Category Archives: chocolate

Muffin Monday: Apple Butter Chocolate Chip Muffins

Apple Butter Chocolate Chip Muffin

Apple Butter Chocolate Chip Muffin

INGREDIENTS:

Apple butter

DIRECTIONS:

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and prepare muffin cups by spraying with baking spray.

2. In a large bowl combine Flour, Sugar, Baking Powder, Cinnamon, Salt, Nutmeg, Ginger, and Just Whites.

3. In a measuring cup combine the Milk, Oil and water. Stir into dry ingredients.

4. Add Apple Butter to batter. Mix well.

5. Add grated Beets or Zucchini and Mini Chocolate Chips. Fold in until incorperated.

6. Divide batter evenly into 12 muffin cups. Sprinkle a half dozen or so additional mini chocolate chips on top.

Apple Butter Choc Chip in pan

7. Bake for 15-18 minutes until the tops of the muffin are slightly brown and they pass the tooth pick test.

8. Remove from oven and cool for 5 minutes before enjoying.

single baked

I brought a couple of these to my knit group and had those ladies act as tasters. Virginia K. liked the chocolate chips, but thought they were too salty. Sheila S. liked the texture and the moisture level. She also liked they way the chocolate chips and beets were evenly distributed through out the muffin. But she found that the flavors were a bit too distinct and didn’t blend well. Maggie S. thought these were too moist. They were not her favorite muffins.

Personally I liked the stronger flavors of the ginger, cinimmon and nutmeg. I also liked the way the chocolate and spices worked with each other.

Let me know what you think!

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Muffin Monday: Berry White Chocolate Muffins

Berry White Chocolate Muffins*

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Ingredients:

  • 3 cups White Whole Wheat Flour

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  • 1 cup Granulated Sugar or Demerara Raw Sugar

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  • 2 teaspoons Baking Powder
  • 2 Teaspoons Baking Soda
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Salt

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  • 1 cup Skim Milk

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  • 1/2 cup Yogurt

yogurt

  • 2/3 cup Canola or Vegetable Oil

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  • 2 teaspoons of Vanilla Extract

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  • 1 cup of White Chocolate Chips

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  • 1 cup Blackberries

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  • 1 Cup Blueberries

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Directions:

1. Pre-heat the oven  to 375 f. Spray muffin tins lightly. (This is a large batch so either prepare two 12 muffin pans — for smaller muffins — or one 12 and one 6 muffin pan for larger muffins.)

2. Place the Berries in a blender and process. Add the Sugar, Milk, Yogurt, Vegetable Oil and Vanilla Extract and blend completely, creating a pretty Superbowl Winning BALTIMORE RAVENS purple berry slurry.

Berry Slurry

3. In a large bowl combine the Flour, Baking Powder, Baking Soda and Salt.

4. Pour the berry slurry into the dry ingredients and mix.

The Berry Slurry and the dry ingredients just as I start to hand mix the two together (and remember that I wanted to take a picture.)

The Berry Slurry and the dry ingredients just as I start to hand mix the two together (and remember that I wanted to take a picture.)

What the mixed batter looks like.

What the mostly mixed batter looks like.

5. Fill the muffin tins with the batter (divide evenly into 12 muffin cups if you want smaller muffins, divide evenly into 18 muffin cups if you want larger muffins — I went for larger muffins).

6. Top with 6 to 8 White Chocolate Chips per muffin.

7. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes. Test with the toothpick test. Remove and let cool for 5 minutes in the pan before turning them out onto a cool surface. Let sit at least 5 more minutes before enjoying.

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These muffins were delicious and not too sweet. They were moist, but not gooey.  Muffin taster Andrew S. liked the way the White Chocolate complimented the berries. My other tasters (fellow members of the contemporary band at my church) were too busy scarfing them down to give me a comment — which I take as a good sign.

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UPDATE: Jenny B. (one of the other members of the  Contemporary Band at my church) has weighed in to say of the muffins that “THEY WERE AMAZING!!!!!!”  Thanks for the endorsement Jenny!

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*I know there should be a comma in the name of this muffin recipe, but I just couldn’t resist. I’m guessing that should Soul/Funk/Disco pioneer Barry White eat one of these muffins he’d probably comment … “I’ve heard people say that too much of a good thing can’t be good for you, baby, but I don’t know about that… I can’t get enough of  these muffins babe.”

Yeah, you’re going to be humming that all day. You can thank me later.


