Desserts and Baked Goods, Recipes

Boston Brown Bread with Milk Kefir

This school year brings American History lessons back to our homeschool, and one of the recent activities suggested in my daughter’s curriculum was making a colonial recipe. The recipe below is my take on Boston Brown Bread, using milk kefir instead of buttermilk. If you don’t have milk kefir, you can substitute buttermilk back instead.

Continue reading “Boston Brown Bread with Milk Kefir”

Desserts and Baked Goods, Recipes

Chocolate Chocolate Chip Muffins

You really can’t go wrong with any recipe that has “chocolate” twice in its name, can you? Well, this recipe is no exception. I originally found this recipe on About.com. The only thing I did differently was to use the extra muffin batter for a brownie-like cake (more on that below.)

Chocolate Chocolate Chip Muffins

Adapted from a recipe by Danilo Alfaro on About.com

Chocolate Chocolate Chip Muffins

Click here for a printable version of this recipe

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup cocoa powder
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 Tbsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1¼ cups whole milk
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 2 Tbsp butter, melted
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, plus 1/3 cup additional chocolate chips for sprinkling

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350° F. Thoroughly grease and flour a muffin pan, or you can use paper muffin liners.
  2. Combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, sugar and salt in a large bowl.
  3. In another bowl, combine the milk and the melted butter. (I add the milk just a little bit at a time so the butter doesn’t harden up again.) Then add the oil, and finally whisk in the beaten eggs and stir in the vanilla extract.
  4. Add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Do not over mix, or your muffins may be tough or hard. The batter should be visibly lumpy.
  5. With a rubber spatula, gently fold 1 cup of chocolate chips into the batter. Again – don’t overwork the batter.
  6. Carefully spoon the batter into the prepared muffin pan. I was able to fill the muffin cups up about ¾ of the way and they rose just the right amount for my liking.
  7. Finally, sprinkle the remaining chocolate chips onto the tops of the muffins, and transfer to the oven immediately.
  8. Bake 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean.

Mmm...Muffins!

Notes:

The original recipe says this batter makes 12 to 18 muffins. It definitely makes more than 12. In fact, I had enough leftover batter to pour into a small 8 inch round cake pan. I kept a close eye on this cake in the oven and pulled it out before the muffins (at about 15 minutes.) The resulting cake was thin, but still moist and a perfect base for a brownie bottom sundae. 🙂 However, you can always just make more muffins, if you have more than one muffin pan. Enjoy!

Desserts and Baked Goods, Recipes

Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars

These decadent treats taste just like the brand name peanut butter cups, only butter I mean, better!

This is one of those recipes that I feel necessitates a disclaimer. These are so, so good, but…the butter. Oh, so much butter. How could they not be good, right? I make these on special occasions (Christmas, Father’s Day, and most recently, Super Bowl Sunday) and cut them into small rectangles or squares so I can savor a little treat and then give the rest away or serve them at a party. Because, seriously. If these stayed in my house for too long, there’s no telling what would happen.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars

Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars

Click here for a printable version of this recipe

(makes 3 dozen or more depending on the size of squares/bars)

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup butter
  • 4 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 cups peanut butter
  • 1 ½ cups graham cracker crumbs, finely crushed
  • ½ cup butter
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Directions:

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Melt 1 cup butter over low heat. Remove from heat.

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Crush graham crackers (I used the ziploc/spatula handle smash technique this time, but sometimes I use the food processor) until they are fine crumbs and measure 1 ½ cups.

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In a large bowl, combine confectioners’ sugar and graham cracker crumbs. Add peanut butter, pour in melted butter, and stir thoroughly to combine.

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Spread mixture in a jelly roll pan. Pat down evenly.

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To Make Topping:

Melt together 1/2 cup butter with 1 cup chocolate chips. Spread this mixture over peanut butter mixture.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars

Refrigerate 1/2 hour. Cut into squares. Savor the yumminess.