Healthy Meal Prep :: Carrot Cake Banna Bread 

Do you ever buy too many of something and then have tons of leftovers you have no idea what to do with? That’s my life story where bananas, lemons, and well, fruit in general is concerned. That’s how I found myself late one Friday night crazy deep in the bowels (sounds icky, right?) of Pinterest, vainly searching for something to do with my last three bananas.

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The Most Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookie EVER!

Hey, it’s me. Your resident slacker and consistent poster in training

All kidding aside, I have been MIA from almost everything – including personal social media accounts – since I last posted because life has been beyond hectic. My uncle and his daughter were down, I started a new job, Cody and I are remodeling the place we are moving into, and I have been helping a friend with her wedding plans. Crazy, right? Everything has been put on the back burner (you should see he laundry piling up…well actually you shouldn’t!).

While my uncle was down, I had the chance to do a lot of cooking and baking because they ate at our house most of the time. One of the things I baked was these amazingly perfect chocolate chip cookies. They are moist, fluffy, and filled to the brim with ooey-gooey melt in your mouth chocolate chips and chunks. Honestly, these are the best chocolate chip cookies I have ever had. No other cookie – homemade or store bought – can even compare.

The Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookie made with Cream Cheese

This recipe comes from the Fabulous Averie Cooks. Her blog is like crack if you enjoy baking. Have you been? No? Well, why the frick not?

What makes this recipe different is the cream cheese. It adds that little something extra that makes people ask for your recipe and grab for the last cookie.

 

The Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookie made with Cream Cheese

 

What you need:

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
  • 1/4 cup regular block cream cheese (softened)
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar (packed)
  • 1/4 granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt (optional – omit if you used salted butter)
  • 2 1/4 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips or chunks (I used a mixture of both

 

What you do:

  • Using a stand mixer, cream butter, cream cheese, the egg, both sugars, and vanilla on medium/high speed for about 5 minutes or until light and fluffy. If you use a hand mixer, it may take longer than 5 minutes.
  • After scraping down the sides of the bowl, add the flour, cornstarch, baking soda, and salt (if you need it). Mix until just combined – about 1 minute.
  • Add chocolate chips and chocolate chunks – beat for just a second or fold in by hand
  • Refrigerate dough for at least two hours
  • Pre-heat oven to 350F
  • Line or grease your baking sheet
  • Scoop out cookie balls
  • Place cookies on sheet, about 2 inches apart
  • Bake for 8-12 minutes depending on your oven (mine took 10 minutes)
  • Cool for a little while on baking sheet (about five minutes)
  • Move to wire cooling rack to finish cooling

 

The Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookie made with Cream Cheese

 

Averie scooped her cookies into balls before refrigerating and then let them sit at room temp for 15 minutes before baking. I scooped my dough after refrigerating in order to skip the 15 minute room temp deal. I used a regular size bag of chocolate chunks and 3 cups of chocolate chips in my double batch and there was the perfect amount of chocolate in each bite.

The Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookie made with Cream Cheese

I cannot tell you enough how amazing these cookies are – I made a double batch and they were gone in two days!  Plus, they were so easy to make. If you check out Averie’s post, it explains how long you can keep them in the fridge or freezer.

Guys, basically that means you can prep a double batch, freeze half, and be only 20 minutes away from fresh cookies next time somebody drops in unexpectedly.

The Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookie made with Cream Cheese

I hope you try out these cookies soon!

 

Better than Basic Blueberry Muffins :: The perfect muffin!

My mom’s birthday was on the second, and since she worked during the day and I worked that night, I knew I wouldn’t get to see her much, but I wanted to do something for her anyway. Cooking dinner was out, but breakfast wasn’t!

I decided to make something she could eat on the go, because she doesn’t usually have enough time to sit down for a meal. Luckily, one of my favorite bloggers – Taralynn over at Simply Taralynn – had posted a blueberry muffin recipe a few days prior.

Better than Basic Blueberry Muffins

I got up early that morning and made them! Talk about freakin’ delicious! These were the best blueberry muffins I had ever had! They were moist, rich, fluffy, and sweet!

I doubled the recipe so that I could send some with my grandparents and other family and it made 18 large muffins.

Blueberry Muffins

Ingredients (for muffins):

  • 1.5 cups all-purpose flour
  • .75 cups white sugar
  • .5 teaspoon salt (I used sea salt)
  • 2 teaspoon baking powder
  • .3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 egg
  • .3 cup milk ( I used whole milk for added richness)
  • 1 cup blueberries

Ingredients (for streusel topping):

  • .5 cup white sugar
  • .3 cup all-purpose flour
  • .25 cup butter, cubed ( I softened mine to the point of almost liquid)
  • 1.5 teaspoon cinnamon

Blueberry Muffins

Taralynn suggested not to double the streusel topping because she had a lot leftover. She was right! I doubled it anyway so I could use the leftover in pancakes (yum!), and I had tons!

I also added nutmeg to the muffins and streusel mix. I love the flavor!

So for these muffins, you should preheat your oven to 400 degrees f and prepare your muffin tins and cups.

Next, combine the dry muffin ingredients and the wet ingredients separate, then combine. Gently mix or fold in the blueberries. I tripled the blueberries in my muffins and it was amazing.

In a separate bowl, mix topping ingredients extremely well until you have a crumb like consistency, first all the dry ingredients and then add the butter.

Fill your muffin cups to the top (to achieve that muffin top look when cooked) and then top with streusel.

Depending on your oven, bake for 20-25 minutes – or until golden brown on top. Remove from muffin tin and allow to completely cool on a wire rack before storing. I stored mine in an air tight container on the countertop and warmed them before serving.

Blueberry Muffins