Friday, April 28, 2017

Skating Fridays

Recap from Adult Nationals

Well, friends - my 3rd Adult Nationals is in the books. If you followed me on Facebook, you'll already know the results from my two events.

The summary is that I did not skate my best and wound up placing last in both events. But, please don't feel sad or bad because I am not upset. Quite the opposite, actually. Yes, I am disappointed that I missed a few elements here and there, but I really had a wonderful time. We had a great representation from our local club, and each of us was there to cheer the others on.

I reunited with old skating friends and met new ones, and the atmosphere was overwhelmingly supportive. We also kept joking that everyone in an event should buy a drink for the person who comes in last. That means that 14 people owe me a drink in my freestyle event, and another 5 in my dramatic event. Yes!

All kidding aside, I am actually pretty energized. I am excited to work on new elements as well as fine tune and improve my skating skills. I am motivated by watching others' performances and would love to be a beacon for someone else in the stands.

Here are some highlights from the weekend:
  • I got to meet and take photographs with Charlie Tickner and "Jumpin' Joe" Jozef Sabovcik, who are both skating celebrities (I had met Jumpin' Joe in 2014 at Adult Nationals there so it was cool to meet him again):
    Charlie Tickner, 1978 World Figure Skating Championships Gold Medalist
    "Jumpin' Joe" Jozef Sabovcik, 1984 Olympic bronze medalist
  • I met Rohene Ward, who was briefly in attendance on the final day of competition. He is Jason Brown's choreographer and such a fantastic and amazing skater!
    Rohene Ward, 4-time US National competitor and Jason Brown's choreographer
  • I made the Raleigh News & Observer, which is the local Raleigh newspaper. Check out the video at the top of the page and you'll see me at 1:13 and 1:29.
  • I received a crazy amount of 'tossies,' which are gifts that fellow skaters throw on the ice after each performance. It was humbling to see how many people cared and wanted to show their love and appreciation.
  • I also got to have several heart-to-heart conversations with some pretty inspirational people, and their encouragement and advice lifted me to want to become an even better person and skater.

Next week I'd like to tell you about our new club mascots. They were quite popular and certainly made everyone laugh!

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Funfetti mug cake

Got a craving for cake but don't want any leftovers? Make this single serving mug cake and satisfy your sweet tooth in about 5 minutes!

I had a craving for something sweet one lazy afternoon but did not want to bake an entire cake. Call me crazy, but I didn't want to have an entire cake sitting on my kitchen counter for the next few days. While I normally welcome that kind of thing, I wasn't feeling it this particular day. Rather, I wanted something small that I didn't need to share with anybody. You know, because I am selfish like that. So I made myself a Funfetti mug cake.

There are so many good things about this mug cake. You can make it in less than 5 minutes, there are no bowls to clean, and everything is mixed in the mug! Oh, and the best part - you don't have to share. Heck, you could eat this in a few minutes and have the kitchen all cleaned up in the time it takes to watch a commercial break.

If you want, you can always add a scoop of ice cream, some caramel drizzle or even a dollop of whipped cream on top. Whatever way you top it, this Funfetti mug cake is sure to become a new favorite!

Funfetti mug cake 
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 cup milk of choice
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 and 1/2 Tablespoons vegetable/canola oil or melted coconut oil
  • 2 teaspoons sprinkles
Mix the flour, sugar, salt and baking powder in an 8 ounce (standard sized) mug. Add in the milk, vanilla and oil. Mix well until the batter is smooth and free of lumps. Stir in the sprinkles and add a few sprinkles on the top.

Microwave for 90 seconds and serve immediately.

You can always top with a scoop of ice cream or whipped cream (and extra sprinkles of course).

Yield: One mug cake (serves 1-2)

Source: Mel's Kitchen Cafe

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Caramel toffee brownies

Got brownies on the brain? These cake-like brownies contain a fun toffee layer for a more sophisticated flavor. Enjoy with a cup of milk or coffee!

Brownies seem to be a staple at our house. If it's not muffins, then it's brownies. I mean, who can resist a square full of rich, chocolate-y goodness, right?

One lazy Sunday morning, I got a craving for brownies but didn't want to repeat a recipe. I happened to have half a bag of toffee bits left in the pantry and decided find a recipe that featured these fun baking chips. Enter these caramel toffee brownies.

