Banana Chocolate Chip Mini Muffins

Bakery, Not-so-healthy | October 29, 2015 | By

IMG_7905Does anyone else get excited to have brown bananas in their kitchen? I love when they start to go bad because that means we’re getting banana bread. 

About five years ago, I had an awesome editor Lisa at my last job as a daily news reporter. She always brought delicious goodies to work, but this bread was always gone in the newsroom in a matter of minutes (there’s definitely something to be said about journalists and food). Well, one day she gave me the recipe, and I’d had some luck with it. But I could never get the loaves as evenly browned as hers. Mine would typically be really dark on the outside while underdone in the middle. I’d tested different temperatures, baking times and pans and finally settled on muffins. Same great taste, and done in a little less time! So a big shoutout to Lisa and her Banana Chocolate Chip bread. It’s created a lifetime banana and chocolate addiction! 

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These mini muffins are perfect for little ones and a great little after-school snack. I know they’re quite popular with Bryn and Hadley! 

Note: If you’re not a big banana and chocolate person, you can make this a more traditional banana bread recipe and use walnuts instead of chocolate chips. For my family, we’ll stick with the chocolate.

Read on for the recipe.

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Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie with Pretzel Crust

pie1I posted this yesterday on Sweet Tooth, Sweet Life, but I wanted to share it here this morning in case you didn’t get a chance to see it (and to make sure it ends up in my online Recipe Box). 

I love this recipe for so many reasons. First off, it’s kind of a pie, but more like a really moist brownie. Also, it includes my new obsession – salty and sweet. I was apparently tardy for that party, but I LOVE desserts with a little bit of salt on top (or salt on the bottom in this case). This was inspired by Teeny’s Tour of Pies (with some alterations), and it seems like I’m really on my way to being out of my pie rut. There are a few of Teeny’s recipes that I still want to try so I’ll feature more here as I find more winners.  

pie3Some notes on this recipe: You can pre-make the pretzel crust, but just keep it in the fridge until you’re ready to use. Also, make sure you don’t overbake this pie. It will dry out really fast so pull it out a few minutes before you think its cooked. It’ll keep cooking after its out of the oven, and honestly, brownies are best when they’re underbaked.

So let’s get on to the recipe! 

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Soft and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

Dessert | February 3, 2015 | By

IMG_6169I’m rock solid with my Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe. But every now and then, a new recipe will pique my interest on Pinterest. (ha!) 

So when I saw this recipe for Soft and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies, I had to try it.

I thought the addition of vanilla pudding mix could be interesting, and sometimes those really delicious photos on Pinterest just hook you in and you can’t say no. Are they as amazing as my Best Chocolate Chip Cookies ever? Probably not. These are a really great alternative if you like those Soft Batch cookies in the store. They’re really chewy with very little crunch to them. I actually like my cookies a little crunchy on the outside so I baked the second tray of these just a few minutes longer to get that effect. 

Read on for the recipe.

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Peppermint Bark

Dessert, Not-so-healthy | December 30, 2014 | By

peppermint bark I’ve really been loving the peppermint and chocolate combination this holiday season after I made these cookies for Hadley’s Christmas pageant at preschool. I’m kind of in denial that Christmas is over so I’m still making a couple straggler holiday recipes that I really wanted to do, including this peppermint bark recipe. 

I really like bark recipes. They’re simple, but still have a big impact. This recipe would make a great hostess gift for a new year’s party or just to that friend that you really don’t know what to get them for Christmas (and time really has run out!). 

We had Trevor’s brother Spencer and his wife, Kelly, over for dinner the other night. We did the easy make-your-own fajita bar, and this bark was an easy holiday dessert. Plus, you don’t really need a lot to get the sweetness after dinner that I seem to be craving from now until eternity. 

Read on for the recipe.

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DIY Hot Chocolate Mix

Drinks | December 15, 2014 | By

Homemade Hot Chocolate MixWith Hadley in preschool this year, this is my first year of doing teacher gifts. We have three teachers (two preschool and one dance) that I wanted to show our appreciation to during the holidays.

We’re very lucky that Hadley loves going to preschool and dance each week, and really looks up to all of her teachers. I know that we’re just starting in school (ahh!), but I’m thankful for the here-and-now; supportive teachers and a happy kid who does well in the classroom. 

I toyed with making a bunch of different cookies and doing a cookie tin for each of the teachers, but that would be a ton of work. With a full-time work schedule, holiday parties and two little ones to take care of, the thought of making five or six different kids of Christmas cookies wasn’t in the cards (but I really wish it was!). I found this DIY Hot Chocolate Mix on Smitten Kitchen and knew it would be perfect. I’m going to attempt my own homemade marshmallows on Wednesday night to go along with these mixes. 

IMG_5861The hot chocolate is rich and has a much deeper chocolate flavor than the mixes you get in the store. I used whole milk in mine so it was just that much more rich and creamy. 

Read on for the recipe.

 

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Milk Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

Milk Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

IMG_5181Am I the only one who is just always searching for a great chocolate frosting recipe? Do I think too much about these things? Probably.

These are the really deep and important questions you have to ask yourself when you’re on a beach vacation. The biggest problems we have is what we’re going to eat next and why won’t the kids stop fighting over the same sand shovel. (total first world problems, I know) Sometimes you just have the check out and forget about the big problems and enjoy a few little ones, right? Like what makes a good chocolate frosting.

But when you find something amazing (like this frosting), you need to stick with it. It’s rich and chocolatey, but still really spreadable. So how good is it? I had plenty leftover after a batch of cupcakes, and myself, my mom and my 12 year-old nephew couldn’t stop taste testing. I’m a firm believer in licking the bowl (I know that must shock you).

I originally found this on Sally’s Baking Addiction, and I was going to blog about both the cupcake and the frosting. The cake didn’t quite live up to the hype. It wasn’t that moist for me, but then again, I’m using a different oven and they could’ve been a minute or two over baked. I’ve got another yellow cake recipe from Smitten Kitchen on deck that I can’t wait to try. It came highly recommended from a friend so I can’t wait to check that one out.

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Cookie Dough Pretzel Bites

Dessert, Not-so-healthy | September 14, 2014 | By

I’ve been on a huge sweets kick lately. Something new and different for me, right? Anyone else eat dinner, and like five minutes later need something sweet? This just fills that little itty bitty, nagging craving for me.

IMG_4751It’s (egg free) cookie dough, smooshed in between two pretzels, then dipped in chocolate. It’s simply wonderful. They’re really easy to make, and have this great salty-and-sweet combination that I love. Plus, I’m addicted to eating raw cookie dough. It may be the reason some days that I bake cookies at all.

This recipe comes from Sally’s Baking Addiction (via Pinterest). Check your Pinterest boards right now. I bet you have something from Sally on there already and you didn’t even know it. I feel like she and I would get along really well. She comes up with some delicious looking baking goods, and I may dedicate this whole fall season to trying all the different kinds of donuts on her site.

Read on for the recipe.

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