Banana Chocolate Chip Mini Muffins

Cute lil mini muffins filled with bananas and chocolate are perfect lunchbox treats!

Banana Chocolate Chip Mini Muffins | thepajamachef.comEven though it’s pumpkin season, I bet you still have some brown bananas hanging about, needing to become banana bread, right?!? Well, next time you do, you will have to try these adorable Banana Chocolate Chip Mini Muffins! I have a million banana bread recipes on my blog, and I love every one of them. :) This one is no exception! Each muffin is full of mini chocolate chips and tons of banana flavor. You know how some banana recipes only call for one banana? That’s never enough, and this recipe knows it. That’s why it includes THREE bananas. Triple the banana love, folks!

Banana Chocolate Chip Mini Muffins2These muffins are extra moist and rich thanks to the double dose of butter and sour cream in the batter. Is it weird that the first thing that came in my mind while typing butter and sour cream is, “boy, I’d like a baked potato.” Wait–don’t answer that. I guess I’m hungry. :) While baked potatoes and banana muffins don’t go together, these muffins pair perfectly with a tall glass of milk or a cup of hot cocoa. Ben has become, can we say, a bit obsessed with chocolate milk recently, so he’d say you should serve the little guys with chocolate milk, but I say, drink whatever kind of milk suits your fancy. :)

Banana Chocolate Chip Mini Muffins | thepajamachef.comNormally I prefer our everyday lunch/snack muffins to be on the healthy side, but sometimes you gotta live it up and enjoy the chocolate! :) There’s plenty to go around!

Banana Chocolate Chip Mini Muffins | thepajamachef.comJust look at all those mini chips on top! That’s why I love mini chocolate chips…spreading the wealth! YUM!

one year ago: Pumpkin Spice Chocolate Chip Cake with Nutella Frosting
three years ago: Roasted Vegetable Soup
four years ago: Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Mini Muffins

Banana Chocolate Chip Mini Muffins

  • Servings: 36
  • Time: 30 minutes
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from The Lively Kitchen

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups mashed ripe banana [about 3]
  • 1/3 cup sour cream or plain yogurt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line mini muffin pans with paper liners or grease with cooking spray.

With a mixer, cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Add eggs one by one, mixing well in between. Beat in bananas, sour cream, and vanilla. Slowly mix in flours and baking soda by hand until just combined, then fold in chocolate chips.

Spoon into prepared pans and bake for 10-13 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Cool completely before storing in an airtight container. These freeze well!

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SRC: Baked Caramel Apple Mini Doughnuts

These mini apple doughnuts are dipped in an easy sweet caramel sauce for the ultimate easy fall treat!

Baked Caramel Apple Mini Doughnuts | thepajamachef.com #secretrecipeclub #src

For this month’s Secret Recipe Club, I was assigned to Cookaholic Wife, a blog written by Nichole. Nichole has SO many delicious recipes on her site. I had such a hard time deciding what to make! In the end, I chose these cute lil mini caramel apple doughnuts because they seemed so seasonally appropriate. I do love pumpkin but wanted to show apple some love. :) Recipe runner ups included this Apple-Stuffed Bacon Wrapped Pork that Nichole just posted last week, Hawaiian Burgers, Caramel Grapes, and Coconut Lime Cookie Bars. If it was summer, those cookie bars would’ve definitely won! Aside from being into pretty much every one of Nichole’s recipes, I think the two of us could be BFFs. We’re the same age, both have two cats, and ideally would either be baking or reading on the beach. Yup, sounds about right. :) While I have a 30 before 30 challenge, Nichole had a 28 before 28 challenge. How fun! [And speaking of fun, read this post about Nichole's mom and her burning water habit. Hilarious!]

Baked Caramel Apple Mini Doughnuts | thepajamachef.com #secretrecipeclub #src

Anyways, I was psyched to see this recipe because I a) love caramel apples but hate biting into one, b) have a mini doughnut pan that I never use, and c) they just sounded AMAZING! And that they were. These mini doughnuts were a little bite of fall, perfect for dessert or breakfast. One word of caution though–the caramel sauce is super hot, so don’t take a bite until it’s cooled down a bit. The roof of your mouth will thank you! :) [I learned that from Nichole's first hand experience.]

