Double Chocolate Muffins from Awesome on 20

Double Chocolate Muffins

Double Chocolate Muffins from Awesome on 20

Sometimes you need to wake up to chocolate. Sometimes it’s 80 degrees in your bedroom and the tradewinds are dead and your fan is feeble and sleep is impossible. It’s going to take something extra special to get you going in the morning.

Double Chocolate Muffins from Awesome on 20

That’s when you have to have double chocolate muffins made with buttermilk and cocoa and studded with chocolate chips. I mean, sure, you could pay $3 for one muffin at the coffee shop. You could also make your own muffins in about 30 minutes with ingredients you already have in your house (or at least I did). Then you’d have a dozen muffins so that when you come home from a late night of cosmic bowling, you can stuff a muffin in you face and chug some milk from the carton before falling into bed. And then have another muffin when you wake up. It’s the right thing to do.

Double Chocolate Muffins from Awesome on 20

This is an Alton Brown recipe, so you know it’s solid. I was never that into science in school, but I’m totally into muffins. And these muffins are crazy good. Get ya some.

Double Chocolate Muffins
Yields 12
Moist and super chocolaty muffins perfect for any time of day or night
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
20 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
20 min
Ingredients
  1. 270 grams (2 cups) all-purpose flour
  2. 92 grams (3/4 cup) cocoa powder
  3. 1 tablespoon baking powder
  4. 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  5. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  6. 263 grams (1-1/4 cup) sugar
  7. 113 grams (1 stick) butter, melted and slightly cooled (Just melt your butter first thing. It will be cool enough by the time you get to it)
  8. 2 eggs
  9. 1 cup buttermilk
  10. 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  11. 1 cup chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 375 and grease your muffin pan.
  2. Combine flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Mr. Brown would tell you to pulse your dry ingredients in your food processor first to sift and aerate them. I can't be bothered washing it, so I sifted them into the bowl and then gave them a good mix with my whisk.
  3. In a smaller bowl, whisk together sugar, melted butter, eggs, buttermilk, and vanilla extract.
  4. Pour wet ingredients over dry ingredients and quickly fold them together with a spatula. Work as quickly and lightly as possible. Try to make sure everything is moistened, but don't worry about getting out the lumps. You'll end up with tough muffins if you overwork it.
  5. Fold in chocolate chips.
  6. Scoop your batter into your muffin pan. The cups will be full.
  7. Put the pan in the oven and increase the heat to 400. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  8. Turn out your muffins as soon as possible. You can give them a couple minutes to cool off so you don't burn your fingers off. If you leave them in the pan to cool, they may have soggy bottoms and you won't get that lovely muffin crust.
Notes
  1. These are best served warm, but can be kept in an air tight container for a few days. I recommend microwaving for about 15 seconds for ultimate chocolate gooeyness.
http://awesomeon20.com/
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Cookie & Cream & Mint Milkshake from Awesome on 20

Cookies and Cream and Mint Milkshake

Cookie & Cream & Mint Milkshake from Awesome on 20

Two of the things we love most in this house are animals and ice cream. They’re connected. Just give me a second.

My almost teenage daughter is with us for the month, and I’ve sort of let her take over the blog a bit, at least when it comes to picking recipes. Loco moco? Yeah, that was her idea. And today she wanted cookies and cream milkshakes with mint chocolate chip ice cream. She’s my baby. She can have whatever she wants. Sort of.

Here’s the catch. We’ve been trying to reduce our use of palm oil in this house. Like with most things, I’m not puritanical about it. I try to take a balanced approach, and I do my best to avoid it. 

See, palm oil is grown and harvested in delicate ecosystems in the tropics, like Indonesia and Malaysia. The fields that are cleared to grow palm oil are home to many endangered species including orangutans and Sumatran tigers. Palm oil production threatens their habitats and makes them vulnerable to poachers. Every time we buy products with palm oil, we are contributing to that destruction. 

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Okay, that was kind of a bummer, but there’s a touch more bad news. Most commercial cookies found in your grocery store aisles, including Oreos, which I love, are made with palm oil. So, we set out on a mission to find palm oil-free cookies. This took us to whole foods, where after reading a few labels we were successful in finding cookies at a reasonable price, about four dollars. What a relief!

We tossed about five cookies in the food processor with some milk, crushed them to smithereens, and then let them hang out for a couple of minutes to soften up. Then we threw some minty green ice cream into the mix, gave it a buzz, topped it with fresh, sweetened whipped cream, and of course, sprinkles. Almost teenage girls don’t eat anything without sprinkles.

Cookie & Cream & Mint Milkshake from Awesome on 20

We struggle to make ends meet in this house, which means that organic sustainable food can sometimes seem out of reach. But a bit of extra effort can sometimes lead to pleasant surprises. I love it when ethics come in the form of cookies.  Cookies which turn into milkshakes that taste awesome and save cute animals are the awesomest!

