Banana Bread Muffins

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Bananas are not my favorite fruit but I try to eat one a couple times a week since they are so good for you.  Consequently, I have lots of bananas that are on their way to yucky.

I came across this recipe while going through some community cookbooks and it turned out to be a great choice.  The muffins have great banana flavor and are nice and moist.  There is nothing worse than dry muffins.  I used cinnamon as my spice of choice since it’s my favorite and using a tablespoon did not make it too cinnamon-y. Mixing up some spices will work as well.  Just use your favorite baking spices.

Mr. Meat Eater ate them for breakfast for several days so they do keep for a 3-4 days in a container.  I think they would freeze well, too.

Banana Bread Muffins 1

Banana Bread Muffins 2

Banana Bread Muffins

Muffins:
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
3 ripe bananas, mashed
3/4 cup sour cream
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 tbsp cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice or your choice of spice ~ you can also mix spices

Topping:
2/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1/3 cup melted butter

Preheat oven to 350º. Grease muffin tins with cooking spray.

Cream the butter, vanilla, and sugar in a large mixing bowl until fluffy. Beat in the eggs. In a small bowl, combine the smashed bananas and sour cream. In another bowl, mix the flour, baking soda, salt and whatever spice/spices you decide on. Blend the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, alternating with the banana mixture.

Spoon into prepared muffin tins. Sprinkle topping over the top.

Bake 20-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Topping: Mix all the ingredients together and sprinkle on tops of the muffins before baking.

Makes 12 muffins

Adapted from:  Paws-itively Good Chow

Banana Bread 3

Happy Cooking!

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Red Velvet Cream Cheese Brownies

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Oh my ~ these are delicious!  I know red velvet everything is big right now and I don’t usually follow trends but this recipe sucked me in.   I actually made them around Valentine’s Day and I put the recipe aside and forgot about it until I downloaded the pictures and there they were.

I chose to try this recipe because it made the brownies from scratch ~ no boxed brownie mix was involved.  I am trying to stay away from boxed mixes especially since it’s so easy to bake from scratch without all the preservatives.  I also liked that it didn’t use a whole bottle of red food coloring like so may recipes do.  Be careful when using it because it turns everything red.  The only thing I did different from the recipe was to leave out the nuts.

Brownies 1

Red Velvet Cream Cheese Brownies

Brownies:
1 stick butter
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
pinch of salt
1 tbsp red food coloring
1 tsp white vinegar
2 eggs
3/4 cup flour
1/4 cup toasted almonds

Cream Cheese Layer:
8 ozs cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1/8 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 350º. Butter an 8×8 baking pan and set aside.

Brownie layer: Melt the butter either on the stove top or in the microwave and pour into a large mixing bowl. In order, add the sugar, vanilla, cocoa, salt, food coloring, and vinegar, mixing between additions. In an small bowl, whisk the eggs and stir into the cocoa mixture. Fold in the flour until combined. Stir in the walnuts if using. Save 1/4 cup of this mixture and set aside. Pour what’s left into the prepared pan.

Cream cheese layer: Blend the cream cheese, sugar, egg, and vanilla together in a medium bowl. Gently spread this mixture on top of the brownies mixture in the prepared pan.

Using a spoon, drop the remaining cocoa batter over the top of the cream cheese layer. Using the tip of a knife or a skewer, drag it through the cream cheese layer and the dropped batter to create a swirl effect.  Try not to mix in the brownie layer on the bottom as much as you can.

Bake for 30 minutes and allow to cool completely before cutting.

Makes 8 servings

Adapted from Food Network

Brownies 2

Brownies 3

Happy Cooking!

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Granola Bars

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I made these to take to a friend’s brunch on Christmas Eve.  They are super easy to make and are just delicious.  You will never buy granola bars again.

The recipe calls for pumpkin seeds, nuts, etc., but at my local grocery store they sell something called Brain Food.  The one type that I chose was pumpkin seeds, nuts, and raisins mixed together so I used the entire container of this (I think it was 16 oz) instead of each individual ingredients.  I also added a small bag of dried cranberries.  I used fat free sweetened condensed milk to save some calories and this worked perfectly and is how I will make them in the future.

I found the recipe on Allrecipes and it’s a keeper!

Granola Bars

2 cups quick-cooking oats
1 cup old-fashioned oats
1/2 cup hulled pumpkin seeds
1/2 cup slivered almonds
1 cup mixed nuts
1 cup dried cranberries
1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk (I used fat free)

Preheat an oven to 350º.

Line a 13×9-inch pan with lightly-greased parchment paper; an inch or so of parchment paper should stick up on 2 sides to form lifting handles.

Mix both oats, pumpkin seeds, both nuts, cranberries, and sweetened condensed milk together in a bowl and spread into the prepared pan, evenly pressing into the corners and out to the sides.

Bake in the preheated oven until the edges are golden brown, 20-25 minutes, using slightly less time for chewier bars and slightly more time for crunchier bars.  I went longer for crunchier bars.

Let the bars cool for 5 minutes in the pan before using the parchment paper to lift them from the pan. Use a sharp knife to cut into bars. Let the bars cool completely and store in an airtight container.

Makes 24 bars.

VIEW PRINTABLE RECIPE HERE!

Happy Cooking!

