Drunken Banana (Fool Proof, Drunk Proof, Easy Banana Muffins)

It starts at eight am, the phone calls, the emails, the issues, the drama. From eight am till five you are chained. Chained to a chair (which between you and me is not that comfortable), and doused with other people’s problems and lit on fire. It sucks. Day in and day out we continue this pattern. Issue after issue, crisis after crisis, and not one person likes it; not you, not the person on the other end of the phone and definitely not your boss. But we wake up each morning and do it anyway because we are crazy.

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Anyways, ranting aside, we all hate work, that’s a given. But on the occasion we all like to do nice things for our coworkers,Martini recipe like bake them chocolate chip banana muffins for breakfast, to show them how much you appreciate them not literally lighting you on fire when you complain. But also on occasion you like to drink away a hard day at work, and three key lime pie martinis in you realize those muffins are not going to bake themselves.

 

Coworkers around the world, I have done you a favor. Drunk proof muffins!! *I think I am required by law to say that if you are under the influence take my ideas lightly, while it might be fun for me to make muffins and risk burning the house down, you might want to think twice about this idea.* After a few cocktails sprawled out on the chase lounge by the pool, those damn muffins still linger in the back of your head. Well have no fear, follow this recipe somewhat and your muffins will come out wonderful!

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 Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins

These muffins are super simple to make and one of my house hold favorite. When the bananas go bad and the fruit flies start buzzing be sure to reach for this recipe and not waste those sweet, beautiful bananas.

Makes roughly 24 muffins

Ingredients:

1/2 Cup butter, softened

1/2 Cup sugar

1/2 Cup packed brown sugar

2 Eggs

1 – 1/2 Cups mashed ripe bananas (bout 3)

3 Teaspoons Vanilla extract

2 cups all-purpose flour

3 Teaspoons baking soda

1 bag of chocolate chips (or less, to taste really)

Directions:

  1. In a stand mixer cream butter and sugars
  2. Beat in eggs, bananas and vanilla.
  3. Combine mixture until combined.
  4. Stir in the chocolate chips
  5. Fill greased or paper lined muffin cups half way
  6. Bake at 350* for 15 to 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of a muffin comes out clean.
  7. Wait 5 minutes before removing from pan.

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Drinking at Work (Irish Car Bomb Cupcake)

Do you know how hard it is to write a post about St. Patrick’s Day when you don’t understand the holiday? I don’t own a single article of green clothing, I’ve never had green beer, I don’t like traditional Irish food, and leprechauns have to be the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard of.

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When I was in second grade I tried to “catch a leprechaun” by building an elaborate trap out of Legos, Tupperware, and shiny things. I made the mistake of not telling my mom that I made this, and needless to say I didn’t even catch a fake leprechaun, that’s when I gave up on St. Patrick’s Day. Maybe in Ireland this has a special meaning, maybe Irish people in the states have a connection to this day, maybe one day I will like corn beef and cabbage, but today is not that day.

The only thing I like about St. Patrick’s day is a good Irish Car Bomb, which could be considered offensive to the Irish I suppose. A shot of equal parts Irish whisky and Baileys, dropped into a three quarter glass of Guinness stout. If not taken within thirty seconds of dropping, you can expect this mixture to curdle into an unappetizing mixture that makes you wonder what your stomach is going to do when you drink one. While I do not know the history of this shot, but can almost guarantee this was not invented by the Irish, however has become a staple on St. Patrick’s Day. May the luck of the Irish be with you if you choke down more than 3 of these mixtures, and may what happens in the glass not happen in your stomach.

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Cupcakes for days

While I do like a good shot at the bar, drinking all day at work is not acceptable. However drinking in a cupcake is acceptable. The Irish Car Bomb Cupcake is by far my favorite cupcake that I have made in my entire life. A stout cupcake with a whisky ganache filling and a Bailey’s buttercream frosting gets me every time. This is the one cupcake I will not share the recipe, if you want it made you can find your own recipe, however mine is the best.

May the luck of the Irish be with you!

