Chocolate & Peanut Butter Chip HEALTHIFIED Muffins

Tonight Zack went with some of his guy friends to a concert in Richmond.  He had to pick up his cousin to go, so after the concert they are driving back here and his cousin is just going to spend the night.

We had zero breakfast food in the house except for sparse bits of cereal.  I didn’t want them to starve in the morning, so I decided to make some muffins.

I wanted to attempt to make some that were still delicious, but had a hint of healthiness to them.  I definitely succeeded.

I get so excited when I make my own recipe and this is no exception.  I sent pictures of them to both my parents and to Zack and ate a whole muffin myself.  I usually just sample whatever baked goods that I make, but I was so proud of what I had concocted that I ate it all!

This was my first time baking with Splenda and I have to say, I am very pleased with the result.  I’ve heard mixed reviews about baking with Splenda, but my muffins turned out perfectly and were just as sweet as if I had used regular sugar.  Heck yeah!  It was also the first time I’ve tried substituting almond milk for regular milk and I couldn’t taste a difference with that either.  I used unsweetened vanilla almond milk, just in case you were curious.  Less than half the calories of skim milk! I do believe we should all start educating ourselves when it comes to health. You can start by checking out Guide to Healthcare Schools or by using almond milk!

The only thing that went wrong was I should have baked them for a minute or two less time, but they didn’t taste over-baked, they just had browned tops.

Chocolate & Peanut Butter Chip HEALTHIFIED Muffins

– 1 c AP flour

– 1 c whole wheat flour

– 3 t baking powder

– 1/2 c chocolate chips

– 1/2 c peanut butter chips

– 3/4 c almond milk

– 1/2 c splenda

– 1/2 t salt

– 1 egg, beaten

– 1/3 c oil

Topping:

– 1/2 c splenda

Heat oven to 400 degrees.  Line or grease 6 jumbo muffin cups.  In medium bowl, combine flours, 1/2 c splenda, baking powder, salt, and chips.  Stir in egg, milk and oil just until dry ingredients are moistened (batter will be lumpy.).  Spoon batter into muffin cups, filling 2/3 full.  Sprinkle the remaining splenda evenly over muffins.  Bake 20-23 minutes.  Loosen and remove immediately from pan.  Let cool on a wire rack.

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Mini Bread Loaves

Every year on the Sunday before Christmas, my mom has Christmas dinner at her house.  Her two brothers, their families, her parents, and her fiancee’s mom all come.  It is a great event full of joy and holiday festivities.

The older adults decided not to exchange gifts this year and decided to just buy for us younger folks.  I still wanted to do something nice for my grandparents and aunts and uncles, so I decided to make some mini breads for them.

My mom bought me a set of mini loaf pans a while back and I had been looking for an excuse to use them.

The first set of breads that I decided to make was Cream Cheese Pound Cakes.  Well, I had no idea how long to bake them (or how full to fill the pans) so they did not turn out very well.  I burned the edges and the pans overflowed.  Luckily, I set the mini pans on a baking sheet, so that they didn’t overflow into the oven.

Since they turned out so ugly (and the edges were definitely unedible), I decided just to keep these and will be using the middles of them for something, I just haven’t figured out what yet.

I’m not throwing away the recipe, because the middle of the loaves was really good, I just needed to work on baking times and the actual filling of the pans.

 

Cream Cheese Pound Cakes

Prep: 20 minutes.  Bake ~ 50 minutes.

– 1 1/2 c butter, room temperature

– 8 oz cream cheese, room temperature

– 3 c sugar

– 6 large eggs

– 1 t vanilla extract

– 3 c AP flour

– 2 t salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  With an electric mixer, beat butter and cream cheese until smooth.  Add sugar; beat until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.  Add eggs, one at a time, beating well until each addition.  Mix in vanilla.  With mixer on low, add flour and salt in two additions, beating until just combined.

Generously coat 5 mini loaf pans with cooking spray; immediately pour in batter (pans will seem full).  Tap pans on work surface to eliminate any large air bubbles.

Bake until golden and a toothpick inserted in the centers comes out almost clean, ~ 50 minutes, check after 30 minutes.  If the tops begin to brown too quickly, tent with aluminum foil.

Cool 10 minutes in the pan.  Turn out the cakes, cool completely with top sides up, on a wire rack.

 

These turned out much nicer.  These actually looked like cute little mini loaves.

I wish I had taken a picture of how I gifted them to them.  Mom and I wrapped the baby loaves in saran wrap and put ribbon around them (and labels saying what they are) and put them in a little snowman gift bag.  They were adorable.

