Flourless banana muffins


I’m a rather big fan of banana muffins. Mostly because they’re just as tasty as banana bread, but cook faster and are easier to transport. Plus, you can add all kinds of things, like blueberries, to them and they’re still wonderful. My usual recipe calls for flour, but some how we were out. So I found this recipe from Chase and Em’s blog. With a few modifications, I had some super fast, delicious, friend-worthy muffins.

Ingredients:
2 and 1/2 cups quick cooking oats (regular plain old Quaker is what we used)
1 cup vanilla yogurt (we used HyVee brand. Feel free to use plain. The original recipe called for Greek.)
2 eggs
3/4 cup sugar
1 and 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 ripe bananas

Directions:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray muffin tin with non-stick cooking spray or line with silicone or foil liners. Grind the oatmeal into oatmeal flour (we used our coffee grinder for this, a half cup at a time) and put in a mixing bowl. Mix in the rest of the ingredients, mashing the banana. Pour into the coated or lined muffin tins (ours took about a half cup each) making sure to leave room for the muffins to rise. Bake for 15-25 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean. Our oven took a little more than 20 minutes. Just set a timer for 15 minutes, check, if necessary add another 5 ,check, and then keep a close eye after that. Makes about 18 muffins.

My opinion:
Just as easy as the old standby box mix, these muffins were wonderful. We ended up freezing about half and they are just as good warmed up in the microwave for about 30 seconds.

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C’s Texas Sheet Cake

I’ve mentioned before, my sister, C, has a knack for perfecting baked goods. She did it again with this super delicious, never dry (even after three days!) recipe. It’s a combination of Joy of Cooking and our Mom’s family recipe.

 

Ingredients and Directions:
Have all ingredients at room temperature, about 70 degrees f. Pre-heat the over to 375 degrees f. Grease a 13×9 pan. if you don’t have the pan, you can use 2 round pans for an 8×11 pan and a loaf pan (the pan isn’t the most important part).

Whisk together in a large bowl until well blended:
2 cups sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt

Combine in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring constantly:
1 cup strong, black coffee (apparently, this is Mom’s secret ingredient)
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
1/2 unsweetened cocoa powder

Pour the hot mixture over dry ingredients and stir together just until smooth. Let cool slightly (about 3-5 minutes), then work in:
2 large eggs
1/2 buttermilk (regular milk works, too)
1 tsp vanilla

Scrape the batter into the pan and spread evenly. Bake until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 20-25 minutes. Let cool in the pan for about 3-5 minutes (until the cake is just warm) and spread on the icing.

Mom’s Icing:
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 tbs unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 cup milk
3 1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla

Mix together and spread over warm sheet cake.

My opinion:
I might like this better than regular chocolate cake. Hard to believe, I know, but it is so good. I can’t wait for the next time C has a reason to make it!

Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Party Dip


I love cookie dough. And chocolate chip cookie dough is my favorite. I also know all about salmonella and the dangers of eating raw cookie dough. Now that one of my very dear friends is expecting (Congrats again!), I had to find a way to indulge in cookie dough. I found this recipe on Pinterest and modified it a bit.

Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups Garbonzo Beans
1/8 tsp Salt
1/8 tsp Baking Soda
2 tsp Pure Vanilla Extract
1/4 cup Almond Butter, No Stir (or peanut butter for a peanut buttery taste)
1/2 cup Light Brown Sugar
1/3 cup Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
1/4 cup Skim Milk
3 tbsp Oatmeal

Directions:
Add all the ingredients except the chocolate chips in a food processor and blend until smooth. Remove from processor and add to serving bowl. Mix in the chocolate chips. Serve with graham crackers or graham cracker sticks.

My opinion:
Even though I know it isn’t real cookie dough, it’s close enough! I’m really tempted to make this for an upcoming party and not tell anyone it’s mostly healthy and see what happens.

M&M cookies

I don’t bake very often, so around the holidays I bake up a storm. This year I made M&M cookies from scratch. I followed the traditional Toll House recipe, except I use M&Ms instead of chocolate chips.

Ingredients:
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs
2 cups (or one package M&Ms) I prefer more M&Ms to less.

Directions:
PREHEAT oven to 375° F.
COMBINE flour, baking soda and salt in small bowl. Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract in large mixer bowl until creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in morsels and nuts. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto ungreased baking sheets.
BAKE for 9 to 11 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.

My Opinion:
For some reason these turned out way fluffy. I prefer chewy cookies, so I was a bit disappointed. Also, I did not use nearly enough M&Ms. Parts of the cookies had no M&Ms at all! Next year, I’ll be sure to add the whole bag, not just 2 cups.

This week’s food posts are brought to you by#cookchat. My co-moderator, Matt LaCasse and I are announcing #cookchat’s triumphant return on Thursday January 20, a 8 p.m. CST. Join us for an hour of food filled conversation.

Family Bran Muffins

These are a tradition for my husband’s family to eat on Christmas morning. Be warned, while the name is bran, the taste and nutritional values are regular, bakery inspired, delicious muffins.

Ingredients:
2 shredded wheat biscuits (each is about 2 ½ by 4 inches)
1 cup boiling water
1 ½ cups sugar
3/8 cups butter
1 pint (2 cups) buttermilk
2 eggs
2 ½ teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups bran flakes
2 ½ cups flour

Directions:
Pour boiling water over shredded wheat biscuits. Let cool. Cream sugar and butter-or-shortening together until light and fluffy. Add cooled shredded wheat biscuits. Add eggs separately, beating until well blended. Stir baking soda into buttermilk. Add buttermilk and soda to mixture. Add salt, bran flakes and flour. Stir just to blend. Store in refrigerator for three days. Do not stir. Spoon into muffin cups (1/2 -3 /4 filled). Bake at 400 degrees for 10 – 15 minutes.

My Opinion:
I actually ran out of flour when I made this a few days before Christmas. I didn’t add the rest of the 2 cups of flour until Christmas Eve. I also added more baking soda because I prefer fluffy muffins to scone-esque ones. Every year we make these they get better.

This week’s food posts are brought to you by#cookchat. My co-moderator, Matt LaCasse and I are announcing #cookchat’s triumphant return on Thursday January 20, a 8 p.m. CST. Join us for an hour of food filled conversation.