Chocolate Chip Sour Cream Muffins

Chocolate chip sour cream muffins

 

As I have mentioned before, my kids love those Hostess mini muffins. They are so expensive and I know, not so good for you. I am always on the look out for some muffins I can make that the kids will eat and I can pronounce all the ingredients. I came across these a while back, I’m sure while browsing Pinterest, and knew they would fit the bill.  One of my favorite recipes, one step pound cake, contains sour cream that gives it a wonderful texture and richness. So, I guess that’s what drew me to this recipe.  This muffin batter is so super fast to put together that I can make it, hop in the shower, get dressed, take them out of the oven and give them to the kids for breakfast before school.  My 7-year-old daughter, Sammie, is not a morning person and absolutely hates to get out of bed for school.  But, when I tell her I made these muffins, she jumps out of bed and runs upstairs to get some. These are just perfect for Monday mornings when no one wants to get up and they are a great way to start the week off with happy kids with big chocolate covered lip smiles.

Chocolate Chip Sour Cream Muffins

Yield: 12 standard muffins or 36 mini muffins or 24 mini muffins + 5 standard muffins

1 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

2/3 cup sugar

3/4 teaspoon baking powder

3/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 large egg

1 cup sour cream

5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled a bit

1 teaspoon vanilla extract   I used vanilla bean paste

1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips   I use ~3/4 cup mini semi-sweet chips with 1/4 cup finely chopped milk chocolate bar  (plus extra chips for the tops)

Coarse sugar crystals  optional

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 F

Place muffin liners in your cupcake tin (how many depends on the size muffins you are making; see yield)

In a large bowl, mix together the dry ingredients: flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

In a medium bowl, combine the wet ingredients: the egg, sour cream, melted butter, and vanilla extract (or paste).  Whisk until well combined.

Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Stir gently with a rubber spatula until just combined.  If you stir too much, you will get dense muffins.

Gently fold in the chocolate chips (and chocolate pieces if you are using)  until just combined through.

With an ice cream scoop. fill each muffin liner about 3/4 full.

Add some decorative chocolate chips to the top of each muffin.   I like to sprinkle coarse sugar crystals on top for sparkle and crunch.

Bake until a toothpick in the center of the muffins comes out clean, about 14-18 minutes.  For the minis, it took about 14 min and the large muffins more like 18 min.

Allow them to cool on a wire rack until cool enough to handle. If you can..

Source:  The Curvy Carrot

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Snickerdoodle Bars

Snickerdoodle bars

Yes, you guessed it, another Pinterest find.  Whenever I see the word snickerdoodle and it’s not a cookie, I am immediately interested. Why? Well, because it’s my husband’s favorite cookie.  But, you can only have so many snickerdoodle cookies.  Or, maybe not, if you are a die-hard snickerdoodle fan.  I have seen quick breads, cupcakes, muffins, even pancakes.  All are worth trying because who doesn’t like just about anything covered in cinnamon sugar?

It was Thursday night and I was supposed to make these snickerdoodle bars for a coworker’s last day in my department.  But, my husband is back coaching volleyball, so by the time I fed and bathed the kids, and then prepared everything for school the next day, I was way too tired.  My husband gets up for work at 5am and I couldn’t go back to sleep.  I don’t start work until 9, so I got up to make the bars.  Let me warn you, the first layer of batter is really hard to spread.  The problem is sticky batter and a well-greased pan are not conducive to spreading.  But, by dolloping and a lot of patience, something I didn’t have much of at 5am, it will spread.  The rest is easy. You just cover it with a generous layer of cinnamon sugar and dollop on the remaining batter.  Luckily, there is no more spreading. You want to see that cinnamon peaking through.  After the bars bake and cool, you drizzle them with a quick vanilla-scented, powdered sugar glaze.  That’s it.

Everyone at work was raving about these bars. I had to grab a small piece, you know, for quality control.  How else could I tell you how they taste?  And, I must say, they taste pretty amazing.  Hands down one of the best things I’ve baked in a while. So, good in fact, I made a another pan for my husband the very next day because I just couldn’t keep the deliciousness of these bars from him.  Justin proceeded to eat 6 bars for dessert, stuffing himself until he was sick.  These bars are so good, he went ahead and did the same thing at breakfast. I guess they’re worth it.

