SRC: Gingerbread Muffins

The warm, spicy flavor of gingerbread in a muffin, instead of fussy cookies. Perfect for breakfast, teatime, or anytime! 

Gingerbread Muffins | thepajamachef.com

This month for the Secret Recipe Club, I was assigned to Jessie Weaver, written by Jessie. :) Jessie lives with her family in Tennessee too–in fact, she used to live in Nashville! How fun. Jessie has three little ones and still has time to blog on many subjects, from recipes to faith to family fun. Going to her blog is always a joy and I love seeing what she posts for Secret Recipe Club each month. While Jessie has a lot of great recipes on her blog, two that caught my eye were Peanut Butter Pie with Pretzel Crust and Gingerbread Muffins with White Chocolate Chips. I let Ben pick and muffins it was! These muffins are SO seasonally appropriate, huh? :)

Gingerbread Muffins | thepajamachef.com

I always love a good muffin, and these were no exception. They come together in just a few minutes in one bowl for easy cleanup… and smell absolutely amazing as they bake! We put up our tree on Friday and let me tell you, I should have made them while we were decorating. These muffins can compete with a gingerbread candle for best smell ever. I actually have a gingerbread candle, so I should do a test run. Haha. But as for taste, I think muffins win over candles any day! They’re perfect to make on a cold afternoon during the holiday season. If you like, you can add white chocolate chips like Jessie did. I’m sure they’re great that way too. Enjoy!

Gingerbread Muffins | thepajamachef.com

one year ago: Dark Chocolate Ginger Squares
two years ago: Caramel Apple Dip
three years ago: Honey Yeast Dinner Rolls
four years ago: Pumpkin Pancakes

Gingerbread Muffins

  • Servings: 12
  • Time: 30 minutes
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from Jessie Weaver

  • 2 cups white whole wheat flour
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup oil [coconut or canola, or melted butter]
  • 1/2 cup molasses
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup white chocolate chips, optional — I think cinnamon chips could also be yummy too

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a muffin tin with paper liners or spray well with cooking spray.

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, ginger, baking soda, and sugar. In a measuring cup, whisk together oil, molasses, milk, and eggs. Pour wet ingredients into dry and stir until just mixed. Fold in white chocolate chips, if using, then divide batter between muffin cups, about 2/3 way full.

Bake for 25 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean when inserted in the middle.

For more SRC recipes, check out the link below:

Linked up with Weekend Potluck.

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Mystery Dish: Dark Chocolate Greek Yogurt Cookies

Fudgy chocolate cookies made with greek yogurt! They’re strangely amazing! :)

Dark Chocolate Greek Yogurt Cookies | thepajamachef.com

Happy Mystery Dish Day! I know it’s Black Friday, but I refuse to brave the crowds and face American consumerism head-on. No material item is worth that craziness. Ugh, I’m not a crowds person at all. Just give me a good book, some tea, and a yummy snack like popcorn or cookies and I’m happy. And these cookies are AWESOME. They’re the perfect book-reading, movie-watching, game-playing companion. Super rich and chocolately with lots of tart cranberries and mini chocolate chips mixed in.

Dark Chocolate Greek Yogurt Cookies | thepajamachef.com

These Dark Chocolate Greek Yogurt Cookies were a fun way to use up some ingredients that were selected by our hostess, Rebecca from Living Better Together. She asked us to make something amazing with at least three of the following ingredients: Hazelnuts, Pork Belly, Dark Chocolate, Cranberries, Bourbon, Red Potatoes, Pimento Cheese, Ginger, Yogurt, French Bread, Buckwheat, and Rice Krispies. I honestly don’t remember how I came up with the idea of making greek yogurt cookies, but a little googling later I realized they were actually a thing!

Dark Chocolate Greek Yogurt Cookies | thepajamachef.com

One fun element about them besides how awesome they taste is that they’re also made with no butter or oil… perfect for those times when you don’t have any on hand but want a cookie or when you’re trying to eat a lil healthier. Like after Thanksgiving, haha. I hope you had a great day celebrating with family and friends, btw!

Dark Chocolate Greek Yogurt Cookies | thepajamachef.com

I’m not going to lie–these cookies don’t have that soft and chewy texture of most addictive cookies. These cookies are soft and puffy, not quite muffin tops but close. What they lack in chewiness they make up for in flavor. I used both dark chocolate and semi-sweet chocolate in them [dark chocolate cocoa powder and mini semi-sweet chocolate chips], but you could certainly mix and match based on your tastes. I hope you enjoy them, and be sure to check out what my friends made for you too!

one year ago: Harvest Pear Crisp with Crystallized Ginger
two years ago: Teriyaki Meatball Bowls
three years ago: Thai Peanut Ginger Wings
four years ago: Pumpkin Cheesecake with Pecan Praline Sauce 

Dark Chocolate Greek Yogurt Cookies

  • Servings: 36
  • Time: 30 minutes
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from Give Recipe

  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 8-12 ounces plain greek yogurt [I used nonfat but 2% or whole milk yogurt is also great]
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 cup dark chocolate cocoa powder [like Hershey’s Special Dark]
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • pinch salt
  • 1/3 cup mini chocolate chips
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt, optional

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or a silpat.