Baked Caramel Apple Mini Doughnuts | thepajamachef.com #secretrecipeclub #src

Since I only have one doughnut pan, and wasn’t about to mess with letting the pan cool down in between batches, I used half the batter in my mini muffin pan for some adorable doughnut holes. So if you don’t have a doughnut pan, try that out! You may just need some additional caramel sauce for dipping since they’re a tiny bit bigger. Hope you enjoy! Thanks, Nichole for the great recipe! :)

Baked Caramel Apple Mini Doughnuts | thepajamachef.com #secretrecipeclub #src

one year ago: Baked Strawberry French Toast with Strawberry Maple Syrup
three years ago: Pumpkin Spread
four years ago: Pumpkin Pie Baked Oatmeal

Baked Caramel Apple Mini Doughnuts

  • Servings: 24 doughnuts
  • Time: 60 minutes
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from Cookaholic Wife
Ingredients:

  • 2/3 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 egg, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 cup apple, minced
  • 1 cup chewy caramel candies – I used Kraft caramels, the ones they advertise for making caramel apples
  • 1 tablespoon milk

Directions:

Grease mini doughnut pan(s) or mini muffin pan(s) with cooking spray. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and cinnamon. In a measuring cup, whisk together egg, sugars, oil, applesauce, and vanilla. Pour wet ingredients into the dry and stir until combined. Fold in apples.

Spoon batter into prepared pans, filling about halfway.

Bake for 15-18 minutes, or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Remove to a wire rack to cool for 5-10 minutes.

Meanwhile, place caramels and milk in a microwave safe small bowl. Microwave for 30 second increments on 50% power, stirring after each burst. Repeat until a caramel sauce comes together.

Dip doughnuts into caramel sauce then return to wire rack to set. Serve warm! Enjoy within a couple days, but they are definitely best the first day.

Be sure to check out other recipes from the Secret Recipe Club today!

Sausage and Ranch Potato Skillet with Fried Eggs

This easy sausage and potato skillet is seasoned with a healthy herb ranch blend and topped with a fried egg, making it a perfect breakfast, brunch, lunch, or dinner! Delicious!

Sausage and Ranch Potato Skillet with Fried Eggs | thepajamachef.com

I love skillet meals! One dish meals are seriously my go-to for weeknights. Less courses=less dishes=less clean up=more time to read on the couch/bake pumpkin treats/watch tv/brush our little spoiled cats or anything else my little heart desires. Usually my skillet meals include rice, pasta, or quinoa, and cheese. Always cheese! But sometimes you want something a little lighter and fresher. Not that rice or pasta dishes can’t be light, but you know what I mean, right? For me, the key to delicious light meals is lots of flavor. Like ranch! Mmm, ranch dressing. Whoever invented that stuff was a genius!

Healthy Herb Ranch Seasoning | thepajamachef.com

A few weeks ago, on a whim, I made a batch of healthy herb ranch seasoning and used it for some roasted potatoes alongside a little breakfast-for-dinner meal with cheesy scrambled eggs, oatmeal scones, and berries. Not that you’ll NEED extra ideas for using this ranch seasoning [I think it's going to become a standard addition to my pantry] but let me just say that ranch seasoning on popcorn is amazingggg! Mmm, it’s 8 am and I want some ranch popcorn. Haha.

Ranch Potatoes | thepajamachef.com

Now, that meal was good…but I had visions! Visions of a ranch-seasoned skillet meal with crispy roasted potatoes, crumbled breakfast sausage, bell peppers, onion, garlic, jalapeno and a fried egg on top! Well, my fried eggs are actually over-easy eggs but same diff. :) I am happy to report that this skillet was everything I dreamed it would be… a fresh, filling meal full of ranch flavor AND the best part was that it’s healthy! That’s why I used that ranch seasoning blend… all the flavors of a hearty, creamy ranch without tons of salt, sour cream, or mayo. To make the potatoes super crispy I roasted them in the oven with some of the ranch seasoning, then tossed them with the sausage and bell pepper mixture after everything was cooked. Don’t forget the avocado on the side… a bite of creamy, cool avocado alongside this spicy ranch-y skillet is just divine! Enjoy!

