Kitchen Sink Cookie Muffins

Hello!

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So, my sister created a recipe last weekend that she called kitchen sink cookie muffins. They actually looked pretty good! She called them that because she put everything but the kitchen sink in them. Pretty cute, huh? ūüôā

But, then she made the comment that she would have me take a look at the recipe. Oh – WOOT! – free reign to tweak it, hungry runner style! It’s on!

Here’s her ingredient list:
1 1/4 cup butter
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 banana
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 cup pulverized almonds
4 cups rolled oats
3/4 cup raisins
3/4 cup craisins
1 cup peanut butter chips

Aaaannd, her recipe makes about 40 muffins.

Well, the first thing I needed to do was shrink that recipe down. I certainly don’t need 40 muffins! Of course, my sister has 4 hungry, growing, active and busy kids so 40 muffins makes sense. For her. Definitely not for me and possibly not for you.

The second thing that had to happen was cutting down on the butter. Don’t get me wrong – I love butter but it really has limited redeeming health benefits. So, I grabbed my trusty container of plain, nonfat Greek yogurt. Greek yogurt is a great substitute for butter in a recipe because of its consistency (much thicker than regular yogurt) and it adds muscle-building protein that you wouldn’t normally get from butter. Plus, you’re really cutting down on the saturated fat. ūüôā

The third thing was to cut out some of that sugar. She added raisins and craisins in addition to both brown AND white sugar. The dried fruit has a lot of sugar in it already. It just seemed to me that eliminating any extra/unnecessary sugar was just the right thing to do. So, I cut the white sugar and added a small amount of raw honey. No, you don’t have to go to a special store for raw honey. I got mine at Wal-Mart. Don’t know anything about raw honey? Read this.

The final big change I made was the addition of some peanut butter – natural, of course, with no extra sugars – in place of the pulverized almonds. Honestly, you can do either. I would have used almond butter but I ate it all already. And I’m too lazy to go to the store. If you opt for the almonds, I would cut it down to about 1/4 to 1/2 cup. It will change the consistency a little but it should be fine.

So, here’s what my recreation looks like.

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Um, yes, they do taste as amazing as they look! They are light, moist, and delicious. Sometimes, using only whole wheat flour can really weigh a baked good down but not this time. Don’t be afraid of whole wheat flour! Using yogurt and mashed bananas really helps the muffins stay moist and the dried fruit adds a delightful sweetness without being overly sugary.

These are definitely a win!

Make these. Like now. Now.

Kitchen Sink Cookie Muffins
makes 12 muffins

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup plain, nonfat Greek yogurt
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 tablespoon raw honey
2 ripe bananas, mashed
1 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup old-fashioned oats
1/2 cup natural peanut butter
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup bittersweet chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin pan with foil liners.

2. In large stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, cream butter, yogurt, and brown sugar together – mixture will be very liquidy. Add egg, honey, and bananas; mix to combine.

3. In separate bowl, stir flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt with a whisk. Add to banana yogurt mixture and mix until combined. Add oats and peanut butter; mix.

4. Remove bowl from stand and, using spatula, stir in raisins and chocolate chips. Batter will be very thick.

5. Divide batter among 12 muffin cups. It will look like too much but trust me.

6. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center of muffin comes out clean. Cool in pan approximately 5 minutes; remove to cooling rack.

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7. Gobble them up!

(Per the myfitnesspal app)
Calories 286; Fat 11g (saturated 2.4g, monounsaturated 3.2g, polyunsaturated 1.6g); Carbs 41g (fiber 4.7g, sugars 19.5g); Protein 7.5g

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These muffins will make a delicious breakfast paired with some Greek yogurt and fruit. They’ll also make a great portable snack with a piece of fruit. Kids of all ages love portable snacks.

You don’t have to use bittersweet chips if you don’t want to. You could easily use semi-sweet or even milk chocolate. Those will increase the sugar some. Also, adding craisins (if you choose to) will also increase the sugar. Just be careful. Kids with energy can be fun but kids on a sugar high can be … ummm… less than fun. ūüėČ

Question – what are your favorite baking substitions?

– jennifer

Randomness, Things I’m listening to and Chutney Chicken One Pot

Hello!

Happy Monday!

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So, do you ever have random songs just pop into your head? And, by random, I mean songs you don’t normally hear on the radio. Is that just me?

Well, this morning, out of nowhere – and I really can’t explain it because I spent time watching pre-season football this weekend, NOT children’s shows – came this doozy:

I know. I’m sorry. I should be ashamed of myself. One for the song bomb and two, because I subjected you to Barney!

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I’m sorry. Really, I am.

