Carrot Coconut Muffins – A MUST Try Muffin Recipe

With the mild weather we have been having here I was in the mood this week to bake up some muffins…but not just any kind! I invited my mom over (we have a weekly Wednesday bake/cook date!) and told her we were going to be making muffins and she suggested carrot…but with a TWIST!! We ended up deciding on Carrot Coconut Muffins, two of my favorite things in one muffin, and got to work on the recipe to make it perfect for you! And let me just tell you…they are AMAZING! They are perfectly moist with a slightly crunchy top, and the coconut compliments the carrot with a gentle sweetness you aren’t expecting.

Muffin-Batter

 

Notice how I topped them off with the shredded coconut before going into the oven? This gave them a lovely toasted coconut top to bite into…YUM!

Carrot Coconut Muffins

Carrot Coconut Muffins

Ingredients

  • 2 c Flour
  • 1/2 c Margarine (you can use butter if you prefer but this works just fine!)
  • 1/2 c Brown Sugar
  • 1/2 c Granulated Sugar
  • 3 c Shredded Carrots (about 3 lg carrots)
  • 2 Lg Eggs
  • 1 tsp Vanilla
  • 1/2 c Vegetable Oil
  • 1 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/4 tsp Nutmeg
  • 1 1/2 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1/2 c Shredded Sweetened Coconut (+more for topping)
  • Pinch of Salt

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 and line a muffin tin with 12 muffin liners
  2. In stand mixer cream together margarine with sugars until light and fluffy. Add in oil, eggs and vanilla and beat on medium-high until mixed together.
  3. In a separate bowl, sift together dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, baking powder, spices, and salt). Slowly add to the wet ingredients and mix until just combined.
  4. Stir in the shredded carrot and coconut.
  5. Fill muffin cups (all the way if you want a nice fluffy and full muffin!) and cook for 22 minutes (until a toothpick comes out clean).
  6. Remove and allow to cool.
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These Muffins are perfectly moist with a slightly crunchy top, and the coconut compliments the carrot with a gentle sweetness you aren't expecting. Add them to your baking list now!

These Muffins are perfectly moist with a slightly crunchy top, and the coconut compliments the carrot with a gentle sweetness you aren’t expecting. Add them to your baking list now!

TIPS AND TRICKS FOR THE PERFECT carrot coconut MUFFINs EVERY TIME!
  • Use a julienne peeler to make shredding your carrots super easy!
  • Do not over mix your batter, once you add your dry ingredients you want to mix until just combined…this will keep them fluffy and light!
  • Be sure to sift your dry ingredients before adding them to the wet, this ensures you don’t end up with clumps of baking soda all in one bite.
  • Use a cookie scoop to fill muffin liners and prevent a sticky mess on the pan that will burn in the oven! This also makes sure you have the same amount in each cup, which means even cooking times!
  • If you are looking for nice full top muffins you want to make sure you are filling your muffin cups to the top! This gives them the perfect muffin top! (take a look at the picture above to see how much I filled my muffin cups).
  • You can freeze these (and most muffins) in a tightly sealed container so you can enjoy them later!

Well, what are you waiting for?! I bet you have all the ingredients you need to make these Carrot Coconut Muffins RIGHT NOW!

Easy Nutella Brownies – Fudgey and Chewy!

I am gonna just start by saying that these Nutella Brownies are the BEST brownies you will ever make!!! And I do not say that lightly friends. As you know I am a major chocoholic and brownies may as well be listed as a food group for me.

Easy Nutella Brownies - The BEST brownie you will ever make! Perfectly chewy and full of Nutella flavor! Check out this recipe and more at TheOliveBlogger.com

Easy Nutella Brownies – The BEST brownie you will ever make! Perfectly chewy and full of Nutella flavor! Check out this recipe and more at TheOliveBlogger.com

As part of this months Blogger Recipe Swap that I participate in I was tasked with making something from Aileen Cooks (you guys gotta check her out!). I had so much trouble finding just ONE thing to make but as soon as I saw her Nutella Brownies I was done…heart stopped, drool running down my face, done. I mean can you blame me…look at them!!!

Fudgey-Nutella-Brownies

 

Just looking at that giant plate of goodness makes me want more…sadly we brought them all to a dinner party with friends and they were DEVOURED which meant no leftovers for us! But hey that’s okay, just means I get to make another batch…just for me…for me and my hubby of course!

