Breakfast

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Hawaij Honey Cake with Labneh Frosting

Wednesday, August 22nd, 2018

If you are lucky enough to own a copy of Millennial Kosher, chances are you are one of hundreds who has made my hawaij garlic confit a staple on their Shabbos table. I for one can not get through the weekend without the intoxicating smell of hawaij wafting through my home. And my challah can’t live without dipping into the fragrant oily dip.

I’m proud to have introduced so many people to one of my favorite spice blends – a Yemenite curry that is famous for it’s use in chicken soup. What many don’t know, however, is that there is also a sweet version of hawaij, traditionally used for coffee. Since many honey cakes incorporate coffee into the batter, I figured that spicing up the cake with some hawaij for coffee was the perfect way to introduce the sweet side of the Yemenite spice.

Besides for the fragrant spice blend, I also incorporated one of my favorite Israeli ingredients – silan or date honey. It’s interesting to note that when the Torah speaks of Israel being the “Land that flows with milk and honey”, it is actually referring to date honey. There is nothing quite like dates from the shuk in Israel, and silan has become a much-loved ingredient in my house. It works both in sweet and savory applications (try it over pargiot!) and it’s delicious when paired with tahini.

Now lets talk about the other unique component of this amazing recipe – the frosting! If you’d never tried making labneh before, it’s so much easier than it seems! Labneh is the Israeli cream cheese – light and creamy with a healthy dose of tang. I’m personally not a fan of classic American cream cheese, so it’s all about the labneh for me!

Labneh is extremely versatile – it can be rolled into balls and marinated in olive oil with different spices, drizzled with some olive oil and za’atar for dipping pita, or made into a sweet frosting with some added hawaij to perfectly compliment this breakfast loaf!

I am totally obsessed over how this recipe came together! The cake is crazy moist, nothing like that dry honey cake we all dread. The hawaij adds just enough spice, but nothing over the top, and the creamy frosting adds a nice tang to balance out the sweetness of the cake.

My favorite part about this cake though, was decorating it!! I had a vision for incorporating my favorite seasonal fruit – figs – and I just love how it came out! Feel free to play around with fresh pomegranate, honeycomb, cinnamon sticks and other fun toppings to make the cake your own.

I always say I’m not a baker, but this recipe helped me realize that even though I don’t like the science of baking, there is still so much room for creativity and if I can get around the technicalities, I can create a masterpiece.

Here’s to a New Year of trying new things, delicious eats and sweetness all around!

This post was sponsored by Norman’s. All opinions are my own. 

Related Recipes:

parsnip honey cake with cream cheese frosting
honey cake with caramelized apples
bourbon honey cake balls

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Tahini Scones

Tuesday, July 31st, 2018

I’m fond of calling myself a #bakernonbaker but the truth is, sometimes I surprise myself. These scones were next-level. The crunchiest exterior, pillow-soft interior and crazy flaky – almost like halva! How my little of this and little of that achieved scone-perfection is a mystery even I cannot solve, but I think it has a lot to do with the magic ingredient – tahini.

I’m pretty open about the fact that I’m not into the science of food. I’ve never been a very technical person. Technicalities give me a headache. I don’t find gastronomy intriguing, but one thing I can tell you is that tahini has special powers. Something about it’s fat content makes it bind with other ingredients in a completely different way. Fold it into whipped cream and you’ll get the thickest emulsion that will not deflate – and it will freeze up so smooth and creamy with the texture of ice cream! Mix it with water and you’ve got the silkiest, creamiest dip or stir in some silan and you’ve got a thick fudge. What is it about this magic ingredient that can be used in both sweet or savory applications, mixed into doughs and salad dressings, fudge and candy?

Tahini so fascinates me, I almost want to explore the science of emulsification. Almost. It does something so special to these flaky scones, you’ll never believe they don’t have butter!

Buttery pastries intimidate me. The way you have to get the butter into the perfect pea-size, and you can’t melt it with the heat of your hands. How you have to be careful to handle the dough just-so and not overmix it. How you have to perfect the process to allow for pillows of flakiness in every bite. Too painstaking for this impatient cook.

