Category Archives: Breakfast

Friday Favorites: Chocolate Chips

Friday Favorites: Chocolate Chips

Of all the bits and bobs you can mix into baked goods, none can compete with semisweet chocolate chips. They’re small, eye-catching and good in everything. Even if you’re not much of a baker, you probably have a bag somewhere in your pantry right now.

Tomorrow, May 15th, is National Chocolate Chip Day (not to be confused with National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day, August 4th). Celebrate by making one of these chocolate chip-centric treats, or just eating the morsels by the handful!

Friday Favorites: Chocolate Chips

“I Got Yolks” Chocolate Chip Cookies

You can’t celebrate chocolate chip day without cookies! These are made with all egg yolks so they’re super soft and rich.

Friday Favorites: Chocolate Chips

Crispy, Crunchy Chocolate Chip Cookies

These crunchy cookies are incredibly easy and so good, they’ve been known to convert avowed chewy cookie people.

Friday Favorites: Chocolate Chips

Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Cookies

A recent update of an ooooold blog recipe, the flavor of these Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Cookies is amped up with—you guessed it!—100% whole wheat flour.

Friday Favorites: Chocolate Chips

100% Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Muffins

Whole wheat flour also does wonders for these chocolate chip muffins!

Friday Favorites: Chocolate Chips

Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Scones

Oh yes, I did. These tender scones are made with chilled brown butter and packed to the gills with chocolate chips. Needless to say, they’re so good, it’s stupid.

Friday Favorites: Chocolate Chips

Salted Caramel Chocolate Chip Bars

These ooey-gooey chocolate chip squares are filled with soft salted caramel! They’re super easy to make and always a hit, as all salted caramel chocolate chip things are.

Friday Favorites: Chocolate Chips

Chocolate Chip Cookie Crumb Cake

This is coffee cake for chocolate chip cookie people! No cinnamon—just chocolate chip sour cream cake and crunchy cookie crumbs.

Friday Favorites: Chocolate Chips

Basic Blondies

When I don’t have it in me to make cookies, I make blondies! These six ingredient bars are great on their own, but chocolate chips make them sing.

Friday Favorites: Chocolate Chips

One Big Chocolate Chip Cookie

If you love chocolate chip cookies and hate sharing, this is a great recipe to have in your back pocket.

Friday Favorites: Chocolate Chips

Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake

And if you love sharing, this cake can’t be beat.

Have you made these or any of my other chocolate chip treats? Let me know in the comments or on social media!

Friday Favorites: Chocolate Chips

Banana Pancakes

Hello! WordPress has updated its app this week and I am having some technical difficulties. I appreciate your patience while I work out the formatting kinks.

Banana Pancakes

I bought these bananas to let them rot. Well, not just these two—I bought sixteen bananas to let them rot. While that’s not something I do with most produce, it’s almost always the predetermined destiny of bananas, as as letting them get a little gross is the secret to every good banana thing there is: bread, milkshakes, sweet rolls, cookies, and the subject of today’s post, Banana Pancakes.

Banana Pancakes

These are a simple riff on my go-to Buttermilk Pancakes. They’re just as tall and fluffy, but have plenty of banana flavor and a good hit of cinnamon. These are the things of my Saturday morning dreams.

As with my other pancakes, the mixing here is easy—whisk together wet and dry ingredients—but their perfect height and texture hinges on a quick rest. Just five or ten minutes are all the time your batter needs to thicken up for perfect griddling. I like to heat my pan during this time so I’m ready to go the second that rest is up. No time to waste when there are Banana Pancakes to be had!

Banana Pancakes

Every pancake maker has their secrets. I’ve revealed all mine at this point, but they bear repeating. For golden tops, cook your pancakes somewhat-slowly over medium heat in almost no oil; just the barest swipe is all you need here. Let them cook until bubbles form on one side, then gently wedge a spatula underneath to flip and finish. Perfect results every time!

Banana Pancakes

I like to serve banana pancakes with more sliced banana, chopped pecans and maple syrup, but feel free to keep it classic with just butter and maple. Instead of varying toppings, you can experiment with the batter itself—add blueberries or chocolate chips for a fun twist! As far as I’m concerned though, Banana Pancakes are perfect just how they are.