Muffin Monday Banana Granola Chocolate Chip

Bananna Granola Chocolate Chip

Muffin inside

Ingredients:

  • 2 Bananas

Banannas

  • 1 cup of Granola

Granola

  • 1/2 cup of Milk

milk

  • 1 Egg
  • 1/4 cup Peanut Oil

egg and oil

  • 3 tablespoons Demerara Sugar (or raw or brown sugar)

3 tbls Demarcaced sugar

  • 1 cup White Whole Wheat Flour
  • 1/4 cup Buckwheat Flour
  • 2 teaspoons Baking Powder

flour baking powder

  • 1/2 cup Chocolate Chips

Choc Chips

Part 1: Pre-heat the oven  to 425 f. Put muffin pants into the muffin tin and spray lightly.

preheat to 425

Part 2: Mash Bananas in a large bowl. Mix in Granola and Milk and let sit for 5 minutes.

Mash banannas

Part 3: Mix Oil and Egg in a measuring cup. Add the Sugar.

Part 4: Add the Whole Wheat and Buck Wheat Flour and the Baking Powder.

Mix well

Part 5: Fold in Chocolate Chips.

all 12 muffins done

Part 6: Bake for 25 minutes until golden brown. Let cool for 5 minutes before enjoying. (Makes 12).

Single muffin

Related Posts:


Muffin Monday — Almond Cranberry Muffins (DF)

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Almond Cranberry Muffins (Dairy Free?)

I had to suggestions for this week’s Muffin Monday blog — something with Cranberries and something Dairy Free. I think I achieved both goals with these yummy Almond Cranberry Muffins. [Will my DF eaters double check me, please?]

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup White Whole Wheat Flour

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  • 3/4 cup Almond Meal or Almond Flour

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  • 1 tsp Baking Powder

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  • 1/2 tsp Salt

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  • 4 tsp JUST WHITES (or 2 eggs)

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  • 1/4 c Water (don’t add this water if you use eggs)

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  • 1 tsp Vanilla or Almond Extract

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  • 1/2 cup Vegetable Oil

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  • 2 Tbsp Maple Syrup

maple syrup

  • 2/3 cup Dried Cranberries

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  • 1/2 cup Chopped Dry Dates

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  • 1 cup of Boiling Water

Step One: Put the cranberries and dates in the boiling water and stir. Let sit for 5 minutes to plump then drain. (You can reserve the cranberry juice add another cup of cold water and drink it. )

Step Two: Pre-heat the oven to 350 F. Put muffin pants into the muffin tin and spray lightly.

Step Three: Mix the flour, almond meal, baking powder, salt and Just Whites in a medium-sized bowl

Step Four: Mix the 1/4 cup of water, the extract, the cooking oil, and the maple syrup in a small bowl (or measuring cup large enough to handle it)

Step Five: Combine the wet ingredients with the dry ingredients. Don’t over mix.

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Step Six: Add the drained Cranberry and Date mixture.

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Step Seven: Spoon into the muffin tin.

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Step Eight: Bake for 25 minutes, until the muffins are golden brown at the top and they pass the toothpick test. Cool for 10 minutes before eating.

This recipe made 9 muffins.

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BONUS RECIPE:

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Chocolate Cranberry Muffins

For those of you who like a little Chocolate just change the top two ingredients…

  • 1 1/2 cup of White Whole Wheat Flour

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  • 1/4 cup Cocoa Powder

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Follow the recipe above.

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These muffins had a perfect flaky consistency and moisture content. Although usually a Chocolate girl myself, I actually prefered the almond version a bit more. But both were delicious.   Enjoy!

More I want to try:


Macaron Monday 4.1.13 Thought of the Day

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No that’s not an April Fool’s joke. I have taken the liberty of changing Muffin Monday to Macaron Monday this week. I wanted to try a little something different for Easter this year, and with wild abandon and complete innocence I thought macarons were just the thing.

That’s macaron, not macaroon btw. A macaroon, as in coconut macaroon is an entirely different, if equally delicious, thing.

