Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Peanut Butter Banana Muffins


We are on a muffin kick here lately.  They are easy to make with a two year old "helper" and a newborn observer!  These muffins were a great way to use some very ripe bananas we had on the counter.  They were the perfect blend of peanut butter and bananas in my opinion.

This recipe makes 12 muffins.

2 large ripe bananas
1/3 C unsweetened applesauce
1 1/4 C flour
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
2 TBSP butter, softened
1/3 C brown sugar
2 large egg whites
1/2 tsp vanilla
10 TBSP peanut butter (divided - 8TBSP and 2 TBSP)

Preheat the oven to 325.
Line 12 muffin tins with liners or a light layer of cooking spray.
In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar.
Add the egg whites, vanilla, vanilla, 8 TBSP peanut butter, bananas, and applesauce.
Stir in the flour, baking soda, and salt until just combined (do not over mix the batter).
Fill each muffin tin half way with half of the batter.
Place a small spoonful of peanut butter on the top (divide the remaining 2 TBSP of peanut butter evenly among the 12 muffins).
Cover the peanut butter drops with the remaining batter.
Bake for 25 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean (of the batter...there may be some peanut butter).
Let the muffins cool for 5 minutes in the pan and then remove them from the pan and finish cooling them on a wire rack.

This recipe is adapted slightly from

Monday, February 23, 2015

Applesauce Oat Muffins


These are some tasty muffins and ones you don't have to feel bad about eating!  They have limited sugar and are made with oats and whole wheat flour.  The applesauce gives them a slightly different texture than if oil were used, but it did not take away from the flavor.  I liked them as a basic muffin and my husband turned them into dessert with a layer of cream cheese frosting on the top!

This recipe makes 12 muffins.

1 C old fashioned oats
1 C unsweetened applesauce
1/2 C milk
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla
4 TBSP butter, melted
1/3 C sugar
3/4 C whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt

Preheat the oven to 375.
Line 12 muffin tins with liners or a thin layer of cooking spray.
In a large bowl, combine the oats, applesauce, milk, egg, vanilla, and butter.
Add in the sugar, flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt.
Mix until just combined (you don't want to over mix or you will have tough muffins).
Divide the batter evenly into the 12 muffin tins.
Bake for 15-20 minutes (until a toothpick comes out of the center, clean).
Let the muffins cool on a cooling rack.
These muffins freeze well (don't put them in the freezer until they are cooled completely)!

This recipe is from

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Appledoodle Cookies

When my husband says in between bites of these cookies that this recipe could rival his favorite cookies, I know it's a keeper.  He loves apple pie and snickerdoodles, so when I saw this recipe - making them was a no-brainer.

The cookies are soft and the granny smith apples add a perfect amount of tartness.  If you want extra depth of flavor, I made some with butterscotch chips and liked the result.  It was a slightly sweeter cookie, though.

This recipe makes 2-3 dozen cookies.

3/4 C butter, softened
3/4 C brown sugar
1/4 C sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 small box (3.4 oz) vanilla or cheesecake instant pudding (leave it unprepared)
2 1/4 C flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
pinch of nutmeg
1 C peeled, finely chopped apple
1 C butterscotch chips (optional)

1/3 C sugar
1 tsp cinnamon

Cream together the butter and sugars.
Add the egg and vanilla.
Stir in the instant pudding, flour, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, and nutmeg.
Fold in the apples and butterscotch chips.
Refrigerate for 45-60 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 350.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Combine the 1/3 C sugar and 1 tsp cinnamon in a separate bowl.
Roll the dough into 1-2 TBSP balls and roll in the cinnamon and sugar mixture.
Place about 2" apart on the baking sheet.
Bake for 10-12 minutes.
Allow the cookies to cool completely on the pan before transferring them.
Store them in an airtight container.

This recipe is adapted slightly from

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Orange Cranberry Pound Cake

Orange and cranberry are classic holiday flavors.  This bread definitely delivered the two!  The original recipe called for a glaze, but honestly, I found the bread to be sweet enough on its own.  I do have to warn you that the cranberries can seem really tart if you are not a big cranberry fan.  If you love the sweet and tart contrast though...this bread is amazing!

This recipe makes 2 large loaves.

1 C butter
1 3/4 C sugar
2 heaping TBSP orange zest
3 eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla
3/4 C buttermilk
2 1/2 C fresh cranberries
2 3/4 C flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt

Preheat the oven to 350.
Grease and flour two bread pans.
Cream together the butter, sugar, and orange zest for 3-5 minutes.
Add the eggs one at a time, stirring the mixture for 1 minute each time you add an egg.
Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt in a separate bowl.
Add the dry ingredients alternating with the buttermilk to the butter mixture until just mixed.
Gently stir in the cranberries.
Bake for 40-60 minutes (depending on how your oven cooks) until a toothpick comes out clean and the edges are starting to brown.
Let the loaves cool in the pan for 5-10 minutes and then finish cooling on wire racks.

This recipe is adapted slightly from

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Candy Cane Sugar Cookies

These cookies are a fun "twist" on the typical sugar cookie.  I chose not to frost them because I didn't want to cover up the cuteness of the red and white but you could put a glaze over the top if you do not like plain sugar cookies.

I made two batches of my favorite sugar cookie recipe (here).
Using red food coloring, I dyed one batch to the color I was looking for.
After the required chilling time, I rolled out the dough into thin logs and twisted them together.

I then shaped them into candy canes and placed them on the baking sheets and baked according to the sugar cookie directions.
Be aware that the cookies flatten slightly so you don't want the logs of twisted dough to be too huge...otherwise you will end up with large red and white dough blobs!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Homemade Potpourri Gift Bags

This is an incredible smelling stovetop potpourri perfect for the holidays.  I usuually have cinnamon sticks on hand to simmer with similar spices, but I LOVED the addition of the orange and cranberries.
Bagging up the contents (without the water, of course) and including a cute tag with instructions for use makes a great neighbor, co-worker, friend gift for the holidays, too!

1 orange
4 cinnamon sticks
1/2 C fresh cranberries
1 TBSP whole cloves
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg

Quarter or slice the orange.
Place all ingredients into a small saucepan.
Fill the pan with just enough water so that all of the ingredients are covered.
Bring to a boil and then turn down the heat so the potpourri simmers.
Add more water as necessary.
I keep mine on the stove for about a week (the orange starts to not look too pretty anymore, but it is still fulfilling its purpose of making my house smell amazing!) and keep adding water as needed.

This is slightly adapted from


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