Strawberry-Blueberry Muffins with Cinnamon Streusel

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 Let me get this out of the way first before I continue: there is no chocolate in these muffins. Not even a morsel. I know, I know, that is essentially unheard of for my recipes. I’m usually of the mindset that chocolate makes everything better, so why would I not put something chocolate in a recipe that’s already delicious to make it even more so? But yesterday was different. I was feeling fruity. And I was feeling like I wanted to bake something, which most often means I’m about to whip out the semi-sweets. However, I’ll be the first to admit, the combining of fruit and chocolate is almost like a science. Chocolate chip banana bread? Get at me. Chocolate-covered orange slices? Get at me so I can throw you in the trash can. I don’t know if there’s a rhyme and a reason to the acceptable fruit-and-chocolate combinations, but I do know that it’s very hit or miss. Sometimes the two just don’t get along very well. Does anyone actually eat the fruit-filled chocolates that come in the boxes of assorted truffles? If you do, I’m not judging you. I’m just…questioning your life choices and wondering if there is something wrong with your taste palate.

These Strawberry-Blueberry Muffins are one of those times; I decided to keep it simple and knix the addition of any sort of chocolate.  However, I did resolve to add a cinnamon streusel to bake on top of the muffins to give them an added crunchy texture that would be missed without the addition of chocolate chips. I think that this crumbly addition gives these giant muffins the classic coffee-shop feel. That, and the fact that these are the kind of muffins that pop over the pan to form an extra large muffin top. Is there anything better than big muffin tops? (I am indeed talking about the tops of muffins, not the kind of muffin top that likes to host itself around my mid-section.)

These muffins came to be the other night during a classic scenario that I find myself in occasionally: “I have too much ripened fruit at my house and I need something to do with it before it goes bad.” I’m usually not too bad about utilizing the food and produce that I buy at the store, but this was not one of those times. However, there is a legitimate reason for the surplus of fruit that was sitting in my fridge.  A couple of weeks ago, I took a break from my beloved, fruit-filled overnight oats that I have eaten as my school breakfast every single morning for the past 4 years. It was slightly traumatic the other day, when I was sitting at my desk, eating my oats, and all of the sudden I looked down at them and said aloud: “I realllllly don’t want to eat you anymore.” (Me talking to my oats is a somewhat common occurrence, so don’t be worried about my sanity; I’m aware that it’s dwindling.) Anyway, long story short, I needed to take a break from my oats for a little while and come up with a breakfast alternative. Unfortunately, my breakfast alternative did not consist of heaping cups of fresh fruit, which is how the excess of berries in my fridge came to be. And with that, I got to working on this berry delicious muffin recipe. 

These muffins are moist and crumbly at the same time, they burst with fruit juice every time you bite into a berry, and the cinnamon streusel adds a wonderful texture and sweetness that doesn’t overwhelm the entire muffin with cinnamonneyness. If you have berries in your fridge and you can’t figure out what to do with them, you could just eat them plain. Or, you could just not be so health-conscious and mundane, and put them in some muffins. Strawberry Blueberry Muffins with Cinnamon Streusel, to be exact. Don’t deny it, you know you like the sound of option 2. And trust me on this one, you’ll like the taste even better!

Strawberry Blueberry Muffins with Cinnamon Streusel
Yields 12
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
45 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
45 min
For the Muffins
  1. 3 cups all-purpose flour
  2. 1 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  3. 3 tsp baking powder
  4. 2 eggs
  5. 2/3 cup vegetable oil
  6. 2/3 cup of milk (any kind, I used almond milk)
  7. 1 tsp vanilla extract
  8. 1 cup fresh blueberries
  9. 1 cup diced fresh strawberries
For the Cinnamon Streusel
  1. 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  2. 1/5 cup granulated sugar
  3. 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  4. 1/4 cup softened butter
  5. 1 tsp cinnamon
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350° F and line a muffin tin with 12 muffin liners and set aside. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. In a separate, larger bowl, use an electric mixer to combine the eggs, oil, milk, and vanilla extract. Slowly incorporate the dry ingredients with the wet ingredients, mixing to combine. The batter will be very thick. Then, fold in the berries until just incorporated. Fill each cupcake liner all the way full with batter.
  2. To make the streusel, combine all of the ingredients with a fork, until a crumble is formed. Then, pour the crumble on the tops of each of the muffins. Put the pan in the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of the pan comes out clean. Let the muffins cool for at least 20 minutes before removing from the pan. Enjoy!
All the Sweets http://www.allthesweetsandothereats.com/

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes

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Is there anything in this life that tastes better than the combination of chocolate peanut butter? I ask myself this question again and again and can’t seem to find any other sweet pairing that I would rather stuff my face with. Don’t get me wrong: I will continue to taste test every chocolaty combination I can find in this world until the day I die (that actually sounds like a fairly solid life plan, amiright?). But, I’m fairly certain that no flavor team will match up to the true confectionary champion. Chocolate peanut butter…I love you.

These Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes have a rich, chocolaty base that I’ve posted before, so if you’ve tried any of my recipes you will know that it’s easy and well-beyond delicious. It’s my go-to fudgy cupcake bottom, because it’s chocolaty, moist, and melt-in-your-mouth amazing. I also find that the cake holds up better than other super moist cupcake bases that I’ve attempted, as it won’t crumble apart or cave in when you try to get it out of the cupcake pan. The peanut butter frosting is whipped, creamy, fluffy, and peanut buttery. Based on the amount of frosting I consumed before it even made its way into my piping bag, I can vouch that this is one of the best frostings I’ve ever made. Maybe I’m biased, but trust me on this one. This cupcake top and bottom is a match made in heaven. 

Let’s now talk about cupcake toppings. As much as it physically pains me from the very depths of my core to say this, sprinkles just don’t belong on every cupcake*. Enter: mini chocolate chips. Soooooo, I’ve never believed in scaling down the amount of chocolate in any sort of product. Like why do fun-sized candy bars even exist in the first place? (I guess portion control when it comes to eating pure fat and sugar isn’t the worst idea in the world, but let’s face it, we all end up eating more than one mini Kit Kat anyway, so what’s really the point of the whole “fun-size” thing?) But mini chocolate chips are a whole different ball game when it comes down to it. On top of cupcakes, they reign supreme as a chocolaty topping. Mini chocolate chips give a subtle, but much-needed crunch when paired with this moist and fudgy cupcake. They also don’t take away from the amazing peanut butter flavor, or the light, creamy texture of the frosting, as regular chocolate chips sometimes do when they are loaded on top of a cupcake.  So yes, mini chocolate chips are me-approved as a cupcake topping. Just don’t try and substitute the minis for the regular sized chips when you’re baking cookies or brownies, unless you like committing unspeakable acts of blasphemy. Mini chips have a time and a place: right now, and on a chocolate peanut butter cupcake, respectively.

I would wrap this post up with a nice conclusion summarizing all of the reasons you need to make these right now, but I probably should get back to my actual job of molding the young minds of children right now, and hopefully the above description has convinced you that you need these cupcakes in your life.  

*Don’t worry my dear sprinkles, you are my first true love and I will never ever leave you.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes
Yields 18
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Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
18 min
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
18 min
For the Cupcakes
  1. 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
  2. 2 ounces semi-sweet baking chocolate
  3. 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch processed)
  4. 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  5. 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  6. 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  7. 1/4 teaspoon salt
  8. 2 large eggs
  9. 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  10. 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  11. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  12. 1/2 cup buttermilk
For the Frosting
  1. 1 1/2 cups peanut butter
  2. 2 cups powdered sugar
  3. 1/2 cup butter
  4. 2 tsp vanilla
  5. 2-3 Tbs of milk
  6. 1/3 cup mini chocolate chips
For the Cupcakes
  1. Preheat the oven to 350° F, and line your cupcake pans with 18 cupcake liners. Set aside.
  2. Melt the butter in the microwave in a microwave-safe bowl, and quickly add the chocolate to the bowl once it's done. As you mix, the chocolate will melt with the butter. Set aside and cool for at least 2 minutes.
  3. In a medium-sized bowl, mix together the dry ingredients (cocoa powder, flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt). In a separate, larger bowl, whisk together the eggs, butter/chocolate mixture and vanilla. Alternate between adding the flour mixture and buttermilk to the bowl with the liquid ingredients, and mix with an electric mixer until smooth. Do not overmix. The batter will be thick.
  4. Fill the cupcake liners 2/3 of the way full with batter. Bake for 18 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the cupcakes comes out clean. Be sure to cool cupcakes at least 30 minutes before frosting.
For the Frosting
  1. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter and peanut butter together. Then, add in the vanilla and powdered sugar, beginning on low speed and increasing speed as the ingredients combine. Then, slowly add in milk, to achieve desired consistency. Put the frosting into a piping bag, and frost the cupcakes in any design. Top the cupcakes with the mini chocolate chips. Enjoy!​
All the Sweets http://www.allthesweetsandothereats.com/

