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Sundays with Joy/Chocolate Chocolate Chocolate Chip Muffins

Chocolate Chocolate Chocolate Chip Muffins

Okay, so its been awhile.  The thing is, I have totally been keeping up with my Sundays with Joy.  I just haven’t shared it with you.  I’ve also been working on some new stuff.  Not in earnest or anything, not to post, mostly because I really just gotta go at my own pace but things are coming along.  I’m working on a mash up of some favorite cookies, my Zucchini Herb Bread made a mini comeback without herbs and I’ve been contemplating a streusel topping for Joy’s Zucchini Cream Cheese Pound Cake so we’ll see what sticks first.  I did work on some streusel topped pies that I DO have the recipes for, I just gotta get them up.  Also, the “big” catalyst for not posting my Sundays with Joy was just that we were doing Oatmeal Raisin Pancakes that week and I made a big breakfast for the whole family so that I could have a big breakfast in my pictures especially since I overcooked my pancakes a bit that week.  So my husband goes off to work that Sunday and I get ready to take my pics with my “set aside” food for my shoot.  Seriously, I go upstairs to get some props (which I organized nicely during my hiatus) and my daughter (the SUPER picky 6 year old) eats my “prop” sausage!  I took the pictures but I just couldn’t get what I wanted.  I was just, ugh.  So I didn’t post that week and it just continued…

Chocolate Chocolate Chip Muffins

Halloween also didn’t help but I want to do a post on that later.  I gotta show you the best sewing I’ve ever done in my entire life and even though I know it still kinda sucked, my 10 year old thought I was a rock star (for about a minute).

Onto these muffins…

ChocolateChocolate Chocolate Chip Muffins

I’ve enjoyed the Sundays with Joy that I haven’t posted about but seriously this was definitely the one to come back with.  The husband liked it and if it isn’t chocolate chip cookies or plain rice krispie treats, he balks when it comes to complements and could seriously take or leave the sweet stuff I make.  He had a good handful of these over last week along with the picky eater so yeah, this was a good one.  Also if you are wondering how the muffin holds up to a quick warm up in the microwave, all I have to say is that is 15 seconds not wasted.  It is definitely muffiny and NOT cakey, in the best way which had been a concern for me.  Also, Joy says this makes 12 muffins but I got 14 so that was nice.  Don’t forget if you want the recipe to buy Joy’s Cookbook: 100 Simple and Comforting Recipes.

Chocolate ChocolateChocolate Chip Muffins

Oh, and this was the first recipe where I was able to take pictures using my brand new hand me down awesome camera! Yes, unfortunately any back posts will be with crappier pictures than this but new ones will be SO purty. I’m excited.

My GeekyLink for today is all about Doctor Who.  Today brought the ‘Doctor Who’ Mini Episode ‘The Night Of the Doctor’ along with An Adventure in Space and Time trailer.  An exciting morning of squeeing for me around here.  However, in order to plan properly for the 50th you’ll need the Nerdist website’s Full DOCTOR WHO 50th Anniversary Week Schedule on BBC America.  It is SO going to be a major big deal around here.  The day of the 50th (Nov. 23rd) is also the start date of My Little Pony Season 4 and my girls are super excited.  So far the plan is for some sort of an Apple Jack pancake for the morning, apple cider, Tardis Cupcakes for dessert and well…that is it so far but we are still planning.  A little over a week to go so I need to nail it down but mostly we’re gonna have a great day regardless of the food.  OUR SHOWS are on!

Sundays with Joy/Peach Cobbler Muffins

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Nectarine CobblerMuffins via NerdyBaker.wordpress.comSo even though we were supposed to make Peach Cobbler Muffins and I titled my post as such, I totally used nectarines.  I was actually planning on mixing peaches and nectarines and only bought nectarines because I knew I had peaches at home but then I got home and found that I actually only had nectarines.  Whatever…

Nectarine Cobbler Muffins via

Even Joy’s title for these is a little deceiving.  She actually forgets to mention that these are brown butter Peach Cobbler Muffins.  Are you drooling yet?  Yes, they are just as good as they sound.  I seriously had to set aside the three in my pictures or there were not going to be any left to take pictures.  They were so good I sent some to my dad for his birthday along with some Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies.  As always, if you’d like a copy of the recipe please buy the Joy the Baker Cookbook: 100 Simple and Comforting Recipes.

My GeekyLink for this week is Ten Geeked Up KitchenAid Mixers from  My favorite of course, is the Tardis design.  I found this article awhile back but figured it would fit in well today with all the Twelfth Doctor news (which I must say I am mostly pleased with).  It was always going to be an adjustment but I now I can start to see my way through it.  (Yes, I am still talking about Doctor Who)

NectarineCobbler Muffins

Banana Strawberry Oatmeal Muffins, Camouflage Cupcakes and Fringe

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I have had a hankering for some muffins for awhile now seeing as I spent all of last Sunday trying to adapt some.  I really wanted to get back to doing some baking with whole wheat flour and I just couldn’t make it work.  So I tried to think of some other whole wheat muffins that I have made and loved and then lightening struck. As always Joy was the answer.  Of course everyone knows of Joy’s Browned Butter Blueberry Muffins (I have even made a batch or two) but she also has another Blueberry Muffin that is a bit healthier with whole wheat flour and oatmeal that was ripe for the adaptation I was trying to do.  And even though I am thrilled with how they came out, I had to go and make them a tad unhealthier (but also a tad more awesome) by adding a streusel topping (that you can totally omit if you want).  Next time I think will use a berry that has a bit more kick and still goes with bananas, like well, maybe a blueberry.  You could even add some chopped nuts and make this a classic banana nut muffin.  It would be FANTASTIC and (kinda) healthy!