Easy Nutella Brownies

Easy Nutella Brownies

Ingredients

  • 2/3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1½ cups Nutella
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease a square 8x8 baking dish and set aside.
  2. Combine Nutella, eggs, and vanilla in stand mixer until well combined.
  3. In a small bowl, sift together the flour, salt, and baking soda.
  4. Fold the dry ingredients into the Nutella mixture until JUST combined.
  5. Add in the chocolate chips and gently mix in.
  6. Pour the brownie batter into the greased baking dish and bake 22-25 minutes.
  7. Let cool before serving.
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Be sure to check out the original recipe and many other yummy eats over at Aileen Cooks!

Chicken BLTA Salad with Avocado Dressing

I am so excited to feature this Chicken BLTA Salad from my friend Amber over at Simply Made Recipes! It is a delicious and fresh salad to help start your new year off right! This salad is LOADED with veggies and protein and is even topped off with a delicious avocado “bomb” sauce, which makes it perfect for lunch or dinner.

Chicken-Salad

 

Are you wondering what the BLTA stands for?? Well let me tell you!

B: Bacon

L: Lettuce

T: Tomato

A: Avocado

I mean, really guys, this salad is guaranteed to become a new favorite in your household!! Enjoy!

Chicken BLTA Salad. A delicious salad loaded with bacon, lettuce, tomatoes and avocados and topped off with an awesome avocado dressing! Guest post up now!

Chicken BLTA Salad. A delicious salad loaded with bacon, lettuce, tomatoes and avocados and topped off with an awesome avocado dressing! Guest post up now!

Chicken BLTA Salad with Avocado Dressing

Chicken BLTA Salad with Avocado Dressing

Ingredients

  • 1/2 avocado
  • 1/2 jalapeno
  • 1/2 cup shredded Monterey jack cheese
  • 1/2 chicken breast (cooked and cooled, cut into strips)
  • 4 slices bacon (cooked and chopped)
  • 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes
  • 3 cups baby spinach
  • desired amount of "Bomb"Sauce (from Simply Made Recipes)
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Cooking Instructions HERE

Try these other recipes along with your Salad!!


Best of: Breakfast Muffins (Sweet and Savory!)

Hey Everyone!

Wheww so crazy to think we are already in 2017…like where did 2016 go!? I can’t say that I am not happy about that though, 2016 was definitely not my favorite year and I cannot wait to see all the goodies we are going to cook up for ya’ll this year! With that being said, I thought this was the perfect time to start talking about breakfast…specifically Breakfast Muffins! So I decided to compile a lovely list of some of my favorite Breakfast Muffins from some of my favorite blogger friends!

The very best Breakfast Muffins to start any day! Loaded with traditional savory muffins as well as some sweet treats to curb your morning sugar cravings!

The very best Breakfast Muffins to start any day! Loaded with traditional savory muffins as well as some sweet treats to curb your morning sugar cravings!

I chose to share both the savory and sweet types of muffins you can make to enjoy. Let’s be honest we don’t all want to eat an egg and veggies every morning!

banana walnut breakfast muffins from: today’s creative life

These scrumptious little gems have a gooey fruit and honey filled center that will brighten up your mornings. Recipe yields 24 muffins, perfect for having on hand during the week for  grab-n-go.

BANANA-WALNUT-MUFFINS

 

 

 

 

 

 

Click here for the full recipe now!

Turkey Bacon and Egg Breakfast Muffins from: mess for less

This muffin is an update on the traditional egg breakfast muffin that uses pork bacon, making this one less salty and an all around healthier option for those of us wanting to start this new year off right! I love that you can freeze these ones too and enjoy them whenever you want with just a quick heat in the microwave.

Turkey-Bacon-Breakfast-Muffins

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Click here for the full recipe now!

grab and go baked oatmeal muffins from:typically simple

A super simple morning treat that uses bananas rather than flour to make a yummy muffin you can take anywhere. She even adds in some chocolate chips and mixed nuts (which you can omit) to curb that pesky sweet tooth!

Baked-Oatmeal-Muffins

 

 

 

 

 

Click here to get the full recipe now!

broccoli, bacon and egg cups from: domestic superhero 

Here is another savory muffin for ya’ll and this one is loaded with broccoli, bacon and cheese(3 things after my heart!!) making it a perfect breakfast muffin in my eyes!