But cream-based scones? I got this. And so can you. Because it’s just as simple as mixing some ingredients into a bowl and forming them into a disc. And you can thank the magic ingredient, tahini, for doing the work of butter – minus the technicalities.

I thought about glazing the scones (and even posted a poll on my Instagram!), but I decided not to mess with perfection. Sometimes you get something just right and you don’t need to over-complicate things. So I left the scones as-is, allowing the subtle tahini flavor to shine, and served them with a side of dairy whipped cream and fresh berries, ‘cuz really, does it get any better than that?

OK, maybe with a side of a steaming hot cafe hafuch and some fresh figs. (on a porch somewhere in Israel. I’m pushing it now, aren’t I?) The breakfast of my dreams.

Related Recipes:

halva krembos with sesame cookies
halva and ricotta stuffed figs
tahini frappuccino
tahini puppy chow 

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Roasted Eggplant Shakshuka

Tuesday, July 17th, 2018

If you’ve been following me for a while, you know I’ve got a thing for stuffing roasted eggplant halves. I’ve made it a bunch of different ways – in fact – I had so many variations that I wanted to put into my cookbook, Millennial Kosher, that I almost wanted to do a stuffed eggplant chapter! Alas, we had to nix this shakshuka recipe because I already had 2 other stuffed recipes in the book (fully loaded stuffed eggplants and lamb moussaka eggplant boats).

It was a hard decision because this recipe is just THAT good. But the great part about being a food blogger is that I knew I could eventually just post it on the blog, and this seems like the perfect week! With the Nine Days upon us (a period of mourning in which observant Jews abstain from eating meat), we’re all looking for light and healthy vegetarian fare, and this fits the bill.

If you’re a fan of shakshuka, I’ve got lots of other variations available on the blog too, like this Mexican Quinoa Shakshuka, the beet, kale and goat cheese version that WhatJewWannaEat guest posted for me when I was on maternity leave,  this fun zoodle version, one with garbanzo beans and labneh, another one with spaghetti squash and spinach, and even a stuffed portobello one. Can you tell I have a thing for runny eggs in spicy tomato sauce??

All the above versions are kinda great – but I’m partial to the ramen shakshuka in my cookbook, and this incredible variation. The silky fire roasted eggplant with the runny egg and the spicy tomato sauce marry so well together, it’s a wonder no one came up with this before!

If you’re a fan of stuffed roasted eggplants, you can also try these other ideas: roasted eggplant parmesan, roasted eggplant parmesan with fetastuffed roasted eggplant, and sous vide stuffed eggplant with dukkah and pomegranate.  I wasn’t kidding. I heart stuffed eggplant. Almost as much as shakshuka. Ok as much as shakshuka.

Related Recipes:

Mexican quinoa shakshuka,
beet, kale and goat cheese shakshuka
zoodle shakshuka,
garbanzo bean shakshuka with labneh
spaghetti squash shakshuka
stuffed portobello shakshuka

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Breakfast Cones

Tuesday, August 22nd, 2017

I think it’s about time I share my secret to making it through the summer without giving in to my ice cream craving each time the ice cream truck comes around (that’s about 6 times a day here in the bungalow colony!). It’s also how I get my kids to stop asking for money every time they hear “Come and make a bracha, the kosher ice cream truck is here!”. (Who am I kidding? they still ask for money every time they hear it!).

My secret to ice cream without the guilt? BREAKFAST CONES. Yup. Ice cream cones for breakfast. And why do I not feel guilty about this stroke of genius might you ask? Because when I considered the fact that my kids would eat leben (pure sugar), frosted flakes (also pure sugar), pancakes (pure sugar when you count the amount of maple syrup they pour over it) or a chocolate protein bar (pure sugar + bits of protein) for breakfast, I figured a sugar cone filled with fruit and yogurt was just as bad, if not better, than all those options.


Putting all the breakfast things into a sugar cone is also a great way to bribe the kids to get ready for camp every morning. Hurry up and get dressed and I’ll feed you ice cream for breakfast! Does this make me the best mom ever? Or the smartest? I think both!

It all started with my fruity yogurt parfaits that I couldn’t get enough of this summer. The amazing seasonal berries and delicious fruit were so refreshing, especially when topped off with some plain yogurt, a bit of raw farm fresh honey and granola. It was the perfect breakfast, lunch, or light dinner, and I loaded up on it.

