Baking with Kids: Spiced zucchini muffins

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Wait, what?  You might be asking.  I thought you’ve blogged about these zucchini muffins before.

The answer is: yes. I have.  But I also try to highlight recipes that kids like to help with and like to eat.  These zucchini muffins fit the bill.

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A good candidate for a kid-friendly recipe is one that doesn’t require lots of technique, exact timing, or precision to work, and has lots of different things to measure but not a lot of chopping (unless you’re working with an older kid).  Also, the recipe should be able to be finished in a single evening, in under an hour.

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For about 12 full-size muffins and 12 mini muffins (about 3 cups of batter), you will need:

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Dry Ingredients:
5.75 oz Whole Wheat Flour
2 oz wheat germ
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground or fresh nutmeg
1/2 cup brown sugar
Wet Ingredients:
1/2 cup milk
1 egg
2-4 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons maple syrup or honey
2 grated summer squash or zucchini, about 1 1/3 cups grated
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
Butter for greasing the muffin pan

Preheat your oven to 425 degrees F.  Line a cupcake pan with liners or grease with butter.

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Mix together your dry ingredients.  Little Bread Dude tried grating the nutmeg this time.

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If you don’t have brown sugar handy, use a fork to mix about a teaspoon of molasses into white sugar.  LBD also worked on this.

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Then grate your squash or zucchini into a bowl.  Wrap in a tea towel, then twist it to release all the water over the sink.

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Add the other wet ingredients and stir to combine.  Then add to the dry ingredients.

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I needed to add a bit more oil, since my batter was dry.  You might be asking, “if they were dry, why did you squeeze out all the water from the squash?”  That’s a good question.  There’s a difference between water and oil.  Water adds hydration.  When water and flour mix, they create gluten proteins which makes a chewy, rubbery muffin.  Eggs also have gluten, which is why we aren’t adding an extra egg to combat the dry batter either.  Instead, we are adding oil, which provides necessary liquid and softens the batter without making your muffins rubbery.  Got it?

Now, scoop the batter into your muffin pans and bake for 10 minutes for the mini muffins and 15 minutes for the regular muffins.

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How cute are these?

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LBD has been eating the regular muffins for breakfast and his brother has been eating the mini muffins.  Score!

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