Orange Chocolate Chip Muffins

Orange Chocolate Chip Muffins

Light orange, sweet chocolate, and a splash of vanilla make for a breakfast you can look forward to.

Chocolate Cupcake-Muffins

Chocolate Cupcake-Muffins

Why are these called Chocolate Cupcake-Muffins? Because they are muffins, and they are cupcakes, and they are delicious. They can be eaten for breakfast or for dessert. They can be eaten plain, or with peanut butter, or with whipped cream frosting. They are made with healthy ingredients like quinoa flour and yogurt, but also required the melting of butter and the adding of cocoa powder. Hence: cupcake-muffins.

Mini Chocolate Doughnut Muffins

mini chocolate doughnut muffins

Mini Chocolate Doughnut Muffins for a snow day, that’s what these were. The kids went back to school on January 2nd, and by the 3rd they already had a day off, thanks to an insane amount of snow. We seized the moment, slept in, and then it was time for breakfast. I decided to skip the glaze so these not-unhealthy treats wouldn’t venture into dessert territory.

Chocolate Coconut Espresso Cookies (with Cappuccino Chips)

Chocolate Coconut Espresso Cookies

These weren’t JUST particularly spectacular cookies.

Yes, being Chocolate Coconut Espresso Cookies, they were destined to be delicious, and when I swapped out the chocolate chips for cappuccino chips they went all the way to sublime. But these were special cookies — not in an afterschool special kind of way — because I made them for The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap

Dark Chocolate Espresso Pumpkin Bread, and guest bakers!

Dark Chocolate Pumpkin Espresso Bread

It was a beautiful, perfect, delicious bread, and a perfectly wonderful baking day. I had guest bakers! Meet Tracy and Antonia. Left to my own devices, I would have reduced or eliminated the chocolate chips, but Antonia & Tracy are huge chocolate fans and I wanted them to leave with their taste buds singing.

Banana Bran Muffins with Mini Chocolate Chips

Banana Bran Muffins

These were a lovely surprise.

I hadn’t done a banana-bran combination before. Well, sort of. I’d tried these Banana-Nut Oat Bran Muffins but that was oat bran instead of wheat bran and they didn’t have real flour in them and while some people liked them, I wouldn’t make them again. So they don’t count.

But I had some brown bananas sitting around, even after making my Chai Spiced Banana Muffins, and I had a hankering for something new. I also had some buttermilk to use up, and liked that this recipe looked pretty healthy but still adaptable, plus it looked like I’d get some mini muffins out of the deal as well, which are always fun.

Orange Mocha Muffins

Orange Mocha Muffins

Redemption.

The last two baked goods that came out of my kitchen were substandard, for sure. Not enough flavor, heavy, arduous texture, and especially disappointing because one came right on the heels of the other. But today things turned around at last, courtesy of these lovely. fluffy, flavor-filled orange mocha muffins.

Healthy Dark Chocolate Zucchini Muffins

Healthy Zucchini Chocolate Muffins

This recipe called out to me but it took a while for me to heed the call.

First of all, it was based on a recipe by Marcus Samuelsson, whose memoir Yes, Chef was a recent and engaging, fascinating, inspiring, and delicious read. I’ve never tried any of his recipes before, and I had actually pinned this one a few weeks ago. But then I saw this version of it, which seemed to preserve the general nature of it but healthed it up a bit, finding alternatives to the sugar (which I would simply have reduced) as well as the oil.

Zucchini Chocolate Coconut Muffins

Chocolate Coconut Zucchini Muffins

Pretty, they’re not.

Delicious, they are. And then some. They’re bursting with chocolate and coconut with just a touch of cinnamon, and not a whisper of zucchini hits the taste buds. Amazing.

I confess that I was very, very nervous while I was making them. I changed so many elements of this recipe that I had no idea if I was going to be elated by success or depressed by failure, and then have to go hungry as well. But sometimes a baker has to take a few chances.

Skinny Chocolate Fudge Banana Muffins

Skinny Chocolate Fudge Banana Muffins

Ignore the word “skinny”. Really. Because these taste anything but skinny. They taste FAT in the most delightful way. Fat with chocolate flavor. Fat with cakey texture. Fat with desserty joy.

And yet they are skinny too. Low fat, Weight Watchers-friendly, and full of healthy ingredients like wheat germ, yogurt, bananas, and whole wheat white flour. They have chocolate chips too, of course, but that’s okay. It’s all about balance. And deliciousness. These muffins have that in abundance.

Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread (two misses and a hit)

Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread

Finally!

This delicious, satisfying chocolate zucchini bread came on the heels of two very unfortunate baking experiments, and a last-minute mishap to boot.

Failure #1: I tried to make a zucchini bread without chocolate chips or cocoa powder. Now I know that it’s possible to make a good spiced zucchini bread, but the recipe I tried did not generate one.

Mocha Banana Bread

Mocha Banana Bread

Love this twist on a traditional banana bread. Next time I’ll push it even more and up the cocoa powder and the espresso, but even as is it was full of flavor and made for a nice spin on a familiar treat.

Healthy Chocolate Zucchini Cake

Healthy Chocolate Zucchini Cake

It’s zucchini season! And that means it’s chocolate season too. (It’s not wabbit season, though.)

I’ve had my eye on this healthy chocolate zucchini cake recipe for a while because it has cardamom in it, which piqued my interest. So I gave it a go.

