Bakery Style Chocolate Chip Muffins

 

three choc chip muffins

The infamous Lucy Jane woke up this morning and wanted chocolate chip muffins. As a mother who never lets her children down (oh how I wish that were true), I indulged. We actually made them together and it was fun to be in the kitchen with my daughter making breakfast (or dessert, depending on your perspective). We decided to double the recipe so that we could freeze a dozen and use them for snacks in their lunches for the upcoming week.

 

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The secret to these moist, tasty muffins is the buttermilk! You can use whole or regular milk, but these babies texture and taste are best when the buttermilk is used. And since we all are chocolate lovers in this house, I don’t skimp and use the mini chocolate chips. But if you are not into eating dessert first thing in the morning, the mini chips may be a good idea for you. ūüôā

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Bakery Style Chocolate Chip Muffins

Preheat oven to 425 degrees

  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 Tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla
  • half a bag of semi sweet chocolate chips

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and chocolate chips. Set aside. In a medium bowl, mix together melted butter, sugar, eggs, buttermilk and vanilla. Mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and gently fold together until combined. Scoop batter into a 12 cup muffin tin. Fill the cups close to the top. Bake the muffins at 425 for 5 minutes, then turn the heat down to 375 and bake for another 13-15 minutes.

Yields 1 dozen

 

English Flapjacks

When I first heard about English Flapjacks, this is NOT what I envisioned at all! Flapjacks here in America mean some sort of pancake. I guess I thought¬†they would¬†be big, fluffy pancakes with some stewed tomatoes on top or something. (yuck, gross!) But as I learned more about them, I discovered that they are made out of rolled oats, with sugar and butter in them. I, of course, was instantly a fan. Sugar and butter? Yes, I want to eat these! They are really simple to make and are a great “on the go” breakfast or snack.

ENGLISH FLAPJACKS

  • 3 cups old fashoined oats (not instant)
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar¬†
  • 4 Tbsp. corn syrup¬†

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Put your butter, brown sugar, and syrup in saucepan. ¬†Heat on low until the butter and sugar have both melted. ¬†You’ll be able to tell if the sugar has melted when you drag your spoon across the bottom of the pan. ¬†If it still feels gritty, it’s not melted yet.

Once that mixture is melted, stir in the oats.

Once it’s well-mixed, press the mixture into a 8″ square pan and bake at 350 for 30 minutes.

Gram’s Up ‘N’ Down Biscuits

My mom made these biscuits for us when I was a kid. And her mom made them for her when she was a kid! They’ve been in the family a long time. I decided to share these today because I keep seeing cinnamon pull apart bread recipes on Pinterest and it made me realize that my Gram was way ahead of her time! These are, of course, a little thicker and more dense than the pull apart bread, but it’s the same concept. Warm, cinnamony, breakfast treat that will be devoured!

These biscuits bring a flood of memories back. I can just see my mom now in her robe, rolling out the dough, doing a double batch because we ate so many, and me begging to taste them before they were even out of the oven. And really people, they are so easy to make. So treat your family (and you!) to a yummy breakfast treat. I know my husband and kids are so happy every time I make these.

Gram’s Up ‘N’ Down Biscuits

  • 2 cups flour
  • ¬Ĺ teaspoon salt
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3 Tablespoons sugar
  • ¬Ĺ cup shortening or butter
  • 2/3 cup milk

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

In a medium mixing bowl, cut the shortening into dry ingredients. Add milk and stir. Knead 10 times on floured board. Roll into a rectangle 1/4″ thick.

Melt ¬ľ ¬†cup butter. Spread on the dough. Sprinkle a mixture of ¬ľ cup sugar and 1 Tablespoon cinnamon over the buttered dough. ¬†Cut into 5 lengthwise strips. Stack strips one on top of the other, then cut into 12 pieces. Place each piece on its side (so that the 5 layers are visible) in greased muffin tin.

Bake for 12 minutes.

***Anyone who knows me knows that I am a sugarholic. So, I added a quick glaze to smother these biscuits in. Gram’s recipe does not call for this, and honestly, they don’t need it. But somehow the glaze keeps calling to me! (1/2 cup powdered sugar, 2 Tablespoons milk and a splash of vanilla)

The biscuits before going in the oven

Oven Roasted Bacon

I know this seems simple enough, but surprisingly, many people don’t know about this method for cooking bacon. ¬†Oven roasting the bacon is quick, easy, and produces a nice crunchy evenly cooked bacon slice everytime. ¬†I promise you that once you do this, you’ll never scorch your poor little hands frying bacon in a pan ever again! ¬† And best of all, there’s no greasy messy stove top to clean when you’re done.

