Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

These muffins are moist and tender, full of pumpkin flavor, and studded with mini chocolate chips.Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins | A Nerd CooksThough I generally use pumpkin in my cooking and baking year-round, it’s now officially Fall.  It’s that time of year where we all turn into basic bitches.  Pumpkin recipes are fully acceptable.  Prepare yourselves.

Actually, I take that back.  Sort of.  I’m going to try to exercise some amount of restraint this year.  If I can’t limit the overall quantity, I’ll at least make an effort to scatter non pumpkin recipes throughout the coming months.Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins | A Nerd Cooks

Pumpkin and chocolate really do play well together, though, and are perfect in these muffins.

See this pumpkin cheesecake (with an Oreo crust and chocolate bourbon sauce!) and these pumpkin chocolate chip cookies for more examples.  Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins | A Nerd Cooks

This recipe is slightly adapted from Sweet and Savoury Pursuits.

You’ll need (makes 12 muffins):

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup vegetable/canola oil (or apple sauce)
  • 1 15 oz. can pumpkin puree
  • 3/4 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips, plus more for on top of muffins

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Line a muffin tin with paper liners.  Set aside.

In a medium-sized bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves together .  Set aside.

In another medium-sized bowl, combine the sugars, eggs, oil, and pumpkin puree until smooth.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix until just combined.  Fold in the mini chocolate chips.

Divide the batter between the muffin cups (they will be pretty full).  Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the center.

Allow the muffins to cool in the tin for 5 minutes before removing them to a wire rack to finish cooling completely.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins | A Nerd CooksPumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins | A Nerd Cooks

Coconut Zucchini Bread

Sweet and moist, with a slightly chewy texture from the coconut, this quick bread is perfect for breakfast or a snack.Coconut Zucchini Bread | A Nerd Cooks

This bread is great for anyone who isn’t quite willing to let go of summer produce just yet.  It has everything you’d expect from zucchini bread, plus some chewiness and additional sweetness from the coconut.  It makes an excellent snack or breakfast.

This recipe is slightly adapted from Crumb Kitchen.

You’ll need (makes 1 loaf):

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded zucchini (~1 medium zucchini)
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup sweetened shredded coconut
  • 1 tbs turbinado sugar, for sprinkling on top of bread (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Spray a 9×15-inch loaf pan with cooking spray.  Set aside.

In a medium-sized bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg together.  Set aside.

In another medium-sized bowl, combine the shredded zucchini, brown sugar, granulated sugar, vegetable oil, yogurt, egg, and vanilla, mixing well.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry, and mix until things are just combined.  Add the coconut and mix until just combined.

Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan, smoothing the top with a spatula as needed.  Sprinkle the turbinado sugar over the batter in an even layer, if desired.

Bake for 45-55 minutes, or until a knife/toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the center.  Allow the bread to cool for 10 minutes in the pan before removing it to a wire rack to finish cooling completely.

Coconut Zucchini Bread | A Nerd Cooks

Pumpkin Beer Bread

Fast, easy, and full of pumpkin and beer-y flavor. This bread is perfect for slathering with butter and dunking into some soup or chili.Pumpkin Beer Bread | A Nerd CooksIt’s the middle of September.  It is officially okay to blog about pumpkin recipes.  So says I.

After being sick for more than a week, I finally felt better last Sunday and went on a bit of a baking spree.  This beer bread was one of the recipes I tried.

The pumpkin flavor is pretty subtle, as are sort of traditional pumpkin spices.  It definitely predominantly has the flavors of the beer bread that we all know and love.

Though I’ve just been eating it warm with some butter, it would be great dunked in some Turkey White Bean Pumpkin Chili or Chicken Pumpkin Soup.  Or, you know, any non-pumpkin-based chili or soup.

Pumpkin Beer Bread | A Nerd Cooks

This recipe comes from Gimme Some Oven.

You’ll need:

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tbs baking powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp ground allspice
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 3 tbs honey
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 12 oz. bottle of beer (pumpkin beer recommended – I used Sam Adams’ 20 Pounds of Pumpkin)

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.  Grease a 9×5-inch loaf pan and set aside.

In a medium-sized bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, allspice, and cloves together.

Add the honey and pumpkin puree, stirring until combined.  This will be a little difficult.

Slowly add the beer and stir until combined.

Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan and bake 50-60 minutes, or until a toothpick/knife comes out clean when inserted into the center.  Allow the bread to cool for 5-10 minutes before slicing in.

Pumpkin Beer Bread | A Nerd Cooks

Sweet Potato Chocolate Chip Cookies – Updated!

These Sweet Potato Chocolate Chip Cookies are soft, spicy, and not too sweet.Sweet Potato Chocolate Chip Cookies | A Nerd CooksLike so many of my early blog posts (I originally posted about these 3 years ago!), these cookies really deserved a face lift.  And with Fall right around the corner, what better time to make these sweet and spicy cookies again?