Candy Corn Cookies

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These cookies are just so adorable and I knew I had to try them when I saw them on the Betty Crocker site.  They take some time to make so be prepared for that but they are not in the least bit hard to make.

If the directions aren’t clear ~ there is a Youtube video that shows how to make them and I’ll link it at the end.

Candy Corn Cookies

1 pouch sugar cookie mix
1/3 cup butter, melted
1 egg
orange gel food coloring
1/4 cup chocolate chips, melted and cooled

Line an 8×4 loaf pan with parchment or waxed paper, making sure it extends over the sides of the pan.

In a medium bowl, stir the cookie mix, butter and egg together until a soft mix forms.

Place dough on work surface and divide into thirds. Take 1/3 and sort of shape it into the shape of the pan and place it in the pan; patting so that it covers the entire bottom of the pan as evenly as possible.

Take 1/3 of the dough and work the cooled chocolate  into it with your hands, making sure the color is as even as possible. Shape into the shape of the pan and place on top of the white layer already in the pan, smoothing as much as you can.

Take the last 1/3 of the dough and work the orange gel coloring into it, shape into the shape of the pan and put on top of the chocolate layer, making as smooth as possible.

Cover the pan and place in the refrigerator for about 2 hours or until the dough is firm to the touch.

Heat oven to 375º.

Remove dough from pan and cut crosswise into 1/2 inch slice. Cut each slice into 5 wedges. Place on ungreased cookies sheet about 1 inch apart.

Bake 7-9 minutes or until set and lightly golden brown. Cool on pan for 1 minute then move to a cooling rack to cool completely.

Makes about 9 dozen small cookies.

VIEW PRINTABLE RECIPE HERE!

Happy Cooking!

Raspberry~Blackberry Muffins

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This recipe is really just a raspberry muffin recipe but I had about half a cup of raspberries and blackberries that needed to be used up so I put both in.  I don’t see why you couldn’t use any kind of berry in this recipe.  Use 1 cup of berries total whether you are using one type or two or three.  The muffin itself is very tender and the topping is just right.  It doesn’t have too much sugar in it either which is a plus.

Raspberry  ~ Blackberry Muffins

1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup fresh raspberries
1/2 cup fresh blackberries

STREUSEL:
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup quick-cooking oats
3 tbsps sugar
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp salt
3 tbsps cold butter or margarine

In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy then beat in the egg.

In a small bowl, mix sour cream, milk and vanilla. In another small bowl, combine dry ingredients; stir into creamed mixture alternately with sour cream mixture just until moistened.

Gently fold in raspberries and blackberries.

Fill greased or paper-lined muffin cups two-thirds full.

For the streusel: Combine flour, oats, sugar, cinnamon and salt; mix well. Cut in the butter until crumbly. Sprinkle over muffins.

Bake at 400 degrees F for 18-22 minutes or until muffins test done. Cool in pan 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack.

Makes 12 muffins

Happy Cooking!

King Arthur Flour’s Chunk Wild Cookies

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I’ve gone on and on about how much I love King Arthur Flour before so I won’t bore you with that again BUT I will post this really delicious cookie recipe I found on their site.

It’s a little more involved because of having to drag out the food processor but well worth any extra effort.  All the flavors come together to make one great cookie!  Thanks, King Arthur!

Chunk Wild Cookies
King Arthur Flour

1 cup butter
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup light brown sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 1/4 tsps salt
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
2 1/2 cups oats (I used Old Fashioned)
2/3 cup white chocolate, chunks or chips (I used chips)
2 cups flour
1 cup peanut butter chips
1 cup chocolate chips
1 1/2 cups chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 375°. Line your cookie sheets with parchment or you can lightly grease.

Beat together the butter, sugars, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Beat in the eggs and vanilla.

Using a food processor, process the oats with the white chocolate until the oats are finely ground, and the chocolate is mostly ground; a few small chunks are fine. Add the oats and flour to the butter mixture, then stir in the peanut butter chips, chocolate chips, and chopped walnuts.

Drop the dough by tablespoonfuls, 2″ apart, onto the prepared baking sheets. Bake the cookies for about 12 minutes, until they’re set. They may be barely starting to brown around the edges, but the tops won’t be brown at all.

Cool cookies on a rack.

Makes about 5 dozen.

Happy Cooking!

Halloween Sugar Cookies

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I found this recipe in Everyday Food magazine and found it to be a super easy recipe and one that doesn’t make a ton of cookies.  I doubled the recipe and got 3 dozen ~ which is perfect for us.  The version I am putting here is the DOUBLED version.

Halloween Sugar Cookies

Halloween Sugar Cookies

8 tbsps butter, very soft
1 cup sugar
2 egg yolks
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups flour
about 36 candy corns

Preheat oven to 350º.

In a medium bowl, mix butter and sugar until well combined. Add yolks, vanilla,  baking powder and salt. Add flour and mix until dough forms.

Scoop out level tbsps of dough and roll into balls in your hands. Place balls on ungreased cookie sheets, about 2 inches apart.

Bake until edges are  firm and just beginning to turn light brown, about 10 to 12 minutes.

Remove from the oven and gently press a candy corn into the center of each cookie. Cool cookies on sheets for 1 minute and then transfer to a rack to cool completely.

Makes about 36 cookies.

Happy Halloween!

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