Snickerdoodle Bars
Yield: 13×9 pan

2 1/3 cups Gold Medal® all-purpose flour

1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup butter or margarine, softened

1 1/4 cups granulated sugar

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

3 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

Cinnamon filling

1 tablespoon granulated sugar

1 tablespoon cinnamon

Glaze

1 cup powdered sugar

1 to 2 tablespoons milk

1/4 teaspoon vanilla

1 tsp of melted butter  Optional   (Note tsp not tbsp)

Preheat oven to 350° F. Spray the bottom only of a 13×9-inch baking pan with Pam. In a small bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

In the bowl of your KitchenAid, beat butter on high until creamy. Beat in both sugars.  Beat in the eggs one at a time.  Beat in the vanilla.  On low, beat in dry ingredients until combined.

Spoon half of the batter into pan by the dollop.  Spread evenly. It takes awhile to spread the batter since it is sticky and the pan is slick. Sprinkle cinnamon-sugar evenly over batter.

Dollop the remaining batter by the teaspoon evenly over cinnamon-sugar

Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown, turning the pan at 10 minutes.  Test with a toothpick inserted in center. The bars are done when the toothpick comes out clean. Cool completely, ~ 1 hour.

In small bowl, stir glaze ingredients until smooth and thin enough to drizzle.  I put the glaze in a Ziploc bag, cut off the corner, and drizzled over the bars.

Source:  Betty Crocker

Cinnamon rolls

Cinnamon rolls

Ahhh…cinnamon rolls. One of my most favorite breakfasts.  But, I don’t make them too often mostly because of the time they take to prepare. You know, all the waiting for the rising, makes cinnamon rolls more of a brunch fare. We usually have a light breakfast, while waiting for the cinnamon rolls. But, when I do make them, the time we wait is always worth it.  These rolls are the big, Cinnabon-at-the-mall-style cinnamon rolls.  I  always have a hard time passing them up, but they are so expensive usually I leave with just the Mochalatta chill.  I mean, one can only have so much willpower. Besides, I need the caffeine. So I tell myself anyways.

So, I started these rolls at 7:30am and we sat down to eat them at 10:30am.  This explains why the photo is of a half pan of rolls. NO ONE was going to wait any longer for photos. My husband, Justin, and I loved them.  But, my kids wouldn’t eat them.  They only eat the ones in the blue can, but with my homemade frosting only.  Even they have standards.  I’ll admit, I like those too. I’m no food snob. They are great in a pinch and something I know everyone will eat when I don’t feel like fighting the please-eat-something fight.  Ugh, oh well, more for me.  I ate one for breakfast everyday that week and they were delicious, just 1 minute in the microwave.   These cinnamon rolls bake up tall, with a crisp exterior and tender interior.  The cream cheese frosting is just plain amazing.  It is really thick and cheesecake-like. In fact, my daughter Sammie, after not eating her cinnamon roll, took the frosting bowl and was about to eat it like oatmeal before I grabbed it from her.  This is the same kid who only eats the frosting off her doughnut. Who does that?

Cinnamon Rolls

Yield: 12 large rolls

1 cup whole milk
2 1/2 tsp active dry yeast
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1/3 cup butter, melted
4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt

1 cup brown sugar, packed
2 1/2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
1/3 cup butter, melted

3 oz cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Warm the milk in a small saucepan until ~105 degrees F.   I used the microwave

Pour the warm milk into the bowl of a stand mixer.   Add the yeast and a pinch of sugar.   Stir into the milk.   Let stand until foamy, ~5 minutes.

Add the sugar, butter, salt, eggs, and flour.  Mix well.  Knead with the dough hook on medium for ~4 minutes, or until the dough is smooth.

Shape the dough into a ball and place in a bowl.  Cover with a damp towel.  Let rise in a warm place ~1 hour or until dough has nearly doubled in size.

In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar and cinnamon.  Mix well with a spoon, spatula or even your hands.

