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Nutella Brownies

22 Oct

It’s 10pm on Sunday night and I want chocolate. Problem: we have no easily-accessible chocolate. We do, however, have Nutella. Contemplating but ultimately discarding the idea of simply opening the car and pouring the Nutella straight down my throat (spoons be damned!), I opted instead to make the Nutella brownie recipe I’d had my eye on for a while! It took as much time to preheat the oven as it did to mix the batter. Four ingredients. No fuss, no muss (and almost no clean up). Perfect. With this recipe, you are no more than 20 minutes away from gooey, chocolatey brownies. You know you want it.

Many thanks to Dulcet Devotion for the inspiration!

Makes 12.

Ingredients

1c Nutella, warmed a little in the microwave
2 eggs
10tb flour (just over 1/2c)
1/4 ts salt

Directions

1. Preheat the oven to 350F.
2. In a medium bowl, mix the two eggs and warmed Nutella until smooth.
3. Add in the flour and salt, mixing until just combined. Do not overmix!
4. Split evenly among lined muffin tins and bake for 12 minutes.

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Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins w/ Streusel Topping

7 Aug

Yay! The heat finally broke! That means I can get back in the kitchen and turn the oven on without melting for the first time in weeks. I was in the mood to bake on the last day of the long weekend and decided to make up some muffins. We had bananas in the basket, chocolate chips in the cupboard…decision: made.

Feel free to use more chips than I did: there’s really no such thing as too many.

Makes 12.

Ingredients

1 1/2 c all-purpose flour
1 ts baking soda
1 ts baking powder
1/2 ts salt
1/2 c chocolate chips
3 ripe bananas, mashed
3/4 c white sugar
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/3 c butter, melted
1/3 cup packed brown sugar

For Streusel Topping
2 tb all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon butter

Directions

1. Preheat the oven to 375F. Grease or line the muffin tin.
2. In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and chocolate chips.
3. In a medium bowl, mix together the bananas, white sugar, melted butter and egg.
4. Make a well in the dry ingredients and pour the wet ingredients in. Stir until everything is just combined – do not over mix!
5. To make the streusel, mix the brown sugar and flour together in a small bowl. Cut in the tablespoon of butter until it resembles coarse crumbs.
6. Spoon the batter into the muffin tin, filling to about the 3/4 mark. Sprinkle each muffin with streusel.
7. Bake for 18 – 20 minutes. You’ll know they’re done when you insert a toothpick and it comes out clean when you remove it.

Basket o’ Muffin-y Goodness

Cinnamon Apple Streusel Muffins

2 Jan

I love baking muffins. They’re hard to mess up (unless you’re Lucy Liu in Charlie’s Angels and making “Chinese Fighting Muffins”) and you can make a zillion different kinds.  The first time I made these fantastic muffins, it was for the Hot Biscuit’s annual birthday brunch a couple of years ago. I brought two batches over to her place and they were a big hit – so much so that few were left for the birthday girl herself to have later! I have been making them ever since and I have to fight the temptation to eat them all myself.

I have tinkered with the streusel topping ratios just a bit from the original, which can be found in the Bite Me cookbook. They suggest 1/4 cup of melted butter, but I tend to use a little bit more. I find the streusel can bit a bit dry and not form the crumbly texture desired with the 1/4 cup. I would suggest starting with 1/4 c ready to go but have a bit more on hand in case you need it.

Makes 12.

Ingredients

Batter

2 1/2 c all-purpose flour
1 ts baking soda
1/2 ts kosher salt
1/2 ts cinnamon
2 c peeled, diced Granny Smith apples
1 1/2 c brown sugar
1 c buttermilk
1/2 c vegetable oil
1 egg
1 ts vanilla

Topping

1/2 c brown sugar
1/2 c  all-purpose flour
1/4 ts cinnamon
1/4 c melted butter (plus a little extra, if needed)

Directions

1. Preheat your oven to 350F. Coat a muffin tin with cooking spray and then dust flour over the cups. Shake off any extra flour.
2. In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and apples. Toss gently.
3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, buttermilk, vegetable oil, egg and vanilla together.  Gently stir into the dry mix.
4. Spoon the batter into the muffin tin, diving equally.
5. Mix together the brown sugar, flour and cinnamon in a small bowl. Add the melted butter and stir with a fork until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Sprinkle on top of the muffin batter.
6. Bake for 23-25 minutes. (To test if they are ready, insert a toothpick or knife into the muffin. If it comes out clean, you’re good to go.)
7. Remove from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack. Or to your mouth.

Peanut Butter & Chocolate Whoopie Pies

21 Sep

What else could you possibly need to know?

Whoopie Pile!

This recipe is slightly more complicated than the other baking recipes I’ve posted before; however, that’s really only because you need a piping bag (or a really sturdy Ziplock bag) and I’m not great at making the same shape over and over. I enlisted the help of The Hot Biscuit and we got down to making whoopie (pies) last Friday night. They turned out really well: rich, sweet, creamy, moist…all the adjectives you could possibly want.

Makes two dozen.

