Chocolate Chip Cream Cheese Muffins

These are adapted from my Strawberry Cream Cheese Muffin, I wanted to post another very different option!

Chocolate Chip Cream Cheese muffins:

12 oz cream cheese softened

1 stick of butter

1 1/2 cup of sugar

4 eggs

2 egg whites

9 tablespoons of buttermilk

2 tsp vanilla

2 1/4 cup of all purpose flour

2 tsp of baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1 1/2 – 2 cups of mini chocolate chips

Cream cheese topping:

6oz cream cheese

1 1/2 – 2 cups of powdered sugar

A few table spoons of creamer

I added a 1/2 tablespoon of dutch process coco powder which is what is in the picture… but I wouldn’t do it again. I think it would be way better with just the regular cream cheese topping!

Directions:

Cream the cream cheese and butter until smooth, add sugar and cream again until smooth. Add eggs and egg whites beat until just combined, add in  the buttermilk and vanilla. In a separate bowl combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add to creamed mixture just until moistened. Fold in the chocolate chips.

Fill paper lined muffin cups with batter, 3/4 full, these spread out much more then when the batter has fruit in it, so leave room for them to grow! Usually I don’t but in this case you definitely need to follow the 3/4 rule!

Bake at 350 degrees for 25-28 turning around halfway through.

While the muffins are cooling beat the cream cheese and creamer until smooth, and add powdered sugar until smooth and creamy, adjust amount of powder sugar accordingly, add more if it’s too runny, and add a tad more creamer if it’s to thick!

Fill a pastry bag and pipe on a drizzle! Although it’s not exactly a drizzle it’s a cross between a glaze and icing…. it’s super creamy and melts in your mouth! Very yummy!

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Strawberry Kiwi Fruit Pizza – The farmers markets are starting soon!

So we just moved and life has been a little crazy, in an absolutely fantastic way though!

I have an amazing new stove and oven that is called the beast… because, well, it is a beast =) it cooks and bakes so evenly! And Friday night… the glass top shattered… so I am hoping tomorrow we will be able to find a replacement top so I can keep the beast I have fallen in love with! But in the mean time I have been baking dinners and foods and tonight, was the first fruit pizza of the year! I make them often because they are so easy, quick, and delicious especially when the weather starts warm up!

Ingredients:

1 tube of sugar cookie dough, or you can make one from scratch

1 pack of cream cheese

about 1 cup of powdered sugar

1/2 tsp of vanilla

Fruit of your choice, Strawberry and Kiwi are our favorites, but Raspberry and Strawberry work good too, and Raspberry Blueberry

Directions:

If you are using the tube of cookie dough, let it get to room temperature then use your hands to flatten it out onto a pizza pan dusted in powdered sugar, if you rub your hands in the powdered sugar too you won’t stick!

Bake at 350 for about 10 minutes

Let the cookie cool completely, and place in the fridge for best results.

In  your mixer whip the cream cheese, add the vanilla and gradually add the powdered sugar. I do not make mine very sweet so add according to your taste. I find with the sweet sugar cookie I like more of the cream cheese flavor.

Spread over the cool cookie and place sliced fruit and enjoy!

Strawberry Cream Cheese Muffins <3

So my husband said he has monthly meetings, and is responsible for taking snacks…. which I was completely unaware of so he would run tot he gas station and buy packaged donuts…. can you say grossssss especially when his wife is a pretty darn good baker! Geeeeze! So I said let me know when the next meeting is, and I will start making muffins or cupcakes or pastries for you guys. He said awesome, by the way it’s tomorrow!  So I pulled out one of my favorite muffin recipes that I have changed, changed again, and changed again to become my go to all time favorite! It’s very versatile, this time I decided to Strawberry. A couple other combos I have tried are Raspberry, Raspberry Blueberry, Raspberry Blackberry, Raspberry Blueberry Marionberry which is a yummy northwest berry, Peach, and Raspberry Chocolate Chip I am allergic to Bananas but they would be really good too with some walnuts! Really, whatever combo you can come up with would probably be yummy!