Broccoli-Bacon-and-Egg-Cups

 

 

 

 

 

 

Click here for the full recipe now!

lemon poppy paleo muffins from: cook eat paleo 

A delicious and flavorful muffin for you to enjoy any day of the week, this Lemon Poppy muffin is a real treat! This muffin screams Spring for me. which means I will be making them ASAP in hopes to bring it around sooner (a girl can hope can’t she?!)

lemon-poppy-muffins

 

 

 

 

 

 

Click here for the full recipe now!

 

Well friends, there you have it! 5 delicious Breakfast Muffins to start off any day of the week! I hope you are inspired to get in the kitchen and start making these goodies, and are with me to start 2017 off right…with BREAKFAST! Enjoy <3

Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate + Spiked Version!

Well, another month is upon us friends, and that means it is time for another Recipe Swap!!! This month I was given Simply Made Recipes, which you guys should recognize as Amber has been a part of our “Featured Recipes” section a couple of times, so it is no surprise that I knew exactly what I was going to make. With it being so close to Christmas, and the weather getting cooler, I chose to make her Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate…and boy are you guys in for a real treat!!

Spiked-Hot-Chocolate

This is the perfect drink for you to enjoy after a day out on the toboggan hill (or ski hill if you are adventurous enough!). It only takes 5 minutes to make and is a big enough batch to serve 6, which is great for all the excited kiddos and adults alike. Now, with me being lactose intolerant I chose to make a couple of adjustments to the recipe and I can tell you it is still INCREDIBLY tasty and you will not miss out on the heavy cream etc if you choose to make it this way instead. I also have a curious hubby who thought it would be a good idea to “spike” his cup…and boy was I GLAD that he did! I mean YUM, a little shot of Smirnoff Fluffy Marshmallow Vodka will leave your taste buds dancing. Anyway, here you have it, the BEST Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate Recipe you will try all year, with an adult version for those of us who like a little kick!

Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate- the perfect drink to warm you up on a cold day!! PLUS a spiked version for adults Mmm!

Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate- the perfect drink to warm you up on a cold day!! PLUS a spiked version for adults Mmm!

Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate + Spiked Version!

Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate + Spiked Version!

Ingredients

    Hot Chocolate
  • 2 Cups Milk Chocolate Chips
  • 3 Cups Milk (we chose to use almond milk)
  • 2 Cups Half and Half
  • 1/4 Cup Caramel Sauce
  • 1/2 Tsp Sea Salt
  • Topping
  • Coconut Whipped Cream
  • Chocolate Chips
  • Caramel Sauce

Instructions

  1. Combine ingredients for the Hot Chocolate in a saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Whisk constantly until all ingredients have combined and continue to cook over medium heat until desired temperature (about 5 minutes).
  3. Pour into cups and top with whipped cream and desired add-ons!
  4. *add in a shot of your favorite vodka for adult version! We used Smirnoff Fluffy Marshmallow.
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tips and tricks for the perfect salted caramel hot chocolate
  • Keep the temperature no higher than medium when whisking together the ingredients (this will keep the chocolate and caramel sauce from burning)
  • Use less caramel sauce if you don’t like your drinks too sweet (this is a very sweet and indulgent drink) I think next time we make it I would use half the amount the recipe calls for
  • If you want to try something different, you can always use a semi-sweet or dark chocolate rather than the milk chocolate chips
  • You can use regular whipped cream, or even chocolate whipped cream (yep they make it!) if you don’t like coconut…but let me tell you it is DELISH!
  • Have fun with your toppings, let the kiddos have a choice from a few goodies they can add on. My suggestions? Chocolate Chips, Marshmallows, Toasted Coconut, Peppermint Chips, and anything else your heart desires!

Be sure to check out Amber’s original post here and browse her site for a ton of great recipes for any type of meal!

Cookie Swap – The Perfect Cookie Recipes for your Exchange!

In case I haven’t said it enough yet, I LOVE this time of year!!! As you know from our 13 Days of Christmas Baking, I love to bake and share different cookie recipes with you guys to help take some of your Holiday stress away and so I decided to also participate in a Virtual Cookie Exchange with a few other bloggers. I am super excited to share their goodies with you guys, so get your baking supplies out and your mixer ready…it’s gonna be a fun week!

white chocolate cranberry biscotti : our personal contribution!

One of my favorite treats to make for Christmas, these Biscotti are full of tangy cranberry flavor and bursts of white chocolate chunks…they are wonderful for a cookie tray or gift on their own! 