Those beauties had to wait till Monday morning, however, because Saturday I baked Camoflage Cupcakes for my nephew’s 11th birthday party on Sunday.  I got this idea from My Creative Way.  The cupcake was just yellow cake Cake Mix Doctored with a green basic buttercream frosting.  My Creative Way used brown and green food coloring but I used about two tablespoons of cocoa powder for the brown color.  Just spoon it into your muffin tin, alternating colors.  So easy and it looks great!  I frosted each cupcake with a thick layer of buttercream (piped on, then smoothed out) and then just one quick go round on each with a grass tip (Wilton #233 ).  I also sprinkled some green colored sugar on top which I had wanted to put on these just because but really worked out great because it helped make the grass look darker and added a little depth to it.  Top with a random army dude and you got yourself some Camo Cupcakes.

My GeekyLink this week is all about Fringe.  First of all, I am absolutely THRILLED that it was renewed for a fifth and final season.  Unfortunately, it is only for 13 episodes but something is better than nothing.  Yes, I was one of the first to find out via Twitter and it was one of the most awesome things to share among likeminded people.  If you are a fan you need to live Tweet it on Friday nights, it is one of the reasons it was renewed!  The fans came together and made it an event every Friday and aside from trying to avoid spoilers since I am on the west coast, it has just been one of the most fun fan experiences EVER and we do it every week.  Also, I am a big fan of The Fringe Podcast and I love, love, love their live show on Sunday.  Check it out!  So here is the trailer for the second half of the Fringe Season Finale.

Recipe Follows

Cinnamon Cranberry Apple Muffins and Happy Accidents

I was so frickin (yes, I said frickin!) mad at my husband yesterday.  My family would say, “So what else is new.”  But no really, yesterday I was totally justified.  You see, he has a very funky work schedule (he is a truck driver) and I always try my best to be very accommodating.  I mean, he has to sleep, there are peoples lives on the line!  I try to keep the kids as quiet as possible, even taking them out when I don’t need to go out, just to keep the house quiet for him.  Sometimes, though, he just doesn’t cooperate.  It is not that he has trouble sleeping necessarily, it is just that if he knows that he HAS to sleep it makes it harder for him to GET to sleep.  My problem is that on his days off he likes to stick to his work schedule.  While I understand that, it is much harder to stick with in everyday life.  You see, I was in the middle of making a batch of muffins that I had never made before.  They should have been done by the time I was supposed to leave to pick up my preschooler from school.  They weren’t.

To be fair, I never asked for his help but he was awake at this point (he even dressed my son to go with me) and he usually isn’t.  It was his day off.  I was making remarks about how he was ruining my muffins but he never said a word.  So out of the oven the muffins went, just minutes from being done.  And, as I feared, once I got back from picking up Sarah, my muffins were all sunken in, unsalvageable.  Luckily, it was a big batch, I had nine more to bake and I over baked them!  That is when I lost it.  He told me I should have told him when to take them out but I told him I didn’t know when that would have been as it was a new recipe.  He told me to make them over.  I told him I was out of cranberries.

Ready for the oven!

I was bummed.  After eating a bit of over baked muffin, it got me thinking.  I started to see the flaws in my muffin.  I was thinking what else I might change and how I could make it better.  The original recipe calls for a cup of oil.  The first time around I changed it to one cup of brown butter but I think that it was too much.  In the topping, I first used 2 teaspoons of cinnamon and although it made my house smell phenomenal, it was a bit much too.  The first time, I only used about 3/4 cup of cranberries and when I ate my over baked muffin I wanted more.  That meant a quick trip to the store because I was also out of brown sugar (how did that happen?).  I also decided to used my white whole wheat flour instead of all-purpose flour, just because.

Can you see his little muffin face saying, "Eat me"?

These muffins are awesome!  They would be a perfect addition to any Christmas breakfast.  They have less sugar and butter than before (yay, for applesauce).  They baked up so pretty with perfect little domes and everything.  The topping is so awesome, it adds a nice sweetness and crunch. Plus, with the brown butter and cinnamon, how much better could your house smell?  We ended up going out to dinner (yay, for gift cards) and once we sat down I had to thank my husband for helping me to make a better muffin.

My official GeekyLink for this post is about the Hunger Games.  If you haven’t read these books yet, please do so!  I am gearing up for the movie coming in the spring and so have this picture from Vanity Fair to share The Young Cast of The Hunger Games.  Scroll over their faces and you will see who is playing what and if you haven’t read these books, it will give you the gist and hopefully make you want to read them.  However, I do want to tell my Doctor Who fans about a contest You Might Be In BBC America’s Next Doctor Who Special. Yes, You.  So take a look if you are interested.

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How Browned Butter Blueberry Muffins Changed My Life

What can I say?  These muffins changed my life.  How, you ask?  It all goes back to Joy the Baker.  O boy, am I a fan.  She called these muffins perfect.  I would not have started this blog let alone done all the baking I have done since, if I hadn’t started reading her blog.  She is funny, independent, and she teaches me new things about food.  She is always learning new things too (like a few days ago she had to learn the hard way not to put parchment paper under the broiler).

I had never heard about browned butter till these muffins.  Now, if I see any recipe that calls for browned butter I immediately bookmark it.  Remember back in the day, when everyone popped popcorn over the stove and then melted their own butter on the stove top to pour on top of it?  This is that butter, cooked just a bit longer.  Now, the butter for this recipe in particular is unsalted so even though it smells AWESOME while it is browning, if you try to taste it you will be sadly disappointed.  It won’t be what you are expecting (I had to learn that the hard way, yuck). Read the rest of this entry

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