Chocolate Chip Muffins

ChocChipMuffins1

As soon as I saw this chocolate chip muffin recipe, I knew I had to make them. And they did not disappoint at all. I love a simple recipe with a short ingredient list that yields amazing results. This definitely meets the criteria, and it it satisfied the chocoholic in me.

I wrapped several muffins individually in saran wrap very tightly, and then placed them in a ziplock bag before freezing them. After thawing in the refrigerator overnight, microwaving one for about twenty seconds yielded the perfect result. It is nice to have a stash of treats in the freezer…and it also prevents me from eating all twelve muffins too quickly!

Chocolate Chip Muffins


Buttermilk Blueberry Breakfast Cake

Buttermilk Blueberry Breakfast Cake

Have you discovered Pinterest yet? I didn’t pay much attention when I first heard about it, but once I actually started browsing I was hooked. It is a great site to find ideas and inspiration for home decor, cooking/baking, crafting, and fashion. I stumbled across this recipe on Pinterest, and it is simply divine. This cake is now among my all-time favorite baked goods.


Chewy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Chewy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Last month I discovered foodgawker. Have you heard of it? It’s a website for foodies to submit photos of their culinary creations. Each photo links to the corresponding blog post that has information about the recipe. I was immediately hooked and spent quite a bit of time browsing around. I discovered lots of new-to-me food blogs, and that’s how I found this recipe for Chewy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies by Two Peas and Their Pod. These cookies are different from any other oatmeal cookie I have ever tasted. They are very soft, moist, and almost fragile. Both the Hubby and I loved them — I even made them twice over the Memorial Day weekend!


Flourless Peanut-Chocolate Cookies

Most of the time, I only write about food that turned out at least acceptably decent. Why waste time with recipes that I wouldn’t recommend, right? So while I like the food I post about, seldom do I say something is so awesome that you should make it now. But these Flourless Peanut-Chocolate Cookies? Unless you are allergic to peanut butter, you should make them now.

Flourless Peanut Chocolate Cookies

Oiyi sent me the link to the recipe awhile back, and it’s been in my queue ever since. I was actually planning to bake brownies one night until I realized that I didn’t have enough sugar, but I had just enough on hand for these cookies. They use one bowl with no mixer required and are super easy and delicious. I omitted the salted peanuts because I didn’t have any. I did notice that the chocolate chips tasted just a little “off”, but I couldn’t put a finger on what was wrong. Coincidentally, a few days later I read the peanut butter cookie recipe in Baked: New Frontiers in Baking, which uses milk chocolate chips instead of semi-sweet. The recipe note indicated that semi-sweet chips can taste bitter with peanut butter. So maybe that accounts for what I tasted? Next time, I will try milk chocolate chips instead but I don’t think it mattered too much — the cookies were still a total hit with my colleagues!


Banana Espresso Chocolate Chip Muffins

Banana Espresso Chocolate Chip Muffins

I was wandering around Crate and Barrel the other day with a gift card burning a hole in my pocket when Baked: New Frontiers in Baking caught my attention. I will admit that the brown and orange book jacket drew me in because I love those colors together. But I also remembered seeing this book mentioned on a baking blog months ago and thinking that it sounded interesting. Written by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito, it contains the most popular recipes from their bakery Baked, which they opened in Brooklyn in 2005.

The first recipe I flipped to was for banana espresso chocolate chip muffins. Oooh. The second recipe I landed on? Chipotle Cheddar Scones. Oooh again! And the book was on sale! So of course, I forked over my gift card and the book came home with me. I spent quite some time pouring over it before baking anything — it’s a great read.

The banana espresso chocolate chip muffins are super moist, light, and fluffy. The banana and chocolate flavors are strong. I would say these muffins are probably the best I have ever made. The one thing I would change for next time is to increase the amount of instant espresso and dissolve it in a bit of water first to see if that yields a stronger flavor. But overall, the muffins were absolutely delicious!

