Cranberry Muffins with Walnut Crumb Topping

Emma woke up craving muffins in a bad way. So what does she do? Convinced Katie to make them for breakfast. A good way to justify eating muffins (if you really need any sort of justification) is to have fruit in them. At least it’s somewhat healthy. Because we had some frozen cranberries in the freezer, we decided to make a cranberry muffin, which turned out really well! You could add some orange extract or zest to add another dimension and some extra flavor. These muffins turned out to be delicious and addicting! We even ended up taking some to the beach with us afterward.

The only problem we had was it seemed that the batter was very thick, more like dough. To fix this problem we added some milk until it was more of a batter consistency than dough. Just add a little at a time until you get the consistency that you think is right. Remember, you can always add but you can’t take out! Also, if you are using muffin pan liners, they love to stick to the paper when they are still warm. If you are not willing to fight the battle of Paper Cup Liner vs Hungry Human Being, we would suggest that you let them cool. But we all know Emma, she loves to eat things straight out of the oven. Warm muffins are better anyway, right?

There are three parts to this recipe: the muffin section, the streusel topping, and the glaze for the top (that part is more of a preference. You don’t have to add it if you don’t want to).

Crumb Topping

1/4 cup walnut pieces
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
Pinch of salt
2 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted


2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup plus 1 1/2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
Pinch of salt
1 cup plain low-fat yogurt
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries


1 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons water

Preheat the oven to 425°. Lightly grease the cups and top of a 12-cup nonstick muffin pan or use pan liners.

MAKE THE CRUMB TOPPING In a pie plate, toast the walnuts for 5 minutes, or until browned and fragrant; cool. In a large bowl, mix the flour with the granulated and light brown sugars, baking powder and salt. Stir in the butter, then add the walnuts and pinch the topping mixture into clumps.

MAKE THE MUFFINS In a medium bowl, mix the flour with 1/2 cup of sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In another bowl, mix the yogurt with the egg and butter; stir in the dry ingredients. Toss the cranberries with the remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons of sugar and fold into the muffin batter.

Spoon the batter into the muffin cups and cover with the crumb topping. Gently press the topping onto the muffins so it adheres. Bake for 20 minutes, or until the muffins are golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let the muffins cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to a rack set over a baking sheet.

MAKE THE GLAZE In a medium bowl, mix the confectioners’ sugar with the water until smooth and barely runny. Drizzle the glaze over the warm muffins and let it set. Serve the muffins warm or at room temperature.

(Source: ekcooking)

Nutella & Coconut Oatmeal Cookies

For today’s baking adventure, we picked a classic quick oatmeal cookie recipe from The Joy Of Cooking cookbook and gave it a twist. To make it more exciting, we added Nutella, Coconut, more oats, and more chocolate chips. It came out to be a mild and creamy cookie with the treat of the coconut and the chew of the extra oats. 

1/2 cup brown sugar

 1/2 cup granulated sugar

 1/2 cup butter

1 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 tablespoon milk

3/4 cup Nutella 

1 cup flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

** The original recipe calls for 1/2 teaspoon of salt, but we have found that using 1 teaspoon of coarse sea salt brings out the sweetness of the chocolate and adds a little kick. 

1 1/2 cups instant oats

1 cup chocolate chips

1/2 cup Baker’s flaked coconut

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. 

2. Combine sugar and butter until creamy, then add milk, vanilla, and Nutella. 

3. Combine flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder, then add to wet ingredients. 

4. Add oats, chocolate chips, and coconut. 

5. Spoon mounds of dough, 1 inch apart, onto a greased cookie sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes or until golden brown. 

Nutella & Pecan Lava Cookies


We took this delicious recipe for lava cookies and tweaked it a little to make it just right for us. The original recipe called for hazelnuts, but we used pecans and you can use whatever your favorite nut is—or whatever is handy.

Here are a few tips for making this recipe the best for y’all: 

1. Spoon Nutella into small Ziploc bag and cut end so that it is a little homemade pastry bag. It makes it easier to get the Nutella into the cookie. 

2. Some people don’t believe that lining their pans with parchment paper or tin foil is necessary, but for this recipe, lining it allows the cookies to cool when the cookie sheet is much too hot. Just remove the lining with the cookies still on it and let them cool for a minute, then you can more easily transfer the cookies to a cooling rack or plate. 

3. This is one of those recipes where it really is okay if you don’t have an electric mixer! Ours broke recently, so we just use good old muscles to combine our ingredients. 

1/2 cup pecans
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 large egg
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup Nutella

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

Scatter pecans on a baking sheet lined with foil and let them toast until fragrant, five to ten minutes. Chop and let cool.

Melt 3 tablespoons of butter in a small saucepan set over medium heat. Reduce heat to low and stir in chocolate chips until melted. Remove from heat and let cool.

Beat the egg, sugar, salt and vanilla in a medium bowl for about 2 minutes using high speed of an electric hand-held mixer. Beat in the melted chocolate mixture.

Thoroughly stir together the flour and baking powder, then stir flour mixture into chocolate mixture and nuts. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and chill for an hour or more.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or tin foil. Working one at a time, scoop up heaping tablespoons of dough and shape into a mounds about the size of a golf ball. Press a hole into the mound and stuff it with a teaspoon of Nutella. Seal the hole with dough and place cookies about 3 inches apart.

Bake cookies one sheet at a time for exactly 12 minutes. 

Let the cookies cool or just pop one in your mouth right out of the oven like Emma loves to do, and feel the hot melty Nutella rush out of the freshly baked chocolatey awesomeness. And maybe burn your mouth a little…


Punalu’u Sweet Bread French Toast

Katie and a few friends took a road trip around the island and stopped off at the Punalu’u Sweet Bread Factory down south. There, she picked up a fresh baked loaf of Kalakoa sweet bread, which is a swirl of taro, mango, and guava flavors. And what better way to use a loaf of fruity sweet bread than turn it into french toast?

We didn’t use a recipe from the internet or a book, but here is what we cooked up:

1. Cut bread into slices about 3/4 to 1 inch thick. 

**French toast purists will let their bread become stale by cutting the bread then leaving it out overnight, but it is okay if you do not. 

2. For this size of a loaf, we used 6 eggs. You may use more depending on how much or how little you want your bread to be soaked. For each egg that you use, pour in 2 tablespoons of milk and whisk thoroughly in a flat dish. 

3. Stir in a pinch of cinnamon and 1 teaspoon of sugar.

4. Place bread slices one at a time in the egg mixture and flip over so that each side is coated equally, and place in a frying pan coated in butter or cooking spray over medium heat.

**Be careful when transferring the soaked bread from the bowl to the pan, as it is very soft and may break.  

5. Cook each side of the bread until it is golden brown, then garnish with fruit, syrups, whipped cream, cinnamon sugar, or powdered sugar.