Christmas and mint. How did they become an item? The red-and-white-swirled candy canes dangling from stuffed stockings? The tiny pastel-colored, melt-away candies piled in bowls that appear only in December? The Santa- and snowman-shaped chocolate candies filled with a gooey mint center? Or maybe the cool of mint recalls drifts of snow and icy winds. It can’t be helped. Mint reminds me of Christmas.
This is the classic chocolate cream cheese muffin but without the dairy and a little bit less of the guilt. I’ll take one of these over a candy cane any day.
A quick but important aside to thank one of my very favorite bloggers – Nicole, of Cauldrons and Cupcakes – for naming An Unrefined Vegan as one of her Blogs of the Year. If you haven’t met Nicole, do yourself and your psyche a favor and go visit. Nicole is a gentle, wise and sensitive soul who shares of herself without reservation; her readers reap the benefits.
One year ago today: Onion & Walnut-Stuffed Beer Bread
Chocolate Mint Cream Cheese Muffins
Mint Cream Cheese:
1/2 cup vegan cream cheese
1/2 cup silken tofu
1/2 tsp. white miso
2 tbsp. maple syrup
1 1/2 tsp. peppermint extract
1 tbsp. egg replacer
3 tbsp. nut milk
1 tsp. apple cider vinegar
~1/4 cup cacao nibs
1/2 cup brown rice flour
2 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 tsp. powdered stevia
2/3 cup cocoa powder
2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
1 1/2 cups nut milk
1 tbsp. flaxseed meal
4 oz. unsweetened applesauce
2 tbsp. brown rice vinegar
2 tsp. vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350F and line ~22 muffin tins with paper or silicon muffin cups.
Make the cream cheese filling:
In a food processor, add all of the filling ingredients, except for the cacao nibs, and process until very smooth. Taste and adjust for sweetness and mintiness. Stir in the cacao nibs. Set aside.
Make the batter:
In a large bowl, whisk together the flours, cocoa powder, baking soda and powdered stevia (no, I did not forget to add salt). In a medium-sized bowl, combine the nut milk, flaxseed meal, applesauce, vinegar and vanilla extract.
Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and stir until thoroughly combined.
Fill muffin tins about 2/3 full with batter and then top each muffin with a heaping tablespoonful of filling. Bake for about 20 minutes – do not overbake – and remove from the oven. Allow to cool for 10 minutes or so on cooling racks, then remove from the tins.