Soft Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

Stop what you are doing, except for reading this post of course, because you will want to make these cookies.  Halloween is almost here and the little ghosts and gremlins will love these soft cookies, bursting with chocolate chips.

These are not all cakey-pumpkin-y blobs like some pumpkin cookies are.  These are soft, but just right.  They look like any other chocolate chip cookies, but with a mild pumpkin-spice flavor.  They are loaded with chocolate chips, and they stay soft for days (if they last that long).

I “fiddled” with my favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe, adding a small amount of pumpkin puree in place of some of the butter, and included a variety of spices. They turned out incredibly good.

Even folks who say they don’t like pumpkin ate these and made note of how different and good they were.  I made no mention of the pumpkin in them.  I simply smiled and said, “Yes, they are good aren’t they.”  If you love chocolate chip cookies, try this “make-over” recipe for the perfect fall cookie.

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SOFT PUMPKIN CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES

Yield:   30-34 cookies

Ingredients:IMG_8352

  • 10 Tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 6 Tbsp. pumpkin puree
  • 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp, salt
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp. allspice
  • pinch cloves
  • 3/4 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Directions:

1.  Preheat oven to 350*F.  Line two baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.

2.  In the large bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the butter and sugars.  Mix in the pumpkin and vanilla.

6 Tbsp. pumpkin added to creamed sugars and butter.

6 Tbsp. pumpkin added to creamed sugars and butter.

Add dry ingredients.

Whisk together the dry ingredients and add to creamed mixture.

Whisk together the dry ingredients and add to creamed mixture.

Mix well until there are no streaks in the batter.

Mix in the dry ingredients.

Mix in the dry ingredients.

Stir in the chocolate chips.

Add chocolate chips and stir into dough.

Add chocolate chips and stir into dough.

Cover and chill until dough is completely chilled and firm.  (I refrigerated mine over night,  baked them the next day, and they came out fine.)

3.  Use a medium scoop to portion out the dough for uniform sized cookies.   I used a 1 tablespoon scoop.  Place the dough 2-inches apart on the baking sheets.  If desired, press additional chips into the tops of each cookie.

Scoop out dough onto cookie sheets.

Scoop out dough onto cookie sheets.

4.  Bake for 10 – 11 minutes.  Allow cookies to rest on baking sheets for 2 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

They keep their shape once baked.

They keep their shape once baked.

Store cookies in an airtight container.

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Chocolate Chip Coconut Mounds

Chocolate Chip Coconut Mounds

Chocolate Chip Coconut Mounds

A bake sale table is always an inviting sight. All those assorted cakes, cookies, pies, breads and bars just begging to be taken home. Everything looks so good they practically sell themselves.

Bake sale items, by definition, are lovingly homemade in the same way as baked goods auctioned off at church suppers, or judged at country fairs.  They are the real deal, no fillers, no ingredients to prolong shelf life, or strange chemicals you can’t pronounce.

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The recipe I have for you today is a bake sale favorite that contains chocolate chips, flaked coconut, and chopped walnuts.  Probably  the chocolate chips alone would be enough to entice most people, but add in the coconut and nuts, and they become chock full of true blue flavor and goodness.IMG_7483

I made these recently to bring to an end of the year picnic event.  They disappeared “quick as a wink”.  Give these chunky cookies a try for your family or the next time you’re asked to bake for a bake sale.  They are really good!!

CHOCOLATE CHIP COCONUT MOUNDS

Yield:  About 2  1/2  dozen cookies

Ingredients:IMG_7472

  • 1  1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 5 tablespoons cake flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 10 tablespoons ( 1 stick plus 2 Tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 Tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1  1/2 teaspoons hot water
  • 2  1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup (lightly packed) sweetened flaked coconut
  • 1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts

Directions:

1.  In a medium bowl, whisk together the all-purpose flour, cake flour, baking soda, cream of tartar and salt.

2.  In the large bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter for 2 – 3 minutes on low speed.  Add the light brown sugar and beat for 30 seconds on moderate speed; add the granulated sugar and beat for 30 seconds longer.  Beat in the egg.  Blend in the hot water and vanilla extract.