Ingredients

For the cakes:
5 tb unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2c granulated sugar
1/2 c brown sugar, packed
1 3/4 c all-purpose flour
3/4 c unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 ts baking soda
1/2 ts Kosher salt
1 large egg
1 c milk
2 ts vanilla extract

For the filling:
1/2 c creamy peanut butter
2 oz cream cheese
4 tb unsalted butter, at room temperature
8oz  marshmallow fluff
2.5 c confectioners’ sugar
pinch Kosher salt

Directions

For the cakes…

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
2. In a large bowl,  beat the butter and sugars together until fluffy (about 3 minutes) with an electric mixer.
3. In another bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt.
4. In a measuring cup, combine the milk, egg and vanilla.
5. With the mixer on low, alternate adding the flour mixture and the milk mixture in 3 additions until combined.
6. Transfer batter to a piping bag and pipe 2-4 inch circles about 2 inches apart on the parchment lined baking sheets. Bake for 10-12 minutes. Cool for a few minutes on baking sheets and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

For the filling…

1. In the bowl, beat the peanut butter, cream cheese, and butter together until fluffy. Add in the marshmallow fluff. Gradually add in the confectioners’ sugar and salt. Mix until combined.
2. Fill a piping bag with the filling and use to frost the cakes.

Double Chocolate Cake Cookies

12 Sep

You read the title…need I say more to convince you to make these? Okay, how about the fact that they’re incredibly simple to make, are moist and rich, and they have chocolate in two forms. GO. MAKE THEM.

This recipe does make quite a number of cookies, so you may need to cook them in two batches.

Makes roughly three-four dozen.

Ingredients

1 c unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 c white sugar
2 eggs
1 ts vanilla extract
2 c all-purpose flour
1/2 ts baking soda
1/2 ts salt
2/3 c unsweetened cocoa powder
2 c semisweet chocolate chips

Directions

1. Preheat your oven to 350F.
2. In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda, salt and cocoa powder. Whisk with a fork until even in colour.
3. In a separate, large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs – one at a time – and mix to incorporate.
4. Add the vanilla and mix thoroughly.
5. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and stir until well combined. Stir in the chocolate chips.
6. Spoon onto an ungreased baking sheet, flattening with a fork or knife.
7. Bake for exactly 11 minutes. The cookies will be just barely firm.
8. Allow to cool for a few moments before moving to a cooling rack. Store in an airtight container.

Chocolate-Crusted Creamy Caramel Cheesecake

10 May

(Who likes alliteration?!)

As mentioned previously, I absolutely love the Bite Me cookbook. It has provided endless delicious recipes that have become staples in our home. One recipe in particular jumped out at me immediately when I flipped through the book in the store and that was the insane cheesecake that encompassed all the things I love in a dessert: sweetness, tartness, crunch and creaminess. I mean…really, people. It’s a supermegadeluxe cheesecake: how could it go wrong?

Happily for me, J already makes great cheesecake and I knew this would be something he’d knock outta the park. I was not wrong. We served it for Mother’s Day and, judging by the silence that befell the table (followed by a chorus of “Oh, wow” and “Damn…” and a high five between us) it was a hit.

I would definitely recommend making it the day before as it needs at least 6 hours to set up. The recipe calls for a 9″ springform pan. If yours is smaller, you can always make mini cheesecakes in a muffin in to use up the rest of the mix. (Thanks to the always reliable Hot Biscuit for both the pan and tip!)

Serves 12.

Now THAT is cheesecake.

Ingredients

Crust:
1 1/2 c Oreo cookie crumbs
1/2 c melted butter
1/4 c whipping cream
1 c semi-sweet chocolate

Filling:
4 8oz packages of cream cheese, softened
1 c sugar
4 eggs
1 1/2 ts vanilla extract
2 c Skor or Heath bar, crumbled
1/4 c caramel sauce (purchased)

Directions

1. Preheat your oven to 350. Wrap the inside of a 9″ springform pan with foil.
2. Combine Oreo crumbs and butter in a medium bowl. Press the mixture firmly and evenly over the bottom and halfway up the sides.
2a. In a small saucepan, bring the whipping cream to a simmer over low heat. Add semi-sweet chocolate and stir til melted. Remove from heat and pour evenly over the crust.
2b. Chill the crust in the fridge to firm while preparing the filling.
3. Using an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and medium speed until smooth, scraping the sides  of the bowl several times. Gradually add the sugar and continue to beat mixture. One at a time, add the eggs, scraping as needed.
3b. Using a spatula, fold in the vanilla and bits of chocolate bar bits.
3c. Pour the entire mixture into the crust and finish by spoon caramel sauce on top.
4. Place on a baking sheet in the oven and bake for 65-70 minutes. (45 or so if you’re using the muffin tins)
5. Remove from the oven and let the cheesecake cool to room temperature. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least six hours.

Peanut Butter-Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

12 Apr

You know you want it.

J made this scrumptious, deliciously calorie-laden classic-with-a-twist and we haven’t been able to stop ourselves from eating the whole dang thing. Haven’t shared a single slice and you won’t want to, either.

 

Mmmmm...Banana Bread...

Ingredients

2 c all-purpose flour
1 1/2 ts baking powder
1/2 ts baking soda
1/2 ts salt
2 medium, ripe bananas, mashed
1/2 c creamy peanut butter
3 tb unsalted butter, softened
1/2 c granulated sugar
1/2 c firmly packed brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 ts vanilla extract
1/2 c milk
3/4 c semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips
1 1/2 ts turbinado sugar – optional

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350 and coat a 9″ loaf pan with cooking spray or butter.
2. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, sift together flour, baking powder & soda and salt.
3. In a large mixing bowl, using a mixer on medium speed, beat together banana, peanut butter, 2 tb butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar until creamy, roughly 2 minutes. Beat in eggs and vanilla extract until just combined and then stir in the chips.
4. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake 50 minutes. If you’re using the turbinado sugar, melt the last tb of butter, brushing it over the top and top with sugar. Bake an additional 5 minutes.
5. Cool 20 minutes before running a knife around the outside edges. Remove bread and transfer to a wire rack to cook for an additional 30 minutes.

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