Tag Archives: baking

Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins

24 Jan

You’ve got a couple of mushy, dying bananas….what to do? How about a batch of banana muffins? They’re easy to whip up quickly and they make a great snack.

Monkeys love banana muffins, of course!

Monkeys love banana muffins, of course!

Now, I hate it when recipes produce too much batter, forcing me to either bake a second, tiny batch of muffins, or tempt me into overfilling my muffin tins, throwing off baking times or resulting in half burnt, half raw muffins. But it turns out that a 2-banana recipe makes a good amount of batter for about a dozen regular muffins – I actually made 6 regular muffins and a little under two dozen mini muffins with this recipe.

I’ve also always had a problem creating fluffy muffins with crispy tops – they would always come out dense and slightly wet/sticky on top – but the higher baking temperature of this recipe fixes the problem! I used a mix of all-purpose flour and coconut flour in this recipe to reduce the gluten content, but you can use all AP flour too.


  • 2 very ripe bananas
  • 2/3 cup white sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 Tbsp sour cream (I used light sour cream)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 2/3 cup all purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup coconut flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips


  1. Cream together bananas and sugar.
  2. Mix in vanilla, sour cream, eggs, and oil.
  3. In a separate bowl, blend together flour, salt, and baking soda.
  4. Add the flour mixture to the banana mixture. Mix well.
  5. Stir in chocolate chips.
  6. Fill muffin tins to 2/3 full.
  7. Sprinkle a few more chocolate chips over each muffin, if desired.
  8. Bake in preheated oven at 400°F until tops are crispy with golden brown edges (about 16-18 minutes for regular muffins, 10 minutes for mini muffins).

Mini muffins


Apple Bacon Popovers

15 Nov

Popovers, muffins, puddings….whatever you want to call them. They make a great breakfast food, or appetizer before dinner. It’s very easy to make these light and airy popovers, and they go well with jams or apple butter.



  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 2 cups milk (skim or 1%)
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 tsp. sugar
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 strips turkey bacon (or your favourite kind of bacon 🙂
  • 1 large apple (I used Granny Smith)
  • cooking spray
  • apple butter (optional)


  1. In a large bowl, whisk together eggs and egg whites until well blended. Whisk in milk.
  2. In a separate bowl, combine flour, sugar, and salt.
  3. Gradually add flour mixture to egg mixture and whisk together. Let stand about 30 minutes.
  4. While batter is standing, preheat oven to 450 F.
  5. Cook bacon strips. Then drain, let cool, and finely chop.
  6. Finely dice the apple, including peel.bacon and apples
  7. Coat muffin tins with cooking spray.
  8. Fold bacon, apple, and butter into the batter. Stir well until blended.
  9. Pour batter into muffin tins.
  10. Bake at 450 F for 18 minutes. Then reduce heat to 325 F and bake for 10 more minutes.
  11. Serve right away, with apple butter (optional).

Makes about 18 regular-sized “muffins” (or a whole bunch of mini muffins)


Pumpkin Bread for Autumn

24 Oct

I just got a new Kitchenaid stand mixer and I wanted to try out my new toy! I found this recipe for pumpkin bread on epicurious.com. The stand mixer definitely makes it easier to blend butter and sugar together. Though the recipe calls for just all-purpose flour, you can probably play around with using other kinds of flour. I replaced a 1/4 cup of AP flour with whole wheat, and next time, I’ll probably use even more whole wheat flour in place of the all-purpose.

pumpkin loaf


  • 1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • ½ tsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp. ground nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp. ground cloves
  • ¼ tsp. ground allspice
  • 4 Tbsp. unsalted butter, softened, plus a bit more for the pan
  • 1½ cups sugar
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • scant 1 cup pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2/3 cup water
  • optional: ½ cup dark chocolate chips or chopped pecans


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter a 9-inch loaf pan.
  2. Whisk together flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and cloves in a small bowl.
  3. Beat the butter, sugar, and oil on high speed in the bowl of a stand mixer using the paddle attachment. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl a few times, until light and fluffy, about 1 minute.
  4. Add the pumpkin puree and mix until combined.
  5. Add the eggs, one at a time, and mix until just incorporated.
  6. Mixing on low speed, slowly add the flour mixture and 2/3 cup water and mix until just combined.IMG_20151017_185540064
  7. Spread the batter into the prepared pan and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes.IMG_20151017_201346460
  8. Let cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove from the pan and let cool completely.


Forget the PSL, Try Pumpkin Biscotti Instead!

26 Oct


Now that it’s Autumn, coffee empires like Starbucks will make you think that you absolutely need a PSL to feel warm and fuzzy inside. And they’ll actually expect you to know what “PSL” means. What, haven’t you heard? Everyone is drinking a Pumpkin Spice Latte these days!

If you really knew what ingredients are actually in a PSL (hint: there is no pumpkin), you might think twice before buying one. Instead, you could make your own pumpkin latte at home by blending a little pumpkin puree into your espresso concoction. I haven’t tried that, but if it ends up tasting similar to the Starbucks version, I think I’ll pass (the Starbucks PSL was the most vile espresso-based drinks I’ve ever tasted.)

Here’s my alternative: dunk some delicious pumpkin biscotti into your regular latte, or cup of coffee! Biscotti are twice-baked, so they do require a bit more work than a regular cookie. But these treats are well worth the effort, and they keep well too – so you can make them ahead of time for pot-lucks and other holiday parties.   This was my first time making any kind of biscotti and I’m pretty pleased with how they turned out.


  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • ½ cup canned pumpkin
  • ½ cup crushed pecans
  • ½ cup chocolate chips (I used semisweet)
  • 6 Tbsp white sugar
  • 6 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ tsp baking powder
  • 1 ¾  tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground ginger
  • ½  tsp nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp ground allspice
  • pinch of salt


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F and line one large baking sheet with parchment paper. Combine flour, baking powder, salt, and spices until well mixed. Set aside.
  2. In a separate bowl, beat pumpkin and both sugars until well mixed. Add butter. Beat in eggs and vanilla.DSC01078
  3. Mix the flour mixture, pecans, and chocolate chips into the pumpkin mixture until the dough comes together. It will be very sticky!DSC01081
  4. Divide dough in half and shape each half into a log, approx 9 inches by 1 ½ inches. You can put each log between two pieces of plastic wrap and gently shape it. Then, remove one piece of the plastic wrap and flip the log over onto the baking sheet. Leave at least 2 inches between both logs.DSC01084
  5. Bake at 350°F until the loaves are cooked through and are cracked on top, about 30 minutes. Rotate the pan halfway through baking. Remove from the oven and let the pan cool for about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, reduce the oven temperature to 325°F.DSC01085
  6. Transfer the loaves onto a cutting board. Using a serrated knife, cut each loaf into thin slices, about 1/2-inch thick. Lay the slices back on the baking sheet and return them to oven. Bake until crisp and golden-brown on both sides, about 20 minutes. Halfway through baking, turn the cookies over and rotate the baking sheet.
  7. Remove from oven, and let cool. completely. Store in an airtight container.

If the biscotti aren’t fully cooled before you store them, they will soften and end up being more like dry scones than biscotti. Luckily, you can rescue them by toasting them in a toaster oven for about 5 minutes.

  tower of pumpkin biscotti

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