Archive | Sunday Sweetness Baking RSS feed for this section

Sunday Sweetness: Double Chocolate Peanut Butter Chip Cookies

13 Nov

Double Chocolate Peanut Butter Chip Cookies

You’ll notice that we’re making cookies today. You’ll also notice that the title of my blog is ‘Realist Mom’. In the interest of staying true to my “real life” of a “real mom” commitment to you, my fabulous readers, I’ll tell you that I initially made carrot cupcakes that absolutely sucked. You know what’s even better? As with my other baking tragedy, I served them to company. (Sorry, Connor and Katie!) They were so bland and wet and gross, that after taking her first disappointing bite, Beans announced “You can NOT blog about these, Mom. They’re guh-ross!” So, yeah, I was feeling good about my baking prowess.

These cookies, though, they are delicious enough to actually redeem last night’s cupcake cataclysm. So sayest the Beans. That’s particularly surprising because I sort of improvised the recipe – and you all know, I do NOT improvise when I cook for the sake of everyone involved.

You could take this recipe and swap out the chocolate chunks and peanut putter chips for nuts and white chocolate chips or whatever you were in the mood for. Then we would all be improvising.

Double Chocolate Peanut Butter Chip Cookies

Double Chocolate Peanut Butter Chip Cookies

Makes about 24 cookies.

1-1/2 c semisweet chocolate chips
2-1/2 c all-purpose flour
1-1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 c (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 c packed light brown sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1-2/3 c (10 oz pkg) peanut butter chips
1-3/4 c (11.5 oz pkg) chocolate chunks

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Melt the 1-1/2 cups of chocolate chips in a heat-proof bowl set over a pot of boiling water, stirring until completely melted. Once melted, set bowl aside and allow chocolate to cool to room temperature, but not harden.

Combine flour, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl. Using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the butter, brown sugar, and vanilla in a large bowl until fluffy and light. Beat in the melted chocolate and eggs until thoroughly combined. Stir in the peanut butter chips and chocolate chunks.

Scoop the dough onto ungreased cookie sheets by the level 1/4 cup, spaced 2″ to 3″ apart.

Bake for 12-14 minutes. Cookies will be set but still moist in the center. Let cookies sit on cookie sheet for a minute or 2 before transferring them to wire racks to cool.

Trust me, these are worthy of you – unlike those cupcakes.

Double Chocolate Peanut Butter Chip Cookies

What’s the worst result you’ve ever gotten baking?

If you like this post, check out the rest of my Sunday Sweetness posts!

Sunday Sweetness: Banana Crumb Muffins

6 Nov

Banana Crumb Muffin

I really don’t like to waste food. That is not to say that food doesn’t get a chance to spoil around here, because believe me, it does and much of it tends to be produce – particularly fruit. Our family tends to have phases with fruit where we either eat it all the time, or we just don’t. Since bananas are always on my shopping list, they can almost always be found languishing in our fruit bowls lending that odd smell to the kitchen that’s half sweet – half icky. Fortunately, even as they near the end of the line – you can make them into something yummy. Trying doing that with a past-its-prime orange!

I love to make, and the kids love to eat Chocolate Chip Banana Bread – so I end up making that fairly often. As delicious as it is, I was looking for a little variety and something we could eat on the go, while we’re racing out the door to whichever activity is on the schedule. After a little consultation with Chef Google, I found this very easy recipe for Banana Crumb Muffins on AllRecipes.com. I made them in a jiffy, and used up 3 of the bananas in the process. (Yes, I did just use ‘jiffy’ in a sentence – don’t judge!)

Muffin Ingredients

Banana Crumb Muffins

Recipe adapted from this one on AllRecipes.com

For the Muffins:
1 1/2 c all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3 bananas, mashed
3/4 c white sugar
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/3 c butter, melted

For the Crumb Topping:
1/3 c packed brown sugar
2 tbsp all-purpose flour
1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tbsp butter

Muffins:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Prepare standard cupcake/muffin pan by greasing or lining 12 cups.  In a large bowl, mix together 1 1/2 c flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. In another bowl, beat together bananas, sugar, egg and melted butter. Stir the banana mixture into the flour mixture just until moistened. Fill prepared cupcake/muffin cups 2/3 full with batter.

Topping:
In a small bowl, mix together brown sugar, 2 tbsp flour and cinnamon. Cut in 1 tablespoon butter with your fingers until mixture resembles coarse cornmeal. Sprinkle approximately 1 generous tsp of topping over each muffin.

Bake in preheated oven for 16 to 18 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into center of a muffin comes out clean.

