Saturday, May 12, 2012

Banana muffins, mini muffins

Ok, there are a million recipes for banana bread and banana muffins online.  I'm going to pull some culinary rank here and say I seriously think I have one of the best, lightest versions out here.  I love banana bread and muffins but find them too dense sometimes.  I have remedied that problem and you're going to be delighted with the outcome.  There are a couple of little technique tricks here.  I'm not usually a big fan of the chefy technique requirement but a few little things and you will absolutely love the light, airy texture of these little nuggets of flavor.  Oh and because they are so small you can pop them completely guilt free!

Tracy's Killer Banana Mini's

1 stick butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 eggs (I use extra large until my chickens start producing!!)
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 very ripe bananas
1 1/4 cup a/p flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
pinch salt

Line 24 mini muffin tin with papers.  In a stand mixer blend the softened butter and sugar, beat like crazy until it's VERY light and VERY fluffy, the trick to this whole thing is volume.

Add the eggs, one at a time and continue to beat like crazy, we want volume and pale fluffiness here.  Add the vanilla and bananas. Beat like crazy.

Add the dry ingredients all at once and fold/stir gentle the mixture with a spatula just until it comes together.

IF you are adding a handful of chocolate chips or nuts or dried fruit or whatever other addins you like, do it with the dry ingredients.


Scoop into paper lined mini tins and bake 17 minutes at 350.  Until they are done.  A toothpick comes out clean and they bounce back when touched lightly in the middle.  (*I get 32 mini's from this recipe so you can make the 24 then make 6 regular sized or do a second pan of minis.)

A little look inside, melty chocolate, mini banana bits and light texture.  

These muffins come together in a snap, go make some, you'll love them. 


Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Cake Mix Peanut Butter Cookies

A hankering is a dangerous thing, here.

I sat in my living room last night convinced that who ever was in charge of cake in this house had failed miserably. 

I got up this morning and realized that as much as I wanted some cake, I wanted cookies.  I wanted cookies N.O.W.  

I went through my mental cookie inventory and it all seemed too much work.  Seriously, there's a crisis happening when you want cookies but can't muster the strength, vision or bother to actually stand up to make them.  I was having one of those moments.

I searched through my cupboard for inspiration and came across a cake mix I'd bought for a dump cake.  Maybe I'd make a cake from a mix.  To be honest, I don't remember the last time I made a cake from a box and wondered if I'd even LIKE the flavor.  I think I've spoiled myself the way I spoiled Connor's tastebuds.  In any event, I had a bit of an epiphany...cake mix is what? It's just a box full of, wait for it...flour, sugar, baking powder, salt ... hmmmmm, in a box...  BINGO! 

Here's what happened at my house this morning: 

In a mixer, combine;

1 cup peanut butter
2 eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil
3 Tablespoons water
healthy teaspoon of Vanilla

Beat it

Add 1 boxed yellow cake mix. (I just dumped it in and mixed for a minute or so on medium)

Mix it till it looks like cookie dough.  Scoop into little balls and place on cookie sheet.  Bake at 350 for 12 minutes.

I used a small ice cream scoop to make round balls then some I pushed a spoon into with some raspberry jam, some I flattened with the peanut butter cookie criss cross, some I left as balls, some I added chocolate chips to after they baked, some I rolled chocolate chips into the ball and then just flattened slightly.  It made about 48 cookies.

Oh yes, this is a keeper idea!


Go make some, and eat them.