I could have just sent Jenin to Sunday school with a regular composition book with it’s recognizable black and white hard cover. But I didn’t.

I figured if I had the stuff to make it a bit more special, why not? 


Grass. And look, I even planted some flowers.

Sun. So that the flowers continue to grow.


At least there will be no confusion over which notebook is hers. 

I could have showed up to the parents meeting this past weekend empty-handed. But I didn’t.

If I’m going to have to sit through an early morning (okay, it wasn’t that early) meeting, it might as well be with something tasty to munch on.

Wake-Up Muffins (via Comforts of Home Cooking)


  • 1  cup chopped walnuts or pecans
  • 3  tablespoons sugar
  • 2  teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1  8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2  cup butter, softened
  • 1 1/4  cups sugar  I used a heaping 1 cup
  • 2  eggs
  • 1  cup mashed ripe bananas (3 medium)
  • 1  tablespoon instant coffee powder  I used only half
  • 1  teaspoon vanilla
  • 2  1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2  teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2  teaspoon baking soda
  • 1  cup semisweet chocolate chips or pieces


1. Line 24 regular muffin cups with paper cups. In a small bowl, combine chopped nuts, the 3 tablespoons sugar and cinnamon; set aside.

I’ve been wanting to try parchment baking cups for the longest time. Just cut out 5×5 squares and push into cups, creasing to hold shape. 
2. In a large mixing bowl, beat together the cream cheese, butter and 1 1/4 cups sugar with an electric mixer until well combined.

3. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the bananas, coffee powder, and vanilla.

4. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and baking soda.  Gradually beat the flour mixture into the cream cheese mixture on low speed until combined. Stir in the chocolate pieces.

5. Stir in half of the nut mixture into the batter.  Spoon batter into muffin cups, filling about two-thirds full. I measured out 1/4 cup per cup. Made exactly 24. Sprinkle with remaining pecan mixture. I used about 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of topping for each muffin.

6.  Bake in a 375 degree oven for 20-22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the centers comes out clean. Cool 15 minutes in pan on a wire rack. Remove muffins from pan and serve warm.


Too bad I’m not an overachiever when it comes to laundry or cleaning out my garage.



  • Nida Rasheed says:

    The ingredients don't mention butter but the recipe does. Can you please correct? Also, what nut mixture? You don't mention a step where the nuts have to be mixed in with something else.

    I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that the cinnamon and nuts are the mixture and that it' 3 tbsp butter and not 3 tbsp sugar. Please update asap as I would love to bake these.

  • Nida Rasheed says:

    Ugh. I saw that I missed the nut mixture part in step 1. Now I'm totally confused. Where is the butter coming from??

  • Amnah says:

    Nida, see step 2 for the butter. Step 2 is between the the lined pan picture and between the picture of the butter, eggs, and cream cheese. I apologize if the layout is confusing.

  • Katheryn says:

    Looks great! But how much butter is needed for this??

  • Ameena says:

    Your creativity amazes me. Seriously, even if someone held my hand through this entire process I still couldn't manage ot make such a beautiful notebook!!

    I love the Bay Area! Do you ever come down to LA?

    Your girls are adorable.

  • Amnah says:

    Haha, that's what I get for giving this the title of "overachiever", I'm messing up left and right.

    1/2 cup butter, Katheryn. I've fixed the recipe.

  • Nida Rasheed says:

    1/2 cup butter. I wanted to make these today but I will now make them tomorrow morning. Thanks for fixing the recipe.

  • Medifast Coupons says:

    Very nice muffins, look forward to trying these. And love the notebook idea, great idea for my grandson's school journal.

  • Sharstin says:

    yummmmmmm!! and love the book cover too~ you have some mad talent girly!

  • sammarei@yahoo.com says:

    Hey! Since your parchment cups turned out so beautifully, you have to try Skiptomylou's herb roll-up bread … you will feel like Julia Child and they will look so pretty with the parchment.
    Overachievers make the world a better place!

  • rickshawdiaries says:

    Gorgeous notebook!

  • Christine @ Following Phubie says:

    Oh, these muffins look sooo good. Wish I had some right out of the oven right now!

  • Amy says:

    I love the notebook…and the thought you put into it…the sun so the flowers will grow!! And those muffins…can you send some my way!! They look delicious. Maybe I can get my hubby to bake me some so I can wake up to some sweets in the morning! Thanks for sharing!

  • sew grown says:

    How cute is that notebook! I found your link on Sew Much Ado and added you as a favorite this week to my blog. These muffins just look amazing and with coffee! I just can't wait to make them. Love your site!


  • rebecca says:

    these look so yummy! 🙂

  • Anonymous says:

    we just had your muffins in Sydney Australia on christmas morning along with a few other things .They were great !!! Well done
    Thanks for the recipe

Comments are closed.