Category Archives: breakfast

Caramelized Banana Coconut Chocolate Bread

You read that right – banana’s, coconuts, AND chocolate! When I see a recipe that combines all of the two Caroline’s very most favorite flavors I pretty much drop everything, turn on the oven and make that dessert with a quickness.  My sister 1.0 discovered this one and seriously, it did not disappoint.  I healthed it up slightly by adding some flax and wheat bran, but you can link to the original if you’d like.  I thought the few changes I made turned out incredible, it had such complexity of flavor with the unique caramelized bananas and the earthy sweetness that’s natural in whole grains like wheat bran and whole wheat flour then theres this melty chocolate and coconut giving you awesome texture and such a great flavor combo.  Yes, caramelizing the bananas is an extra step from regular old banana bread, but trust me, all that dark gooey goodness makes for an incredible loaf of sweet bread.

4 over-ripe bananas 2 tablespoons honey
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup whole wheat flour (I used the trader joes “white whole wheat” and it was fantastic)
1/4 cup wheat bran (or wheat germ)
1 tablespoon ground flax seed
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup coconut milk (I used the almond coconut milk combo because that’s what I had around and it worked great)
2 tablespoons greek yogurt (or sour cream)
1/2 cup coconut oil (you could sub with any vegetable oil)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4-5 ounces chocolate chips or chopped dark chocolate
1/2 cup sweetned flake coconut (toast if you would like by putting in your hot oven for about 4-5 minutes until lightly brown)
2 tablespoons unsweetened coconut flakes for the top

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper (you could also use a silpat but parchment is handy for getting all the delicious bits into your bread dough).  Peel the bananas and lay them flat on the baking sheet.   Drizzle each with honey and then sprinkle with cinnamon.  Roast them for 20-25 minutes or until the tops of the bananas are very golden brown and caramelized.  Remove from the oven and let cool 5-10 minutes.  Once cool enough to handle, mash the bananas and set aside.  Reduce oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Spray a 9×5 loaf pan thoroughly with nonstick spray. In a small bowl, combine the whole wheat flour, wheat bran, flax, all-purpose flour, baking soda and salt, whisking thoroughly. Set aside.

  3. In a large bowl, whisk together eggs and brown sugar until smooth. Add in coconut milk, yogurt (or sour cream) and coconut oil, whisking until combined. Stir in mashed bananas and vanilla until mixed. Slowly stir in dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Fold in the chopped chocolate and toasted coconut. Pour batter into the greased loaf pan and sprinkle with the remaining unsweetened coconut flakes.

  4. Bake for 50-60 minutes, or until center is set. If the top begins to brown (mine did after about 45 minutes), you may want to tent the bread with aluminum foil.

  5. Remove and let cool a solid 20 minutes before cutting, if you can handle it, the smell is incredible and the taste will rock your world!  Keeps for 3-5 days covered.

Recipe adapted from Half Baked Harvest Toasted Coconut Chocolate Chunk Roasted Banana Bread

Chocolate Zucchini Muffins

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Chocolate Zucchini Muffins by twocarolines.com

For this Muffin Monday I want to share our families number one favorite muffins.  These Chocolate Zucchini Muffins are hearty, like a muffin should be, always moist because 2 cups of zucchini, but they taste like dessert because CHOCOLATE! And your friends named Caroline are always game for a day that starts with chocolate.  This recipe makes 24 muffins, which is awesome because they freeze really well and we usually end up eating them for weeks.  I honestly make them ALL THE TIME, because my kids are terrible at breakfast without these lovely gems.  I wrap each one with plastic wrap then defrost them in the microwave, it’s also nice to take a little plate of them to a friend or neighbor, and if you put some frosting or melted chocolate on top they double as a cupcake!

1 cup coconut oil (you can use vegetable oil of most any variety, or even butter if you want)
1 1/2 cups white sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
3 eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour (you could use all white, but I’m healthing it up for you!)
(scant) 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cardamon
2 cups grated zucchini
1 cup chocolate chips

  1. Preheat oven to 350 and line two 12 count muffin tins with liners or grease them.
  2. In a large bowl beat the oil and sugars for a few minutes than add the eggs beating after each addition.  Add the vanilla and mix well.
  3. These muffins work out for me even when I add the dry ingredients into the bowl of wet ingredients, but if you want to be sure everything is mixed you can pre-mix the dry ingredients.  Add flours and on top of that put your cocoa then add the baking soda and baking powder, salt, and spices.  Mix all of that in adding your zucchini once the dry ingredients are incorporated then put in your chocolate chips and make sure it’s all combined.
  4. Pour batter into prepared muffin tins filling about 3/4 full.  Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes until a toothpick in the middle comes out clean or with just a few moist crumbs.  Remove from pan and let cool on a wire rack.  Store loosely covered and whatever you don’t eat after the first day or two wrap individually with plastic wrap and freeze to eat for weeks.