Christmas-Biscotti

 

 

 

 

 

Snikerdoodles: try it like it

A classic Christmas cookie with a nice cinnamon flavor, these cookies can be made in advance and placed in the freezer until ready to swap!

peppermint white chocolate brownies: Mom knows best

Who doesn’t love a good brownie recipe!? Especially when said recipe is topped with white chocolate and candy cane pieces…Mmm!

Christmas candy cookie: my pinterventures 

This cookie is LOADED with goodies (from coconut flakes to nuts) and finished off with red and green M&M’s to make it an all around delicious Christmas cookie!

 ginger snaps: lydia’s flexitarian kitchen 

A simple and delicious cookie, full of ginger and just the right amount of sugar, these cookies are great with your after dinner coffee or tea!

candy cane cookies: craftcore

Who hasn’t had a candy-cane cookie before!? They really are a favorite for many people, including those with kids, as they are so cute and festive! You make the cookie to look like little candy canes by dying half the dough and wrapping it into the shape.

gingerbread: a mom’s perspective

Ok, this is my favorite one in the exchange!! I looooove a good gingerbread cookie but have never (eeek) tried to make them myself! Her recipe is simple and she has some great decorating ideas in the post as well! Maybe I should give it a try!?

Here is a photo of all of our Cookies!! Enjoy!

Cookie-Recipes

 


Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie Cups

It’s time for another recipe swap friends!!! This month I was assigned to Annie’s Aprons, a lovely  blog loaded with delicious recipes and ideas to keep your taste buds satisfied. I decided to go straight to her Sweets page (of course!!!) and chose these scrumptious Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie Cups to make and share with you…and I promise when you see how incredibly EASY they are to make you will thank me for choosing them! 

Finished-Cookies

 

We decided to make them for my nephews birthday this past weekend so we could have as many taste testers as possible (plus he LOVES peanut butter cups…but I mean who doesn’t right?!) and they disappeared right before our eyes! Everyone loved them, from their crunchy cookie exterior to the surprise of the peanut butter cup in the center, everything about these Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie Cups is amazing! Ready for the best part?? It is only TWO INGREDIENTS (ha!) told you they were super easy to make!

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie Cups - a scrumptious cookie recipe, with only 2 ingredients that takes 15 minutes to make!!!

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie Cups – a scrumptious cookie recipe, with only 2 ingredients that takes 15 minutes to make!!!

what you need
  • Reese Peanut Butter Cups (minis) *now, mine for some reason seem to be smaller than the ones she uses in her recipe…I am thinking it is because I am in Canada and all of our treats seem to be minis of the US minis (lol)
  • Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough *I used Pillsbury (a personal favorite when needing something quick and ready to go!) but you could also use your favorite homemade recipe if you prefer! In fact, next time I would try making this with my Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies (imagine the insanity on your taste buds mmm)

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie Cups

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie Cups

Ingredients

  • 1 16oz package of ready to bake Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough
  • 1 package of Reese Peanut Butter Cups (minatures)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to temperature as cookie dough package instructs (normally this is 350)
  2. Grease mini muffin pans and place a small portion (aprox 1" ball) of dough in each space
  3. Gently press down the dough and bake according to the package instructions (we took 3 minutes off the time as they were starting to brown)
  4. As soon as cookies come out of the oven gently press 1 Peanut Butter Cup into each cookie
  5. Allow to cool 5 minutes before taking cookie cups out, then transfer to cooling rack until chocolate has set
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my tips and tricks for the perfect cookie cups
  • Put the peanut butter cups into the freezer to get nice and firm before starting the oven! This will help to keep them from melting too quickly once you place them on the cookie!
  • If you get a “log” or tub of cookie dough like we did, just take a teaspoon and scoop it out, gently roll it in your hands before pressing into the cookie tin.
  • Grease, grease, GREASE your muffin tins! If you have a bottle Cake Release this would be best (I use this stuff for everything when I need to know it won’t stick, it is so much better than those sprays)
  • Keep an eye on your cookies! Our cookie dough said to cook for 12-13 minutes but we took them out just after 10 as they were starting to get darker than I would like.

Be sure to give these cookies a try and let me know what you thought!! Enjoy!

Chocolate Crinkle Cookies – Day 13!

Here is it guys, the very last day of our 13 Days of Christmas Baking…until next year anyways!! This Chocolate Crinkle Cookie recipe is another classic, one that I truly believe you need to make (and will WANT to make) year after year once you have had a taste! They are topped with Peppermint Kisses which go perfectly with the chewy chocolate cookie, and add a nice festive touch.