If you only knew how much I am NOT a fan of Barney, you would understand my consternation. Ugh.

Moving on….it’s the only way…..

I love listening to music when I’m cooking or cleaning or just hanging around. I have a wide variety of tastes (see above) but lately, I’ve been reaching for these artists:

    1. Amy Winehouse
    2. Etta James
    3. Ray LaMontagne

If you don’t know who Ray LaMontagne is, you are totally missing out.

    4. Liz Longley

Same with Liz Longley. Check her stuff out. You won’t be sorry!

    5. Duffy

It seems they’re always in my CD player.

Yes, I still have CDs. I’m old-fashioned. You don’t EVEN want me to tell you about the reel-to-reel player I have! Now, THAT’s old school.

Anyway, if I’m not playing one of those, I’m usually playing some standards or maybe some Ella Fitzgerald.

And, then, while relaxing in my kitchen, I make things like this:

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Chutney Chicken One Pot! Click the photo to go to the recipe on my Facebook page!

Chutney Chicken One Pot.

Oh. So. Yummy.

Do you like my ginormous cast iron skillet?

Questions:

1. Do you cook with cast iron?

2. What are you listening to these days? I love suggestions!

3. Can you forgive me for the purple dinosaur?

– jennifer

Jump start your Monday with a workout & some warm Cinnamon Swirl Bread

Happy Monday!

How did you start your week? I went to CrossFit and learned something new about myself. That’s always a good thing! Learning about yourself and what you can accomplish right now allows you to better understand what to do to make yourself smarter, fitter, faster, stronger. Today’s workout only looked a little scary on the board. 4 rounds for time of: 100m run, 10 box jumps (I did 20″), 100m run BACKWARDS, 4 reps deadlifts 115#. The scary part was the 115#. I had no idea if I could do that – I’d never tried. Okay, fine, the running backwards part was a little scary too but mostly because I didn’t want to trip and leave brains on the sidewalk. That would be bad.

Anyway, as it turns out, I CAN deadlift 115# and it’s not my 1 rep maximum. What a great feeling! I am woman, hear me ROAR!

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So, knocked out my workout in 10:35 and felt great about myself. I love that about both running and CrossFit. Working out, moving your body, improving yourself should make you feel good both inside and out.

Afterwards, I had one of my favorite post-run or workout treats – banana and peanut butter. I. Love. Peanut Butter. Seriously. I have to watch myself or I’ll finish a jar in a week. Today’s treat was even more special since I had it on some cinnamon swirl bread that I made. There is just something divine about peanut butter, cinnamon, and banana. Om nom nom!

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What’s your favorite post-workout meal/treat?

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Cinnamon Swirl Bread (Raisins optional)
Makes 2 loaves, 16 serving each

4 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 cup warm water
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
3 to 4 cups unbleached, all-purpose white flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 cup nonfat milk
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1 cup raisins

1. Dissolve the yeast in the warm water and let rest until the surface begins to foam. Stir in the oil and butter.

2.  Combine 3 cups of white flour, the whole wheat flour, and the salt in a bowl, stand mixer bowl, or food processor.  Pulse or mix in the yeast mixture.  Add the milk.  (If using a processor, do this while the machine is running.)  Add more of the white flour, a tablespoon at a time, until a dough ball forms.

3.  Knead until smooth and elastic.

4.  Place the dough in an oiled bowl.  Turn it once, cover with a damp cloth towel, and let it rest for 1 hour, until double in bulk.

5.  After the dough is doubled in bulk, punch it down, divide in half, and let it rest 5 minutes before shaping.

6. ¬†Coat 2 loaf pans (about 81/2×41/2 inches each) with nonstick spray.

7. Lightly dust the work surface with flour. ¬†Roll out one of the portions of dough into a rectangle, about 8×12 inches. ¬†Dust with half of the cinnamon and spread on half the brown sugar and half the raisins (if desired), leaving a 1-inch margin all around. ¬†Starting from a short side, tightly roll up the rectangle, pinch the ends to seal, and place seam side down into the loaf pan. ¬†Repeat with the second ball of dough. ¬†Let the loaves rise, covered with a damp towel, until doubled in bulk, about 45 minutes to an hour in a warm, though not hot, space.

8.  Put the oven rack in the center or bottom third of the oven and preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

9.  Slash the tops of the loaves and place them in the oven.  Bake for 40 to 50 minutes, until golden brown.  Remove from the pans and cool on a wire rack.

Per serving:

Calories 105; Protein 3g; Fat 2g (saturated 0g); Carbohydrates 21g; Fiber 1g; Sodium 66mg

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Recipe from 1001 Low-fat Recipes