When I wanted something a bit more ice-creamy, I’d just stick a yogurt in the freezer for an hour or two, until it got kinda frozen, and load it up with fresh fruit. Once, when I ran out of granola, I crushed up some leftover sugar cones (cuz they are my absolute fave!) and put them on top. And voila! The fruit yogurt cone was born.

When you consider the fact that a single sugar cone has just 50 calories and 3g of sugar, it’s a lot healthier choice than a cup of orange juice (110 calories, 22g sugar per cup) or store bought granola (260 calories, 11g sugar per half cup). And lets not even get started on some of the cereals we are feeding our kids! So, when you do the math…. a sugar cone filled with yogurt, some fresh fruit and a spoonful of cereal is definitely a reasonable breakfast that is great for kids. And you can make it as healthful as you like – go with plain yogurt and nuts and seeds for a healthier version, or fruity yogurt with cereal for a more indulgent one.

Related Recipes:

ice cream sundae cookies
corn flake crunch ice cream
ice cream clowns

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Grain Free Granola

Thursday, March 23rd, 2017

It’s been an emotional week for me. I opened up about a personal loss over on Instagram and the response was overwhelming. I truly felt a communal virtual hug that gave me so much comfort, and for that I thank you.

At a yartzeit gathering this week, one of the speakers mentioned an interesting thought. Why is it, he wondered, that so many communities do not read about the history of the holocaust on the saddest day of the year, the Fast of Tisha B’av? He reasoned that the atrocities of the holocaust were so unbearable, that the only way for the Jews to survive was to not look back – only forward. There was simply no other way. It was key to our survival.

If you think about it, he said, that’s why most holocaust survivors don’t and can’t talk about the past. That’s the only way they were able to put one foot in front of the other and continue living.

I’ve had this on my mind and it just so happened that this morning, a friend of mine posted a video of her grandfather giving testimony on a trip to the Death Camps. He goes into detail about the selection and how his life was spared, and the gruesome stories that he told left me choking on my tears. I can’t bear to listen to it, how could anyone actually have LIVED through it?

Not to make light of the very worst horror that the world has ever experienced, but many people go through their own personal holocaust. I know for myself that my family’s personal loss was the kind of stuff you only see on TV, not in real life. You never think it will happen to you. And I keep thinking back to the speech of this week – you can’t look back, you can only move forward.

It’s funny because my husband (who is a business coach) has been talking to me a lot about The Three Laws of Performance, a book that has literally changed his life. The popular self-improvement book gives you strategies to be able to create a new future that’s different from the past. In order to do that, we have to change our language, because the words and the meaning we attach to those words all have to do with our past – and it holds us back. Letting go of the past gives us the opportunity to create the future we really want.

We all use words that create our reality – we say things like “You always do such as such,” or “Because such and such happened to me, therefore I can’t …”. If we stop attaching meaning to everything we say (that is based on our past) then that allows us the possibility of a new future.

If you’re like me, you’re  probably rolling your eyes at what I’m writing, but the truth is, it makes a lot of sense. For most of us, it’s our pasts and the stories we tell ourselves based on our pasts that really hold us back from living our future.

Let me just say though that I am the last person to preach these ideas – psychology was never quiet my thing. And honestly when my husband got into self improvement and all that stuff – I just looked the other way. “You do you and I’ll do me” was my philosophy but it wasn’t a very healthy (or mature) one. I mean we can all learn methods we can use to improve ourselves – our outlooks, our responses, our behaviors. As a mom, how can I expect to tell my children to control their anger or “use their indoor voice” if I’m not doing that myself.

This week, and in fact the last couple of months (since I’ve been open to learning the Three Laws of Performance) have been really eye opening for me. I’m working on putting the past in the past and focusing on creating the future that I once thought I could only dream of. And with Passover just a short few weeks away, I always learned that the holiday wasn’t just about eating matza, but about passing over our own exiles and experiencing a personal redemption. I hope you (and I) will be lucky enough to do so this year!