Triple Chocolate Banana Bread

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Throughout my childhood, my dad, one of the most hardworking and economical men I know, taught me that you should never, ever let food go to waste. There were often times that he practiced frugality in excess, such as when he would routinely try to cut off the one moldy spot on a block of cheese or slice of bread saying it was perfectly fine now that it no longer contained its moldy spot (which, by the way, was definitely NOT ok with Mom). However, in general, through Dad’s thriftiness, I learned the value of being prudent and non-wasteful with the food I purchase. This brings me to the topic of the day: banana bread.

I’ve blogged about it before, you’ve seen it on the insta, and you probably already know that chocolate chip banana bread is one of my favorite and most popular recipes among my family and friends. Hopefully, you also already know that banana bread requires bananas that are extremely ripe. I’m one to prefer eating bananas that are speckled to the point where most people would stay away from them in the first place. But when it comes to banana bread, I always seek out the bananas that are so brown they look like they should be tossed. Thank you Dad, for teaching me that almost anything old can and should be put to good use! Why would I ever get rid of solidly brown bananas when they are the perfect level of ripeness to bring out that sweet and mellow banana bread taste? Discarding past-their-prime bananas in my kitchen is basically blasphemy. 

So you’ve gotten your coffee-colored bananas together and you’re ready to make this classic quick-bread to enjoy for breakfast all week long.  Well, I have a little twist for you. We’re not just talking regular chocolate-chip banana bread here. Today, we are going to amp up the chocolate. We’re surpassing double chocolate banana bread and heading straight to triple chocolate territory. 

“How will I ever get away with eating triple chocolate banana bread for breakfast?!” you’re probably thinking. “Most certainly that kind of indulgence should be eaten for dessert!”

Well, if you know me, the amount of chocolate in a food literally has no impact on what meal I will eat said food for. I don’t even believe that there is such thing as a breakfast food with too much chocolate. I do believe that we should have something to look forward to in the morning after waking up way too early for any sane human and before heading off to our glorious day jobs. If that “something” takes the form of Triple Chocolate Banana Bread, so sue me. Have fun eating your yogurt and oatmeal. Not that there’s anything wrong with yogurt and oatmeal considering I eat that for breakfast almost every other day of the week. But, when Triple Chocolate Banana Bread is an option, I think we all know what the clear breakfast choice is.

Moist, chocolaty banana bread with chocolate chips in every bite, drizzled with chocolate ganache for that extra dose of heaven will be your choice of morning meal every day until it’s gone. And if you can’t justify eating it first thing in the morning because it’s “too chocolaty”, I’m just going to feel sorry that you’re living your life by socially-constructed rules that say we shouldn’t eat overly glutinous foods first thing in the morning. Because in my book, when it comes to chocolate (or double or triple chocolate), there are no rules. Just expanding waistlines.

Triple Chocolate Chip Banana Bread
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
50 min
Total Time
1 hr 5 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
50 min
Total Time
1 hr 5 min
For the Banana Bread
  1. 1 cup all-purpose flour
  2. 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
  3. 2 tsp baking powder
  4. 1/2 tsp baking soda
  5. 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  6. 1/4 tsp salt
  7. 1/3 cup butter, melted and cooled
  8. 2 large eggs
  9. 1 cup packed brown sugar
  10. 2 tsp vanilla
  11. 1 cup mashed bananas (usually this is 2-3 medium or large bananas)
  12. 2 Tbsp milk (any kind will work)
  13. 1 1/2 cups chocolate chips, plus some extra for the top
For the Chocolate Ganache
  1. 2 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips
  2. 1/4 cup heavy cream
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F and grease a 9x5 loaf pan with cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt.
  3. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat together the melted butter, sugar, eggs and vanilla until well-combined. Stir in the milk and the mashed bananas, using a rubber spatula to scrape down the sides as you mix. Fold in the flour mixture, little by little, with your mixer on medium speed. Fold in the chocolate chips with a rubber spatula.
  4. Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan. Sprinkle remaining chocolate chips over the top of the load, and put the pan in the oven for 45-55 minutes. At 40 minutes, check to see if the top of the loaf is overly browned. If so, place a loose tent of foil over the top. The loaf is ready when a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.
  5. To make the chocolate ganache, heat the heavy cream in a sauce pan until close to boiling. Remove from the heat and add in the chocolate chips, whisking the mixture to melt the chocolate. Pour the ganance into a piping bag or small ziplock bag with the corner snipped off, and drizzle the ganache over the top of the banana bread.
  6. Allow the banana bread to cool in the pan completely, at least 45 minutes, before cutting.
All the Sweets http://www.allthesweetsandothereats.com/

