Monthly Archives: January 2012

Chocolate Mini Muffins

 

I love muffins.  They are the perfect combination of breakfast and dessert and who doesn’t need an excuse to eat dessert for breakfast.  So I make muffins a lot and mini muffins are my favorite because you can eat more than 1 and go back for more.  I am on the search for the perfect chocolate muffin, one that is that perfect amount of chocolate but not too much because it is morning.  This recipe is pretty close; they are pleasingly chocolatey without being too much. 
In fact they remind me of the chocolate birthday cake my Gram always made.  These muffins are healthy-ish too (at least that’s what I tell myself) because I used yogurt and part of the flour is wheat flour.  I enjoyed them hot out of the oven but am enjoying them even more the next day.  Oh and I used my Valentine’s Day muffin pan just because it’s 2 weeks until Valentine’s Day J Hope you have a sweet morning!!

 

Chocolate Mini Muffins

Printer Friendly Recipe

⅔ cup granulated sugar
1 cup flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
2 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp baking soda
¼ cup cocoa
¾ cup chocolate chips
6 Tbsp butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs
¾ cup lowfat vanilla yogurt

Preheat oven to 400. Line mini muffin tins or spray with cooking spray.

Mix dry ingredients: sugar, flour, whole wheat flour, baking powder, baking soda, and cocoa

In a microwave safe bowl combine butter and chocolate chips. Microwave 1-2 minutes, until chocolate chips are melted (be careful not to over microwave, it took me about 1 ½ minutes). Stir until smooth. Add wet ingredients: vanilla, eggs, and yogurt. Stir well.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until the dry ingredients are just incorporated.

Use a tablespoon to scoop batter into the mini muffin tins.

Bake 10-12 minutes.

Cool on a wire rack.

Makes 36 mini muffins

Meatless Monday – Baked Spaghetti

So for Meatless Monday I reverted to pasta.  My family likes pasta and usually don’t complain too much about it.   I was feeling more of a casserole type meal so I could hide some vegetables in dinner (yeah, I know she’s a high school senior that briefly flirted with being a vegetarian but some days I have to still revert to hiding vegetables).  I used the food processor to mince carrots into incredibly tiny pieces and while the spaghetti cooked I sauted onions, carrots, and garlic in a little bit of olive oil.  Mixed the spaghetti, sauce and vegetables with some ricotta and mozarella cheese.  Dumped it all in a casserole and into the oven it went.

Hiding the vegetables worked like a charm, she went back for seconds and liked it until her father said “Is there carrots in here?”  You would think after all this time he would know not to talk about ingredients in front of the children!!  She decided maybe it wasn’t so good after all ://  My husband didn’t complain and said I can make it again!!!!!  Maybe he’s getting used to Meatless Mondays (probably not but I can fantasize for a few minutes)  :))

Spaghetti Bake

Printer Friendly Recipe

1-2 Tbsp olive oil
2 carrots, finely minced
1 medium onion, finely minced
1-2 cloves of garlic, finely minced
½ box spaghetti
1 jar (24oz) spaghetti sauce
1 cup ricotta cheese
2 cups mozzarella cheese

Prepare spaghetti according to package directions reducing cooking time by 1 minute.
While the spaghetti is cooking saute carrots, onion, and garlic in the olive oil.

Drain spaghetti.
In a casserole pan combine spaghetti, carrots, onion, garlic, spaghetti sauce, ricotta cheese, and 1 ½ cups mozzarella cheese. Mix well.

Bake for about 30-45 minutes or until bubbly. During the last 10 minutes sprinkle remaining cheese on top.

Linked to: Just Another Meatless Monday

Yogurt Cake with Chocolate Chips

 

I was feeling something different.  I was tired of cookies and muffins so I needed something else to snack on.  I wanted something not real sweet and it had to be easy to make, no rolling or frosting.  I flipped through a bunch of cookbooks and was intrigued by the French Yogurt Cake in Dorie Greenspan’s Baking From My Home to Yours.  It sounded light but it had a marmalade frosting that just wasn’t what I wanted and I didn’t have any lemons for the lemon zest or almonds and there was no chocolate in the recipe but the basic idea of the cake was good. 
So I adapted the cake to suit my tastes, no lemon or almonds, increased the vanilla extract and added chocolate chips.  Oh and left off the glaze.  The result was just what I was hoping for, light, easy to make, and just the right amount of chocolate chips.  A yummy dessert 🙂

 

Yogurt Cake with Chocolate Chips
adapted from Baking From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan

Printer Friendly Recipe

1 ½ cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 cup sugar
1 cup chocolate chips
½ cup plain yogurt
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
½ cup canola oil

Preheat oven to 350.
Grease a loaf pan.