This recipe makes a large 9"x13" pan so it's perfect for sharing (or not!). There are 3 layers to these brownies... a caramel/toffee middle layer that's sandwiched in between two identical brownie layers. I do want to note that these brownies are more on the cake-y side and not the typical fudge brownies that I am addicted to. Regardless, they are still awesome despite not being ooey gooey.

My family and I loved these cake-like brownies and were happy when I kept half the pan for ourselves. Although fudgy brownies are my jam, these cake-like ones were great too!

Caramel toffee brownies 
Caramel layer
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened 
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup caramel ice cream topping
  • 2 Tablespoons milk of choice
  • 1 cup toffee bits

Brownie layer
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, cubed
  • 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Generously grease or line a standard 9"x13" pan and set aside.

In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt and set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or in a large bowl if using a handheld mixer, cream the butter and sugars on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Add in the egg and vanilla.

In a small bowl, combine the caramel topping and milk. Pour this into the bowl and mix until well blended. Turn the mixer off and fold in the toffee bits. Set the batter aside.

In a microwave-safe bowl, melt the butter and chocolate and stir until uniform. Add the eggs, one at a time, until each is well blended. Add in the sugar and vanilla and mix well. Slowly fold in the flour and mix until no dry streaks remain.

Pour half of the brownie batter into your prepared pan and smooth out the top. Dollop all of the caramel batter on top and smooth the top (I used an offset spatula). Add the remaining brownie batter and spread it evenly (or if you prefer, you can swirl the batter in using a knife).

Bake in your preheated oven for about 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow the brownies to cool before cutting and serving.

Brownies should be stored in an airtight container at room temperature or in the refrigerator and will keep for several days.

Yield: One 9"x13" pan; about 24-30 servings (depending upon how big you cut your slices)

Source: Taste of Home

Friday, April 21, 2017

Skating Fridays

Skating Fridays 

I don't have much of an update for you this week since I am competing at Adult Nationals. Tonight I am skating in the dramatic entertainment event.

In the meantime, I hope you enjoy this video of a jump sequence I am working on.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Funfetti skillet cookie

The best kind of cookies are made in one pan (or skillet). No rolling, no chilling and no cookie sheets to clean! This giant Funfetti skillet cookie is so fun to make and eat - don't forget to add extra sprinkles for a festive look!

I hope you're not tired of Cookiepalooza here at Eva Bakes. I've just got cookies on the brain thanks to Dorie Greenspan.

This is a fun recipe that Addie and I worked on together one Sunday morning before we were getting ready to attend a birthday party. She and I mixed the batter together and painted our toenails and watched Daniel Tiger while we waited for this cookie to bake.

As I was getting ready to photograph the cookie, my little Rembrandt came in and showed me her rendition of the scene I had set up:

Isn't that just precious? So back to this cookie. You can use whatever baking chips you want to jazz things up a bit and can also top your cookie with whatever makes your heart sing. I chose to add salted caramel baking chips because duh. I didn't add a scoop of ice cream this time, but I probably will the next time I bake this.

The cookie was light and crispy on the outside and soft and chewy on the inside. It's essentially one giant fun-filled sugar cookie with lots of chips and sprinkles. Just the way cookies should be!

Funfetti skillet cookie
  • 1 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons corn starch
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup white chocolate chips (I used salted caramel baking chips)
  • 1/2 cup rainbow sprinkles
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Generously grease or spray a 9" or 10" cast iron skillet (if you don't own one, then use a 9" or 10" round cake pan).

In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda and corn starch. Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or in a large bowl if using a handheld mixer, cream the butter on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 1 minute. Add in the sugar and continue creaming for 2-3 minutes until the butter is pale.

Add in the egg, egg yolk and vanilla extract and mix well. Turn the mixer down to low and add in the dry ingredients. Mix until no dry streaks remain.

Turn off the mixer and fold in the baking chips and sprinkles by hand (using a spatula or wooden spoon).

Transfer the batter to your prepared skillet and evenly spread it out. The batter is fairly sticky so you could use damp hands or an offset spatula to help you.