3.  Add the flour in thirds, mixing well after each addition.  Remove the bowl from the beater, and stir in the coconut, chips and nuts.

Stir in chips, coconut and nuts.

Stir in chips, coconut and nuts.

Chill the dough, covered with plastic wrap, for 30 minutes.  Can leave longer if necessary, up to 48 hours.  No need to bring to room temperature prior to baking.

4.  In advance of baking, preheat the oven to 350*F.  Line 3 baking sheets with parchment paper.  Drop dough in mounds of approximately 2 tablespoon size, leaving 1  1/2 inches  between cookies.  A cookie scoop helps to form uniformly sized cookies.

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5.  Bake the cookies for 12 – 14 minutes, or until just set and light golden here and there around the edges and golden in spots on top.  Let the cookies cool on the sheets for 10 minutes, then transfer them to cooling racks, using a wide spatula.  Store the cookies in an airtight container, or pack in food-safe containers or bags for sale.

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A little chewy, a little crunchy, totally good!

A little chewy, a little crunchy, totally good!

 

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SOURCE:  A Country Baking Treasury by Lisa Yockelson, via Chocolatier Magazine

Banana Chip Muffins

Banana Chip Muffins

Banana Chip Muffins

It’s hard to know when would be the best time to eat these wonderful muffins.  Certainly, for breakfast, but they make a mighty fine dessert or snack as well.  I tested out this recipe last weekend because I plan to make them for an Easter Bake sale.  Muffins are always great with coffee on Easter morning, when you know there will be a big meal sometime later in the day.

When I was a teenager our youth group always got up really early to attend an Easter sunrise service.   At that hour of the morning, it was quite chilly outside, so when the service was over we always went to someone’s house or back to church for hot chocolate and whatever other goodies were provided.  Moving and beautiful as the service was, I always looked forward to the refreshments that followed.  These muffins are the essential accessory  to a hot beverage, and would be perfect served at an early morning function, or maybe an early meeting at the office.

Muffin and a hot beverage.

Muffin and a hot beverage.

These are sturdy muffins chock full of flaked coconut, chocolate chips, and nuts if you care to add them.  The tropical taste of the coconut blends beautifully with the banana flavor and develops the batter along the way; the inclusion of  chocolate chips is a necessity for those  individuals who require chocolate in every bite of muffin.

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What makes the texture of these banana muffins somewhat cake-like and soft is the process by which the batter is assembled: the butter and brown sugar are creamed together until fluffy and smooth.  This builds the batter’s creamy quality and prepares the mixture for the addition of the whole eggs.  Once the eggs are added, the flavoring extract and the mashed bananas are incorporated, followed by the final mix-in of the dry ingredients and enough buttermilk to moisten the whole.  The batter is now ready to accept the shredded coconut, mini chips and nuts.

Spooned into lined muffin cups and baked, the batter bakes up into plump muffins that have lovely rounded tops.  When you break open a warm muffin, you’ll find a tender, moist, “crumb” holding chocolate chips and coconut, all wrapped by the taste of banana.  Sigh!!

Can anything make them better?   Yes, butter!!

Can anything make them better? Yes, butter!!

BANANA CHIP MUFFINS

Yield:   12 muffins

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour (I used 1 cup white whole wheat and 1 cup regular flour.)IMG_7014
  • 1  1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 8 tablespoons ( 1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup mashed ripe bananas (about 2 large bananas)
  • 1/3 cup buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup flaked coconut
  • 3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips ( I used mini chips.)

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Directions:

1.  Preheat the oven to 375*F.  Line 12 muffin cups (3-ounce size)  with paper liners, or grease lightly.

2.  In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter and the brown sugar for about 2 minutes, until light and fluffy.

3.  Beat in the eggs to incorporate,  add in the banana and vanilla.   The mixture may look curdled.   Add the flour mixture alternately with the buttermilk, continuing to mix just to combine.

4.  Reserve 2 tablespoons chocolate chips.  Add the rest of the chips, the coconut, and nuts, (if using) to the batter and stir in to distribute evenly.

