Muffins are a tasty treat with so many flavor possibilities that almost anyone can find at least one type to enjoy. Muffins are also a great convenience food, especially for those looking for a healthy snack or quick on-the-go breakfast. Unfortunately, they tend to get a bad reputation, all thanks to the hordes of mass-produced, processed impostors sold in stores. When you make your own at home, however, you can enjoy all the tasty goodness with real, wholesome ingredients you should be eating, like mashed fruit, Greek yogurt, nuts, and healthy oils.
I initially developed these peanut butter banana protein muffins to make one of my favorite breakfast options, peanut butter banana toast, more portable for busy mornings. When I have to get my hubby to work or my oldest daughter to school and no one feels like getting out of bed, these become a breakfast savior. I just pull them from the refrigerator or freezer, heat them up in the microwave for 15 seconds, and before you know it breakfast is served and out the door we go. For mornings that I have time to make breakfast, these become a great snack. If you are health conscious, these muffins are a delicious, flourless pre- or post-workout snack, due to the high protein content (peanut butter & Greek yogurt) and healthy carbs (oat flour) needed to fuel, repair, and rebuild the body. These muffins can be made ahead and stored in an airtight container at room temperature for about 4 days. You can freeze any that you have not used within that time period for up to 3 months.
I know some of you may still be skeptical. How can enjoying a delicious, sweet little muffin for breakfast or a snack be healthy? Well if you are still not convinced maybe the following example will help you understand a little better. Let’s pretend you normally have two slices of whole-wheat peanut butter banana toast for breakfast (I usually only have one but many typically have two slices). Two slices of whole-wheat bread, 2 tablespoons of natural peanut butter, one banana, and two teaspoons of honey will easily add up to almost 500 calories. One of these flourless muffins has less than 150 calories, 1.5 grams saturated fat, 5 grams of Protein, 2 grams of Fiber, 20 grams of carbs, and only 7 grams of sugar. I know it sounds too good to be true but it really is a healthier and super easy option. For those who are not concerned if they are healthy, I guarantee you will enjoy them just like you would any other sugar laden muffin!
Peanut Butter Banana Protein Muffins
- 2 cups Oat Flour (process 2 cups Old Fashioned Oats in a food processor until fine)
- 1 tsp. Baking Powder
- ½ tsp. Baking Soda
- ¼ tsp. Sea Salt
- 2 Large Eggs; divided
- 2 tsp. Olive Oil
- ½ cup plus 2 tbsp. Greek Yogurt; divided
- ¼ cup Pure Maple Syrup
- 1 tsp. Pure Vanilla Extract
- 3 Bananas; divided
- 2 tbsp. Natural Unsalted Peanut Butter
- Preheat oven to 350°. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners. Set aside.
- To prepare batter, mix flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl. In a small bowl, whisk together 1 egg and oil. Stir in the ½ cup of yogurt, maple syrup, and vanilla. Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture and stir until just combined.
- Mash 2 ½ bananas and fold into the mixture until just combined and no white streaks of banana remain. The mixture will still appear lumpy.
- To prepare the filling, mash the remaining ½ banana in a small bowl. Stir in the remaining 1 egg, 2 tbsp. yogurt, and peanut butter until well combined.
- Fill one-third of each muffin liner with batter. Dollop 1 tsp. of filling into each liner. Divide the remaining batter evenly among the liners to cover the filling. Bake muffins for 18 to 20 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the center of the muffin. Let muffins cool in the tin for 5 minutes, then remove muffins from the tin and finish cooling on a wire rack.
RECIPE ADAPTED FROM: HEATHER BAINBRIDGE
PHOTOGRAPHY & STAGING: PETER MENDOROS
ALL REMAINING CONTENT © HONEYBEES PATISSERIE 2017
Next week my oldest daughter starts Pre-K and I will have to leave her side for the first time. I’m not sure who this will be harder on but I’m going to guess it will be me. It has been bittersweet buying her school supplies, uniforms, and picking out a backpack and lunchbox. With all of the school planning going on I thought why not offer an easy to make & packable dessert for kid’s to take in their lunchbox…like a brownie.
