Chocolate Greek Yogurt Banana Bread

My sister served me this bread last week for breakfast and I enjoyed it quite a bit, so this weekend I decided to make myself a loaf. It's a wholesome chocolate banana bread made with whole wheat flour and Greek yogurt. When eating a breakfast bread, I like like having a nice thick slice; something I can really sink my teeth into. This bread is perfect for that. And topped with a little peanut butter for a little extra protein umph is my favorite way to finish it off! 

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I streamlined the original recipe here, just so I didn't have to use as many bowls! Mix the wet ingredients in one bowl, the wet in another and mix them together. Done. I also did what I seem to always do and cut back on the sugar from 1/2 c honey, to 2 tbs honey + 2 tbs brown sugar (so 1/4 cup total). Feel free to double this for a sweeter and more indulgent bread. 

 
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Chocolate Greek Yogurt Banana Bread
Adapted from The Baker Mama 
Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups (180 grams) whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup (40 grams) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons (42 grams) honey
  • 2 tablespoons (25 grams) brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup (110 grams) milk
  • 1 cup (225 grams) mashed ripe banana; about 2 large bananas
  • 1/2 - 1 cup dark chocolate chips or chunks (optional)

Directions
Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease and flour a 9x5-inch loaf pan and set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt, set aside.

In a large bowl, beat together the remaining ingredients until well combined. Add the dry mixture to the wet mixture and mix with a spatula until mostly combined. Add in the chocolate chips or chocolate chunks if using, and continue to mix until completely combined with no more streaks of dry flour in the batter. Batter will be thick.

Spread batter evenly into prepared loaf pan. Press more chocolate chips into the top of the batter before baking, if desired. Bake on the middle rack of the oven for about 50 minutes, turning halfway through, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the loaf comes out with a few moist crumbs. Let the bread cool in the pan for about 20 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely and serve.

Yields: 8-10 slices

Chocolate Coconut Crunch

ALERT: Highly Addictive Recipe!!! Be forewarned, you may end up eating the whole batch at once! If you're looking for something new and delicious to snack on, this is the recipe for you. Puffed kamut or rice (or other puffed grains) combined with coconut, cocoa and chocolate along with a little butter (mmmm!!) and maple syrup for sweetness and then baked turn out this addictive and delicious snack that you may not be able to stop eating! Don't say I didn't warn you!

This recipe has just the right amount of coconut to add richness and a hint of coconut flavoring without overwhelming the whole batch. Next time I make this I plan sprinkle some flake salt over the whole thing right before it goes in the oven for that wonderful salty/sweet combo. I used butter instead of coconut oil which is what the original recipe called for, and cut back just a little on the amount. I also decreased the maple syrup from 1/2 to 1/3 cup maple syrup and thought it was still plenty sweet. With the chocolate in there too I don't feel the need for as much maple syrup, but to eat their own! 1/4 cup? 1/2 cup? It really doesn't matter. What matters is how do you like it? I guess you'll have to try it and find out!

 
 
 
 

Chocolate Coconut Crunch
Adapted from Alexandra Cooks
Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cup (120 grams) oats
  • 2 cups (30 grams) puffed kamut, alternatively you can use brown rice cereal or Rice Krispies
  • 1/2 cup (35 grams) shredded coconut
  • 3 tablespoons (15 grams) cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons (42 grams) butter or coconut oil
  • 1 1/2 ounces chocolate
  • 1/3 cup (110 grams) maple syrup

Direction
Preheat oven to 275ºF. In a large bowl, combine oats, puffed kamut or rice cereal, coconut, cocoa powder, and salt. Toss to combine.

Place the butter or coconut oil and dark chocolate together in a small bowl and microwave until completely melted. Stir to blend; then add to dry ingredients along with the maple syrup. Stir until well combined.

Turn mixture out onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. Spread into an even layer. Cook 35-40 minutes, rotating baking sheet halfway through. To maintain large chunks, do not stir the mixture. Remove from oven and let cool. Break into shards or into small pieces.