Lightly flour your work surface (I used a pastry mat) and rolling-pin.  Roll the dough into a 16×21 inch rectangle,  ~1/4 inch thick.

Brush the dough with 1/3 cup melted butter.  Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar evenly over the butter.

Roll the dough up starting with the longer side.  Cut into 12 rolls.   I cut the log in half, then each half in half.  Then you have 4 even pieces to cut into 3.  This way you get even sized rolls.

Spray a 9×13 inch glass baking dish with Pam. Arrange the 12 rolls in the dish.  Cover with a clean kitchen towel and let rise for 30 minutes.

While the rolls rise, pre-heat the oven to 350F. Bake until golden brown, about 18-20 minutes.

While the rolls bake, make the frosting.  Beat together the cream cheese, soft butter, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract. Spread the frosting on the rolls while they are still warm.

Source:  Cate’s World Kitchen; originally from All-Recipes

Soft Sugar Cookies with Cookie Dough Frosting

I have to admit that I love those Lofthouse cookies at the grocery store.   You know the ones.  The soft sugar cookies with thick frosting and sprinkles to coordinate with each holiday.  So delicious.  Even with all the baking I do, I have a hard time resisting them.  But, I think next time it will be a little bit easier.  Why?  Because I have found some cookies that blow those out of the water.  I came across a recipe for sugar cookies in The Cookie Dough Lover’s Cookbook that were described as tasting like the grocery store cookies only better with the addition of chocolate chip cookie dough frosting.  How could they not be better?

I must warn you that these cookies are a bit time consuming because of all the steps: making the dough, refrigeration, roll and cut the dough, bake them, make the frosting and frost them.  But, each step is easy and the end result is oh so very worth it.   Upon tasting them, both my son and husband exclaimed oh my god, which was barely discernible with their mouths stuffed with cookies.  My daughter said they were the best thing I ever made.  Now, these three are some very tough critics.  If they say they are good, you can believe it.  But really, what’s not to like?  This is a super soft, not too sweet sugar cookie, smeared with cookie dough frosting and generously topped with chocolate chips.  Sounds (and tastes) pretty perfect to me. 😀

Soft Sugar Cookies with Cookie Dough Frosting

Yield: 24 cookies

For the cookies:

1/2 cup vegetable shortening, at room temperature  Use the sticks- easier to measure and less messy

1 cup granulated sugar

2 eggs

1/4 cup heavy cream

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

4 cups all-purpose flour (or more as needed)

For the frosting:

3/4 cups unsalted butter, at room temperature

1/3 cup light brown sugar, packed

1/3 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

4 cups powdered sugar, or more as needed

1/3 cup heavy cream

1/2 cup mini semisweet chocolate chips

Directions:

In a large mixing bowl, beat together shortening and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add heavy cream and vanilla and beat until smooth. Add salt, baking soda, and baking powder, followed by the flour, 1 cup at a time, mixing until dough comes together. Dough should be soft but not sticky.  If it is sticky, add more flour, 1 tablespoon at a time as needed. Cover and refrigerate at least 30 minutes or overnight.  I put the dough on Saran wrap and shaped it into a disk to make it easier to roll later.

Preheat oven to 350F. Roll out dough to 3/8 inch thick. I had to use a small bit of flour.  Cut it into 3-inch circles (I used a biscuit cutter) and transfer to baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Bake 8-10 minutes, or until tops are puffed and no longer shiny and bottoms are just barely golden brown. Do not overbake. Transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.

To prepare frosting, beat together butter and brown sugar in a large mixing bowl until light and fluffy, about 2 to 3 minutes. Mix in flour and salt, followed by vanilla. Add 4 cups of the powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add heavy cream and beat until fluffy. Add more powdered sugar as necessary, 1/4 cup at a time, until frosting is thick yet spreadable.  I had to add more cream to thin it out a bit. 

With an offset spatula, spread 1 heaping tablespoon of frosting onto each cookie. You can be generous with the frosting. Sprinkle with chocolate chips, pressing lightly so chips adhere to frosting. Refrigerated in an airtight container, frosted cookies will keep for up to 3 days.

Source:  The Cookie Dough Lover’s Cookbook

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