Double Chocolate Yogurt Loaf

Double Chocolate Yogurt Loaf

jump to recipe Let me just put this out there right away: this picture does not do this loaf justice. The how-to-use-your-new-DSL-camera class doesn’t start until April, so I’m still using the automatic setting, and I baked at night, so there was no natural light to work with. So understand that the dark blob you […]

Baking with Kate in Toronto

Baking With Kate In Toronto

We were in Toronto for a few days, and my niece Kate likes baking (and eating), so it seemed only logical to bake with her. Also, she’s fun to hang out with, so really, I’ll take any reason that comes my way to do spend time with her. We immediately ruled out anything that would […]

Chocolate Clove Yogurt Cake

Chocolate Clove Yogurt Cake

So while the Banana Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Singles were baking or cooling or in various states of I’m-not-sure-if-these-will-work-out, I started working on my back-up plan. I’d seen this recipe on Pinterest a while ago, and I loved the idea of chocolate and cloves, plus I liked that it looked a little weird in the picture. […]

Mocha Snack Cake

Mocha Snack Cake east coast

I made this simple but magnificent cake at Mom’s in BC, and I had to find out if I could reproduce it in my own kitchen. I didn’t change the recipe one iota in either place, keeping the all purpose flour, the white sugar, and the butter, but for all I know, the magic may […]

Baking in BC: Mocha Snack Cake

Mocha Snack Cake in BC

(with help from Serious Coffee) Okay, I just want to start by saying that this is my favorite new thing I’ve made in a long time. It’s really, really delicious, and very easy to make, and you should brew up some coffee and make it immediately. You will not regret it. I wanted to make […]

Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread

Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread

I decided there were more chocolate zucchini recipes out there worth trying. So I tried one. I admit I am a little distracted today. In addition, we had our summer outing at work today, so I spent the afternoon on a boat cruising around Manhattan. It was actually quite lovely, with wonderful views of the […]

Chocolate Pumpkin Loaf

Chocolate Pumpkin Loaf

“I’m glad I took the whole piece.” That’s what Dave said after he came upstairs to taste the Chocolate Pumpkin Loaf I made tonight. He took half of the piece I cut for him, but I told him to take the whole thing. He was glad. He said so! (And by the way, that’s demerara […]

Secretly Healthy Chocolate Cupcakes With Cream Cheese Frosting

Secretly Healthy Chocolate Cupcakes With Cream Cheese Frosting

As Nathaniel & Juliet would sing, “It’s the final countdown…” All week I have been using my colleagues at work as guinea pigs. They tasted, they described, they compared and contrasted. They weighed the issues: kids have to like them, they can’t be too messy, they need to appeal to the widest variety of tastes, […]

Secretly Healthy Chocolate Cupcakes With Greek Yogurt Frosting

Secretly Healthy Chocolate Cupcakes With Greek Yogurt Frosting

read about Night 1 read about Night 2 Tonight was the last night of true experimentation. Whatever I make tomorrow goes to the kids at St. Philip’s Academy for Read It All Up®, and that’s that. But tonight I went back to the site where I found the extremely delicious recipe for Secretly Healthy Chocolate […]

Read It All Up Test Night 1: Chocolate-Zucchini Muffins

Chocolate Zucchini Muffins

This is going to be a week of experimentation. My friend Carol and I have started up a non-profit called Read It All Up®, which is all about combining our mutual love for reading and food into a way to get kids to love reading at a very early age. You can see more on […]

Experiments In Zucchini: Secretly Healthy Chocolate Cake

Secretly Healthy Chocolate Cake

Most people who know me know of my hatred of cooked vegetables. Unless you count corn and potatoes, which are more like starches, I don’t eat any cooked vegetables at all, ever. Oh, Dave sometimes purees some carrots and sneaks them into the spaghetti sauce, and I make carrot oatmeal muffins, but that’s really as […]

Espresso Chocolate Muffins

Espresso Chocolate Muffins

“Can you make something with espresso?” asked Kate. Of course I can. We have a house full of visiting family this week and couldn’t be happier about it. I plan to stuff them full of baked goods as much as they’ll let me, and they get to make requests too. Tonight I whipped together a […]

Oatmeal Peanut Butter Snack Squares

Oatmeal Peanut Butter Snack Squares

I’ve resisted this recipe for as long as I can. I mean, I pinned it TWELVE DAYS AGO and it has peanut butter, oatmeal, mini chocolate chips, and at some point you actually get to turn it into this: That’s twelve days too long, in my book. I had a great excuse to make it, […]

One Bowl Chocolate Cake

One-Bowl Chocolate Cake

I’m not sure which I’m happier about: conquering a recipe with (liquid) coffee in it, or finally managing to successfully dust something with powdered sugar without having it look hilarious, like a 4-year-old did it. Both feel like long-awaited accomplishments, and both resulted in deliciousness. A long time ago, years before I was baking anything […]

Chocolate Yogurt Loaf With Powdered Sugar

Rudi Cake

Tonight I made a Rudi Cake — a tribute cake to someone special and so much missed. For extra strength, I added espresso powder. And for his white hair, I topped it with powdered sugar. Made with love and sadness and a zest for life and good flavor, I present the Chocolate Yogurt Loaf. I […]

Low Fat Chocolate Muffins With A Small Surprise

Low Fat Chocolate Muffins

I’m exhausted, but I wanted a treat, and I didn’t want to feel crappy about indulging. For that, this is my go-to recipe. These muffins are incredibly easy to whip together in almost no time, and they always taste fantastic. Good texture, strong chocolate flavor, boosted by a little espresso powder. It’s a very basic […]