few recipes I’ve discovered recently have used evaporated milk but I prefer the thickness of the reduced cream), diced onion, cheese, and the onion soup mix until really well combined.

Spread margarine on one side of each slice of bread, turnover. Spoon a small dollop of cheese mixture onto each slice of bread. Roll into a tube and place on the baking tray. You should end up with about 25 tubes all lined up on your baking tray.

Bake the rolls at 180 degrees for about 20 minutes. This may take a little longer depending on your oven. Gently turn rolls over and bake on the other side for about 20 minutes more.

I like my toasted rolls to be bite-sized so I generally wait until they have cooled down sufficiently until I go ahead and slice each roll in half. These are pretty damn good straight out of a hot oven but are delicious cold as well. They go down perfectly with a mug of hot soup for dinner or at a work morning tea  – so versatile!

Note: If you like a bit of bite, you can add a teaspoon of dry mustard to the cheese mixture. This adds a small amount of zzzzing!