5.  Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin cups.  Sprinkle the tops with the reserved chocolate chips.  Bake 25 – 30 minutes until a toothpick into the center of one muffin comes out clean.

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6.  Remove the muffin tin to a wire rack.  Cool the muffins in the pan for 5 minutes.  Remove muffins from the cups and finish cooling on the rack.  Serve warm or cool completely and store the muffins in an airtight container at room temperature.

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Happy Easter!  :)

Happy Easter! 🙂

 

SOURCE:   Chocolatier Magazine

 

Brown Sugar Toffee Bars

You know those hard little nuggets of sugar you sometimes get in a bag of brown sugar?   Ya know what I do with them?  I eat them!!   Yup!  In fact whenever I open a new bag of brown sugar I look for them first, so I can give myself a little treat.  Around here I do all the cooking and baking so a girl’s got to reward herself once in a while.

Brown Sugar Toffee Bars

Brown Sugar Toffee Bars

Today I was wishing for something made with brown sugar so I came up with  this idea for brown sugar bars with toffee bits mixed in.  Thus….. Brown Sugar Toffee Bars.  These bars are so simple really, but they have flavors that are so outstanding.  Chewy, buttery, and rich.  They are deceptively delicious.

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The Leaning Tower of Toffee Bars 😀

If you’re not as nuts-o for dark brown sugar as I am then by all means use light brown sugar, you’ll get a somewhat milder flavor, and lighter colored bar.  All the other usual pals go into these bars like butter, eggs, vanilla, etc, but you’ll also need a bag of toffee bits.  I wanted to use the kind that are covered in milk chocolate but didn’t have any on hand.  Went to my grocery store but they didn’t have them so I used the plain toffee bits, and added about 1/2 cup chocolate chips.  You can use  the plain toffee bits, chocolate covered bits, or add chocolate chips as I did.  It’s totally up to you.

This is what I used.

This is what I used.

The batter mixes up quickly, stir in the toffee, spread in a baking pan and pop into the oven.  Before long your tummy will be thanking you in a big way.

Here’s what your bars will look like……

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BROWN SUGAR TOFFEE BARS

Yield:  Makes approximately 30 bars

All this good stuff goes into these fab bars.

All this good stuff goes into these fab bars.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup butter ( 2 sticks), at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups dark brown sugar, packed
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 Tbsp. vanilla
  • 2  1/2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 (8oz)bag of Toffee Bits (Heath Toffee Bits, with or without chocolate covering)

Directions:

1.  Preheat the oven to 350*F.   Spray a 9″ x 13″ baking pan with cooking spray.

2.  With an electric mixer, cream the butter and brown sugar together, about 2 minutes on medium speed until combined and fluffy…..

Cream together the brown sugar and butter.

Cream together the brown sugar and butter.

Add in eggs and vanilla and continue mixing until incorporated.

3.  Turn mixer to low speed and add in baking soda, salt and flour, mixing until incorporated.

4.  Pour in the toffee bits and stir until evenly combined…..

Add in all those yummy toffee bits and chocolate chips.

Add in all those yummy toffee bits and chocolate chips.

5.  Spread batter in prepared pan and bake for 20 – 25 minutes until golden and center is just set.  Don’t over bake.

6.  Cool pan on wire rack and cut into squares when ready to serve.

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SOURCE:   A major adaptation of a recipe for Toffee Squares from Taste of Home Baking Book

Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Cookies

Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Cookies

Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Cookies

Happy Halloween, everyone.  There are no tricks today, just treats!!

Every fall–it never fails, when the leaves start to fall and the weather gets crisp, I start thinking about these cookies–it’s crazy.  Usually I like my cookies to be crisp or chewy, but these are the exception.  They have a cake-like consistency which seems perfect and they taste like a combination of pumpkin pie and chocolate.  After they have cooled I like to drizzle some vanilla glaze over the tops to dress them up a little.   Honestly, they are the best pumpkin cookies I’ve ever tried!