A macaron is…

a meringue-based cookie made with almond flour, egg whites, and granulated and powdered sugar, then filled with buttercream or fruit spread. The delicate treat has a crunchy exterior, and a weightless interior with a soft ending that’s almost nougat like in its chewiness. [Yumsugar.com]

Macarons can be made by the French, Italian or Swiss method. Now, usually I’d make anything the ITALIAN way when given a choice, but considering the fact that the Italian method includes boiling sugar…um… I went with ze French method for my macarons. (If you are interested in how the three methods vary you might want to CLICK HERE for the Macaron Master]

EQUIPMENT:

You’ve probably got all the equipment you need to make French macarons in your kitchen cabinets…

  • liquid measuring cups
  • dry measuring cups
  • food processor
  • sifter
  • medium mesh strainer
  • mixer
  • spatula
  • parchment paper
  • cookie trays
  • cooling racks
  • pastry bag with a #8 tip (or if you are cheap and inventive like me.. a ziplock bag with a 1/2″ cut off the corner.)
  • bowls

You’ll also need a template to slip under your parchment paper so you’ll know how big to make the macarons. (Here’s my fancy Easter colored template… feel free to print it out and use it.)

macaron template2

Macarons are best baked in a convection oven. But don’t despair you can still make them if your oven is of the conventional variety. Just take care with the timing.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 3/4 cups of almond flour

IMG_4609(You can find it at higher end food stores  — locally I found it at Wegmans — and cake supply shops)

  • 2 3/4 cups of powdered sugar
  • IMG_46051 cup of egg whites (it took 7 extra large eggs for me to get 1 cup of egg whites) room temperature

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  • 1/8 teaspoon of salt

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  • 3/4 cups of granulated sugar (superfine granulated if you can find it.) [Confession: I used powdered sugar here, and I didn’t have any superfine granulated, and I thought it would be better than regular sugar… next time I’ll use real sugar.]

Additional ingredients:

You’ll also need the following for dusting the macarons and for the filling:

  • 6 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 3 cups powdered sugar (additional)
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (additional)

DIRECTIONS:

Step one: Prepare the cookie sheets. Put your template on the cookie sheet, then put the parchment paper on top. trim the parchment paper to fit the sheet. I made three copies of my template and taped them together, so there was extra paper  at the end. That way I could easily pull it out from under the parchment paper once the macaron batter is  piped on to it.

Step two: In a food processor combine the powdered sugar and the almond flour.

Process until it is a fine powder. Sift it into a medium bowl.

Powder sugar on the left; almond flour on the right, before being processed

Powder sugar on the left; almond flour on the right, before being processed

Process until it is completely combined and is a fine powder.

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This is what it looks like once the two ingredients are mixed together.
I processed it in short pulses for about a minute. (Long enough for the dog to start barking at the noise.)

Using the sifter, sift it into a medium bowl.

Then sift it again through the mesh strainer into a large bowl.

IMG_4612Your goal is to get the almond flour mixture as fine as possible. You may have some small “pebbles” of almond flour that don’t go through the strainer. If this happens sift additional almond flour and powder sugar to compensate. I had  about 1/2 cup of almond flour pebbles (stuff that didn’t go through the mesh of the strainer) so I sifted an additional 1/4 of almond flour and 1/4 cup of powdered sugar to compensate. (Save the almond flour pebbles.)

This is what the very small almond "pebbles" looked like. Put them aside for later.

This is what the very small almond “pebbles” looked like. They are smaller than couscous, but large enough that we’d have  lumpy macarons. (And no one likes lumpy macarons.)

Step Three: With an electric mixer beat the egg whites and salt. Start slowly and gradually increase the speed.

About a minute into beating the egg whites and salt. Use the whisk attachment on you mixer.

About a minute into beating the egg whites and salt. Use the whisk attachment on you mixer.

The whites will start to froth up and rise. Slowly add the granulated sugar and continue whipping until the mixture forms STIFF peaks and is firm and shiny.

Its so FLUFFY! The egg whites, salt and powdered sugar made nice stiff peaks (it I'd used granulated sugar it would have been glossy and probably have worked even better. Duh!)

It’s so FLUFFY! The egg whites, salt and powdered sugar made nice stiff peaks (if I’d used granulated sugar it would have been glossy and probably have worked even better. Duh!)

This takes a while, but patience is a virtue.

Step Four: Fold the egg white mixture into the dry mixture. Use a rubber spatula to gently mix the ingredients, scraping from the bottom of the bowl up.

Folding the egg white mixture into the dry mixture.

Folding the egg white mixture into the dry mixture.

Don’t over mix, but be sure to get all the dry mixture incorporated into the egg white mixture.

