Breakfast, Muffins, Quick Breads

Super Moist Chocolate Chip Muffins

Looking for a chocolate snack? These chocolate muffins are so good, and because applesauce is the secret to making them moist, we can call them healthy! Well, while we are in quarantine everything seems skewed a bit, so healthy becomes relative. Recipe from ChefAlli.com

Moist Chocolate Chip Muffins 1

Moist Chocolate Chip Muffins 2 Moist Chocolate Chip Muffins 3 Moist Chocolate Chip Muffins 4 Moist Chocolate Chip Muffins 5

2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, divided use
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 tsp vanila
1 egg
1 cup applesauce
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup oil

Preheat oven to 350°.  Grease 12 muffin cups or line muffins cups with paper muffin liners. In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, salt, sugar, brown sugar, 3/4 cup chocolate chips, and cocoa powder. In a separate bowl, whisk together the vanilla, egg, applesauce, milk, and vegetable oil until smooth; pour into flour mixture and stir until the mixture is just combined. Don’t over mix!

Divide the prepared batter between the 12 prepared muffin cups, filling each one about 2/3 full. Divide the remaining ¼ cup of chocolate chips between muffins, sprinkling them over the top of each one. Bake muffins, uncovered, on center rack, in preheated oven until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 20-25 minutes. s soon as the muffins are removed from the oven, gently place a sheet of foil on top. Let the muffins cool covered, then remove them from the muffin tin. Store in an air tight container.

More Snacking Muffins!

Nutty Chocolate Chip Banana Bran Muffins Red Velvet Chocolate Chip Muffins Blueberry Muffins 1

 

Brownies & Bars, Dessert, Snacks

PB&J Bars

I feel like making a treat, looking around for what I have in the kitchen and here we go! Chewy peanut butter and raspberry jam goodies, I am a sucker for raspberry anything.

PB&J Bars

2¼ cups brown sugar
1 cup butter, melted
3 eggs
2¾ cups flour
2½ tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup peanut butter chips
1/2 cup peanuts, optional
3/4 cup raspberry jam

Preheat oven to 350°. In large bowl, by hand, mix brown sugar and melted butter. Add eggs, mix well. Add flour, baking powder, and salt; mix just until combined. Stir in peanut butter chips, and peanuts. Spread 1/2 of batter in sprayed 9″x13″ baking pan. Gently spread raspberry jam over batter layer, careful to get jam almost to edge of pan without touching. Layer the remaining batter on top of jam by flattening spoonfuls and laying evenly over the entire surface, take a few minutes and patience, but it works. Bake 30-35 minutes or until center is set and edges start to brown. Cool completely for clean cutting. The bars tasted even better to me the next day.

More Yummy Bars:

Creamy Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars Graham Cracker Coconut Bars Chocolate Chip Coconut Fudge Bars

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cake Bars Chewy Peanut Payday Bars Black Bottom Coconut Macadamia Bars

Chocolate Chip Toffee Shortbread Bars Almond Cream Cheese Bars S'more Cookie Bars

Breads, Quick Breads, Side Dish

Butter Swim Biscuits

This recipe is one of the most visited on my website, posted back on May 26, 2014. Stir together five ingredients, pour melted butter in a pan, spread mixture in the pan with the butter, and bake. A little crisp and very buttery on the outside and fluffy tender on the inside. A super easy addition for any meal.

Butter Swim Biscuits 1 Butter Swim Biscuits 2

2½ cups flour
4 tsp baking powder
4 tsp sugar
2 tsp salt
1¾ cups buttermilk
1/2 cup butter, melted

Preheat oven to 400°. Stir together flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt. Stir in buttermilk just until combined. Pour melted butter into 8″x8″ or 9″x9″. Drop biscuit batter into pan and spread out evenly. Butter will come up over the edges and cover over the top of the biscuit batter, as if it is “swimming”. Cut biscuits about half way down into batter to create the individual biscuits (4×4). Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden and beautiful! Cool a bit and cut through again, but all the way through to the bottom of pan. Enjoy!

*This time I used a rectangle pan (7″x11″) that is comparable to the 9″x9″. Below is the picture from the first posting using a 9″x9″.