These were very good and banana-y. (I make up my own words – see?) The crumb topping adds just the right touch of sweetness and crunch. Within 5 minutes of putting these on a rack to cool, 4 were gone. I call that an endorsement! If you wanted to, you could also add some chopped walnuts to these and they would be that much better.

I hope you’re enjoying your weekend. I’m back to stripping the wallpaper off the dining room walls for a little Thanksgiving makeover. I’ll post pictures when we’re finished.

Do you have a favorite muffin? What is it?

Sunday Sweetness: Easy Amish Cinnamon Chip Bread

30 Oct

Amish Cinnamon Chip Bread

When someone in an Amish costume serves you a piece of ridiculously delicious cinnamon chip bread, you ask for the recipe. A day or two later, and my lovely friend texted me the recipe for this bread – which is “bread” in the spirit of zucchini bread or banana bread.

Truth be told, I was little suspicious about the recipe because a) it was texted to me, which somehow seems a little imprecise for a recipe b) I did not expect a recipe called Amish to contain pudding mix and c) it all goes down in one bowl – basically, you just plop the ingredients in the bowl and stir.

Why is it called Amish? No clue. Upon Googling, I did find this recipe for Amish Friendship Bread – which lo and behold, contains pudding mix as well. That’s what I get for judging a recipe by it’s name.

This bread came out very well in spite of my mood: I made Ina Garten’s Roasted Potato Leek Soup today – my favorite soup. After two hours of cooking, I ladled it into a tupperware so I could put it in the refrigerator but when I turned my back for 2 minutes, the dogs had gotten the tupperware off the counter and eaten nearly the entire container. Hours of cooking negated by 3 piggy dogs. Suffice it to say, I was a little bit grumpy.

Amish Cinnamon Chip Bread

Makes 2 loaves.

1 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
3 large eggs
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
2 1/2 c flour
1 1/4 c milk
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 pkg vanilla instant pudding
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/3 cup cinnamon chips

Amish Cinnamon Chip Bread

Notice my phone in the lower right corner. I was reading the recipe from my text messages!

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour two 9 x 5 loaf pans.

 Combine oil, sugar, vanilla, eggs, salt and cinnamon and mix well. Add flour, milk, baking soda, baking powder and pudding mix. Mix well. Pour into two large loaf pans. (Sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar, if desired.)

Bake at 350 degrees for 50-55 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Even though I was on my own making this, it would be a great recipe to do with kids – it’s easy and they can just mix and mix in the one bowl.

What did you bake, if anything, this week?

Sunday Sweetness: Easy Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

23 Oct

Easy Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Muffins

I love making things with pumpkin in the fall. Last week, we made my all time favorite Pumpkin Apple Bread so I thought this week, we’d go with something pretty simple. To prove my point, my 11-year-old daughter made these with very minimal supervision. (The clean up, not surprisingly, required a bit more parental intervention!)

I found this recipe via Allrecipes.com, which is my favorite free recipe site as well as my favorite recipe iPhone app. On many occasions, the AllRecipes Dinner Spinner app has saved me from wandering aimlessly through the supermarket aisles!

Easy Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

Adapted from this recipe.

3/4 c white sugar
1/4 c vegetable oil
2 large eggs
3/4 c canned pumpkin
1/4 c water
1-1/2 c all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
3/4 c semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Prepare a muffin pan with liners (or you can grease and flour them, if you’re feeling particularly motivated!)

Mix sugar, oil and eggs together in a large bowl. Add the pumpkin and water. In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cloves, cinnamon, salt and nutmeg. Stir the dry ingredients into the wet, mixing until combined. Fold in the chips.

Fill muffin cups 2/3 full and bake 20-25 minutes until lightly browned. Turn out of pan to cool.

Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Muffins

These were delicious – not too sweet, in spite of the chips. I think these would work for breakfast or an afternoon snack. If you want to make them a little more “dessert-y”, they would taste great with a little sugar glaze.

Are there any recipes out there you’d like me to try out and post? Let me know –  I welcome suggestions!

Sunday Sweetness: Pumpkin Apple Bread

16 Oct

Pumpkin Bread

I’m a hoarder. Of canned pumpkin. Right now, there are 8 cans of pumpkin in my pantry – and I (gasp) didn’t even have a coupon. It goes back to the year there was a pumpkin shortage right around Thanksgiving and you couldn’t get a can of pumpkin to save your life.

The Great Pumpkin Shortage of 2009.

There’s something about the fall that absolutely necessitates baking something with pumpkin that preferably includes nutmeg. It smells so delicious baking that it allows me to feel like a domestic goddess – if just for a moment. So having enough pumpkin is really important.

