Mini Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

by Heather on March 17, 2013

Hello! Well, the kids and I are back in Northern California where we belong. Things are getting more routine around here, and I am reeeealllly getting my blogging itch back. It’s been so long I don’t know what to say.

Lizzie loves Mickey Mouse Clubhouse (surprise, surprise) and was begging me for “cake” after seeing Minnie bake one. As long as there’s chocolate chips in them, in her mind muffins make the perfect cake! As always, I had a bunch of aging bananas that we all forget to eat. I got this recipe from The Worldwide Ward Secret Recipes book, but I used whole wheat flour and chocolate chips instead of blueberries. In this house, we only seem to eat mini muffins so downsizing was necessary, too.

These muffins amazed me because there’s no butter or oil, yet they’re moist, sweet and addicting. They were outta here like THAT.

Banana Chocolate Chip Mini Muffins

1 cup flour (I used whole wheat)
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
1 1/4 cups ripe bananas, mashed
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup nonfat greek yogurt
1 egg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 2 mini muffin tins with non-stick cooking spray. In a large bowl, mix flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and chocolate chips. In a separate bowl, beat bananas, sugar, yogurt, egg and vanilla until just blended; stir into the dry flour fixture JUST until combined. Do not overmix!

Spoon batter into the mini muffin cups and bake about 12 minutes, or until the muffins are barely turning golden brown on up. Makes 24 mini muffins.


Lemon Butter Cookies- Secret Recipe Club

by Heather on September 3, 2012

Here we go again! Secret Recipe Club time. This month, I got Cookin’ Mimi! Micha has a great variety of recipes to choose from, and I especially like her weekly menus and link-ups. She’s never short on ideas. Since my life seems to revolve around making sweet stuff these days, I checked out her desserts and decided on her lemon iced butter cookies. A few weeks ago, I had the best lemon cupcake ever (from here) and since then, lemon flavored treats have been lingering in my mind.

These cookies are just what you’d expect a crumbly butter cookie to be-yum! If you like shortbread, these are perfect. I think the lemon addition is spot on and necessary. I added a little extra salt and it amped up the flavor just a tad. The icing adds a delicate touch, but these are also decent on their own. I can see this cookie being a hit at a tea party :)

Lemon Iced Butter Cookies, makes about 15 cookies
1 stick of butter or margarine, softened
1 cup all purpose flour
5 to 6 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon lemon zest

1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
2 tablespoons or more lemon juice

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl mix together the flour, sugar and salt. Add the butter and lemon juice and zest and mix until the dough comes together. Form heaping tablespoons into balls and place on cookie sheets. Flatten with the bottom of a glass that has been moistened . Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until cookies are set and beginning to brown around the edges.  Let cool completely.

For the icing:

Mix powdered sugar and enough lemon juice to make a thick icing. Add the juice a tablespoon at a time. Frost cookies when totally cool.


Romney vs. Obama- the cookies

by Heather on August 26, 2012

For the past 5 years or so Family Circle has had a cookie bake-off between the wives of the presidential candidates. I’d noticed it before, but never bothered to try any of the recipes. This year, however, my mom and I were totally on it!

First off, and just in time for the *big* convention, we tried Ann Romney’s cookies, which reminded me of a monster cookie. No complaints with that whatsoever. These were delicious. M&M’s cookies are a favorite around here, and throw in peanut butter. Really, how can you go wrong? They were chewy and sweet, just what you’d expect with an all-around tasty cookie. I can see with having 5 boys why she would make these- satisfying, easy to whip up and quite portable.

Next up, Michelle Obama. Hmmm, this was one interesting recipe. From the start, it created problems. Apparently, since it isn’t the holiday season, NO one seems to carry mint chocolate chips. Even the Andes mints (what I had to use) were difficult to find. I ended up buying the whole ones in the bulk section of Winco and chopping them up.

Looking at the recipe, I was a little skeptical as to the amount of butter/shortening compared to the amount of flour, but I wanted to follow both recipes exactly. OOPS. The cookie dough was super soft, even after chilling it for a few hours. The cookies turned out like this:

They spread like craaaazy and tasted like pure butter with some mix-ins. Since the recipe makes a rather massive batch, I didn’t want to waste all that dough! So, I added a cup or so of flour and tried again. Much, much better. The walnuts added just the right amount of crunch and I really liked the extra layer of flavor that the mint pieces brought to the chocolate.

So there they are. The two contenders. Since it’s based on the original recipe, and I have a major peanut butter tooth, the winner has got to be Mrs. Romney. But, don’t trust me (or my family, who all agreed), give ‘em a try! I really want to know :)

Ann Romney M&Ms Cookies

1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups crunchy peanut butter
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
3 eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
4 1/2 cups old fashioned rolled oats
2 teaspoons baking soda
6 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips
2/3 cup plain M&M’s

Heat oven to 325 degrees. In large bowl, cream the sugars, butter, peanut butter & corn syrup on high speed until well combined. Beat in eggs one at a time. Beat in vanilla.

In a separate bowl, mix together baking soda and oats. Stir in peanut butter mixture until combined. Mix in chocolate chips and M&M’s.

Drop spoonfuls of dough on a Silpat or parchment paper lined baking sheet. Bake for 14 to 15 minutes, or until lightly browned. Let cool 2 minutes then transfer to cooling rack.


Michelle Obama’s White & Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies (with my alteration)

3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 stick Crisco butter flavored solid vegetable shortening
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs
1 cup each white chocolate, milk chocolate & mint chocolate chips (or chopped Andes pieces)
2 cups chopped walnuts

Heat oven to 375 degrees. In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda & salt. In a large bowl with an electric mixer, cream butter, shortening, sugars & vanilla. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. On low speed, beat in flour mixture. By hand, stir in white & milk chocolate chips, mint pieces and walnuts.

Drop rounded tablespoons of dough onto ungreased baking sheets. Bake 10 to 12 minutes, until golden brown. Cool on baking sheets 5 minutes, remove to wire racks to cool completely.



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