Chocolate Muffins

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I had some cocoa that was expiring soon.  I needed to make something for an afternoon snack.  And I realised I didn’t have much time left before my daughter came home.  So I decided quickly to make chocolate muffins that would be ready within one hour.  Muffins are easy to make because you just have to mix dry and wet ingredients together.  They are good for breakfast and a snack to go.  I am not a fan of muffins.  I’d rather go for a chiffon cake.  But after I tried these chocolate muffins, I was sure I would make them again.  When they were baking, the house was filled with the aroma of chocolate.  My senses brought me to those times when I walk by the Famous Amos cookie store.  When I finally had time to try one, I was happy that the taste didn’t disappoint.  It tasted so wonderful, thanks to the cocoa and the coconut oil.

I decided at the last minute to use coconut oil for these muffins.  Baking with coconut oil is great.  The bakes always turn out so aromatic and fragrant.  Coconut oil is also a healthier option than melted butter and vegetable oil.  Coconut oil is high in natural saturated fats. Saturated fats not only increase the healthy cholesterol (known as HDL cholesterol) in your body, but also help convert the LDL “bad” cholesterol into good cholesterols.  By increasing the HDL in the body, it helps promote heart health and lower the risk of heart disease.

The amount of coconut oil used in this recipe doesn’t leave the muffins with a strong coconut taste.  In fact, it is so subtle you can’t really taste it and it blends so well with the cocoa.  I love taking a whiff out of the coconut oil jar.  It’s such a natural fragrance!  This recipe works well with vegetable oil if you don’t have coconut oil.  You can use any light tasting vegetable oil.   The result will be great as well.  You can top this with semi-sweet chocolate chips if you want to up the level of chocolate.  This recipe is really great if you are in a hurry.  I had these done in 45 minutes.  So busy moms, this is for you.

Ingredients (for 6 muffins)

Dry ingredients:

  • 100g all-purpose flour
  • 20g unsweetened cocoa
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • pinch of salt

Wet ingredients:

  • 1 egg, room temperature
  • 50g brown sugar
  • 50ml milk
  • 40ml coconut oil/vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Directions:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 175 degrees celcius.
  2. Fill muffin tin with cupcake liners.
  3. Sift dry ingredients (all-purpose flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt) into a bowl.  Set aside.
  4. In a separate bowl, whisk egg and brown sugar together till light and fluffy.
  5. Add milk and continue whisking.  Next, add in vanilla and coconut oil and whisk them together till well incorporated.
  6. Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients with a spatula.
  7. Pour in wet ingredients into the well.  Fold wet ingredients and dry ingredients till well incorporated with no traces of flour.  Make light and quick folds and do not over-fold as this will result in tough muffins.
  8. Spoon batter into cupcake liners till 2/3 full.
  9. Bake in pre-heated oven for 20 minutes.
  10. Allow the muffins to cool and then enjoy!

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Easy tuna puffs

I love to have some frozen puff pastry in my freezer.  It makes whipping up a snack really convenient.  These tuna puffs were done and ready to eat in an hour.  Freshly made and crispy, everyone just had to reach out for one.

I had a can of tuna flakes in my pantry so it was a perfect time to make some tuna puffs.  I used two sheets of pastry, cut each into fours, filled them with tuna flakes and sent them to bake.  Really simple and straightforward.  The filling can be sweet or savoury.  Nutella, blueberry, apple, curry chicken are some options that will be on my to-do list.

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Ingredients:

(makes 8 pieces)

2 sheets of puff pastry

1 can tuna

beaten egg (for sealing the pastry and egg wash)

Directions:

  1. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Thaw frozen puff pastry.  Once thawed, cut into 4 equal squares.
  3. Brush egg wash on the sides of each square.
  4. Spoon tuna fish (or filling of your choice) onto the centre of the square.
  5. Fold pastry into triangles/rectangles and press the sides gently to seal.
  6. Use a fork to press the sides of each puff to make a striped pattern.
  7. Place on parchment paper.
  8. Brush egg wash on each puff.
  9. Bake in preheated 170 deg celcius oven for 20 minutes or till puffs turn golden brown.

 

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Butterless Chocolate Chip Cookies

I am loving this chocolate chip recipe that I found on Chef Savvy website.  The cookies taste absolutely fantastic and the texture is crisp on the outside and chewy inside.  I will be using this recipe from now on whenever there’s a demand for chocolate chip cookies.

This recipe is great because it uses coconut oil rather than butter.  Coconut oil is well known for its health benefits.  It is widely used in food and health care.  Composing of medium-chain triglycerides it is lower in calories than most oils.  There’s only a very slight hint of coconut in the cookies.  The taste is just great!  In fact, I personally prefer this version of chocolate chip cookies.  My food picky daughter also loved them.  She had five and asked to pack some for school.

