Monday, January 10, 2011

Chocolate-Chip Muffin Tops + 4 other ways

When I was doing Weight Watchers one of my favorite snacks was a Blueberry-Oat Muffin Bar made by Quaker. The muffin bar was 2 points, and while it wasn't huge, when eaten with Yoplait yogurt drink it was enough to satisfy. Then Quaker stopped making them. Bah! Doesn't it always seem to work that way?

After belly-aching about it for a while I decided I could come up with a muffin bar that would be just as good (probably better) for the same amount of points. I looked at the ingredient list on the Quaker muffin bar box (and then wished I hadn't) to get a general idea of what was in them, and then started mixing up batches of batter. A few weeks later I had a healthy, great-tasting muffin thing that was way better than Quaker's ever was.

It turned out to be impossible to make a bar-shaped snack that was consistent in size--I tried several different ideas for shaping them--and ended up using my cookie scoop to drop the batter onto the cookie sheets. So instead of muffin bars they were muffin tops.

My original recipe was for Blueberry, and 1 muffin top made with my standard-size cookie scoop (about 2 TBLs) was 1 point, 2 muffins tops (about the same total amount of snack--maybe a tad more--as one of the Quaker muffin bars) were 2 points. I also used a big scoop, used for muffins and cupcakes (about 1/4 cup), and then they were 3 points each.

Once I had a working recipe I experimented with chocolate-chip, cranberry-orange, dark chocolate-apricot, dark chocolate-cherry, blueberry white chocolate-chip, and jam. They all worked really well; I especially love the jam ones. If you're counting WW Points (and these are the old Points, not the new Points Plus), they are all essentially the same, but you have to make sure you're scraping the cookie scoop level against the edge of the bowl and don't have the batter rounded at all (especially for the ones with chocolate chips). If you're not counting Points then it doesn't matter :)

These muffin tops are heavier than a typical muffin, partially due to the whole wheat flour and oatmeal in them, and partially because they need to cook without spreading all over the pan. Also, they freeze really well and make great breakfasts and quick snacks.

A quick note about the chocolate chips I used: I couldn't find mini-dark or mini-white chocolate chips anywhere local, and after scouring the internet, I found ONE site that sold them, and that was only after reading a comment thread written by people looking for the mini-chips. So the place to get mini-dark and mini-white chocolate chips (as well as all kinds of crazy, hard-to-find baking stuff) is

The recipe below is for Chocolate-Chip Muffin Tops. I'll put the changes for the other versions at the bottom of the post, as well as the nutritional info.

Chocolate-Chip Muffin Tops
printable recipe

1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 cup quick-cooking oats
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
3 tablespoons mini chocolate chips
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup natural applesauce
1 egg
2 tablespoons canola oil
3/4 teaspoon vanilla

1. Heat your oven to 400 and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. Combine all the dry ingredients in a medium bowl; set aside. Combine all the wet ingredients in a medium bowl (I use a 2 cup liquid measuring cup).

3. Add the wet mixture to the dry and mix until the batter comes together.

4. Use a standard cookie scoop to drop the batter onto the prepared baking sheets, about 2-inches apart. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until the bottoms are a lightly browned and the muffin top is set.

Makes 28 muffin tops. 2 muffin tops: 130 cal/3g fat/2g fiber/2 WW points

4 other variations:

Cranberry-Orange Muffin Tops: Omit the chocolate chips; Add 1/2 cup dried cranberries, chopped, the zest of 1 orange, and 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon to the dry ingredients. Replace 3-4 tablespoons of the buttermilk with orange juice.

Makes 28 muffin tops. 2 muffin tops: 127 cal/2.8g fat/1.8g fiber/2 WW points

Blueberry, Lemon, White-Chocolate Chip: Replace the chocolate chips with mini-white chocolate chips, and add 1/2 cup dried blueberries, chopped, and the zest of 1 lemon to the dry ingredients. Replace 2 tablespoons of the buttermilk with lemon juice.

Makes 28 muffin tops. 2 muffin tops: 134.4 cal/2.8g fat/2.6g fiber/2 WW points

Jam Muffin Tops: Omit the chocolate chips. Once the batter is dropped on the baking sheet, use a small spoon (I used a baby spoon) or measuring spoon to stick about 1/2 teaspoon jam into the center of each ball. You want to put it into the batter, not just put it on top. I've made strawberry, blackberry, and apricot; my favorite is blackberry. And use a good brand of jam because it will be thicker than a more inexpensive brand, and will run less as the muffin tops cook.

Makes 28 muffin tops. 2 muffin tops: 137 cal/2.7g fat/1.6g fiber/2 WW points.

Apricot-Dark Chocolate Chip Muffin Tops: Change the semi-sweet chocolate chips to dark chocolate chips, and add 1/2 cup chopped dried apricots to the dry ingredients.

Makes 28 muffin tops. I haven't figured out the nutritional info for these. It's probably super-close to the info for the Blueberry-White Chocolate Chip ones. And I count them as 2 Points for 2 muffin tops.

Here's a picture of everyone. It was a busy baking day :)

Notes: My kids don't love the texture of the oatmeal, so I pulse it a couple of times in my food processor. Also, spraying your knife with non-stick spray will make chopping the dried fruit a little easier.


  1. Found you via and am a fellow featured publisher on Foodbuzz. I just have to say these look amazing! I love recipes like this, they're a wonderful way to get my son to eat breakfast, and since I'm always trying to get him to eat healthy this is a great recipe! I'm so excited to try this! Thank you!

  2. I'm jumping back on the bandwagon after a holiday hiatus. I need something like this to help me through the urges for butter cookies still lurking in my freezer! Thanks!

  3. I have never commented when I became a follower of a blog but I am the hundredth and that is special so Congrats, you have 100 adoring followers.

  4. @Kimberly, Yay for kids eating healthy! I hope your son likes them--I'd love to hear how it goes if you make them :)
    @Sherrie, Yes, I also need to detox after the holidays--resist the butter cookies!! I had slices of frozen Pumpkin Roll in my freezer in the garage and I'd go get one and eat it still frozen. I so have no will power ;)
    @Sweet and Savory, Woo-hoo! 100 followers! That *is* special ;) I should post something delicious. And full of chocolate. :)

  5. Thank you so much for sharing this. What a great combination of healthy yet decadent! And a great way to start the day!


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