In a large bowl, whisk egg, powdered sugar, vanilla, and 8 ounces plain greek yogurt together. In a separate bowl, stir together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt. Gradually add flour mixture to egg mixture, adding up to another 4 ounces of greek yogurt if necessary if it’s too thick to stir. I used another 2 ounces but 4 seemed like too much. Fold in almost all of the chocolate chips and cranberries, reserving a few tablespoons to press on the top before baking.

Scoop cookie dough out [it will be thick] with a cookie dough scoop or two spoons. Place about 1-2 inches apart on baking sheets. They don’t spread so you can put them fairly close together. Since dough is so thick, it’s easiest to use multiple pans and scoop it all out at once. Afterwards, press down on tops of dough balls gently with a spoon, then dot with a few cranberries or chocolate chips.

Bake for 10 minutes, then cool on baking sheets a few minutes before cooling on a wire rack. Sprinkle with sea salt while hot if desired.

 

See what other Mystery Dish gals made this month:

Gluten Free Chocolate Bourbon Hazelnut Cake from Living Better Together

Turtle Krispies Treats from I Dig Pinterest

Dark Chocolate Greek Yogurt Cookies from The Pajama Chef

Chewy Chocolate Hazelnut Granola Bars from I Want Crazy

Dark Chocolate Hazelnut English Toffee from Flavor the Moments

Dark Chocolate Hazelnut Cranberry Buttercrunch from Inspiration Kitchen

Skinny Dark Chocolate Pomegranate Hazelnut Fudge from Joyful Healthy Eats

Cranberry Hazelnut Crepe Cake from Blahnik Baker

Dark Chocolate Gingerbread Rice Krispie Treats from The Smart Cookie Cook

Mini Eggnog Cheesecakes with Hazelnut Cookie Crust from The Well Floured Kitchen

Salted Hazelnut Scotcheroos from Yummy Healthy Easy

Apple Fritters

Apple fritters at home. Easy, no fuss, and absolutely amazing! 

Apple Fritters | thepajamachef.com

I LOVE apple fritters. Absolutely love them. When they’re among my doughnut choices, I’ll almost always take one. Cake doughnuts with chocolate glaze and sprinkles are a close second, as are those fake-blueberry doughnuts. [Doughnuts are so yum, doncha think?] I’m not sure what it is about apple fritters that I adore the most–probably those soft pieces of sweet fall apples stuffed inside. Or the combination of soft, pillowy doughnut with a crunchy, spiced glaze. Mmmm!

Apple Fritters | thepajamachef.com

Since I love apple fritters so much, I decided to put them on my 30 before 30 list. I shy away from making doughnuts at home because using my baked doughnut pan is such a pain and frying scares me. But growing older means getting over fears, so I decided that I had to fry these babies at home. Because apple fritters equal yum. I made them the night I got home from a fall trip to Hilton Head Island with my family last month. Weird, I know. I mean, who doesn’t make doughnuts after an eight hour drive?!? :) Well, I had to, because they were my payment to my sister and brother-in-law for driving me back to Nashville after Ben had to leave early to get back to school.

Apple Fritters | thepajamachef.com

Well, I’m really glad I faced my fears because guess what! Frying isn’t as hard as it seems. It’s kinda messy and not that great for you, so I don’t think I’ll be doing it alllll the time, but once in awhile it’s fun. You just have to go slowly and carefully to avoid scalding yourself with the hot oil. Other than that, no problem. These fritters are so darn good and so easy that you’ll want to make them every weekend.

Apple Fritters | thepajamachef.com

The fritters are extra apple-y since they’re made with apple cider AND fresh apples. And extra spicy [not spicy-hot but warm spicy with cinnamon/nutmeg/cloves alongside the aforementioned apple cider]. But that’s just in the fritter! The spiced apple glaze is simple [powdered sugar + apple cider + spices] and absolutely wonderful! I think I’ll be using this glaze on muffins and cakes and everything else imaginable from now on. It is just the perfect compliment to the fluffy doughnut. Each bite of these fritters is better than the last. You know you can just get over some sweets after the first few bites? Like it’s just too much after a bit? Well, these fritters are not that. Each bite is better than the last. I hope you love these fritters as much as we did. They’re relatively quick to make and don’t require the oven, so wouldn’t they be perfect for Thanksgiving breakfast? Enjoy!

one year ago: Chipotle-Cilantro Mashed Potatoes
two years ago: Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies
three years ago: Dilled Carrots
four years ago: Apple City BBQ Sauce

Apple Fritters

  • Servings: 12
  • Time: 75 minutes
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from Cook’s Country via We Are Not Martha

Ingredients:

  • 2 granny smith apples, peeled, cored, + chopped into 1/4-inch pieces
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoons baking powder
  • pinch salt
  • 1 teaspoon  ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • pinch ground cloves
  • 3/4 cup apple cider
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 cups oil [I used canola, vegetable or peanut are also recommended]

for glaze

  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup apple cider
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Directions:

Place chopped apples in a single layer on a clean tea towel. Top with another clean tea towel and pat dry, gently rolling to dry all sides of the apples. Remove top towel and pat dry with a paper towel to make sure you got it all. Alternatively, you can use paper towels on a baking sheet.