Banana Pancakes
Banana Pancakes
Banana Pancakes
makes 18 pancakes

1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons light or dark brown sugar, packed
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
1 cup mashed banana (from about 3 very ripe medium bananas)
1 cup milk or buttermilk, room temperature
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
canola or vegetable oil, for cooking

For serving:
pats of butter
sliced bananas
chopped nuts
maple syrup

Preheat oven to 200F. Line a rimmed sheet pan with parchment. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

In a medium mixing bowl or large measuring cup, whisk together mashed banana, milk (or buttermilk), melted butter, eggs and vanilla. Add wet ingredients to dry and whisk until no streaks of flour remain—there will still be some lumps. Let batter rest 5-10 minutes.

Heat your pan or griddle over medium heat for a few minutes, until heated through. Brush with oil (or grease lightly), then wipe excess out with a folded paper towel or dish towel.

Stir rested batter one or two strokes. Pour 1/4 cup increments of batter on greased pan. Let cook 2-3 minutes, until bubbles are forming and they are turning golden. Flip with a spatula and cook for 2 minutes, or until the bottom is turning golden. Remove to prepared baking sheet and keep warm in the oven until serving.

Continue making pancakes with remaining batter, greasing the pan only as necessary.

Serve immediately with butter, sliced banana, chopped nuts and/or maple syrup, if desired.

Leftover pancakes may be stacked in threes, triple-wrapped in plastic wrap and frozen for a couple of months. Discard plastic and microwave 2.5 to 3 minutes before serving.

Banana Pancakes
Banana Pancakes
Banana Pancakes

Almond Poppy Seed Scones

Almond Poppy Seed SconesI know what you’re thinking. How many scone recipes does one baker need? The answer is simple: as many as they can conjure up! Can’t stop, won’t stop. Sorry, not sorry. I mean, do you see these???Almond Poppy Seed Scones

Almond Poppy Seed Scones are super tender and buttery, speckled with crispy poppy seeds, topped with a creamy almond glaze and finished off with a smattering of toasted sliced almonds. They’ve got tons of texture and flavor, but aren’t overly sweet or cloying. I think they’d be a perfect addition to any brunch or tea menu, though they’re so simple they can be thrown together on a Saturday morning without a second thought.Almond Poppy Seed SconesAlmond Poppy Seed SconesAlmond Poppy Seed SconesAlmond Poppy Seed SconesAlmond Poppy Seed Scones

I’ve made scones with half-and-half and whole milk over the years, but heavy cream is my current go-to. If that sounds intense it’s because it is, but if you’ve tried my Maple Scones and Vanilla Bean Cream Cheese Mini Scones, you know how cream can take things from good to luxurious. In addition to the cream, these scones are made with flour, a little sugar, baking powder, salt, poppy seeds, cold butter, vanilla & almond extracts, and an egg. The dough may feel a little thick when mixed and patted out, but will result in super rich, tender scones.

As with biscuits, pie dough, rough puff pastry and anything else that depends on cold butter for texture and structure, you’ll need to keep these babies cold cold cold so they don’t turn out flat and sad. I like to freeze my scones for 15 minutes after they’re sliced into wedges, then brush them with a little more cream before baking.Almond Poppy Seed Scones

When they emerge, they’ll be craggy and golden and pretty difficult not to tear into while they’re still warm. I’m not going to tell you how to live your life, but I will suggest holding off on eating until your scones have cooled. Not only will this save the roof of your mouth, but it will give you time to stir together a quick glaze and toast some sliced almonds. You know I love a glaze and a garnish.Almond Poppy Seed Scones

Almond Poppy Seed Scones have it all—the looks, the textures, the simplicity, those irresistible little poppy seeds! I made four batches trying to get them right and I’m still hoping for a moment this weekend to make some more. Like I said, I can never get enough scones.Almond Poppy Seed Scones

Almond Poppy Seed Scones
makes 8 scones

Scones:
3/4 cup heavy cream, very cold
1 large egg, cold from the fridge
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons poppy seeds
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, very cold, cut into cubes

Glaze & Garnish:
2 1/2-3 tablespoons heavy cream (or 1 tablespoon whole milk)
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar
pinch of Kosher or sea salt
1/4 cup toasted sliced almonds

Make the scones. Meanwhile, place an oven rack in the center position. Preheat oven to 400F. Line a baking sheet with parchment. Set aside.

In a liquid measuring cup, use a fork to whisk together heavy cream, egg, vanilla and almond extracts. Refrigerate.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, poppy seeds, baking powder, and salt. Add cold butter. Use a pastry blender or clean fingertips to cut the butter into the flour until the largest pieces are the size of small peas. Stir in heavy cream mixture until a shaggy dough forms.