Chocolate Peanut Butter Oreo Cake

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People: we must talk about this cake. I need to confess that I’ve eaten it for breakfast the past two days. I’ve also eaten it for dessert. And I can’t deny that I’ve “evened out the edges” more than a couple of times after opening the fridge and seeing it sitting there with its edges all uneven-like. Maybe I have a problem. Or maybe the cake has a problem. Yes, that’s it. The cake is the problem. It’s too f*cking good.  In fact, I took a break from writing this post to go eat lunch, and I’m sitting here at my computer again eating more cake. There are cake crumbs on my face and my keyboard. I think I feel slightly better after this public, chocolaty confession, but this cake infatuation is definitely becoming a little worrisome. 

If you aren’t already persuaded, I will tell you forthright: you absolutely must try this recipe. If you are a peanut butter and chocolate lover, you will never need to find another cake recipe again. If you’re not, I don’t trust you anyway so I don’t really care if you make this or not. Just kidding (except I’m kind of not). Although it’s slightly time consuming to prepare and assemble, you will not be disappointed when you are finished constructing this three-tiered chocolate beauty, which is covered with whipped peanut butter frosting and smothered with a layer of chocolate ganache. Did I mention there are Oreos on it? Because there are.

This recipe came to be this past weekend, in honor of my sister’s birthday. I thought I was going to have to send her something that was compatible for shipping all the way to New York City. However, a couple of weeks ago, she and my cousin decided to come visit me in Denver for her birthday weekend, after I convinced them that it would be in the 70s that weekend and there would be cake waiting for them upon their arrival. It’s amazing what power birthday cake can have over people. My sister asked me if I thought a cake that combined peanut butter, chocolate and Oreos would taste weird. I laughed out loud at her. What do you think the answer to that question is, Emalie?

Birthday or no birthday, special occasion or not, I urge you to make this Chocolate Peanut Butter Oreo Cake. I promise it will bring you happiness for breakfast, lunch, dinner or dessert, or in my case, all of the above and in between. 

Chocolate Peanut Butter Oreo Cake
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For the Chocolate Cake
  1. 2 cups sugar
  2. 1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  3. 3/4 cup Hershey's Cocoa
  4. 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  5. 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  6. 1 tsp salt
  7. 2 eggs
  8. 1 cup milk (I used skim; any kind will work)
  9. 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  10. 2 tsp vanilla extract
  11. 1 cup dark roast coffee, hot
For the Peanut Butter Frosting
  1. 2 cups powdered sugar
  2. 2 cups creamy peanut butter
  3. 10 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened
  4. 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  5. 1/2 tsp salt
  6. 2/3 cup heavy cream
For the Chocolate Ganache
  1. 8 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips
  2. 3/4 cup heavy cream
  3. 1 package Oreos or mini Oreos (I used a combination of both)
For the Chocolate Cake
  1. Heat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour three 8-inch round cake pans. Set aside.
  2. Stir together the sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Then, add the eggs, one at a time, stirring after each. Add in the milk, oil and vanilla, beating on medium speed for 2 minutes. Stir in the hot coffee. The batter will be very thin and runny. Pour the batter evenly into the three pans.
  3. Bake for 30 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool for at least 30 minutes before removing the cake from the pans to a wire cooling rack.
For the Peanut Butter Frosting
  1. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the powdered sugar, peanut butter, softened butter, vanilla and salt on low speed until smooth and creamy. Slowly add in the heavy cream and beat on high speed until whipped and smooth. Spread the frosting evenly on each layer of the chocolate cake, assembling the layers one on top of another. Spread a final layer of frosting around the tops and sides of the cake. Reserve some frosting to decorate the top of the cake with a piping bag.
For the Chocolate Ganache
  1. In a microwave safe bowl or container, heat the heavy cream in the microwave for 60 seconds. Add in the chocolate chips and whisk until smooth. Pour ganache in the center of the assembled cake, spreading from the center to the sides so the ganache slowly drips down. Using a piping bag and frosting tip, decorate the top of the cake with frosting flowers. Place mini Oreos around the cake on top of the frosting. Half the regular Oreos and assemble around the base of the cake.
  2. For best results, keep the cake refrigerated.
All the Sweets http://www.allthesweetsandothereats.com/

