New Pinterest Recipe of the Week: Strawberry Chocolate Chip Muffins

So before I get into the recipe, let me just say hello! I know I’ve been silent for a while. If the lack of posts didn’t give you a hint, we’ve been BUSY out here. There just never seemed to be enough time to sit down and write a post. Part of that was Big Bit being on fall break for a chunk of the time. She’s gotten used to having a nice, active day, so when she was on break we had to have something to do (preferably outside the house) or she, and thus the rest of us, would have gone crazy. We filled the time with trips to the zoo, the museum, just going for walks, etc. Anything to get her out of the house and burning off all that energy she has.

Anyway, one of her days at home, Big Bit decided to be my baking helper and so she actually assisted with this particular Pinterest recipe (she was a most excellent mixing assistant). Now, full disclosure, this isn’t my first time making these muffins. I made them once before for Hubs to take on a work shift. The original recipe comes from Sally’s Baking Addiction and it turned out well enough, but not quite to my taste. Granted, part of that was due to the fact that from the get go I was making tweaks to the original recipe, so this time around was for me to tweak my tweaks. Anyway, I’m going to give you my version, but by all means, go back to the source and try the original, if you care to. I’ll explain some of the changes I made further after the recipe.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup packed, light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup and 2 Tbsp unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 cup diced strawberries
  • 1/3 cup mini chocolate chips (I used semi-sweet)

Preheat your oven to 350°F and either spray your muffin tin with non-stick spray or use liners. As you know, I prefer the liner method.

In a bowl, combine your dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, and cinnamon). In a separate, and slightly larger bowl, combine the white and brown sugars with the applesauce until there aren’t any lumps. Once the sugar/applesauce mixture is smooth add the egg. Then take the dry ingredients and add them to the wet, mixing until they are just combined. Gently fold in the strawberries and chocolate chips.

Spoon out your batter into your muffin tin (I got an even dozen). Bake for 15-20 minutes depending on your oven. When done the tops should be lightly browned and a tester stick should come out clean. Mine took closer to the 20 minutes than the 15, so unless your oven runs hot, I wouldn’t check them until about 17 minutes in to the bake time, and even then they might need an extra minute or two. Allow them to cool and then enjoy.Strawberry Chocolate Chip Muffins

Tweaks and Overall Review

Ok, so what did I change and why. Well, first off, I increased the amount of cinnamon used. I just like the taste of cinnamon, so this was totally a personal preference. Second, the original recipe calls only for an egg white, but I just went ahead and used a whole egg. Granted, that makes my version less “skinny” than the original, but for only doing a batch of these at a time, unless I happen to have a spare egg white lying around (which I never do), I’ll just use the whole egg and skip separating it and then trying to figure out something to do with the yolk. Using the whole egg rather than just the white does make the muffins a little richer, but since I’m not overly concerned about calorie counts for myself, I don’t mind. If you want to go ahead and just use an egg white like in the original, go ahead. It shouldn’t have to much of an impact on the overall flavor. When it came to strawberries I upped the amount from 2/3 of a cup to a full cup. The first time I made these I stuck with the original measurement and there just didn’t seem to be enough strawberry flavor in combination with the chocolate. Part of that was my use of semi-sweet chips rather than a milk chocolate or even a dark chocolate chip, so the chocolate flavor was pretty strong to begin with. By increasing the amount of strawberry pieces in the batter, I was able to get a better balance between the chocolate and the strawberries.

I’m really happy with how this batch turned out. The original recipe was good, but now I think I’ve got this to where it suits my own tastes perfectly. Once again, they were a huge success when my husband took them to work. I hope you like them, too. I’d be really interested to hear from other people who try this recipe both ways and what their thoughts are or any tweaks they make themselves.

Enjoy your muffins!

Advertisements

New Pinterest Recipe of the Week: Baked Oatmeal with Strawberries, Banana, and Chocolate

My dad and stepmom stopped for a quick visit as part of a larger road trip and I made breakfast the morning they were here. I needed to find something at least semi-healthy and this seemed like a good compromise between delicious and relatively good for you. The original recipe came from Inspired Taste, but I tweaked it quite a bit so I will be giving you my adaptation based on the original recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups old fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar and approx. 3 Tbsp. separate
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1-2 tsp. cinnamon, depending on taste
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • 2 cups sliced strawberries
  • 1/3 cup dark chocolate mini-chocolate chips
  • 2 cups milk (I used whole milk)
  • 1 large egg
  • 3 Tbsp. butter, melted (I used unsalted)
  • 2-3 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 large ripe banana, peeled and sliced

Preheat your oven to 375°F and spray a 2 qt. baking dish with cooking spray, then place it on a baking sheet.

In a large bowl mix together oats, brown sugar (1/3 cup), baking powder, cinnamon, salt, half of the walnuts, half of the sliced strawberries, and half of the chocolate chips. Put mixture in your baking dish and then top with you remaining strawberries, banana, walnuts, and chocolate chips.

In another bowl, whisk together the egg, milk, melted butter, and vanilla extract. Pour this mixture over the oat/fruit mixture in the baking dish. Gently shake the baking dish to make sure the milk mixture makes it throughout the oat/fruit mixture.

Sprinkle the extra brown sugar you set aside over the top and bake in the oven for 35-40 minutes. Top should be golden brown and the milk should be set.

IMG_1403

Tweaks and Overall Review:

Like I said above, this was a recipe that I sort of ran with from the beginning. The main changes I made from the original were in the amounts of ingredients used. I used double the amount of strawberries and walnuts and also increased the amount of cinnamon and vanilla (though this was done to my taste, feel free to adjust them to whatever you prefer). I did omit one thing from the original recipe, which was orange zest. I am not particularly fond of oranges (food sensitivity) and so I don’t keep them on hand. It seemed silly to buy an orange just for a little bit of zest.

How did this turn out? In a word: YUM! This was a great way to start the morning. The bananas infused a nice flavor to the oats and, of course, blended very well with the melted chocolate. At the same time, when you got a bite of strawberry, there was a nice burst of flavor on top of the banana and chocolate. The walnuts gave a nice texture and crunch to the finished dish, so it wasn’t all soft and chewy. Also, this reheated very well the next day (though there was only a small portion leftover in the first place) so if you make it for a Sunday breakfast, the leftovers (if there are any) will still make a lovely breakfast on Monday as well.

 

For Memorial Day:

Today is Memorial Day, a day to honor those who didn’t come home. Enjoy your holiday, but please take a moment to remember who this holiday was established for: the men and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice in service to their country.