Wednesday 25 March 2015

Mini Zucchini Muffins

We haven't made any mini-muffins in awhile at our house, so today was the day.  Some friends were coming over for a playdate this morning, so I thought I'd try and make something a little bit healthier.**   I reduced the oil in another recipe I regularly use since I was hoping the zucchini would add extra moisture.   In the future, I think I will try subbing apple-sauce for the oil as I think that would work great in a recipe like this one.

**So much for healthy.... I added mini chocolate chips in the end in the hopes that would make the zucchini component less yucky to my daughter.  Fail.  My son was fooled, but my daughter still claims that the "green stuff" in there is "not good".  You win some, you lose some.

Mini Zucchini Muffins
1 and 1/3 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup finely shredded zucchini
1 egg
1/4 cup canola oil
3 tbsp milk
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/3 cup mini chocolate chips

I have a great helper!

Mix all dry ingredients together in a bowl.  In another small bowl, measure the zucchini, egg, canola oil, milk and vanilla.  Fold into dry ingredients, along with chocolate chips.  Bake in a preheated 375 degree oven for 10 minutes in greased mini muffin tins.  This yielded 24 mini muffins.

I think he wants one....

Saturday 14 March 2015

Brownie Pie - with Peanut Butter Cups!

So this morning on my Facebook feed it was full of people declaring "Happy Pi Day".   I was like, what??   Pi day?  You mean Pie day??

Oh wait.  It's March 14.  As in 3.14.  Pi.  But wait.  It's March 14, 2015.  or 3.1415.  Wow.  Apparently this is a big deal to those passionate about Pi.

I'm NOT passionate about Pi.  But I'm definitely passionate about PIE!  So what a perfect day to bake a pie!

Now, unfortunately, my youngest is sick.  My daughter and I are still unscathed from this horrific demon virus or whatever has taken hold of the little guy, so we have been climbing the walls looking for things to do.  Coinciding with this sickness is the fact I haven't really left my house in days.  So going out to get some sort of delicious fruit for pie making was not a reality.  I did, however, have all the ingredients for something chocolaty.  (I always do.....)

Brownie pie?!  Yes please!  I tweaked a recipe I found on Pinterest, here  as found on A Communal Table.  I do have a tried and true brownie recipe that I love, but it's made all in one pot on the stove, and I'm sure that will be the subject of a future blog post.  I liked that this one was done all in the melting butter or solid chocolate, no separate bowls!  This recipe is a really easy one for my daughter to help with.

Here's what I did:

-2 eggs
-1 cup sugar
-1/2 cup softened butter or margarine
-1/2 cup all purpose flour
-1/4 cup cocoa
-1/4 tsp salt
-1/2 tsp vanilla
-3 tbsp whole milk
-6 Reese's peanut butter cups, coarsely chopped

Put all ingredients except the peanut butter cups in the bowl of your stand mixer.  Beat on low until combined, and then scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl down.  Continue beating for FOUR minutes.  The recipe creator stresses this and I can see why!  The batter becomes this delightful creamy concoction that you just can't believe until you see it.  Mmmmm.....Perhaps all this air whipped in replaces the baking powder or soda in this recipe?  Whatever the reason, it's an awesome whipped consistency.

Pour about 3/4 of the batter into a greased 9 inch pie'll need to spread it with a spatula. Top with the peanut butter cups, and then cover with the remaining batter.

Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 30 minutes.  The top will be dry but JUST set.   It will sink down slightly when you remove from the oven, and that's ok.  If you overbake this it will be dry and crusty on the outside.  Pulling it out just at the non-jiggly phase gives you a nice fudgy brownie.

I would serve this with ice cream if I had it...... and maybe a little drizzle of chocolate syrup?  These are two items I don't ever have in the house because my self control is not top notch.   Surprisingly I had the peanut butter cups - an impulse 30% off purchase at the Target close-out sale a few weeks ago....


Wednesday 4 March 2015

Coconut Almond Chocolate Chip Cookies

It happened again the other day...... My little girl woke up from her nap and sleepily asked, "Mom, can we bake now?"  This melts my heart every time.  I remember baking with my mom a lot when I was little, so I am so happy my daughter likes to as well.  Even the little guy is starting to take an interest. I think he is more interested in the rogue chocolate chips that seem to drop to the floor on occasion....but I'll take that as a win anyways.

When I asked what she wanted to bake, my daughter replied "cookies with lotsa, lotsa chocolate chips".  I was craving coconut too, so I took a go-to chocolate chip cookie recipes and tweaked it.

No.  These are not healthy....but they're delicious!  My motto is everything in moderation.

Here's the recipe:

Coconut Almond Chocolate Chip Cookies:

-1/2 cup butter or margarine
-1/3 cup sugar
-1/3 cup packed brown sugar
-1 egg
-1/2 tsp vanilla extract
-1 cup flour
-1/2 tsp baking soda
-1/4 tsp salt
-1 cup flaked coconut (I like the flaked better than shredded....there is a difference to me)
-3/4 cup mini chocolate chips
-1/2 cup slivered almonds (A last minute addition thrown in for a nice crunch)

Cream the butter and sugars together until light and fluffy.  Beat in the egg and vanilla until very creamy and light in color.

Lightly whisk the flour, baking soda and salt together and stir into the creamed mixture.  Add mini chocolate chips, coconut and almonds until mixed together.

Drop teaspoon sized balls onto parchment lined pans, and bake in a 350 degree oven for approximately 12 -15 minutes, or a light golden color.  Check at 12 mins and do NOT overbake! These will firm up on the cookie sheets a little after being taken out of the oven.

This recipe gave us exactly 30 cookies.  Or 25 by the time my husband got home.