Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Banana Chocolate Chip Bread

So I am finally slowly getting back to the hang of things.  Man this crud of sickness has held me down.  No one should be sick for this long.  No more!  Full on holiday mode now!

I finally got a mini loaf bread pan.  I am pretty sure no one understand just how happy I am.  I have been wanting one for over a year.  I know I know they are not expensive but I am very particular and the one I wanted was never in stock ... anywhere.  But then ... BOOM ... one day shopping at Target I saw it.  You better believe that I threw that sucker into my cart. 
So of course my first bread from my new pan had to be a banana bread recipe. 

Banana Chocolate Chip Bread
1 stick unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 ripe bananas, mashed
1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 cup mini semi sweet chocolate chips

1.  Preheat oven to 350F.  Grease a mini loaf pan.
2.  Mix together butter and sugar until fully combined.
3.  Add eggs and vanilla extract.  Mix well.
4. Add mashed bananas and mix until completely combined.
5.  In a separate bowl mix flour, baking soda, nutmeg, cinnamon.
6.  Slowly incorporate the dry mixture with the wet mixture.  Do not over mix!
7.  Pour batter into prepared mini loaf pans.  Bake for about 30-35 minutes or until top is golden and a toothpick test comes out clean.
8.  Cool in pan for about 10 minutes then remove and cool on a wire rack before serving.

I wrapped these loaves of bread with a little tissue paper and ribbon to make them festive for the holidays.  Everyone enjoys baked goods this time of the year.  

Keep on baking my friends!


Monday, December 19, 2011

Santa Bait

The holidays have officially arrived!  Ah I love the smell of Christmas.  Hot chocolate, fire place burning, pine, breads, cakes, COOKIES ... yippee!

Now everyone knows that good kids get gifts from Santa.  But what about some of us that have not been so good this year.  What can we do?  We make Santa Bait!!

Santa Bait

2 bags of microwave popcorn, popped (NOT movie theater flavor)
1 bag mint M&Ms
1 bag of Wilton's melting chocolate, white
holiday sprinkles

1.  Pop 2 bags of microwave popcorn.  Pour into a big bowl please make sure no kernels are in the bowl.
2.  Melt the white chocolate
3.  Toss the popcorn, white chocolate, mint M&Ms, and holiday sprinkles together
4.  Spread mixture on to a baking sheet to cool and harden.
5.  Once cool break apart and ENJOY!

Now after being sick for so long I knew Santa Bait would be something I could do for the Husband's classes.  There was no way I would make it through a baking session for 50+ kids the way I was feeling.  So Santa Bait it was.  I felt a little guilty during the day for only sending him off to school with 4 trays of Santa Bait but I got a message during the day saying that his kids loved it and one kid even took the leftover home.  Melts my heart. 

Oh and yes buy the mint M&Ms.  It makes a difference. 


Monday, December 12, 2011

Hugs Pretzel Sandwiches

I am trying to get back to cooking and blogging now that I am slowly recovering from my cold.  My poor husband has been living on take out and sandwiches/soup. 

Now that it is December something festive is a must!  I have been wanting to make these Hugs Pretzel Sandwiches for weeks but every store I have been to has been out of the pretzels that I need.  Finally I got my hands on a bag of the Snyder's Butter Snap pretzels.  There is nothing really special about these pretzels except for the fact that they are square shaped and perfects for sandwiching things. 

Hugs Pretzel Sandwiches

1 bag Hershey Hugs
1 bag Snyder's Butter Snap pretzels

1.  Preheat oven to 250 degrees.  Line a cookie sheet with foil.
2.  Lay out pretzels across cookie sheet.
3.  Unwrap Hershey Hugs and place one on each pretzel
4.  Place cookie sheet in oven for about 5 minutes or until Hershey Hugs start to melt (they will get shiny) 
5.  Pull cookie sheet out of the oven and place a pretzel on top of each Hershey Hugs and press down.  Sprinkle with some holiday colored sprinkles for decoration. 
6.  Cool completely before eating.  DO NOT EAT UNTIL CANDY IS HARD AGAIN!  Trust me!

You must make these!  They are super simple and oh sooooo yummy!  And with the right colored sprinkles these can be adapted for any holiday. 

Keep cooking my friends. 


Friday, December 9, 2011

Chocolate Chip Coffee Cake

I was sick (and still am) on my favorite holiday of the year.  THANKSGIVING.  No one knows how sad I am about this than my husband.  I have no self control when it comes to eating and my husband knows this from first hand experience.  I barely survived the holiday but needless to say I did not gorge myself in food.  I barely had a appetite.  Even the thought of food made me feel yucky.  To top it off I was super sad that food made me yucky.  Food should never make you yucky.  I finally went to the doctor yesterday who prescribed me 2 inhalers for my coughing.  However it has been a struggling trying to use them.  How is it that a 10 year old can use one but I can't?  Sad.

I  haven't done much baking since I have been sick.  This coffee cake was one I made for volunteers before a Tzu Chi event.  This is for all the anti nut people. 

Chocolate Chip Coffee Cake
Adapted from Broma Bakery

1 cup sugar
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs, room temperature
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup sour cream
1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips

3/4 cups brown sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

1.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  Grease a large bundt pan and set aside.
2.  Cream butter, sugar, sour cream, and vanilla extract.
3.  Add eggs one at a time and make sure each is incorporated.
4.  Whisk flour, baking soda, and salt.
5.  Add dry mixture to creamed mixture until just incorporated.  Do not over mix!
6.  Add chocolate chips.
7.  In a separate bowl mix brown sugar and cinnamon together.  This will be the topping.
8.  Pour half of the batter into the bundt pan.  Sprinkle half of the brown sugar topping over the batter.  Pour in the second half of the batter and top with remaining sugar topping.
9.  Bake for about 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the cake.

Coffee cakes are easy to make and great accompanied with coffee.  I especially like coffee cakes cause I take my coffee with just milk/creamer so a little coffee cake brings the sweetness to breakfast.

Hope everyone enjoys this recipe!