Turn dough out onto a floured surface. Pat it to 3/4-inch thick circle. Use a large, sharp chef’s knife to slice circle into 8 wedges. Freeze sliced scones for 15 minutes.

Place scones at least 2 inches apart on prepared pan. Brush with more heavy cream. Bake 16-17 minutes, until puffed and golden at the edges. Let scones cool on the pan on a rack for 15 minutes, or until they can be handled.

Make the glaze. In a small bowl, whisk together cream (or milk), vanilla and almond extracts. Whisk in confectioner’s sugar and salt. If the mixture is too thick, add more cream (or milk) by the teaspoon. Drizzle over scones and finish with toasted sliced almonds.

Scones may be served warm or at room temperature. They are best the day they are made, but will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days.Almond Poppy Seed SconesAlmond Poppy Seed SconesAlmond Poppy Seed Scones

Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Muffins

Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip MuffinsIn five years, I’ve deleted exactly three recipes from this blog. I’ve kept terrible photos, absurdly lengthy writing and even some personal stuff on here, so you may be wondering why I’d remove whole recipes. The answer is simple: because they were bad. Not “not perfect,” not “unoriginal.” Just bad. They didn’t taste good and/or work properly, and those are basically the only two requirements for me to put a recipe on here, so I deleted them. Among the group were a batch of Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Muffins that were truly atrocious, and which I have finally found the time to rework into something delicious.Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip MuffinsNow, I didn’t intentionally write a terrible muffin recipe. There were circumstances. I wrote the old recipe for Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Muffins when I was five days off the break-up a four year relationship. That was my first mistake—don’t try to do good work when you’re heartbroken.

My next mistakes were not adding enough fat, eggs or dairy. My best friend made the old version a few years back and the only word she used to describe them was “lumpy.” Yikes. I took down the recipe shortly thereafter and put the words “Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Muffins” on my to-bake list once again.Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip MuffinsTwo weeks ago, I found myself five years more experienced, very over that boyfriend, and with a large bag of mostly-unallocated whole wheat flour. Armed with that and a newfound favorite muffin recipe, I set out to fix my past mistakes. Dare I say I nailed it?Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip MuffinsThese Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Muffins are soft and just sweet enough, with plenty of chocolate chips and whole grain flavor. Butter, sour cream and eggs keep them moist and balance the potential for heaviness that comes with using all whole wheat flour. They also get a little lift from starting in a 400F, then continuing at 350F until they’re fluffy, puffy and perfect.

Thank goodness for second chances.Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Muffins

Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Muffins
makes 12 standard muffins

2 cups whole wheat flour (or white whole wheat flour)
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 cup light or dark brown sugar, packed
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
2 large eggs, room temperature
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2/3 cup milk, room temperature (not skim or nonfat)
1/3 cup sour cream, room temperature
1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips, plus more for topping

Preheat oven to 400F. Grease a 12-cup standard muffin tin, or line with cupcake liners. Set aside.

In a small mixing bowl, whisk together whole wheat flour, cinnamon, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

In a medium mixing bowl, use a whisk to beat eggs. Whisk in butter and vanilla, followed by whole milk and sour cream. Add wet ingredients to dry, using a silicone spatula or wooden spoon to combine. Do not overmix. Fold in chocolate chips. Divide batter among prepared muffin cups. Dot the tops with additional chocolate chips, if desired.

Tap full pan on the counter five times. Bake for five minutes at 400F. Do not open the oven door. Reduce baking temperature to 350F, and bake an additional 15-16 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Let muffins cool in the pan for 10 minutes before removing to a rack to cool completely. Serve.

Muffins are best the day they are made, but may be kept covered at room temperature for a couple of days. They will keep well in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip MuffinsWhole Wheat Chocolate Chip MuffinsWhole Wheat Chocolate Chip Muffins

English Muffin Bread

English Muffin Bread Today I’m taking this blog into new territory: bread! You won’t find me feeding any sourdough starters or anything, but I have taken a chance on a few bread recipes over the last year because…well, I had some time on my hands. English Muffin Bread is my favorite by a long shot. It’s got all the craggy structure of English muffins, toasts like a dream, and is so delicious it’s kind of ridiculous.English Muffin BreadI first heard about English Muffin Bread when Rebecca posted her recipe a few years ago, and then crossed paths with it again recently while Instagramming my way through the Southern Living 1985 Annual Recipes cookbook. It looked so easy to make that I couldn’t resist giving it a go!