Strawberry Cream Cheese Muffins:

12 oz cream cheese softened

1 stick of butter

1 1/2 cup of sugar

4 eggs

2 egg whites

9 tablespoons of buttermilk

2 tsp vanilla

2 1/4 cup of all purpose flour

2 tsp of baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1 1/2 pints of strawberries, 1/2 pint pureed in food processor- whichever fruit you choose always take the 1/2 pint and puree it. It really adds the flavor of the fruit into the muffin.

Cream cheese drizzle:

4oz cream cheese

1 cup powdered sugar

A few table spoons of creamer

Directions:

Puree the 1/2 pint of strawberries and finely chop the rest.

Cream the cream cheese and butter until smooth, add sugar and cream again until smooth. Add eggs and egg whites beat until just combined, add in  the buttermilk and vanilla and strawberry puree and mix well. In a separate bowl combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add to creamed mixture just until moistened. Fold in the chopped up strawberries.

Fill paper lined muffin cups with batter, 3/4 full…. to be honest I never follow this… I fill them pretty much the entire way even on cupcake recipes. I like the big round dome on top!

Bake at 350 degrees for 25-28 turning around halfway through.

Let sit in pan for about 5 minutes to set before removing from pan

While the muffins are cooling beat the cream cheese and creamer until smooth, and add powdered sugar until smooth and creamy

Fill a pastry bag and pipe on a drizzle! Although it’s not exactly a drizzle it’s a cross between a glaze and icing…. it’s super creamy and melts in your mouth! Very yummy!

Hope you enjoy!!

Stuffed Manicotti, not so traditional!

Last night I made my stuffed manicotti, and it turned out really well. My husband and mom both really enjoyed it, and I thought it was one of my better ones too. I am always playing with recipes and making my own twists on things, so I thought I would share this one!

I originally adapted this recipe from The Geometry of Pasta, which is really a fantastic book for anyone who likes know more about how things became part of our lives, and not just food on our plates. The history and recipes are fantastic!! The artwork is very cool too.

Ingredients:

1 pound of ground turkey

Salt, Pepper, Fresh Garlic, Italian Herbs

1 tray of Manicotti (the brand I buy has 7 per tray)

3 cups of fresh spinach

At least 1 1/2 cups of Ricotta, or just a 15 oz container is fine

1/2 bag of Parmesan cheese, you can use an Italian blend too, that works nice as well, we always have cheese in the house so I just use whatever I have

2 large egg yolks

Fresh grated nutmeg, of course if you don’t have a fresh nutmeg the dried spice will work as well, I use about a teaspoon

2 tbs butter – last night I didn’t have real butter so I used margarine and it worked just as well. I only needed to adjust the flour ratio and added a tablespoon more

3 tbs of all purpose flour

3/4 plus 3 tbs of milk

3/4 cups of your favorite red sauce, I think that a sweet red works best in this recipe rather then a salty.. that may be overload!

Directions:

Preheat oven to 425

In a skillet with some olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic and Italian herbs brown your ground turkey, cooking it all the way and remove from heat to cool

Boil a large pot of water and add manicotti, I also throw my spinach on top because it floats and I like multitasking, When the spinach has wilted and darkened take it out, rinse with cold water, squeeze excess liquid out and chop finely =) And when the manicotti is al dente, rinse with cold water and set  aside

In a bowl combine Ricotta, Egg Yolks, Spinach, Salt and Pepper to taste, Nutmeg, Garlic, and when the turkey has cooled down a little bit, enough that it won’t start cooking the egg yolks, combine with the rest and mix well, make sure you taste this… if it doesn’t taste good now it won’t later and adjust the salt and pepper and nutmeg to taste

In a 9×13 pan, cover the bottom with your red sauce

Fill a pastry bag with your ricotta mixture and pipe into manicotti shells and place on top of your red sauce, I usually have some left over that I just pipe at the edge of each shell… and give the rest to the dog =)

In your turkey skillet melt butter and add flour and combine till it’s nice and pasty, then slowly add the milk stirring constantly until the sauce is smooth

Pour your white sauce over top of the stuffed manicotti and make sure you smooth it out over the entire shell so the edges don’t get crispy

Top with your cheese and bake for about 25-30 minutes, I usually broil for about 2 minutes right before I take it out

Let it rest for as long as you can stand, about 10-20 minutes and then serve =)

This is definitely a family favorite, and I have fun making it!

Pair it with a great spinach salad and some garlic bread! It is also super delicious the second day!