What’s in the Pantry: Bananas

     Have bananas, will bake. After some consideration, I decided to make a dent in the pile of ripening bananas in the kitchen with some chocolate banana muffins because breakfast is important, and who doesn’t love some banana bread?

     I only ended up using three bananas. Which in retrospect is a lot, but it did not seem like it at the time. Hooray for fancy banana smashing devices.

     Filling muffin tins is a task. I might have added some extra chocolate chips to the tops. Pretty food is good food.

     Moist and happy. Thank you Joy of Cooking Vol. 2 for the banana bread recipe for inspiration P:

Chocolate Banana Muffins
Edited From Joy of Cooking Vol. 2 banana bread recipe
Makes 17 muffins. Sorry about it.

Ingredients
1/3 cup butter
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
Zest of half a lemon
2 eggs
1 1/2 cup pulp of ripe bananas (2-3 large bananas)
1 3/4 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (disregard the last thing I said about this stuff)
1/2 cup (or more) chocolate chips

Combine butter, sugar and lemon zest until creamy. Beat in eggs and banana pulp. Sift dry ingredients together and gradually add to batter. Add chocolate chips. Place batter in 1.5 greased muffin pans, and bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.

Cookie Graveyard

     I must get back into the blogroove while I can on break. To attempt to make up for three months of inactivity, I shall share some cookie etc recipe gems for your entertainment during the dreary month of January.
     In October, I had a free Friday to myself, and of course I opted to spend it in the empty kitchen. Three hours of oven time resulted in brown butter cookies, apple spice cookies and pumpkin muffins! Wooo!
     Why get back into the groove, you ask? Oh, you didn’t…one would assume it to be so I can more successfully keep writing during school for the coming semester. But what you didn’t assume was that I’ll be spending the next semester in the south of France (insert positive exclamation of choice here). So that’s cool. Be on the lookout for the latest url before I leave in two weeks. In the meantime, bake some out of season nummies.

Cinnamon Apple Cookies
Makes around 30 small cookies
From bakeperfectcookies.com

Ingredients
¾ cup butter, softened

1 cup sugar

1 ½ cup shredded apples (one very large apple or 2 smallish apples)

1 egg

1 tsp. vanilla

2 ½ cups flour

2 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. cinnamon

½ tsp. salt

1 cup chopped nuts

2 Tbs. sugar


2 tsp. cinnamon
Preheat the oven to 350F.

In a large bowl cream the sugar and butter.  Once creamed, add the egg followed by the shredded apple.  Stir in the vanilla.

In a separate bowl, mix the baking powder, flour, cinnamon and salt.  Add to the wet batter, one half at a time.  Finally, fold in the nuts.

On a large baking sheet drop a tablespoon size of batter, no more than 12 cookies to a sheet.

Sometimes it is easier to stick the batter in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.  This allows for less sticky measuring and scooping of the dough.

It is essential to bake these cookies for a full 14 minutes.  The tops will be golden.  Mushy-in-the-middle apple cookies are no good!  As long as the tops are a light gold, the cookies are fully done.

While the first batch of cookies are baking, combine the remaining sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. When the first cookies come out of the oven, sprinkle the tops with the sugar-cinnamon mix.  The warmth of the freshly basked cookies allows the sugar-cinnamon mix to stick. Let the cookies sit for a minute then transfer them to a cooling rack.

Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Makes 24 cookies
Inspired by Joy the Baker

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
1 cup packed light brown sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1 cup bittersweet chocolate chips

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, salt and baking soda.  Set aside.
Start by browning the butter.  In a medium skillet, melt butter over medium heat.  Once the butter has melted completely, it will begin to foam and froth as it cooks.  The butter will also crackle and pop.  That’s the water cooking out of the butter.  Swirl the pan occasionally, and keep an eye on the melted butter.  The butter will become very fragrant and brown bits will begin to form at the bottom of the pan.  Once the bits are an amber brown, immediately remove pan from the heat and pour browned butter (bits and all) into a small bowl.  Leaving the butter in the pan will burn it.  Allow butter to cool for 20 minutes.
Wooo photo skills
In a large bowl, add the browned butter to the brown sugar.  Cream until light and fluffy.  Add the vanilla extract and beat until incorporated.
Add the granulated sugar and cream for 2 minutes, until well incorporated.  Add the egg and egg yolk and beat for 1 minute more.

