Yogurt Muffins with Lime Glaze

January new+337a Yogurt Muffins with Lime Glaze

   
       It’s the last day of January! Tomorrow I get a free pass to indulge in chocolate! I already teased you with the Triple Chocolate Bread here, but I have some amazing recipes coming up for you! icon smile Yogurt Muffins with Lime Glaze
  
      My mission: to provide you with ideas, tips and recipes involving chocolate. Let’s make this coming month a sweet one! icon smile Yogurt Muffins with Lime Glaze

     See, that’s how excited I am about it. icon biggrin Yogurt Muffins with Lime Glaze

    To say good-bye to January, I made yogurt muffins with glaze. Feel free to use any fruit yogurt you like, not necessarily key lime, and pair it with the same fruit glaze. I was so distracted while making those ( dreaming of chocolate and more chocolate… ) that I cut the limes to juice them and then realized I didn’t grate the zest. Bummer! It would give them a deeper flavor. Still, the muffins turned out great!

Yogurt Muffins with Lime Glaze

for the muffins:
5 oz. key lime yogurt ( or any other flavor yogurt )
1/2 c sugar
2 limes
5 Tbsp butter
2 c all-purpose flour
1 1/4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 eggs, slightly beaten
3/4 c milk

for the glaze:
1/2 c powdered sugar
2 Tbsp lime juice

Fill your muffin tins with liners or grease them. Set aside. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
Grate the zest of both limes and then juice one of them.
In a small saucepan, mix together 1/4 cup of sugar, lime zest and 2 Tbsp of lime juice. Heat to boil. Remove from heat and add butter. Stir until smooth. Set aside to cool.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together dry ingredients ( flour, baking powder, soda and salt ).
In a small bowl, combine the yogurt, eggs with milk. Add to butter mixture. Mix well.
Add the wet ingredients to dry ingredients and stir until just combined.
Divide batter among the muffin tins, filling 3/4 full.
Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Cool in pans for 2 minutes, then place on a cooling rack to cool completely before glazing.
Prepare glaze by whisking together powdered sugar and lime juice. Glaze the muffins.

Enjoy!

What is your favorite kind of chocolate? 
What do you like to pair it with?

C2D708DA70A2E148FFF417590A8C35AE Yogurt Muffins with Lime Glaze

Triple Chocolate Quick Bread

January new+366a Triple Chocolate Quick Bread

I know it’s technically still January, but my mind is already set on chocolate. Lots and lots of chocolate!

February – the month of Valentine’s Day and the month of chocolate treats. Cakes, cupcakes, bars, cookies even drinks – it’s all coming!

I am starting the series of chocolate recipes with this quick bread. It’s a nice start because it’s a TRIPLE chocolate bread.  icon biggrin Triple Chocolate Quick Bread Yep, I went there.

Cocoa powder, hot chocolate mix and chocolate chips create a trinity that puts this bread a bit higher than ol’ plain banana breads.

Surprisingly it is not overly sweet! The chocolate chips are sprinkled in the middle of the bread, where the crease usually creates during baking. The hot chocolate mix and cocoa powder create a nice, complementing mixture that you add to the dry ingredients, reducing the amount of flour.

The color makes you happy – the taste makes you melt. icon smile Triple Chocolate Quick Bread

January new+358a Triple Chocolate Quick Bread

Triple Chocolate Quick Bread


makes 2 loafs

1 1/2 c packed light brown sugar
1/2 c oil or 1 stick of butter, melted and room temp.
2 eggs, slightly beaten
3 overripe bananas, mashed ( about 1 cup )
1 1/2 c all-purpose flour
1/4 c unsweetened cocoa powder
1 packet ( 1.25 oz. ) hot chocolate mix
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 – 1/2 c chocolate chips
1/4 c milk

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Grease your loaf pans with shortening or spray with cooking spray.
In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients ( flour, baking powder, soda, salt, cocoa powder and hot chocolate mix ).
In a large mixing bowl, combine sugar and oil and mix until just combined.
Add eggs and mashed bananas and vanilla and milk. Stir with a spatula or wooden spoon.
Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Mix gently, do not over mix.
Divide batter among your prepared pans. Sprinkle the chocolate chips in the center of each loaf, where the crease creates during baking. Gently pat it down with a spoon so some of the batter will cover it.
Bake 50 to 55 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Remember, there are chocolate chips hiding in the center. icon smile Triple Chocolate Quick Bread

Cool for few minutes in a pan and then invert onto a cutting board. Cool completely before cutting.

