Double Chocolate Muffins | How to Be Awesome on $20 a Day

Double Chocolate Muffins

Double Chocolate Muffins | How to Be Awesome on $20 a Day

I’m curious. How do you feel about perfectionists? Are they striving for greatness or suffering from some sort of mental illness? I’ve fought against this urge to be perfect for a very long time. I’ve never come close to achieving my unreasonable expectations for myself. Most days I can be okay with that, but sometimes the personal disappointment is borderline debilitating.

My goal these days has been to strive for balance. I’ve been making talking myself into doing what I want to do instead of what I need to do. This may seem easy, but believe me, the internal debate is harsh. I have strong feelings of guilt when I sit down to watch a TV show or read a book knowing that I should be writing a blog post. I’m probably deeply disturbed. You should stop reading now before I corrupt you.

Double Chocolate Muffins | How to Be Awesome on $20 a Day

In the vein of pure indulgence, I’m trying to feed you chocolate for breakfast with Double Chocolate Muffins. You’ll definitely have to turn off the voice in your head that shouts at you to eat more carrots. Just drown it out with the voice that thinks chocolate is one of Earth’s greatest creations. 

Double Chocolate Muffins are pretty simple to make. Just a bit of measuring and stirring. No machine required. I use a big ice cream scoop to fill my muffin tins, so it’s not even that messy. And the result is heavenly. Use chocolate chips or chunks, whatever you have on hand, and please please please eat them while they’re still warm for maximum pleasure.

Double Chocolate Muffins | How to Be Awesome on $20 a Day

Tell yourself you’re awesome even when you don’t tick off everything on your to do list. Then go eat a Double Chocolate Muffin. Everything is gonna be alright.

Double Chocolate Muffins
Yields 15
Double Chocolate Muffins are so good, you forget to feel guilty.
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Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
20 min
Prep Time
20 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 or chunks
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.
  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 all 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 nearly 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.
  9. Serve warm.
Adapted from How to be Awesome on $20 a Day
http://awesomeon20.com/
French Toast Muffins | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

French Toast Muffins

French Toast Muffins | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

We’ve had the most lovely weekend, and it’s not even over yet. A long weekend is such a precious and beautiful thing. I’m always torn between wanting to go a mile a minute and accomplish things and wanting to chill out and do absolutely nothing. With an extra day or two, I can do both. I can let myself relax without feeling guilty. It’s fantastic.

I can even make something special for breakfast, like warm homemade muffins.

French Toast Muffins | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

French Toast Muffins are tender, dense, and just slightly sweet. There’s a hint of cinnamon to make them extra awesome. They’re perfect for eating on the way to work or after a long day with a cup of tea.

They come together in about 20 minutes, and if you bake regularly, you probably already have all the ingredients on hand. The only ingredient you might not have is buttermilk, but did you know you can substitute regular milk by adding a tablespoon of lemon juice or vinegar to a cup of milk? So easy. So tasty.

French Toast Muffins | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Relax. Take it easy. Eat French Toast Muffins.

French Toast Muffins
Serves 12
French Toast Muffins, with a hint of cinnamon and maple, are perfect for a lazy morning or a portable treat.
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
12 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
12 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 cups all-purpose flour
  2. 1/4 cup sugar
  3. 2 teaspoons baking powder
  4. 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  5. 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  6. 1/4 teaspoon salt
  7. 2 eggs
  8. 1 cup buttermilk
  9. 1/4 cup butter, melted
  10. Maple syrup and powdered sugar
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 400F (200C), and put your favorite papers into 12 muffin cups.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, gently whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt.
  3. In a smaller bowl or a large measuring cup, whisk together eggs, buttermilk, and melted butter.
  4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and gently fold them together with a rubber spatula until just combined. A few lumps are not the end of the world.
  5. Scoop the batter into your muffin papers, filling each one about half way. These muffins rise beautifully, so don't overfill.
  6. Bake for 12 minutes or until a cake tester or toothpick comes out clean.
  7. Once your muffins are out of the oven, drizzle a little bit of maple syrup over each muffin so that it can soak in. Allow to cool enough that they won't burn you to death, about 15 minutes or so. Dust with powdered sugar before serving.
Adapted from Dinners, Dishes & Desserts
http://awesomeon20.com/
Lemon Champagne Punch | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day
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Buttermilk Pancakes | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Buttermilk Pancakes