Since my daughter likes only a little bit of chocolate I elected to make blondies with peanut butter cups to provide the hint of chocolate she craves without going overboard (not to mention chocolate doesn’t hold up well in the Florida summer heat). I also added some peanut butter chips to the batter to give these blondies a more pronounced peanut butter flavor.
For this recipe I used the mini unwrapped milk chocolate peanut butter cups from Trader Joe’s. They come in both milk or dark chocolate. I prefer the dark chocolate variety, but I know kids often prefer milk chocolate, so to please a wider audience I went with milk chocolate. Don’t be afraid to experiment with dark chocolate if you know everyone you share these with will enjoy the stronger flavor.
It really doesn’t matter if you opt to make these for a school lunch or an adult indulgence, if you love the classic combination of chocolate and peanut butter, you will surely love these peanut butter cup blondies!
Peanut Butter Cup Blondies
- 5.6 ounces (1 ¼ cups) All-Purpose Flour
- 1 cup Sugar
- ½ tsp. Baking Powder
- ¼ tsp. Salt
- 1/3 cup Creamy Peanut Butter (preferably natural)
- ¼ cup (4 tbsp.) Unsalted Butter; melted & cooled slightly
- 2 tbsp. Milk
- 1 tsp. Vanilla Extract
- 2 large Eggs; lightly beaten
- ¼ cup Peanut Butter Baking Chips
- Mini Unwrapped Peanut Butter Cups (about 30)
- Preheat oven to 350°. Lightly grease a 9-inch metal baking pan with cooking spray. Set aside.
- In a large bowl combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Stir well with a whisk.
- In a separate bowl combine the peanut butter, butter, milk, vanilla, and eggs. Stir well. Add the peanut butter mixture to the flour mixture, stirring just until combined. Fold in the peanut butter chips.
- Scrape batter evenly into prepared baking pan. Arrange peanut butter cups over batter. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out with a few moist crumbs. Cool in pan on a wire rack before serving.
RECIPE ADAPTED FROM: MAUREEN CALLAHAN
PHOTOGRAPHY & STAGING: PETER MENDOROS
ALL REMAINING CONTENT © HONEYBEES PATISSERIE 2017
I recently felt like making cookies and wanted to try something different. At the same time I did have some requirements of what I desired from the cookie I was about to make. I wanted it to be simple, soft, and chocolate. With that in mind I stumbled on a few potentials but everything seemed too involved for my taste since I had family in town and wanted something that could be made up quick. Just as I was about to give up and not make anything this week I stumbled on something that peaked my interest…Peanut Butter & Banana Chocolate Chip Cookies. I knew peanut butter and chocolate go together perfectly but the banana intrigued me enough to force me to try it, even though it was a bit more involved of a recipe than I had planned to tackle on. Before I make a recipe I usually do some research and compare/contrast other recipes so that I can create the best product myself. What I found in my research was that many recipes only used mashed bananas to add the banana flavor or they added mashed banana and some banana extract to boost the flavor since many complained banana alone did not provide enough banana flavor to shine through the dominant chocolate and peanut butter flavors. One recipe took a different approach and used banana and dried banana chips. I liked this idea better than the extract option and chose to use banana and banana chips. The banana chips were a bit overwhelming the first time around but did impart banana flavor…almost too much to the point it stole the show against the chocolate and peanut butter, something I didn’t want. I wanted flavor harmony. So back to the drawing board for one more batch. This time, I toned down the banana chips and I had it perfect. The lower amount of chips provided just the right flavor and crunch without being too showy. To amp up the peanut butter flavor, I made sure to use crunchy peanut butter as opposed to creamy. This not only added more crunch to every bite but packed little bursts of peanut flavor. It also helped with the texture of the cookie. It kept it firm enough to hold everything together but not so firm that the cookies lost the softness I initially sought after. However, if all you have on hand is creamy peanut butter you can use that too but the texture may turn out different. All in all I really enjoyed these cookies and my daughter enjoyed helping me make them. They are definitely worth trying since everyone visiting had one or a few and now, sadly, they are a thing of the past. Note: Formula yields about 2 dozen cookies. Cookies can be stored in an airtight container for 3 days.