Mix together flour, baking powder, sugar, and chocolate chips.
Mix yogurt, eggs, vanilla extract, and canola oil.
Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Mix until combined.
Pour into loaf pan.

Bake for 50-55 minutes.
Cool for 10 minutes in pan on a wire rack.
Remove cake from pan and allow to cool completely on wire rack.

Linked to: Sweets for Saturday

Baked Chocolate Coconut Donuts

 

Its donut day!!!!!  My daughter is as obsessed with the baked donuts as I am and is helping decide what flavors to make next.  So at her request I made Chocolate Coconut donuts.

 

 

With both cocoa and baking chocolate the donuts are delectably chocolate.  The coconut adds both texture and flavor to the donuts.  Icing seemed unnecessary so the donuts are quickly ready to eat.  The batter is really thick and is easier to spoon than pipe into the pans. 
Baked Chocolate Coconut Donuts
inspired by Wilton

 

2 cups flour
1 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
¾ cup granulated sugar
¼ cup cocoa
1 cup shredded coconut
2 tbsp butter, melted
2 eggs
¾ cup low fat vanilla yogurt (I used Stoneyfield Farm Organic)
3 oz unsweetened baking chocolate, melted
1 tsp vanilla extract
¼ cup milk

Preheat oven to 375.
Spray a doughnut pan with cooking spray.

Mix together all dry ingredients: flour, salt, baking powder, granulated sugar, cocoa, and shredded coconut.
Combine wet ingredients: melted butter, eggs, yogurt, melted chocolate, vanilla, and milk.
Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients, mix.

Spoon or pipe batter into pan.
Bake for 12-15 minutes.

Remove from pan and let cool a few minutes on wire rack.

Makes 12 doughnuts

Linked to: Weekend Potluck, Latest and Greatest Friday Link Party, Sweets for Saturday, Strut Your Stuff, Sunday Showcase, Link and Greet Party, Sundae Scoop Link Party, Mrs Fox’s Sweet Party, Tuesday Talent Show, Cast Party Wednesday

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Mini Muffins

I was in the mood for muffins again and I’m always in the mood for chocolate chips so I mixed up these sweet little muffins.  I made a batch yesterday and they were soooooooooooooo good that I made another batch today (the fact that we ate all 36 muffins might have something to do with it). 

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Muffins

Every time I walked into the kitchen I had to try another to make sure they were alright (they were J). 

They are the perfect combination of chocolate and oatmeal.  A little sweet, a little chocolate, a little bit of texture.  All in all just perfect to start your sweet morning.

 

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Mini Muffins

Printer Friendly Recipe

⅔ cup brown sugar
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp baking soda
¾ cup mini chocolate chips
1 cups quick oats
6 Tbsp butter, melted
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs
¾ cup lowfat vanilla yogurt

Preheat oven to 400. Line mini muffin tins or spray with cooking spray.

Mix dry ingredients: sugar, flour, baking powder, baking soda, mini chocolate chips, and quick oats

Combine wet ingredients: butter, vanilla, eggs, and yogurt.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until the dry ingredients are just incorporated.

Use a tablespoon to scoop batter into the mini muffin tins.

Bake 10-12 minutes.

Cool on a wire rack.