 Add the flour mixture, a third at a time. Use a spatula to fold in chocolate chips.

Chill dough in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.

Place racks in the center and upper third of the oven and preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.  Scoop dough by the two tablespoonful onto prepared sheets.  Be sure to leave about 2-inches of space between each cookie.

Bake for 12 to 14 minutes or until cookies are golden brown.  Remove from the oven and allow to rest on the baking sheet for 5 minutes.  Serve warm or allow to cool completely.
Pumpkin Spice Muffins
Makes 12 large muffins

1 cup All-purpose Flour

1/2 cup Sugar
2 teaspoons Baking Powder
1-1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon Ground Ginger
1/2 teaspoon Nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon Salt
4 Tablespoons Butter, cut into pieces
1 cup (heaping) Pumpkin Puree
1/2 cup Evaporated Milk (or other milk)
1 whole Egg
1-1/2 teaspoon Vanilla
1/2 cup Golden Raisins (optional)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Generously grease a muffin tin.

Sift flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and salt. Cut in butter with two knives or a pastry blender until it is fully incorporated. In a separate bowl, mix together pumpkin, evaporated milk, egg, and vanilla. Pour pumpkin mixture into the flour mixture. Add raisins. Fold gently until mixture is just combined

Chocolate always helps

Pour into a greased muffin pan—batter hardly ever fills all twelve unless you keep it down to 1/2 full. Sprinkle with remaining cinnamon-sugar-nutmeg mixture over the top of each unbaked muffin.
Bake for 25 minutes. Allow to cool in pan for 15 minutes, then remove and allow to cool.

Preheat the oven to 350F.
In a large bowl cream the sugar and butter.  Once creamed, add the egg followed by the shredded apple.  Stir in the vanilla.
In a separate bowl, mix the baking powder, flour, cinnamon and salt.  Add to the wet batter, one half at a time.  Finally, fold in the nuts.
On a large baking sheet drop a tablespoon size of batter, no more than 12 cookies to a sheet.  Sometimes it is easier to stick the batter in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.  This allows for less sticky measuring and scooping of the dough.
It is essential to bake these cookies for a full 14 minutes.  The tops will be golden.  Mushy-in-the-middle apple cookies are no good!  As long as the tops are a light gold, the cookies are fully done.
While the first batch of cookies are baking, combine the remaining sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl.  When the first cookies come out of the oven, sprinkle the tops with the sugar-cinnamon mix.  The warmth of the freshly basked cookies allows the sugar-cinnamon mix to stick! (yum!)
Let the cookies sit for a minute then transfer them to a cooling rack.
– See more at: http://bakeperfectcookies.com/how-to-make-cinnamon-apple-cookies/#sthash.YP2H6xlR.dpuf
¾ cup butter, softened
1 cup white sugar
1 ½ cup shredded apples (one very large apple or 2 smallish apples)
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
2 ½ cups flour, white unbleached
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. cinnamon
½ tsp. salt
1 cup chopped nuts (note: I measure the nuts after I chop them)
2 Tbs. sugar
2 tsp. cinnamon
– See more at: http://bakeperfectcookies.com/how-to-make-cinnamon-apple-cookies/#sthash.YP2H6xlR.dpuf
¾ cup butter, softened
1 cup white sugar
1 ½ cup shredded apples (one very large apple or 2 smallish apples)
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
2 ½ cups flour, white unbleached
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. cinnamon
½ tsp. salt
1 cup chopped nuts (note: I measure the nuts after I chop them)
2 Tbs. sugar
2 tsp. cinnamon
– See more at: http://bakeperfectcookies.com/how-to-make-cinnamon-apple-cookies/#sthash.YP2H6xlR.dpufdfdfd
¾ cup butter, softened
1 cup white sugar
1 ½ cup shredded apples (one very large apple or 2 smallish apples)
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
2 ½ cups flour, white unbleached
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. cinnamon
½ tsp. salt
1 cup chopped nuts (note: I measure the nuts after I chop them)
2 Tbs. sugar
2 tsp. cinnamon
– See more at: http://bakeperfectcookies.com/how-to-make-cinnamon-apple-cookies/#sthash.YP2H6xlR.dpuf
¾ cup butter, softened
1 cup white sugar
1 ½ cup shredded apples (one very large apple or 2 smallish apples)
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
2 ½ cups flour, white unbleached
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. cinnamon
½ tsp. salt
1 cup chopped nuts (note: I measure the nuts after I chop them)
2 Tbs. sugar
2 tsp. cinnamon
– See more at: http://bakeperfectcookies.com/how-to-make-cinnamon-apple-cookies/#sthash.YP2H6xlR.dpuf

