Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Ice Cream Friday Recap and a Giveaway

Before I'm retiring my Ice Cream Series this Friday for the year, I thought it would be fun to take a trip down memory lane and pull all the Ice Cream posts together. 15 Ice cream Fridays to be correct, and with summer almost over it is time to say goodbye to my trusty ice cream maker for the time being. But don't you all worry, I might run the occasional, seasonal flavor even in the colder months, and Ice Cream Fridays will be back for sure next year. Also make sure to look for my giveaway at the end of this post. Without further ado, here are the posts in order of their release.

Oatmeal Raisin Ice Cream

Super Lemon Ice Cream

Loaded Peanut Butter Ice Cream

Aztec "Hot" Chocolate Ice Cream

Toasted Coconut Ice Cream

Mango Sorbet

Blueberries and Cream Ice Cream

Coconut-Almond Gelato

Nutella Ice Cream

Date, Rum and Pecan Ice Cream

Whoppers Ice Cream

Banana Cajeta Cashew Ice Cream

Brown Butter Candied Bacon Ice Cream

Honey Peach Ice Cream

Vietnamese Coffee Ice Cream

* The Giveaway is Now Officially Closed*

Here is the scoop on the giveaway:

1 lucky reader will have the chance to win one (1) copy of one of my most used Ice Cream books this year:

"The Perfect Scoop" by David Lebovitz

All you have to do is leave me a comment and let me know which one of my featured ice creams was your favorite.

You can earn additional entries by:

Follow my blog on Google Friend Connect, or let me know that you already do so
"Like" me on Facebook, or let me know that you already do so
Follow me on Twitter, or let me know that you already do so

Please leave me a separate comment for each of the entries (even if you already fit the requirements), which means if you play along you can get up to 4 (four) chances to be entered in the drawing. Also please leave me your email so I have a way to contact you if you win.

This giveaway is open to U.S. Residents only (sorry my International friends) and ends at 9:00 pm (PST) on 09/02/2010 (so only a couple of days).

Stay tuned for the announcement of the winner AND my final Ice Cream Friday, on, yes, what else, Friday!

Full disclosure: This giveaway is not sponsored by anyone but myself!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Not Your Average Sloppy Joe

If you've been reading my blog for a while you have come to see that our family likes to indulge every once in a while. I know that I have featured quite some decadent and rich recipes in the past, but I need to clarify that we don't eat like this on a daily basis. Most of these "special" meals are reserved for weekend indulgences. During the week my kitchen has a much quicker, more efficient, and most of all fairly healthy approach to dinner time.

This recipe for Sloppy Joe has been cooked and served in our home for many years. Unfortunately I'm not sure where it came from anymore, so I can't even give credit. Since then, it has been shared with several friends and relatives who have come to love this dish as well. It is a great, healthier take on the classic comfort food. Sloppy Joe is another one of those foods, I did not grow up with. My husband on the other hand, had his fair share growing up. When I first found this recipe, after getting the request for this particular meal from him, I wasn't sure if his "refined" palate, that had only been exposed to the "Manwich" kind, would be happy with my version. I worried for absolutely nothing and he hasn't requested the canned kind since. This recipe is also a great way to "sneak" in a decent amount of vegetables, and even the pickiest of eaters will happily eat this as long as it is disguised as "junk food" and served on a hamburger bun with a sprinkle of cheese.

This meal has always been my go-to recipe for when I'm short on time. It is made quickly, and you can even make it a day ahead and warm it up later. Chopping the vegetables ahead of time is another great way to get this dinner quickly on the table. Since the dish needs very little babysitting once the ingredients are added (besides the occasional stir), this will free you up to fix a side salad or an additional side dish. I like to serve this on top of hamburger buns with extra onions and shredded cheddar cheese, but pickled jalapenos are another great way to impart additional flavor to the finished sandwich along with a little kick (this is the way my husband loves it). I hope you'll give my "healthier" version a try, maybe it will make your dinner time a success as well!