Peanut Butter & Banana Chocolate Chip Cookies
- 2 cups All-Purpose Flour
- ½ tsp. Baking Soda
- 8 tbsp. (1 stick) Unsalted Butter; softened
- 2 oz. Cream Cheese; softened
- ½ cup Light Brown Sugar; packed
- ½ cup Granulated Sugar
- ½ cup Chunky Peanut Butter
- 1 Ripe Banana; mashed
- 1 Egg
- 2 tsp. Vanilla Extract
- ½ cup Semisweet Chocolate Chips
- ¼ cup Dried Banana Chips; chopped
- Adjust oven rack to upper and lower middle positions and preheat oven to 350°. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside (Do not leave them on top of the preheating oven). Combine the flour and the baking soda in a bowl and set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat butter, cream cheese, brown sugar, and granulated sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy. Add the peanut butter, banana, egg, and vanilla, mixing until just incorporated. Reduce the speed to low, and add the flour mixture. Mix until just combined. Stir the chocolate chips and banana chips in by hand until evenly distributed but do not overmix.
- Take sections of dough and roll into 1½ inch size balls. Place each dough ball on the prepared baking sheets, about 2 inches apart from each other. Use a large fork to gently press a crisscross pattern into the top of each dough ball. This will slightly flatten the dough balls. Bake the cookies until golden brown, 12 to 14 minutes, rotating sheets halfway through the baking time. When cookies are done baking, remove them from the oven and allow them to cool 5 minutes on the baking sheets. After 5 minutes, transfer the cookies to a wire rack and allow them to cool completely before storing. Repeat with remaining dough as necessary.
SPECIAL THANKS TO: PHOTOGRAPHY & STAGING: PETER MENDOROS ALL REMAINING CONTENT © HONEYBEE’S PATISSERIE 2014
Anything that claims to be no-bake always catches my eye because it is synonymous with quick and easy, two words I enjoy hearing or reading. Being a stay at home mommy I am always looking for things that are quick and easy. Sure I stay home all day but that doesn’t mean I am full of free time. I am constantly doing homework for my college coursework as well as chasing around a very active 21 month old girl, all while trying to combat active Crohn’s Disease, which can sometimes make me want nothing to do with food for extended periods of time. Finding things that are no-bake fit perfectly into my schedule and I’m sure many others who have busy lifestyles. When I am craving something sweet, these bars are quick and take very few ingredients (with most ingredients being pantry mainstays) making them the perfect go-to treat.
If all of that was not enough to entice you into trying these bars, the fact that they taste like a cross between a Rice Krispie Treat and a Baby Ruth should. Peanut lovers will rejoice at these bars that are full of peanut goodness. Not only do these bars use peanut butter but they are also filled with chopped peanuts, making them chewy, crunchy, and all around satisfying.
Since these bars only require six ingredients and are rather simple to make there are not too many warnings to be concerned about. I think the biggest mistake people can make is not greasing the pan liberally enough because these bars are sticky and if you neglect the pan of the grease they need it will surely result in the bars sticking as you try to cut and remove them from the pan. Also be very cautious when melting the chocolate. Melt over a double boiler stirring constantly making sure the water does not touch the bottom of the top pan or melt in a microwave. If you choose to melt in the microwave, do very short intervals and stir a lot to make sure the chocolate melts evenly and does not get overcooked and separate.
Note: The following makes approximately 24 bars. Store in an airtight container. Bars are best consumed within 2 days of being prepared.
