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Muffin tin magic: Mac-and-cheese bites and chocolate-peanut butter cups

Joy Bauer makes the most of muffin tins with these sweet and savory bites.
/ Source: TODAY

Move over Muffin Man: There's a new muffin maven in town. I've mastered two wholesome recipes, each with a shapely and scrumptious spin. First up, Mac and Cheese Muffins you can eat with your hands … complete with a secret superfood. Next, a 3-ingredient sweet treat I'm calling Chocolate Peanut Butter Crunch Cups. This week is all about muffin tin magic!

Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese Muffins

Joy Bauer

Build me up … butternut squash mac and cheese cups! These love muffins are so good and come jam-packed with nutrition because I sneak in bright and beautiful butternut squash, which camouflages perfectly into the velvety cheddar cheese. In fact, if you have picky eaters in the house, they'll never know veggies are hidden inside. You can opt for any elbows you like — whole-grain, gluten-free, legume-based, etc. — the pastabilities are endless. And while you may decide to dig into the pot before the mac and cheese makes it to the muffin tin (no judgment — been there a few times!), there's great fun in serving them as muffins, too. I mean, indulgent mac and cheese that's good for you and you can eat with your hands — it doesn't get better than that!

Get the recipe here.

Count me in for the crunch! These Chocolate Peanut Butter Crunch Cups are so easy to make … and even easier to devour. It's a melt, mix and muffin situation that involves only three ingredients: chocolate, peanut butter (or any nut or seed butter of your choosing) and a crispy whole-grain cereal. While I only use a 1/4 cup of peanut butter for a subtle nut flavor, in this case, more is more if you want the peanut taste to shine. These candy-bar–like cups are portion-friendly, rich and indulgent. Keep them in the fridge or you can freeze 'em for when you're craving something special. Muffin compares to these delectable, chocolaty treats.

For more tasty recipes, order Joy's cookbook "Joy Bauer's Superfood!"

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