Chocolate-Crinkle-Cookies

Now, if you have been following along you will notice this post is 2 days late and with good reason! We were baking up a storm all weekend so that we can bring you even MORE goodies over the next couple weeks!! You didn’t really think we were done for the season did you?! I can’t tell you how excited I am to share some of these new treats with you, and if you are looking for a sneak peak of what is in store…well…just one: Shortbread Macaroon Bars!!! Yum!

Ready to get baking?! Check out the original post for these Chocolate Crinkle Cookies here!

Chocolate Peppermint Crinkle Cookies - a chewy chocolate cookie topped with peppermint kisses!

Chocolate Peppermint Crinkle Cookies – a chewy chocolate cookie topped with peppermint kisses!


3 Ingredient Chocolate Caramels – Day 12

Ahh I can’t believe we are already on day 12 of our Christmas Baking Frenzy, where has the time gone?! Today we have a very special and VERY EASY treat, my Chocolate Caramels!!! They are the cutest thing you can make for your tray and the kiddos can even help with these ones, and the best part?? They are only 3 ingredients…yep they are a “cheat” goodie that will save you time and energy as you wind down your Christmas Baking and making.

Chocolate Caramels - Only 3 ingredients for this tasty Holiday Caramel! The chewy caramel is covered in milky chocolate, a perfect flavor combination!

Chocolate Caramels – Only 3 ingredients for this tasty Holiday Caramel! The chewy caramel is covered in milky chocolate, a perfect flavor combination!

Chocolate-covered-Caramels

 

Look at how the chocolate just envelopes the caramel, eee it makes me drool just looking at them!! We add red and green sugar to make them a little more festive but you could easily leave them as is or even drizzle white chocolate over them! Remember how I said they were sooo easy and only 3 ingredients? Bet ya thought I was lying or hiding something…but I didn’t! Follow along and see how incredibly simple these Chocolate Caramels are to make.

3 Ingredient Chocolate Caramels

3 Ingredient Chocolate Caramels

Ingredients

  • 1 package of store bought caramels (you will have to unwrap them, but it's part of the fun!)
  • 1/2 c milk or dark chocolate (you can do both like we did)
  • 1/2 tbsp shortening
  • sprinkles for decorating

Instructions

  1. Unwrap your caramels and set aside. (Aprox 30-35 per package)
  2. Over a double broiler melt chocolate with the shortening, keeping the water to a low simmer beneath so you don't scorch the chocolate.
  3. Once melted remove from heat and dip caramels.
  4. Place coated caramels on a cookie sheet as you go, allow to cool for 5 minutes before adding your sugar so it doesn't melt into the chocolate.
  5. Place in the fridge to harden and then you can place them in little truffle cups before packaging or serving!
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One of the things I love about these caramels is that you can freeze them and pull them out when you need them! We make these a month before we put our trays together and have never had an issue with their quality…they are equally as delicious as the day they are made (yes you need to taste test when you make them…like everything you make from our 13 Days!)! So go ahead and get making, we only have one day left for this years frenzy…but don’t worry I have lots of goodies and tips coming your way between now and Christmas!!

Butter Lemon Snow Drop Cookies – Day 11

Butter Lemon Snow Drop Cookies- A perfect blend of tangy sweetness that compliments any Christmas tray!

Butter Lemon Snow Drop Cookies- A perfect blend of tangy sweetness that compliments any Christmas tray!

These Lemon Snow Drop Cookies are guaranteed to melt in your mouth and combine the perfect mix of tangy lemon with sweetness according Meegan from Meegan Makes who was gracious enough to share this delectable cookie recipe with us for our 13 Day Christmas Baking Frenzy! These are a nice and easy cookie, with basic ingredients that you likely already have on hand, so you can whip them up anytime you are in the mood! I think they will be the perfect addition to our goodie trays this year, and a nice compliment to all the chocolaty goodness that normally fills our tummies!

Butter Lemon Snow Drop Cookies

Butter Lemon Snow Drop Cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 cup butter (softened)
  • 1/2 cup powered sugar +more for rolling
  • the juice from 1 whole lemon
  • 2 tsp lemon zest
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Instructions

  1. Follow along for all 13 days of Christmas Baking! Find the cooking instructions linked below!
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full cooking instructions at meegan makes: click here! 

Have you checked out the other 10 days yet?! Here are a couple of my favorites so far this year:

Enjoy <3