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CHOCOLATE CHIP PUMPKIN COOKIES

Yield:  about 2 dozen cookies, depending on size

Ingredients:

Pumpkin,  spices and chocolate chips = Yummy

Pumpkin + spices + chocolate chips = Yummy

  • 1 cup pumpkin puree ( canned or homemade)
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil ( can use applesauce instead)
  • 1 egg
  • 3 drops red or orange food coloring (optional)**
  • 2 cups flour ( white, whole wheat, or a combination)
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp. cloves
  • 1/4 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. milk
  • 1 cup chocolate chips (we love dark chocolate chips)
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

Directions

1.  Preheat the oven to 350 *F.  Grease cookie sheets or line with parchment paper.

2.  In a large bowl, whisk together the pumpkin, sugars, oil and egg.  Add food coloring, if using.

3.  In another bowl, Whisk together the flour, baking powder, spices and salt.

4.  Dissolve the baking soda in the milk and set aside.

5.  Add flour mixture to the pumpkin mixture and stir together.  Stir in the baking soda/milk mixture and mix well.  Stir in vanilla, chocolate chips and nuts.

6.  Drop by tablespoon onto prepared cookie sheet (s) and bake at 350* for approximately 10 minutes or until lightly brown and firm.    I like to roll the dough into a ball and then flatten a little with a fork for a uniform look.  It makes the tops smoother if you plan to drizzle with icing.  An orange butter cream icing on top is wonderful also.

A little frosting drizzled on top fancies them up.

A little frosting drizzled on top fancies them up.

** These cookies will not be orange, therefore by adding the red or orange food coloring, you bring out the orange color of pumpkin.  Somehow when they look like pumpkin, the flavor of pumpkin seems to be more pronounced.  No kidding!

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SOURCE:   ALL RECIPES.COM

Salted Pretzel Marshmallow Bars

Salted Pretzel Marshmallow Bars

Salted Pretzel Marshmallow Bars

There are so many words to describe these bars I hardly know where to start.  Chewy?  most definitely.  Crispy?  yup, when you bite into a pretzel piece.  Sweet?  well, of course, they are dessert bars after all.  Salty?  yes, a little.  You can thank the pretzels for that too.  And where do I fit in the experience of biting into a gooey melted marshmallow with drizzles of  peanut butter and dark chocolate?      Do you get the picture, here?  There’s so much going on with these bars words can’t do them justice.  You’ll just have to make them for yourself to see what I mean.

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I’m thankful the recipe only makes a 9-inch square pan of these goodies. One square is just enough to satisfy without feeling guilty and makes portion control so much easier.  Even better, bars are so easy to share!  I’ll be willing to bet that if you do decide to share these, you’ll get requests for the recipe.

SALTED PRETZEL MARSHMALLOW BARSIMG_4349

Yield:  16 squares

For the bars:

  • 1  1/2 cups broken pretzel pieces
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1  1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 1  1/2 cups brown sugar, packed
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  •  2 tsp. vanilla extract

For the topping:

  • 8 marshmallows, halved horizontally
  • 1/4  cup peanut butter chips
  • 1 tsp. vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips

1.  Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350*F.   Line a 9 – inch square baking pan with foil, leaving a 2 – inch overhang on all sides.  Lightly spray the foil with cooking spray.

2.  Pulse 1 cup pretzel pieces in a food processor until finely ground ( you should have about 1/2 cup crumbs).  Transfer to a bowl.  Whisk in the flour, baking powder and salt.

3.  Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat.  (or in the microwave)  Stir in the brown sugar.  Let cool slightly, then stir in the eggs and vanilla.  Stir the pretzel crumb mixture into the butter mixture in two additions.

Mixing in the dry ingredients.

Mixing in the dry ingredients.

4.  Spread the batter in the prepared pan.  Scatter the remaining 1/2 cup pretzel pieces on top.  Bake until golden and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean with a few crumbs, 25 – 30 minutes.  Let cool completely in the pan on a rack, then ligt the foil to remove the bars from the pan and transfer to a baking sheet.

After baking, just out of the oven.

After baking, just out of the oven.