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Butterless Chocolate Chip Cookies 

Ingredients (makes about 12 cookies):

11/2 cups all purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

2 teaspoons vanilla

1 egg

1/2 cup coconut oil (not melted)

Directions:

  1. In an electric mixer beat coconut oil with brown sugar and caster sugar till everything is incorporated well.  I used a whisk to do this step.
  2. Add egg and continue mixing till well incorporated.
  3. Add vanilla and mix till well incorporated.
  4. Sift in all purpose flour, baking soda and salt into the mixture.  Mix till all the dry ingredients are combined.
  5. Fold in chocolate chips and form a soft dough.
  6. Refrigerate dough for 30 minutes.
  7. Preheat oven to 175 degrees.
  8. Line baking tray with parchment paper.
  9. Remove dough from fridge and roll them into balls and place them on the parchment paper.  Leave ample space between each cookie dough as the cookie will spread while baking.
  10. Bake for about 12 – 15 minutes.
  11. Place cookies on a cooling rack.  Store in air-tight cookie jar or container when they are cooled completely.

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Enjoy them with milk!  I’ll be making another batch soon.  Hope you like them too ♥

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recipe source: Chef Savvy

 

Time for some Cookies

Sometime ago I realised I haven’t used the cookie stamp I bought from our vacation to Brisbane a few years back.  The cookie stamp was quite an impulsive purchase, definitely something I wouldn’t buy now because I already owned some really beautiful cookie cutters handed down to me by my granny.

Since staying at home full time, I have been conscious with my spending, always asking myself whether I needed an item before buying it and whether I already have a similar one lying at home.  I don’t buy anything straightway anymore, rather I would go home and get about my usual activity.  If I really needed the item, it would surely pop up in my mind.  So no more impulse shopping for me.  I feel this change leads to less unwanted, unused things in my house, less clutter, less cleaning and a simpler life for me.

Oh, back to the cookie stamp.

I made some yummy butter cookies.  This is a really simple recipe.  Give it a try because the cookies are really good and the cookie jar will be empty in no time.

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Cut-Out Butter Cookies

Ingredients:

(makes about 36 pieces depending on the cookie stamp/cutter size)

100g unsalted butter, softened at room temperature

80g caster sugar

1 egg yolk

180 cake flour

20g corn flour

Steps:

Sift cake flour and corn flour together and set aside.  Line baking tray with parchment paper and set aside.

With an electric mixer, add in sugar to the butter in 3 additions and cream till the mixture turns light and fluffy.

Add in egg yolk and mix well.

Add sifted flour mixture in 3 additions, stir with a spatula to form a soft dough.

Place dough in a plastic bag and flatten with a rolling pin.

Refrigerate the dough for 30 minutes.

Remove dough from the fridge and roll it on a slightly floured surface and cut out with slightly floured cookie cutter.

Line the cut-out cookie dough with some space between each cookie on the baking tray as they will spread a little while baking.

Preheat oven to 170 degrees.

Bake in pre-heated oven for 15 minutes.

Cool them on a cooling rack and store in air-tight cookie jar or container.

Double Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins

Welcome to Lovin the Simple.  Today’s first post will feature an easy muffin recipe.  If you love bananas and chocolate then it’s easy to combine both ingredients in this recipe to make this super quick and delicious treat.

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Ingredients:

Makes 9 small muffins

100g plain flour

20g cocoa powder

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

pinch of salt

1 over-ripe banana, mashed

1 egg

40g castor sugar

30g vegetable oil

30g fresh milk

1 teaspoon vanilla

chocolate chips for topping

Steps:

Preheat oven to 170 degrees.

Line muffin tray with cupcake liners.

Sift plain flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt into a large bowl.  Lightly whisk to combine the dry ingredients.

Whisk egg and sugar till well combined.

Add milk and whisk till combined.  Next add vegetable oil and whisk till combined.

Add mashed banana and vanilla and whisk till well combined.

Make a small well in the centre of the dry ingredients.  Pour in the wet ingredients and fold to combine both ingredients.  Do not overfold as this will result in tough muffins. Light and swift folds will result in moist and fluffy muffins.

Scoop batter into cupcake liners till about half full.

Garnish or top with chocolate chips.

Bake in preheated oven for 15 – 20 minutes.

After baking, let the muffins cool on a cooling rack for about 15 minutes.

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Enjoy these muffins warm with a cup of coffee or tea

I kept the extra muffins in an air-tight container and stored them in the fridge because the chocolate chips would melt at room temperature in sunny Singapore.  When the sweet tooth kicks in I will take them out of the fridge and enjoy them with coffee and a nice conversation with my daughter.  That’s the simple life I love!