Tag Archives: Chocolate Chips

On The Healthier Side… Kinda

16 Sep

Banana Chocolate Chip Blondies

I wanted to try a little something different this week than what I would typically call a “go to” for a relaxing night of baking. I was originally drawn to this recipe because it was healthy and low in calorie… I then took that recipe and made them delicious. That 87 calorie high energy “dessert” became a dense and fabulous banana chocolate chip blondie.

I’m all for healthy (I am getting married in a month!), but when it comes to my desserts/breakfast/baking/just about all meals, I try not to concentrate too much on the calorie count. My thought process: there’s bananas and oats in it, it’s TOTALLY healthy! Then you add the sugar, but in all honesty, this recipe has some great substitutes for the standard baking ingredients.

My fiance, Rob, is a huge fan of bananas so i wanted to incorporate some in my next recipe along with experimenting with some unique ingredients. These blondies come out thick, dense and full of flavor. I hope you enjoy them as much as we did! They are simple to make and definitely on my list to make again.

Blondies

Blondies display

Prep Time: 10 Minutes
Cook Time: 20 Minutes
Total Time: 30 Minutes
Yields: 16 Bars

 What You’ll Need

  • 2 Ripe Bananas
  • 1 3/4 Cups of Oats (or ground up granola)
  • 2 Tablespoons (30 grams) of Peanut Butter (I’m a Jiff creamy fan, Rob is a Skippy Crunchy fan – it’s a daily battle)
  • 1 Teaspoon of Baking Powder
  • 2 Tablespoons (30 grams) of Honey
  • 4 Tablespoons of Granulated Sugar
  • 1 Teaspoon of Salt
  • 1/2 Cup of Low Fat Vanilla Greek Yogurt
  • 1 Teaspoon of Vanilla Extract
  • 1 Cup of semi sweet Chocolate Chips

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 390 degrees F and grease an 8 x 8 inch baking dish. Set aside.
  2. Throw ALL ingredients, except for the chocolate chips (I told you this recipe is easy!) into a food processor and blend until smooth
  3. Transfer to a medium bowl and fold in half of the chocolate chips into the batter
  4. Pour into the prepared baking dish and sprinkle the remainder of the chocolate chips over the top of the bars
  5. Bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. These bars are VERY moist when they are taken out of the oven, but will set and firm a bit as they cool. Be careful not to over cook as they will dry out quickly.
    Blondies with tray
  6. Once cooled, cut into 16 bars. I cut into 9 and realized just how dense these bars really are! Learn from my mistake, cut into 16 bars!
    blondies with mits

I hope you all enjoy these as much as Rob and I did! They’re perfect for a casual Saturday afternoon with a cup of coffee and a good book!

unnamed

Enjoy!
Kristin

Chocolate Chip Muffins

14 Nov

This past Saturday in baking class, if you remember from Baking School – Weeks 6,7 & 8, we made these blueberry muffins that were to die for! Of course, being the chocolate lover that I am, I went home and tried out the recipe with some chocolate chips and I have to say, they came out pretty amazing! This recipe is so quick and simple that maybe (I can’t say for certain because I don’t want to get the 16 people’s hope up that are coming!) I’ll make them Thanksgiving morning.

My family is famous for their breakfasts. Every Sunday morning growing up I’d wake up to the smell of my mom cooking bacon and eggs and my dad whipping up pancakes and waffles and before I could even make it down the stairs my dad has already been to the Bagel Store in town to pick up news papers, bagels, muffins and fruit. Now, you’d think through reading half of these stories in here that my entire family is about 500 pounds… Luckily we’ve all been blessed with a fast metabolism! Let’s just hope it continues that way! Anyway, making these muffins brought me back to the happiness of Sunday morning breakfast as a kid. I hope you enjoy making them as much as I did.

What You’ll Need:

  • 264 grams of Flour (2 Cups)
  • 1 tbs of Baking Powder
  • 1/2 tsp of Salt
  • 1 Egg * Room Temperature
  • 200 grams of Granulated Sugar (1 Cup)
  • 60 grams of Melted Butter (4 tbs)
  • 290 grams of Sour Cream (1 and 1/3 Cups) * Room Temperature
  • 200 grams of Chocolate Chips (1 and 1/4 cup)

To Prepare:

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F
  • Butter the top of your muffin tin and place in the paper inserts

Directions:

In a large bowl sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside

In a separate bowl, mix together the egg, sugar, melted butter and sour cream. Keep in mind, the sour cream and the egg should be at room temperature. Remember from All You Need to Know – Eggs that an easy way to bring an egg to room temperature is just to place it in a bowl of warm water for a couple of minutes rather than leaving it out for a long period of time.

Add the chocolate chips into the dry mixture. We add them into the dry so that we the chocolate chips are well-distributed through the muffins. If they are added to the wet ingredients they’ll sink to the bottom, and who really likes the bottom of a muffin anyway? The top is the best part!

