Showing posts with label muffins. Show all posts
Showing posts with label muffins. Show all posts

Monday, September 29, 2014

Ripe Persimmon Muffins #MuffinMonday

With a botanical name that means food of the gods, persimmons have lofty aspirations. They come in two main varieties, the Fuyus which are still somewhat crunchy like an apple when ripe and the Hachiyas which aren’t edible until they are soft with the sweet pulp almost bursting out of their taut orange skins. That pulp is the most gorgeous color and is splendid in baking, especially muffins. Some say the flavor is like pumpkin, but it puts me in mind of the idyllic, albeit fictional, marriage between an apple and a ripe peach. 

Got any muffin ideas for me?
So I’ve been at this muffin-baking thing for a while now. In fact, if I have counted correctly, this is my 124th muffin recipe baked and photographed for this space. I firmly believe that if flavors go together nicely, they are going to make a nice muffin. I have a list about 12 or 15 ideas long for future muffins, both sweet and savory, but I am always on the lookout for new ideas or ingredients.

Enter, the persimmon. 
The persimmons I have eaten before are the short, squat type (Fuyu) that are bright orange but kind of crunchy. From the top, they look the same as the large basketful that caught my eye at the market here last week, but when I reached in to choose a couple, the skins gave way, even in my gentle grip. These persimmons were clearly on their way out! And they were oval, not short and squat. Intriguing. I’m not that easily discouraged, so I chose the least mushy ones and brought them home. A quick internet search revealed that it’s "the mushier, the better" for this oval variety (Hachiya) so I let them soften all the way, before peeling them and mashing the pulp for muffins.

Two Hachiya persimmons yielded about a cup and a half of pulp.

For the muffins:
2 cups or 250g flour
1/2 cup or 100g sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate soda
1 cup or 260g ripe persimmon pulp, mashed
1/2 cup or 120ml canola or other light oil
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the topping:
1/2 cup or 130g ripe persimmon pulp
1/4 cup or 50g sugar
Pinch salt

Preheat your oven to 350°F or 180°C and grease your 12-cup muffin pan or line it with paper liners.

If you haven’t already, peel and mash your persimmons.

In a large bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

In another bowl, whisk together the persimmon pulp, oil, egg and vanilla extract.

Pour your wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and fold them together until just mixed.

Divide the batter evenly among the muffin cups.

Bake in the preheated oven about 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Meanwhile, cook your topping ingredients in a small pot over a medium heat until the mixture reduces and thicken slightly. Remove from the heat and allow to cool a little.

When the muffins are completely cool, spoon a little of the persimmon topping on each. If it has thickened up too much to spoon, warm it slightly or add just a few drops of water and stir.


Pin It

Monday, September 22, 2014

Artichoke Dip Muffins #MuffinMonday

Rich muffins made with mayonnaise, Parmesan and artichokes, with just a small hit of heat from the jalapeño, these make great party food or a snack for the savory muffin lover in your life.

I am a fan of mayonnaise in all its forms, homemade and good quality store-bought, slathered on sandwiches, mixed through yolks for deviled eggs, heaped in potato salad. But I had never heard of mayonnaise cake. I must lead a very sheltered life. Last week in a Facebook group, the discussion was all about cakes made with mayo instead of eggs and oil/butter. And my first reaction was a resounding, “Eewww!” But I kept it to myself because of the risk of being pilloried; everyone else seemed really enthusiastic in the exchange of great chocolate and vanilla cake recipes using mayonnaise. Gag reflex in check, I even found a few versions online myself. I make homemade mayonnaise so I do know it’s just eggs and oil, I do. But still, a sweet cake with mayo? I guess I’m just not ready to go there yet.

But that discussion has been on my mind all week and it occurred to me that a savory cake, on the other hand, sounded like a capital idea. And what better to test that theory than with a savory muffin made with the same ingredients as my favorite artichoke dip, to wit, mayonnaise, artichoke, Parmesan and green chilies. With no eggs and no oil, just mayonnaise to fulfill both of those roles, I’m calling this one an unqualified success!