Oven Roasted Bacon

  • 1 pound thick cut bacon

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Line a jelly roll pan with parchment paper or aluminmum foil.  Lay out strips of bacon on pan side by side.  Bake in oven for about 15 Р20 minutes until the bacon is nice and crispy.  Remove from oven, and drain bacon on paper towels to remove excess grease.  Serve.

So, you can probably guess from the picture above where I’m going with this… crispy bacon = BLT! ¬†I don’t eat this sandwich a lot, but something about smelling that bacon cooking and knowing that I had some wonderful ripe pearl tomatoes in my fridge made me start thinking about how good a BLT would taste.

I like mine that plain, old fashioned way.  Just 2 slices of lightly toasted white bread, laid out open faced, each with a dollop of Best Foods mayonaise spread on it.  Then I line each slice with 3 slices of bacon.  Put some tomatoes on one side, some lettuce on the other and press the 2 together.  Delish!

Just try to tell me you don’t want one of these right now! ¬†Go ahead, make yourself one… it’s easy!

Margie’s Energy Bars

MARGIE’S ENERGY BARS

 

My friend Margie brings these to our tennis matches for a quick pick me up, or an after match refresher.  They are simple to make and simply delicious to eat!  An added bonus, my kids LOVE them.

 

  • 2 ¬Ĺ cups crisped rice cereal
  • 2 cups quick cooking oats
  • 1 cup raisins
  • ¬Ĺ cup unsalted nuts (peanuts, sliced almonds, pecans, or use your favorite)
  • 1 bag mini marshmallows
  • ¬ľ cup butter
  • ¬Ĺ cup creamy peanut butter

 

On a jelly roll pan, in a 250 degree oven, warm the cereal, oats and raisins for 10 minutes.

 

Meanwhile in a large pot over low heat, melt the butter, peanut butter and marshmallows.  Heat through and stir until well combined.

 

Add the warm dry ingredients to the marshmallow mixture, and stir to thoroughly coat.

 

Pour into a buttered 9×13 pan and press down to condense mixture.¬† Cut into squares and serve.

Lemon Muffins

My house smells so good! Lemon muffins have to be one of my favorite things to take out of the oven and then to eat! I have tried and experimented with several lemon muffin recipes. Some are too tart, too sweet, to dry. This recipe puts all others to shame. The secret sauce “topping” gives it that extra tang that I think several lemon muffin recipes are lacking. If you are feeling saucy, add some blueberries or cranberries. I just prefer the plain old lemon today. Yum!

Lemon Muffins

  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • ¬†3/4 cup sugar
  • ¬†1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • ¬† 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¬† 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ¬† 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • ¬† 1 egg
  • ¬† 1 cup lemon yogurt
  • ¬† 6 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted
  • ¬† ¬†1 tablespoon lemon juice

Topping

  • 1/3 cup lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

In a large bowl, combine the first six ingredients. In another bowl, using a wire whisk, beat the egg, yogurt, butter and lemon juice. Stir into dry ingredients until just moistened. Fill greased muffin cups two-thirds full. Bake for for 12-16 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes. Leave muffins in pan. Using a toothpick, poke 6 holes in each muffin. In a saucepan, combine the topping ingredients. Cook and stir over low heat until sugar is dissolved. Spoon over warm muffins.

Yields 12 muffins

Baby Shower Edition Part II…The Food

What makes a great baby shower? I dare say the food! I planned the shower as a “morning” shower and so went with brunch like finger foods. It was delish! The menu¬†was as follows:

Mini cinnamon rolls

Broccoli Ham Crustless Quiche

Mini Muffins (assorted)

Fruit Platter

Pinky Punch

Water

I didn’t get as many pictures as I would have liked, but you get the idea! For added touches to the water, I made my own labels. The labels were printed on a thick scrapbook paper that I found at Michael’s and they said “G is for Girl.” The punch recipe was a light and refreshing drink.

Pinky Punch

  • 64 ounces of Apple juice
  • 64 ounces Cranberry juice
  • 1 liter of Gingerale
  • ice

The main dishes were breakfast food and as always the Cinnamon Rolls were a hit! They never disappoint! Go HERE to make them, too!

And lastly, the recipe for the Crustless Quiche. It is made in a 9×13 pan, but I was trying to keep with the theme of “finger foods”, so I cut the quiche into mini size portion using a biscuit cutter. It turned out cute and it was easy to serve. The biscuit cutter is from a set of¬†5 that my mom gave me as a gift from Sur la Table. They are now a must have in my kitchen! I use them all the time! Go HERE to check them out!