This recipe comes from The Gourmet Cookbook by Ruth Reichl. It’s delicious. And, as a bonus, the recipe makes two loaves so you can share one – which makes me feel even more domestic goddess-y. The bread is so moist and the cinnamon streusel topping adds just the right bit of crunch. Honestly, when doesn’t cinnamon streusel make things better?

Try this recipe. You will thank me – I promise.

Pumpkin Apple Bread ingredients

Pumpkin Apple Bread  (Adapted from The Gourmet Cookbook)

Makes 2 – 9 x 5 inch loaves

For the bread:

3 cups flour
3/4 tsp salt
2 tsps baking soda
1 1/2 tsps ground cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp ground allspice
1 – 15 oz can of solid-pack pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
3/4 cup vegetable oil
2 1/4 cups sugar
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and chopped (2 cups)

For the streusel:

1 tbs flour
5 tbs sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tbs unsalted butter, softened

Butter 2 loaf pans. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

To make the streusel: Place all ingredients in a small bowl and mix together with your fingers until it looks like coarse crumbs.

To make the bread: Sift together all dry ingredients in a medium bowl. Whisk together pumpkin, oil, sugar, and eggs in a large bowl. Add flour mixture, stirring until well combined. Fold in apples. Divide the batter between the two loaf pans. Sprinkle half of the streusel on each loaf. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of the bread comes out clean, about 50 to 60 minutes.

Pumpkin Apple Bread - streusel topping

Allows loaves to cool, and then turn out onto rack to cool completely, about 1 hour.

We generally eat this by itself but if you’re feeling really wild and crazy, try serving it warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

If you try this – let me know – or, even better, post a picture on Facebook!

Hope you had a great weekend!

Sunday Sweetness: Peanut Butter Cup Bars

9 Oct

I have a little issue with cookbooks. As in, I love cookbooks. As in, I can stroll over to the cookbook aisle at our local bookstore and before you can say “Barefoot Contessa” an hour has gone by.

Last week, I was in search of some dessert inspiration and came across The Ultimate Cake Mix Cookie Book.

The Ultimate Cake Mix Cookie Book

I’m all for different desserts that are easy to make, so I brought it home (where it made friends with all my other cookbooks).

Here’s an adaptation of the first recipe I tried:

Peanut Butter Cup Bars

Makes 3 dozen bars.

1 (18.25 oz) pkg yellow or chocolate cake mix
1/3 cup butter, melted
1/4 cup chunky peanut butter
2 eggs
20 miniature peanut butter cups, coarsely chopped
1 cup peanut butter chips

Chef Kitty unwrapping 20 peanut butter cups.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 13 x 9 baking pan.

Mix the cake mix, melted butter, and eggs in a large bowl with a wooden spoon until blended (mixture will be stiff). Stir in the peanut butter cups and chips. Spread mixture evenly into pan. (I found it easier to use my fingers to work the mixture into the pan.) Bake for 18-22 minutes or until brown. Transfer to wire rack and cool completely. Cut into bars.

Serve with a glass of milk!

These got two thumbs up from the kids.

Sunday Sweetness: Desserts from the Blog-o-sphere!

14 Aug

Image via Destination360.com

I hope you’re reading this while still in your comfy pajamas, maybe sipping your morning cup of coffee or tea.

Because I’m not.

I’m currently on my way home from a weekend running the Warrior Dash and camping. Haven’t I told you about all the times I’ve gone camping? That’s probably because I’ve never camped before. If I’ve gotten eaten by a bear, this is my last post. I hope you’ll miss me. At least a little.

I thought I’d try something a little different this week because a) I didn’t get around to baking anything but cookies from frozen Otis Spunkmeyer dough and b) I spend a lot of time reading other people’s awesome blogs and I want to share them with you.

Here are the yummy things I found, all of which adhere to my philosophy – easy to make but yummy to eat:

Easiest Strawberry Cream Cheese Danish from the fabulous blog Fake Ginger – this super easy recipe uses crescent rolls, my favorite!
Blackberry Vanilla Clafouti from Simple Bites – easy and you get to say “clafouti”. Enough said.
Chocolate Pudding Cake from the lovely Jen of The Misadventures of Mrs. B – this looks amazing, and uses boxed cake mix and pudding mix – SCORE!  Make it and then invite me over to eat it – I’ll bring the milk!
and finally,
Peanut Butter Brownie Cups from The Village Cook – again, super easy, but so yummy!

I hope you enjoy these recipes, and I hope you’ll take the time to leave a comment for the awesome ladies who shared them!

And if I haven’t gotten eaten by a bear, I’ll be back tomorrow!