Sugar Shock, part 2

Not only did I buy a bag of Butterfinger ® mini's, I also was, err, enlightened to buy a bag of peanut M&M's ®. And enlightened I was because it spurred me to use them in yet another baked treat!

This time, I visited the M&M's ® website and decided to fiddle around with their Chocolate Marbled Blondie recipe.

The difference is that I used dark brown sugar instead of light brown, I added a 1/4 tsp of salt and instead of fat-free cream cheese, I used Neufch√Ętel. And those honkers on top of the blondies? Well, they are peanut M&Ms ®. I like them better than the regular.

Why? Because these are what I had in my pantry and salt always makes a baked good better. It balances out the flavor and enhances it as well. So always remember to add a bit of salt to your baked goodies to make it all that much better!


Sugar Shock, part 1

There something about the duality of Halloween that is really cool. On the one hand, it's the night before All Soul's Day when the dead walk and "scare" the living. On the other hand, it's a night where children (and adults) can go nuts over candy.

I luckily live on a block where there are tons of wee ones in costume that I can make light up with handfuls of sugary goodness. And I don't skimp on the good stuff - Reese's Peanut Butter ® cups, M&M ® Peanut (and regular because allergies to abound), Butterfingers (r), Hershey's ® Miniatures.

No candy corn, dried fruit or pennies. I had too many encounters with those "treats" when I was a costumed fiend and still remember not being too happy about it.

Anyways, I was thinking that since candy is so cheap and plentiful this time of year, I would score a few bags pre-Halloween and make me some goodies.

I remembered making Butterfingers ® cookies once, and decided to make them again!

Butterfinger ® Cookies

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine, softened
1 large egg
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup coarsely chopped NESTLE BUTTERFINGER® Candy Bars

Preheat oven to 375°F. Lightly grease two baking sheets.

Combine flour, baking soda and salt in small bowl. Beat sugar and butter in large mixer bowl until creamy. Beat in egg and vanilla next. Then, gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in Butterfinger pieces. Drop by slightly rounded tablespoon onto baking sheets.

Bake the cookies for 10 to 12 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.

Makes about 2 1/2 dozen cookies.

The best part about these cookies is that they don't stick to your teeth, unlike the candy that's in them. And they go really well with a nice cold glass of 2% milk. So...healthier?

Happy Halloween!



It's been a while since I've posted, but I blame school. And life. And, for some reason, a hectic social schedule.

But of course, I couldn't go for too long without baking, so when I saw this awesome pile of slowly browning bananas on my kitchen table, I knew I had to do something.

So I found this recipe and decided to use the brownest of my bananas and whip up a batch of muffins for Sunday breakfast. And you know what, I am always amazed when recipes come out quick and tasty after the first try.

Banana Muffins with Cinnamon Streusel Topping

1 1/2 cup of all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3 very ripe bananas, mashed
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/3 cup canola oil
1 tsp good vanilla
for the streusel:
3 tsp dark brown sugar
1/4 cup flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tbsp butter

Preheat oven to 375 degrees and grease muffin pan if you are not using muffin liners.

Mix together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. In another bowl, mix together bananas, sugar, egg, oil and vanilla.

Pour banana mixture into dry ingredients and mix until just moistened. Spoon batter into muffin cups.

In another bowl, mix together brown sugar, flour and cinnamon. Cut in the butter until it resembles a coarse meal. Sprinkle amply on top of the muffin batter.

Bake muffins from 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

And voila - quick, easy morning muffins. The whole house was smelling like warm bananas and cinnamon - what a great way to start the morning! Well, it was for me. The whole process took about 40 minutes, which is more than enough time to surprise family, friends or a "special friend" with tasty in the morning. I say if you have some bananas that you don't know what to do with, make this!