The Best Oatmeal-Choc Chip Cookies Everrr!

So I sat down to (finally) begin my carrot cake blog post. You know the little adorable mini-loaves I posted on Instagram almost a month ago? I was so smitten that I promised on multiple social media platforms to post a recipe as soon as I could put the loaf down to take a breath. I mean, I meant well and truly wanted to share the recipe with the whole wide world (not that the world was missing a carrot cake recipe but one more definitely doesn’t hurt right?) I told all my friends about it and bragged and bragged…..

Yeah….about that. I had a complete and total brain-fart *sigh*

I couldn’t locate the original recipe. I looked and up and down my browser history and finally found something that was vaguely familiar but then I couldn’t, for the life of me, remember the tweaks that I had made. So I gave up the quest and turned instead to the mother of all comfort foods – COOKIES!


Now this is more of a review, or a tribute if you will, to the original recipe. I went completely out of character and followed the recipe without changing a thing! Okay confession – I did pulse the oats a little bit, just a tiny little bit to make it more toddler friendly but that’s it!

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Perfect distribution of chocolate chips!

It’s like this. When a recipe like has 90K re-pins on Pinterest you just don’t argue with it. You stop whatever it is that you’re doing or plan to do, prop your iPad up on its stand and follow every word of the recipe to a ‘t’ to whip up an insanely awesome batch of oatmeal chocolate chip cookies.

The only painful part of this recipe is the chilling time the dough needs. I always overcome this difficulty by making a batch at night, shoving it in the fridge and promptly going to bed. Waiting is much easier when you’re sleeping AND you get to eat cookies for breakfast!!

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Ready for some? Here goes

Ingredients

  • Old-fashioned rolled oats – 1 and 1/2 cups
  • All purpose flour – 3/4 cup
  • Baking soda -1/2 tsp
  • Mini semi-sweet chocolate chips – 1/2 cup You can up this to 1 cup for more chocolaty goodness!
  • Salted butter – 1/2 cup or 1 stick You can use unsalted butter. Just add a pinch of salt to the dry ingredients if you do
  • Light brown sugar – 1/2 cup packed
  • Granulated sugar – 1/4 cup
  • Vanilla extract – 1 tbsp
  • Large egg – 1

Yield – About 24 to 30 depending on size

Method

  • Pulse oats in a food processor briefly just until the large grains have been broken down a bit. Be careful not to grind it to a flour. You want the cookies to have enough texture
  • Combine oats with the flour and baking soda in a bowl and whisk to mix
  • In another bowl beat the egg, sugars and vanilla extract with an electric mixture until it turns light and fluffy and increases in volume. This takes about 5 minutes. Stop and scrape down the sides of the bowl in between
  • Add the dry ingredients and beat briefly just until combined
  • Add the chocolate chips and beat on low speed for about half a minute. I used half a cup of mini chocolate chips because that’s all I had. I’m sure 1 whole cup of chips will be even more divine!
  • Using a tablespoon measure, measure out the cookie dough and roll it into a ball in your hands. Flatten it slightly and place it on a greased tray or cookie sheet. Repeat with the rest of the dough. Cover the cookies with a clingfilm and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight. I left a batch in for 6 days and they were just fine
  • When you’re ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350 Fahrenheit or  176 degree Celsius
  • Place chilled cookies about 2 inches apart (they do spread) and bake for 12 minutes until they begin to brown at the edges. You can bake them for a few minutes more if you want firmer cookies
  • Remove them from the oven and let them cool. They’ll firm up further after cooling.
  • Store in an airtight container or freeze

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All done! Now rejoice at the thought of having a jar full of these beauties on your counter 🙂

Adapted from http://www.averiecooks.com – http://www.averiecooks.com/2014/11/the-best-oatmeal-chocolate-chip-cookies.html

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Banana Bread with style!

Who doesn’t make banana bread, right? It’s almost the only thing that pops into your head when you spot over ripe bananas. But the thing is, it can get pretty boring pretty quickly. Frankly, I get bored just making it sometimes.

So when my toddler, who usually inhales anything with even a hint of sweetness about it, walked right past a slice of warm chocolate chip banana bread last week, I knew it was time to give this menu staple a makeover!

Loaf 1

Simply Recipes has a fantastic banana bread recipe that I use as a base for all my experiments. Turns out great every time! For this round, I replaced most of the APF with whole wheat flour and added pureed berries to the batter. Total yum!