Chocolate Chip Oreo Birthday Cake Bars

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Nothing quite says “happy” like dessert. Furthermore, nothing says “birthday” nearly as well as Birthday Cake Oreos and confetti sprinkles. So, when I find myself thousands of miles across the country from most of my family, but I still need to make sure they are eating delicious baked goods on their birthday, that’s where Chocolate Chip Oreo Birthday Cake Bars come in. They are easy to make (we’re talking one bowl, 15-minute prep) and you can honestly throw in whatever mix-ins you have in your pantry already if you’re not being held to the whole “birthday” theme. If you don’t have Oreos or chocolate chips, throw in graham crackers and peanut butter chips. Sprinkle in some M&m’s if you’re feelin’ it. These bars seem to have more mix-ins than actual batter. I tend to do that a lot. I haven’t heard any complaints yet about an extremely low chocolate chip to batter ratio in any of my desserts. Let me know if I should stop with this kind of thing.

Birthday Cake Oreos are sweeter than the original flavor, but they are delicious. In my opinion, they taste like vanilla frosting and look like Funfetti cake. So yes, in conclusion, they are wonderful. Going along with the birthday theme of these bars, how could I not pour in tons of confetti sprinkles? It would be un-birthday like. Not only do sprinkles add a needed crunch to these warm, gooey bars, but they also make them look pretty. Sprinkles make everything look pretty. Sometimes I even sneak them into my morning yogurt to add some excitement to my day. (It’s the little things in life, right?) So, while I suppose they are an optional ingredient, if you have sprinkles on hand, I suggest you use them for these bars. I know I’ve never been disappointed by the addition of sprinkles to something, but I’m kind of my own breed of dessert alien at this point, so who knows.

Anyways, I hope you enjoy these Chocolate Chip Oreo Birthday Cake Bars. And if you don’t have a birthday to make them for, just make them for yourself. You might eat the whole pan in one day, but chocolate chips, Oreos, and sprinkles will often do that to a person. Don’t say I didn’t warn you. 

Chocolate Chip Oreo Birthday Cake Bars
Yields 16
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
22 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
22 min
Ingredients
  1. 1/2 cup (1 stick) of butter, melted
  2. 1 large egg
  3. 1 cup of light brown sugar, packed
  4. 1 tsp vanilla extract
  5. 1 cup of all-purpose flour
  6. 1 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips
  7. 18 Birthday Cake Oreos, roughly chopped and divided
  8. 1/2 cup of confetti sprinkles (optional)
Instructions
  1. Heat your oven to 350° F and line an 8"x 8" baking pan with aluminum foil. Spray the foil with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.
  2. In a microwave safe bowl, melt the butter. Be sure to wait a minute or two after melting the butter so you don't accidentally cook the egg. Combine the butter and egg in the mixing bowl, and then add in the brown sugar, vanilla extract, and flour. Stir well to combine. Then, fold in the chocolate chips, about 2/3 of the crushed up Oreos and the sprinkles. Mix until just combined.
  3. Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan, spreading it evenly to fill up the pan. Press the remaining Oreos to the top of the batter. If you would also like to sprinkle on some extra chocolate chips and sprinkles, feel free to do this as well.
  4. Bake the bars for about 22 minutes, or until the edges are slightly golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean. Cool the bars for about 30 minutes until cutting and serving.
  5. Enjoy!
All the Sweets http://www.allthesweetsandothereats.com/
 *This recipe was adapted from AverieCooks’ Loaded M&m Oreo Cookie Bars.