Not Your Average Sloppy Joe
~serves 6~

1 1/2 pounds ground beef (I use 93 %)
1 medium onion, chopped
1 1/2 green bell peppers, chopped
2 stalks celery, finely diced
1 (15 oz.) can tomato sauce
1/2 cup ketchup
2 tablespoons light brown sugar, packed
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 tablespoons steak sauce (I use A1)
2 teaspoons mustard
3/4 teaspoon garlic salt
1 1/2 teaspoons paprika powder
6 Hamburger buns
1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded (optional)
Diced onion (optional)

In a Dutch oven over medium heat, cook beef, onion, green pepper, and celery until the meat is no longer pink and the vegetables are tender. Add the next nine ingredients; mix well.
Simmer, uncovered, for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Serve on hamburger buns with shredded cheddar cheese and onions if desired.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Ice Cream Fridays: Vietnamese Coffee Ice Cream

Welcome to another edition of Ice Cream Fridays. Every Friday you can look forward to a new ice cream recipe which will hopefully inspire you to break out your old dust covered ice cream maker that is hiding somewhere in a closet (yes, I'm talking about you). Since I'm always looking for inspiration and ideas, feel free to leave me a comment here on my blog or on my facebook page, and let me know what ice cream flavor you would like to see.

If you are like me, there is no way to get the day started without a couple of cups of decent coffee. In fact, my family knows not to mess with me until I'm properly caffeinated. Strange thing is, I never liked coffee or anything coffee flavored while growing up. This all changed when I met my husband. He couldn't start his day without a few cups of coffee and would continue drinking coffee throughout the day. There was always freshly brewed coffee around, and I started getting hooked on the brown stuff as well. The adults take coffee serious in our home!

So, when I was looking over my list of ice cream flavors still left to make before I retire Ice Cream Fridays for the year, I realized I had yet to make a coffee ice cream. Well, I definitely knew that needed to be changed. Again, I was torn between several different recipes, but this one simply won out for it's ease of preparation. The recipe calls for only a handful of ingredients and is made in 5 minutes flat. Strong coffee or espresso is mixed with sweetened condensed milk (the nectar of the gods) and a bit of half-and-half with a pinch of finely ground coffee. That's all there is to it. I think one of my easiest ice creams to date. After a good chill in the refrigerator it is churned in the ice cream maker. Done!

Whoa, can I just say buzz! This flavor was strong, delicious, and melted in your mouth. It was like eating your morning coffee in a bowl. Definite hit, and because of the ease-of-preparation factor, it deserves one of the highest ratings. My teenage daughter, who by the way is NOT a coffee lover, thought this was one incredible flavor that should be packaged and sold (if only this was my recipe). This will go into my top 5 ice creams I have made this year for sure.
So, if you are one of those coffee addicts as well, don't wait, and make this ice cream as soon as possible, and thank me later ;o)

Vietnamese Coffee Ice Cream
(adapted from "The Perfect Scoop")
(Printable Recipe)


1 1/2 cups sweetened condensed milk
1 1/2 cups brewed espresso or very strongly brewed coffee
1/2 cup half-and-half
Big pinch of finely ground dark roast coffee


Whisk together the condensed milk, espresso, half-and-half, and ground coffee. Chill the mixture thoroughly, then freeze it in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Grilled Panzanella Salad

In some areas of the country, summer has been quite the mixed bag. Very hot days, but also very cold and rainy days. For us it has just been plain hot and unbearable with very little rain. Summer in Arizona is unfortunately not letting up for probably another couple of months. It will hold a firm grip on us, making us wish for cooler temperatures, even if it just means to dip below 100 degrees F. Yes, most of us Arizonians should be used to it, but are fed up with this terrible heat by early August. Unfortunately, we forget year after year about the temperatures when we are sitting outside enjoying a BBQ-ed meal in January while the rest of the country is freezing.