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Questions or Comments? Please email NotSoCulinaryGraduate@hotmail.com

College With A Side Of Frosting (Jack and Coke Cupcake)

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Retrospectively, I spent a lot of time during my college career at frat houses, parties, and under the influence. But isn’t that the college way of life? During my four years I gained a reputation that one of my idols would have been proud of. I was a drunken party girl. I would walk down my dorm room floor at 7 pm on a Monday night and convince people that they should take shots with me. I was a master illusionist that showed them how a drink could solve there problems at 9pm, however I never showed up to help them get too clinical at 5:30 am. I was the girl who was lying on the common room floor with kaleidoscope eyes, telling you that in a galaxy far, far away there was life. I was the person who swore like a sailor, dressed like a blind man, and drank like I would never live to see tomorrow.

Wanna see highlights of my Drunk College Career? Click here.

During my 4 year of college Ke$ha was my role model. Her words spoke to me, partying, drinking, waking up in closets, glitter, feeling like P. Diddy, who didn’t want to be Ke$ha? I would parade around in the silliest of outfits, not caring what other people thought, spreading a trail of glitter wherever I may have traveled. I even had my own theme song which mirrored Ke$ha’s current hit at the time, Tik Tok (Maybe one day I will share it, or even do a video playing it).  And while I never brushed my teeth with a bottle of Jack, peppermint schnapps will have to suffice.

Parading around with the pride of Ke$ha supporting me, really helped me find my confidence in college. I did not care what anyone said about how I dressed, how I acted, or the way that I expressed myself, I was playing Ke$ha and I was happy! Sure sometimes my shenanigans got me in trouble, like drinking before sporting games, or frequently skipping my 8am class. However I did graduate this past December with a 3.5 GPA, a major in Forensic Psychology and minors in English and Criminal Justice, and a few certificates to throw into the mix.

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Today with the Super Bowl approaching, I decided to make Jack and Coke cupcakes. However I could not help but think of my college role model the entire time making them. These cupcakes featured a chocolate coke base, with a Jack Daniels butter cream icing, sure to give you that afternoon buzz you need. These cupcakes, due to the soda, come out as light as an empty bottle, with as much flavor as the soda you just guzzled to get that empty bottle. While I am not a Jack fan or a Coke fan, there are some things that were meant to go together, and Jack and Coke is one of them.

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Jack and Coke Cupcakes:

I confess, I cheated again!!! I used a box mix for the Coke cupcakes. There are recipes out there on how to make a coke cake from scratch, but if you are like me and don’t feel like running to the store at 8:30pm after the gym this will suffice.

Makes 15 Cupcakes, Frosts 12 nicely, stretches to 15.

Ingredients:

1 Box of Chocolate or Vanilla Cake Mix

1 (12 Ounce) Can of Coke

1 Cup Unsalted Butter

3 Cups Confectioners Sugar

1 Tsp Vanilla

1 Tsp Milk

4 Tbsp of Jack Daniels

Directions:

Cake:

Mix the cake batter and the 12 ounces of soda, this will replace the eggs and oil and whatever else the box calls for.

Follow directions on the box for baking times.

For the icing:

Cream the butter, mix in the vanilla and milk.

Slowly mix in the confectioner sugar one cup at a time.

Mix in the Jack and frost!

To the girl who gave me advice (baking myths tackled)

“If you wear your pajamas inside out and backwards it will snow.”

Mrs. Poinsett my second grade teacher would tell us this daily in winter, and being a snow enthusiast, I listened. Let me tell you how hard it is to zip an onesie inside out and backwards… Have you ever tried to take off a wet wetsuit? How about ever tried to hook a tiny necklace clasps with fake nails? Have you ever sneezed spraying  purple tie dye powder all over your mothers freshly cleaned kitchen; then tried to clean it  up and found out it just stains everything when you get it wet? Oh come on I can’t be the only one that has happened to!! My point is it’s close to impossible.

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How did this myth or superstition come into practice? What started this phenomenon that now has children morphing into contortionists to zip their onesies? Some myths out there are so ridiculous. If I step on a crack, I can guarantee I will not break my mother’s back.  And if I stare at the microwave while its running my eyes won’t turn green and glow at night (trust me I tested this daily as a child, don’t get your hopes up).