 

Pumpkin Banana Pecan Muffins

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Pumpkin Banana Pecan Muffins by twocarolines.com

Over here in the King home we are fans of muffins.  The one we eat the very most often is my chocolate zucchini muffins because of the well established fact that we believe in chocolate for breakfast whenever possible.  Of course we also eat more bananas than a family of chimps, so I was excited to discover this new banana muffin recipe that uses all whole grain wheat and pumpkin.  I’m betting by late November my blood type will be pumpkin spice.  The banana pumpkin combo made for such a moist and delicious muffin, and I added some chocolate chips because of the aforementioned insistence on chocolate for breakfast.

1/2 cup (8 tablespoons) soft butter
2/3 cup brown sugar
(scant) 1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 cup (7 1/2 to 8 ounces, 1/2 can) puréed pumpkin
1 cup (8 ounces) mashed banana, the riper the better
2 tablespoons orange juice or water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup diced toasted pecans (optional obviously – I used the Trader Joes candied pecans)
1/2 cup chocolate chips (optional)
1/4 cup demerara coarse sugar for sprinkling

  1. Prepare 2 standard muffin tins using liners or baking spray and preheat oven to 350.
  2. Beat together the butter, sugars, eggs, pumpkin, banana, water (or OJ), and vanilla.  Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon and stir well to combine.  Next, if using, add the pecans and chocolate chips.
  3. Pour 3/4 full into your prepared pan (you can also do this in a loaf but bake it for about 45-60 minutes paying closer attention to doneness than bake time).  Sprinkle tops of muffins with coarse demerara sugar and bake for 16-18 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean from the top of your largest muffin.  Let cool a few minutes in the pan then turn out on a rack to cool completely.

Recipe adapted from King Arthur Flour Whole Grain Pumpkin Banana Bread

Sour Cream Blueberry Bran Muffins

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Sour Cream Blueberry Bran Muffins

I’m such a bran fan, it’s a texture thing, probably the same thing that makes our blog so full of oats, coconuts, pecans and other such chewy crunchy delights.  These bran muffins are one of my faves, they don’t require blueberries, you could also add raisins, craisins, dates, other fresh berries, even chocolate!  Even if you add nothing, it’s a fantastic little muffin.  They will reliably turn out hearty, fiber full and delicious.  I prefer to eat them with only a pat of butter because the flavor is so amazing, but they are not a super sweet muffin, so some might like to serve with honey or jam.  The cool bran muffin bonus is loads of healthy fiber which has been proven to keep you full longer and has all sorts of those hard to find omega 3’s.  See?! Your friends named Caroline do care about your heart health and how you look in your jeans (at least today we do, tomorrow we will go back to fueling your love handles)   -CK 2.0

1 stick (1/2 cup) butter, softened
1/3 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs, beaten lightly
1 cup sour cream or yogurt
1/4 cup dark molasses
1/2 cup blueberries (or raisins, cranberries, or other diced dried fruit)
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup wheat bran 
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

  1. Preheat oven to 400 and grease a 12 count muffin tin.  I put cupcake liners and spray just a bit into the bottom of them.
  2. In a large bowl with an electric mixer cream together the butter and the brown sugar until the mixture is light and fluffy, beat in the eggs, the sour cream or yogurt, and the molasses, and stir in the fruit.
  3. In a bowl whisk together the flour, the baking soda, the salt, the cinnamon (optional) and the bran, add the mixture to the sour cream mixture, and stir the batter until it is just combined. (The batter will be lumpy.)
  4. Spoon the batter with a 1/3 cup into your prepared muffin tins and bake the muffins in the middle of a preheated 400°F. oven for 15 to 20 minutes, or until they are golden brown and springy to the touch. Turn the muffins out onto a rack and let them cool.