Loaf 2

How good does that look! Here’s how it’s done

Ingredients

  • Whole wheat flour – 1 cup
  • All purpose flour – 1/2 cup
  • Baking soda – 1 tsp
  • Bananas – 2
  • Melted butter – 1/3 cup
  • Granulated sugar – 1/2 cup
  • Egg – 1
  • Vanilla extract – 1 tsp
  • Milk – 2 tbsp
  • Blueberries – 1/4 cup
  • Blackberries – 6
  • Maple syrup – 1 tbsp

Note 1: I used salted butter. If using unsalted butter add 1/2 tsp of salt to the dry ingredients.

Note 2: You could any combination of berries you like. I used what I had in my freezer. This recipe makes more than you need. Store the leftover puree in the fridge. You could even use a berry jam instead of making your own. 

Method

  • Make the berry puree first: Add the berries, maple syrup and a tsp of water to a small saucepan and cook it on medium low heat, stirring regularly, till the berries soften and disintegrate. Add another tsp of water if you see the berries beginning to stick to the bottom of the pan. Once cooked down, cool the berries and puree them in a blender. Set aside.

Berry puree

  • Preheat oven to 350 F or 180 degree Celsius. Grease and flour a loaf pan. I used an 8×4 inch pan
  • In a big mixing bowl, mash the bananas with a fork till they become smooth and creamy. You should get approximately 3/4 cup of puree
  • Add the baking soda and salt (if using) and whisk briefly
  • Add the egg, sugar and vanilla extract and whisk to combine
  • Add both the flours and whisk till there are no dry streaks. Do not over mix
  • Add about half of the batter to the loaf pan. Add two or three tsps of the berry puree at multiple spots on the batter and swirl with a toothpick. Make sure not to swirl too much or the berry streaks will disappear
  • Add the remaining batter to the pan and top with a few more tsps of berry puree and swirl with a toothpick

Loaf pre-bke

  • Bake in a preheated oven for 55 minutes.
  • Check the loaf about halfway through and turn the pan around to ensure even baking
  • At the 40 minute mark, once you see the top of the loaf has browned, cover the top with foil and continue to bake till done. This prevents the top from burning and helps it retain that lovely golden brown color
  • At the 55 minute minute mark insert a toothpick or cake tester into the loaf to check. It should come out clean with maybe a few moist crumbs attached. The sides of the loaf should begin to pull away from the pan
  • Cool the banana bread in the pan on a cooling rack for about half an hour
  • Carefully remove the loaf from the pan and place it back on the rack to cool completely
  • Store in an airtight container at room temperature for 3 days.

Slice 1

This loaf is not too sweet. A generous dollop of the berry puree slathered onto a slice of this banana bread just kicks it up a notch! You must try it!

Slice 2

If you do give this one a shot let me know how it turned out! Can’t wait to hear all about it 🙂

Strawberry Orange Muffins

This was kind of a no-brainer. I had my eyes on a strawberry muffin recipe that looked totally tweak worthy and I knew that I wanted to add orange to it. I had not tried the combination before but it felt right. 


 Two batches later, let me tell you…..it’s totally, deliciously, absolutely right! Try it out for yourself! The orange glaze is optional however. You can save it for when you feel like giving yourself a little treat. The muffin still tastes great without it.

My only concern with this recipe is – it’s not exactly ‘healthy’. You hear ‘muffin’ and think that this is a health-food version of a cupcake, something that you can wolf down in twos and threes and still be able to get on your weighing scale without an overwhelming feeling of dread. Well yeah, there’s no frosting so it is a wee bit better – but it still has a good quantity of butter and all purpose flour and sugar. So for my third batch, I want to try some substitutions and see how that goes. Hopefully it will be successful enough to earn its own blog post!

This is a very versatile recipe. It can be had for breakfast, as an afternoon tea time snack or for dessert. As an added bonus, this recipe is toddler certified. I got 11 cupcake sized muffins. It should give you about 6 regular sized muffins.

UPDATE: I used blood orange zest and juice for the second iteration and I think it’s even better! Aaannndddd……the muffins taste so much more strawberry-orangey the next day, believe it or not. WIN! 

  
Blood oranges give the glaze a beautiful pink hue! 