The topic of baking does not escape the rapidly running rumors and myths. This topic actually sparked my interest because in a class I took (Writing about Food, at Cedar Crest College); a girl had the audacity to tell me my cookies would be better and softer if I stored them with a piece of bread. A piece of bread, A PIECE OF BREAD!!! What the hell would a piece of bread do? How dare she question my supreme baking abilities, who was she to question my authority!!! I’ll attack this myth later. Before I go on another rant about how much this upset me…

Baking Myths Tackled!

Myth: Shorting instead of butter will make cookies fluffier.

Answer: Sort of. It depends how much of a butter expert you are.

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Right out of the fridge butter is a solid, while right out the microwave butter is a liquid; and at room temperature butter is an odd mixture of both. In order to get butter right for cookies it has to have a certain consistency that is somewhere in between a liquid and a solid. Shorting has the correct consistency all the time and does not need to concern itself with the troubles of room temp vs. liquid state of butter.

Another reason that shorting produces a fluffier cookie is butter contains water. Shorting contains, well you don’t want to know, just know that there is no water. By containing no water, cookies with shortening are guaranteed to always stand a little taller than those made with butter.

Myth: All the alcohol in my chocolate stout cake will bake out in the oven

Answer: Eat the whole cake and you might start to get a buzz, or diabetes.

It is believed that alcohol will bake out because it has a lower boiling point than water does, but that does not mean that all of the alcohol will bake out. There can still be up to 50% of the alcohol remaining. You would have to bake a cake for over three hours to get the cake down to 5% alcohol.

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I majored in psychology in college, but I’m about to go all science on you. Alcohol can bind with both fat and water molecules. Binding to the fat molecules gives the food the flavor of the alcohol, while binding with the water makes it almost impossible to get rid of.  When water and alcohol bind they form an azeotrope, and when you boil or bake this mixture the ratio of the alcohol will always stay the same. Unless you boil out all of the liquid, but no one like a dry cake.

Myth: Baking soda and Baking Powder can live forever with the cockroaches.

Answer: While baking soda can be passed down from generation to generation, baking soda only has a shelf life of about a year (which makes me think I should restock the one in my baking supply shelf).

While baking soda is sodium bicarbonate which means when it is introduced to liquid and an acidy ingredient it bubbles which make your cakes rise. While baking powder contains sodium bicarbonate it also contains an acidifying agent and a drying agent. When baking power is added to dough it is activated by the heat of the oven.

So how do you test if your baking powder is ready to erupt? Since it is activated by heat and liquid add 1 teaspoon of baking powder to hot water. If it bubbles, it’s still fresh, If not (like I fear mine will do),  time to run to the store.

Myth: Salted Butter doesn’t spoil when it is not refrigerated

Answer: disgustingly true.

I have an aunt who doesn’t refrigerate her butter and it always look like something I just sweated out and congealed. Needless to say unrefrigerated butter grosses me out.

The reason that salted butter does not spoil is the salt. It contains so much salt that it inhibits the growth of bacteria. However unsalted butter, which I prefer, will spoil in about a week if left out to fend for itself.

Just to be safe, please, always put the butter away.

Myth: Why something is baking in the oven, opening the oven will ruin it.

Answer: Depends on what you are baking, but no for the most part

Mom this one is for you. When making cupcakes, no opening the oven will not cause them to not rise, however if you are making a soufflé I promise I will not open the door. Delicate things such as a soufflé are harder to preserve and they could flop if the door is open.

Myth: Putting a slice of bread in a sealed container with your cookies will keep them soft.

Answer: She was right.

It kills me to say this. Yes Amber you are right. Putting a slice of bread in with your cookie will make them soft. BUT WHY, WHYYYYYYY?!?!?!

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Cookies contain sugar, more sugar than breads with yeast. The sugars in these cookies are “hygroscopic” which in English means that they draw water out of the air into the sugar structure. Bread (white, wheat or rye) are not hygroscopic and evaporates its water into the air.  When a bread and cookie meet in the same environment the cookie starts taking water from the air, and the bread starts giving water to the air. So the Cookie gets soft and the bread gets hard.

Bitch.