Monthly Archives: May 2013

I need to get something off my chest. Chocolate cookies aren’t my favorite. When a craving hits, I’m more likely to buy a chocolate bar than bake a batch of cookies, mainly because I’m impatient and cannot delay gratification for chocolate.

If I’m being completely honest though, the real reason I rarely bake them is because most recipes call for melted chocolate in the batter, which means I have to get a separate bowl to melt the chocolate, and then, invariably, half of the chocolate is going to get stuck and caked onto the bowl, and then I have to figure out how to get rid of the chocolate without clogging my drain and it becomes one big mess. I’m really just lazy, okay?

After googling high and low for a recipe without melted chocolate and coming up empty, I decided to make my own recipe. Because I do what I want and this is a free country and ‘MURICA, F YEAH. That escalated quickly.

Chocolate cookie

These cookies also escalated quickly – they started out with just peanut butter chips, and then I found toffee and half a bag of chocolate chips that were just begging to be included and I am nothing if not an equal opportunity baker

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There are a lot of really great fictional foods – Reptar Bars, roller-skating apple pies, and literally everything made by Willy Wonka (especially the three-course-meal chewing gum) – but my absolute favorite is the cornball.

It’s one of the many recurring jokes on Arrested Development (which is back from the dead in one week, hallelujah), and as far as fictional foods go, it’s really nothing special – just a dough made from a mix that’s deep fried in the hilariously dangerous Cornballer.

The reason it’s my favorite is because you can actually feasibly make them at home. My version is an amped up corn muffin that’s been baked, not fried, in cake pop pans so they still keep their ball shape.

Though this begs the question – if you don’t burn yourself while making it, is it still a cornball?

Cornballs

Yo soy loco por los cornballs!

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You know that old saying, “you eat with your eyes first”? I’m not sure it’s entirely accurate, as I’m pretty sure you actually eat with your nose first. There’s nothing quite like the feeling of sitting at the dinner table, surrounded by delicious smells wafting from the kitchen, your stomach rumbling in anticipation.

These muffins will make your kitchen smell incredible. If you thought dinnertime anticipation was bad, the half an hour you spend waiting for these muffins to come out of the oven will be unbearable.

Sage brown butter muffins

Why doesn’t scratch and sniff apply to technology yet?

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When I was a baby, my mother was taking a nap with me on the bed and when she woke up, I wasn’t there. Apparently I had fallen off the bed and rolled under it. I was still asleep when she found me.

When I was a kid, about 5 or 6, my mother would take me to work with her all the time. She was getting her PhD in agricultural engineering (if you’ll excuse me, I believe my Midwest is showing) and worked in a lab filled with chemicals and hazard signs. I vividly remember her telling me not to touch anything because the chemicals were so dangerous they would burn a hole through my skin. I think she demonstrated on a paper towel.

She biked me to elementary school one day in the pouring rain.

We were on the way to summer camp once when she got pulled over by a cop for running a stop sign, even though she actually did stop. He gave her a ticket, so she took him to court and won.

She breaks things a lot and tells horrible jokes and yells even when she’s not angry. She also puts my happiness above her own and tells me all the time how proud she is of me and sends me care packages because she thinks I don’t eat enough.

This is my mother. I love her and she’s perfect.

Mama

We rocked some pretty awesome sweaters back in the day

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This is a public service announcement. You know those 3-ingredient cookies that have been floating all over Pinterest? Not the peanut butter ones (those are incredible), I’m talking about the ones with oats, bananas, and chocolate chips. They’re a lie. The cookie is a lie!

For starters – don’t call them cookies. Cookies are one of the most delightful treats known to man and they don’t deserve to have their good name sullied by being associated with these banana-oat patties. Call them oatmeal hockey pucks. Call them tastebud-killers. Call them life-ruiners.

And what did bananas, oats, and chocolate chips ever do to deserve such heinous mistreatment?

Most importantly, these fakers are disgusting. They’re so gross – both tasting and looking – to the point of being offensive and I die a little bit inside each time they get repinned.  I totally understand that sometimes you get a cookie craving that cannot go unsatisfied and find that your pantry is completely empty, but do yourself a favor and just say no to these. These are a pathetic excuse for a cookie and eating one will only make you want the real thing more.

How about this, Pinterest – the next time I find myself with oats, bananas, and chocolate chips, how about I just MAKE A BOWL OF BANANA CHOCOLATE CHIP OATMEAL.

The reason I bring up these disgusting three-ingredient atrocities is because I have a real three-ingredient cookie recipe that is a cinch to whip up (if you have a stand or hand mixer) and actually tastes incredible.

Friends, if you are looking for cookies with the least amount of ingredients possible, look into meringues. It’s all in the egg whites, baby.

Brown sugar meringue crisp

Three ingredients never looked so good

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Be still, my beating heart. What’s this, a savory muffin? No chocolate? No fruit? No cinnamon??

No, I haven’t lost my mind, I’m just going through a bit of a quarter life crisis. A baking rut. Muffin ennui, if you will. Even though I still have precisely 713 recipes left to make, I’ve gotten a little bored of the typical sweet breakfast muffin. So this month, I’m giving my sweet tooth a break and focusing on the savory, starting off with these chipotle cheddar cornmeal muffins.

Now that’s a good-looking bowl

Chipotle Cheddar Muffins (38 of 750)

Adapted from  750 Best Muffin Recipes by Camilla Saulsbury

Makes 40 mini muffins

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup stone-ground yellow cornmeal
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp chipotle chile powder
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp ground cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 tsp chili powder
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
  1. Preheat oven to 400F.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, cornmeal, baking powder, salt, and spices. Stir in cheese.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together sugar, egg, and butter until well blended. Whisk in milk until blended.
  4. Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture and stir until just blended.
  5. Divide the batter equally among prepared muffin cups. Sprinkle with shredded cheese and add a pinch of chipotle pepper to the tops.
  6. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until tops are golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool in pan on a wire rack for 5 minutes, then transfer to the rack to cool.

Cheesy muffins. It doesn’t get much better than that.

These muffins are in the Lunch and Supper category, but they’re perfect for breakfast too. They’re not so cheesy that they’d weigh you down first thing in the morning and the spices are a nice kick to wake up (but not obliterate) your taste buds. They’ve got a really tender, delicate crumb and it’s almost like you’re eating cheesy little biscuits.

Fresh out of the oven, they melt in your mouth, but once they’ve cooled to room temperature, the sharp cheddar and the heat from the spices really get a chance to meld. I bet these would also be great toasted, with a little pat of butter and a spoonful of jalapeno jelly. Or as a full-sized muffin sandwich, with scrambled eggs and some more cheese in the middle. Sweet tooth, I’ve forgotten all about you.

Chipotle Cheddar Muffins

Can’t forget the cheese on top!

Chipotle cheddar muffins

Chipotle cheddar muffins