I, for one, am passing over the heavy Passover food of yesteryear and moving onto some healthier and lighter options, like this fantastic grain-free granola. The recipe bakes up in clusters, just the way I like it, and you’d never believe it’s made from just nuts and coconut. Give it a try!

Related Recipes

marzipan crumble (gluten free)
chewy date granola bars
banana nut Greek yogurt bowl
yogurt parfaits with homemade granola

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Avocado Toast with Cheesy Scrambled Eggs

Thursday, February 9th, 2017

I used to hate scrambled eggs. And I mean hate. When my husband would cook them in the morning, I literally had to leave the house because the smell was too much for me. Runny eggs were my thing, especially in shakshuka, or sunny-side-up with a side of hash browns. Until, that is,  I learned to cook them.

Rubbery scrambled eggs are enough to turn you off for a very long time. But when you learn to keep those curds moist and creamy – not only will you want to eat them – you’ll also find that they don’t actually smell. Smelly eggs are a byproduct of eggs that are overdone. I learned that when I took over the egg cookery (and am reminded of it whenever I sleep in and my husband takes over!)

There’s something else that got me onto scrambled eggs, and that’s cheese! A small handful of mozzarella keeps the eggs super moist and adds a delicious gooey cheesiness that is pure breakfast glory. This has truly become my favorite breakfast.

My husband and I are also converted sourdough snobs, so spreading those creamy curds over some hearty toast with a dose of buttery avocado just can’t get any better. Of course I don’t eat these every day, because lets face it, I don’t eat breakfast every day. But I’d eat this if I did! I know this breakfast looks kinda fancy and intimidating here, but that’s just thanks to my good styling ;) , these toasts only take a couple of minutes to put together.

If you’re feeling up to taking your egg game to the next level, here’s the best advice I can give you: make you sure you use a nonstick skillet and a silicone spatula. If you want to get those deliciously moist and creamy curds, you’ve got to be able to sweep the eggs across the pan, and for that, you need the slippery nonstick surface.

I hope you give these a try! Let me know how it goes!

Related Recipes:

scrambled hard boiled eggs
Purim deviled eggs
poached egg and avocado toast

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Mexishuka (Mexican Quinoa Shakshuka)

Thursday, January 12th, 2017

If a food could be my spirit animal, that food would be shakshuka. It’s versatile. Colorful. Sweet. Spicy. Photogenic. And oh. so. delicious. Don’t we all just want to be like shakshuka?

Well I’ll tell you what. We all want to at least be like a decently cooked one. I was reminiscing about my seminary days in Israel recently, and I was telling my Shabbat guests about the foods they used to serve us. This dish of rubbery eggs cooked in tomato sauce came back to me, and I finally realized, so many years later, that that was my first shakshuka experience. And what a bad one it was!

I don’t know why our Israeli chef couldn’t make a decent pot of the stuff. Maybe it’s because he was making it on a larger scale. Or maybe he was afraid of giving us salmonella. But those eggs…man where they rubbery. I think it was everyone’s least favorite lunch. Whenever shakshuka was served, we’d fill our bowls with Israeli soup croutons and eat them like cereal and milk, with just a splash of soup. It’s no wonder I put on 15 pounds that year!

Fast forward many years (I won’t date myself!) and I was eating at some Israeli restaurant. I went for the shuka and I was hooked. I forgot all about my rubbery egg days and the rest is history! I’ve been putting my own twists on the classic Israeli dish ever since.

I’m not so sure the Israelis would back me up on my varied interpretations of shakshuka, they’re purists when it comes to their food. They like their hummus straight up with tahini, their falafel without the fanfare, and their lemonana with strictly lemon and mint. Of course I go and trash up all their traditions with things like chestnut hummus, falafel latkes and strawberry limonana but that’s just my thang.

I’ve done the shakshuka thing in so many different variations. I cooked it up with a matbucha base, always make my quick and easy marinara base, I even stuffed it into a portobello, and tried a lightened up version with spaghetti squash. There was also the chickpea one, the zoodle one, and that beet and goat cheese one that Amy guest posted after my baby was born. So yes, I’ve rode that shakshuka train to breakfast glory and back! But THIS. This is next-level shakshuka. This is the best. freakin. shakshuka. I. have. ever. eaten.