Classic Brownies

It's been a couple weeks since I posted anything but I promise that I had good reason - I was in Europe for 10 days!! My sister and I went on a fantastic trip to the Netherlands and France and we had such a wonderful time. I will be sharing pics (LOTS of food pics!) soon, once I can go through all my photos, so stay tuned! 

Until then, enjoy this recipe for classic brownies. I'd have to say that brownies are one of my all time favorite desserts. They are easy, delicious, and always a crowd pleaser. I like my brownies rich and fudgy, those recipes that are full of butter, chocolate (not just cocoa powder) and eggs, with a tiny bit of flour to hold everything together. The only problem with these type of recipes is that I don't always have enough chocolate in the pantry to make them as they often call for 8+ ounces of chocolate (plus this can quickly get quite expensive).

I thought this recipe was a good compromise. It calls for some melted chocolate, but not half a pound of it, and only 6 tablespoons of butter which is really reasonable in a brownie. They are super easy to throw together and bake up beautifully, fudgy and dense, moist and chewy. Great chocolate flavor, a great go-to brownie recipe. 

When I was trying to find a brownie recipe to make I couldn't find anything just right. The recipe I used as a starting point for this recipe looked perfect, the only problem was it called for unsweetened chocolate which I did not have and didn't want to go buy at the time. I decided to try and adapt it so I could use bittersweet chocolate and just see how it worked. So I replaced the unsweetened chocolate with bittersweet chocolate, cut back a bit on the sugar, and added a little cocoa powder to boost up the chocolate flavor. In the end I thought they turned out great! I don't know how they compare to the original but it doesn't really matter, they are great as written below. If I ever find myself with some unsweetened chocolate maybe I'll try making the original recipe, but until then these brownies will do just fine!

 
 
 
 

 

Classic Brownies
Heavily adapted from Cook's Illustrated
Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup (2 1/4 ounces) all purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/8 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 3/4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, at least 60% cocoa
  • 6 tablespoons (3 ounces) butter
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
  • 1 cup (7 ounces) sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Directions
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Prepare a 8-inch square or similar sized baking dish by lining it with parchment paper and greasing the parchment with butter. Set aside. In a medium bowl, combine flour, salt, and baking powder; set aside.

Melt chocolate and butter in the microwave in 15-30 second intervals, stirring after each interval, being sure you don't overheat the chocolate. When chocolate is smooth and melted add the sugar and stir until well combined. Add eggs one at a time, whisking after each egg until completely combined. Add in vanilla.

Add 1/3 flour mixture, fold in with rubber spatula. Repeat until all flour is used and mix is smooth. Pour batter into prepared pan- make sure to spread into corners of pan. Smooth the surface for even baking.

Bake brownies for 30 to 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the brownies comes out almost clean. Cool in pan on wire rack for 10 minutes. Then carefully remove brownies from pan by lifting out the parchment. Transfer to wire rack and cool completely before cutting. For cleanest slicing, once brownies are almost completely cool, place in the freezer for 30-60 minutes until chilled all the way through before cutting. 

Microwave Chocolate Brownies

Do you ever have it where you're sitting at home and suddenly you get a craving for something rich and chocolatey? It might be a little later and so you don't feel like pulling out all of the stops and actually making a full pan of brownies or cookies, but you still want something to satisfy that sweet tooth. Well I'll admit, that this occurs to me quite frequently. Although I usually have something in the freezer that I can pull out for a bedtime snack, once in a while my freezer fails me and I have nothing to sweet to eat.

This happened to me a couple of weeks ago, I was craving something warm and gooey and chocolaty and didn't know what to do about it. That's when I thought about all the recipes I've seen for a single serving brownie you make in mug and cook in the microwave. This sounded quick and easy and perfect. I went online to find a recipe and settled on this one because it had good reviews and included butter, not oil like a lot of them do.

The verdict: this was the perfect thing to satisfy my chocolate craving, and it was so simple. I'll admit, I've made it several times since and have loved it. So if you have an intense desire for something chocolaty, but don't have much time to do something about it, this is the perfect fix.

