baking

Banana Muffins

We try to keep bananas around the house because we all like them (I wish I could type out how Dom says “banana” but I don’t think I’d capture it; maybe some like “blamana”…anyway..) But I like to keep them so a few can get ripe enough to use for baking. Often, I end up making a banana bread (tried & true recipe from my mom), but sometimes I want to change it up. When that happens, I turn to Pinterest.

About a month ago, I came across the Perfect Banana Muffins by My Mommy Style, and like the pancakesΒ I recently tried, this recipe lives up to its name, too! I used my new Nordic Ware muffin pan without any liners. I made half the batch with chocolate chips. These were easy to make. They’re light, fluffy, moist, and delicious. It was hard to eat just one, so I was happy to “test” one of each to include some pictures. πŸ˜‰

banana muffins

 

chocolate chip banana muffins

I will most definitely use this recipe again (and again…)!

Do you have any banana muffin variations you like to make? Share in the comments!

baking

Baking

I asked for some new bakeware for Christmas and I got some great Nordic Ware items. I wanted to get new stuff to update my stash of items with ones of better quality since I wanted to do more baking this year. I got a half cookie sheet, quarter cookie sheet, round pan, loaf pan, muffin pan w/lid, and a cast iron pan to make silver dollar pancakes with zoo animals imprinted on them. I like to make pancakes for Dom and thought this could be fun. I obviously made some for him on Christmas morning.

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The monkey and the lion came out the best
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new bakeware!
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All that remains of the batch

I’ve already used the muffin pan to make some Funfetti muffins (store-bought mix, I must confess). They came out great! (Don’t mind the messed up one near bottom right; the top got a little smushed in the carry case.. oops)

 

 

 

I also 20170102_214054got a frosting/decorating kit. I’ve never used more than a spatula to frost anything, and I assumed the kit would come with instructions for the various pieces, but it does not. Some are pretty self-explanatory, others I was a little unsure of.Β Any advice you have on using the stuff, or recommendations for things to use, please leave them in the comments!

 

 

20161225_213157Hubs also got me a mug cake cookbook, which I’m excited to look through. Not too long ago I attempted chocolate chip cookies in mugs and they did not come out very good. (sorry for the poor lighting in the picture)

 

 

 

 

 

I’m excited to start using my KitchenAid mixer more (a gift from a few Christmases ago) and all of my new stuff! I’m sure I’ll accumulate more over the year as well.

What are some of your favorite recipes?

baking

Homemade Cheesecake

For the day after Christmas at my parents’ house (just a week ago), I decided to tackle a cheesecake from scratch. I used the KitchenAid Best-Loved Recipes cookbook recipe for Marble Cheesecake (p. 92).

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I don’t have any pictures of the prep as I was concentrating on getting it put together and in the oven as quickly as possible because I broke the first rule of baking: I didn’t read through the entire recipe and didn’t realize how much time it needed to bake and then refrigerate before we could eat it.

Because of that, the cheesecake wouldn’t have been in the fridge for the minimum required time (2 hours) before we had to leave for my parents’ house. Luckily, they live approximately 20 minutes away, and since it was a dessert, I was able to leave it in their fridge for more than the required time. (But I was nervous it wasn’t going to be good because of that).

The recipe says to bake the cake for 1 hour and 30 minutes. I did it for that long on the bottom rack. Next time, I’ll put it on the top rack and only do 1 hour and 15 minutes. It came out a bit too brown and the bottom, while not technically burnt, was pretty hard (I attribute to the brown sugar-to-graham cracker ratio in the crust; I think I might need more graham cracker)

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It definitely didn’t look anything like the picture in the cookbook. I didn’t do the marbling as they described (like I said, I was trying to get it in the oven as quickly as possible). I think I probably didn’t have enough chocolate mixed in, either. (as I was adding the melted chocolate to some of the batter, the chocolate bowl fell in the batter bowl, so a good amount of melted chocolate ended up on the bottom of the bowl instead of in the cake — definitely not getting my own cooking show anytime soon!)

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some pieces looked layered instead of marbled. (also, I only remembered to take the picture after I took the first bite :))

However, all in all, I was pretty pleased with my first attempt at a homemade cheesecake. Everyone who tried it said they liked it, so that’s good. It wasn’t perfect, but I’ll get there. I’d like to try a plain cheesecake, with various toppings to add, based on the individual’s preference.

Lessons learned/things I’d do differently for this recipe:

  • use top rack of oven
  • bake for less time
  • add a bit extra graham cracker to crust mix
  • try without chocolate
  • melt a bit extra chocolate in case of accidents πŸ˜‰