Chocolate Peanut Butter Streusel Muffins

Blog3 041The magic combination of chocolate and peanut butter vies with maple for the number one spot in my affections. If I buy a candy bar it’s going to be a Reese’s or Butterfinger; you just can’t beat that sweet and salty blend.

I’ll have to admit that these muffins require a lot of bowls and utensils, so I must really think they’re worth the trouble, because anyone who knows me or reads my blogs can tell you that dishes are the bane of my existence. Cleaning up my messes is a miserable chore that curbs my baking enthusiasm a bit…probably a good thing!

There really is no way around the multitude of bowls you’ll need. Muffin batter doesn’t like to be over-stirred, so it isn’t a good idea to make the batter, split it up and add chocolate to one bowl and peanut butter to the other; it would take too much stirring and you’d end up with very heavy muffins. I don’t like overly sweet, light muffins (if I want cupcakes I’ll make cupcakes) but I do like to have them rise prettily.

So you have to split the dry ingredients between two bowls, mix the wet ingredients in two bowls (I use big glass measuring cups) and combine the streusel in a small bowl. Yep – 5 bowls! Have I lost you yet? Hey…if I can do it, you can do it!

I made jumbo muffins – the recipe makes six. But you can make 12-14 regular size muffins if you prefer. If you really want to take them over the top you could put a peanut butter cup in the bottom of each liner before adding the batter. Just remember that you’re displacing some of the batter, so you’ll probably have a couple extra muffins. A drizzle of chocolate over the streusel once the muffins have cooled would be lovely too.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Streusel Muffins

Chocolate Peanut Butter Streusel Muffins

Without further ado…here’s the recipe:

Chocolate Peanut Butter Streusel Muffins
Makes 6 jumbo muffins or 12-14 regular muffins.
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • ½ cup peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon milk or buttermilk
  • ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 2 tablespoons strong coffee
  • ½ cup all purpose flour
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup chopped peanuts (I used unsalted dry roasted; salted peanuts are OK)
  • 5 tablespoons melted butter
  1. Heat oven to 375 F
  2. In each of 2 medium bowls, sift together 1 cup flour, ¼ cup sugar, 1 teaspoon baking powder, ½ teaspoon baking soda, ¼ teaspoon salt.
  3. In each of 2 small bowls, combine 1 egg, ½ cup buttermilk, ¼ cup vegetable oil, 1 teaspoon vanilla.
  4. In one of the small bowls, add the peanut butter, 2 tablespoons of brown sugar, 1 tablespoon milk or buttermilk. Mix well.
  5. In the other small bowl, add the cocoa and coffee. (Throw in a few chocolate chips if you desire.) Mix well.
  6. In a small bowl combine the ½ cup flour, ½ cup brown sugar, peanuts, and melted butter. Stir lightly with a fork to blend. (This is your streusel topping.)
  7. Gently stir the peanut butter mixture into the dry ingredients in one of the medium bowls. Stir the chocolate mixture into the dry ingredients in the other medium bowl.
  8. Either using a “separator” cut from card stock (or a paper plate) or a wide, flat spatula, put peanut butter batter on one side of a muffin liner and chocolate in the other, filling a little more than half full. (There will be just a little more peanut butter batter than chocolate) Remove the separator and repeat.
  9. Generously cover the top of each muffin with streusel.
  10. Bake for approximately 20 minutes for regular size muffins or 25 minutes for jumbo. Test with a toothpick, and cool on a rack.


Get everything ready before you mix the wet nd dry ingredients!

Get everything ready before you mix the wet and dry ingredients!

Filling the muffins liners half & half.

Filling the muffins liners half & half.

Generously cover with streusel, and bake.

Generously cover with streusel, and bake.

These muffins are just begging for a cup of hot coffee. I can’t stand to hear a muffin cry, so I’ll oblige – and wash those pesky bowls in the morning!

The next blog you’ll see will probably be child-friendly, since I’m flying down to visit my grandbabies in a few days. Maybe I’ll even let one of them write the blog, too! Sounds like a great vacation for me – I’ll just sit back and be “The Relaxed Baker” for a while.

A Fly on the Wall in February?

Fly on the Wall 

Last month I joined a group of bloggers who post a monthly “Fly on the Wall” blog. We share little tidbits of our lives – stuff you would see and hear in our homes if you were a fly on the wall and we didn’t know you were there!  I loved writing it, and especially loved snooping through the other bloggers’ posts – some funny, some serious. You’ll find links to the other participating bloggers below. Make sure to check them out, because the February Fly on the Wall starts………..NOW!


