Baking In the Moonlight

“Baking in the moonlight, my oven’s feeling warm and bright. It’s such a sweet and natural sight, Kelsey has been baking in the moonlight!”

Haha okay, wow, that was lame. My apologies. As you can tell by the cheesy title and song, I have been doing some fun baking/creating in the kitchen! And yes, most of it has taken place at night. 🙂

After seeing some pretty incrediblelooking muffins around the blog world, I, of course, developed an intense, undeniable muffin craving. I’m not kidding, you guys: I was thinking about making these muffins all last week! Time was sparse and patience was thin, but I finally got around to making them this past Saturday. Cherry, chocolate and coconut has been a recent favorite combo of mine, so it seemed only right to translate that combo to muffins.

Chocolate-Striped Muffins

(Adapted from Simple Daily Recipes)

Ingredients:

Muffins:

  • 3/4 cups unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/4 cup water (only add this is you add the optional coconut flour)
  • 1/2 cup natural applesauce
  • 1/3 small banana + 1/2 tbsp flax + 1 tbsp water*
  • 2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1/4 cup coconut flour (optional)
  • 1/4 cup NuNaturals Stevia Baking Blend**
  • 1-4 tbsp Sucanat**
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup frozen cherries, chopped
  • 2 tsp coconut butter (optional)

Chocolate Stripe:

  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp honey/agave (or to taste)

*You could easily replace this with the full flax-egg sub, which is 1 tbsp ground flax + 3 tbsp water, or with 1 egg. I was just short on ground flax so I made the rest up with a banana. Also, some people like to mash/whisk it separately, but I just throw it all in the blender.

**The sweetener is totally subjective and is totally up to you. The original recipe calls for 1/2 cup sugar, but 1/4 cup NuNaturals Stevia Baking Blend (which measures cup for cup like sugar) was enough for me. I added the Sucanat because I thought it would provide a nice, rounded out sweetness but I’m not sure that I really noticed it. Like I said, it’s totally up to your discretion.

Process:

Preheat oven 400ºF degrees. Fill muffin pan with liners and spray liners non-stick cooking spray. (Or dab a small amount of oil in the inside of each liner with a paper towel) Remove cherries from freezer and allow them to slightly thaw.

Meanwhile, combine all three chocolate stripe ingredients in a small bowl. Spoon mixture onto a sheet of tin foil or wax paper and spread it thin, about 1/8 inch thick. Place sheet FLAT in freezer.

Blend milk, optional water, applesauce, banana, flax and water in a blender and set aside.

Stir flour(s), stevia, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl.

Make a well in the center and pour wet ingredients into the well.

Stir with a spoon just until the flour is moistened (batter will be lumpy) being careful not to overmix. Fold in cherries.

Divide batter among muffin cups. Make a small well in each muffin and place a drop or two of coconut butter in the well. Make sure to cover the coconut butter with batter again. Remove chocolate from freezer, peel off sheet and break into pieces. (There’s no set size; I’d guess maybe 1 inch by 1 inch pieces are best?) Carefully press a piece into each muffin, preferably vertically if you want the chocolate “stripe.” Bake until golden brown; about 15 minutes. Immediately remove from pan.

Pre-baking. Notice the vertical chocolate pieces and how I did NOT cover up the coconut butter. It ended up browning, and I think these would be much better with melty coconut butter inside rather than dried out coconut butter on top.

Fresh outta the oven!

I don’t know why, but I just love the chocolate stripe that some of them have. I tried to make them all that way but only some were successful.

Yum yummmm.

Ovenlight. Lol, this would’ve been really funny if it weren’t blurry. 😛 Oh, and the Silly Band kinda messes it up, too.

The verdict on these muffins? I absolutely loved them and would make them again in a heartbeat. My family was pretty fond of them, too! The addition of the coconut flour was totally on accident, but it ended up making the muffins so dense and chewy. I’d never used it before, but if you have access to coconut flour I would definitely recommend putting it in.

You may be wondering how I accidentally added coconut flour. Well, the truth is, it was supposed to be shredded coconut. I made coconut milk the other day (the pictures are on another camera so I’m not sure if I can put them up) and instead of grinding the pulp into shreds, I accidentally pulverized it. I didn’t really think it mattered, since coconut is coconut, but after toasting the flour and adding it to the recipe I realized it did matter. Pretty interesting!

(P.S. If anyone has a better name than what I was able to come up with, PLEASE let me know. Mine is super lame and I think it deserves an awesome name. :D)

Okay, abruptly changing topics? You betcha. I recently ran out of peanut butter (OIAJ pic to come) so I decided to make some almond butter. I toasted the almonds at 225º for 12 minutes, let them cool and blended ’em up in the Vita.

I also added a little bit of sea salt.

Surprisingly, this plain jane, nothin-but-salt-added almond butter was the best I’ve made yet. The problem with my first batch was that the almonds weren’t fully roasted, and my problem with the second batch was that the almonds had burned. Neither produced fabulous results, thus I felt the need to doctor them up with cinnamon, honey, and the like. For this batch, however, I luckily roasted the almonds perfectly. They blended up with ease and the result was incredible, creamy deliciousness. I’m definitely in love.