No-Bake Goody Bars
- 1 cup Light Brown Sugar
- 1 cup Light Corn Syrup
- 1 cup Peanut Butter
- 1 cup Salted Dry-Roasted Peanuts; chopped
- 6 cups Cornflakes
- 1 (12 oz.) bag Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips; melted
- Grease a 13×9 inch baking pan very well (I used nonstick cooking spray). In a large pot, bring sugar and corn syrup to a simmer. Remove the pan from the heat and mix in the peanut butter and chopped peanuts, stirring until the mixture becomes smooth. Add the cornflakes and gently stir until the peanut butter mixture is evenly distributed (there should not be any dry cornflakes).
- Place the mixture into the greased pan and press evenly across the pan and into the corners with a greased spatula. Drizzle the melted chocolate over the bars and spread evenly with an offset spatula to cover the entire surface (bars should not show from underneath the chocolate). Allow the bars to cool completely and chocolate to set, approximately 30 minutes. Slice to desired size and serve.
SPECIAL THANKS TO:
PHOTOGRAPHY & STAGING: PETER MENDOROS
ALL REMAINING CONTENT © HONEYBEE’S PATISSERIE 2014
On a recent shopping trip, I was on a buy one get one free spree. Among the items I happened to get from the BOGO sale was Reese’s Mini Peanut Butter Cups. I have had a hankering for peanut butter and chocolate lately after treating myself to a small Peanut Butter Brownie Blizzard from Dairy Queen one day on a long, hot drive home. Problem is I live too far from the nearest DQ to be going their often to fix my craving and also motherhood has left me strapped for much time outside of feeding and entertaining my infant daughter. So in order to balance the craving and the time restraint, I realized I hadn’t made a childhood simple favorite in quite some time… Rice Krispie Treats.
With a little tweeking to the original back of the box formula, these Reese’s Rice Krispie Treats feel nostalgic but fresh and dressed up at the same time. If you love original Rice Krispies and have a tendency of snatching a pack of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups in the candy aisle at the supermarket, then you will truly enjoy these.
Reese’s Peanut Butter Rice Krispie Treats
- 3 tbsp. Butter, unsalted
- 1 (10 oz.) bag Marshmallows
- 1 cup Peanut Butter Chips, divided
- ½ tsp. Salt
- ¼ tsp. Vanilla Extract
- 5 cups Rice Krispies Cereal
- 1 cup Dry-Roasted Peanuts
- 1 bag Reese’s Mini Peanut Butter Cups, each peanut butter cup halved
- Grease an 8 inch square baking pan (if you want a fewer number of treats that are tall, thicker squares) or a 13×9 inch baking pan (if you want a larger number of treats that are flatter). Melt butter in a large pot over low heat. Add marshmallows, ½ cup peanut butter chips, and salt. Cook while stirring constantly, until melted and smooth. Stir in the vanilla.
- Remove the pan from heat and stir in the Rice Krispies and peanuts until well incorporated. Scrape mixture into prepared pan and press into the bottom and corners with a greased rubber spatula. Allow to cool completely, about 1 hour.
- Melt the remaining peanut butter chips. Drizzle the melted chips over the cooled treats. Sprinkle the halved Peanut Butter Cups on the top of the treats. Allow to cool about 15 minutes more. Cut into squares and serve.
SPECIAL THANKS TO:
PETER MENDOROS – PHOTOGRAPHY
RECIPE ADAPTED FROM JEREMY SAUER
ALL REMAINING CONTENT © HONEYBEE’S PATISSERIE 2013
On the tenth anniversary of September 11, nothing could lift spirits higher than indulging in the sweet, comforting combination of peanut butter and chocolate. This cute little dessert is based upon cookie cups which have a crisp exterior while maintaining the soft, sweet interior beloved by all sugar cookie lovers. These cups are filled with a mixture of peanut butter, whipped cream, and cream cheese to create a light, fluffy mousse. Also let’s not forget the peanut butter mousse is sandwiched between a rich layer of chocolate ganache dolloped on the bottom of each cookie cup and drizzled on top for a designer finish. I’m usually the type who tries it after I finish baking it and leave the rest to be eaten by others but I couldn’t even stop munching these days after they were baked. YUM!!!