Step Five: Pre heat the oven to 300 degrees for a convection oven (325 degrees for a conventional oven)

Step Six: Put 1/2 the batter into the pastry bag (or ziplock bag with the snipped corner — ZIP UP THE BAG). Hold the pastry bag vertically over the center of a template circle and gently squeeze until enough batter comes out to fill the diameter of the circle. Lift and gently twist. You aren’t trying to get a peak here, like you would for a meringue. Repeat until all the circles are filled. Carefully remove your template and do a second Tray.

First batch as I'm piping the batter onto the parchment. (You can see the template under the parchment paper. I slid that out before the cookies went into the oven.)

First batch as I’m piping the batter onto the parchment. (You can see the template under the parchment paper. I slid that out before the cookies went into the oven.)

I don’t have a picture of me actually piping the batter on the cookie trays. Sorry I didn’t have enough hands to hold the bag and the camera.

Give the tray a gentle tap on your work surface to get rid of bubbles and smooth out the tops of the macarons.

Step Seven: WAIT! I know its hard now that you can see the macarons actually taking shape, but you’ve got to wait 15 minutes before you put them in the oven. Waiting will give the macarons “legs” and will help you build character.

I KNOW you know what a time looks like. I'm putting this in to emphasis that you need to wait 15 minutes. Don't forget... seriously.

I KNOW you KNOW what a timer looks like. I’m putting this in to emphasis that you need to wait 15 minutes. Don’t forget… seriously.

Step Eight: Bake the macarons for 5 minutes. Open the oven door for 30 seconds — to let out steam– close the door and CONTINUE baking for another 10 minutes. Set up your cooling rack if you haven’t already done so. (HINT: make sure they are far out of reach of any cats or cockapoos.)

Step Nine: When the macarons have baked a total of 15 minutes take them out of the oven. CAREFULLY slide the parchment sheet off the cookie tin and onto the cooling rack and COOL completely.

You can now repeat steps Six-Nine with the second half of the batter. I dusted my second batch with cocoa and some of the almond pebbles I reserved earlier.

Second batch ready to go into the oven.

Second batch ready to go into the oven.

Second batch -- finished baking, ready to cool.

Second batch — finished baking, ready to cool.

Step Ten: While you are waiting for the macarons to cool you can start to make the filling. Filling for macarons can be as simple as jam or as complex as ganache. I chose homemade Chocolate Almond Buttercream Frosting. (See the ingredient listed above. (After cleaning your mixing bowl and whisk attachment) combine all the ingredients in the mixer and blend until smooth. Put into a clean pastry bag (or another ziplock bag with the corner snipped out).

Pair the macarons so they are close in shape and size. Turn half the macarons upside down (so the flat side is up). Pipe the frosting onto the flat side of the macaron. Top with its mate and give a gentle quarter turn. Repeat with the rest of the macarons.

Assembled macaroons.

Assembled plain macaroons.

And…

Finished Chocolate Almond macaron.

Finished Chocolate Almond macaron.

Results: I like to bake using a minimum of bowls and kitchen gadgets. I like simple (ish) recipes. I also like for the recipe to have at least a whiff of nutritional value. Macarons fit none of those baking preferences.  These took lots of time, lots of money, and lots of effort to make. The recipe only yielded 2 dozen filled French macarons. But they are light as a feather and delightfully delicious.  And all my tasters wanted to know when I would make the next batch, so I guess they were a hit.

They reminded Mary B of meringues, but better because of the filling. She “really enjoyed them.”

Mike R. commented that “The crunch of the initial sensation on the teeth is met soon after by the yielding into a second layer of heavenly sweetness just inside the delicate outer layers.  As the palate then becomes aware of the fleshy interior of the “cookie”, it is surprised by the soft and flavorful filling (in this case chocolate buttercream).  The trio soon starts to meld and melt together, though not completely, giving a variety of textures and tastes to explore. ” He’s tried store bought macarons and found them to be “overly-dried almost like delicate styrofoam. I’ve also tasted plain fresh macarons from bakeries in New York City, but none come close to freshly baked deliciousness of these cookie gems…..”

Jackie R gave them an A+, saying “they were delicious and had just enough ‘bite and chew’ to be substantial, yet sweet and light enough to make me wiggle my toes a little.”

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I was inspired by Cecile Cannone’s Macarons: Authentic French Cookie Recipes from the Macaron Cafe. It is a well written, well illustrated little book that will get you on your way to proper macaroning.


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