Thanking the Cops with a Muffin Stop

stack of butterscotch muffins

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.

I gave these butterscotch muffins five stars on the Taste of Home website. 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?

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.

Sweet wishes,


Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

Staci at Random Sweets
The warm flavors of pumpkin and spice and the sweetness of chocolate chips come together for a delicious breakfast muffin.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Course Breakfast
Cuisine American
Servings 36
Calories 219 kcal


  • cups sugar
  • ¾ cup vegetable or canola oil
  • 6 large eggs
  • cups pure pumpkin puree, NOT pumpkin pie mix
  • ¾ cup water
  • cups all-purpose flour
  • teaspoons baking powder
  • teaspoons baking soda
  • ¾ teaspoon ground cloves
  • teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • cups mini semi-sweet chocolate chips


  • Heat oven to 350°F. Great muffin pans or use cupcake liners.
  • In a medium mixing bowl, lightly beat the sugar, oil, and eggs together. Add pumpkin and water and stir.
  • 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.
  • Fill muffin cups ⅔ 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.


Calories: 219kcalCarbohydrates: 31gProtein: 3gFat: 9gSaturated Fat: 3gPolyunsaturated Fat: 3gMonounsaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0.04gCholesterol: 28mgSodium: 134mgPotassium: 116mgFiber: 2gSugar: 17gVitamin A: 2428IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 33mgIron: 2mg
Keyword chocolate, pumpkin

All text and images © Staci Mergenthal • Random Sweets

Tried this recipe?Mention @RandomSweets and tag #OurSweetMidwestLife

Triple Chocolate Muffins

Staci at Random Sweets
My sister Heidi sent me this recipe when I was eight months pregnant. I must have needed it.
4 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Breakfast
Cuisine American
Servings 12
Calories 436 kcal


  • 12-capacity muffin pan


  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 4 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
  • cups milk
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • ¼ cup sour cream
  • cups dark brown sugar
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, 1 stick
  • cup dark chocolate chips
  • cup white chocolate chips


  • Melt the butter. Set aside.
  • Heat oven to 325°F. Grease 12 regular muffin cups or use cupcake liners.
  • Stir together the flour, baking powder, cocoa and brown sugar.
  • 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 ⅔ full. Bake 20 minutes. Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks.


Calories: 436kcalCarbohydrates: 65gProtein: 7gFat: 17gSaturated Fat: 11gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0.3gCholesterol: 56mgSodium: 159mgPotassium: 252mgFiber: 2gSugar: 38gVitamin A: 356IUVitamin C: 0.1mgCalcium: 187mgIron: 2mg
Keyword chocolate, muffins

All text and images © Staci Mergenthal • Random Sweets

Tried this recipe?Mention @RandomSweets and tag #OurSweetMidwestLife

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  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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