Easy baking with children – Banana and chocolate chip muffins


If you’re looking for an easy recipe to bake with some little people to keep them entertained during lockdown then this is the recipe for you. We picked up some reduced bananas this week that were a bit past their best so I decided they would be perfect for baking with. After some searching I found this recipe which had good reviews and seemed perfect for making with my baking sidekicks as you literally pop all the ingredients in a bowl, mix it up and 25 minutes later have some delicious, moist muffins. It does however contain eggs and self-raising flour which despite the initial shopping craziness of lockdown having seemingly subsided are still in short supply in our part of Hampshire. I’m now rationing my plain flour so was happy to find these used self-raising flour (what crazy times we live in!)
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Pear and hazelnut muffins


I do love the combination of pear and chocolate. I’ve made a few pear and chocolate based recipes in the time I’ve been writing this blog including a pear and white chocolate muffin loaf, a squidgy pear and chocolate spread cake and chocolate and pear brownies. I had a couple of pears that needed using and had seen this Martha Collison recipe for Waitrose so decided to give them a go.
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Cranberry and white chocolate muffins


This week has felt like a very long week so I decided yesterday that we were in need of some sugar at work today to help sustain us all through the last day of the week. I decided on this recipe as I had some leftover cranberries that had been loitering in the fridge since before the New Year. Cranberries and white chocolate are a perfect combination as the sweetness of the chocolate balances the sourness of the cranberries. I’ve made other white chocolate and cranberry recipes before including these very popular white chocolate and cranberry cookies and the bundt I made last week. These were very popular with both mine and Mr Birdie’s work colleagues. I have to say I wasn’t overly fussed by them but everyone else loved them (with one of my work friends declaring that they would marry me because of them!)
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Chocolate Banana Streusel Muffins


This is a bit of a belated post as I made these about 3 weeks ago. I always seem to have some overripe bananas hanging around as I’m not a fan of them when they start to go brown on the outside. This means I’m always on the lookout for recipes that will use them up. I spotted this recipe on Pinterest a couple of months ago and decided to give it a go as I had all the ingredients already. Chocolate and banana is a combination that can’t go wrong and if you add an oaty topping you can almost believe they’re good for you! I think these would be great for brunch but they will work just as well at any other time of the day with a cup of tea or coffee.

This recipe will make 8 muffins. As it is an American recipe the measurements are in cups. With hindsight after tasting these I think you could probably up the amount of banana as when I tried one the banana isn’t that strong so if you like a stronger banana flavour maybe try adding two bananas.
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Pear & Toffee Muffins


We had a team night out last night to watch two of our colleagues in a production of ‘Acorn Antiques’. We decided to arrive early to allow us to indulge in some tea and cake. Myself and another of my colleagues offered to bake. I had seen this recipe a few weeks ago when I had some pears to use up and decided they would be pretty easy to whip up yesterday when I was short of time.

This is a recipe I found on the BBC Good Food website that you can find here. The recipe makes 12 muffins.
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Blueberry and Cranberry Crumb Muffins


Just before the New Year I bought a packet of fresh cranberries which until today had been sat in the fridge. I knew I wanted to try making some muffins with them. I thought I would probably go for cranberry and white chocolate as this is a combination of flavours I like but after some research I found the recipe for these blueberry and cranberry crumb muffins which looked interesting (and also vaguely healthy given they’re packed full of fruit!) It is an American recipe from a blog called ‘Oh Sweet Day!’ which you can find here. You’ll need cups or alternatively if you’re going to convert the measurements I find this page from Delia’s website handy. The batter is quite thick but don’t let this disconcert you! The crunchy crumble topping makes a nice contrast to the fruity, moist muffins. I made 15 muffins from this mixture.
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Blackberry and apple crumble muffins


The end of summer is fast approaching and autumn is in sight. The days are getting shorter, the summer holidays are nearly over (to the delight of parents and the despair of teachers) and blackberries are appearing. I spent Sunday afternoon wondering around the local area picking blackberries to use in my latest baking adventure. After trawling the Internet I found many options: blackberry and almond meringue cakeblackberry sourdough sconesblackberry and apple muffins and even bramble marshmallows. In the end I opted for a recipe from the Delicious Magazine website for blackberry and apple crumble muffins which you can find here.

The recipe works well and produces muffins that are moist. I particularly like the bursts of bright purple created by the blackberries. If I was to make these again I would cut the chunks of apple a little smaller and possibly use a dessert apple instead to add a little more sweetness.

The recipe makes 12 muffins and you will need a 12-hole muffin tin lined with paper cases.
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