P.S. Don’t forget about my giveaway for Healthy Solutions Spice Blends! Ends Saturday! :)

Sausage and Ranch Potato Skillet with Fried Eggs | thepajamachef.com

two years ago: Peach Ginger Pie
three years ago: Roasted Vegetable Quinoa Salad
four years ago: Chili Burgers

Sausage and Ranch Potato Skillet with Fried Eggs

  • Servings: 4
  • Time: 30 minutes
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Sausage and Ranch Potato Skillet with Fried Eggs | thepajamachef.com
Ingredients:

  • 1 pound red potatoes, cut into eighths [quarter, then half each quarter]
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon ranch seasoning, divided [see below, or use your favorite]
  • cayenne pepper – optional
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 pound breakfast sausage
  • 1 cup red onion, diced
  • 1 green pepper, diced
  • 1/2 red pepper, diced
  • 1 jalapeno, diced – optional
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 4 eggs
  • diced avocado, for serving

Directions:

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Toss red potatoes in 1 tablespoon ranch seasoning, a sprinkling of cayenne, and olive oil. Spread in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until fork-tender. I like to bump the heat up to 475 for the last 5 minutes or so of baking to get a nice crispy crust.

While potatoes are cooking, heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add sausage and cook, crumbling with a wooden spoon. Drain grease and return sausage to pan. Add onion, green pepper, red pepper, and jalapeno, if using. Saute for 10 minutes or until onions are soft. Add garlic and cook until fragrant. Cover and remove from heat. When potatoes are done, add to skillet with sausage and vegetables and stir in remaining 1/2 tablespoon ranch seasoning.

Cook fried eggs to desired doneness, then serve a fried egg on top of each serving with diced avocado.

Healthy Herb Ranch Seasoning

  • Servings: 1 cup
  • Time: 5 minutes
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Healthy Herb Ranch Seasoning | thepajamachef.com

from Wildflour’s Cottage Kitchen

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons dried parsley
  • 1 tablespoon dried chives
  • 1 teaspoon dried dill
  • 2 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 1/8 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar, optional
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried minced onion, optional
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt, optional

Directions:

Combine all ingredients in a Mason jar and shake to combine. Store covered until ready to use.

Can combine with 1 3/4 cup sour cream or Greek yogurt for a ranch dressing/dip; just mix well and thin with milk or buttermilk to reach desired consistency.

Linked up with Weekend Potluck.

Healthy Crumb Topped Zucchini Bread

This soft, tender zucchini bread is my master recipe! It comes out perfect every time and is simply the best.

Healthy Crumb Topped Zucchini Bread | thepajamachef.com

Everybody has their favorite zucchini bread recipe, and this is mine. I’ve been making it for 5 years now and it comes out perfect every SINGLE time. Before Ben and I starting dating in 2008, I hadn’t ever had zucchini bread. It sounded so weird to me, but Ben grew up eating it in the summers and introduced it to me at one of our favorite coffee shops. And the rest, as they say, is history. My love for Ben and my love for zucchini bread will never die! :) Anyways…. this is a pretty simple recipe with walnuts and just a bit of cinnamon and nutmeg to spice things up, but the crumb topping makes it extra special.