Plus, there is something so special about homemade gifts.

 

Chocolate Chip Pound Cake

– 1 box yellow cake mix with pudding

– 1 (3.4 oz) pkg instant chocolate pudding

– 1/2 c sugar

– 3/4 c vegetable oil

– 3/4 c water

– 4 large eggs

– 8 oz sour cream

– 1 c semi-sweet chocolate chips

Combine cake mix, pudding and sugar with a wire whisk to remove large lumps.  Add oil, water and eggs, stirring until smooth.  Stir in sour cream and chocolate chips.  Pour into greased and floured mini loaf pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour or until done.  Cool in pans on wire rack for 10 minutes.  Remove from pans and cool completely.  Sprinkle with powdered sugar, if desired.

These turned out the best looking.  Both the banana bread minis and the chocolate chip pound cake was very moist and fresh looking.

Everyone who got their little bread bags seemed to really appreciate them.  Seeing others happy because of stuff that I have made makes me so happy.

I love my family so much and am so thankful for them.

Banana Bread Minis

Prep: 10 minutes.  Total 50 minutes.

– 1 package yellow cake mix

– 1 package (3.4 0z) banana cream flavor instant pudding

– 4 eggs

– 1 c water

– 1/4 c oil

– 1 c mashed, fully ripe bananas (about 3)

– 1/2 c chopped walnuts

Heat oven to 350 degrees.

Spray 5 foil mini loaf pans with cooking spray.

Beat first 5 ingredients in large bowl with mixer 2 minutes or until well blended.  Add bananas and nuts; mix until just blended.  Pour into prepared pans.

Bake 40 minutes or until toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean.  Cool completely.

Chocolate Banana Muffins

Is anyone else out there as obsessed with bananas as I am?  I have to eat one everyday.  It’s a compulsion.  I should be glad that I am addicted to something healthy for me instead of something horrible like cigarettes, though.

When I saw this recipe, I knew I had to try it out.  Bananas + chocolate chips FOR BREAKFAST?!  I will do whatever I can to sneak dessert-type foods into regular meals.  Hehe.

Everyone that tasted these really liked them, so I definitely recommend trying them out (especially if you’re a banana addict like me!).

They were not very time consuming and make a great on-the-go breakfast.

The recipe says it makes two dozen, but I didn’t get quite get 2 dozen out of it – I only got 21.  What an odd number.  I never quite yield exactly what a recipe calls for, though.

Chocolate Banana Muffins

Prep: 25 minutes.  Bake: 15 minutes + cooling.  Yield: 2 dozen.

– 1/2 cup butter, softened

– 1/2 cup sugar

– 1/2 cup packed brown sugar

– 2 eggs

– 1 1/2 cups mashed ripe bananas (about 3 large)

– 3 teaspoons vanilla extract

– 1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

– 1 cup (6 oz) semisweet chocolate chips

In a bowl, cream the butter and sugar.  Beat in eggs, banana, and vanilla.  Combine flour and baking soda and add to creamed mixture just until combined.  Stir in the walnuts and chocolate chips.  Fill greased or paper-lined muffin cups half full.

Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.  Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pans to wire rack to cool completely.

Oreo Truffles

Okay, I have found it.  This is the easiest dessert in the world.  Two ingredients.  20 minutes tops (plus some time for chilling).  Done.

In the top picture, the Oreo truffles are surrounded by Chocolate Chip cookie brownies.  They were from a box mix, but still pretty good.  I think it may have been a Betty Crocker box mix, but I cannot remember for sure.  I made that platter to take to my friend’s wedding.  All of it got eaten.

Oreo Truffles

– 1 package single stuffed Oreo’s

– 8 oz cream cheese, softened

Crush 9 Oreos and set aside.  You can do this by sticking them in a Ziploc bag and using a rolling pin, or if you don’t have a rolling pin (I don’t) you can just use a glass and roll that over them until crushed.

Crush remaining 36 Oreos. Beat cream cheese until smooth and add 36 crushed Oreos.

Beat until well mixed.

Form into 1-inch balls and then roll in remaining crushed Oreos.

Refrigerate until firm.

 

This plate of truffles was the first batch I ever made.  I did not know how well they were going to turn out.  I thought, “two ingredients? just cream cheese and Oreo’s? it CAN’T be that easy.” Oh, but it is.  They’re also easy to dress up.  Just stick them in mini baking cups like I did in the top picture.  I like cute desserts.

 

Enjoy~