Recipe adapted from Smitten Kitchen Sour Cream Bran Muffins

Blueberry Cornmeal Butter Muffins

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Blueberry Cornmeal Butter Muffins by twocarolines.com

Mornings are better with muffins, and if your muffins are Blueberry Cornmeal Butter Muffins you’re pretty much guaranteed and epic day.  As you might have noticed, we eat blueberries in large amounts around here.  I like to down them by the handful and so do my kids so we keep a rich supply and sometimes they just call to me saying “please bake me into something delicious” and usually I acquiesce.  The cornmeal makes these have such a magical texture, and I love the lemon zest with the touch of cinnamon in your streusel, they are pretty amazing.  I’ve been making this beautiful batter as a cake for years, but I decided to make it into muffins because they are easier to share, and I freeze what we don’t eat the first day to make for more great muffin mornings.  I give you instructions for the cake version too, in case you have a cake habit like me.

Muffins:

1/2 cup butter at room temperature

1 cup flour

1/2 cup cornmeal

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon table salt

1 cup sugar

2 large eggs

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest

1/3 cup sour cream

2 cups blueberries

Streusel:

1/2 cup sugar

6 tablespoons all purpose flour

2 tablespoons cornmeal

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

pinch of salt

3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

  1. Preheat oven to 350.  Line 12 muffin tin with liners and lightly spray the bottom (or spray and parchment line an 8×8 pan if making cake).
  2. Whisk the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl, and set aside.
  3. Using an electric mixer beat the butter with sugar in a large bowl until pale and fluffy – at least a few minutes.  Beat in the eggs one at a time, scraping down the bowl occasionally.  Next add the vanilla and zest.
  4. Add a third of flour mixture, all of the sour cream, and another third of the flour, beating until just blended after each addition.  Scrape down sides of bowl then mix the remaining third of the flour mixture with the blueberries folding the flour/blueberry layer into the cake batter (coating your blueberries in the flour helps them stay evenly distributed instead of dropping to the bottom of your muffins).
  5. Fill each muffin liner about 2/3 of the way full.  (or spread into prepared pan for a cake)
  6. To make the streusel combine the dry ingredients than mash in the butter with a fork or pastry blender.  Top each of the muffins with about 1/8-1/4 cup of streusel (or spread evenly on top if you’re making cake).
  7. Bake muffins at 350 for about 20 minutes (in my oven it took 22 minutes) until golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean.  (For a cake about 35 minutes).  cool for about 10 minutes and enjoy!

Recipe adapted from Smitten Kitchen Cookbook Blueberry Cornmeal Butter Cake

Mixed Berry Crumb Cake

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Mixed Berry Crumb Cake by twocarolines

I’ve been making this Mixed Berry Crumb Cake for years and it never disappoints – I just love the hint of lemon and the way the Barefoot Contessa went heavy on the streusel, a thick crumble always speaks to my heart.  I often make it with blueberries, fresh if I have them or frozen, but today I happened to have a small amount of fresh blueberries, raspberries and strawberries which added up to one cup of mixed berry deliciousness.  Of course it has a breakfast cake vibe, but dress it up with some pow sugar and call it a desert cake anytime, it has the tasty talent to be both!

For the streusel:

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1/3 cup light brown sugar packed

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon nutmeg

1/2 cup butter melted

1 1/3 cup all purpose flour

For the cake:

6 tablespoons butter at room temperature

3/4 cups granulated sugar

2 large eggs at room temperature

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest

2/3 cup sour cream

1 1/4 cup all purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1 cup fresh berries (blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, or strawberries)

confectioners sugar for sprinkling

  1. Preheat oven to 350.  Grease a 9 inch round baking pan – I like to line bottom with parchment so my cake comes out clean with every slice, but you don’t need to.
  2. For the streusel, combine the granulated sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon,, and the nutmeg in a bowl.  Stir in the melted butter and then the flour.  Mix well and set aside.
  3. For the cake, cream the butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on high speed for 4-5 minutes, until light.  Reduce the speed to low and add the eggs one at a time, then the vanilla, lemon zest, and sour cream.
  4. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  With the mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture to the batter until just combined.  Fold in the berries and stir with a spatula to be sure the batter in completely mixed.
  5. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan and spread it out with a knife.  With your fingers, crumble the topping evenly over the batter.
  6. Bake for 40-45 minutes, until a cake toothpick comes out clean.  Let cool and serve with confectioners sugar.
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Mixed Berry Crumble Cake by twocarolines

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Recipe adapted from Barefoot Contessa at Home 2006

 

 

Brown Sugar Apple Cake

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brown sugar apple cake

There are so many apple cakes out and about these days, and at least as many coffee cakes, and probably hundreds of cinnamon crumb type of cake situations, but I swear, this one wins on all counts.  I call it Brown Sugar Apple Cake because it has 2.5 cups of that sweet brown goodness.  So I might be failing a little when it comes to the expressed goals at our last twocarolines meeting to include more simple (hello- babka!) and healthy (um….nope) recipes.  I will keep those goals in mind in future postings, but for now, I will show you how to make what is truly one of the most delicious cakes in my repertoire. We usually eat it as a breakfast cake but it certainly has what it takes to star in a dessert cake show as well.  And you’re welcome to omit the apples, if you’re CRAZY! This cake won’t judge, it bakes up perfect either way.

