Category Archives: Cookies and Muffins

Best Ever Peanut Butter Cookies

As  a huge fan of peanut butter, I have long felt that something was lacking from your basic peanut butter cookie. The flavor just wasn’t there and the calories certainly weren’t worth it.

Recently, I set out to right the wrongs that I suspected had kept the peanut butter cookies of my past from achieving their true potential. Topping the list, of course, was the junk, hydrogenated vegetable oil peanut butter that we used to think was normal.

My current favorite brand is Laura Scudder’s All Natural Nutty, and that’s where I started. I also substituted raw, turbinado sugar for white sugar, which created a dimension of crunch, due to the over-sized sugar crystals. Lastly, as far as ingredients, cinnamon.

Another goal was not to skimp on size. If this cookie was to achieve it’s desired aim, it was essential that it could be savored beyond a bite or two.

Turns out, great peanut butter proved the basis for a great peanut butter cookie. Mission accomplished and the status of peanut butter cookies has been elevated to a very high place around here.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup raw, turbinado sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups natural, nutty peanut butter (preferably Laura Scudder’s)
  • 2 1/2 cups white, whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350.
  • Beat together softened butter and sugars for two minutes at a high-speed until creamy. Add in eggs, one at a time and continue beating. Combine peanut butter and beat until thoroughly blended.
  • Sift together flour, baking soda and cinnamon.
  • Combine dry ingredients to wet ingredients and stir until just blended,
  • Drop by rounded, heaping tablespoons onto an ungreased  cookie sheet. Cross hatch with a fork to flatten cookies to desired width.
  • Bake for 12 minutes.

Yields 3 dozen cookies.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Zucchini Apple Flax Muffins

When a baked good is packed full of ingredients that promise to sweep the arteries, scrup the colon, scavange the system for free radicals, and even support the brain, I like to think that I am entitled to eat three right out of the oven. And that’s just what happened Saturday morning when zucchini, apples, flax, cinnnamon and walnuts came together in a virtuous mix of flavor and fuel. I was very happy that I had the foresight to make 24, because they went fast and the plan was to mail a dozen of them to Sarah.

Ingredients

  • 2 1/3 cups white whole wheat flour
  • 1 Tbsp. cinnamon
  • 2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup raw sugar
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 2/3 cup ground flax
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 2 cups finely chopped or shredded zucchini
  • 1 cup finely chopped apples

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 400.
  • Measure and sift flour, cinnamon, baking powder, soda and salt.
  • Combine eggs and sugar and beat well. Add oil and continue beating. Pour in  almond milk and ground flax and beat until thoroughly blended.
  • Rough chop 2 medium zucchini and add to a food processor. Pulse until ground very fine. Add zucchini to wet ingredients.
  • Peel and core 2 – 3 apples. Add to a food processor and pulse 4-5 times.
  • Chop 1 cup of walnuts. Combine all ingredients.
  • Fill 2 12-cup muffin tins coated with non-stick cooking spray or paper liners.
  • Bake for 15  minutes.

Beet Apple Walnut Muffins

Last summer, after getting a stash of beets at the farmer’s market, I questioned whether beets would be a good muffin ingredient.  A simple Google search and I got my answer. YES.  Hundreds of variations out there.  So I set out to settle on the recipe I liked the best or concoct my own version, and in the process, gave a few batches of beet muffins away  as a part of my new beet advocacy mission.  I was so hoping that the dark, pink batter would hold onto its spectacular beet color, but the muffins emerge from the oven orangeish tan with a few specs of red — still beautiful, but surprisingly un-beetlike. I have no idea why beet muffins — or beet cake — has not gone mainstream. We can presume it’s just a matter of time.

Ingredients

Total cook time: 30 minutes

Makes 12 muffins

  • 1 cup flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 ts. ground ginger or 1 Tbsp. fresh grated
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/3 cup ground flax
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1/2 cup raw sugar
  • 3/4 cup raw beets, finely shredded or ground in a food processor
  • 3/4 cup apples chopped very fine
  • 1/2 cup raisins (optional)
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. Sift flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Add ground flax to dry ingredients and set aside.
  3. Beat egg, oil and sugar.
  4. Peel and rough chop 1-2 raw beets. Add to a food processor and blend until finely ground. Measure 3/4 cup of ground beets and add to wet ingredients.
  5. Peel, core and chop 1-2 apples. Add 3/4 cup of the chopped apples to wet ingredients.
  6. Add 1/2 cup raisins and 1/2 cup chopped walnuts to wet ingredients.
  7. Combine wet and dry ingredient. Stir until just combined.
  8. Spray a 12-cup tin with non-stick spray or use paper liners, filling each 3/4 full.
  9. Bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees.

Chocolate Zucchini Muffins

And speaking of the Chocolate and Zucchini site …

It sent my mind in a rather obvious direction — chocolate zucchini muffins. I had made many a zucchini muffins and my day, but had never taken that extra step of combining chocolate. In searching for a recipe that would help me to take that plunge, I happened upon a chocolate zucchini cake on Epicurious. I adopted it to come up with muffins that used only the ingredients on my list, which could be served at dinner or for breakfast. Continue reading Chocolate Zucchini Muffins