Breakfast & Brunch

Thanking the Cops with a Muffin Stop

My friend, Tracey, is unpredictable. And randomly sweet. Which is why I love her. One day, she commissioned me to bake three dozen muffins to bring to our local police department.

Tricia Squashingroff-Schwartz and Officer Joe Fishbaugher from the Brookings Police Department

Tracey wasn’t trying to get out of any parking tickets, she just wanted to let them know there are people who appreciate the work they do. Our community had just experienced two senseless tragedies from two fatal car accidents in town, one of them killing a 17-year-old boy from the local high school. (Tracey’s 17-year-old daughter was about ready to get her driver’s license so I suspect she may have been experiencing some “mom” emotions – and rightly so.)

It was easy to pick the first two flavors because my Pumpkin Chocolate Chip and Butterscotch  muffins are the ones I get the most compliments on, and the most requests for. The third flavor was triple chocolate. Chocolate in a breakfast food. Enough said.

I made extra pumpkin muffins and brought them to work. (Michal, here’s the recipe I promised you!)

I used my square muffin tin which is a nice change from traditional round muffins.

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I gave these butterscotch muffins five stars on the Taste of Home website. You can view the recipe here. It quickly becomes a favorite go-to muffin recipe for all occasions. While you are on the site, take a look at this Cappuccino Muffins recipe. I haven’t tried them yet but I need to!

My sister Heidi emailed me the Triple Chocolate Muffins recipe on Wednesday, April 18, 2001. (I printed the email and stuck it with my recipes.) I was eight months pregnant. All she wrote was, “Thought this recipe might also be one that you might enjoy!!!!” I wonder if I was having a pregnant-woman-chocolate-meltdown?

Triple Chocolate Muffins

3 cups flour

1 Tablespoon baking powder

4 Tablespoons cocoa

1 1/2 cups milk

2 eggs, lightly beaten

1/4 cup sour cream

1 1/2 cups brown sugar

1 stick butter, melted and slightly cooled

2/3 cup dark chocolate chips

2/3 cup white chocolate chips

Melt the butter first so it has time to cool. Preheat the oven to 325°. Grease 12 regular muffin cups or use cupcake liners. Stir together the flour, baking powder, cocoa and brown sugar. Mix well. In a separate bowl, combine the eggs, milk, sour cream and melted butter. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, stirring just until combined. Stir in the dark chocolate and white chocolate chips.

Fill the muffin cups 2/3 full. Bake for 20 minutes. Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks.

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Tracey’s gift to the Brookings Police Department is one of my favorite random acts of “sweet” kindness. I’m guessing they don’t receive appreciation as often as they should.

Enjoy the muffin recipes! Let me know if you bake a few dozen and give them in your own random act of “sweet” kindness.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

  • Yield: Makes 36 regular muffins


  • 2 1/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup oil
  • 6 eggs
  • 2 1/4 cup canned pumpkin
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 4 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoons ground cloves
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 1/2 cups mini semi sweet chocolate chips


  1. Heat oven to 400 degrees. Grease muffin pans or use cupcake liners.

  2. In a small mixing bowl, lightly beat the sugar, oil, and eggs together. Add pumpkin and water and stir.

  3. In a large, separate bowl, mix the flour, soda, baking powder, spices and salt. Add the wet mixture to the dry ingredients just until combined. Gently stir in the chocolate chips. As with most muffin batters, don't over-mix or the muffins will be tough.

  4. Fill muffin cups 2/3 full. Lightly spray tops of muffins with cooking spray - this gives the muffins a lightly crispy top. (A little restaurant trick my sister Kalli taught me.) Bake 20-25 minutes. Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks.


  1. So thoughtful to have given these to your local police department. I’m sure that these were deeply appreciated along with the very caring thought that accompanied them. I’m with you in that they are an under-appreciated group and not much is made of their services until you really have an emergency. Great random act of sweetness on both Tracey’s part and yours.

    All of the recipes sounds delicious.

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