Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Brown Butter Banana Muffins

These muffins are the banana version of the brown butter blueberry muffin recipe that is one of my very favorites.  My sister was the first to try it with bananas and because I had bananas sitting on my counter that were getting more brown speckles by the hour, banana muffins became a must for an afternoon snack.  I decided to put chocolate chips in half the batter, this way I would have an excuse to have two muffins, I had to sample one of each, right?  (At least one thing turned out delicious today because dinner tonight was a big fat failure).

Brown Butter Banana Muffins

7 tablespoons butter
1/3 cup whole milk
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup white sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 medium bananas, mashed


3 tablespoons cold butter, cut into cubes
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
3 1/2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  Line muffin pan with paper liners

Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat.  Keep an eye on the butter. Melt and cook down the butter until little brown bits appear in the pan.  The crackling will subside and the butter will begin to brown fairly quickly.  Keep a close eye because it can burn in hurry (speaking from experience).  Remove from heat and pour into a bowl to cool slightly.

Whisk milk, egg, egg yolk, and vanilla until combined.  Add the brown butter and stir to combine.

Whisk together flour, sugars, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl.  Add milk and butter mixture all at once a stir gently to combine.  Gently fold in mashed bananas.

Divide batter among muffin cups.

To make the topping, combine all of the ingredients in a bowl and rub together with your fingertips until crumbly.  Sprinkle evenly over the batter in the muffin cups.

Bake until golden brown and a wooden toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean, about 18-20 minutes.  Cool in pan on a rack for 15 minutes then remove from pan and serve warm with butter.

Adapted from Joy the Baker

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Cocoa Coconut Bites

If you like chocolate, coconut and almonds...BEWARE!  These little bites are extremely addicting and with their size being "bite-size," eating a few too many can happen all too quickly!

Cocoa Coconut Bites

1 1/2 cups dried, unsweetened coconut
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/3 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup chopped almonds
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt 
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
In a mixing bowl combine the coconut, cocoa powder, rolled oats and almonds together.  In a small bowl combine the maple syrup, coconut oil, vanilla and cinnamon; pour over coconut mixture and mix to coat everything evenly.  Set in the fridge for 20 minutes.

At this point you can eat them two different ways (both are delicious).  The first way is to scoop the coconut mixture into 1-inch balls and chill for an hour before eating.   The second way is to scoop into 1-inch balls, set them on a baking sheet lined with parchment and bake in a 215 degree preheat oven for 20 minutes.  Remove from baking sheet to cool (or eat warm).

Recipe slightly adapted from Sprouted Kitchen

Friday, April 12, 2013

White Cheddar and Fig Grilled Cheese

I'm pretty much in love with grilled cheese sandwiches.  There are so many different ways to eat a grilled cheese.  I often find myself driving in my car or vacuuming my house, thinking of different variations of this classic sandwich (I do the same with burgers and pizza).  For me, the options seem endless and delicious!

White Cheddar and Fig Grilled Cheese

Sourdough bread, sliced
White cheddar, grated
Fig jam
Baby Arugula
Balsamic Reduction
Butter, softened

Balsamic Reduction

1/2 cup balsamic vinegar

In a small saucepan bring vinegar to a boil.  Reduce heat to a simmer and cook until vinegar has thickened and is syrupy.  Season with salt and pepper.  Set aside.

Assemble sandwich:  Heat skillet over medium heat.  Spread fig jam on one slice of bread.  Top the other slice of bread with grated white cheddar followed by baby arugula and a drizzle of reduced balsamic vinegar.  Top the arugula side of the sandwich with the fig side to make a sandwich.  Butter both sides of the sandwich and grill until both sides are golden brown and the cheese is melty goodness.