Since summer is still here to stay for at least a while longer, I'm still on the hunt for great salad recipes to expand my repertoire. This one comes courtesy of "Cuisine at Home" yet again. I really like their approach to recipes which are fairly simple, but wonderful tasting, and most of my magazines from them are covered in sticky notes for dishes to try. Today's post had been on my to-do list for a while, and last weekend I finally got around to it. Panzanella Salad is an Italian dish that is a bread salad. It varies widely depending upon region and ingredients available, however, day old bread is always included. It is also important to use a sturdy bread when making this dish. It is best to use a chewy, rustic bread that can withstand being tossed with a vinaigrette, otherwise your bread will get way too mushy. Ripe, juicy tomatoes are another must, and while any tomato will work, the sweetness of cocktail or grape tomatoes seem to harmonize best with this salad. Cucumbers, red onions, kalamata olives, fresh mozzarella and basil round out this dish.

This is a fantastic salad to serve along side any kind of meat. We had pork chops with it, but steak or chicken would be wonderful as well. Since the bread is grilled on the BBQ, grilling the meat is a logical choice and with that you can leave the stove off, which is always a plus with this heat. We all really enjoyed this unique salad. It incorporated all of our favorite ingredients and so it was kind of a given that we liked it, but nonetheless, I'm surprised by the simplicity of certain recipes that just "wow" you. This is another recipe I'm keeping, and will be making over and over again!

Grilled Panzanella Salad
(adapted from "Cuisine at Home")
(Printable Recipe)


1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
1 cup cucumber, seeded and chopped
1 cup red onion, sliced
1/2 cup fresh mozzarella, cubed
1/4 cup kalamata olives, pitted and halved
1/4 cup torn fresh basil leaves
1/2 a baguette or ciabatta bread, halved lengthwise and brushed with olive oil
2 garlic cloves


Preheat grill to medium-high. Whisk oil, vinegar, mustard, salt, and pepper together; set aside.

Toss vegetables, mozzarella, olives, and basil together in a bowl.

Grill bread, cut side down, until golden, 2-3 minutes, then rub with the garlic cloves. Slice bread into cubes, add to vegetables, and toss with vinaigrette.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Peanut Butter French Toast

Our weekday mornings are hectic to say the least. Everyone is leaving at different times, there is madness galore with people looking for backpacks, water bottles, or homework, and we don't have any time to sit down as a family to enjoy a breakfast together. I usually make sure to have an assortment of cereals in the pantry and also muffins or breakfast burritos in the freezer for quick on-the-go eating. So when the weekend finally arrives, we like to slow things down a bit and enjoy breakfast or brunch as a family.  Weekend breakfasts are a great opportunity to "splurge" a little and eat something we wouldn't normally have for breakfast during the week. It also means, that we can usually skip lunch that day which frees up some time for me in the kitchen as well.

For these special breakfasts, I like to make things like pancakes, waffles, quiches or french toast. Last Sunday felt like a french toast kind of morning, so I looked on the fabulous internet for a recipe. I didn't have to look further than allrecipes.com, which is a great source for so many dishes. I wanted a french toast that was a bit different than our old standby, but something that still could be made quickly and that I knew the kids would enjoy. That is when this Peanut Butter French Toast caught my eye. After reading some of the reviews and the trouble people had in incorporating the peanut butter into the milk and egg mixture, I knew what would solve this problem. I decided to add all the ingredients into my blender just like I did with my peanut butter ice cream a while back, and again this worked like a charm. Fantastic smooth batter ready for dipping. I also decided to go with a typical french bread cut on an angle rather than a plain white bread. After frying the battered bread in a bit of butter, I added sliced bananas along with maple syrup to each portion to complete the presentation.

This recipe would have made Elvis proud, in fact, I think he would have been "All shook up" about it! It was simply wonderful. The bread was cooked perfectly with just a hint of peanut butter, without  it being overpowering. The bananas and the maple syrup were definitely the icing on the cake french toast. All plates were practically licked clean, everyone was very happy and tummy's were full . So, if peanut butter and french toast are your kind of breakfast as well, I would definitely give this recipe a try, it certainly is a new favorite in our home, and has already been requested again.

Peanut Butter French Toast
(adapted from allrecipes.com)
(Printable Recipe)


1/2 cup milk
3 eggs
1/4 cup peanut butter
2 tablespoons white sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
8 slices French bread
Butter or oil for frying
Sliced banana
Maple syrup


In a blender add milk, eggs, peanut butter, sugar, vanilla extract and cinnamon. Blend until smooth.

