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Melissa D'Arabian (AP) Melissa D'Arabian (AP)

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Microwaved mug muffin might be just the treat for you

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I'm not sure how it happened, but the microwave mug muffin is suddenly an internet sensation. I'm a believer in making muffins in large batches and freezing, so I admit I've only taken interest in the individually-made microwave version recently.

My kids love to eat anything from a cup (ever since my mother-in-law gifted our entire family personalized photo mugs), so I decided to give it a go. Turns out, mug muffins are a perfect warming treat for our family's 'fun Friday' breakfast! Try my coconut-cinnamon roll muffin this week. And by the way, if you mix 1/4 cup of unsweetened dark cocoa powder into the batter and leave out the cinnamon, the results will be dessert-worthy.

I make the batter in a small bowl, then pour into a mug coated with cooking spray, which means you miss out on that cool viral-video moment of mixing everything up in the actual mug before it heads off to cook. But those videos are really sped up, and actually there are a lot of ingredients that have to get poured into a cup to make just one muffin (and what about making more than one?). So, a bowl it is.

My recipe is for two muffins (perfect romantic retreat food!), but it will scale up no problem (for when romance leads to a gaggle of kiddos!). And here's a bonus: You can save time by making the batter in advance and leaving it overnight in the refrigerator. Just add a couple tablespoons of extra milk and about 15 seconds extra cooking time.

I like to use a mix of almond flour or coconut flour to add filling fiber, protein and satisfying fat, plus just a little regular flour (either all-purpose flour or any gluten-free 1-for-1 substitute) for a fluffy texture. Note that coconut flour absorbs a lot of liquid, so you may have to add extra liquid depending on how much coconut flour you use. But somehow eating a muffin with a spoon makes the recipe more forgiving, so feel free to branch out and make this your own.

COCONUT-CINNAMON ROLL MICROWAVE MUG MUFFIN

Start to finish: 5 minutes

Servings: 2

2 tablespoons almond flour (meal)

1 tablespoon coconut flour

2 tablespoons quinoa flour (or other gluten-free substitute or all-purpose flour)

2 tablespoons packed dark brown sugar, plus 1 teaspoon

3/4 teaspoon baking powder

Pinch kosher salt

1 egg

1 tablespoon coconut oil, melted (or neutral oil)

1/4 cup plain low-fat Greek yogurt

1/4 cup milk

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 teaspoons low-fat cream cheese

Cinnamon, to garnish

In a medium bowl, whisk together the almond flour, coconut flour, quinoa flour, 2 tablespoons of brown sugar, baking powder and salt. Add the egg, oil, yogurt, milk and vanilla, then whisk until well mixed.

Coat two 8-ounce mugs with cooking spray. Spoon a heaping tablespoon of batter into each mug. Top each with 1 teaspoon of the cream cheese and a sprinkle of cinnamon. Divide the remaining batter among the 2 mugs. Sprinkle with cinnamon and the remaining teaspoon of brown sugar. One at a time, microwave on high for about 1 minute 15 seconds, or until the muffin is dry on top (timing will vary by microwave). Let cool a few minutes before eating.

Nutrition information per serving: 290 calories; 150 calories from fat (52 percent of total calories); 17 g fat (9 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 120 mg cholesterol; 410 mg sodium; 27 g carbohydrate; 2 g fiber; 19 g sugar; 9 g protein.

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