Buttermilk Pancakes | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

You never realize how different the US and the UK are until you live for a while in the one you didn’t grow up in. You think to yourself, “We speak the same language. We share a lot of common history. How hard could it be?” It’s definitely easier than moving to a country where they speak Chinese, but there’s still plenty of culture shock to go around.

Of course, more of my cultural meltdowns revolve around food. I’m embarrassed to say that I really miss Sonic and Taco Bell. They have McDonald’s here, of course, but the recipe for the sausage is different, so a Sausage McMuffin is downright disappointing. And if you want to go out for a pancake breakfast, you’re screwed. Pancakes are either usually tiny and always tough. And for some reason they insist on covering them with ice cream and candy. That’s fun, but it’s not what I want for breakfast. Whipped butter and enough syrup to drown a horse, please. 

Buttermilk Pancakes | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Let me tell you how American pancakes are supposed to work. Buttermilk is required. If you’re shopping for this recipe in the UK, I suggest you check the Polish section. They should be at least six inches in diameter. They can be dinner plate size, but only if they hold onto their most important quality. Tenderness. 

Tenderness is, in my opinion, what makes pancakes fabulous. If you serve me tough pancakes with huge bubbles, I’ll be crying on the inside. It’s easy to accomplish perfect tenderness. You have to do less. When you’re mixing your wet ingredients with the dry ingredients, absolutely do not overmix. You might be tempted to keep stirring until all the lumps are gone. Resist the temptation. Fold it together gently, and try to get everything mixed in 10 seconds. Lumps are fine. Walk away and let your batter rest for five or ten minutes. Finally, make sure your pan is at the right temperature before you begin cooking your pancakes.

Buttermilk Pancakes | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Do these simple things, and you’ll be transported to your favorite American diner. Buttermilk Pancakes will cure your culture shock in no time.

Buttermilk Panckaes
Serves 4
Buttermilk Pancakes are an all-American joy.
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
15 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
15 min
Ingredients
  1. 270 grams (2 cups) all-purpose flour
  2. 1 teaspoon baking powder
  3. 1 teaspoon baking soda
  4. 1 teaspoon salt
  5. 42 grams (3 tablespoons) sugar
  6. 2 eggs
  7. 2 cups buttermilk
  8. 4 tablespoons (half a stick) butter, melted and slightly cooled
Instructions
  1. In a medium mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and sugar. Mix the dry ingredients well with a whisk.
  2. In a small bowl, combine eggs, buttermilk, and melted butter. Whisk to combine. Now step away from the whisk.
  3. Pour your wet ingredients onto the dry ingredients and quickly and gently mix them together with a rubber spatula. You should use a fold/stir hybrid method. Don't worry about getting out every little lump. Try not to stir for more than 10 seconds. This is the key to tender pancakes.
  4. Now walk away for five minutes to let the batter rest.
  5. Preheat your griddle to 350 (if you're lucky enough to have one, I don't.) or place of a non-stick frying pan over medium heat. You definitely want to have your pan preheated before you pour out that first notorious pancake.
  6. Add a small pat of butter to your pan or griddle. Use a paper towel to spread it evenly across your cooking surface. I use a third cup measure to drop my pancake batter into the pan, creating a medium-sized pancake.
  7. Cook about two minutes a side, turning when you see the bubbles start to subside and the edges start to change color.
  8. Keep pancakes warm by covering your stack with a clean dish towel.
  9. Serve yourself a big fat stack, three is about perfect, with plenty of butter and more syrup than is probably reasonable.
http://awesomeon20.com/
Italian Cream Soda | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day
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