When I started cooking this dish, I was pleasantly surprised to see how easily adaptable the Israeli flavors were to Mexican cuisine, where cumin and chili peppers play a pivotal role. I threw in some chili powder, jalapenos and black beans, but the real star is the quinoa. It makes this dish so hearty, you don’t even need to eat it with pita (oh yes I said it. No pita. Please don’t come after me Israeli food police).

I was putting the finishing touches on this dish when my husband surprised me by coming home in between meetings. I was so happy I had what to feed him, and he just kept coming back for more because it’s just. that. good. We polished off this skillet in no time and I’m already dreaming about making it again.

As for the bygone shakshuka of my past, I’m happy to say I have mastered the art of the perfect runny-egg shakshuka. May those rubbery eggs rest in peace.

In the meantime, I’m already dreaming up another shakshuka variation. I’m thinking something picante with eggplant. What do you say?

Have you ever put a fun spin on shakshuka? What’s you favorite version? Share it with me in the comments below!

Have an eggscellent day!

Related Recipes:

quick and easy shakshuka
portobello shakshuka
spaghetti squash shakshuka
garbanzo bean shakshuka
zoodle shakshuka
beet, kale and goat cheese shakshuka

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Paleo Chocolate Muffins

Thursday, November 24th, 2016

I keep waiting for life to get a bit less hectic. When baby #5 came five weeks early this summer, life turned upside down. We thought we had everything all worked out. We were spending July in upstate New York and planned to return for the second month of the summer, so I’d be near the hospital for my late-August due date. Instead, we drove for two+ hours in the wee of night while I labored in the front seat hoping that my water wouldn’t break! Alas, we made it to the hospital with more than enough time, because my labor lasted 24 hours. You just never know.

My husband packed up all our stuff from the country (we all know how that went), and I started looking for an extra hand to help with the kids while I nursed my preemie around the clock. Slowly but surely, things began to fall into place. The kids transitioned to their new summer arrangements, I found an awesome girl to help out, and I rested up at my Mom’s house. But then camp ended. And school was two weeks away. And we had all the holidays coming, so I needed to buy holiday clothes, uniforms, school supplies and all that New Year stuff that is just. so. hectic. Once that all died down, I started to plan for my son’s Upshernish, a ritual hair-cutting ceremony observed when a Jewish boy turns three, and thus formally begins his Torah education. I spent weeks prepping and planning, made my very first fondant cake and other desserts which I froze in advance. I lined up a caterer, entertainment, got us all in coordinating outfits and booked the photographer. Alas, the big day arrived (which we celebrated this week), and thankfully it all worked out beautifully. We chopped off my son’s beautiful blond curls, sharing and celebrating with friends and family.

Now that the upshernish is behind us, I woke up this morning thinking, OK, now let me just take a breather. But then I opened my calendar and saw all the trillions of things I had lined up (many of which I had pushed off because I was too busy planning the party) …and I realized…life is not going to get any less hectic. This is it. I’ve got five kids. I’ve got recipes to test. Demos to work on. Articles to write. Shopping and homework and Dr.’s appointments and PTA and laundry and diapers to change and babies to feed…..and…….and……yes. I’ve got so much. I’ve got so much.

So instead of fighting my hectic schedule, I’ve decided to embrace it. And instead of wishing for a break, I’m going to find little tidbits of calm amid the chaos. Small moments to savor a hot cup of coffee, and to realize that breastfeeding is not a chore, but a time to bond with my adorable baby and dinner with friends is not just another thing to do on my calendar, but a time to take a break and actually enjoy the moment!

Today is hectic. And tomorrow will be too. But I am forever thankful for it. Happy Thanksgiving!

I’ve been trying to clean up my diet the past couple of weeks (so I could fit into my dress for the upshernish!) and whenever I’m looking to debloat, I try and go Paleo (or Whole30!). The natural, unprocessed food really helps me get back to a healthy way of life and just makes me feel better. These amazing grain-free chocolate muffins have literally saved me on mornings when I am desperate for a little something to eat with my date-sweetened, coconut-milk coffee. They’re so rich and fudgy that my kids actually think of them as a special treat, instead of a healthy one!