Adapted from Strawberry Muffins over at Garnish and Glaze

Ingredients

Muffins

  • All purpose flour – 1 and 1/2 cups
  • Baking powder – 1 and 1/4 tsp
  • Baking soda – 1/4 tsp
  • Salted butter – 5 tbsp at room temperature*
  • Granulated sugar – 1/2 cup
  • Egg – 1
  • Freshly squeezed juice of half a regular sized orange (You can use blood oranges. See update above)
  • Orange zest – 1 tsp
  • Yogurt – 1/4 cup
  • Milk – 1/4 cup
  • Vanilla extract – 1 tsp
  • Diced frozen strawberries – 3/4 cup You can use fresh strawberries too

*If using unsalted butter add about 1/4 tsp of salt to the dry ingredients 

Glaze – 1 cup icing sugar and juice of half an orange

Method

  • Preheat oven to 400F or 200 Degree Celsius. Line a muffin tray with liners and set aside
  • Add flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt to a bowl. Mix with a whisk until thoroughly combined
  • In another bowl, mix together orange juice, orange zest, vanilla extract, yogurt and milk and set it aside
  • In a large bowl, using a mixer, cream butter and sugar together until it turns pale and fluffy. This usually takes 3 to 5 minutes
  • Add the egg and mix again until thoroughly combined
  • Add half the flour mixture and mix on very low speed until just combined. It’s ok if there a few dry streaks. You do not want to over mix the batter
  • Add the wet ingredients and mix briefly. Then add the rest of the flour mixture and mix until combined
  • Using a spatula, gently fold in the strawberries
  • Using an ice cream scoop fill all the liners till about 3/4 full. You can also stud the top of these muffins with additional diced strawberries to make them look prettier
  • Bake in a preheated oven for about 12 to 15 minutes. Check for doneness at the 12 minute mark. The muffins are done when a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean with a few moist crumbs attached
  • Leave them in the pan for a couple of minutes and then transfer to a wire rack to cool thoroughly
  • For the glaze – take the icing sugar in a bowl and add orange juice to it 1 tsp at a time. Stir after each addition. The glaze should be thick enough to coat the back of a spoon and drip off slowly
  • Dip a cooled muffin into the glaze. Rotate it gently to coat the entire surface and then twirl it to remove the excess. Place on a wire rack set over a tray to catch drips. Eat immediately or wait for the he glaze to harden

Enjoy!!

Avocado and Blueberry Muffins

These muffins are my current favourite! No butter and no oil. The avocado supplies all the fat you need – talk about healthy!

  
     
I was looking for unconventional ways of using up that one ripe avocado sitting in my fruit bowl when I had a brainwave – why not make muffins? One simple search on Pinterest however, revealed that I was not the only creative baker in the world – of course this has been done before! So I picked up the most promising recipe I could find and set out to make it my own. As with all recipes, I try not to vary the original recipe too much on the first attempt. But this one needs no tweaking – it’s purrfect! And the lovely, all natural, pale green colour just took my breath away – yes, I’m that easy to please……somebody tell my husband that haha!

  

The recipe has been adapted – very very slightly – from Gimmesomeoven’s version.  The original recipe has a streusel topping which can be left out but I find it works great with the muffin and doesn’t make it too sweet. 
I got 16 cupcake sized muffins from this batch

Ingredients

Muffin

  • All purpose flour – 2 cups
  • Baking powder – 2 tsp
  • Baking soda – 1/2 tsp
  • Ground nutmeg – 1/2 tsp
  • Salt – 1/2 tsp
  • Mashed avocado – 1
  • Granulated sugar – 3/4 cup
  • Vanilla extract – 1 tsp
  • Egg – 1
  • Yogurt – 1 cup
  • Blueberries  (or any berry of your choice) – 1 cup

Streusel Topping

  • Melted and cooled butter – 2 tbsp (I used salted)
  • All purpose flour – 4 tbsp
  • Granulated sugar – 2 tbsp
  • Raw cane sugar – 1/4 cup

Method

Streusel Topping

  • Whisk all the ingredients together and set aside

Muffin

  • Preheat oven to 375 F or 190 degree Celsius
  • In a bowl combine all the dry ingredients and mix with a whisk until thoroughly combined. You could use any spice you like though cinnamon and nutmeg work best. Or you could leave out the spice altogether
  • In a bigger bowl beat avocado with a mixer until it turns into a smooth puree
  • Add the sugar and beat until the mixture looks a little light and fluffy
  • Add the egg and whip again till completely mixed in
  • Add the yogurt and vanilla extract next and whip till combined
  • Now add the flour mixture in two batches. After the addition of each batch whip only until it is just combined. Do not over mix
  • Fold in the blueberries using a spatula
  • Scoop into prepared muffin/cupcake liners. Make sure fill only up to 3/4 of the liners. These muffins do rise a bit
  • Sprinkle the streusel topping generously over each muffin and bake in a preheated oven for about 15 to 17 minutes till a toothpick inserted into the muffin comes out clean. Turn the pan around at the halfway mark. I used a cupcake pan. If you use a regular muffin pan the bake time will increase to about 20 minutes
  • Let the muffins cool in the pan for about 5 minutes. Transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely
  • You can store them in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 36 hours. They will need to be refrigerated after that

