A couple of quick ones suitable for the office break room counter, lunch box, or gathering of any kind.
⅓ cup butter
1 cup brown sugar
⅔ cup cocoa powder (unsweetened)
2 Tbs finely ground coffee beans
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
2 egg whites
⅓ cup vanilla yogurt (or ⅓ cup plain yogurt + 1 tsp vanilla extract)
1½ cups all-purpose flour (or 1 cup a-p flour, ½ cup white whole wheat)
¼ cup granulated sugar
1) Beat the butter in a largish bowl with an electric mixer on low for about a minute. Add the brown sugar and beat for another minute, progressing from low to high. Add the cocoa powder, coffee, baking soda, and cinnamon, and mix on medium for another minute or two. Then add the egg whites and yogurt, beating until everything is evenly combined.
2) Add the flour a half-cup at a time, and beat until incorporated, either with the mixer or a wooden spoon. Move the bowl into the refrigerator for about twenty minutes.
3) While the cookie dough is chilling, spoon out the sugar into a small bowl or plate and heat your oven to 350º.
4) Spoon out heaping teaspoon-sized balls of dough and roll in the sugar, then place on a cookie sheet about two inches apart. Bake for 8-10 minutes.
(High altitude: Didn’t change anything, but baked for 11 minutes.)
Banana / Pecan / Chocolate Chip Muffins
Was going to make Mary’s Hawaiian Banana Bread but realized at the last minute that we were out of coconut. So, swapped out the mac nuts for pecans and added some chocolate chips, then figured, why not ice them as well? But the muffins are pretty darn good by themselves, so icing is totally optional.
2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
(or 1 ½ cups a-p flour + 1 cup white whole wheat)
¾ tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 ½ sticks (¾ cup) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
½ cup granulated sugar
1 ½ tsp vanilla extract
3 large eggs
1 tsp lemon zest
1 ½ cups mashed ripe banana (about 4 large ‘naners)
3 Tbs sour cream
1 cup pecans, lightly toasted and cooled, then chopped
¾ cup mini chocolate chips
Vanilla-Cream Cheese Icing
1 two-inch thick slice of cream cheese from a block, or 2 heaping Tbs from a container
Splash of milk
About 2 cups of confectioner’s powdered sugar
Vanilla from two vanilla beans, or 1 Tbs vanilla extract
2) Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together in a medium bowl. In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugars, and then beat in the vanilla, eggs, lemon zest, sour cream, and bananas.
3) Gently spoon in the flour mixture, stirring just until the batter is combined. Add in pecans and chocolate chips and gently stir until evenly incorporated.
3) Spoon the batter into baking cups until about two-thirds full. Bake for 18-20 minutes, until the old toothpick trick works.
4) While they’re slightly cooling, mix up the icing. Soften the cream cheese with a spoon or electric mixer, then add a splash of milk, then slowly sift in the powdered sugar, mixing on medium-high. Add the vanilla and mix until smooth. Then slather onto the muffins.