Dark Chocolate Oreo Brownies

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Spring is in the air and that means Springtime Oreos are on the shelves! Growing up, my sister and I were a couple of Oreo fiends who would swear upside down that the seasonal Oreos are twice as good as the regular ones. The orange ones for Halloween? *Drools*. And don’t get me started on the red ones during the holidays. Not only do they have twice as much Oreo filling as the classic cookie, but there’s something about the colored ones that just taste better. Springtime Oreos are no exception. When I passed by the cookie aisle on my most recent trip to Target I almost bought the new Peeps flavor, but I’ve heard weird things about those turning your insides hot pink. I’ll try those another time (maybe?). Instead, I grabbed a pack of Springtime Oreos (along with a ton of other random items that I definitely didn’t need, but alas, that’s the magic of Target), headed out of the store, and immediately started thinking about what I wanted to do with them. 

I hadn’t made brownies in a while and I was in the mood for a quick recipe that only requires one bowl (aka minimal cleanup). These brownies are SO easy to make. With the addition of Oreos mixed throughout the batter and covering the top layer, they are truly a next-level dessert. This recipe requires very few ingredients, and it takes less time to whip together the batter than it does to bake them. If you are at all strapped on time, love Oreos as much as I do, and can’t resist an incredibly fudgy, dark chocolate brownie, this recipe is for you!

Dark Chocolate Oreo Brownies
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Ingredients
  1. 3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
  2. 1 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  3. 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  4. 3/4 cup of dark chocolate cocoa powder
  5. 3 eggs
  6. 1 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips
  7. 20 Oreos, crushed into pieces
Instructions
  1. In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the melted butter, granulated sugar, flour, cocoa powder and eggs until well-mixed. Slowly add in the chocolate chips and crushed Oreos, folding until just-combined.
All the Sweets http://www.allthesweetsandothereats.com/

Mint Chocolate Cupcakes

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I’m going to be entirely honest when I say that mint-chocolate has never been one of my favorite combinations. I hardly ever grab an Andes mint when I’m leaving a restaurant and York Peppermint Patties don’t really thrill me. However, I can’t deny that mint-chocolate certainly is a classic dessert combo. With Girl Scouts selling Thin Mints all around me and an approaching St. Paddy’s Day calling for all green everything, you better believe I’m getting out those green sprinkles and whipping up something minty.

I made these cupcakes last week for one of my best friend’s birthdays. She couldn’t decide if she wanted to be “surprised” with coconut cupcakes or mint chocolate cupcakes, and who am I to squash someone’s double dessert dreams? Coconut cupcakes are an old favorite of mine, and I threw those together pretty quickly. But mint-chocolate was a different story. I haven’t dabbled too much in the mint scene, but after grabbing a box of mint Oreos and taste-testing just one,  I knew it was time to give it a go.

The base of these cupcakes was made using my favorite chocolate fudge cake recipe. The cake is moist and chocolatey, and it pairs perfectly with almost any kind of frosting. Several drops of peppermint extract turn my classic chocolate buttercream frosting into a chocolate-mint frosting that is minty, cool, creamy and fudgy. They are topped off with a mint Oreo and some green sprinkles, and there you have it: mint-chocolate cupcake heaven. If you are a mint-skeptic like my naive self used to be, you have to give this recipe a try. 

Mint Chocolate Cupcakes
Serves 12
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Prep Time
20 min
Prep Time
20 min
For the Cupcakes
  1. 1/2 cup dark chocolate cocoa powder
  2. 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  3. 1/2 tsp baking soda
  4. 3/4 tsp baking powder
  5. 1/4 tsp salt
  6. 2 large eggs
  7. 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  8. 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  9. 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  10. 2 tsp vanilla extract
  11. 1/2 cup buttermilk
For the Frosting
  1. 2 3/4 cup powdered sugar
  2. 2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  3. 6 Tbsp butter, softened
  4. 6 Tbsp heavy cream
  5. 1 tsp vanilla extract
  6. 2 tsp peppermint extract
  7. 12 mint Oreos (optional)
  8. sprinkles (optional)
For the Cupcakes
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F and line a 12-cup muffin pan with cupcake liners.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the cocoa powder, flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Set this bowl aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, both sugars, oil and vanilla until well-combined. Pour the wet ingredients into the bowl with the dry ingredients, and mix for 30 seconds. Then, add in the buttermilk, and stir until just combined. The batter will be a little runny.
  3. Use a 1/4 cup measuring cup to fill the cupcake liners with batter. The cupcake liners should be between 1/2 and 3/4 of the way filled. Bake for 18-21 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow the cupcakes to cool completely before frosting.
For the Frosting
  1. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter on medium speed until light and creamy, or for about 2 minutes. Add 4 1/2 cups of confectioners' sugar, heavy cream, vanilla extra, and peppermint extract with the mixer on low. Beat on medium-high speed for at least 3 minutes. Add 1/2 cup more confectioners' sugar if the frosting is too thin. Add in another tablespoon of cream if the batter is to thick. If the frosting is too sweet, add a pinch of salt.
  2. Using a piping bag, pipe the frosting onto the cooled cupcakes. Decorate each cupcake with a mint Oreo and green sprinkles to add a festive flare if you'd like!
All the Sweets http://www.allthesweetsandothereats.com/