For the cake:

1 stick butter

1 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar

2 large eggs

2 cups all purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup sour cream

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 cups peeled, cored and chopped apples (usually 2 large-medium apples)

Crumble Topping:

1/2 cup packed light brown sugar

1/2 cup all purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

4 tablespoons unsalted butter softened

Brown Sugar Glaze:

1/2 cup packed light brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 tablespoons water

 

Make the Cake:

  1. Preheat oven to 350.  Lightly grease a 9×13 glass baking dish with either butter or cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Add the eggs 1 at a time, beating after the addition of each.
  3. In a seperate bowl mix flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt.
  4. Add to the wet ingredients, alternating with the sour cream and vanilla.
  5. Fold in the apples. Pour into prepared baking dish spreading out to the edges

Make the Topping:

  1. In a bowl combine the sugar, flour, cinnamon, and butter, and mix until it resembles course crumbs.  Sprinkle topping over cake.
  2. Bake until golden brown and set, 35-40 minutes.  Remove from the oven and let cool 5 minutes or so.

Make the Glaze:

  1. Combine the sugar, vanilla, and water and mix until smooth.  Drizzle the cake with the glaze and let harden slightly.

I think this cake is best after it’s cooled down completely, but if you can’t help yourself go ahead and serve warm.  It keeps as long as it’s sealed for a good 3-4 days.

Recipe adapted from Emeril Lagasse Apple Coffee Cake with Crumble Topping and Brown Sugar Glaze 

 

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Double Dark Chocolate Muffins

IMG_0302Chocolate for breakfast is kind of a thing for us here at the King casa – one of my children would go to school hungry if I didn’t give her something slathered in Nutella every morning.  The only time she’ll make an exception is when there’s a chocolate muffin involved.  This is only one of our favorite chocolate muffin recipes the other I will share with you soon – but let’s be honest and admit that sometimes, we eat an unfrosted cupcake for breakfast and call it a muffin so we can pull it off.  These are so decadent that a swirl of frosting on top would make for an epic cupcake, but because some nights (particularly the ones with newborn babies) require sweet chocolately mornings, I’m going to call these muffins and feel really good about it.

 

Ingredients –

2/3 cup dutch process cocoa (you can totally use normal cocoa, but the dark and decadent factor goes through the roof when you use the good stuff)

2 cups all purpose flour

1 1/2 cups light brown sugar

1 teaspoon baking powder

3/4 teaspoon espresso powder (I don’t have any so I don’t use this)

1 teaspoon baking soda

3/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup chocolate chips

2 large eggs

3/4 cup milk

2 teaspoons vanilla

2 teaspoons vinegar

1/2 cup butter melted (or you can use 1/3 cup vegetable oil – I like to use coconut oil but those pictured have butter)

course sugar or pearl sugar for topping

 

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350.  Line standard muffin pan with cups and grease the bottoms of your cups.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the cocoa, flour, sugar, baking powder, espresso (if using) baking soda, salt and chocolate chips.  Set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl , whisk together the eggs, milk, vanilla, and vinegar.  Add the wet ingredients, along with the melted butter, to the dry ingredients, stirring to blend; there’s no need to beat these muffins, just mix until combined.
  4. Scoop the batter into the prepared muffin tin.  Sprinkle with raw sugar or pearl sugar.  Note that the cups will be heaped with batter and the muffin will bake into a mushroom shape.
  5. Bake the muffins for 20-25 minutes – mine are usually done closer to 20, or until a cake tester comes out clean.  Remove from the oven and after 5 minutes take muffins out of the pan and allow them to cool on a rack for about 15 minutes before eating.  I individually wrap what we don’t eat the first day or two and put them in the freezer so we can defrost in the morning and eat them for weeks.

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Recipe from King Arthur Flour Chocolate Breakfast Muffins – side note, their website is so awesome and their Instagram feed is beautiful so check it if you’re into food!