Add the liquid mixture into the dry ingredients and using your rubber spatula, combine with as few strokes as possible. You don’t want to overwork the dough.

Now here comes a little trick: Any time I make cupcakes or muffins I always use an ice cream scooper to scoop from the bowl to the prepared tin. Well, this past week in baking class I learned an even better way that is faster, easier and cleaner that I’m going to share with you! It may sound a little tricky, but trust me it makes life so easy once you get the hang of it!

Take an ordinary pastry bag and cut the tip enough so that the dough and chocolate chips can fit through (note: if you’re using blueberries or cherries the hole with have to be the appropriate size for the fruit to fit through – some of you may think this is obvious, but you’d be surprised!). Fold the cut tip over a bit and place the pastry bag in a large cup (or a measuring cup like I did) and fold down the edges around the outside

Scoop the dough into the pastry bag. Since the top sides are folded down they’ve remained clean! Lay the pastry bag flat on the counter and with a plastic scraper, or anything with an edge, hold the top of the bag and push the dough to the tip of the bag.

Twist the top of the pastry bag and you’re ready to go!

Fill each individual muffin roughly 3/4 up.

Bake for 25 -30 minutes or until the tops of the muffins start to brown. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes and then transfer to a wire rack.

Enjoy!

A Family Favorite!

6 Sep

Well I’ve officially had this blog for about 4 months now, and for about 4 months my family has been begging me to make one of their favorite pastries. Finally, here it is… My Rugelach!

Thanksgiving is one of the biggest holidays my family has. Family members come in from all over, my mom cooks enough food for a small country, we all drink enough to last us at least a week and we attempt a game of football in the front yard which always happens to be in the rain! We have a blast! Last year when I went home I baked a variety of pies, cakes and pastries and one of the treats was my Rugelach. My cousin Ted and his girlfriend Stephanie loved it so much that we all began brainstorming possible names for bakeries that I could open and different ways to promote me. Ted was actually the one to come up with Kristin’s Cravings! Unfortunately, Ted and Stephanie live in NC and can’t enjoy my Rugelach as much as they’d like to so I promised them that the next time I made it, I’d send a tin down to them. This was my first time transporting my pastries by mail, but it worked! They made it to NC in about 3 days (through Hurricane Irene!) and were devoured in less than 24 hours.

I like to experiment with my recipes a bit and change them up depending on what tastes I’m in the mood for. When I found this recipe for Rugelach it called for walnuts and apricot jelly as the filling and a heavy dough. I decided to switch things up and needless to say I’m pretty proud of my creation. What’s also great about this recipe is that it gives you a chance to be creative. Use fillings that jump out to you and change things according to your tastes.

So here it is.. The long-awaited Rugelach recipe!

What You’ll Need:

  • Puff Pastry
  • 1 Bag of Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
  • 1/2 – 3/4 Cups of Nutella
  • 1/2 – 3/4 Cups of Strawberry Jelly
  • 1 Tbs of Cinnamon
  • 1 Tbs of Granulated Sugar
  • 1 Egg

To Prepare:

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F
  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper

Directions:

In a small bowl, scoop in the Nutella and strawberry jelly. Place the bowl in the microwave and heat for about 30 seconds; stir to combine. If they are not fully combine, place the bowl back in the microwave for another 10-15 seconds. Taste the mixture. If it’s a little too nutty add some more of the jelly and if it’s too sweet add more of the Nutella. This recipe is all about what you like.

For the Puff Pastry, this can be found in the freezer section of your supermarket, or made from scratch using my Puff Pastry recipe under the Baking Tips section of the blog. Either method you chose, take the pastry out of the fridge and roll out until is it about 1/8 inch thick. If you made the pastry from scratch you’ll want to cut it in half and only use one half for now. Place the other half back in the fridge. Once the pastry is rolled out, use a knife to cut out a 9-inch circle.

Use the Nutella and Jelly mixture you created earlier to spread a layer over the top of the rolled out dough. Be generous! I’ve been told by my ginnie pigs taste testers (aka my family) that they prefer more of the filling. Once the filling is spread, sprinkle plenty of chocolate chips over the top. Keep most of the chips away from the center and more toward the edges to make it easier to roll later on.

Using a pizza cutter or a sharp knife, slice the dough like you would a pizza into about 16 equal wedges. Beginning with the outside edge of each wedge, roll up to enclose the filling. This part may get a bit messy, but I’ve always found the messier the better! Place each roll about 1 inch apart on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining wedges.

Once all the dough is rolled and placed on the baking sheet, lightly beat an egg; brush over the tops of each roll and sprinkle with granulated sugar and cinnamon.

Bake the sheet, rotating halfway through, until the rolls are golden brown, about 30 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let them cool completely.

Enjoy!

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