Bake in your preheated oven for about 25 minutes or until the cookie appears lightly browned. Remove from the oven and allow it to cool slightly before serving (the top may sink a little, and that's to be expected). Top with ice cream, whipped cream, caramel sauce or whatever makes you happy.

Leftovers should be stored in an airtight container at room temperature or in the refrigerator and will keep for several days.

Yield: One large skillet cookie (about 8-12 servings)

Source: Ever so slightly adapted from Posh in Progress

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Vegan butterscotch pudding

This smooth and creamy vegan butterscotch pudding might be better than its dairy counterpart. With just a few simple ingredients, you can have this made in no time!

My 6 year-old daughter has a few obsessions: Shopkins, reading and butterscotch  pudding. Whenever we go out to run errands, she has to bring a book to read in the car. If it's late at night, she'll turn on the light so she can read quietly to herself. She always like to point out Shopkins-branded items at stores and ooh and ahh over the newly released editions or characters while I discreetly roll my eyes and watch my bank account balance drop.

Her newest obsession is butterscotch pudding. I've made it for her before, and she was so smitten with it that I hear about it on a weekly basis. "Mom! Can we make butterscotch pudding?" I finally gave in one Sunday morning but didn't realize that we were out of milk. All I had left in the refrigerator was soy milk.  No problem - I decided to make an almost vegan version instead.

Addie was so excited about her butterscotch pudding that she stopped reading her book and came over to help. She's all enough where she can reach the stove without using a step stool so she helped me mix all the ingredients together. I'd stop and ask her if the pudding was ready yet, and she astutely would tell me no and that the pudding was too watery. I took over the stirring and told her once the pudding had firmed up. Her little eye lit up and she was super excited.

After we stirred in the (regular) butter and vanilla extract, I poured the pudding into mini bowls to place in the refrigerator. There was a little bit left over so I made her a little bowl for being such an excellent helper. She ate this up in about 1 spoonful and was happy to brag to her daddy about her new dessert.

My husband tried some later that evening and remarked that this actually tasted better than the non-vegan version. That's a pretty bold statement since he gets a bit weary about my healthy substitutions in desserts. I hope you enjoy this and get to make it with a loved one - I had a blast making this with Addie and look forward to sharing more time with her in the kitchen.

Vegan butterscotch pudding 
  • 3 Tablespoons cornstarch
  • ¾ cups dark brown sugar, packed
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2 and ¼ cups milk of choice (I used unsweetened soy milk), divided
  • 1 Tablespoon dairy-free soy margarine, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
In a medium sized saucepan, mix together the cornstarch, sugar, salt and ¼ cup of the milk until well blended.

Place the saucepan on the stove over medium heat. Stir constantly until the sugar is dissolved. Slowly stream in the remaining milk. Keep stirring until the mixture starts to thicken, at least 3-5 minutes.

Turn the stove off, remove the pan from the heat and add in the margarine and vanilla. Whisk thoroughly until the pudding is smooth and uniform.

Transfer the pudding into individual ramekins or cups and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate until cool before serving.

Keep leftover pudding, covered, in the refrigerator.

Yield: About 6 servings

Source: The Spruce

Friday, April 14, 2017

Skating Fridays

Prepping for Nationals

I've been busy prepping for Nationals, which is next week--AHHHHH! We are still tweaking my program as I type, so it's been crazy trying to get all the new steps and transitions memorized and be able to get it comfortable enough to perform.

I just want to skate my best and feel like I left nothing (in terms of points) on the table. Regardless of how I do, I am excited to see my skating friends, especially those who do not live in the same region as me.

Be sure to follow me on Facebook, as I am sure I'll be posting updates there.

PS. Today is my baby girl's 7th birthday. I can't wait to celebrate with her!

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Dorie's chocolate thumbprint cookies with fruit jam

These chocolate thumbprint cookies with fruit jam from Dorie Greenspan would be great for a cookie exchange or your next get together! The chocolate-y cookie has the perfect texture and complements the melted fruit jam. Drizzle on some melted chocolate for an even more fabulous presentation!
It was time. We got the email from the library that it was finally time to return our copy of Dorie's Cookies. My husband was sad once he received the email and insisted that he flip through the cookbook one more time. You know, just in case there was another recipe that we absolutely had to try.