Whole Wheat Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Muffins

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It’s no secret that my favorite combination in the entire world is peanut butter and chocolate. If you didn’t know that about me, you probably haven’t been reading my blog for too long. I am mildly obsessed with peanut butter (and by “mildly”, I mean incredibly). Just last weekend I found an embarrassing amount of half-eaten jars of all different varieties. Creamy, chunky, natural, dark chocolate, whipped, etc. I swear they just kept coming out of the depths of my kitchen cabinet. Surprisingly, I found a way to use the remaining contents of almost all of the jars when I baked for Valentine’s Day a few days ago, but there was one almost-empty jar that endured my peanut butter purge. But, because I never make it too long without baking something with some good ole PB, it didn’t last for long. Thank you, muffins!

You might be a little surprised by the whole wheat in this recipe. I’m not exactly the most health-conscious of individuals when it comes to baking, and I don’t use whole wheat flour all too often. However, when I thought back to the alarming amount of McDonald’s that I consumed last night for dinner and the lack of exercise that I have engaged in lately, I thought I would use whole wheat in these muffins to at least give myself the illusion that these are healthy-ish. In reality, only a fraction of the flour used in this recipe is whole wheat, because let’s be real: it’s not very often that I will trade in taste for nutrition when it comes to dessert.

If you like the combination of peanut butter and chocolate chips, and you are a fan of treats that can double as both breakfast and dessert, you should get to making these. Like any muffin, I find that they are best served warm. If you really want to treat yourself, pop one in the toaster over, split it in half, and spread some butter on the inside of each half. Although your waistline might not thank me, your taste buds definitely well.

Whole Wheat Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Muffins
Yields 12
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
19 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
19 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 1/2 cups of all purpose flour
  2. 1/2 cup of whole wheat flour
  3. 2 tsp baking powder
  4. 1/2 tsp salt
  5. 2 tbsp butter, softened
  6. 2/3 cup of creamy peanut butter
  7. 2/3 cup of brown sugar
  8. 2 eggs
  9. 1 cup of milk (I used 2%)
  10. 1 1/2 cups of chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 425° F. Spray a 12-cup muffin tin with nonstick spray and set aside.
  2. In a small bowl, combine both types of flour, the baking powder, and the salt. Set aside.
  3. In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the butter, peanut butter, and brown sugar. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Then add the milk and mix on medium for about 30 seconds. Slowly add the dry mixture to the mixing bowl, little by little, mixing on low until just combined. Finally, add the chocolate chips. The batter will be thick.
  4. Use a 1/3 cup measuring cup to divide the batter among the 12 muffin cups. Add a sprinkle of chocolate chips on the top of each muffin, if desired. Bake the muffins at 425° F for 5 minutes, before lowering the oven to 350° F and baking for 12-15 more minutes. The muffins are ready when a toothpick inserted into the middle of each muffin comes out clean. Let the muffins cool for at least 15 minutes before serving. Enjoy!
All the Sweets http://www.allthesweetsandothereats.com/

Valentine’s Day Peanut Butter Blossoms

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Each year for Thanksgiving when I am planning out the dessert menu for my family’s holiday feast, peanut butter blossoms are always at the top of the list. In addition to being one of the most classic holiday cookies, like ever, they also happen to my mom’s favorite cookie. Which is why when I was thinking about what Valentine’s Day confection to send my parents this year, I started to question why I only tend to make these cookies once a year. Not only are they really easy to make, but they are the perfect, classic, quintessential combination of chocolate and peanut butter. But, if these were going to be made for a Valentine’s Day treat, they would need something, anything really, to give ’em the V-day twist. Enter: Reese’s Hearts.