The whole process begins with something so basic… a bag of sugar cookie mix blended with pecans and pressed into muffin tins. This simple step of the formula creates a crisp yet tender cookie shell. It is important to note that when pressing the cookie mix into the muffin tin, the right amount of cookie mix pressed will seem like a lot but is necessary to create a solid base to build upon later.
Once the sugar cookie cups have been baked and cooled, the peanut butter mousse and chocolate are prepared. A dollop of chocolate is placed in the bottom of each cookie cup. For the most elegant presentation, the peanut butter mousse is piped into each cup using a disposable piping bag fitted with a large star decorator tip. When the filling is piped into the cookie cup, it will resemble the look of a giant rosette on top of a cupcake. If you do not own disposable piping bags or decorator tips, you may spoon the peanut butter mousse into the cups and use a small spatula or back of the spoon to smooth out the top.
Lastly, place the remaining melted chocolate in a squeeze bottle or piping bag fitted with a fine, round decorator tip. Use the melted chocolate to create a swirl design around the piped peanut butter mousse filling. If you are not a chocoholic or lack any of the above equipment needed for the melted chocolate, you may certainly skip this step and keep the rosette look created by the piped peanut butter mousse. Both looks are impressive and elegant in appearance.
The following formula requires a sugar cookie mix for the cookie cup crust. Sugar cookie mixes are found in supermarket baking aisles near the boxed cake mixes. I chose the 17.5 oz. sugar cookie mix by Betty Crocker for this formula. It created the perfect wet sand texture necessary for proper pressing into the muffin tins and when mixed with pecans and filled with peanut butter mousse and chocolate, the processed flavor usually found in cookie mixes was obliterated. All the cookie mix left behind was the desired softness and sweetness expected of a sugar cookie. Perhaps best of all, the sugar cookie mix saves precious time, relieving us busy bakers from the long task of baking the sugar cookies from scratch and cleaning up the numerous dirty dishes left behind!!!
Peanut Butter Mousse Cookie Cups
- 1 (17.5 ounce) pkg. Sugar Cookie Mix (see above for prefered brand)
- 4.5 oz. Chopped Pecans, toasted
- 2 tbsp. All-Purpose Flour
- 8 tbsp. (1 stick) Unsalted Butter, melted
- 13.5 oz. Heavy Cream
- 9.75 oz. Chunky Peanut Butter
- 1 (8 ounce) pkg. Cream Cheese, softened
- 4.25 oz. Confectioner’s Sugar
- 1 tsp. Vanilla Extract
- 6.75 oz. Semisweet Chocolate Chips
- Adjust oven rack to middle position and preheat oven to 350°. Grease muffin tin. Combine sugar cookie mix, pecans, and flour in a bowl. Slowly add in the butter and stir until the mixture resembles the texture of wet sand. Press a thick layer of the cookie mixture into the bottom and sides of each muffin cup.
- Bake until golden, about 10 minutes, being sure to rotate the muffin pan halfway through the cooking time. Cool 20 minutes in the muffin pan before removing.
- With mixer on medium-high, whip 8 ounces of heavy cream to stiff peaks. Set aside. In mixer, beat peanut butter, cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla on medium speed until creamy and smooth. Gently fold in the whipped cream.
- Microwave the chocolate and remaining 5.5 ounces of cream for about 1 minute. Make sure to stir occasionally (to prevent scorching) until the chocolate is melted smooth. Pour a dollop of the prepared chocolate ganache into the bottom of each sugar cookie cup. Fill each cookie cup by piping the peanut butter mousse into a large rosette/swirl formation.
- Drizzle the remaining chocolate ganache evenly over the peanut butter mousse in personal preferred design. Refrigerate the peanut butter mousse cookie cups until firm, at least 1 hour.
- The Peanut Butter Mousse Cookie Cups can be stored in the refrigerator for 3 days.
Special Thanks to: My wonderful boyfriend Peter for the photography and Susan Bazan
All content © Honeybee’s Patisserie 2011