Makes 36 mini muffins

Linked to: Must try Monday, It’s A Keeper, Taste This Thursday, Nifty Thrify Sunday

Asian Noodle Bowl

It’s Meatless Monday and are you sitting down????  I have a shocking statement to share so really you need to sit down.  My husband, the guy who is opposed to Meatless Monday and lets me know every single Monday, uttered this statement at dinner “It’s a keeper.”  And he was referring to the main course!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  He liked a meatless meal!!!!!!!!!!  And wants me to make it again!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 

Dinner was an Asian Noodle Bowl.  I found the recipe on Our Best Bites and changed it a little to suit our tastes.  I left out the ginger, green peppers, and zucchini from the original recipe and added carrots.  The only problem was the carrots were too big, next time I am going to chop them smaller or shred them.  It took about 30 minutes from start to eating (I cooked the vegetables much longer than the original recipe) so it’s a perfect meal for a busy day. 

Asian Noodle Bowl
slightly adapted from Our Best Bites

Printer Friendly Recipe

1 12oz package linguine
2 Tbsp canola oil
¼ cup soy sauce
2 ½ Tbsp brown sugar
2 ½ Tbsp rice vinegar
2 Tbsp Asian sweet red chili sauce
1 Tbsp sesame oil
1 onion, sliced
2 cloves minced garlic
1 cup frozen edamame
1 cup diced carrots

Prepare linguine according to directions on box. Drain.

Mix together soy sauce, brown sugar, vinegar, sweet chili sauce, and sesame oil.

Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add oil. When oil is hot add onions and cook 3-5 minutes. Add garlic, edamame, and carrots. Cook, stirring for 5-8 minutes or until vegetables are tender.

Add noodles and mix well. Pour sauce over top, stir and allow mixture to become heated through, about 3-5 minutes.

Linked to: Just Another Meatless Monday

Baked Peanut Butter Chocolate Frosted Donuts

It is donut day!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Seriously, I LOVE my donut pan and look for ways to use it and donuts for breakfast are perfect way to start my day.  I will let you in on a secret, I am NOT a morning person (ok, so it really isn’t a secret from anyone that I don’t function well in the morning).  So how, you ask, do I make donuts before my daughter leaves for school at 6:30?  I mix the batter the night before and often fill the pans ahead of time.  In the morning all I have to do is preheat the oven, bake 7-15 minutes (depending on the donut), mix the frosting, frost, and hand her a donut as she walks out the door.  Oh, I also make them a pan at a time so I have donuts for 2 days.

Today’s donut is a special request from my youngest, peanut butter donuts with chocolate frosting. The donuts have just enough peanut butter to be peanut buttery but not overwhelming and with the chocolate frosting it is a can’t miss combination.  Hope they help make your mornings sweet.

Baked Peanut Butter Chocolate Frosted Donuts
inspired by Wilton


Printer Friendly Recipe

2 cups flour
1 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
½ cup granulated sugar
¼ cup brown sugar
2 tbsp butter, melted
2 eggs
¾ cup low fat plain yogurt (I used Stoneyfield Farm Organic)
⅓ cup peanut butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
Chocolate glaze frosting


Preheat oven to 375.
Spray a doughnut pan with cooking spray.

Mix together all dry ingredients: flour, salt, baking powder, granulated sugar, brown sugar.
Combine wet ingredients: melted butter, eggs, yogurt, peanut butter, vanilla.
Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients, mix.

Spoon or pipe batter into pan.
Bake for 12-15 minutes.

Remove from pan and let cool a few minutes on wire rack.
Top with chocolate glaze frosting.

Makes 12 doughnuts

Chocolate Glaze Frosting

¾ cup chocolate chips
1 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp water
¼ cup confectioner sugar

Melt chocolate chips and butter in microwave for about 1 minute.
Stir until smooth adding a small amount of water.
Add confectioner sugar and water until it is desired consistency.

Strawberry Chocolate Chip Mini Muffins

Muffins, muffins I love muffins!!!  Perfect for breakfast and when they are mini muffins you can eat a few and not feel the guilt.  They are mini so the calories must be minature too or at least that’s what I tell myself 🙂

My daughter found strawberries at the store and had to have them so……I made some muffins.  They contain both white and wheat flour, yogurt, and strawberries (so they are a little healthy).

The strawberries add a sweetness and a bit of color to the chocolate chip muffins. Perfect for a sweet morning!

