Poppy Seed Muffins

Hello everyone!  It’s been a pretty chill weekend.  I’ve gotten some of my favorite relaxing things: reading Stephen King, watching Netflix, and of course baking.  Today I made poppy seed muffins.  I wasn’t as adventurous in terms of adding extra ingredients today, so luckily they turned out as they were supposed to instead of looking like the Earth’s crust at Yellowstone (burnt and cracked thin exterior covering boiling hot liquid).

Here’s the recipe I used!

http://allrecipes.com/recipe/poppy-seed-muffins/

And if you have an impending drug test coming up, don’t worry too much because apparently the false positive results induced by eating poppy seeds looks different on a drug test than actually using opiates (but I got that info from the all-knowing Wikipedia, so you may want to just hold off on these until after your test).

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Self-Frosting Nutella (Cup)cakes

 

Today I had a baking learning experience.  I got up and was pumped up to make Nutella Bran muffins (http://www.babble.com/best-recipes/nutella-bran-muffins/).

I’d made these muffins a couple of times before, but today I wanted to try altering the recipe a little to add something new to the mix, and what goes better with chocolate than strawberries? So I added some fresh strawberries to the batter, spooned it into muffin cups, and put it in the oven.  After a few minutes I started to suspect things weren’t turning out as I had hoped.  I could hear the muffins sizzling and they were clearly getting much more done on the outside than on the inside.  When they finally came out of the oven they were black on the top (set off the smoke alarm thrice), and completely gooey on the inside.

So, what I learned is that you should be careful when adding fresh fruit to a recipe because a lot of water gets released from strawberries during cooking, which makes the better a lot thinner than the original recipe intends.

I refused to give up though, even after my failure, and instead made this recipe:

New and Improved: Self-frosting Nutella Cupcakes!

The recipe is for cupcakes, but I made it into a cake (since my muffin pan was getting cleaned).  Enjoy!

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Banana Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Bread

Happy Easter everyone!  The traditional Paschal greeting that everyone always says on Easter is “Christ is risen!”  and the response is “He is risen indeed!”  It’s always exciting when something rises.  Spring is is time for renewal of life as new plants rise from the ground and blossoms open up on the tree.  Every morning we rise out of bed to start the  new day.

Rising is a pivotal aspect of baking too.  Most breads, muffins, cookies, etc…require some sort of leavening agent to give them that fluffy texture that makes them so good.  As I mentioned in one of my previous posts, one of the most satisfying feelings I’ve had while baking is making bread dough with yeast that successfully rises.  Yeast can be kind of fickle sometimes, especially when the baker is impatient.

The leavening agent in today’s recipe (and most of my recipes) is baking soda (aka sodium bicarbonate).  You only need a teaspoon of it, but if you forget it you’ll have a gooey tacky glob of baked dough instead of a moist, fluffy loaf of banana peanut butter bread.

Here’s the recipe I used!

1/2 cup butter (softened)

1 cup sugar

2 eggs

1/2 cup peanut butter

2 mashed bananas

2 cups flour

1 tsp. baking soda

1/2 cup walnuts

12 oz chocolate chips

Oven temperature: 325 degrees Fahrenheit

Mix all ingredients together (adding walnuts and chocolate chips last).  I baked in a Bundt pan for about 50 minutes, although if you use a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan it may take a little longer.  These can also be made into muffins!

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Pineapple Muffins

Hello again!  Here’s a recipe to get you thinking tropical as we get closer and closer to summer.  I love where I live and a lot of crops grow around here, but, alas, pineapple is not one of them.  Luckily, thanks to tremendous advances in agriculture and industry pineapple (fresh, canned, or frozen) is available year round at any local grocery store.

So, when you make these just close your eyes and imagine the warm Hawaiian breeze, the faint chirping of tropical birds, the sound of the crashing waves and smell of the salty sea.  Just don’t keep your eyes closed too long because you will need to use the oven and I don’t want to be held responsible for any baking induced burns…

Here is the link to the recipe I used…enjoy!

http://allrecipes.com/recipe/delicious-pineapple-muffins/ImageImage

Cookies and Cream Cheesecake Brownies

Wow!  It’s been a busy past couple of weeks.  I was out of town the last couple of weekends (San Diego with my Mom two weeks ago, and Carmel with my Dad last weekend) Imageand didn’t have time to do any baking.  While I loved spending time with my family, I’m glad to be back and baking again.

Yesterday I made Cookies and Cream Cheesecake Brownies, a combination of Oreos, cheesecake, and brownies…quite the trifecta.

The original recipe can be found here:

http://www.browneyedbaker.com/2009/04/28/cookies-and-cream-cheesecake-brownies/

I followed the recipe, with the exception that yesterday I actually used the Trader Joe’s version of Oreos (Joe Joes), instead of the traditional Nabisco ones (heresy, I know).

I hope you enjoy!