Next, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. In large measuring cup, whisk together cider, eggs, butter, and vanilla. Add apples to the flour mixture and toss together. Then gradually pour cider mixture over apples, stirring to form a thick batter.

In a dutch oven, heat oil over medium-high heat until it reaches a temperature of 350 degrees F. I think you could also use a deep skillet but you’d need additional oil to fill it up. A deep skillet would allow you to cook more at once, but the dutch oven approach works well too.

When oil is hot, scoop batter by the 1/3 cup-fulls into the hot oil. Immediately use a wooden spoon to press and flatten the batter. I fried 3 fritters at once; if I had used a skillet I think I could have done 4-5 at once. Fry for 2-3 minutes per side, being careful not to let the oil temperature go above 350 or your fritters will burn. Ask me how I know. :-/ Adjust heat as necessary to keep temperature between 325-350.

When fritters are golden brown, remove with a slotted spoon or tongs and allow to cool on a wire rack set over a rimmed baking sheet to catch dripping grease. Repeat until batter is finished. Recipe should yield 12 fritters.

When fritters have cooled slightly, make the icing. I did this after all fritters were done frying and the timing worked well. Whisk powdered sugar together with cider, then add cinnamon and nutmeg. Whisk until smooth, then drizzle 1 tablespoon over each fritter. I had extra glaze so I waited for the glaze to set for 10 minutes and then glazed them again to use it up.

Fritters are best enjoyed within 3 days. After the first day, they should be refrigerated.

Pumpkin Pie Peanut Butter Cups

Pumpkin Pie Peanut Butter Cups combine my most favoritest flavors in a perfectly addictive, rich candy treat! 

Pumpkin Pie Peanut Butter Cups | thepajamachef.com

If you like pumpkin pie, or chocolate, or peanut butter, you will LOVE these little bites. They are the absolute perfect blend of pumpkin and everyone’s favorite chocolate-peanut butter treats. I just can’t get enough of them! Except that I can. They are so rich and full of delicious [and SIMPLE] ingredients that one is more than enough. Until a couple hours later. :)

Pumpkin Pie Peanut Butter Cups | thepajamachef.com

Whenever I can, I love to keep these no-bake peanut butter cup bars in the freezer. One day I was stressed and REALLY needed one of those bars. They’re good, but they’re uber sweet. Plus, it’s pumpkin season. Soooo, I chose one of the many recipes on Pinterest and hoped for the best. I love pumpkin but I just wasn’t sure how it’d go with peanut butter, ya know? Turns out… pumpkin + peanut butter + chocolate = LOVE x a zillion. :) The filling tastes like a creamy, nutty pumpkin pie. I’ve never had pumpkin pie with chocolate, but now I’m tempted to add peanut butter to my pumpkin pie filling and drizzle it with chocolate syrup. It’s crazy talk, I know, but these are just SO good. You’ve gotta try them… they’d be a great secondary dessert for Thanksgiving or a great weeknight snack. :) Enjoyyy!

Pumpkin Pie Peanut Butter Cups | thepajamachef.com

one year ago: Mixed Vegetable Mornay 
three years ago: Crockpot Saucy Italian Chicken
four years ago: Monster Cookies

Pumpkin Pie Peanut Butter Cups

  • Servings: 10
  • Time: 60 minutes
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from The Lean Green Bean

Ingredients:

  • 4 tablespoons pumpkin puree
  • 4 tablespoons peanut butter [I used natural creamy but anything would work]
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons maple syrup [or other liquid sweetener like honey or agave]
  • 1 teaspoon chia seeds
  • pinch of pumpkin pie spice
  • 1+ cup chocolate chips [I used milk chocolate but semi sweet or dark or white would work too]

Directions:

On a small baking sheet, place 10 silicone muffin liners. Alternatively, you could line a muffin tin with 10 paper liners – but I think silicone works better for candy if you have it.

Stir together pumpkin, peanut butter, maple syrup, chia seeds, and pumpkin pie spice in a small bowl. In another small bowl, melt 1/2 cup chocolate chips for the base in the microwave. I always melt chocolate on 50% power in 20 second bursts, stirring in between, and always stop when some of the chips are still separated so as to not burn it. When you stir vigorously it melts them in.

Place 1/2 tablespoon of the chocolate in the base of each cup. Scoop 1 tablespoon of the pumpkin mixture on top of chocolate in each cup,  gently pressing down with a spoon to create a disk.

Melt remaining chocolate, then cover pumpkin layer with chocolate. If you run out of chocolate feel free to use more–I just barely had enough.

Freeze the cups for 30-40 minutes, then store in the refrigerator until ready to serve.