BONUS

They’re Toddler Approved! Score 🙂

  

Blueberry Brownies

There are brownies and then there are BROWNIES – the kind made with dark chocolate and blueberries. The difference? Night and day! If you haven’t added blueberries to your brownies yet you’re truly missing out on one of those mind numbingly good dessert moments that leave you completely speechless. No, really! I was completely dumb struck. No words. No adjectives. Nothing. Just a warm satisfied glow.
So I won’t ramble on here. I’ll just tell you that these are the best brownies ever made and leave it at that. The recipe has been adapted (ever so slightly) from I am baker’s fantabulous recipe

  
Of course they don’t look as awesome as hers. I didn’t have the right pan or tools but that’s the beauty of it – they still turned out sensational.

Ingredients 

  • Blueberries – 1 cup
  • Salted butter – 1 stick or 1/2 cup
  • Semi sweet chocolate chips – 1/4 cup
  • Sugar – 1 and 1/2 cups
  • Eggs – 2
  • Vanilla essence – 2 tsp
  • Dark cocoa powder – 1/2 cup
  • All purpose flour – 1 cup

Notes – You can use unsalted butter. Just add 1/4 tsp salt to the dry ingredients. I used Hershey’s special dark cocoa powder. You can use regular cocoa powder too. Leave out 2 tbsp sugar from the measured amount to enhance the chocolate flavor.

Method

  • Preheat oven to 350 F or 180 Celsius
  • Melt butter in a saucepan on medium low heat. Just as the butter melts add the blueberries and stir them around
  • Take the butter and blueberries off the heat. Add the chocolate chips and stir until the chocolate melts
  • In a separate bowl mix the eggs, sugar and vanilla with a whisk. To this add a teaspoon of the chocolate-blueberry mixture just to temper it. This will prevent the eggs from scrambling when the rest of the mixture is added
  • Add this tempered mixture back to the rest of the chcocolate-blueberry mixture and stir briefly to combine
  • Add the cocoa powder and flour (amd salt if using unsalted butter) and mix just until it is combined
  • Pour it into a greased 9×9 pan. Even out the top with a wet spatula and bake in a preheated oven for about 30 minutes
  • Check for doneness at 25 minutes. A toothpick inserted into the brownie should come out clean with a few crumbs attached. Do not overbake
  • Cool on a wire rack till it completely cooled. Cut only after the brownie cools down completely

   

 

Double Chocolate Nankhatai

When you’re craving a cookie that is chocolatey and rich but all you have are a whisk and a bowl, coffee time can get pretty tough. I mean, sure there’s a lot you can do with a whisk, or so I’ve heard but I did not want to risk an injury whipping up butter and sugar. So I poked around the internet a bit and found this fantastic recipe just begging to be tweaked.

Five ingredients, a bowl, a whisk and in about 20 minutes you’re done. If you’re feeling a little fancy you can even hide a surprise inside these cookies.

  
The pictures are not that great but the cookies definitely are! 

This recipe makes 10 cookies

                                                                

Doesn’t it look delicious? Let’s get started!

Ingredients

  • Salted butter at room temperature – 4 tbsp 
  • All purpose flour – 1/2 cup minus 2 tbsp
  • Cocoa powder – 2 tbsp
  • Powdered sugar or caster sugar – 1/4 cup
  • Baking powder – 1/4 tsp
  • Hershey’s milk chocolate drops – 10 Optional

You can use unsalted butter. Just add a pinch of salt to the flour if you do. Ghee is another sunbstitute for butter that works well here