They’re super soft, the cinnamon and cloves make them small like Fall, and the chocolate chips provide the perfect contrast of flavor and texture.  AND – They’re made with sweet potatoes so… they count as a vegetable.  Right?

If you like these cookies, and I bet you will, you should check out these Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies and Sweet Potato Waffles.

Sweet Potato Chocolate Chip Cookies | A Nerd Cooks

My original post about these cookies can be found here.  The recipe comes from Joy the Baker’s first cookbook.

You’ll need (makes ~2 dozen cookies):

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil or applesauce
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup sweet potato puree (canned or ~1 medium sweet potato, roasted, skin discarded, and mashed)
  • 1 cup chocolate chips, plus more for topping the cookies

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set them aside.

In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and cloves.  Set aside.

In another medium-sized bowl (or in the bowl of a stand mixer), whisk together the eggs an brown sugar until they are thick and pale.  Whisk in the oil/applesauce and vanilla extract.  Fold in the mashed sweet potato.

All at once, add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients.  Fold together with a spatula (or the stand mixer) until no bits of flour remain.  Fold in the chocolate chips.

Using a cookie scoop, or by the heaping tablespoonful, drop the dough onto the prepared baking sheets, leaving about 2 inches between cookies.  Top the dough with additional chocolate chips.

Bake 10-12 minutes.  Allow to cool on the cookie sheet for about 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to finish cooling completely.

sweet_potato_chocolate_chip_cookies3

Sweet Potato Waffles with Candied Pecans

These subtly sweet and spicy Sweet Potato Waffles are brought to you as a part of #WaffleWeek2016. Sweet Potato Waffles with Candied Pecans | A Nerd CooksI’m really struggling with not rushing into the next season.  On the one hand, I’m beyond excited for cooler weather, and really enjoy the foods and flavors of Fall.  Plus I love all of the things that this time of year signals the start of: lazy Saturdays spent watching college football (i.e., Sean watching and me just being lazy with the dog), hockey season, deer hunting, and pumpkin everything (#noshame).

On the other hand, early and mid-September are not technically Fall.  It’s still hot out, and the summer produce is still abundant.  Plus, what’s the rush?

Suffice it to say, you’re likely going to see an interesting mix of posts from me this month.  With warm, spicy flavors one day and things like fresh, grilled seafood the next.

Is anyone else out there struggling with this?Sweet Potato Waffles with Candied Pecans | A Nerd CooksToday we’re leaning toward the warm, spicy end of the spectrum.  These waffles are tender and flavorful.  The spices complement the subtle sweetness of the sweet potato, while the candied pecans add crunch and make these waffles really special.Sweet Potato Waffles with Candied Pecans | A Nerd Cooks

You’ll need:

For the candied pecans –

  • 1 cup pecan pieces (or whatever nut you’d like)
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tbs butter

For the waffles (makes 4 large waffles)-

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tbs brown sugar
  • 1 tbs baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp ground allspice
  • 1 3/4 cups milk
  • 1 cup sweet potato puree (canned or 1 medium sweet potato, roasted and mashed)
  • 2 large eggs, separated
  • 3 tbs butter, melted

To make the candied pecans – Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Set aside.  Add the pecan pieces, sugar, and butter to a nonstick skillet over medium heat.  Stir frequently.  Once the sugar starts to melt, stir constantly until all of the nuts are coated and all of the sugar has melted.

Spread the nuts onto the prepared baking sheet, quickly separating them with two spatulas.  Allow them to cool completely before breaking them apart.  Set aside.

To make the waffles – In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and allspice.  Set aside.

In another medium bowl, combine the milk, pureed sweet potato, egg yolks, and melted butter.  Whisk together until everything is combined.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry, and mix until things are just combined.  Set aside.

In a small bowl, whip the egg whites until stiff peaks form.  You can do this by hand, but I recommend using an electric hand mixer.  Fold the stiff egg whites into the batter.

Prepare the waffles according to your waffle maker’s directions.

Top the waffles with candied pecans, butter, and maple syrup.

If you’re looking for more waffle recipes from A Nerd Cooks, check out these Pumpkin Waffles and Churro Waffles!

Keep scrolling for some tasty waffle recipes from other talented food bloggers.

Sweet Potato Waffles with Candied Pecans | A Nerd Cooks

Now, let’s talk Waffle Week!  I partnered with a handful of other talented food bloggers to bring you an assortment of tasty recipes for your Waffle Week enjoyment.