Broccoli Ham Crustless Quiche

  • 12 eggs
  • 1 pint cottage cheese
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 5 Tablespoons flour
  • 8-12 ounce ham steak, cubed
  • 3 cup broccoli floweretees, blanched
  • 2 cup chopped fresh mushrooms
  • 1 cup onion
  • 3 cups grated cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large mixing bowl beat together eggs, cottage cheese, sour cream and flour. In a medium saucepan saute mushrooms and onion until cooked. (about 5 minutes) Grease a 9×13 baking dish. (I used spray vegetable oil) Put the cubed ham steak in an even layer on the bottom of the dish. Then layer mushroom/onions and broccoli. Then sprinkle the cheese over the veggies. Pour egg mixture over the top and bake for 45 minutes. (insert toothpick in the middle to make sure the eggs are cooked all the way through. Voila!

So with the assorted muffins I ended up cheating a bit. I asked a friend to bring them from a store! I was running out of time and knew I wouldn’t have time to make them! But I promise to post an amazing lemon muffin recipe soon! Yum!

German Pancakes

 

We’re Back!!! Shannon and I have had a nice holiday break and spent some time with family and friends. But we are ready to start sharing some of our tried and true, family¬†favorite recipes again! We hope that 2012 finds each of you well and happy and wish the best for a healthy and prosperous new¬†year. We are still in the middle of trying to get our cookbook out! It¬†is taking way longer than we anticipated to find the right publisher, but we hope to make some serious headway this year! So I am starting with a family favorite around our household. A simple, but delicious German Pancake. While it is definitely a breakfast dish, there is no harm in admitting that I have served this for dinner before. Who doesn’t like breakfast for dinner every once in a while? The coolest thing about the German Pancake is the shape it takes on while in the oven. It puffs, it grows, it appears¬†to be¬†trying to escape your pan. If you have little ones (like I do), they will probably want to¬†sit by the oven and watch this transformation take place!

German Pancakes

  • 1 stick of butter
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup flour

While oven is being preheated to 425 degrees, put the stick of butter in a 9×13 baking dish and put in the oven. While butter is melting, blend together in a medium mixing bowl: milk, eggs and salt. Use an electric mixer or blender. Gradually add flour. When batter is smooth with no lumps, pour over the melted butter in the 9×13 pan. (make sure to keep an eye on that butter and not burn it!)¬†Bake for 15-20 minutes. Cut into serving sizes and top with syrup, powdered sugar, or jam!

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Shannon’s Famous Cinnamon Rolls

Alright people, I’m about to let you in on a huge secret! ¬†These rolls are coveted in my community… people pay gazillions of dollars for these little honeys ¬†(ok that’s an exaggeration, but I do sell a TON of them thru the holidays). ¬†And, the truth is, they are easy. ¬†Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezy! ¬†All it takes is a bread machine, a little time, and roll pin. ¬†See.. easy! ¬†All you have to do is plop the ingredients into your bread machine and set it to the dough setting and let it do all the work for you! ¬†Have more than one bread maker, as I do? ¬†You can produce these en mass, as I have done in the picture above. ¬†And truly, it takes the same amount of time to make 2 dozen or 10 dozen… just depends on how many bread machines you can get working for you.

I’ve also included the options to make the basic roll recipe into orange rolls, dinner rolls, cinnamon rolls, or an apple braid. ¬†As you can tell, this recipe is super versatile. ¬†You pretty much fashion them into whatever bread item you want to make. ¬†I also use this recipe to make buttery white bread, cinnamon pull aparts, cinnamon raisin bread, monkey bread… the options are endless. ¬†So, here’s just a few to get you started.

Make these throughout the holiday season and you will become the star of each and every dinner party, Christmas breakfast, Thanksgiving celebration, or family event! ¬†Seriously, and you’re welcome!

Shannon’s Best Ever Rolls

Basic Roll Recipe

  • 1 2/3 cups Water
  • 2 Tablespoons Butter
  • 4 2/3 cups Flour
  • 2/3 cup Sugar
  • 2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 rounded Tablespoon yeast

In the chamber of a bread maker add all ingredients except the yeast.  Stir around to blend sugar into mixture.  Add yeast.

Set bread maker to ‚Äúdough‚ÄĚ setting‚Ķ wait for cycle to finish (should take about an hour and a half)

When cycle is complete, turn out dough onto a board sprayed with non-stick cooking spray, and shape to desired type of roll.

Cinnamon Rolls

Cinnamon mixture:

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • ¬ľ cup cinnamon
  • ¬Ĺ cup flour

Mix the above ingredients in a bowl

In a separate bowl melt 1 stick butter

Divide dough into 2 even sections.¬† Roll out one section(using Pam) into a rectangle.¬† Brush with butter.¬† Sprinkle with ¬ľ cup cinnamon mixture.¬† Roll up and cut into rolls.¬† (Should make about 9 pieces)¬† Repeat with second section of dough (So entire batch makes 18 rolls)

*At this point dough can be frozen or baked.  See baking instructions.