Heat the butter or oil in a griddle or frying pan over medium heat.

Dunk each slice of bread in egg mixture, soaking both sides. Place in pan, and cook on each side until golden. Serve hot with sliced bananas and maple syrup.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Pepperoni Pizza Puffs

School is already back in full swing for us and pre-season football has made it's way into our home as well. What does that mean in terms of food you are wondering? It means, that I need to come up with lots of snack foods. Snack foods for "starving" children after school, and snacks for football watching. I prefer food that I can quickly make on a whim, but also recipes that taste like I spent a considerable effort preparing.

I found the recipe for these great little puffs on Noble Pig. The pictures drew me in like so often, and after reading how easy and fast this could be made, I was hooked. I did make a few small alterations to the original recipe to fit our taste, and they turned out great. Flour, baking powder and milk (I used 1%) are whisked together along with an egg. I added a bit of salt and some Italian seasoning to the batter since I thought it needed a little more "oomph". Shredded mozzarella cheese and diced pepperoni (I used turkey pepperoni) are folded into the flour/milk mixture before dividing the batter into a greased 24-cup mini muffin pan. They are then baked until light, "puffed", and golden, for about 22 minutes.

These little snacks are a definite "make again" recipe. It was amazing how much flavor each bite held. I served them per Noble Pig's suggestion with warmed pizza sauce (I made my own) but they were just as good dipped in a bit of ranch dressing (my youngest came up with that concoction). This is a great, crowd-pleasing recipe, no matter if for football watching, after school, or any other event that could benefit from finger foods. I can see these little puffs going in many different directions just by changing up the cheese, using cooked Italian sausage, or leaving all the meat out and making a vegetarian "puff" by adding peppers and mushrooms. There are a lot of options and I'm sure this is not the last you have seen of these little snacks!

Pepperoni Pizza Puffs
(adapted from "Noble Pig")


3/4 cup flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 cup milk (I used 1 %)
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
4 ounces mozzarella cheese, shredded
4 ounces pepperoni (I used Turkey pepperoni), cut into small cubes
1/2 - 1 cup of your favorite pizza or marinara sauce
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Grease a 24-cup mini muffin pan.
In a large owl, whisk together the flour and baking powder; whisk in the milk, egg, salt and Italian seasoning. Stir in the mozzarella and pepperoni; let stand for 10 minutes.

Stir the batter and divide among the mini-muffin cups. Bake until puffed and golden, 20 to 25 minutes.

Warm your pizza or marinara sauce, then stir in 1 tablespoon basil. Sprinkle the puffs with the remaining 1 tablespoon basil. Serve the puffs with the pizza sauce for dipping.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Ice Cream Fridays: Honey Peach Ice Cream

Welcome to another edition of Ice Cream Fridays. Every Friday you can look forward to a new ice cream recipe which will hopefully inspire you to break out your old dust covered ice cream maker that is hiding somewhere in a closet (yes, I'm talking about you). Since I'm always looking for inspiration and ideas, feel free to leave me a comment here on my blog or on my facebook page, and let me know what ice cream flavor you would like to see. Who knows, you might just get lucky and it will be featured the following week. 

With only a couple more Fridays left after today's featured post I will be retiring the Ice Cream series for the year. I'm still left with a list a mile long of different ice creams yet to try. So, picking and choosing which one to make should have been hard, but I was getting a little help in the form of a gentle nudge from my friend Sharon and facebook follower Christy. Both of them named Peach Ice Cream as their favorite flavor when I had asked a while back. I love a good peach ice cream as well, but there was only one problem with the execution, the peaches. For the life of it, I could not get my hands on decent tasting peaches. I was looking for bright red peaches, the same ones that as you bit into them the juices are running everywhere and you'd better have a napkin handy. Nope, all I could find for weeks and weeks were great looking peaches on the outside but they were hard as rocks and flavorless on the inside. My husband (the official taste tester and critic for this blog), took it upon himself to try peach after peach in search of the perfect one. Did he ever find it? Unfortunately not, so I ended up having to use some mediocre ones that "worked" since I really wanted to make this ice cream. 

