Chocolate Chip Muffins

Sometimes, you just want muffins. What’s more, is that sometimes you just want chocolate chips. This recipe was the combination of both of those wants. I woke up this morning, knowing that it’s cold out and snow is on the ground, and I wanted something comforting. What’s more comforting than a chocolate chip muffin?

Also, I’m a sucker for chocolate. It’s a curse, I know. I found this recipe here, and I followed the recipe to a T. Not going to lie, I shouldn’t have. The recipe says that it yields 12 muffins. However, maybe the original author has a magic deep muffin pan with large spaces, because my twelve muffins baked together. A lot. I was a little sad, and if I make them again (which I’m sure I will because although they didn’t look nice, they tasted divine) I’m definitely going to put less batter in each muffin cup. I think you could actually get two dozen muffins instead of just one dozen if you proportion the batter properly. Oh well, live and learn.

To be honest, these pictures are from the second go-round making these muffins. I was so displeased with the look of the first batch that I refused to add a picture from that batch, but be confident that I also make mistakes in my kitchen!

These muffins were still delicious. They were fluffy, soft, and perfectly moist (and very gooey when still warm!). They were also extremely easy to make, and are made with pantry staples (if you are like me and consider chocolate chips a pantry staple). These muffins are able to be whipped up in no time, and satisfy all cravings of a chocolate chip lover, as well as a muffin lover. Enjoy them!

Ingredients

Yield: 2 dozen small muffins or 1 dozen huge muffins

2½ c. flour
1 tbsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
½ c. butter, melted and cooled
1 c. sugar
2 eggs
1 c. milk or buttermilk
1 tbsp. vanilla
1½ c. chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 425°F. Line a muffin tin with paper liners, spray with cooking spray, or brush with cake release. Set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and chocolate chips. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, combine the butter, sugar, eggs, milk, and vanilla. Whisk until combined. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, and fold together.

Scoop batter into prepared muffin tins (again, use large scoops of batter for large muffins, and smaller scoops of batter for smaller muffins).

Bake in preheated oven for 5 minutes. After the first five minutes, reduce the oven temperature to 375°F, and bake for an additional 12-15 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the tops of the muffins comes out clean.

 

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Ham and Cheese Scones

These are the perfect brunch food! I couldn’t believe how good they were, and Paul gave the big thumbs up as well. Let’s just say, an hour after I made them, only three scones were left! (Granted, I had two because they were so good, but still!)

Make these! The ham and cheese pair perfectly, and I didn’t add anything except a little butter to serve with. These scones are light, fluffy, and perfectly flaky. They actually reminded me of a biscuit, because of how similar they were. The only part of the recipe I changed is that when I went to the store to pick up some ham, I forgot to pick up the green onions found in the original recipe. I’m sure they would have added the perfect touch to these already-amazing scones, however, I didn’t really miss them, and I’m pretty sure Paul didn’t either.

I’m calling it. These scones are a major brunch win!

Ingredients

Yield: 8 scones

2 c. flour
1 tbsp. sugar
1 tbsp. baking powder
½ tsp. garlic powder
½ tsp. kosher or coarse salt
½ c. butter, cold and cut into cubes
¾ c. buttermilk (or milk with a splash of vinegar or lemon juice added)
1 c. shredded cheddar cheese
1/3 c. diced ham
2 tbsp. chopped fresh chives or green onion (optional)

Preheat oven to 425°F. Line a baking tray with parchment paper and set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Add in the butter, and cut in with a pastry blender until mixture resembles coarse crumbs, approximately the size of peas.

Stir in the buttermilk, ham, cheese, and chives until a soft dough forms. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface, and knead 3-4 times until the dough comes together cohesively. Don’t over-handle, or the butter will begin to melt.

Using a rolling pin, or your hands, press the dough into a circle about 1 inch thick. Cut into 8 wedges.

Transfer the dough wedges to the prepared baking tray, and bake in the preheated oven for 18-20 minutes, or until lightly browned and firm to the touch.

Serve immediately with butter.

Vanilla Biscotti

Oh my gosh! These vanilla biscotti are amazing! So simple, and such a classic flavour. Paul was extremely happy about these, and so was I. I added a little extra vanilla, just to amp up the flavour, and when Paul took his first bite, his reaction made me a little scared that I put too much vanilla in. Nope! He said it was just the right amount, and I agree.

Biscotti are definitely this year’s Sugar and Spice addiction. You know how it is. These things come and go, and right now, my favourite thing to experiment with is biscotti!

I got the original recipe here, and as I said, I just added extra vanilla. I also changed the second bake time instructions slightly. I didn’t lower the oven heat, and I flipped the cut biscotti after about 12 minutes. Other than that, I did learn a new trick for slicing the biscotti and making it easier, instead of crumbly ends.

When you take the biscotti out of the oven after the first bake, spritz it lightly with water, making sure to get the tops and sides. It softens the outer crust just enough to make a nicer cut. Who knew?! Well, now I do, and you do as well!

Go make these. They are such a lovely, classic flavour that they will go with any warm drink!

Ingredients

Yield: Approx. 20-22 biscotti, depending on cut size

6 tbsp. butter
2/3 c. sugar
¼ tsp. salt
1-2 tsp. vanilla extract (I used 2 tsp.)
1½ tsp. baking powder
2 eggs
2 c. flour

Preheat the oven to 350°F, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In the bowl of a mixer, or a medium bowl, combine the butter, sugar, salt, vanilla, and baking powder until mixture is smooth and creamy. Beat in the eggs. The batter may look slightly curdled, but it isn’t. Add in the flour, and stir until smooth.