Dinner Rolls

Divide dough into 3 equals parts.  Roll into circles and cut into 8 crescent shaped pieces.  Roll into crescents.  *At this point dough can be frozen or baked.  See baking instructions.

Orange rolls

Follow basic roll recipe, except add the zest of one orange to the dough ingredients.

Then divide dough into 2 equal parts.  Roll into rectangles, and cut into 12 strips, vertically. Tie strips into knots, tucking ends under to form rosettes.  *At this point dough can be frozen or baked.  See baking instructions.

Apple Braid

Divide the dough into 2 equal parts.¬† Roll each part into a rectangle, keeping the middle section of the rectangle at double the thickness of the side sections.¬† Brush middle with butter, and sprinkle with ¬ľ cup cinnamon mixture.¬† Then top with sliced, peeled apples.¬† Cut the sides diagonally and fold over each other in a braid.¬† See illustration.¬† * At this point dough can be frozen or baked.¬† See baking instructions.

Glaze for Cinnamon rolls and Apple Braid

1 stick butter, melted

8 cups powdered sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla

milk to desired consistency

Glaze for Orange Rolls

1 stick butter, melted

8 cups powdered sugar

orange juice to desired consistency

* both of these glazes can be poured into plastic bags (in 1 cup portions)and frozen with the rolls, then left on the counter to defrost while the rolls are baking.  Then just snip a corner off the plastic bag and pipe onto rolls.

Baking Instructions for Rolls:

Place rolls onto a jelly roll pan that has been sprayed with non-stick cooking spray.  Allow rolls to rise for a couple of hours or longer, covered by a dish towel until the desired volume is achieved.

Bake at 375 degrees for 12-15 minutes, or until tops are lightly browned.

If you have chosen to premake the rolls and freeze them, there are 2 baking methods:

Quick Method

  • Remove rolls from freezer & place in a 9×13 pan that has been sprayed with a non-stick spray (Pam.)
  • Leave on counter to rise for 1 hour.
  • Leave bag of glaze on the counter to thaw.
  • After an hour, place the rolls in a 200 degree oven for 20 minutes.
  • Remove rolls from oven and reset temperature to 375 degrees.
  • When oven reaches 375, put rolls back in and bake for

12 minutes for dinner rolls or orange rolls

15-18 minutes for cinnamon rolls or apple  braid,

until tops are golden brown.

  • For rolls with glaze (orange, cinnamon, apple braid.¬† Snip the bottom corner off the glaze bag, and pipe glaze onto warm rolls

 Overnight Method (this is what I prefer):

  • Remove rolls from freezer & place in a 9×13 pan that has been sprayed with a non-stick spray (Pam.)
  • Leave on counter to rise overnight.
  • Leave bag of glaze on the counter to thaw.
  • Bake rolls at¬† 375 degrees for

12 minutes for dinner rolls or orange rolls

15-18 minutes for cinnamon rolls or apple braid,

until tops are golden brown.

  • For rolls with glaze (orange, cinnamon, apple braid.¬† Snip the bottom corner off the glaze bag, and pipe glaze onto warm rolls.

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Blueberry Muffins

Do you ever go to the grocery store looking purely disgusting and then you run into someone you know, and they, of course look fabulous? You are embarrassed and trying to end the conversation quickly. You want out of the store before the person notices that your hair really hasn’t been washed for 4 days instead of the 2 you sheepishly admitted to. I went to the store the other night to get blueberries and I am happy to report that I was the one looking fabulous! That’s right, we had just had our family pictures taken and I was dressed for the occasion, makeup on, hair done, and I didn’t see a soul I knew! Isn’t that the way it always works? I had been craving these muffins for a while now and knew that I needed to make them this weekend. They were our Sunday morning breakfast. The hubs had 3! They are moist, tasty, and the streusel on top makes them seem so fancy! Oh, because they are! We all need a go-to delicious blueberry muffin recipe, right? Here ya go…you’re welcome!

Blueberry Muffins

  • 1 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cup fresh blueberries

Streusel:

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup butter, cubed
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

In a large mixing bowl combine flour, baking powder, salt, sugar and lemon zest. Make a well in the center. In a small mixing bowl whisk together egg, buttermilk, oil and vanilla. Pour in the middle of the well in the flour mixture. Stir until just combined. Gently fold in blueberries to batter. Either spray your muffin tin with vegetable spray or use cupcake liners and fill muffin tins 2/3 full.

For the streusel: Combine sugar, flour, and cinnamon. Then cut in butter with a pastry cutter or fork. Mixture should be crumbly. Sprinkle over the batter on top of each muffin tin. Bake for 18 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into muffin, comes out clean. (Makes 12 muffins)

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