January new+352a Triple Chocolate Quick Bread

Are you looking forward to February?

Enjoy!

 

Chocolate Cupcakes with Hot Chocolate Frosting

January new+347a Chocolate Cupcakes with Hot Chocolate Frosting

Mother Nature remains silent on the subject of snow. I am sure she will punish us with some worst-in-a-century snow storm. Or perhaps she heard me complaining about the heat in the middle of June last year? Being 9 months pregnant kind of gives you that right, no?

Aaaanyways, our calendar still shows it’s Winter, so I will enjoy Winter-y treats.

Like hot chocolate.

In a frosting.

On a cupcake.

Because that’s how I roll. icon smile Chocolate Cupcakes with Hot Chocolate Frosting

And because last January, I was on no-sugar no-sweets no-baking diet and now I am not. Revenge? It’s sweeeeeet. icon smile Chocolate Cupcakes with Hot Chocolate Frosting

January new+343a Chocolate Cupcakes with Hot Chocolate Frosting

Chocolate Cupcakes
adapted from Better Homes and Gardens Bridal Edition Cookbook

3 eggs, room temperature
2 1/4 c all-purpose flour
1/2 c unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 c shortening
1 3/4 c granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/3 c cold water

Line your cupcake pan with cupcake liners. Set aside.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together dry ingredients ( flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt ).
Place shortening in a large mixing bowl and beat for 30 seconds. Add sugar and vanilla and beat until well combined. Add eggs, one at a time and beat well after each addition.
Add flour mixture alternating with water. Beat until just combined.
Fill cupcake liners 2/3 full. Bake 18 – 20 minutes, until the toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Cool cupcakes in the pan for few minutes, then transfer onto a cooling rack.
Cool completely before frosting.

Makes 2 dozen cupcakes.

January new+338a Chocolate Cupcakes with Hot Chocolate Frosting

Hot Chocolate Frosting

8 oz cream cheese, cold
1/2 c ( 1 stick ) butter, room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 1/2 -4 c powdered sugar
1 packet ( 1.25 oz ) hot chocolate mix ( I used Dark Chocolate Sensation by Swiss Miss )

Place butter in a large mixing bowl and beat on medium speed for 20 – 30 seconds.
Add cold cream cheese and vanilla extract and beat until light and creamy.
Add powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time. Beat well. Add the hot chocolate mix and beat until well incorporated.
You can refrigerate it to stiffen it up a little or frost the cupcakes right away, and then refrigerate.
I used Wilton’s 1M tip to frost the cupcakes.

January new+345a Chocolate Cupcakes with Hot Chocolate Frosting

What are your favorite Winter-y treats?
What were you doing last January? 

Enjoy!

C2D708DA70A2E148FFF417590A8C35AE Chocolate Cupcakes with Hot Chocolate Frosting

Linking up:

weekend potluck buttong Chocolate Cupcakes with Hot Chocolate Frosting

Piña Colada Blondies

January new+305a Piña Colada Blondies

Dear Mother Nature,

Is it Spring yet?

What’s up with the bitter cold days and no snow? It’s almost the end of January!

Do you realize I have three disappointed kids that await the snow? We still haven’t taken our annual “making snow angels” photos!

How about we just skip it all to Summer, huh?

In the meantime, I will enjoy those blondies. They take me away to a beach where the warm sun bathes my face, sweet breeze brushes my hair… Where my kids can have FUN outdoors, making sand castles… Where my Hubby and I can enjoy our favorite Summer drink – Piña Colada.

