Showing posts with label #MuffinMonday. Show all posts
Showing posts with label #MuffinMonday. Show all posts

Monday, December 22, 2014

Fresh Cranberry Muffins #MuffinMonday

A delicious muffin made with fresh cranberries in a vanilla batter which lets the cranberry flavor shine through. These babies would be perfect for Christmas morning or for bringing along to a Christmas brunch. 

T'is the season for fresh cranberries in the United States, and from the looks of the refrigerated supermarket shelves here in Dubai, the trend has spread. Last year I had a comment on muffins I had made with dried cranberries, asking if they could be made with fresh as well. So this recipe is for my friend, Marilyn, who lives in cranberry country, that is to say, the US northeast. I have been a regular reader of her blog, Communicating Across Boundaries,  since I connected with her through a post about Egypt, where I was living at the time and she had lived for many years. I knew I’d met a kindred expat spirit as I read about her struggles to fit in and at the same time maintain traditions while living overseas and raising children. And with the challenges of moving back to the US after a life abroad. Every word she publishes enlightens me and makes me think. If you are a third culture kid or are raising some, I am sure you will love her too.

Along with fresh cranberry muffins, may each of you enjoy the wonderful Christmas I wish also for Marilyn and her family!

1 1/2 cups or 170g fresh cranberries
1 cup or 200g sugar, plus two tablespoons
2 cups or 250g flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup or 120ml milk
2 eggs
1/4 cup or 60g butter, melted and cooled
1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat your oven to 350°F or 180°C and prepare your 12-cup muffin pan by greasing it or by lining it with paper muffins cups.

Chop the cranberries roughly and put them in a bowl. Separate 12 little pieces of cranberry to top the muffins with before baking, if desired. Sprinkle the rest with the 2 tablespoons extra sugar and toss to combine.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the rest of the sugar and the flour, along with the baking powder and salt.

In a smaller mixing bowl, whisk together the milk, eggs, melted butter and vanilla.

Add your sugared cranberries in the dry ingredient bowl and toss them lightly with a spoon to coat them.

Fold your wet ingredients into your dry ones until just combined. You may still see a little flour showing and that’s okay.

Divide the batter between the muffins cups. Top with reserved pieces of cranberry, if you kept some back.

Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden and a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool for a few minutes and then remove the muffins to a wire rack to cool completely.


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Monday, December 15, 2014

Eggnog Muffins with Eggnog Glaze #ChristmasWeek #Giveaway

These delicious muffins, redolent with bourbon, eggnog, brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg, are perfect for an easy Christmas morning breakfast or afternoon treat. 

Welcome to Day One of Christmas Week. This event is hosted by Kim of Cravings of a Lunatic and Susan of The Girl in the Little Red Kitchen. We hope to inspire you to break out those holiday sprinkles and get your bake on!

I am so excited to be taking part in Christmas Week again this year! It's always such fun to see what everyone has made and to be giving away gifts from our wonderful sponsors. Since our kickoff is today, also known as Muffin Monday at my house, you know I had to make a Christmasy muffin for you. My current motto is Eggnog everything! This year Christmas Week is ALL about cakes and candy and even the occasional cocktail so it's going to be a pretty sweet celebration.

Thanks to our sponsors for Christmas Week! Anolon is donating a 5-piece Bakeware Set. Swing by their Facebook Page to show them some love. We also have Ball supplying us with 4 sets of Jars in their gorgeous Green Heritage Color. Swing by their Ball Canning and Recipes Facebook Page to say hello. Plus cookies and brownie brittle and loads of beautiful cookbooks! Make sure to scroll on down to enter the giveaway!

Now on to the muffins!

For the muffins:
2 1/2 cups or 315g flour
1/2 cup or 100g light brown sugar
1/4 cup or 50g sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup or 240ml eggnog (store-bought or homemade)
1/2 cup or 120ml canola or other light oil
1/4 cup or 60ml bourbon
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the eggnog glaze:
1 cup or 125g confectioners or icing sugar
2 tablespoons eggnog
1 teaspoon bourbon
Pinch salt

Optional: Decorative sprinkles

Preheat oven to 375°F or 190°C and prepare your muffin pan by greasing it or lining it with paper muffin cups. degrees.