Scoop out the dough, and shape it into a rough log about 12 inches long. Flatten slightly, but keep the middle slightly mounded.

Bake in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes, until the biscotti is light golden brown all over. Remove from oven, spritz all over with room temperature water, and let sit for five minutes.

Transfer to a cutting board, and use a serrated knife to slice biscotti. Place cut side down on the baking sheet, and return to the oven for 12 minutes, or until bottoms are just starting to turn golden brown.

Remove from the oven, flip the biscotti to the other cut side, and bake for 10-12 minutes until outsides are dry, and they are starting to turn golden brown, then remove from the oven.

Cool on a wire rack, and serve with a warm drink, like tea, coffee, or hot chocolate!

White Dinner Rolls

I’m a sucker for bread. We know this. So, I came across these dinner rolls and something inside me yelled “WE HAVE TO MAKE THESE RIGHT NOW!”. I’m not one to argue when it comes to bread and baked goods, so I made them.

Let’s just say I am SO GLAD I did. The recipe makes a lot (as in two dozen rolls), but that’s okay. No one ever really turned their nose up at homemade buns…. did they? At least, Paul never has. These were pretty easy to make, and the appealing thing was that they use shortening. I’ve never used shortening in rolls or breads before (that I can recall, that is…), and I was excited because I forgot to take my butter out of the freezer to that last night.

Like I said, super quick to make, and they weren’t that difficult. The rise time is relatively short for bread dough, which also made me happy. I got the recipe from here, and this is a winner in my books.

Speaking of, I am feeling a little peckish as I write this. I think I’ll wrap up, and go get a mid-afternoon roll with butter. My kind of snack!

Ingredients

Yield: 2 dozen rolls

½ c. water
2 tbsp. active dry yeast
2 tsp. sugar
2 c. milk
1/3 c. sugar
2 tsp. salt
¼ c. shortening or butter
1 egg
4-5 c. flour
¼ c. melted butter, for brushing

In a small bowl or coffee mug, microwave the water for 20-30 seconds, until lukewarm, but not hot.

Add the yeast and 2 teaspoons sugar and stir. Let this mixture sit for 5 minutes. Watch it so it doesn’t overflow! (As in, if your yeast is still alive, it will foam and rise very fast! If it doesn’t foam, the water was too hot and killed the yeast. Try again.)

In a glass measuring cup, microwave 2 cups milk for 1-2 minutes until it is warm but not hot.

In a large bowl or stand mixer, add the second measurement of sugar, salt, and shortening, and 2 cups of the flour. Stir together with a wooden spoon, or use your dough hook. Add the warm milk, yeast mixture, and 1 egg. Mix well and let rest 5 minutes.

Add 2-3 (or up to 3 ½) cups flour, one cup at a time, mixing in between. Once all the flour has been incorporated, knead for 5-6 minutes, using your hands or the dough hook. (I ended up adding the extra 3½ cups of flour.)

Grease a large bowl well with oil or butter. Scrape all the dough into the bowl, shape it together, then turn it over so that the top is greased. Cover loosely with a tea towel or plastic wrap. Let rise until doubled, about 1 hour.

Punch down the dough. Divide the dough into 24 equal pieces. Shape each piece into a ball (pinch one end with your fingers).

Place the rolls in 2 well-greased pans. I used two 9×13 pans.

Cover the pans with tea towels and let them rise in a warm spot for another 30-45 minutes, until doubled in size. When they are almost done rising, preheat your oven to 375°F.

Bake for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown all across the top.

Remove from the oven and brush with melted butter. Serve warm.

 

 

Double Chocolate Biscotti

Well, ladies and gents, I did warn you that more biscotti was coming.

It’s so simple to make, and it yields such high results! It’s a perfectly crisp little cookie, and then you dunk it in your favourite morning beverage, and it becomes the best morning snack (or mid-afternoon snack… or after-dinner snack… Let’s just say it goes well at any time of the day!)

I found this double chocolate biscotti recipe from Pinterest, and the original recipe is here. With a blog name like “Chocolate, Chocolate and More”, I knew we were going to be on to something good.

I still can’t believe how easy biscotti is to make! This dough took me ten minutes, tops, to whip together. It had to bake for longer than it take to make the dough! I call that an easy recipe. The only difference I made is swapped the dark cocoa powder for regular, because I was all out of dark. Not much of a difference, though, because it was still double chocolate to me!

So, the verdict about these biscotti is… go make them! What are you waiting for?

Happy Baking, and Happy December!

Ingredients

Yield: Approx. 20 biscotti

6 tbsp. butter, softened
1 c. sugar
2 eggs
¼ tsp. vanilla
2 c. flour
½ c. cocoa powder (dark or regular works)
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 c. chocolate chips (I used semi-sweet)

Preheat oven to 350°F, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar. Add in the eggs, one at a time, mixing after each addition. Add the vanilla, and combine again.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. Add to the wet ingredients in three additions, mixing after each addition. Fold in the chocolate chips.

Form into a log, about 12 inches by 4 inches. Place dough log onto baking sheet, and bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes.

Remove from oven, let sit for five minutes, then cut into slices, and place cut side down. Bake for 8 minutes, then turn cookies and bake for an additional 5 minutes.

Cool completely on a cookie rack, and store in an airtight container. Serve with a warm beverage (tea, coffee, hot chocolate), and dunk away!