  1. Coffee and Bacon Wakeup Waffles – Baking in a Tornado Baking in a Tornado
  2. Pumpkin Spice Waffles – Fuchsia Freezer Fusshia Freezer
  3. Buttermilk Cornmeal Waffles with Blackberry Syrup – Sew You Think You Can Cook Sew You Think You Can Cook
  4. Waffles Gone Wild – Our Good Life Our Good Life
img class=”alignnone size-full wp-image-6193″ src=”https://anerdcooks.files.wordpress.com/2016/09/waffle-collage-pinterest.jpg” alt=”Waffle Collage – Pinterest” width=”1335″ height=”2000″ />

Peanut Butter Snickerdoodles

Cinnamon sugar and peanut butter cookies come together in these Peanut Butter Snickerdoodles – an update on a classic cookie.Peanut Butter Snickerdoodles | A Nerd CooksIf a super soft peanut butter cookie and a snickerdoodle had a baby, this cookie would be it.Peanut Butter Snickerdoodles | A Nerd CooksSoft, peanut buttery, and full of warm cinnamon spice.  These cookies are perfect with a glass of milk, your morning coffee, or just on their own.Peanut Butter Snickerdoodles | A Nerd Cooks

This recipe is based on, but adapted from, this one from Two Peas and Their Pod.

You’ll need (makes 2 dozen cookies):

  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar + 2 tsp cinnamon (for rolling cookies)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.

In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the butter and peanut butter until combined.  Add the sugars and cream until smooth.  Add the egg and vanilla extract, beating until combined.

Add the dry ingredients to the mixer in a couple of batches, mixing until just combined.

In a small bowl, mix the extra sugar and cinnamon together.  Bonus – swap out granulated sugar for sanding sugar, or sugar with more texture, for added crunch.  Set the mixture aside momentarily.

Scoop ~2 tablespoons of dough out (with spoons or a cookie scoop), roll it into a ball, and roll the dough ball in the prepared cinnamon-sugar.

Bake 9-10 minutes, or until the cookies are golden brown around the edges and just set.  Remove from the oven and allow the cookies to cool on the pan for 5 minutes before removing them to a wire rack to cool completely.

Peanut Butter Snickerdoodles | A Nerd Cooks

White Chocolate Covered Strawberry Cheesecake Bars

Shari’s Berries products were provided to me free of charge.  All opinions are my own.White Chocolate Covered Strawberry Cheesecake Bars | A Nerd CooksIt’s A Nerd Cooks’ birthday week, you guys.  Earlier in the week, I shared these S’mores Cupcakes with you all.

Shari’s Berries reached out to me earlier this month about their Birthday Collection, and sent me a dozen Hand-Dipped Birthday Strawberries, so I figured I’d keep the celebration going!White Chocolate Covered Strawberry Cheesecake Bars | A Nerd CooksTheir chocolate covered strawberries inspired me to make these White Chocolate Covered Strawberry Cheesecake Bars.  They are rich, decadent, and perfect for celebrating  a birthday or blogiversary.White Chocolate Covered Strawberry Cheesecake Bars | A Nerd Cooks

This recipe is slightly modified from My Evil Twin’s Kitchen.

You’ll need:

For the crust – 

  • 30 Oreo cookies
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) of butter, melted

For the cheesecake –

  • 3-8 oz. packages of cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt or sour cream
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tbs vanilla extract
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 tbs cornstarch
  • 1 cup white chocolate, melted
  • 13 oz. strawberry jam (this kind of  jam is, well, my jam)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and line a 9×13-inch baking pan with parchment paper or foil, leaving some hanging over the sides.  This will help you lift the bars out of the pan after they have baked and cooled.  Spray with cooking spray and set aside.

To make the crust – Pulse the Oreo cookies in a food processor or blender until only fine crumbs remain.  Add the melted butter and pulse again until all crumbs are coated in butter.  Press the crust into the bottom of the prepared pan in an even layer.  Set aside.

To make the cheesecake – Rinse and dry your food processor/blender.  Add the cream cheese, Greek yogurt/sour cream, sugar, lemon juice, and vanilla extract.  Process until the mixture is very smooth and creamy (this may take several minutes).

Add the eggs and cornstarch and process until smooth and creamy again.

Add the melted white chocolate, and process for a third time until smooth and creamy.

Pour the cheesecake mixture over the prepared crust and smooth it out in an even layer.

Dollop the strawberry jam onto the cheesecake.  Using a knife or toothpick, swirl the jam throughout the cheesecake.  Be careful to not go too deep, because you’ll mess up the crust.

Bake for 40 minutes, or until the edges are puffed and golden brown, while the center still jiggles a little bit when you shake the pan.  Turn the heat off, but leave the cheesecake in the oven.  Prop the oven door open and allow the cheesecake to cool for an our or so, or until you can handle the pan with your bare hands.  Allow the cheesecake to cool completely at room temperature before refrigerating.

Once chilled (at least 2 hours), you can cut the bars however you’d like.

White Chocolate Covered Strawberry Cheesecake Bars | A Nerd CooksWhite Chocolate Covered Strawberry Cheesecake Bars | A Nerd Cooks