A few years back I finally caved in and bought one of those Betty Crocker Warm Delights. I had always wanted to try one, they secretly looked quite tasty to me. But when I made it I admit I was disappointed. I just didn't think it was all that good. This recipe reminded me of that, but a thousand times better. Is it the best brownie I have ever eaten, of course not. But when all you need is a little chocolate to improve your day, this is a good way to do it!

Start with butter, I already didn't follow the directions, it's supposed to be melted, whoops! Turned out anyway!

Water, vanilla, salt and sugar next

Cocoa

Mix it all up

Finally the flour

Give it a good stir

Bake (as it were) for about 45 seconds in the microwave

Trust me, this brownie demands ice cream, 

if you don't have any, go buy some

Wait for it to melt, if you can

It doesn't last long

Microwave Brownie
Adapted from: food.com
Ingredients

  • 1 Tbs butter, melted
  • 1 Tbs water
  • dash vanilla
  • dash salt
  • 2 Tbs sugar
  • 1 Tbs cocoa
  • 2 Tbs flour

Directions
In a 6 oz ramekin or mug add butter, water, vanilla and salt, whisk well

Add cocoa, whisk well.

Add sugar, whisk well.

Add flour, whisk well.

Microwave for 45-50 seconds, center should be molten, don't overcook

Top with ice cream and enjoy!

Chocolate Madeleines

Chocolate cake was sounding good to me this weekend, but I didn't feel like taking the time to make a whole chocolate cake, plus what would I do with it? I just can't justify eating the whole thing on my own. Then I remembered my Madeleine pan; bite size chocolate cake that don't need to be frosted, perfect! This recipe requires an overnight chill in the fridge, so you have to think ahead a little, but the end product was delicious. Intensely rich, deep chocolate flavor packaged up in a two bite snack, just the right thing to satisfy my chocolate cake craving.

A simple and delicious recipe, it shouldn't have been a problem right? Well, when your oven decides to die the day you are ready to bake it is a problem. There my batter was, waiting patiently in the fridge, but there was no usable oven in sight. I finally texted my sister-in-law and asked if I could come over and borrow her oven, I didn't want all my efforts to go to waste. I'm glad I was able to end up baking these little guys, they made my Saturday afternoon study session much happier. If you have a Madeleine pan I highly recommend giving these little guys a try!

Wet and dry, ready to go

Time to chill in the fridge

A perfect little snack

Chocolate Madeleines
From Lemon and Anchovies
Ingredients

  • ½ cup plus 1 tablespoon (70 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 3½ tablespoons Dutch-processed cocoa powder
  • ½ teaspoon double-acting baking powder
  • ⅓ cup plus two tablespoons (90 grams) sugar
  • Pinch of salt (I don't think my pinch was quite big enough, they could have used a little more salt, so don't be afraid to take a nice big pinch!)
  • Grated zest of ¼ lemon (optional)
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 6½ tablespoons (3¼ ounces; 100 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature

Directions
Sift together the flour, cocoa and baking powder and set aside. If using the lemon zest, combine the sugar, salt and lemon zest in another bowl and rub the ingredients together with your fingertips until the sugar is moist, grainy and aromatic.

Using a whisk, beat the eggs with the lemon-sugar mixture until blended. Squish the butter through your fingers and add to the bowl. You will be left with little clumps of butter in the mixture–this is okay. Beat in the butter with the whisk until it is evenly distributed. Whisk in the sifted flour mixture just until the flour is incorporated and mixture is smooth. Press a piece of plastic wrap against the surface of the batter and chill overnight. If you can’t wait overnight, chill the batter for at least an hour before baking.

When you are ready to bake the cookies, preheat your oven to 425 degrees F. Butter a 12-mold madeleine pan then dust it with flour (even if you are using a nonstick pan) and tap out the excess.

Divide the batter evenly among the madeleine molds–you don’t have to worry about spreading the batter on the molds, the heat will do that for you. Place the pan in the oven and use a wooden spoon to keep the oven door slightly ajar. Immediately turn down the oven temperature to 350 degrees F and bake the cookies for 11 – 13 minutes, or until the cookies are domed and spring back when pressed lightly. Unmold the cookies and transfer them to a rack to cool to room temperature.