Method

  • Preheat oven to 350 degree Fahrenheit or 180 degree Celsius 
  • Whisk butter and sugar in a bowl for about 5 minutes till the sugar is well incorporated and the butter begins to look a little pale
  • Add the rest of the dry ingredients and knead gently till it comes together. The dough will look a little crubmly but it should be soft to touch and should not be sticky 
  • Form balls of dough a little smaller in size than ping pong balls. The cookie balls should be smooth and crack free.
  • Make an impression in the cookie with your thumb and press one milk chocolate drop into the centre. Gently roll the cookie back into a ball making sure the chocolate drop stays in the center
  • If you don’t want a chocolate centre skip the previous step. 
  • Flatten the cookie balls gently, not too much though and place them on a cookie tray lined with  parchment paper or greased foil. Make sure you place them about 2 inches apart
  • Bake in a preheated oven for 12 minutes
  • After 12 minutes take them out of the oven. Rest for a couple of minutes. Then try to nudge a cookie gently with a spatula. If it moves easily the cookies are done. If the cookie doesn’t move easily put the tray back in the oven for 2 more minutes and check for doneness again
  • Be very careful not to over bake these cookies. The chocolate colour makes it hard to tell if they’re burning around the edges
  • Cool the cookies completely on a  wire rack
  • Store in an airtight container 

  

Can you spot the tiny hand trying to grab one 😉

Blueberry Muffin Cake

Looking for recipes on Pinterest is dangerous. Very dangerous. You’ll start off wanting to make one thing but will end up making something else entirely! 

For example – I started off wanting to make ‘healthy’ baby-friendly blueberry muffins. So I searched for it on Pinterest. What did I see? An absolutely drool worthy recipe for a Blueberry Muffin Cake posted by thecountrycook.net. This promised to be a much more delicious way of using up blueberries and I felt that a teeny tiny bit of cake wouldn’t harm the baby – I was sold!

  
Isn’t it gorgeous? I made only two changes to the original recipe. I amped up the lemon flavour and I used frozen blueberries as that was all I had. If you have fresh blueberries even better!

Make it. Eat it. You’ll love it.

Ingredients

Cake

  • All purpose flour – 2 and 3/4 cups
  • Baking powder – 2 tsp
  • Baking soda – 1/2 tsp
  • Butter – 1 cup at room temperature*
  • Sugar – 2 cups
  • Eggs – 3 at room temperature
  • Vanilla extract – 2 tsp
  • Freshly squeezed lemon juice – 1 to 1.5 tbsp
  • Buttermilk – 1 and 1/4 cup at room temperature*
  • Zest of one medium sized lemon
  • Frozen blueberries – 200 gm

Glaze

  • Icing sugar – 1 cup
  • Lemon juice – 2 tsp
  • Milk – 2 tbsp

*Notes – I used salted butter. If using unsalted butter add 1/2 tsp of salt to your dry ingredients. I made my own buttermilk by mixing 1 cup homemade thick set yogurt with 1/4 cup of water. The result is a thick, tangy buttermilk which is the magic ingredient in this cake. You can use store bought as well. Just make sure it’s thick and fatty.

Method

Cake

  • Preheat oven to 160 degree Celsius. Grease and flour your 10 inch bundt pan. Be sure to get all the corners and the centre support
  • Using a mixer beat butter and sugar until it turns light in colour and is very fluffy. This takes 5 to 7 minutes
  • Next, add the eggs one at a time beating well after each additon 
  • Add the vanilla extract, lemon juice and zest and beat to combine
  • In a separate bowl, add flour, baking powder and baking soda (add salt if using). Mix it with a whisk to make sure all the dry ingredients are evenly combined
  • Next, add the dry ingredients and the buttermilk alternately to the sugar-butter mixture. Start and end with the flour mixture. DO NOT over mix. After each additon mix only until it is combined
  • Gently fold in half the blueberries into the batter
  • Pour the batter evenly into the prepared bundt pan. Spread the remaining blueberries evenly over the top of the cake and gently press them down into the batter

  

  • Bake in a preheated oven for about 45 minutes
  • If you find that the cake is browning too much but hasn’t cooked fully through then cover the top with foil and continue to bake. This will keep the top from burning
  • My cake took a little over 50 minutes to bake. Rotate the cake once at the 25 minute mark and check for doneness at the 45 minute mark. Adjust baking time as needed
  • The cake is done when the top feels springy and a tester comes out clean
  • Cool the cake in the pan placed on a wire rack. 
  • Don’t attempt to remove the cake from the pan till it is completely cooled. Only then will it come out clean and in one piece

Glaze

  • Take icing sugar in a bowl and add the lemon juice to it. Mix with a spoon or small whisk
  • Add milk one teaspoon at a time, mixing after each additon till you reach a thick pouring consistency 
  • If the glaze becomes too runny add more icing sugar to thicken it
  • Pour the glaze over a completely cooled cake

This cake is very versatile. You can have it for breakfast, lunch and/or dinner. You should definitely try it. It’s sure to become a family favorite 🙂