Chocolate Muffins with Peanut Butter Frosting--Low Fat, Low Sugar, Whole Grain

adapted from One Bowl Oatmeal Muffins
Makes 12 muffins
Prep time: 5-10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes

1 C quick oats or 1/2 C oat flour (some families, not to mention any names, have trouble with texture, so they play it save with the flour, although the quick oats don't add tons of chunkiness)
1 C milk
1 Tbsp vinegar
1 egg
1/2 C applesauce
3/4 C whole wheat flour
1/4 C all-purpose flour
4-6 Tbsp cocoa (I used 5 and thought I could get away with one more)
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon (You could replace this with 1/4 tsp almond extract--both flavors give the chocolate a little depth, so choose your poison or your weapon or just whatever--the metaphor sort of got away from me there)
1/4 C chocolate chips (optional) (I bet you could use coconut instead if your minions would not revolt)

Put oatmeal in a bowl (If using oat flour, add it with the other flours). Pour milk over oats. Add vinegar and stir. Let it sit a minute if you've got the time.

Add egg. Add applesauce.

Sift in flours, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon (I sort of give mine a mix on top of the wet ingredients, but you could combine in a different bowl if you'd like). Stir into wet ingredients until just combined. Note: If the batter is very wet (the quick oats variation tended to be a little wetter), add 1-2 Tbsp more whole wheat flour.

Add chocolate chips if using.

 Pour batter into prepared muffin tins. Bake at 375 for 20 minutes or until a knife inserted comes out clean.

Frosting 1--Peanut Butter Frosting:

1 C peanut butter
1/2 Tbsp butter
1/4 C powdered sugar (you may even be able to get away with 2 Tbsp. Try it and see if it needs more sweetness)
1 Tbsp milk or cream if necessary

Beat peanut butter and butter. Add powdered sugar. Add milk if necessary to loosen it up (I melted my peanut butter so it wasn't.)

You could also (see below) try adding 1/2-1 oz. cream cheese instead of the milk, though I haven't tried it.

Frosting 2--Cream Cheese Peanut Butter Frosting:

I like this one quite a bit, but was going for more of a peanut butter punch. I bet you could add 1-2 Tbsp of cream cheese to the top recipe instead of the milk/cream option to get the best of all worlds.

2 oz. cream cheese
1 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp peanut butter
1/4 C powdered sugar

Beat cream cheese, butter, and peanut butter. Add powdered sugar.

Frosting 3--Peanut Butter Chocolate Frosting

Make the 1st frosting and add 3-4 Tbsp cocoa to it. I preferred the frosings just with the peanut butter, but if you're even more of a chocolate nut than me and mine, go for it.

Muffin Variation 1--Living Dangerously:

Replace the applesauce with 1/2 C canola oil or butter.

But why, you ask. Because it is somewhat richer and allows the chocolate flavor of the cocoa to come through more. If you don't care about fat, or if your kids need a little more of it on their bones, go for it. You'll have a slightly richer muffin.

Muffin Variation 2--Relegated to Healthy After School Snackdom

Replace the applesauce with 1/2 C oil or butter.
Use 1/2 C sugar (instead of 1/4 C)
Use 1/2 C cocoa (instead of 4-6 Tbsp.)
Heck, add 1/2 C chocolate chips while you're at it.
And lick off the frosting knife. Quick, no one's looking.

Posted by The Tasty Cheapskate