Butter Swim Biscuits Butter Swim Biscuits 2

 

Breads, Yeast Breads

Classic Sandwich Bread

During this quarantine, I am baking some form of bread every other day. It keeps me busy, happy and we are well stuffed with carbs. This is #16 and the last of kingarthurflour.com‘s Best Basic Recipes Collection. I have baked this bread twice now and it is wonderful, great texture and flavor. Is there anything better than a big fat end piece off a loaf of homemade bread right out of the oven? I’ll answer that, no! It is the best! My favorite lunch is homemade bread and peanut butter sandwich, yes just peanut butter, my daughters think I’m a little crazy.

Classic Sandwich Bread 1 Classic Sandwich Bread 5

Classic Sandwich Bread 2 Classic Sandwich Bread 3 Classic Sandwich Bread 4

3 cups flour
1/2 cup milk (skim, 1%, 2% or whole, your choice)*
1/2 to 2/3 cup hot water, enough to make a soft, smooth dough
4 Tbl melted butter or 1/4 cup oil
2 Tbl sugar
1¼ tsp salt
1 pkt (2¼ tsp) yeast

*Mix cold milk with hot tap water to make a lukewarm liquid before adding to the remainder of the ingredients.

∇ This recipe makes 1 loaf, it is easy to double the batch to make 2 loaves!

To make the dough: In a large bowl, combine all of the ingredients and stir until the dough starts to leave the sides of the bowl. Transfer the dough to a lightly greased surface, oil your hands, and knead it for 6 to 8 minutes, or until it begins to become smooth and supple. Or mix and knead the dough using an electric mixer or food processor, or in a bread machine set to the dough or manual cycle.

Transfer the dough to a lightly greased bowl, cover the bowl, and allow the dough to rise until puffy though not necessarily doubled in bulk, about 1 to 2 hours, depending on the warmth of your kitchen. If you’re using a bread machine, allow the machine to complete its cycle, then leave the dough in the machine until it’s doubled in bulk, perhaps an additional 30 minutes or so.

Gently deflate the dough and transfer it to a lightly oiled work surface. Shape the dough into an 8″ log. Place the log in a lightly greased 8 1/2″ x 4 1/2″ loaf pan, cover the pan loosely with lightly greased plastic wrap, and allow the bread to rise for about 60 minutes, until it’s domed about 1″ above the edge of the pan. A finger pressed into the dough should leave a mark that rebounds slowly. Towards the end of the rise, preheat your oven to 350°F.

Bake the bread for 30 to 35 minutes, until it’s light golden brown. Test it for doneness by removing it from the pan and thumping it on the bottom (it should sound hollow), or by measuring its interior temperature with a digital thermometer (it should register 190°F at the center of the loaf).

Remove the bread from the oven, and cool it on a rack before slicing. Store the bread in a plastic bag at room temperature for several days; freeze for longer storage.

More Luscious Bread! 

One Hour Bread 1 Whole Wheat Oatmeal Honey Bread Braided Sweet Bread

English Muffin Bread  No Knead Crusty Bread Honey Wheat Bread

Pies

Apple Pie

This makes quarantine a little better! Recipe #15 on kingarthurflour.com‘s Best Basic Recipes Collection. This is a really good apple pie, not too sweet not too tart. In our family we usually have Cherry Apple Pie, it is a heavenly combination. It is always a nice treat to have pie!

Apple Pie 1

Apple Pie 2 Apple Pie 3

Apple Pie 4 Apple Pie 5

Crust
2½ cups flour
3/4 tsp salt
1/3 cup shortening
1/2 cup cold butter
7-10 Tbl ice water

Filling
8 cups peeled, sliced apple (from about 3 1/4 pounds whole apples)
2 Tbl lemon juice
3/4 cup sugar
2 Tbl flour
2 Tbl cornstarch
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp allspice
1/4 cup boiled cider or undiluted apple juice concentrate
2 tsp vanilla, optional
2 Tbl butter, diced in small pieces

To make the crust: In a medium bowl, whisk together flour and salt. Work in the shortening until mixture is evenly crumbly. Dice the butter into 1/2″ pieces, and cut into mixture until you have flakes of butter the size of a dime.

Add water 2 Tbl at a time, mixing with a fork as you sprinkle water into the dough. When the dough is moist enough to hold together when you squeeze it, transfer it to a piece of wax or parchment paper. It’s OK if there are some dry spots in the pile. Use a spray bottle of water to lightly spritz these places; that way you’ll add just enough water to bring the dough together without creating a wet spot.