Sincerely yours,
Anna

January new+318a Piña Colada Blondies

Those bars are gooey and rich! The rum flavor and coconut truly reminds you of Summer and the white chocolate adds to looks and sweetness.

The only thing I would change next time – is making them in 13″ x 9″ pan. They are sooo good!

If you long to warm and sunny days, like we do, you should make those blondies.

Piña Colada Blondies

1 c brown sugar
1/4 c butter, melted, cooled
1 eggs, slightly beaten
2 drops butter rum flavoring oil or 1 tsp rum extract
1 c flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 c shredded coconut
1/2 c white chocolate chips

No mixer needed with this recipe.
Grease and flour a 8″ x 8″ pan. Set aside. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
In a small microwave safe bowl, melt the butter and set aside to cool in room temperature. ( You can microwave it for 18-20 seconds, until partially melted, then swirl the bowl or use fork to melt it entirely. Place in the fridge for 5-7 minutes, pull out and set on the counter. )
In the meantime, in a medium mixing bowl, whisk together dry ingredients ( flour, baking powder and salt ).
In a large mixing bowl, stir butter and sugar with a wooden spoon. Add egg and rum extract. Stir until all smooth.
Slowly add the dry ingredients. Stir until all is well combined.
Fold in the coconut and chocolate chips.
Scrape the batter into prepared pan. Bake for 25-28 minutes. Let cool before cutting.
Those bars are the best eaten the same day as baked. Store in air-tight container.

January new+316a Piña Colada Blondies

What is the weather like in your part of country / world? Are you enjoying the outdoors?

I hope you enjoy this recipe!

C2D708DA70A2E148FFF417590A8C35AE Piña Colada Blondies

Sour Cream Scones with Lemon Glaze – Improv Challenge January

January new+200a Sour Cream Scones with Lemon Glaze   Improv Challenge January

This month I joined the Improv Challenge. As a participant, you have to make something that will include two ingredients the same for everyone. This month the ingredients are lemon and sour cream.

As I am looking for healthy and satisfying breakfasts this month, I decided on making scones.

Did you know that with just one lemon you can make yummy, refreshing scones? Perfect for this season, when we are trying to enjoy citrus fruits.

The sour cream in this recipe makes those babies rich, flaky and delicate in flavor while lemon adds burst of freshness and citrus. The glaze is not too tart nor too sweet. Just right on top of the scones. icon smile Sour Cream Scones with Lemon Glaze   Improv Challenge January

If you are interested in participating and joining the Improv Challenge group, contact Kristen from Frugal Antics of a Harried Homemaker.

January new+192a Sour Cream Scones with Lemon Glaze   Improv Challenge January

Sour Cream and Lemon Scones with Lemon Glaze
I slightly changed this recipe.

for scones:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 cup unsalted butter, cold, cut into tablespoon pieces
1/4 c sour cream
1/4 tsp baking soda
about 2-3 Tbsp of milk
zest of 1 lemon
1 large egg

Mix sour cream and baking soda in a small measuring cup. Set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk all dry ingredients together ( flour, sugar, baking powder, soda, salt and nutmeg ). Add butter and cut it in using a pastry cutter.
Add enough milk to sour cream and soda mixture to make 1/2 cup of liquid.
Add sour cream and milk mixture, egg and the zest to your dry ingredients and stir gently until just combined.
Place the dough onto a lightly floured surface, divide into two parts. Flatten each one into a disk, about 1/2 inch thick. Cut in half and then each piece in half again and again. You should have  8 scones.
Place them all on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Repeat for the second disk.
Now you should have 16 scones nicely placed on a baking sheet. Place the baking sheet into the refrigerator, preferably overnight, or at least 30 minutes.
When ready, preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Bake the scones for 13 – 15 minutes for the 30-minute refrigerated ones, or 15 – 18 minutes for the overnight refrigerated ones.
Cool on wire rack.

for the glaze:
juice of 1/2 lemon
1/2 cup powdered sugar

Whisk it all together until smooth. Glaze cooled scones.