There was. And it was these cookies. He convinced Addie that I had to bake these and to do it soon because you  know - chocolate cookies. I guess that's why we get along so well.
I wanted to fill these with raspberry jam but didn't have any, so I substituted with a triple berry jam that we already had in the refrigerator. You can use any fruit jam that you have. If I hadn't have seen the berry jam in the fridge, I was ready to use fig jam. Mmm, fig jam.

These cookies were wonderful - they were soft with a slight crunch. The cookies weren't as chocolate-y as I was hoping but it was nicely balanced with the melted fruit jam and drizzle of chocolate on top. I'd highly suggest you double the recipe below because these will get eaten really quickly.

Dorie's chocolate thumbprint cookies with fruit jam
  • 2 and 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 16 Tablespoons (1 cup or 2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 large egg white, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup fruit jam (I used fig)
  • 2/3 cup milk or white chocolate chips, optional
Preheat your oven to 350°F. Grease or line two standard baking sheets and set them aside. 

In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the flour and cocoa and set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or in a large bowl if using a handheld mixer, cream the butter, sugar and salt together on medium speed until smooth and creamy. Turn the mixer down to low and add in the egg white and vanilla. 
Slowly add in the dry ingredients in three additions, making sure the batter is even and the dry ingredients have been fully incorporated before adding the next portion. 

Using a cookie scoop or two spoons, scoop the batter into golf-size ball sizes and roll them into balls using your hands. Gently press down on top of a cookie ball to make an indentation and fill with your fruit jam.

Bake the cookies in your preheated oven for 16 to 18 minutes, or until they feel firm and the jam is bubbling. Take them out of the oven and allow them to cool on the pan for 5 minutes before transferring them to a rack to finish cooling completely.

If desired, you can drizzle the tops with melted chocolate. Simply place the chocolate in a heatproof bowl and microwave for 30 seconds at a time, stirring between each time. Use a fork or a pastry bag and drizzle the melted chocolate over the tops of each cookie.

Let the chocolate set by placing the cookies in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes. Allow the cookies to come back to room temperature before serving.

Store cookies in an airtight container at room temperature. They will keep for several days. Cookies can also be frozen and thawed.

Yield: About 24 cookies

Source: Dorie's Cookies by Dorie Greenspan

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Dorie's pecan cake fingers with brown butter icing

Crunchy, meringue-like cake fingers are topped with an unbelievable brown butter icing. This recipe from Dorie Greenspan will surely knock your socks off!

Hey look - a recipe with nuts! Those of you who have been around here a while know that I am not a fan of nuts, so I don't to feature many recipes with them. As my husband was browsing through Dorie's Cookies, he saw these and asked me to bake them. I happily obliged, knowing that this would be a great dessert for my waistline since I wouldn't really partake in the quality control process.

I found it interesting that the cookies were essentially a meringue. We whip the egg whites like a meringue and bake it low and slow. The resulting cookies had the signature crunch like a meringue, yet was soft and chewy on the inside. The cake fingers are topped with a thick brown butter icing, which I could easily eaten with a spoon (or a fork, since it was so dense).

Both my husband, Addie and my skating friend really enjoyed these cookies. The brown butter made the entire kitchen smell amazing so making the icing alone was totally worth it. The recipe did make a fairly large batch, and you can customize the bar size to whatever floats your boat. If you're hosting a party with lots of finger foods, you can cut these a little bit smaller. Or, you can make them larger and just enjoy them yourself!

Dorie's pecan cake fingers with brown butter icing
Cake fingers
  • 3/4 cup plus 2 Tablespoons (120 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 and 1/2 cups (180 grams) finely chopped pecans, preferably toasted
  • 2 cups plus 2 Tablespoons (425 grams) light brown sugar, packed
  • 3 large egg whites, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups (240 grams) powdered sugar
  • 1 stick (8 Tablespoons) unsalted butter, cut into chunks
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat your oven to 275 degrees F. Generously grease a quarter sheet pan (you can use a 9"x13" pan if you don't own a half sheet pan) and set aside.
In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt together and set aside.

Place the chopped pecans in a small bowl. Measure out 1/4 of the flour/baking powder mixture and toss into the pecans so they are evenly coated.