Valentine’s Day was yesterday. I’m sure we’re all licking the empty cups from the box of Godiva chocolates and re-arranging our roses, right? Uh huh. fly1atiny

Why am I sitting at the computer at 11:30 pm (three hours past my old-lady bedtime) grinning like a maniac? Grandbaby #3 was just born, and my happy cup overflows. Our daughter lives in California, and I’ll be headed there in a couple of weeks to help out, but for now I’m at the mercy of e-mails and Facebook for updates and photos. He’s beautiful, our Mack. She had him naturally, only an hour and a half after hitting the hospital – and they’re both healthy and happy. Well…Mack wasn’t too happy in this picture, but once he got to cuddle with Mommy and Daddy he was content.

Welcome, Mack!

Put me baaaaaack!

His big sisters were there during labor, and the youngest had a question for the doctor: “Um. Mr. Dentist? Are you going to pull the baby out of my mommy’s body now?” (Complete with hand motions.) I sure wish they had that on video!


The cat war rages on. Some people fight about kids, in-laws, money, sex. We fight about the cats. The obvious solution would be to simply not HAVE cats, but that would mean I lost the war, and I really hate losing.  After 34 years of marriage, you’d think we would have this worked out, but it may go down in history as “The 50 Year Feline War.”

The Man says he hates cats, but he’s a sucker for kittens, and forgets that they turn into cats. Once they’re no longer cute, these arguments surface:

  • My two cats are not allowed to stay in the house at night because he’s sure they will run around using every corner as a litter box. (Litter boxes are NOT acceptable.)
  • They leave hair all over the couch, and he makes a big point of grumbling and sticky-rollering when he sees visitors coming up our driveway.  Our Lab and German Shorthaired Pointer are also allowed on the couch, but apparently they don’t  deposit fur.
  • The cats are covered with germs because they eat rodents. (The Lab eats cat, chicken, and deer poop. Kissy-kissy.)
  • Most importantly, once the temperature rises above 20, they don’t NEED to be in the house. (The dogs do.) Can you see why the fur flies around here?
Pretend you can't hear him!

Pretend you can’t hear him!


If you’re looking around for a nice piece of meat to land on, you’re in the wrong home. We are experimenting, and have switched to a plant-based diet. Which basically means vegan, only we slip now and then and put a little meat in the beans and rice to add some interest. I am shocked to say I don’t crave sweets – for the first time in my life! This is going to play hell with the whole Rowdy Baker thing, isn’t it?  It’s kind of scary…if I’m not The Rowdy Baker, then who am I?

For now I’m sitting squarely on the fence, practicing my new multiple personality disorder. Since I doubt my brown rice miso mushroom dish will go viral on Pinterest, I’ll be baking just as usual…but freezing the goodies for when if I cave in and bail on the healthy stuff. You may see more whole grains and coconut oil in my recipes though. You can’t say I didn’t warn you!


I’m wondering what a fly is doing on my wall in February! We have a foot of snow on the ground – aren’t you supposed to be hybernating or turning into maggots or something? Oh…I’m guessing you found the big sticky mess that is supposed to be my kitchen.  What a month! Valentine’s Day is HUGE when you write a baking blog. There were so many ideas swirling around in my head – all involving chocolate, berries, cream, nuts, and butter. Some of them even made it to my Facebook page and blog. The rest will have to wait until next year. My energy and enthusiasm were damped by a festive case of sciatica, which was compounded by a case of shingles – competing with each other to see which could cause the most nerve pain. That’s why you saw me sitting in the recliner with a heating pad on my back slugging down with a medicinal dose of Jack Daniels.

Our youngest son (aka: “he who shall not be named on social media sites”) came for a visit during this trying time and was shocked to find that Mom was not cooking. There were no goodies to be had! He and The Man had to rough it, which they did quite well, if not cheerfully. Did I milk it a little? Maybe. 😉
I’m happy to say I’ve recuperated now and am planning ahead for St. Patrick’s Day. Yes, there will be a lot of green pastry coming your way!

You may have to visit someone else next month, because I’ll be in California for a few weeks, getting my grandchildren fix. If you have any relatives buzzing around Redding, let them know they’re welcome at my daughter’s house, but they’d better stay out of swatting range – she hates things that fly!

Now, buzzz off and visit:

Baking In a Tornado
Stacy Sews and Schools
My Brain on Kids
Just a Little Nutty
Menopausal Mother
The Sadder But Wiser Girl
The Momisodes
Follow Me Home
Big A Little a
The Insomniac’s Dream
Don’t Chew On The Dinner Table
Black Sheep Mom
Raising Reagan
Moore Organized Mayhem
Finding Felicity

Vallomar Cookies

blogchoc marshmallow hearts3Okay, here’s the deal: I procrastinate. A lot. For weeks now I’ve had this vision of  a chocolate heart with a layer of marshmallow and a cookie bottom – kind of like a Mallomar, but since it would be for Valentine’s Day I’d call it a Vallomar.  I pictured it made in a mold like this:

This is what I wanted...

