Peanut Butter Banana Cupcakes

Wow…it has been a full year since I’ve last blogged. Ha! As I wrote that, I spoke it out loud and it sounded like “It has been a year since my last confession.” I’m not Catholic so I’m not quite sure how that whole thing works but like many of us I am an expert via many hours of TV and movie watching 😉

Anyway, I’m not going to bore you with why I have been absent. Nothing major happened…my last post was about Blue Apron and I still use them about once a month or every other month. I’m going to start posting again but probably not monthly as I used to.

This idea of combining peanut butter and banana came about because I had leftover baking ingredients in my fridge from when my good friend came over and made cupcakes for her boyfriend’s surprise party. Her cupcakes were a combination of chocolate, rum, peanut butter and some other ingredients that I won’t give away because it is her personal recipe. It was so delicious and she told me that adding peanut butter to the batter makes the cupcakes super moist. So with the leftover peanut butter, milk, eggs, etc, I decided to give these a go!

Ingredients: yellow cake mix, 3 tblsp peanut butter, 1 cup milk/almond milk, 3 eggs, 2 bananas, 1/3 c. butter, buttercream frosting (from can)

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I basically followed the directions on the box and added the peanut butter and bananas.

1. Preheat oven to 350. Melt the butter in a bowl to soften, add milk and eggs. Then mix in the peanut butter.

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2. Peel the bananas and mash with a fork in separate bowl. Add the cake mix and mashed bananas to the liquid mixture.

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3.Mix until smooth…this is where I regret not investing in an electric mixer. Now that I am baking more often, I should at least look into buying the electric hand mixer. My friend who came over had one and it elevated the entire baking experience for me. The picture above is me struggling to get the batter smooth using my weak arm strength.

4. After the batter is smooth, use an ice cream scoop or spoon to put it into the cupcake pan. I had cupcake liners. This recipe makes 24 cupcakes and my cupcake pan holds 12 so I put the leftover batter in a cake pan.

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5. Put in the oven and bake for about 20 min

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6. Wait a few minutes for them to cool before frosting with the buttercream.

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The taste of the peanut butter is pretty faint but it definitely makes these cupcakes so moist and the banana/yellow cake combo is heavenly.

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Since it has banana, I assumed it can be eaten in the morning for breakfast. I mean what are muffins?? What I’m trying to say is that I have eaten this cupcake after each meal: breakfast, lunch, and dinner…Probably not good to have 3 cupcakes a day but whatever 🙂

Pumpkin Bread with Sunflower Seeds

The holidays always put me in a baking mood so I’ve decided to attempt the classic fall dish that involves pumpkin of course! I’ve seen plenty of pumpkin breads with walnuts but I wanted sunflower seeds because I just love the added flavor.

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Ingredients: 2 c. flour, 1 c. sugar, 1 can of pumpkin puree, 2 eggs, 1/2 c. melted butter, 1 tsp ginger, 1 tsp nutmeg, 1 tbs cinnamon, 1 tbs baking powder, a pinch of salt and a pinch of black pepper, 1/2 c. sunflower seed kernels (or more if you want)

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Preheat oven 350 and mix all dry ingredients together (flour, sugar, baking powder, spices/seasonings). In a separate bowl, melt the better and wait for it to cool before adding the eggs. Mix all of the wet ingredients together in that second bowl (pumpkin, butter, eggs).

Combine the pumpkin mix with the dry ingredients and make sure it’s all blended well together. After that, mix in the sunflower seeds.

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Pour the mixture into a greased bread pan and sprinkle some sunflower seeds on top. Bake for about 45-55 min.

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Sorry for the poor lighting and bad cutting of the bread but it turned out amazing! I’m so glad I went with the sunflower seeds, it was perfect. All of the spices just made it so delicious.

Last year my holiday song for 2013 was Underneath the Tree by Kelly Clarkson and I still rock out to that one but now my favorite holiday song of 2014 is…..Santa Tell Me by Ariana Grande! I love her voice and this song is the perfect “I don’t want to be alone on Christmas” song lol.

And as a bonus, my favorite CLASSIC holiday song of 2014 is Baby its Cold Outside with Michael Buble and Idina Menzel..Two of my favorite voices on one song and the most adorable video!

How cute are those kids?!

Happy Holidays everyone! Enjoy the family, friends, and the food!