Push the brown sugar through a fine mesh strainer onto a piece of parchment paper. Do not keep any brown sugar lumps.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment or in a large bowl if using a handheld mixer, whip the egg whites on medium high speed until you achieve soft peaks. Gradually add the strained brown sugar and turn the speed to high. Your egg whites will appear to be a caramel-toned meringue. Whip in the vanilla.

Turn the mixer off and gently fold in 1/3 of the flour mixture. Add in the next 1/3 and gently fold until well incorporated. Add in the final 1/3 of the flour mixture until a few meringue-y streaks remain. Gently fold in the reserved pecans in 3 additions. Be as gentle as you can so you don't deflate the egg whites.

Gently spread the batter into your prepared sheet pan and bake in your preheated oven for 50-55 minutes or until the tops appear dry, dull and pale. If you press on the bars, nothing will bounce back.

Allow the bars to cool for about 3 minutes before inverting onto a cooling rack to finish cooling completely. Once the bars are completely cooled, transfer to a cutting board and using a sharp, long knife, cut the bars into fingers - about 3" by 1".

To make the icing, put the powdered sugar into a medium heatproof bowl. Place the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Allow it to melt but do not stir. Keep an eagle eye on the butter as it slowly starts to brown. The butter will darken but watch it carefully so it doesn't burn (you'll start to see brown flecks). Feel free to swirl the pan around but do not touch the butter with any utensils. Once the butter produces a nut-like aroma and is lightly brown, turn off the heat and take the saucepan off the stove.

Pour the browned butter into the bowl with the powdered sugar. Add the vanilla and stir. The icing will be slightly stiff and clay-like.

Using whatever method works for you, dollop about a Tablespoon of the icing over the middle of a cake finger and spread across the top as evenly as you can. You may need to use your fingers. The icing may crack and will not look perfect, and that's OK.

Let the cookies rest for about an hour before serving. These should be stored in an airtight container at room temperature and will keep for about a week. They will continue to harden after each day.

Yield: One 9"x13" pan; about 48 bars

Source: Dorie's Cookies by Dorie Greenspan

Friday, April 7, 2017

Skating Fridays

Thoughts From a Judge 

At my Sectionals event a few weeks ago, I noticed that one of the judges on my panel was a skating friend of mine. I met her at Adult Nationals a few years ago and I've made sure to throw her a tossie during competitions. I reached out to her to see if she would be willing to provide me some feedback on my performance.

She happily agreed and spent over half an hour on the phone with me. She had taken copious notes during my 2 minute and 40 second program. It was fascinating to see what types of things (good and bad) stood out to her.

Since there was a lot that she covered, I will only note some of the highlights in hopes that this will help somebody else out there. Even if you are not an IJS level skater, many of these themes should apply. Keep in mind that this is only from one judge's perspective so it might not be true for all judges.

Skating Skills
  • This judge was looking for speed, acceleration, balance, cleanliness of steps and being multi-directional
  • She noted that Skating Skills determines her baseline for judging and then she assigns scores from the other portions of PCS from there
  • "Transitions are the threading of elements from one to the other"
  • She is looking for the difficulty and quality of transitions 
  • Examples: Twizzles, counters, rockers, chocktaws, spread eagles, spirals, split jumps, Ina Bauers, mazurkas, bunny hops
  • Delivery and emotional involvement - are you smiling? Are your eyes up? Are you relating to the audience? Do you have personality?
  • "Make me believe that you love this program"
  • Cover all ends of the ice. Seriously. Do not fall a few feet short.
  • Are all your spins in the same place? Are all your elements towards the middle of the ice? If so, move them. 
  • Are you effortlessly moving?
  • Do the judges know your music?
  • Are you changing your body with the music? Are you doing something with your arms with every crescendo? 
  • You must show the judges that you know the music is playing! Otherwise, if they played someone else's CD, it wouldn't make much of a difference.
Based on this judge's very helpful and specific feedback, we've been making major edits to my transitions. The overall structure of my program is still the same, but now it should flow better for my skating style and ability.

I'm excited to put this together and hope that I perform better at Adult Nationals in a few short weeks!

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Dorie's brownies

These ultra chewy brownies from Dorie Greenspan are sure to make your favorites list. It uses a whipping technique to make the batter super light and fluffy. Cocoa powder (not chocolate) gives these brownies their extra chocolate-y flavor.