While I was looking for the perfect peach ice cream, I had a couple of criteria in mind. One, it had to be full of peach flavor (this would have been achieved with better peaches) and two, it couldn't just be a vanilla base with peach chunks mixed in. So, after looking at different recipes I had narrowed it down to one from David Lebovitz and one from Dorie Greenspan. I really liked David's concept (he adds sour cream to the mix) but ended up choosing Dorie's version since I had already made a Strawberry Sour Cream Ice Cream earlier in the year. Dorie's version was different by including honey and I thought it sounded heavenly in combination with the peaches.
Peeled peaches are chopped and cooked with honey until soft, then the mixture is pureed. Meanwhile a basic egg custard is cooked and the peach puree is added to the finished base along with vanilla extract. I went a step further and added ground up vanilla bean to my custard for additional flavor. After a good chilling in the refrigerator, the custard is churned in the ice cream maker, and right before finishing, more diced peaches are added.

This ice cream turned out very well, despite the sub-par peaches, so I can only imagine how incredibly tasty it would be with ripe, juicy ones. I loved the subtle honey flavor that infused the ice cream throughout. My kids were not sure about this flavor when I set out to make it, but every single one of them happily emptied their bowls. I will stay on the hunt for decent peaches, and will definitely make this flavor again. Maybe next year I'll have to have a peach ice cream throw-down between Dorie and David!

Honey-Peach Ice Cream
(adapted from "Baking: From my home to yours")
(Printable Recipe)


4 large ripe peaches (about 2 pounds), peeled and pitted
1/4 cup honey
1 cup whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
3 large egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon ground vanilla beans


Coarsely chop half the peaches into 1/2-inch chunks and toss them into a small saucepan. Add the honey and bring to a boil, then lower the heat, cover the pan and cook, stirring occasionally, until the peaches are soft abut not mushy, about 10 minutes. Scrape the mixture into a  blender or food processor and whir to puree. Set the peach puree aside while you make the custard.

Bring the milk and cream to a boil in a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk the yolks and sugar together until very well blended and just slightly thickened. Still whisking, drizzle in about one third of the hot liquid - this will temper or warm, the eggs so they don't curdle. Whisking all the while, slowly pour in the remaining liquid. Pour the custard back into the pan and cook over medium heat, stirring without stopping, until the custard thickens slightly and coats the back of a spoon; if you run your finger down the back of the spoon, the custard should not run into the track. The custard should reach at least 170 degrees F, but no more than 180 degrees F, on an instant-read thermometer. Immediately remove the pan from the heat and our the custard into a 2-quart glass measuring cup or clean heatproof bowl. Stir in the vanilla and the peach puree.

Refrigerate the custard until chilled before churning it into ice cream.

Scrape the chilled custard into the bowl of an ice cream maker and churn according to the manufacturer's instructions. While the ice cream is churning, finely dice the remaining 2 peaches, then, just before the ice cream is thickened and ready, add the peaches and churn to blend. Pack the ice cream into a container and freeze it for at least 2 hours, until it is firm enough to scoop.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Creamy Bacon, Tomato, and Avocado Pasta Salad

I love BLT's. I love them even more with the addition of avocado, but then ANYTHING tastes better with some of the green creamy goodness in it. It is also no secret if you've been following my blog, that I love bacon. I think just a little bit of bacon goes a long way in flavoring a dish and making it a standout. Tomatoes are another of my favorites, and I use them almost daily in the summer time when they are ripe. So, when I saw the picture for this salad on Photograzing, I had to click on it. I was not disappointed. All of my favorite things rolled into one delicious sounding salad. I was sold!

This salad is another very quickly made dish, which is great, especially during the week with the dinnertime rush a lot of us experience. Bacon is chopped and cooked until crisp.  Meanwhile, pasta is cooked, and while cooking, you can go ahead and chop the tomatoes and make your dressing. A quick dressing of mayonnaise (you can use light mayo as well) with lots of lemon juice, seasonings, and dill is whisked together and then added to the cooked pasta along with the bacon and tomatoes. The salad is chilled for about 30 minutes (fix your sides during this time), and right before serving you add the cut up avocados (any earlier and they turn brown). Done! I told you it was quick.