Healthy Crumb Topped Zucchini Bread | thepajamachef.com

If you look at this loaf of bread, and compare it to my recipe below, you’ll notice that A) there are no nuts [I was out] and B) there’s no oats in the crumb topping. Oops. Just disregard that, and make as written below. It’ll be awesome, I promise. When I made this I had some leftover crumb topping from a pie in the freezer, so I used that topping instead. OH! Speaking of pie, I almost forgot to tell you what makes this bread healthy. Well, I’ve healthified the original recipe by cutting the sugar wayyyy back from 1 cup of each white and brown sugars, and using some whole wheat flour instead of all-purpose. It’s crazy to me how tender this zucchini bread is even when using whole wheat flour. I hope you give this bread a try to use up zucchini over the last few weeks of summer! Enjoy!

two years ago: Chocolate Mousse 
four years ago: Bestest Pizza Sauce Ever

Healthy Crumb Topped Zucchini Bread

  • Servings: 12
  • Time: 1 hour 40 minutes
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adapted from Allrecipes.com

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup oil – canola or coconut, melted to liquify
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 2-3 cups grated zucchini, about 1 medium – do not drain, the excess water adds the moisture that this recipe requires
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, chopped – optional

for crumb topping

  • 1/4 cup old fashioned oats
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted

Directions:

Grease and flour an 8×4 or 9×5 loaf pan. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

In a medium bowl, stir together flours, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, and nutmeg. In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, oil, vanilla, and sugars. Gradually add dry ingredients to wet and stir to combine. Fold in zucchini and nuts gently.

Spoon batter into prepared pan.

To prepare crumb topping, stir together oats, sugar, flour, and cinnamon. Pour in melted butter and stir with a fork until coarse crumbs form. Spread over batter. Bake for 40-60 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. 55 minutes is perfect for my oven. Cool in pan on rack for 20 minutes, then remove bread from pan and cool completely before slicing.

Linked up with: Foodie Friends Friday, Weekend Potluck.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Streusel Muffins

These heavenly Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Streusel Muffins are reminiscent of treats found at your local coffee shop. They’re so good, so make a batch to impress your loved ones this weekend.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Streusel Muffins | thepajamachef.com

I don’t know about you, but I am SO ready for fall. I’m ready for all things pumpkin, falling leaves, crisp 50 degree morning runs, and curling up under cozy blankets. I recently heard that Pumpkin Spice Lattes will be at Starbucks really early this year–August 25 in some places. That, to me, is crazy. Summer’s still happening outdoor! While I won’t be loading up on PSLs [I'll probably have 1-2 over the course of the season and then make some pumpkin spice syrup to enjoy with my coffee at home.] I can’t wait to bake up lots of yummy muffins to enjoy this fall.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Streusel Muffins | thepajamachef.com

I do make muffins year round, but there’s something special about warm muffins with your coffee in the fall. These bakery-perfect muffins combine two of my favorite things: peanut butter and chocolate. And the best part is that the peanut butter and chocolate are DOUBLED in this recipe… you’ll find them in both the muffin itself AND in the streusel. It’s double the love, y’all.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Streusel Muffins | thepajamachef.com

I hope you’ll love these easy muffins just as much as we did!

one year ago: Chocolate Chip Orange Cookies
two years ago: Brown Sugar Squash Muffins
three years ago: Roasted Tomato Sauce
four years ago: Creamy Lemon Squares

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Streusel Muffins

  • Servings: 12
  • Time: 30 minutes
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Ingredients:

  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour – divided
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar, packed – divided
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons peanut butter – divided
  • 1/4 cup peanuts, chopped
  • 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips – divided
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda

Directions:

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Line a muffin pan with paper liners or grease with cooking spray.

In a small bowl, prepare streusel by combining 1/4 cup flour with 1/4 cup brown sugar. Use a pastry blender or two knives to cut in 1 tablespoon butter and 2 tablespoons peanut butter. Stir in peanuts and chocolate chips then set aside.

In a large bowl, beat together remaining butter and peanut butter for about 30 seconds or until combined. Add 1/2 cup of remaining flour, the rest of the brown sugar, half the milk, the egg, baking powder, and baking soda. Beat on low until combined, then add remaining flour and milk, mixing until combined. Stir in remaining chocolate.

Divide batter between muffin cups, filling about 2/3 full. Sprinkle with streusel topping then bake for 20-25 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Cool in the pan for 5 minutes then remove to wire rack to cool completely.