5.  Preheat the broiler.  Press the marshmallow halves, cut-side down, in even rows on top of the bars.  Broil, rotating the baking sheet as needed, until the marshmallows are golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes;  let cool.

6.  Put the peanut butter chips and 1/2 teaspoon vegetable oil in a microwave-safe cup or small bowl and microwave in 30 – second intervals, stirring, until melted and smooth.  Repeat with the chocolate chips and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon vegetable oil in another bowl.  Drizzle the melted peanut butter and chocolate mixtures over the bars.  Let harden at room temperature or chill to set before cutting.

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SOURCE:  Food Network Magazine

Camelitas

Carmelita Bars

Carmelita Bars

I charge 500 kisses for these bars!    That’s a lot of kisses, but boy, they’re worth it.

I have a very good friend who loves these bar cookies, and whenever he says he wants some cookies, I always say “it’s gonna cost ya”.  When he says, “how much?”,  I say, ” 500 kisses”.    He loves the cookies and I love the pay-off!  (This is all in jest, of course.)     Try baking these for someone special in your life and see what the reward will be.

Buttery crust and crumb topping.  In the middle, chocolate, caramel and nuts.

Buttery crust and crumb topping. In the middle, chocolate, caramel and nuts.

No one I know can resist a caramelita bar.  The base and top layer is made of flour, butter, oats and brown sugar, and the middle layer consists of chocolate, nuts and caramel, but you can customize this layer with whatever you may have in your pantry.  I’ve used different kinds of nuts, coconut, toffee chips and butterscotch chips.  They’re a hit however you make them.

If you need to bribe someone, do it with these!

If you need to bribe someone, do it with these!

Baked in a 13 x 9-inch pan you get about 32 bars.  You will need to let them cool about 30 minutes and then run a knife around the edge of the pan to prevent the caramel from sticking.  Once cool, they cut neatly into the desired number of squares or bars.

CARMELITAS

Yield:   about 32 barsIMG_4247

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/4 cups flour
  • 2 cups old-fashioned oats
  • 1 1/2 cups light brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 package caramels ( 14 – 16 oz.) unwrapped**
  • 1/2 cup milk or cream**
  • 1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup chopped nuts, walnuts, or other kinds

Directions:

1.  In a medium saucepan, combine the caramels and milk or cream.  Heat gently, and stir until melted and smooth.  Remove from heat and set aside.

**My tip:  a quick and easy step-saver is to use a jar of caramel ice-cream topping instead.  It works just as well and I think is less costly. You will need to use 1 1/4  cups of prepared caramel topping if you go this route.

2.  Preheat oven to 350*F.  Grease, or line with parchment, a 13 x 9-inch baking pan.

3.  In the large bowl of a stand mixer, combine the flour oats, brown sugar, baking soda, and salt.  Mix at low speed just to combine.  Add the butter, a chunk at a time, with the mixer running.   Once all the butter is in, add the egg.

4.  Reserve 1 1/2 cups of this mixture for the topping.  Pour the remainder into the prepared pan, and spread evenly.  You can lay a piece of plastic wrap on the surface and then use a loaf pan to press it down evenly.  Remove the plastic wrap, and bake for 10 minutes.

5.  After removing the base from the oven, sprinkle with chocolate chips and nuts.  Drizzle the caramel sauce over the them, and then sprinkle the reserved base mixture over the top.  Press down lightly to help it adhere.   Bake for 25 to 28 minutes, until the top is golden brown.  Remove from the oven and cool at least 30 minutes before cutting.

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SOURCE:  Cooks.com

Chocolate Caramel Oatmeal Bars

I made these bar cookies this week for my husband to take to a meeting.  (He always signs up to bring a dessert.  I wonder why? ) Anyway, these can be put together pretty easily and the recipe makes a 13″ x 9″ pan full.  That way I get to keep about 6 squares for us at home and he takes the rest.  Any dessert with chocolate in it seems to call me repeatedly until its gone, so I have to protect myself from such temptation.

