Honey Corn Muffins

This weekend the boy and I rented a canoe, put it on a lake, pitched our tent and said BYE to technology.

We spent the days reading, canoeing on the lake, making s’mores and loon hunting, and boooooy was it nice! During the week I sometimes feel a bit overwhelmed with all the things that need to get done – and I realized something this weekend. HALF of these so called “important” things that need doing aren’t important at all! In fact, no one would even notice if I didn’t do them.

I don’t NEED to do my laundry
I don’t NEED to make a meal plan for the next month
and I certainly don’t NEED to read food blogs for 2 hours a day (although I love it).

So here we are. Back to basics. And with that thought I’d share with you an old and simple favorite of mine. Cornbread, baby.

To make these, preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Spray each cup of a standard 12-cup muffin pan. In a medium bowl lightly whisk the eggs. Then whisk in the buttermilk, honey and butter until combined and set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk cornmeal, flour, baking powder, both sugars and salt.

Make a well in the middle of the dry ingredients, pour in the wet ingredients and fold the dry into the wet until just combined.

Fill each muffin cup about three quarters full.

Bake for 12-15 minutes or until the tops are golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean.

Transfer to a wire rack to cool for 10-15 minutes and enjoy! Slathering warm muffins with butter is a must!

Honey Corn Muffins
Adapted From: Baked Explorations
http://www.amazon.com/Baked-Explorations-American-Desserts-Reinvented/dp/1584798505
Yield: 12 muffins

Ingredients:
2 large eggs
1 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 1/4 cups yellow cornmeal
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon salt

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Spray each cup of a standard 12-cup muffin pan with nonstick spray making sure spread evenly along the bottom and up the sides of each cup.

In a medium bowl lightly whisk the eggs. Then whisk in the buttermilk, honey and butter until combined and set aside. In a large bowl, whisk cornmeal, flour, baking powder, both sugars and salt. Make a well in the middle of the dry ingredients, pour in the wet ingredients and fold the dry into the wet until just combined.

Fill each muffin cup about three quarters full. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until the tops are golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean. Transfer to a wire rack to cool for 10-15 minutes and enjoy.

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Reese’s Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Cake

I LOVE Reese’s peanut butter cups.

Even though I recently returned from Switzerland, the land of chocolate, I will never be too good for the perfectly balanced chocolate and peanut butter combination. This dessert, combining moist chocolate cake with rich and creamy peanut butter icing, is perfect. Add in some chopped Reese’s Cups, and this cake is truly decadent.

I made this for my boyfriends birthday and we ate the whole thing in two days between the two of us. It’s super addicting! To begin, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.

Beat the butter until soft and creamy. Add the sugar until thoroughly blended into the butter. Add the eggs and yolks one at a time. Beat in the vanilla. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the dry ingredients alternately with the buttermilk.

Mix each addition only until it is blended into the batter. Scrape down the bowl and put the batter into your prepared cake pan. Bake for 26-30 minutes or until the cake feels springy to the touch and start to pull away from the sides of the pans.

While cake is cooling, make icing by beating together confectioner’s sugar, peanut butter, butter, vanilla and salt. Beat on medium-low speed until creamy, scraping down sides and bottom of bowl as needed. Add cream and beat on high speed until the icing is light and smooth. Don’t eat all the icing before you put it on the cake….your tummy will hurt!

To assemble the cake, slice your cooled cake in half. Place one cake layer on a cardboard circle/square covered in foil.

Spread peanut butter frosting on top of the cake layer. Place the second cake layer on top of the frosting.

Frost the top and outside of the cake with remaining peanut butter frosting. Decorate with halved and chopped Reese’s cups as desired.

Purdy cake!! This recipe makes about 5 servings, but the cake can easily be cut into smaller-sized servings.

Reese’s Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Cake
Recipe adapted from Cook Like a Champion’s Reese’s Cup Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake
Recipe makes one 8″ round cake

Ingredients:
For the cake:
1 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cups sugar
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 cup buttermilk

For the icing:
1 cup confectioners sugar
1 cup creamy peanut butter
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
5 tbsp heavy cream
miniature Reese’s cups, halved and/or chopped

Directions:
1. Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350°. Butter one 8′ round cake pans, dust the insides with flour, tap out the excess and line the bottom with rounds of parchment paper. Place the pan on a baking sheet.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
3. Beat the butter on medium speed until soft and creamy. Add the sugar and beat for about 2 minutes, until thoroughly blended into the butter. Add the eggs and yolks one at a time, beating for one minute after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Beat in the vanilla. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the dry ingredients alternately with the buttermilk; add the dry ingredients in 3 additions and the buttermilk in 2 (beginning and ending with the dry ingredients). 4. Mix each addition only until it is blended into the batter. Scrape down the bowl and put the batter into your prepared cake pan.
5. Bake for 26-30 minutes or until the cake feels springy to the touch and start to pull away from the sides of the pans. Transfer to wire racks to cool for about 5 minutes, then run a knife around the sides of the cake, unmold them and peel off the paper liner. Invert and cool to room temperature right side up.
6. While cake is cooling, make icing by beating together confectioner’s sugar, peanut butter, butter, vanilla and salt. Beat on medium-low speed until creamy, scraping down sides and bottom of bowl as needed. Add cream and beat on high speed until the icing is light and smooth.
7. Freeze the Reese’s Cups while filling and frosting the cake, then chop/halve them as desired.
8. To assemble the cake, slice your cooled cake in half. Place one cake layer on a cardboard circle covered in foil. Spread peanut butter frosting on top of the cake layer. Place the second cake layer on top of the frosting. Frost the top and outside of the cake with remaining peanut butter frosting. Decorate with halved and chopped Reese’s cups as desired.

Easy, Peanut Butter n’ Oat, Low-cal Cookies

Finally, a healthy, tasty, cookie. I’m happy.

Many of the low calorie cookie creations out there are just plain bad.They’re either too dry, or too hard, and can never stand up to their buttery friends. This cookie is different. I got the recipe from the Crazy Plates cookbook, and love it! It’s super easy too. In a medium bowl, combine flour, oats, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

In another medium bowl, cream together brown sugar, margarine, peanut butter, and buttermilk.

Add dry ingredients ad stir to form a smooth dough. Stir in chocolate chips.

Roll dough into 1-1/2-inch balls, and place 2 inches apart on prepared cookie sheet. Using a fork, flatten cookies to 1/4 inch thickness.

Bake for 10 minutes. Be careful not to overbake, as cookies will dry out. Remove cookies from tray immediately and cool on wire rack….or don’t. They’re super good warm!!

Easy, Peanut Butter Oat, Low-cal Cookies
Recipe taken from Crazy Plates
Makes 30 cookies
Per cookie: 2 weight watchers points, 80 calories, 2.7g fat, 0.4g fiber1.6g protein

Ingredients:
1-1/4 cups AP flour
1 cup quick cooking oats
1/2 tsp each baking soda and salt
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup light margarine or butter
1/3 cup light peanut butter
1/3 cup buttermilk
1/3 cup chocolate chips

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and spray a cookie sheet with non-stick spray. Set aside.
2. In a medium bowl, combine flour, oats, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
3. In another medium, cream together brown sugar, margarine, peanut butter, and buttermilk. Add dry ingredients ad stir to form a smooth dough. Stir in chocolate chips.
4. Roll dough into 1-1/2-inch balls, and place 2 inches apart on prepared cookie sheet. Using a fork, flatten cookies to 1/4 inch thickness. Bake for 10 minutes. Be careful not to overbake, as cookies will dry out.
5. Remove cookies from tray immediately and cool on wire rack. Store covered with plastic wrap or in an airtight container.