While my initial try was a bit dense, it was still tasty (as nearly all homemade bread is), and I soon found myself making eight more batches in an effort to nail down the perfect balance of English muffin texture, rich flavor and ease of preparation. I’m here to tell you that I succeeded.English Muffin BreadMy English Muffin Bread is a one bowl, no-knead, single rise situation. By giving this dough just a few minutes of your time and then a bit of patience, you’ll be rewarded with all the craggy texture you love in English muffins, but in a sliceable, toastable loaf. Two of them, actually.

That may sound like more bread than you need, but if you’re anything like me, you won’t have a problem getting through it. However, if you have more self-control than I do, you could freeze or gift a loaf, or just halve the recipe. Oh, and for what it’s worth, making two loaves of this bread is way less expensive than purchasing store-bought English muffins. You know, if you care about that sort of thing.English Muffin BreadEnglish Muffin Bread couldn’t be easier to make. Simply whisk together flour, a touch of sugar, kosher salt, instant yeast and a little baking soda, then stir in water and melted butter until a shaggy dough forms. Divide your dough in two, then put it in two cornmeal-dusted loaf pans. No, you didn’t miss a kneading step—thanks to the high volume of liquid and the desired texture, there’s no need to knead! <—see what I did there?!English Muffin BreadLet your dough rise for about an hour, just until it peaks over the tops of your pans. The combination of yeast and baking soda along with the single rise mean that the oven-ready dough will be very airy and a little delicate. It should be a bit wet looking and a little jiggly—be gentle with the pans so you don’t knock out any of the holey, craggy structure.Bake your loaves for 25-30 minutes as 400F, until golden all over and hollow-sounding when tapped. If you’re worried about under-baking, a food thermometer should register 190F when the bread is done.English Muffin BreadEnglish Muffin BreadTurn your loaves out onto a rack as soon as they come out of the oven, then let them cool completely. This is supremely important. Do not let the intoxicating smell of fresh-baked bread tempt you to rip into this while it’s cooling or you will find a gross, gummy mess. The hole structure needs to cool completely for maximum English muffin goodness. I find that cooling takes 2-3 hours, but that’s a small price to pay for the quality of toast you are about to consume.English Muffin BreadEnglish Muffin BreadWhile you can absolutely enjoy a slice of English Muffin Bread without doing anything to it, an extra crispy, golden brown, toasty finish really makes each slice sing. The holes and crags are emphasized, the cornmeal on the edge gets extra crunchy, the minuscule amount of butter in the dough gives it just enough richness. Like a perfectly toasted English muffin, it’s perfect with a smear of soft butter. Or honey. Or jam. Or Nutella. Or peanut butter. Or avocado. Or fried into French toast. Or made into a grilled cheese.

I’ve tried it all those ways. Quality control, y’all.English Muffin Bread

English Muffin Bread
heavily adapted from Julie L. York of Asheville, NC, via Southern Living magazine
makes 2 loaves

For the pans:
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
3-4 tablespoons cornmeal

Bread Dough:
5 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons Kosher salt
4 1/2 teaspoons (2 packages) instant yeast
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 2/3 cups warm water

For proofing:
plastic wrap
oil, butter or cooking spray

For serving:
butter
jam
honey

Grease 2 9×5-inch loaf pans with butter. Add cornmeal and rotate pans so that the entire insides are coated in a thin layer. Tap out and discard excess cornmeal.

In a medium-large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking soda, salt and instant yeast.

In a large liquid measuring cup (or other vessel) whisk together melted butter and warm water. It should be warm to the touch (90-110F) but not hot.

Whisk/stir wet ingredients into dry ingredients in two installments. Stir until a sticky, shaggy dough forms and flour is coated, then stir an additional 30 seconds to make sure things are saturated.

Grease your hands, then divide dough into prepared pans. Even dough out so that no portion is too much taller than any other. Grease 2 pieces of plastic wrap with oil, butter or cooking spray. Lay them loosely over the top of each loaf pan.

Place pans in a warm, draft-free environment for 45-60 minutes, or until the dough has risen just above the tops of the pans. While dough is rising, preheat oven to 400F.

When dough is ready, gently peel off and discard plastic wrap. Dough may seem a bit wet and jiggly. Gently place pans in the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until golden all over. The interior temperature should be at least 190F.

Immediately turn bread out onto a rack. Let cool completely so crumb structure can set. Do not slice into bread until it is completely cool.

Slice and toast before serving with desired condiments. Leftovers will keep well-wrapped in the refrigerator for up to a week.