¾ cup butter, softened
1 cup white sugar
1 ½ cup shredded apples (one very large apple or 2 smallish apples)
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
2 ½ cups flour, white unbleached
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. cinnamon
½ tsp. salt
1 cup chopped nuts (note: I measure the nuts after I chop them)
2 Tbs. sugar
2 tsp. cinnamon
– See more at: http://bakeperfectcookies.com/how-to-make-cinnamon-apple-cookies/#sthash.YP2H6xlR.dpuf

¾ cup butter, softened
1 cup white sugar
1 ½ cup shredded apples (one very large apple or 2 smallish apples)
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
2 ½ cups flour, white unbleached
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. cinnamon
½ tsp. salt
1 cup chopped nuts (note: I measure the nuts after I chop them)
2 Tbs. sugar
2 tsp. cinnamon
– See more at: http://bakeperfectcookies.com/how-to-make-cinnamon-apple-cookies/#sthash.YP2H6xlR.dpuf

¾ cup butter, softened
1 cup white sugar
1 ½ cup shredded apples (one very large apple or 2 smallish apples)
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
2 ½ cups flour, white unbleached
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. cinnamon
½ tsp. salt
1 cup chopped nuts (note: I measure the nuts after I chop them)
2 Tbs. sugar
2 tsp. cinnamon
– See more at: http://bakeperfectcookies.com/how-to-make-cinnamon-apple-cookies/#sthash.YP2H6xlR.dpuf

¾ cup butter, softened
1 cup white sugar
1 ½ cup shredded apples (one very large apple or 2 smallish apples)
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
2 ½ cups flour, white unbleached
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. cinnamon
½ tsp. salt
1 cup chopped nuts (note: I measure the nuts after I chop them)
2 Tbs. sugar
2 tsp. cinnamon
– See more at: http://bakeperfectcookies.com/how-to-make-cinnamon-apple-cookies/#sthash.YP2H6xlR.dpuf
¾ cup butter, softened
1 cup white sugar
1 ½ cup shredded apples (one very large apple or 2 smallish apples)
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
2 ½ cups flour, white unbleached
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. cinnamon
½ tsp. salt
1 cup chopped nuts (note: I measure the nuts after I chop them)
2 Tbs. sugar
2 tsp. cinnamon
– See more at: http://bakeperfectcookies.com/how-to-make-cinnamon-apple-cookies/#sthash.YP2H6xlR.dpuf

¾ cup butter, softened
1 cup white sugar
1 ½ cup shredded apples (one very large apple or 2 smallish apples)
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
2 ½ cups flour, white unbleached
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. cinnamon
½ tsp. salt
1 cup chopped nuts (note: I measure the nuts after I chop them)
2 Tbs. sugar
2 tsp. cinnamon
– See more at: http://bakeperfectcookies.com/how-to-make-cinnamon-apple-cookies/#sthash.YP2H6xlR.dpuf

¾ cup butter, softened
1 cup white sugar
1 ½ cup shredded apples (one very large apple or 2 smallish apples)
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
2 ½ cups flour, white unbleached
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. cinnamon
½ tsp. salt
1 cup chopped nuts (note: I measure the nuts after I chop them)
2 Tbs. sugar
2 tsp. cinnamon
– See more at: http://bakeperfectcookies.com/how-to-make-cinnamon-apple-cookies/#sthash.YP2H6xlR.dpuf