If you’re interested in learning more about the Paleo diet or reading about my 30-Day Meal Plan, visit this page!

hazelnut chocolate chip almond butter cookies
chocolate ganache tart with macaroon tart

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Beet, Kale & Goat Cheese Shakshuka

Thursday, August 4th, 2016

I’m super excited to start off my guest posts with a recipe by the talented, creative and adorable Amy from WhatJewWannaEat! Amy and I met through the close-knit kosher blogging community and we share a love of creating fun twists on traditional Jewish foods. Amy is all about putting the JEW in everything, and her bagel posts on Insta always make me hungry! The girl knows the way to my heart (or should I say, my stomach?) ‘cuz she put her own spin on one of my all time favorite dishes, shakshuka! I can’t wait to cook up this dish, and with the Nine Days upon us, there’s no better time to Jew it. (see what I did there Amy?!)

For more great recipes for The Nine Days, check out my Nine Days category, browse my Pinterest board, or scan through the dairy and fish categories in the index!

If you want to win a copy of Amy’s soon-to-be-released cookbook, Sweet Noshings, plus a bonus gift from ModernTribe, don’t forget to enter my GUEST BLOGGER CONTEST! More details here.

Shalom, y’all! I’m Amy from What Jew Wanna Eat, and I’m pumped to share a recipe over on Busy in Brooklyn today. On WJWE, I blog about modern takes on classic Jewish recipes, like Sumac Roasted Salmon or Chocolate Cardamom Halvah, and my first cookbook Sweet Noshings comes out in just a few weeks! I am also the owner of ModernTribe, an online shop for fun Jewish gifts. So I’m busy, but not as busy as Chanie. I’m impressed how she cares for five children all while running her popular blog and doing numerous cooking demos. So I was thrilled to help out when she asked me to guest post on BIB.

I’ve loved following Chanie for years for creative, sophisticated kosher recipes (like Cauliflower Nachos with Harissa Cheddar Sauce or Drunken Hasselback Salami) and daily eats/impressive Shabbat prep on her Instagram. Because I live in Austin, TX, I was online friends with Chanie before finally meeting her when I was in NYC last year. Now we are Internet and real life friends!

Chanie is an expert at using ingredients in surprising ways (Corndog Hamantaschen anyone?), and I love how she incorporates healthy elements into so many of her recipes. With it being the Nine Days, I wanted to create a healthy, hearty and dairy dish to share with y’all. Chanie has made a few versions of shakshuka over the years, so I thought I would offer my own! I love taking classic favorites, and putting my own twist in them, so I added earthy beets, kale and tangy goat cheese for lots of added color and nutrients to your basic shakshuka (which I also love). If you try this recipe, I’d love to see it over on Instagram!

Related Recipes:

zoodle shakshuka
garbanzo bean shakshuka
spaghetti squash shakshuka
portobello shakshuka
quick and easy shakshuka

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Egg-Free Banana Muffins

Wednesday, July 20th, 2016

This one goes out to all the mom’s out there battling food allergies. I am with you. Boy am I with you. You see, my son suffers from an extensive list of food allergies, some severe (epipen-severe) and some, mild. The thing about food allergies is that just when you think your kid might be outgrowing an allergy, you find out you are wrong. So, so wrong.

Under the guidance of my son’s doctor, we’ve been slowly trying to reintroduce beef into his diet (yes, my kid is allergic to BEEF!) and all was going well until it wasn’t. A mere bite of cross-contaminated chicken (that was grilled together with meat) resulted in an allergy so severe, I had to call the paramedics. THIS is the kind of stuff mom’s of allergic kids have to deal with, and that’s why I’ve made us all cupcakes. Egg-free ones. (And if you’re kid is allergic to dairy, go ahead and skip the frosting, or use vegan cream cheese. Unless your kid is allergic to soy. And gluten. Then just sit down with a giant chocolate bar and have a good cry).

Lucky for us, we’re good on the dairy front and my son LOVES cream cheese, so I love to spoil him with these. The banana muffins are so incredibly moist, you’d never imagine their missing a key component of fluffy baking. No aquafaba required.

I hope you’re all having a fun and relaxing summer. Stay safe out there!

Related Recipes:

healthy thumbprint hamantaschen (egg-free)

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