This salad was a HUGE hit in our house. We loved the tartness of the dressing along with the creamy avocado and smokiness of the bacon. I served it with grilled chicken, but I could certainly eat a bowl of this all by itself and be happy.  The recipe called for dried dill, and while it was good, the next time I will make sure to use fresh dill. This dish will be making many more repeat appearances in our home, and if you like all these ingredients as well, this is a great salad to fix!

Creamy Bacon, Tomato, and Avocado Pasta Salad

6 slices bacon, chopped into 1-inch pieces
3/4 pound (12 ounces) dried Rotini pasta
1 cup mayonnaise
Juice of 1 lemon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons dried dill (or 1 tablespoon freshly chopped dill)
1 1/2 cups tomatoes, seeded and diced
2 avocados, pitted and cubed

Cook bacon until crisp. Transfer to a paper towel lined plate. Set aside.

Cook pasta according to package directions. Strain. Run cold water over the top until the pasta is cooled.

While your bacon and pasta are cooking, whisk mayonnaise, lemon juice, salt, garlic powder, pepper and dill together in a bowl.

Stir cooled pasta, diced tomatoes, and reserved bacon into the dressing. Toss to combine. Refrigerate for 30 minutes. Right before serving add cubed avocados.

Adapted from: Life's Ambrosia 

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Chocolate-Chocolate Chunk Muffins

My teenage daughter is a self-proclaimed chocoholic. She loves any and everything chocolate, and it usually must be included in her desserts. She will eat other desserts I make as well, but the groaning and grumbling that comes along with anything that doesn't include chocolate is quite humorous. She is the total opposite of my husband who loathes everything chocolate and loves anything made with fruit. As you can see, it can get quite difficult to accommodate both of them while keeping the peace.

A couple of weeks ago when I featured the Orange Raspberry Muffins, I first got dirty looks from my daughter, then lots of begging to find a recipe for a chocolate muffin as well. She was lucky that day and I complied. The recipe comes from one of my favorite and probably most utilized cook books "Baking: From my home to yours" by Dorie Greenspan. Her instructions are always precise and result in great baked goods that are consistent every time. This is a quickly made recipe that doesn't require much more than a bowl, a measuring cup, a whisk, and a spatula.  Chocolate is melted along with butter in a double boiler, and then added to a big bowl which includes all the measured dry ingredients along with buttermilk (which ensures a tender crumb), eggs, and vanilla. More chopped chocolate is added to the mixed batter before dividing it into muffin cups for baking.

This is a terrific chocolaty recipe that satisfied my teens craving. I really enjoyed them as well since I loved the fact that they weren't overly sweet. They also freeze wonderful and still taste great, especially if being nuked in the microwave for a few seconds. They are a great muffin that could almost be classified as a cupcake, but if you stick with the former, there won't be as much guilt attached if you have them for breakfast! So, if you love chocolate, feel free to make this recipe, and remember by adding bittersweet chocolate, one might argue the "health benefits" of this delight!

Chocolate-Chocolate Chunk Muffins

3/4 stick (6 tablespoons) unsalted butter
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
2 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups buttermilk
1 large egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Butter or spray the 12 molds in a regular-size muffin pan or fit the molds with paper muffin cups. Place the muffin pan on a baking sheet.

Melt the butter and half of the chopped chocolate together in a bowl over a saucepan of simmering water; or do this in a microwave. Remove from the heat.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In a large glass measuring cup or another bowl, whisk the buttermilk, egg and vanilla extract together until well combined. Pour the liquid ingredients and the melted butter and chocolate over the dry ingredients and, with the whisk or a  rubber spatula, gently but quickly stir to blend. Don't worry about being through - a few lumps are better than overmixing the batter. Stir in the remaining chopped chocolate. Divide the batter evenly among the muffins cups.

Bake for about 20 minutes, or until a think knife inserted into the center of the muffins comes out clean. Transfer the pan to a rack and cool for 5 minutes before carefully removing each muffin from its mold.


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