Fold dough over on itself three or four times to bring it together, then divide it into two pieces, one about twice as large as the other. The larger piece will be the bottom crust; the smaller piece, the top crust. Pat each piece of dough into a disk about 3/4″ thick.

Roll each disk on its edge, like a wheel, to smooth out the edges. This step will ensure your dough will roll out evenly, without a lot of cracks and splits at the edges later. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 30 minutes before rolling.

Preheat the oven to 425°F. Lightly grease a 9″ pie pan that’s at least 2″ deep. This will make serving the pie easier after it’s baked.

To make the filling: Combine the sliced apples and lemon juice in a large mixing bowl. In a small bowl, whisk together the sugar, flour, cornstarch, salt, and spices. Sprinkle the mixture over the apples, and stir to coat them. Stir in the boiled cider (or apple juice concentrate) and the vanilla, if you choose to use it.

To assemble the pie: Roll the larger piece of pastry into a 13″ circle. Transfer it to the prepared pan, and trim the edges so they overlap the rim of the pan by an inch all the way around. Spoon the apple filling into the pan. Dot the top with the diced butter.

Roll out the remaining pastry to an 11″ circle. Carefully place the pastry over the apples. Bring the overhanging bottom crust up and over the top crust, pinching to seal the two and making a decorative crimp. Prick the crust all over with a fork, to allow steam to escape. Or cut decorative vent holes, if desired. Alternatively, you can weave a lattice.

For extra crunch and shine, brush the top crust with milk (or an egg white beaten with 1 tablespoon of water), and sprinkle with coarse sugar. Place the pie in the refrigerator for 10 minutes to firm up the crust while the oven finishes heating.

Place the pie on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake the pie for 20 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 375°F and bake for 40 minutes more, until you see the filling bubbling inside the pie (and perhaps dripping onto the parchment). Check the pie after half an hour of baking time, and cover the edges with foil or a pie shield to keep them from browning too quickly, if necessary. When the pie is done — you should see the filling bubbling vigorously, either around the edges, or via any decorative vents — remove it from the oven.

Cool the pie completely before slicing — really. Cutting any fruit pie that’s still warm is a messy business. The filling continues to thicken as the pie cools, and if you cut it too soon it will run out all over the place. It’s better to bake the pie in advance, cool it completely, then warm each slice as needed after it’s been cut. Store any leftover pie, lightly covered, at room temperature for several days. Freeze for longer storage.

My Favorite Pies!

Lemon Truffle Pie

Breads, Breakfast, Quick Breads, Side Dish

Biscuits

This is new to me, I have never made biscuits without cutting shortening or butter into the flour, the recipe just uses heavy cream. This is recipe #14 of the kingarthurflour.com Best Basic Recipes. The recipe says you will get 9-11 biscuits, I feel like to get even 9 biscuits, I had to roll the dough too thin and the biscuits are pretty flat. They do have really good flavor and reminded me of getting Fisher Scones at the Ellensburg Rodeo! A tasty breakfast that took me down memory lane.

IMG_7728

1¾ cups flour
1/4 cup cornstarch
3/4 tsp salt
1 Tbl baking powder
2 tsp sugar
1-1¼ cups heavy cream
1-2 Tbl melted butter

Whisk together the flour, cornstarch, salt, baking powder, and sugar. Stir in enough heavy cream to moisten the dough thoroughly. You’ll probably use about 1 cup in the summer, 1 1/4 cups in the winter, and 1 cup + 2 tablespoons at the turn of the seasons. You want to be able to gather the dough together, squeeze it, and have it hang together easily, without dry bits falling off.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface, and very gently pat it into an 8″ circle about 3/4″ thick. If you’re uncertain about your ability to make a nice freeform 8″ round, pat the dough into a lightly floured 8″ round cake pan, then turn it out onto a lightly floured surface.

Use a sharp 2 ¼” biscuit cutter to cut rounds (I prefer to make a large square and use a pizza cutter and cut 9 squares, you’re only working the dough once). Place them on a lightly greased (or parchment-lined) baking sheet. Brush the biscuits with butter, if desired, for extra flavor. Place the pan in the freezer for 30 minutes. This will improve the biscuits’ texture and rise.

Preheat the oven to 425°F while the biscuits are in the freezer. Bake the biscuits for 20 minutes, till they’re golden brown. Remove from the oven. If you have any melted butter left over, brush it on the baked biscuits. Serve immediately.