 

Blueberry Scones that turned into a Cake and Fun Fall Activities

I’ve actually been trying to make scones for a really long time. It’s one of my favorite baked goods so I decided to finally try it (especially since I conveniently had all the necessary ingredients). However, as I was putting the ingredients together I realized too late that the frozen berries I was going to use were supposed to be drained. When I added them to the mixture, the berry juices made the dough more of a batter and it became a cake. So there’s that..but I’m not complaining because it is well-known that I love cake. Also included in this post are some pictures of my fun fall adventures..now that I live in the Northeast I am now in to things like “apple picking” 🙂

Blueberry Cake-ish Recipe: 2 c. flour, 2 tbs sugar, 1 tbs baking powder, frozen berries (I will try to use fresh ones next time), 1 tsp salt, 1 c. almond milk, 1 egg, 5 tbs butter/margarine

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Stir all dry ingredients together and then mix in the butter. I put the frozen berries in a bowl and put them in the microwave for a little bit. Then add the egg, milk, and berries to the mixture. Pour into greased baking dish and sprinkle sugar on top. Preheat oven 400 and bake for about 20-30 min.

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It was great but I’ll try to actually make a scone next time 😉

Now for my fun fall adventures..first I went to a local farm and got to go through a corn maze, sip hot apple cider, and actually pick apples from the tree.

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It was such a gorgeous day..there were soo many different kinds of apple trees to pick from too!

I’m so excited about the upcoming holidays minus the winter “vortex” or whatever they are going to call the crazy weather that’s coming up. I’ve already started jammin to my Christmas playlists and my next post will be my annual Christmas/holiday post where I will reveal my favorite Christmas song of the year!

Nutella Craisin Muffins!

“Treat yo self!” If you watch Parks and Recreation, you know what episode I’m referring to when Tommy and Donna take a whole day to treat themselves by going to the mall and spa. I don’t usually bake too often, but I absolutely love baking muffins and cupcakes when I have the time because I have an insatiable sweet tooth. And now I have all the time in the world! But it’s funny because as I go from day-to-day of my “vacation”, I realize that my Christmas break to-do list seems to keep getting longer. Soon enough time will have flown by and next thing ya know, it will be the start of spring semester..but let’s dwell on the positive.

The reason I came up with this muffin idea is because I ran out of bread and apples but still had some Nutella left in the jar (and I only use Nutella on toast and green apples). So I googled around to find a Nutella dessert and I decided to mix these two recipes:

Coffee Cake Muffins and Nutella Muffins

Here are the ingredients used for these scrumptious treats:

Nutella Craisin Muffins

2/3 c butter

3/4 c brown sugar

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

2 tsp baking powder

1-3/4 c flour

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp nutmeg

3 eggs

3/4 c milk

1/3 c olive oil

and Craisins (dried cranberries) and Nutella, of course

The list is a little long since I combined the recipes and I actually had most of this stuff in my pantry already, but you can pick and choose what to add like I did. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix the sugar, butter, eggs, vanilla, milk, and oil together in a bowl and in a separate bowl mix the flour, nutmeg, cinnamon, and baking powder together.

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Then, mix the dry ingredients with the egg mixture, beating it all together until smooth. Next, add the Craisins!

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Scoop into paper cupcake liners

20121211_141134<< For some reason my muffins don’t rise that high so I fill the liners almost to the top. Maybe I should add more baking powder..oh well, it all works out in the end. Now, scoop a spoonful of Nutella on top of each muffin batter.

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Take a knife and stir/push the Nutella into each muffin. I tried to get the swirl effect like in the original recipe but I didn’t have any toothpicks.

Put in the oven and bake for 20 minutes.

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It’s pretty ridiculous how happy I was when I took a bite and got to the warm gooey Nutella center! The Craisins added a tart/chewy-ness to it. Seriously, these were gone in like 2 1/2 days. I had them with every meal until they were gone…so sad. But I will definitely make them again.

There’s something about baking with cinnamon and nutmeg that just screams “Its the HOLIDAYS!” The smells just make me wanna listen to both of Mariah Carey’s Christmas albums and dance around the kitchen. This will probably be my last post until after New Years since my husband and I will be traveling. So I hope everyone has an awesome time with family and friends, and most importantly, eats some great food! 🙂

(I actually wrote the above post before I knew about the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementry School in CT. My prayers and heart goes out to the parents and families of those victims, may God give them some sort of peace and comfort during this terrible time of grief.)