I’m totally convinced that weird-shaped Reese’s taste slightly better than the traditional peanut butter cup. There’s something about Reese’s Trees, Reese’s Eggs and Reese’s Hearts that gets me going even more than the regular ones, and that’s saying something. So when I thought about placing Reese’s Hearts in the middle of the peanut butter blossoms instead of the standard Hershey’s kiss, I knew I couldn’t go wrong. Who would complain about an extra dose of peanut butter in an already wonderfully peanut-buttery cookie? Not this girl.

So, make these cookies for Valentine’s Day or make them just because. Make them for yourself, or make them to ship to your mom and dad. And, if you make them for mom and dad and you end up eating them all yourself, I swear I won’t tell. Those things happen. My point is, you need these peanut butter blossoms in your life one way or another, because it’s the season of love and cookies sure do make a great Valentine.

Peanut Butter Blossoms
Yields 24
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
10 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
10 min
Ingredients
  1. 1/2 cup (1 stick) of butter, softened
  2. 3/4 cup of white sugar, divided
  3. 1/2 cup of brown sugar
  4. 3/4 cup of creamy peanut butter
  5. 1 egg
  6. 1 tsp vanilla extract
  7. 1 tsp baking soda
  8. 1 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour
  9. 24 Reese's Hearts
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350° F and lightly grease two baking sheets with non-stick spray. Set pans aside.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the softened butter and 1/2 cup of the white sugar, until light and fluffy. Then, beat in the peanut butter, and vanilla. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Finally, mix in the baking sofa and flour until a soft, creamy dough forms.
  3. Using a rounded tablespoon, roll cookie dough balls into a bowl containing the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar. Place the cookie dough balls on the baking sheets, 1 inch apart. Bake for about 8-10 minutes, and allow to cool for about 5 minutes before placing one Reese's heart in the middle of each cookie.
  4. Enjoy!
All the Sweets http://www.allthesweetsandothereats.com/
PS: Mom and Dad, if you’re reading this, keep an eye out for a sweet package in the mail!

Extra Fudgy Triple Chocolate Cookies

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It’s really hard for me to stray from my all-time favorite cookie recipe. The Nestle Tollhouse Cookie recipe is basically my life blood. If I ever decide to get a tattoo, I think I would get that recipe inked across my shoulder blade to show my devotion. But today is not about the Nestle Tollhouse cookie recipe. Today is about another kind of cookie that will delight any chocolate lover.

Chocolate cookies with white chocolate chips were my old go-to whenever my parents would take me to Subway as a kid and I had to decide between chips or a cookie to go with my 6-inch turkey and cheese. It was always a tough decision, but in the battle between sweet vs. salty, sweet comes out victorious 150% of the time. However, these cookies are no Subway cookies. These cookies are thick, fudgy, and brownie-like. They are overflowing with semi-sweet and white chocolate chips to make for chocolate in every bite. Oh, and they’re massive. This cookie recipe could easily spit out 3-4 dozen cookies. But giant cookies just get me going, so I turned 36 small scoops of cookie dough into 12 enormous ones.  They’re quick to prepare (they require only one bowl!) and if you’re anything like me when it comes to the eating of desserts, I guarantee that they’ll be gone even faster. 

Extra Fudgy Triple Chocolate Cookies
Yields 12
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
16 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
16 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 cup (2 sticks) of butter, softened
  2. 1 1/4 cups of sugar
  3. 2 large eggs
  4. 1/2 cup of dark chocolate cocoa powder
  5. 2 1/4 cups of flour
  6. 1/4 tsp of salt
  7. 1 tsp baking powder
  8. 2 cups of semi-sweet chocolate chips
  9. 2 cups of white chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. Heat the oven to 350° F and grease two baking sheets. Set aside.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the sugar and butter together for 2-3 minutes until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing on medium speed. Mix in the cocoa powder, scraping down the bowl as necessary. Then, add the flour, salt, and baking powder to the bowl. Mix on low speed for about 1 minute until well-incorporated. Fold in the chocolate chips.
  3. Using a 1/4 cup measure, scoop the cookie dough onto your prepared sheets. I only put 6-7 cookies on each sheet because of their size. Bake for about 16 minutes if you like soft cookies, or 18 if you like them with a little crunch!
All the Sweets http://www.allthesweetsandothereats.com/