¾ cup butter, softened
1 cup white sugar
1 ½ cup shredded apples (one very large apple or 2 smallish apples)
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
2 ½ cups flour, white unbleached
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. cinnamon
½ tsp. salt
1 cup chopped nuts (note: I measure the nuts after I chop them)
2 Tbs. sugar
2 tsp. cinnamon
– See more at: http://bakeperfectcookies.com/how-to-make-cinnamon-apple-cookies/#sthash.YP2H6xlR.dpuf

¾ cup butter, softened
1 cup white sugar
1 ½ cup shredded apples (one very large apple or 2 smallish apples)
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
2 ½ cups flour, white unbleached
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. cinnamon
½ tsp. salt
1 cup chopped nuts (note: I measure the nuts after I chop them)
2 Tbs. sugar
2 tsp. cinnamon
– See more at: http://bakeperfectcookies.com/how-to-make-cinnamon-apple-cookies/#sthash.YP2H6xlR.dpuf

¾ cup butter, softened
1 cup white sugar
1 ½ cup shredded apples (one very large apple or 2 smallish apples)
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
2 ½ cups flour, white unbleached
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. cinnamon
½ tsp. salt
1 cup chopped nuts (note: I measure the nuts after I chop them)
2 Tbs. sugar
2 tsp. cinnamon
– See more at: http://bakeperfectcookies.com/how-to-make-cinnamon-apple-cookies/#sthash.YP2H6xlR.dpuf
¾ cup butter, softened
1 cup white sugar
1 ½ cup shredded apples (one very large apple or 2 smallish apples)
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
2 ½ cups flour, white unbleached
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. cinnamon
½ tsp. salt
1 cup chopped nuts (note: I measure the nuts after I chop them)
2 Tbs. sugar
2 tsp. cinnamon
– See more at: http://bakeperfectcookies.com/how-to-make-cinnamon-apple-cookies/#sthash.YP2H6xlR.dpuf

Incredibly Whole Wheat Apple Crisp Muffins

I need to think of shorter names for my creations.

 I also need to think of a way to make money off of these creations, because they’re coming, they’re awesome, and they’re trying to compete with my picture taking for time. Culinary school gap year, anyone?
(Joking!) (I think!)
We had a lot of apples the week I was home after returning from Nigeria, and I wanted to do something with them. I combined the Fannie Farmer muffin recipe and Joy the Baker’s apple crispiness (I’m getting all food bloggy as of late…but really just Joythebakery) and voilà! Apple crisp muffins – with only whole wheat flour, because healthy lifestyles are the best lifestyles. Also, I have to make up for the diet that is Nigeria: meat n’ starch. So here! Replace the healthy with white, if you must.

Incredibly Whole Wheat Apple Crisp Muffins
Inconveniently makes 15 muffins…sorry


Apple filling
2 large apples, chopped into large pieces
1 tablespoon sugar
1 dash ground cinnamon

Topping
1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 dash ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons butter, softened
1 handful crushed walnuts
2 tablespoons rolled oats

Muffin
2 cups whole wheat flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sugar
1 egg, slightly beaten
1 cup milk
1/4 cup olive oil

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F and grease 2 muffin pans

Cut the apples and place in a small bowl. Ad the sugar and cinnamon to coat all pieces. Set aside

Mix the dry topping ingredients together in a second small bowl. Add the butter and work into dry ingredients with hands until evenly distributed. Set aside

Place the flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar in a large bowl. Add the egg, milk and oil, only enough to dampen batter, not making it smooth. Incorporate apples to batter.

Spoon batter into muffin pans, filling each cup two-thirds of the way. Top each muffin with brown sugar mixture, then place in oven to bake for 20 minutes.

Hearty
Cookie cameo
The world needs less hunger and more scrapers
I had a fun time juggling the apple pieces with the muffin batter due to their large size but it was quite worth the struggle, as I happily encountered an acceptable ratio of apple-to-muffin. But the size you cut the apples into is ultimately up to you…
I could totally make a living off of this right
Super healthy AND super tasty!