(This post was originally published last year, but after making them again recently we decided to share again with a new photo!)
One of the best things about marrying a man from Ohio is that he introduced me to buckeyes. The state sweet, they are creamy, peanut-buttery chocolate balls of joy. They resemble the nut that falls from the state tree and bear the same name as Ohio State’s beloved college football team. I don’t know how I lived 35 years without them. Recently, we introduced some neighbors to buckeyes by bringing a spooky version to Halloween party. I was talking to the hostess when someone came over and urgently asked “Where are those chocolate peanut butter balls?! They are amazing!!” I beamed with pride and decided we’d make them for a bake sale we had coming up at our child’s preschool. Recipe to follow on the next page. Don’t eat them all once! — Angela M
The other day I noticed we had a lot of zucchini in the kitchen. It’s that time of year. It’s been ages since I made zucchini bread so I thought I’d grate a few of them and put them to good use. I began searching for a recipe, and steered toward the chocolate ones. Then I steered a little more chocolatey and went with ones that had chocolate chips. Then I realized I didn’t have buttermilk in the house and was too lazy to head back out. That left this recipe from Chez Chloe, which was inspired of course by one of the all time great food blogs itself, Chocolate & Zucchini. The wonder of this recipe is that it calls for FOUR cups of shredded zucchini — most only use two. This makes it extra dense but still so delicious even our fussy five year old gobbled them up. I brought a pile into work for an early morning meeting and I could see that they they helped me win both hearts and minds. Here’s my take ….
Chocolate Chip Chocolate Zucchini Muffins
What You Need:
4 cups grated zucchini
2 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
a shake of ground nutmeg
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup unsalted butter (12T or 1 and ½ sticks), melted
1 cup chocolate chips (I used ½ semi-sweet and ½ bittersweet)
How To Make:
1. Preheat over to 350°F. Grease and flour muffin tins. Grate the zucchini — leaving skin on! — I used a food processor. Place it in a sieve to drain excess water. Press down with a paper towel to help make that happen.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg.
3. In an electric mixer, beat together the sugar and eggs until smooth, about a minute. Add the melted butter and vanilla, beat until smooth. Fold in shredded zucchini. Add the flour to the mixture in three additions, stirring to combine after each addition. Finally, fold in the chips, stirring by hand.
4. Divide batter into into tins. I filled them up almost entirely, and make a dozen and a half muffins. Use less batter per tin if you want more.
5. Bake at 350°F for about 15 minutes, or or until toothpick comes out clean.
6. Cool in the pan for 5 minutes. Flip onto a plate and late cool before serving — if you can wait!
This is one of our favorite summer treat recipes. Enjoy!
The other day my fridge seemed to be overflowing with fruit — blackberries, raspberries, strawberries and blueberries — all begging to be eaten quickly before going bad. A baked crisp seemed like the easiest solution, and this one that I discovered over at the lovely Baker’s Royale blog seemed to be a simple one to try. First you simply mix whatever summer fruit you may have handy (I used about 3 cups of the aforementioned berry collection) and cook them in a pan with 3/4 cup of sugar, and two tablespoons of cornstarch and water (that have been premixed together). Simmer them until they just start to bubble. Pour the fruit into a baking dish and let it cool. Meanwhile make the crumble by mixing of one cup of flour, 3/4 cup of light brown sugar, a handful of toasted almonds, a pinch of some pie spices (like cinnamon and nutmeg), and a dollop of applesauce (three tablespoons). Blend that mixture with six tablespoons of cold butter until well combined and crumbly. Sprinkle over the fruit and then bake at 400 degrees for about 30 minutes, until top is brown and fruit is bubbling a bit. Let it cool before serving. And whatever you do — don’t forget the ice cream!
A few more summery fruit treats:
Blueberry Crumb Pie
When the mercury rises above 90, has it has many days in the past couple of weeks, we need to be diligent about our frozen treats. One of us is always dipping into the freezer looking for something tasty to cool us down. If we’re not careful, that could lead to the consumption of waaaaaaaay too much ice-cream. Homemade popsicles have been our salvation. Usually we go the frozen fruit juice route — watermelon or mango mixed in with some lemonade. But when we spotted this simple recipe over at PBS (yes, PBS!) for 3-ingredient chocolate banana pops, we had to give it a try. The results were just sweet enough to satisfy the hungriest sweet tooth in the house, but healthy enough to allow even mom (me!) to indulge. They’re our new frozen staple!
3-Ingredient Frozen Banana Pops
What You Need:
1 cup unsweetened canned coconut milk
2 large super ripe bananas
1/2 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
How To Make:
1. Using a blender, mix all the ingredients until smooth.
2. Pour the liquid into pop molds. Place in freezer.
3. Wait three hours — that’s the hardest part!
What homemade frozen treats are you enjoying in your house this summer? Tell us here!
Occasionally we like to do a deep dive into the recesses of our 1970s childhood memories and make something that is just not good for us. By that I mean it is a “faux recipe” — one made up mostly of processed foods and that would make Michael Pollen cringe. It’s funny how something that used to be so everyday is now an indulgence of sorts. At the top of this list is a banana dessert made of Jello instant pudding, Nilla wafer cookies, whipped cream and bananas. My husband refers to it as “white trash tiramsu.” The other night the book club gathered at my house to discuss (what else) Cooked, and I couldn’t resist serving up a big a dish of this light, fluffy, banana-y treat. It was enjoyed by all without too much guilt, and I guarantee it would be a welcome finale to any 4th of July meal.
Banana Nilla Wafer Pudding
WHAT YOU NEED:
2 small boxes of jello banana instant pudding and ingredients to make it.
1-8oz tub of cool whip whipped topping
1 box Nilla wafers
4 bananas cut in thin slices
HOW TO MAKE
1. Make the pudding according to instructions. Set aside to thicken in fridge if need be.
2. Grab a casserole dish and put a layer of cookies down on the bottom.
3. Using a spatula, spread a layer of pudding on top. Put a layer of sliced bananas on top of that, followed by whipped cream.
4. Repeat until the dish is full.
5. Chill for a few hours before serving.
If this recipe doesn’t quite jive with your current palette, here are a few more 4th of July treats to choose from: