Double Chocolate & Peanut Butter Streusel muffins

Okay, maybe I’m exaggerating a bit by calling these “muffins”. The crumb is so light and soft and chocolatey, that it’s really hard to tell it apart from a chocolate cupcake. But in the absence of frosting (and the appearance of streusel, which is definitely a “muffin thing”), we’ll go ahead and call these muffins. Besides, my fitness app (or my conscience) won’t judge me as harshly if I say I’m eating a “muffin”…

But seriously though, with the right buttercream crown, these beauties are absolute cupcake queens. In fact, I’m thinking about skipping the cookies this year and leaving jolly old St. Nick a couple of these on Christmas Eve (sealed in a “to-go” container, because it is a pandemic after all, and we don’t want the big guy taking off his mask while he’s here)

As decadent as they sound, these muffins are surprisingly not overly sweet, thanks to the roasted, salted peanuts and dark peanut butter. I used creamy Jif Dark Roast peanut butter which I find is less sweet than it’s regular counterpart, but any peanut butter will work just fine.

The muffin base has a peanut butter cream cheese filling stuffed in between two layers of super-fudgy chocolate crumb, and the tops are adorned with a salty-sweet delicious peanut butter and chopped roasted peanut streusel that cuts through the richness of the double chocolate batter.

This recipe is a little bit of work in that its definitely not a one-bowl treat, but it’s really worth cleaning up multiple mixing bowls afterwards. On the bright side though, you don’t need any mixers or beaters or fancy equipment to make them. Just a few bowls, a whisk, a couple of spatulas and some measuring cups.

So put on a pot of coffee and roll up your sleeves. Chocolate peanut butter goodness awaits.

Double Chocolate Peanut Butter Streusel Muffins

Prep time: 30 minutes

Bake time: 30 minutes

Yields: 14-16 muffins

For the streusel topping:

¼ cup all-purpose flour

¼ cup brown sugar

1 tablespoon vegan butter, softened

2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter

¼ cup chopped roasted peanuts

For the Peanut Butter Cream Cheese filling:

8oz dairy-free cream cheese, softened

½ cup creamy peanut butter

½ cup granulated sugar

½ teaspoon vanilla extract

1 tablespoon unsweetened non-dairy milk

For the muffins:

½ cup canola or vegetable oil

1 cup granulated sugar

½ cup unsweetened non-dairy milk

½ cup unsweetened applesauce

½ cup unsweetened dairy-free yogurt

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 cups all-purpose flour

½ cup cocoa powder

1 teaspoon instant coffee or espresso powder

1 ½ teaspoons baking soda

½ teaspoon salt

1 cup dairy-free semi-sweet chocolate chips

  1. Make the streusel topping: In a small bowl, combine ¼ cup of flour, ¼ cup of brown sugar, butter and 2 tablespoons of peanut butter. Using a pastry cutter or two knives or even a fork, cut the butter into the flour and sugar mix until it resembles coarse cornmeal. Add in the chopped peanuts and stir to combine. Set aside.
  2. Make the cream cheese filling: In a medium size bowl, combine the cream cheese and ½ cup peanut butter. Microwave for 30 seconds until soft enough to stir. Add ½ cup of granulated sugar, vanilla extract and 1 tablespoon of non-dairy milk and stir with a spoon until combined. Set aside.
  3. Make the muffin batter: Preheat your oven to 350°F, adjust oven rack to the middle position and grease or line a standard muffin tray (two if you have them, otherwise you’ll need to reload for the second batch). In a medium size bowl, combine the canola oil, 1 cup of granulated sugar, ½ cup of non-dairy milk, applesauce, dairy-free yogurt, and vanilla extract. Whisk to combine. Set aside.
  4. In a large bowl, sift together the flour and cocoa powder. Add the espresso or instant coffee, baking soda, salt and chocolate chips and stir to combine.  Make a well in the center of the bowl and add the wet ingredients. Stir until just combined and no flour streaks are left. Using a tablespoon or a 1 ½ inch ice cream scoop, fill each muffin tin 1/3 full with batter, spreading it out into an even layer.  Top the batter with one heaping tablespoon of cream cheese mix and then top with remaining batter until each tin is approximately ¾ full.  (Note: if you like muffins with extra muffin top, fill each cavity to the top. You’ll get less muffins overall but more surface for the yummy streusel).
  5. Sprinkle each muffin with a heaping tablespoon of streusel and bake on the center rack for 25-30 minutes or until a cake tester or toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean or with just a few crumbs. Let cool in the muffin tray for 10-15 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

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