In a medium bowl mix flour, sugars, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt.

In a large bowl whisk your eggnog, oil, bourbon, eggs, and vanilla.

Fold your wet ingredients into the dry until just combined. A little flour will still show and that’s fine.

Divide your batter between the muffin cups.

Bake for about 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool briefly in the pan. Take the muffins out of the pan and allow to cool completely on a wire rack.

Meanwhile, mix all of your glaze ingredients together in a small bowl.

When the muffins are completely cool, drizzle on the glaze and sprinkle immediately with decorative sprinkles, if using.


Check out what all the Christmas Week participants have been whipping up for the holidays:

Giveaway Prizes include:
Plus 1 Copy of each of these cookbooks:
Please be aware before you enter that prizes will only be shipped to US addresses.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimer: Christmas Week participants received no compensation or gifts from our sponsors. Cookbook links are Amazon affiliate links.


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Monday, December 8, 2014

Almond Joy Cupcakes #CupcakeDay

All the joy of coconut and almonds, baked into a dark chocolate cupcake, made easy to assemble by using the muffin method: one bowl of wet ingredients poured into one bowl of dry ingredients. What could be more festive or easier?

Every week on this blog, I celebrate Muffin Monday with a new muffin for you, sometimes sweet and sometimes savory. Muffin Monday is a made up holiday but that doesn’t make it less festive or important because if you can start your week out with something tasty from the oven, it’s going to be a better week automatically, than if you didn’t. This week, I am joining a lovely group of bloggers for another made up holiday: Cupcake Day. After all, what is a cupcake but just a dressed up muffin? That really is the dividing line for me. Muffins can be glazed but never frosted. A big pile of icing is reserved for cupcakes. For my Almond Joy Cupcakes today, I took the middle ground and topped the muffins with one toasted almond, as they do in Almond Joy candy bars, and poured a lovely heaping helping of semi-sweet chocolate ganache over the top, after stuffing the batter and the center with sweetened coconut flakes.

Many thanks to Coleen from The Redhead Baker who spearheaded this fun celebration and handled all the hosting responsibilities!

1 1/2 cups or 190g flour
1/2 cup or 50g ground almonds
3/4 cup or 150g white sugar
1/3 cup or just over 35g unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
3/4 cup + 1 1/2 tablespoons or 200ml coconut milk
1/2 cup or 120ml canola or other light oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 1/2 oz or 100g semi-sweet chocolate chips
4 3/4 oz or 135g sweetened coconut flakes - divided

For the topping:
1 cup or 240ml whipping cream
8 1/2 oz or 240g semi-sweet chocolate chips
Pinch salt
12 toasted almonds

Preheat your oven to 350°F or 180°C and prepare your 12-cup muffin tin by spraying with non-stick spray or lining it with paper cups.

Combine your flour, ground almonds, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt in a large mixing bowl.

In another smaller bowl, whisk together your eggs, coconut milk, oil and vanilla extract.

Fold the wet ingredients into the dry ones and stop when it’s still quite dry looking.

Add the chocolate chips for the batter and about half of the coconut. No need to measure, just eyeball. Stir until just mixed.

Spoon half your batter into the 12 cups.

Use your fingers to make balls out of the remaining coconut.

Tuck one in the batter of each cup.

Top the coconut balls with the remaining chocolate batter.

Bake for 20-25 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

Meanwhile you can be making the ganache. Put the cream in a little pot or a microwaveable bowl and heat till just before boiling. Remove from the stove or microwave and pour in the chocolate chips and the pinch of salt and stir until the chocolate is completely melted.

Set aside to cool. It should thicken as it cools but should still stay a pouring consistency. If it thickens too much, rewarm it gently.

When the cupcakes are done, remove them from the oven and allow to cool for a few minutes in the pan and then remove to continue cooling on a wire rack.

