Happy morning – Banana muffins

 

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Whoever says you can’t have cake for breakfast will surely disagree with rum for breakfast. In fact, I’m not too sure I agree with it myself. (Unless by breakfast you mean a 5 am nightcap, in which case rum is totally fine if that’s your drink of choice). But these muffins, with a slightly spiced flavour and a little (barely there) kick of rum are the perfect breakfast. Pair them with your morning coffee and you’ll be sure to start the day on the right foot. How could your day not be perfect when you’ve had a small, slightly happy pastry for the most important meal of the day?
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Indulging – Double chocolate scones

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I’m writing this post and have just realised that I haven’t got a category called “baked goods” because I’m constantly baking and it didn’t occur to me that I should have a place where to put all the croissants/muffins/tartelettes that I make. So I am now officially renaming the “Muffins and small cakes” category to Baked goods & pastries. This all came up because I’m constantly making scones and only now does it dawn upon me that scones aren’t a bread, nor a cake, nor a cookie and not exactly a dessert. What are these heavenly bites then? Baked goods. If anyone has a more appropriate name for them, I’m all ears. But on to the recipe….these are actually chocolate scones. Not scones with chocolate chips in them. Oh no. These are a full cocoa explosion in your mouth. Dark and scrumptious. And of course, a few chocolate chips in there never hurt anyone …right?(hence the double). These are beyond good for breakfast, topped with apricot or raspberry marmalade, and if you’re feeling really indulgent, why not a bit of clotted cream? Trust me, you’ll never want to have eggs for breakfast again :/
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Pack a punch – Almond cocoa energy squares

Almond cocoa energy squares
My ankle (which has been out of order on and off this whole year) is finally healing a little bit. Which means I can start running again. And even though I haven’t done more than 20 minutes on the treadmill and I’m not allowed to jump yet (I know. It’s catastrophic) I can make energy bars. These delicious little squares will satisfy your morning sweet tooth while giving you a full energy boost; they’re made of oats, which are a great source of slow-release energy and fiber.  Almonds, your classic super food (is there any body system they’re not good for?). Raisins, full of the good kinds of sugar to give you an up and which also help absorb vitamins and proteins, along with promoting a healthy digestive system. Flaxseed, also for great digestion but adding omega-3 and tons of other good side-effects such as fighting liver disease and lowering cholesterol. Cocoa powder, which is suspected of boosting endorphins and serotonin (aka, make you happy!) apart from being highly antioxidant. Wrap all of these up with some honey (which has, apart from all it’s other properties, been proven to increase athletic performance and reduce recovery time) and you get ultra healthy, sugar free bites of delicious fitness. I cut up mine small because I like bite-sized things, but feel free to turn these into bars to take on the go, or to add some protein powder! Read more for the recipe.

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Post monday – Greek yogurt chocolate banana muffins

Greek yogurt chocolate banana muffins

Some things are just universally loved. Like finding money in your pockets or banana muffins for breakfast. Other things are universally hated, like smashing your little toe against a table, or mondays. Most people find mondays truly horrible; it’s the day they have to get up early again, go to work, and accept the fact that there are five more days of the same before the weekend comes again. I, on the other hand,  happen to be a complete lunatic and absolutely love mondays. And don’t get me wrong, I love weekends as well… but they just take a huge toll on my doing-things-I-love-on-my-own schedule. For example, I can never have the discipline to work out on weekends. Or to walk my dogs, or read, or try out new recipes, or start a new work project, or finish another one I had at the back of my mind. I also get tons of ideas during weekends for cooking, or drawing or designing or just in general things I’d like to do, and I invariably forget them after a night out with friends. Which are absolutely worth it… but they make me crave monday morning the same as I crave banana muffins any other morning. There’s an incredibly good feeling when you don’t hit the snooze button and get to walk outside with the sunrise that carries on throughout the day, making those five days till friday actually really great. Almost as great as waking up to the smell of freshly baked muffins – which is what happens at my house when I don’t get to work out because of a bad ankle. I just bake instead. In this case, greek yogurt, chocolate chip, oat and ultra banana-ish banana muffins. They’re the perfect consistency, so smooshy from bananas you might even think there’s no flour instead. And not overly sweet, which means you won’t feel like you’re having cake for breakfast. (on monday! Asolute no-no. That’s ok on saturdays only) Not too much butter in them either, so have one after lunch as well. And since even sharing you can’t possibly eat all 12 in one day, have some post-monday. Read more for the recipe!

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Smaller is always better – Cinnamon brioche bites

Cinnamon brioche bites

Most bakers love bite-sized things. They’re just irresistible to make. There’s something about seeing a small army of pastries, all properly lined up on baking sheets waiting for their time in the oven. And when dressing, rolling, cutting or stuffing, there’s a strange pleasure to be found in doing the same thing for each one of the small baked goods, trying to get them as even as possible. (Or maybe I’m slightly obsessive and find this satisfying…). But who can deny the appeal of a basket filled with bite-sized treats? No one. And I’ll tell you why; if you had a basket of regular-sized croissants sitting on your breakfast table, the most you could grab in one sitting, without losing face in front of your breakfasting companions, is one lonely piece. And pushing it,  you could eat half of this piece with one topping and the other with a different one. But if you have a basket full of mini-croissants… the possibilities are endless! Because no one will judge you if you spread nutella on one, take another one and smear some butter and marmalade on it, take a third one and dip it in your milk, or even if you take a fourth one to accompany a little bit of ham and cheese you had left over on your plate. That’s the beauty of bite sized. Small pastries just keep telling you to eat them because they know they’re so small that what could be the harm in just one more?  And they’re absolutely right. Such is the case with these fluffy, buttery, cinnamon stuffed mini-brioches. It’s like just eating the center of a brioche-a-tete several times over. Because once you have one you will have to have a second one and quite possibly a third one. And that’s ok. No one will judge you.
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