Strawberry Chocolate Chip Mini Muffins


Printer Friendly Recipe

⅔ cup sugar
1 ¼ cup flour
¾ cup whole wheat flour
2 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp baking soda
¾ cup mini chocolate chips
¾ cups chopped strawberries
6 Tbsp butter, melted
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs
¾ cup lowfat plain yogurt


Preheat oven to 400. Line mini muffin tins or spray with cooking spray.

Mix dry ingredients: sugar, flour, whole wheat flour, baking powder, baking soda, mini chocolate chips, and strawberries

Combine wet ingredients: butter, vanilla, eggs, and yogurt.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until the dry ingredients are just incorporated.

Use a tablespoon to scoop batter into the mini muffin tin.s

Bake 10-12 minutes.

Cool on a wire rack.

Makes 36 mini muffins

Linked to: Muffin Mondays, Topsy Turvy Tuesday, Friday Favorites

Sweet Potato Oatmeal Bread (for Bread Machine)

In my quest to make homemade bread I have rediscovered my Bread Machine.  I have had a Bread Machine for years, in fact I am on my second one having worn out my first one.  But I had forgotten about it.  It has sat on a shelf or on my counter, collecting dust for month-long stretches.  Periodically I will notice it and think “O you should make some bread” and then discover I didn’t have the ingredients and forget about it again.  This year is going to be different; I will use my Bread Machine!!  I have already used it several times to make old favorite bread recipes and have started experimenting with new recipes.  I have made this bread several times and my family has decided it a keeper. 
It is a modification of an Oatmeal Bread recipe.  I added sweet potato puree (I am looking for ways to use up my sweet potatoesJ  I bake several up at a time and the ones I don’t use I scoop out the flesh and freeze it until I need it) to the recipe and decreased the amount of sugar.  The bread is slightly sweet and is wonderful warm or toasted for breakfast.  Enjoy and may it be a part of your Sweet Morning!

Sweet Potato Oatmeal Bread
(for Bread Machine)


Printer Friendly Recipe

1 ¼ cup warm water
1 tbsp vegetable oil
Insides of 1 medium baked sweet potato
1 tsp salt
¼ cup brown sugar
1 cup quick oats
3 cups bread flour
2 ¼ tsp bread machine yeast

Combine ingredients in order specified by your bread machine.
Push start
Wait
Slice and enjoy.

Nut Pop Cake With or Without Nuts

Today my daughter asked me for a dessert.  Not cookies, or muffins, or donuts.  She wanted a REAL dessert, preferably something cakey.  I am not really a fan of cake, I much prefer a cookie, so I had to think of what cake would be relatively quick and easy to make and didn’t have a heavy icing.  The perfect solution, Nut Pop Cake.

Nut Pop Cake is a recipe my mother-in-law gave me when we were first married.  It is a cake my husband really enjoys and many years is his birthday cake.  I really do not know why the cake is called a Nut Pop Cake.  The cake is a hot milk sponge with a quick brown sugar glaze/topping that nuts are supposed to be dropped on.  My daughters are not big fans of nuts so over the years more often than not I would leave nuts off part or even all of the cake.  Today, I had no nuts in the house so it is a Nutless Nut Pop Cake.  The cake is just the right mix of lightness and sweetness.  Perfect for a light dessert.

Nut Pop Cake with or without nuts
recipe from Diane Markley

Printer Friendly Recipe

2 Tbsp. butter
½ cup milk
2 eggs
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla extract

Topping:
3 Tbsp brown sugar
3 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp milk
nuts (walnuts or nuts of your choice…..I seldom use the nuts)

Cake:

Preheat oven to 350.
Spray a 8×8 pan with cooking spray.

In a small saucepan bring milk and butter to a boil.

Meanwhile, in the bowl of a mixer beat the eggs.
Add sugar and mix well.
Add flour and baking powder and mix.

After the milk and butter has come to a boil add it to the egg mixture.
Add vanilla extract.
Mix.
Pour into a prepared pan.

Bake about 20 minutes.

Topping:
While cake is baking combine brown sugar, butter, and milk in a small saucepan.
Cook over low heat, stirring about 10 minutes or until mixture is thick.
Pour over warm cake.
If you choose to sprinkle nuts over the top.

NOTE: Recipe may be doubled to make a 9×13 cake.