More Delicious Biscuits!

Butter Swim Biscuits Buttermilk Biscuits

Cookies, Snacks

Oatmeal Cookies

I love oatmeal cookies, so I was glad to see this recipe in kingarthurflour.com‘s Best Basic Recipe Collection. As bakers, I think we tend to have our favorite go-to recipes, so it’s fun to bake through this collection and try some new things. I love raisins in oatmeal cookies, but in my family there are a few who think it is a crime to put raisins in cookies. A poor, unsuspecting person sees dark brown lumps in their oatmeal cookie and they think they will bite into a chunk of chocolate and then aaaaahhhhhh! It’s a raisin! Trickery of the worst kind! This is why I usually put butterscotch or chocolate chips in my oatmeal cookies. ;o)

Oatmeal Cookies KAF

4 Tbl butter
1/4 cup shortening
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1¼ tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vinegar
1 large egg
1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 cup flour
1½ cups oats, old-fashioned or quick
1 cup raisins (or other mix-in, chocolate chips, nuts, etc)

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease (or line with parchment) two baking sheets, light-colored preferred. Beat together the butter, shortening, sugars, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, and vinegar until fairly smooth; a few tiny bits of butter may still show. Beat in the egg, again beating until smooth. Add the baking soda and flour, beating until well incorporated. Add the oats (and raisins), stirring to combine.

Drop the dough in 1 1/4″ balls onto the prepared baking sheets; a tablespoon cookie scoop works well here. If you’re measuring, this is about 2 level tablespoons (using a tablespoon measure, not a dinner spoon). Space the cookies 2″ apart; they’ll spread. Bake the cookies for 12 to 14 minutes, reversing the pans halfway through (top rack to bottom, bottom to top). For softer cookies, bake the lesser amount of time; for crunchier, the longer amount. At 12 minutes, especially if you’re baking on a dark pan without parchment, a few of the cookies on the edge should just barely be showing a pale brown around their edges. At 14 minutes, they should be starting to color all over. Remove the cookies from the oven, and let them cool right on the pan. Yield: 22 to 24 cookies.

More Oatmeal Cookies!

Peanut Butter Fudge Oatmeal Cookies  Oatmeal Butterscotch Cookies  Peanut Butter Oatmeal M&M Cookies  Healthy Peanut Butter Oatmeal Bars

Breakfast, Muffins, Quick Breads

Famous Department Store Blueberry Muffins

It’s 1:30 pm, I’m still in my pajamas, and I have eaten four blueberry muffins. Just being honest about how quarantine is going. Hope you’re doing well, maybe bake some muffins and enjoy! This is recipe #12 on kingarthurflour.com‘s Best Basic Recipe Collection.

Blueberry Muffins 1

Blueberry Muffins 2   Blueberry Muffins 3

1/2 cup (8 Tbl) butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups flour
1/2 cup milk
2½ cups blueberries, fresh preferred
1/4 cup sugar, for topping

Preheat the oven to 375°F. Lightly grease a standard 12-cup muffin tin; or line the tin with papers, and grease the papers. In a medium-sized bowl, beat together the butter and sugar until well combined. Add the eggs one at a time, scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl and beating well after each addition. Beat in the baking powder, salt, and vanilla. Add the flour alternately with the milk, beating gently just to combine. Scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl. Mash 1/2 cup of the blueberries. Add the mashed and whole berries to the batter, stirring just to combine and distribute.

Scoop the batter by the heaping 1/4-cupful into the prepared muffin pan; a muffin scoop works well. Sprinkle about 1 teaspoon granulated sugar atop each muffin, if desired. It’s traditional — go for it! Bake the muffins for about 30 minutes, until they’re light golden brown on top, and a toothpick inserted into the middle of one of the center muffins comes out clean. Remove the muffins from the oven, loosen their edges from the pan, and after about 5 minutes transfer them to a rack to cool.

More Muffins to Enjoy!

Orange Chocolate Chip Muffins     Nutty Chocolate Chip Banana Bran Muffins     Red Velvet Chocolate Chip Muffins

Very Vanilla Crumble Muffins Chocolate Peanut Butter Chip Muffins

Breads, Yeast Breads

Golden Pull-Apart Butter Buns

These buns are delicious! Recipe #11 on kingarthurflour.com Best Basic Recipes collection. There’s nothing like homemade rolls/bread, and quarantine is a great time to practice our bread baking skills. Happy Baking!

