Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Peanut Butter and Jam Muffins - Gluten Free and Vegan

This post is going to start with a forewarning to those of you who play video games: do not buy "Arkham Knight." It will consume hours and the attention of loved ones. My hubby played it non-stop over the course of the past drizzly weekend here in Virginia. It's not exactly cheerful. He hasn't been this captivated since, "Last of Us." Yes, the title alone implies yet another feel-good time!

Aside from the persistent sound of the Joker and Batman in the background, it has been a non-stop barrage of rain over the past two weeks. There have been tornado to flood warnings, never-before seen leaks in the basement, and soggy walks with our little Remington (post to follow). Rain, rain, go away! Or at least go to the West coast where they were having droughts!

If you need a little sunshine, make your own with these tasty Peanut Butter and Jam Muffins from Minimalist Baker. Honestly, I don't recall how these even got onto my list of things to bake - it was a spur of the moment decision fueled by a longing for an amazing peanut butter and jelly muffin. Yes, this is a longing of mine.

When I was a kid, my mom used to swing by this cute coffee shop in historic Occoquan, VA. It's been many moons and has since closed. They had the most eclectic collection of nick-knacks everywhere and a room decorated with tons of mugs. On weekends, they would have live music and the tiny shop would be brimming with people. I was too young to enjoy the coffee but what I did passionately adore were the yogurt muffins. We used to buy them by the dozen in an assortment of flavors, my two favorites being Cappuccino and the (you guessed it) Peanut Butter and Jelly.

As the fates would have it... I have been so lucky as to run into my old friend, the Cappuccino muffin, at our usual coffee hang out, Java Loco, about two week ago. I recognized it on sight and stared. Could it be? The little kid in me remembered the wrapper. It was love all over again at first bite. The hubby was skeptical... what's the big deal about this damn muffin? Then he had a bite. And understood the awesome.

I learned that the brand is actually a New York based company, Morrison Pastry Corporation. They have since discontinued my dear Peanut Butter and Jelly muffin due to peanut allergy concerns. *hangs head* 

These muffins, however, have helped soften the blow. They taste nothing like my old favorite but that's okay. They are far healthier than the Morrison variety and are vegan and gluten free. They are addictive, hearty, packed with flavor, and provide a dose of protein. 

I used raspberry jam but go with what you love. I used the serve-yourself peanut butter from Wholefoods because well.. that's what we had. Baking with less-processed peanut butter takes some elbow grease if there's separation so I recommend using a more creamy variety. You could always sprinkle in some crushed peanuts in the batter or top!

May this muffins bring you joy and happy tummy! For the recipe, check out Minimalist Baker's post on Peanut Butter and Jelly Muffins!