When they are completely cooled, dab on a bit of the chocolate ganache and stick one toasted almond on top of each.

Allow to set a little then spoon on more ganache to cover the almond and the cupcake.


Looking for ways to make this week even better? How about baking one - or many -  of these 26 wonderful cupcakes?

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Monday, December 1, 2014

Chocolate Orange Muffins #MuffinMonday

Bitter orange marmalade, cocoa and semi-sweet chocolate chips make a great muffin that will remind the fans of chocolate oranges of their favorite stocking stuffers. 

As we head into December and Christmas draws nearer, my muffin thoughts turn to flavors that are popular at this time of year. Chocolate oranges are a standard seasonal candy in the UK and they are also stocked regularly in Dubai this month. Is orange flavored chocolate popular wherever you live?

1 3/4 cups or 220g flour
1/3 cup or 70g sugar
1/4 cup or 25g dark cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup or 120ml milk
1/3 cup or 80ml canola or other light oil
1/3 cup or 105g orange marmalade
1 egg
1/2 cup or 95g semi chocolate chips

Optional glaze: several teaspoons marmalade

Preheat your oven to 350°F or 180°C.  Prepare your muffin pan by buttering it liberally or lining it with paper muffin cups.

Combine the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder salt and in a large mixing bowl.

In another smaller bowl, whisk together the milk, canola, orange marmalade and egg.

Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ones and stir until just mixed through. Some flour should still be showing.

Fold in the chocolate chips.

Divide the mixture between the muffin cups.

Bake in your preheated oven for 20-22 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Allow the muffins to cool for a few minutes then remove them to a wire rack. Spoon a little marmalade on top while they are still slightly warm, if desired.


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Monday, November 24, 2014

Almond-Stuffed Date Muffins #MuffinMonday

Almond-stuffed dates are a particular treat in the Middle East, especially at holiday time. What better way to celebrate the upcoming UAE National Day than with almond-stuffed date muffins? 

I’ve been thinking about these muffins since back in October, planning ahead for the 43rd UAE National Day on Tuesday, 2 December. I decided that rather than posting them next Monday, it would be better to post early, in case anyone wants to make them for next week. I can highly recommend the classic combination of almonds and dates. They make tender, tasty muffins, and pretty decorations on top.

If you'd like to read more about my time in the United Arab Emirates, check out my date syrup muffin post from last year's National Day.


2 cups or 250g flour
1/2 cup or 100g sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
About 8 3/4 oz or 250g dates stuffed with almonds
1 cup or 240ml whole milk
1/4 cup or 60ml canola or another light oil
1 large egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350°F or 180°C.  Grease or line your muffin pan with paper muffin cups.

Set aside 12 stuffed dates and then use a sharp knife to chop the rest of them into small pieces.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.

In a smaller bowl, beat together the milk, egg, oil and vanilla.

Add in the chopped almonds and dates to the liquid bowl. Use a fork to break up the sticky dates into their individual pieces.

Pour the wet mixture into the dry ingredients and fold gently until just mixed through.

Divide the batter between the cups in your prepared muffin pan and top each with one of the reserved almond-stuffed dates.

Bake in your preheated oven for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.

Remove from the pan and let them cool on a wire rack.


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Monday, November 17, 2014

Homemade English Muffins #NationalHomemadeBreadDay #MuffinMonday

English muffins are a traditional British bread made with yeast but cooked on the once-upon-a-time ubiquitous griddle. According to my current baking idol Paul Hollywood, even if you didn’t have an oven, back in the day, you surely had a griddle to make muffins, crumpets, Welsh cakes and the like. In fact, in the days before most homes had ovens, the griddle was the most efficient way of producing homemade bread. I'd like to suggest that it still is. 

Today I am celebrating Muffin Monday by making a different kind of muffin because it is also National Homemade Bread Day! And while normal muffins are still considered bread, I felt like getting my hands in some yeasty dough for the occasion. This special edition of Bread Bakers was instigated by Lauren, at From Gate to Plate so she is hosting today’s celebration! Hey, raise your hand and I’ll put you in charge. Thanks, Lauren!