You're probably thinking... "Yawn. Another brownie recipe." But hold on, my friends! This is a brownie from Dorie Greenspan, who is pretty much a rock star in the cooking and baking world. Before you pass judgment on yet another brownie, listen up,

The secret to these superbly chewy brownies is how they are mixed. Dorie asks us to whip the butter, sugar and salt together for 5 full minutes before adding other ingredients. The brownies are mixed for almost 10 minutes before baking, so they are light, fluffy, chewy and oh-so-amazing.

Prior to these, my favorite plain brownies have been these salted fudge ones from Kate Krader. Dorie's definitely gives Kate's brownies a run for her money. My husband actually said that Dorie's brownies are his all-time favorite so that's definitely saying something. He couldn't stop eating these and I noticed that the entire batch had been eaten in a matter of a few days. We didn't give many of these away because we wanted to save them all for ourselves.

Dorie's brownies 
  • 1 cup plus 2 Tablespoons (150 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1 and 1/3 cups (112 grams) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 stick plus 3 Tablespoons (11 Tablespoons total) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 and 1/2 cups (500 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 
  • 4 large eggs, lightly beaten, at room temperature
Preheat your oven to 325 degrees F. Generously grease a 9"x13" baking pan and set aside.

In a medium sized bowl, whisk the flour and cocoa powder together and set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or in a large bowl if using a handheld mixer, cream together the butter, sugar and salt on low speed for 3 minutes until light and fluffy. Add in the vanilla.

Turn the mixer off and switch to the whisk attachment. Turn the mixer to medium speed and add in the eggs and beat for 5 full minutes. The mixture will double in size. Turn the mixer off and switch back to the paddle attachment. Gently fold in the dry ingredients (using a spatula) and then turn the mixer on low to mix until everything just comes together. Your fluffy batter will collapse, but that is expected.

Transfer the batter to your prepared pan and bake in your preheated oven for 20 minutes. Then rotate the pan and bake for an additional 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Allow the brownies to cool before cutting and serving.

Brownies should be stored in airtight container at room temperature or in the refrigerator and will keep for several days.

Yield: One 9"x13" pan; about 24 brownies (more or less, depending on how big you cut your slices)

Source: Dorie's Cookies by Dorie Greenspan

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Pumpkin chocolate chip muffins

Who says that pumpkin has to be a fall ingredient? It's available year-round so use that to your advantage and make these pumpkin chocolate chip muffins!
It was about that time to bake another batch of muffins and I had no idea what to make. I went into the pantry to see what I had and saw a can of pumpkin puree and used that as my inspiration. I mean, who says that you can't bake with pumpkin outside of the fall season?

Like many of the muffin recipes you will find here on Eva Bakes, this one is made in two bowls, and I've made a few substitutions to make them a bit healthier. I baked with whole wheat flour and eliminated any butter or oil by substituting with applesauce. The other positive thing about this particular recipe is that it uses an entire can of pumpkin, so you won't need to find another recipe to use up any leftover pumpkin puree.
These pumpkin muffins were an instant hit at my house. My husband and daughter each had one a few minutes after they came out of the oven so they were nice and warm. We ate this batch of muffins more quickly than many of the others I've made because they were so amazing. They baked up nice and fluffy and were chewy, dense and full of chocolate chips.

Go ahead and open that can of pumpkin that you have lurking in the pantry and make these muffins!

Whole wheat pumpkin chocolate chip muffins 
  • 1 and ¾ cups white whole wheat flour (can substitute with all-purpose)
  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 Tablespoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 can (15 ounces) pumpkin puree
  • ½ cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 Tablespoon milk of choice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F. Generously grease or line two standard muffin pans and set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

In a medium sized bowl, mix together the eggs, pumpkin puree, applesauce, mil and vanilla. Transfer this to the large bowl and gently fold everything together until a few dry streaks remain.

Fold in the chocolate chips and evenly distribute the batter into your baking pans, filling each well at least 3/4 full.

Bake in your preheated oven for 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Muffins should be stored in an airtight container at room temperature or in the refrigerator and will keep for several days. They can also be frozen and thawed.

Yield: About 15 muffins

Source: Slightly adapted from Melanie Cooks


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