Monday, 5 December 2011

Chocolate Brownie Muffins with Cream Cheese Frosting & Pistachios

Happy Muffin Monday! Today is one of only THREE left before Christmas. Can you believe it? Has anyone seen November? I seem to have misplaced it...

After two weeks of being absent from Muffin Monday (sob!), I've rejoined the group with this most ridiculously luscious muffin. If the Gingerbread Muffins with Brown Butter Frosting of a few weeks ago teetered on the line between muffin and cupcake, then these Chocolate Brownie Muffins breezed right over it.

The original recipe called for chocolate chips, chopped pistachios, and Nutella to be added to the batter. Can any treat that involves Nutella be anything short of amazing? I have my doubts!

I could have sworn I had a whole bag of pistachios at home, but learned belatedly that I only had a handful left. Once chopped, they only equated about 1/4 cup and not the 1/2 cup the recipe called for. Considering that they were still in their shells and skins when I got started, and considering how long it took me to rid them of both, I didn't want to hide my too few pistachios inside the muffins. I really wanted the pistachios to shine, especially knowing how well their pretty, green colour would complement my Christmas muffin cups.

A seductive 1/2 cup of Nutella.

I opted to use these fudgey cups (above) instead of chocolate chips, and then whipped up a bourbon vanilla and cream cheese frosting. (Enough time has passed since I last used cream cheese on my muffins, right? Right?!) I then toasted the chopped pistachios and sprinkled them over top of the frosting. Not only were they oh-so pleasing and festive to the eye, but once bitten into, they offered the most decadent and transcendent mouthful.

Don't let these muffins sit around, though: they were absolutely perfect the very night I made them. Just 24 hours later and they had started to lose their beautiful, spongey texture. They're too good to spare along, anyway... so eat up!

Chocolate Brownie Muffins with Cream Cheese Frosting 
& Pistachios
Adapted from Women's Weekly Home Baked

2 cups self-raising flour
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1/3 cup caster sugar
60 grams melted butter
1/2 cup Nutella
1 egg, lightly beaten
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup chocolate chips

8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup icing sugar, sifted
1/2 tsp. Bourbon Vanilla Extract
1/2 cup chopped pistachios

Preheat the oven to 400F.
In a large bowl, combine flour, cocoa powder, and sugar.
Add in the butter, Nutella, egg, milk, and sour cream. Gently stir to combine.
Stir in the chocolate chips. Spoon the mixture into a prepared muffin tin.
Bake for 20 - 25 minutes.
Cream together cream cheese and butter until combined. Add vanilla extract. Mix in icing sugar little by little until frosting is smooth and creamy. When muffins have cooled to room temperature (or even when still slightly warm), top with frosting and sprinkle with chopped pistachios. 

Makes 12

I enjoyed my first muffin of the batch on a cold night, in bed, in my flannel pyjamas. Does it get any better than that?

Muffin Monday is an initiative by Baker Street. A culinary journey of sharing a wickedly delicious muffin recipe every week. Drop in a quick line to join her on her journey to make the world smile and beat glum Monday mornings week after week.


  1. Well I thought the muffins got better a day later. But your muffins look simply irresistible. Wish I could pick one off right from my screen.

  2. they looks so awesome! sexy pretty delishious little muffins find your way to me. I like the idea of chocomuffin and the frosting with the pistachios. As if santa clauses wife wagged her magic on it.

  3. I'm loving all these frostings. I'm not brave enough to take em on myself but it looks really good. I really jumped for joy when I saw that the recipe had BOTH chocolate & nutella. Can't go wrong there!

  4. OMG! These have got to be the BEST yet!

  5. I love pistachios. These must be so wonderful with the cream cheese frosting and the nuts sprinkled on top. Not to mention the wonderful filling you put into these!

  6. these look absolutely scrumptious! keep them coming! (your updates are my perfect indulgences during my study breaks ;)!)

  7. These are totally muffins you want to stick with in your bed. They're just so dreamy! I knew I could count on you to bring some cheesy goodness to the table! Lovely clicks Aimee! Here's to another magical monday. :)

  8. It is a lot of work to get those pistachios out of the shells. I love your idea of sprinkling them on the top instead and letting them sit in the limelight! Gorgeous muffins! (And I agree...they're more like dessert.)

  9. Oh. My. God. Seriously?!?! You're killing me here Aimee...killing me!!! These look and sound amazing. Pure sin - love it :)

  10. welcome back to muffin monday! these look incredible and I love the fudgey addition and cream cheese frosting how can you go wrong with that!

  11. Love the comment from Stay At Home Chef because that's just what they were "nutritional sin". Not only were they beautiful to look at, but they were the most delicious ever. So happy and thankful when I got a visit from the "Muffin Fairy" for the day along with a container of her wonderful creations.

  12. These sound great Aimée - chocolate AND pistachios are two of my favourites. I must try these soon.

  13. *g* You had me at "bourbon."

    And now I have to go get some of those fudgy cups, too....

  14. Angelique Simpson31 December 2011 at 17:24

    Drooling, belatedly. xoxo