Make sure to scroll down to the bottom of my post to see the link list of all the wonderful homemade breads we have today. We hope to inspire you to bake some bread and have a wonderful National Homemade Bread Day!

The following is adapted from these two recipes by King Arthur Flour and Paul Hollywood.

Ingredients for 16 English muffins
For the muffin dough:
1 3/4 cups or 415ml milk
3 tablespoons butter
4 1/2 cups or 570g strong white bread flour, plus more for cutting the dough into pieces
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons instant yeast
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 large egg

For final proofing and cooking:
Semolina or fine cornmeal, for sprinkling the griddle or pan

Measure your milk into a microwave proof vessel and then add the butter. Gently warm the milk until it is lukewarm. If you are a thermometer using type, you want it somewhere between 120-130° F or 49°–55°C. This should also soften the butter but it doesn't have to be completely melted.

Add the flour, sugar, yeast, salt and egg to the mixing bowl of your stand mixer. (I imagine you can do this by hand but it’s going to be hard work and, honestly, I don’t recommend it unless you are looking for a strenuous workout.)

Pour in the warm milk/butter mixture.

Beat the ingredients together until they form a soft sticky dough.

Just  coming together
Scrape down the sides and bottom of your bowl, then keep beating on medium high for at least five minutes.

Getting stretchier
You are looking for smooth shiny stretchy dough that has pulled away from the sides of the bowl.

Pulling right away from the sides of the bowl

Scrape the sides of your bowl again to form the dough into a ball. Cover and allow to rise at least one hour.

Here’s where you can be getting your griddle pans ready for the next step. If you only have one griddle, coat it with semolina or cornmeal and do the same with a baking sheet. If you have two griddles, coat them both liberally.

When the dough has finished the first rise, punch it down down gently and tip it out onto a lightly floured surface. Use a sharp knife dipped in flour to cut the dough into 16 pieces.

Form the pieces into balls and place them on your prepared griddles or griddle and baking sheet. Press them out gently into circles about 3-3 1/2 in or 7 1/2-9cm.

Sprinkle the tops of the muffins with more semolina or cornmeal. Cover them with sheets of parchment paper and leave to rest for 20 minutes.

Cook the muffins over a very low flame for seven to 15 minutes on each side or until the internal temperature reaches 200°F or 94°C.

If they rise and start to stick together, sprinkle a little more cornmeal where they are joining and use the point of a sharp knife to separate the muffins. Otherwise they are going to be a challenge to turn over.

I turned mine after seven minutes and, after a minute or two, I started to shift them around the griddle, scooting the ones in the middle to the outside and vice versa. Since my flame is in the middle, I figured those were getting cooked faster than the outside muffins.

After seven minutes on the second side, I checked the internal temperature and it registered 190°F or 88°C so I turned them over again and left them for three minutes. Then I turned them over one last time, turned the fire off and left them on the hot griddle for three more minutes.

So to recap: 1. On my lowest flame I cooked them seven minutes on one side. 2. Then seven minutes on the other side. 3. Checked my internal temperature. 4. Three minutes on the first side again and 5. three more minutes on the other side with the fire off. Ten minutes in all on the griddle on each side.

The King Arthur recipe says that you can put them for 10 minutes in an oven preheated to 350°F or 180°C if they are getting too brown on the outside before they finish cooking inside but that wasn’t necessary for me.

Place your finished English muffins on a wire rack and allow to cool completely before serving. Split the muffins with a fork poked in all around the sides to get the nice knobbly texture we like inside.


Check out all the other celebratory breads we’ve been baking for you today!
Bread Bakers
What is Bread Bakers?
It is a group of bread loving bakers who get together once a month to bake bread with a common ingredient or theme. You can see all our of lovely bread by following our Bread Bakers Pinterest Board. Links are also updated after each event on the Bread Bakers home page.

How is the monthly theme determined?
We take turns hosting each month and the host gets to choose the theme/ingredient.

Would you like to join in the fun?
If you are a food blogger, send an email with your blog name and url to

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