January new+202a Sour Cream Scones with Lemon Glaze   Improv Challenge January

There you go: a citrus – fresh breakfast, ideal for January morning!

Enjoy!

 Sour Cream Scones with Lemon Glaze   Improv Challenge January

C2D708DA70A2E148FFF417590A8C35AE Sour Cream Scones with Lemon Glaze   Improv Challenge January

Cranberry Orange and Carrot Bread

January new+223a Cranberry Orange and Carrot Bread

After the mild days for this time of year, we have been smacked down with a blistering cold.

I hate being cold.

I was born in January, yet it’s the worst time of year in my opinion. Go figure!

There is one thing I like about Winter. The only thing I look forward to when it’s 20 degrees outside.

It’s my afternoon tea. I love my steaming hot cup of tea! My favorite flavor is peppermint but a traditional black one with a slice of lemon will make me happy too. icon smile Cranberry Orange and Carrot Bread

I do start with coffee every morning, despite the season, but every Winter afternoon – I have tea.

I wanted to make a sweet bread that would go well with my tea. Aaaaaand because it’s January, and we are supposed to have healthy food ( who said that? ), or at least healthier, I came up with this combo: carrots, orange and of course cranberries. ( Didn’t you know I still have 5 bags of cranberries in my freezer? ).

To really get the orange flavor through, I grated zest from two oranges. It was perfect!

Knowing that I could ( and probably will ) inhale a whole loaf myself, I decided to make a double recipe – for two loafs. Hey, you can always share with your neighbors! icon smile Cranberry Orange and Carrot Bread Right?

Anyhow, if you enjoy an afternoon with a cup of something hot ( be it tea or coffee ), you need this bread to go with it. Trust me, you do.

Cranberry Orange and Carrot Bread

makes 2 loafs

3 1/2 c all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
2 1/2 c grated carrots
zest of 2 oranges
1 cup of frozen cranberries ( cut big ones in half )
1 c sugar
4 eggs, slightly beaten
1/2 c canola oil
1/4 c milk

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Grease your loaf pans with shortening or spray with cooking spray.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk dry ingredients together ( flour, baking powder, soda, salt and cinnamon ).
In a medium mixing bowl, combine the rest of ingredients and mix by hand using wooden spoon or spatula.
Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Mix gently, do not over mix.
Divide batter among your prepared pans. Bake 50 to 55 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Cool for few minutes in a pan and then invert onto a cutting board. Cool completely before cutting.

January new+229a Cranberry Orange and Carrot Bread

Do you have a favorite tea flavor?
What do you like to have with your tea?

Please, feel free to share!

C2D708DA70A2E148FFF417590A8C35AE Cranberry Orange and Carrot Bread

Chocolate peanut butter spread

January new+147ab Chocolate peanut butter spread

This is the chocolate-y version of the peanut butter I shared with you here.

Naturally, I am more excited about this spread. I would add chocolate to anything!

After all, peanut butter and chocolate are a match made in foodie heaven! icon smile Chocolate peanut butter spread

Chocolate Peanut Butter Spread
adapted from Smitten Kitchen

1 1/2 cups unsalted peanuts
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup powdered sugar
3 tablespoons peanut or canola oil

Place the peanuts on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
Roast them in 400 degree oven, for about 10 minutes. They will look shiny as they release their natural oil. Place the peanuts in food processor and grind until smooth. ( see here for more photos ).
Add the cocoa and powdered sugar. Process until everything is smooth. Add the oil, one tablespoon at a time, until you are happy with the consistency.

January new+143a Chocolate peanut butter spread
They make a nice pair, no? icon smile Chocolate peanut butter spread

I am a big fan of the hazelnut kind. BIG! But I just couldn’t help myself and not try to make the peanut version, while whipping up the butter. icon smile Chocolate peanut butter spread

January new+150a Chocolate peanut butter spread

Enjoy!

C2D708DA70A2E148FFF417590A8C35AE Chocolate peanut butter spread

pixel Chocolate peanut butter spread