Banana Espresso Chocolate Chip Muffins
From Baked: New Frontiers in Baking by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito
Recipe posted with permission

1 1/2 cups mashed, very ripe bananas (about 4 medium bananas)
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cup whole milk
1 large egg
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup (6 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 12-cup muffin pan with non-stick cooking spray.

In a medium bowl, stir together the bananas, sugars, butter, milk, and egg.

In another medium bowl, whisk together the flour, instant espresso powder, baking soda and salt. Make a well in the middle of the dry ingredients. Pour the wet ingredients into the well and stir just until combined. Fold in the chocolate chips.

Fill each cup about three-quarters full. Bake in the center of the oven for 20-25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center of the muffin comes out clean.

Move the muffin pan to a cooling rack, and let cool for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, remove the muffins from the pan and allow them to finish cooling on the cooling rack.

Muffins can be stored in an airtight container for up to 2 days.


Chocolate Peanut Butter Chip Cookies

Chocolate Peanut Butter Chip Cookies

After my last post about peanut butter cookies, my friend Jennifer kindly gave me this amazing recipe for Chocolate Peanut Butter Chip Cookies. These cookies are really delicious and have made it on my list of all-time favorites. Here is the recipe, with my notes in brackets.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Chip Cookies
From the book Cooking for Your Dragon (Leslie Brumagin, Managing Editor, with stories and lore by Bonnie Davis, based on characters created by Randal Spangler)

1 cup butter [at room temperature]
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 cups flour
2/3 cup cocoa [unsweetened]
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 (12 oz) package peanut butter chips [I only found the 10 oz package]

Cream together butter, sugar, eggs, and vanilla. Add the rest of the ingredients and stir until blended. [I whisked together the dry ingredients in separate bowl and then added to them to the creamed mixutre.] Drop in heaping tablespoons onto greased cookie sheets. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-14 minutes [12 minutes worked for me]. Makes about 3 dozen. [I must like my cookies smaller, because I got 2 dozen from a half batch.]

Make sure to have a glass of milk nearby!

On a related note, for those of you who love cookies but can’t finish your batch before they go stale — like yours truly — you can freeze half the dough and bake it later. I’ve done it successfully with these cookies and with regular chocolate chip ones as well. I use the King Arthur tablespoon cookie scoop and place the scoops of dough close together on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Freeze the dough balls for at least a couple of hours (so that they aren’t sticky anymore). Place the now-frozen dough into a ziplock bag, and you’re all set! I bake them straight from the freezer for the same amount of time as the recipe calls for. A quick Google search showed recommendations for baking 1-2 minutes longer, but I haven’t needed to do that. The results taste great and I love having easy access to freshly-baked cookies made from scratch.

Happy baking!


In Search of the Perfect Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie

I love the combination of peanut butter and chocolate, but I have yet to find the perfect cookie recipe that incorporates both ingredients. Awhile back I tried the one from Smitten Kitchen (found here), but sadly they didn’t work out for me. They came out extremely flat and were way too sweet for my taste.

A couple of weeks ago, I baked a batch of Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk Cookies using an Everyday Food recipe. I thought they turned out pretty decent. I used 8 oz of chocolate chips (about 1 1/3 cups) because that was all I had on hand. I also used a mixture of reduced fat creamy and reduced fat super chunky peanut butter. The peanut butter flavor came out quite good — I could taste it, but it wasn’t overwhelming. The only thing I didn’t like? The cookies became very hard and crispy after they cooled. I prefer a much softer cookie, so I ended up microwaving my cookies before I ate them.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk Cookies

I’m planning to try this recipe again, with the following mods in the hopes that I will achieve the texture I am striving for:
(1) use a cookie scoop to get more of a “mound” shape
(2) mix full fat with reduced fat peanut butter
(3) reduce baking time from 14 minutes to 13 minutes

Do any of you have suggestions that might work or a favorite PB chocolate chip recipe to share?