Cookies and Cream and Mint Milkshake
Serves 1
A milkshake loaded with cookies, chocolate chips, and a cool mint punch
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Prep Time
5 min
Prep Time
5 min
Ingredients
  1. 6 chocolate sandwich cookies
  2. 1/4 cup milk
  3. 2 cups mint chocolate chip ice cream (Trust your eyes and make it as thick as you like)
  4. Whipped cream
  5. Sprinkles
Instructions
  1. Put five cookies into your food processor or blender with the milk and pulse until the cookies are smashed up.
  2. Leave the cookie mixture to soak up the milk for a few minutes. This might be a good time to whip your own cream by hand, if you're into that sort of thing.
  3. Add the ice cream and blend until smooth.
  4. Pour the milkshake into a tall glass and top with whipped cream, sprinkles, and a cookie.
  5. Put a straw in that baby and try not to implode your face. Or just eat it with a spoon. That's what I'd do.
Notes
  1. This would also be totally awesome with a shot of creme de menthe liqueur and maybe some Bailey's or Kahlua. Whatever you have on hand. Obviously, not for almost teenagers.
Adapted from Food Network
Adapted from Food Network
http://awesomeon20.com/
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Loco Moco from Awesome on 20
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Double Chocolate Muffins from Awesome on 20
Loco Moco from Awesome on 20

Loco Moco

Loco Moco from Awesome on 20

Honolulu is one of the most diverse cities in the world. We have a huge Asian population, mostly Japanese, plus constantly rotating military families. Throw in the Hawaiians, Samoans, Tongans, and other Polynesians, along with us regular haoles (technically, I’m hapa, or part Hawaiian) and you’ve got yourself one serious melting pot of awesome.

Also awesome is the fact that Hawaiians love to eat. Growing up, I remember my Hawaiian grandmother’s house felt like one constant party. It seemed like there were always visitors playing music and cooking and enjoying plenty of food. Out here in the middle of the ocean, comfort food is taken to a whole new level. All those different influences combine for some unusual, but very tasty dishes.

Loco Moco from Awesome on 20

Today, at my daughter’s request, we’re sharing loco moco. She helped me make it, and gleefully wolfed down almost this entire portion by herself. This dish can be found at just about every local eatery on the island. It may not be sophisticated, but it’s for real. You’ve got to try it.

Loco moco is simple and delicious. It starts with a bed of white rice, topped with a juicy hamburger steak, a sunny side up egg, and enough gravy to drown the entire thing. Truthfully, I held back on the gravy a bit to make the photo a bit more pretty, but that’s not what loco moco is about.

Loco Moco from Awesome on 20

This is what the locals call ono grinds. It’s not fancy. You could try to make it healthy. You could try to make it snobby. But I think that if you mess with a good thing, screw with tradition, then maybe you’ve created something else all together. It might still be good, but is it still loco moco? 

Loco Moco from Awesome on 20

Loco moco should be dirty, greasy, down home, made with aloha, and probably eaten on styrofoam. Try to avoid the last bit if you can. It won’t be easy. Unless you make it at home, which you should. It’s dead easy and kind of amazing. It might even make you a better ukulele player. I haven’t tested that theory.

Loco Moco
Serves 4
A local Hawaiian favorite of rice, hamburger, egg, and gravy. Ono kine grindz!
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
30 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
30 min
For the rice
  1. 2 cups white rice
  2. 4 cups water
  3. 1 teaspoon salt
For the hamburger steaks
  1. 1 pound ground beef
  2. 1 teaspoon salt
  3. 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  4. 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  5. 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  6. 2 tablespoons green onions, the white parts only, finely sliced (or scissored)
  7. 1 egg, lightly beaten
  8. 1 tablespoon oil
For the gravy
  1. fat from cooked burgers
  2. 1 to 2 tablespoons flour
  3. 1 to 1-1/2 cups beef stock
  4. Salt and pepper to taste
For the egg
  1. 1 tablespoon butter
  2. 4 eggs
  3. Green onions, the green parts, thinly sliced (or scissored)
For the rice
  1. In a medium pan with a tight fitting lid, bring four cups of water to a boil, then add salt.
  2. Stir in rice, put the lid on, and reduce to a simmer for 20 minutes.
  3. Remove from heat and allow to continue steaming for five minutes or until water is absorbed.
  4. Or just put it in the rice cooker if you are awesome enough to have one of those. I don't.
  5. When it's ready, divide the rice between four plates so it's ready to have juicy hamburger steaks placed on top.
For the hamburger steaks
  1. In a mixing bowl, combine beef, seasonings, soy sauce, onions, and egg. Work quickly with your hands and try not to handle it excessively.
  2. Form into four patties.
  3. Add oil to a large skillet and heat to medium high. Cook patties about 4 minutes a side or to desired doneness. Just make sure you get some good browning on the outside.
  4. Place a hamburger steak atop each mound of rice so that the juices will soak into the rice. Don't waste the flavor.
For the gravy
  1. First, remember that gravy making is as much an art as a science, so go with your gut and adjust as needed for your conditions. Everybody likes it a little different. Do what you love.
  2. Reduce heat to medium low on the remaining fat and delicious bits in your skillet. Sprinkle flour over the fat, just enough to absorb the fat and create a paste. Cook for a few minutes until the flour mixture turns brown.
  3. Add stock about a quarter cup at a time, stirring well to remove lumps. Also make sure you scrape up any bits off the bottom of the pan. They are full of flavor. Keep adding liquid until you get your favorite consistency and season to taste.
For the egg
  1. Add butter to a nonstick skillet and melt over medium low heat.
  2. Crack you eggs into the pan and season with salt and pepper if desired. Cook slowly until whites are just set.
Assembly
  1. Rice goes on the bottom.
  2. Put your hamburger steak on top right out of the pan to catch all the juices.
  3. You can put the egg or gravy on next, it doesn't matter. Just don't skimp on the gravy. (Unless you're crazy and want to take your food's photo)
  4. Scatter green onions over the top.
  5. Dig in and live the aloha.
Notes
  1. This recipe serves four normal humans or two big Hawaiians. It's easily scalable for a small family or a big gathering.
Adapted from Big Island Grinds
Adapted from Big Island Grinds
http://awesomeon20.com/
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