zucchini muffins

Muffins

I changed the ratios a bit but the recipe is pretty close to the original. The one thing that I never do when making breads or cookies is add nuts.  No not because of nut allergies but because I just don’t like them in my baked goods. Cranberries and chocolate chips? Yes, please! I added about half a bag of Trader Joe’s chocolate chips and 3/4 of a cup of cranberries. I don’t make these changes below because you really need to play with this recipe a few time to get the hang of your “add-in” measurements.

I brought the muffins to work (breads great but for work, muffins work better) and they were gone before lunch. I would suggest keeping your eye on them in the last 5 minutes because they can go from almost done to done fast!

Zucchini Bread
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen

Yield: 2 loaves or about 24 muffins

3 large eggs
1 cup (235 ml) vegetable oil
1 3/4 (350 grams) cups sugar (I probably did closer to 2 cups)
2 cups grated zucchini (2 whole zucchinis)
2 teaspoons (10 ml) vanilla extract
3 cups (375 grams) all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1/8 or a couple of good shakes teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon (6 grams) table salt
1/2 cup (55 grams) chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)
1 cup (115 grams) dried cranberries, raisins or chocolate chips or a combination thereof (optional)

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Grease and flour two 8×4 inch loaf pans, liberally. (See those pictures of the cakesinside their non-stick pans? Yup, they’re pretty much hanging out in there for the time being.) Alternately, line 24 muffin cups with paper liners.

In a large bowl, beat the eggs with a whisk. Mix in oil and sugar, then zucchini and vanilla.

Combine flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda, baking powder and salt, as well as nuts, chocolate chips and/or dried fruit, if using.

Stir this into the egg mixture. Divide the batter into prepared pans.

Bake loaves for 60 minutes, plus or minus ten, or until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Muffins will bake far more quickly, approximately 20 to 25 minutes.

new york chocolate chip cookies

While I was on vacation this summer, I did some serious searching for chocolate chip cookie recipes – now I know that there is a perfectly good recipe on the back of every Nestle bag of chocolate chips and that everyone claims their “fill-in-the-blank” family member makes the best chocolate chip cookies, but it is my goal to try as many recipes as I can, till I have a recipe for every type of cookie lover.  If you don’t know what I mean by that, people like their chocolate chip cookies so many different ways: crunchy, chocolately, nutty, soft, etc.

Well, I already have the perfect recipe for folks that like them chewy: the Chewy cookie recipe from the Food Network’s Alton Brown, and I can always call on my Grandmother’s variations of the Nestle recipe to make them taste like home. But what about the folks who like sweet and savory – is there a chocolate chip cookie for them? The answer is yes.  In July 2008, The New York Times published an article “Quest for the Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookie” and a recipe from Jacques Torres that seemed to be cited in pretty much every CCC recipe I found on my favorite baking blogs.

Torres’ recipe calls for two different kinds of flour and that you refrigerate it for at least 24 hours. This cookie is not low maintenance. I made the batter on Sunday and baked them last night (refrigerated for 48 hours), and even though I was fearful to sprinkle them with sea salt, it was soooo the right thing to do.

The cookies are amazing, and you will want to give them away to everyone you know before you eat the whole batch.  You’ll also want to have a pretty good stream of music going while making/baking them because it does take a while.  I suggest going to Rolling Stone and streaming Megafaun’s new album, Megafaun.

“put an Oero in it!”

Some of you may be familiar with the saying “put a bird on it!” from the television show Portlandia on IFC.  Well, yesterday, my cousin introduced me to the saying “put an Oero in it!”

For example, don’t just make a chocolate chip cookie – make a chocolate chip cookie with an Oero in the center; or, don’t just make brownies – make brownie-covered Oreos!  This may seem a bit indulgent, but what delicious baking treat isn’t? Here are a couple recipes for Oreo Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies: Amandeleine’s recipe and Becky Bakes’ recipe and Picky Palate’s Brownie Covered Oreos.