To break up the sweet theme here, yesterday I took part in another 24 hour fast! I do these once a month, so plan to hear about them often. Anyway, we usually like our break-the-fast dinner to be a bit more special than usual, so my family made a ham. I decided to make Angela’s Healing Cabbage, Potato, Carrot & Tomato Curry Stew and I am very glad I did.

My pictures do NOT do this recipe justice. Please visit Angela’s post and see her wonderful pictures! Mine simply do not suffice.

This stew was so wonderful. I enjoyed it very much, and I’ve also been enjoying the leftovers. I like to stir black beans and nutritional yeast into it for added protein. 🙂

The post-fast dinner always calls for dessert, too. I asked my older brother what he would like me to make, and he requested “brownies… with pudding.” Brownies with pudding it was.

Double Chocolate-Single Chin Brownies
(Adapted slightly from Peas & Thank You)

  • 3/4 c. whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1/4 c. coconut flour
  • 1/3 c. cocoa powder
  • 2 t. baking powder
  • 1/2 t. baking soda
  • 1/2 t. salt
  • 1 c. sweetened applesauce*
  • 1/4 c. NuNaturals Stevia Baking Blend (or sugar, sucanat, whatever)
  • 1/8 c. water or milk of choice

*Feel free to use unsweetened apple sauce and increase the amount of sweetener used. For me, it was either use a bottle of sweetened (natural) applesauce, or spend an additional 15 minutes washing, chopping and making applesauce. Um, yeah. I picked the bottle.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a large bowl, combine flours, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

In a smaller bowl, combine applesauce, sugar and water.

Add wet to dry and mix until just combined.

Pour batter into an 8×8 pan that has been sprayed with cooking spray. (DO not overlook this step and pour your batter into a 9×11 pan like I did. Dumb.)

Bake for 20 minutes or until brownies are set and edges are coming away from the pan. (Because of my pan mishap, my brownies were done in about 8 minutes. Woops.)

Lol, that’s exactly how my brownies baked. I poured the batter into the pan, began to spread it out and said “Wow, this did not make very much!” My mom walked over, took one look and said “Um, I think you were supposed to use an 8×8 pan.” She was right.

Oh well, they were still amazing. We all loved them, and my brothers were especially happy when I served them on top of a bowl of instant pudding. 🙂

So I definitely had no part in the creation of this next bit, but I wanted to show you the most adorable apple I have ever seen. A friend of ours recently gave us a bag of organic apples (thank you, friend!!) and this little one was hiding in there. So cute.

And so. dang. tiny. That is a small, 8oz. jar of Artisana Coconut Butter for size reference. It was literally the smallest apple I’ve ever seen.

The tiny little slices next to an average-sized paring knife. Aw.

Aghh, why do I always seem to write my posts late at night? It happens every time, and it absolutely astounds me. Why can’t I be on a normal schedule like.. well.. normal people? Maybe one of these days.

Question of the Day: What fun things have you been up to lately in the kitchen? I’d love to hear about them.

Thanks for reading!

P.S. Does my blog play a song when you visit the webpage?? I haven’t had sound on this computer for months, but it’s fixed now and I was shocked to hear Ashlee Tisdale playing when I went to my homepage.  So weird. Does anyone else hear that or is it just me? I have no idea where it’s coming from.

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12 responses to “Baking In the Moonlight

  1. spoonfulofsugarfree

    I’ve totally been in the mood for muffins lately, too….and pancakes….

    But these look good! You should call them something with “zebra” in it…cherry zebra muffins? red-poco-dot zebra muffins? ooo I like that one!

  2. Your blog does play a song! It’s kind of annoying, sorry. =P I just turn the volume down when I visit your page. . . Also, a 24 hours fast!? May I ask why?

    I received the teff flour in the mail yesterday, thank you sooo much for grinding it for me. I’m positive that my ordinary blender couldn’t have handled such a task.

  3. Kelsey these are amazing!! im glad my love of muffins contributed to ur inspiration! i love that these live up to their name and u can totally see the chocolate stripe! im sure id mess mine up but i wanna try making stipes in mine 🙂

    haha i just told my mom that you posted a recipe for single chin brownies and she burst out laughing. said it was the funniest and wittiest thing she’s heard of in awhile, i agree 😛

    xoxo ❤

  4. OK, I tried making pecan butter in the vita and…is the trick to roast the nuts first? Because I had the worst possible time…EVER!

    Those brownies look fantastic. I LOVE ANYTHING chocolate!

  5. Those baked goods look amazing, Kelsey, you could open your own bakery 🙂

    The song is playing from a photo slideshow you have on here in an older post – just fyi 🙂

  6. Oh wow those muffins look good! I really want to make them, like right now. I guess I better gather up the ingredients on my next grocery store outing.
    I really haven’t done much baking in the past few months as I’ve been trying to eat healthy and well that needs to change (the lack of baking part, not the healthy part)! I really want to try making my own almond butter too, yours looks awesome. Man, we really need to get together and do some healthy/clean cooking/baking :).

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  9. I have never heard of striped muffins before! Love it!

    I tried making almond butter last night. We had about 3 cups of almonds just sitting in our pantry. My VitaMix had a really hard time blending the almonds. It didn’t come out as creamy as yours! What kind of blender do you have?

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