Pull-Apart Rolls 1 copy

Pull-Apart Rolls 2 Pull-Apart Rolls 3 Pull-Apart Rolls 4

3½ cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp yeast
2 Tbl potato flour or 1/4 cup potato flakes
3 Tbl dry milk
2 Tbl sugar
1½ tsp salt
4 Tbl softened butter
2/3 cup warm water
1/2 cup warm water

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl, and mix and knead — using your hands, a stand mixer, or a bread machine set on the dough cycle — to make a soft, smooth dough. Place the dough in a lightly greased container, cover, and allow the dough to rise for 60 to 90 minutes, until it’s just about doubled in bulk. Gently deflate the dough, and transfer it to a lightly greased work surface.

Divide the dough into 16 equal pieces, by dividing in half, then in halves again, etc. Round each piece into a smooth ball. Lightly grease two 8″ round cake pans. Space 8 buns in each pan. Can you use 9″ round cake pans, or a 9″ x 13″ pan? Sure; the buns just won’t nestle together as closely, so their sides will be a bit more baked. Cover the pans, and allow the buns to rise till they’re crowded against one another and quite puffy, about 60 to 90 minutes. Towards the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 350°F.

Uncover the buns, and bake them for 22 to 24 minutes, until they’re golden brown on top and the edges of the center bun spring back lightly when you touch it. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the middle of the center bun should register at least 190°F. Remove the buns from the oven, and brush with 2 Tbl melted butter. After a couple of minutes, turn them out of the pan onto a cooling rack. Serve warm. Store leftovers well-wrapped, at room temperature.

More Roll Recipes!
Honey Wheat Rolls
Cornbread Yeast Rolls
One Hour Homemade Dinner Rolls
Sweet Honey Butter Rolls
Sweet Bread Rolls
Lion House Rolls

Breads, Breakfast, Quick Breads, Snacks

Whole-Grain Banana Bread

Moist and flavorful is what I will say about recipe #10 on kingarthurflour.com‘s Best Basic Recipe list. I say that after much grumbling about the burned overflow in the bottom of my oven and the burned smell that exists in my house. I am following these recipes as exact as I can to see if I agree with the word BEST given in the title.

So, as I poured the batter of this banana bread into the loaf pan and it goes scarily close to the top rim, I say to myself, this isn’t going to work. In my mind there is a battle brewing, that is way too much batter for that pan, no, trust the recipe and the pan size it says, follow the recipe as exact as possible, you better use a larger pan or separate into two smaller pans. You add quarantine to this situation and it’s not good!

Well, I went with trust the recipe and the pan size it says. All is cleaned up now, it’s not the prettiest loaf you will ever see, and you have the full story. Use a larger pan or two smaller ones, and you will have a moist and flavorful Whole-Grain Banana Bread. Ü

Whole-Grain Banana Bread

Batter
2 cups mashed banana, about 4-5 medium bananas
1/2 cup oil
1 cup brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup white whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup chopped walnuts, optional

Topping
1 Tbl sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 350°F with a rack in the center position. Lightly grease a 9″ x 5″ loaf pan; if your pan is glass or stoneware, reduce the oven temperature to 325°F. In a large bowl, stir together the mashed banana, oil, sugar, eggs, and vanilla. Weigh your flours; or measure them by gently spooning into a cup, then sweeping off any excess. Mix the flours, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and chopped walnuts into the banana mixture. Scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl and mix again to thoroughly combine the ingredients. Scoop the batter into the prepared pan. Mix together the sugar and cinnamon, and sprinkle over the batter.

Bake the bread for about 60 to 75 minutes, until the bread feels set on the top, and a paring knife (or other thin knife) inserted into the center comes out clean, or with just a few moist crumbs (but no wet batter). If you have a digital thermometer, the bread’s temperature at the center should register about 205°F. If the bread appears to be browning too quickly, tent it with aluminum foil for the final 15 to 20 minutes of baking. Note: If baking in a glass or stoneware pan, increase the baking time by 10 to 15 minutes. Remove the bread from the oven. Cool it in the pan for 15 minutes, then loosen the edges, and turn it out of the pan onto a rack to cool completely. Store leftover bread, tightly wrapped, at room temperature for several days. Freeze for longer storage.