This is what I wanted…

However, we live almost two hours away from a craft store, and the closest thing I could find in town was a baking pan with small heart-shaped cavities – much smaller hearts than I had pictured. Since I waited until the last minute, there was no time to order online, so…I made do. It worked, but it would have been SO much easier with a flexible candy mold.

With one batch of graham cookie dough, eight ounces of chocolate, and one batch of marshmallow frosting, I made 12 Vallomar cookies, 6 large heart sandwich cookies, two pre-baked heart-shaped crusts, and had a pile of little graham hearts left over. That’s a lotta love!

These aren’t meant to be graham crackers, exactly – they’re more like a graham shortbread. They won’t spread, so you can put them very close together on the cookie sheet. If you are making the Vallomars, you’ll need to get a heart-shaped cookie cutter that is a little smaller than the cavities of your heart molds. Here’s the dough recipe:

Graham Cookies
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • ½ cup brown sugar, packed
  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1½ teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 teaspoons milk
  • 2 cups graham flour
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup cornstarch
  1. Heat oven to 350 F.
  2. In large bowl (a stand mixer works best) beat butter, brown sugar, and powdered sugar until well mixed.
  3. Add egg yolk, vanilla, and milk, and beat well.
  4. Add graham flour, all-purpose flour, and cornstarch and beat on low until combined. (This is a very stiff dough, so you may need to use a dough hook to finish mixing.)
  5. Roll out on lightly floured surface. These should be fairly thin - no more than ¼-inch. Cut out desired shapes with cookie cutters.
  6. Place close together on baking sheet. Bake 9-10 minutes. Let them cool on the sheet for a few minutes and then transfer to a rack to cool completely.


Cookies may be baked close together.

Cookies may be baked close together.

While your cookies are baking, you can coat the molds with chocolate and put them in the fridge.

Use milk chocolate or dark chocolate, whichever you prefer. I melt mine in a bowl in the microwave, beginning with 30 seconds, and then 15 second increments (stirring each time) until the chocolate is melted. If you’re using milk chocolate you may need to add a teaspoon of shortening or coconut oil to make it thinner. It will take approximately a pound of chocolate if you’re making all of the dough into Vallomars. If you’re like me, after making a dozen or two you’ll just want to be done, so you’ll cut the rest of the dough out into larger hearts and slap some chocolate on one side, marshmallow on the other, and put them together. Much easier, and if you drizzle a little chocolate over them, they’re almost as pretty as the Vallomars. Almost.

Graham cookies, marshmallow frosting, and chocolate. Yum!

Graham cookies, marshmallow frosting, and chocolate. Yum!

Coat the molds with a layer of chocolate. Some people use brushes, but a plastic measuring spoon worked well for me. So does a (clean) finger. Make sure you bring the chocolate all the way to the top of the cavity. Put in the refrigerator to harden. Repeat with another thin layer if necessary to coat completely.

Coating the hearts with melted chocolate.

Coating the hearts with melted chocolate.

While the cookies are cooling and the chocolate molds are chilling, make the marshmallow frosting.


2 egg whites
1/4 teaspoon salt
1  teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup light corn syrup

In a medium bowl, beat egg whites, salt, and vanilla at medium speed until foamy. Gradually add sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating at high speed until soft peaks form and sugar is dissolved.
In a small saucepan over medium heat, bring corn syrup just to a boil. Holding pan high above egg mixture, pour in a very thin stream, beating at highest speed until frosting is thick.

Ready to assemble? Bring the chocolate molds out of the fridge. Fill one cavity (this is your test cookie) about 2/3 full with the marshmallow frosting (I used a sandwich baggie with the tip cut of and piped mine in) and top it with one of the graham cookies. There should be a little room around the cookie, and a little space on top. If the cookie is a snug fit, you’ll have to do what I did and use a paring knife to shave them a bit, because you want the chocolate on top to fill in between the cookie and the mold. If there’s no room on top for chocolate, don’t put quite as much marshmallow in the rest of them.

Adding marshmallow frosting and a cookie.

Adding marshmallow frosting and a cookie.

Now top each of them with enough melted chocolate to cover the cookie completely. Tap the mold gently on the counter to get any bubbles out. Pop the filled mold in the freezer for 5 minutes or so, until the chocolate is firm. Turn it upside down and tap gently. (Or if you were better prepared than I was and have a plastic mold, flex it a little.) The Vallomars should pop right out.

Fill with a layer of chocolate.

Fill with a layer of chocolate.

You could flavor and color the filling, or put a sweet little royal icing rose on top. Or…drizzle with a contrasting chocolate (dark drizzle on milk chocolate, and vice versa.)

This dough works well as a tart crust. Make sure it’s rolled thin and don’t over bake it, or it will get too hard to cut neatly. I even baked one in a  small cake pan and filled it with chocolate pudding swirled with leftover marshmallow frosting and walnuts. misc10 027

3 days and counting! <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3