The basis of the cookie dough is a boxed yellow  cake mix to which butter, egg, and oatmeal is added to make a crumbly mixture.  Press half of it in the baking pan,  partially bake it, then layer chocolate chips and walnuts on top, drizzle with caramel syrup, and cover with the remaining crumb mixture.  Finish baking and Voila!  you have delicious, chewy, chocolaty bars.  Whenever I bring these somewhere, or serve them, I get asked for the recipe.

INGREDIENTS

Yield:  24 bars  Cut 6 rows x 4 rows

  • 1 boxed yellow cake mix
  • 3/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cups Quick Oats
  • 1 1/2 cups chocolate chips
  • 1 cup walnuts, chopped
  • 1 cup caramel ice cream topping
  • 1 Tablespoon flour

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease a 13″ x 9″ pan.
  2. With electric mixer beat cake mix with the butter and egg till crumbly.  Stir in oats. Reserve 1 1/2 cup oat mixture.
  3. Press remaining crumbs into baking pan.   Bake  14 – 18 minutes until light golden brown.  Do not over bake.
  4. Remove from oven and sprinkle chocolate chips and nuts over hot crust.
  5. Mix caramel syrup with the 1 T. flour.  Drizzle over chips and nuts.
  6. Use the reserved crumb mixture to sprinkle over the top.  Pat down lightly.
  7. Bake for another 20 – 25 minutes till golden brown.  Its best not to over bake these as they will get very firm and hard to remove from the pan.  Allow to cool slightly, and run a knife around the edges to loosen caramel from pan while still warm.  When cooled completely, cut into bars.    Makes about 24 bars.

SOURCE:    Taste of Home Annual Recipes, 2000

Peanut Butter Banana Bread

Do you like Banana Bread?   I do.  I think most people do.  How about Banana Bread with Chocolate Chips in it?   Yes?  Me, too.  How about Banana Bread with Chocolate Chips in it and  –wait for it—- Peanut Butter?   WOW!   Do I have your attention now?   Well, this recipe certainly grabbed my attention,  and I only found it because I cleaned my bookcase.  There fallen down behind several bigger books was an old issue of Taste of Home magazine, March, 2009.

I knew when I found it that I must have kept it because of some recipe that appealed to me.  Sure enough, the turned down page indicated bread recipes that had won a contest. ( 12 of them!)  They all looked so good, it would have been a hard decision which to make first except that I had two ripe bananas, and all the other ingredients on hand,  so that was the decision maker.

The  smell of this bread baking is heavenly and anyone at home when you make it will come running to find out what smells so good and when they can have some.  It has a layer of crumb topping and melted chocolate chips in the middle, and more crumbs on top.  Every bite is scrumptious!  The recipe makes 2 loaves;  8 inch x 4 inch pans.

TOPPING

  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

BATTER

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 pkg. ( 8 0z. ) cream cheese softened.  1/3 less fat is OK
  • 1 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup mashed ripe banana
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips

DIRECTIONS

  1. In a small bowl, stir together the flour, brown sugar, and cinnamon.  Add the peanut butter, and using a fork, mix in to form a crumbly mixture.  Set aside.

  1. In a large bowl cream the butter, cream cheese and sugar until light and fluffy.  Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Beat in bananas and vanilla.  Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon;  Stir into creamed mixture just till moistened.
  2. Divide half the batter between two greased 8-in. x 4-in. loaf pans; sprinkle with half of the topping.  Top with the chocolate chips.  Repeat layers of batter and topping.

   

  1. Bake at 350 degrees for 45-55 minutes or until a tester inserted near the center comes out clean.  Cool for about 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to finish cooling.

    

From My Experience:  If you do not have the exact pan size,  go a little bigger rather than smaller  because this is a fairly large recipe and pans will be full.  Also use more than half the crumb topping in the center of the breads, and less for the crumb topping.  I split mine in half as directed and as the bread rose in the oven the crumbs fell off and burned on the oven floor.  More crumbs fell off as I tried to get the breads out of the pans.  Finally, I would suggest using mini chocolate chips so they melt during baking.  My chips were the large size and they remained whole instead of melting .  Everything tasted wonderful, but these were the problems I encountered.

SOURCE:   Taste of Home magazine,   March, 2009