And since this is my blog and I can do what I want, I’d like to give a shout out to Eszther in the Shelf Drilling office in Dubai. Apparently she is a fan when my husband brings muffins in to the office and the savory ones are her favorites. And she reads my blog so I'm automatically a fan of hers. This one’s for you, Eszther! Hope you got one today.

1 can (14oz or 400g) artichoke hearts, drained weight 8 1/2oz or 240g
1 fresh jalapeño
1 cup or 150g finely grated Parmesan (This is one of the few times I recommend using the canister cheese rather than grating your own.)
2 cups or 250g flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 cup or 120ml mayonnaise
1 cup or 240ml milk

Preheat your oven to 350°F or 180°C and grease your 12-cup muffin pan liberally with canola, butter or non-stick spray.

Drain your artichoke hearts completely, even giving them a bit of a squeeze in your hands to make sure all of the juice is out. Cut them into small pieces. Halve your jalapeño and remove the seeds if you want to tone down the heat, otherwise leave them in. Mince the jalapeño.

In a large bowl, mix together the flour, Parmesan and baking powder and stir well.

In another bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, milk, artichokes and jalapeños.

Pour your wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and fold them together until just mixed. Your batter is going to be quite stiff, almost a dough, but don’t let that bother you. Trust. They still turn out light and fluffy, as a muffin should.

Divide the batter/dough evenly among the muffin cups.

Bake in your preheated oven about 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Cool on a rack for a few minutes and then remove the muffins from the pan to cool completely.

These would be also be great as mini muffins for a cocktail party or to accompany any lunch or dinner spread.

See? Very fluffy on the inside!


Pin It

Monday, September 15, 2014

Biscoff Muffins with Pecans #MuffinMonday

Creamy Biscoff spread added into batter makes a beautiful muffin that is just the right amount of sweet for breakfast or a snack. That is to say, just sweet enough but not too sweet, even with another drizzle of Biscoff on top of the crunchy baked in pecans. 

Hoarding or saving - tomayto, tomahto
From years of living in places where supplies were short and I had to haul essentials like peanut butter and pancake syrup in my suitcase each year after our long leave, I became a hoarder. Not on the lines of those poor souls who can barely move about their homes for the stuff piled high to the ceiling on that sad, sad television show,  but still. I would buy packets of taco seasonings, chocolate chips, smoked sausage and the like and use them sparingly until we came into the home stretch of spring semester when I knew that another home leave was close at hand. THEN, I was more profligate, adding chocolate chips to all baked goods, dicing the sausage into omelets and sharing peanut butter with the dog. Okay, that never happened. But you know what, I can now. Even my precious Jif (Fat reduced too!) is readily available here so I have tried very hard not to buy extra and hoard it. This does not apply to items purchased on holidays.

Last year I came back from a trip with a jar of Biscoff, that lovely spread, sometimes called speculoos after the Dutch spice cookies of which it’s made. For more than a year it’s been in my cupboard, mocking me. I was waiting for that special recipe, that great occasion that would warrant the opening of a bottle of cookie spread! Sad, huh? Well, today, I did it. The jar was opened to make muffins, to share with some lovely friends. Which makes this a special occasion. And that's the way this should work.

Do you hoard anything? What do you save just for a “special” occasion? Have you ever saved something so long that it is no longer good?

2 cups or 250g flour
1/2 cup or 100g sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
3/4 cup or 180ml milk
1/3 cup or about 90g Biscoff spread
1/4 cup or 60ml vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For topping
1/2 cup or 70g whole pecans
1/4 cup or about 70g Biscoff spread

Preheat the oven to 350°F or 180°C and either grease your 12-cup muffin tin or line it with paper liners.

Chop your pecans roughly with a sharp knife.

In one big mixing bowl, add your dry ingredients: flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Mix well and set aside.

In small mixing bowl, whisk the eggs, milk, oil, Biscoff and vanilla together thoroughly. Because of the raw eggs, resist drinking this silky rich mixture, no matter how wonderful it looks.

Fold the liquids to the dry mixture, stopping when they are just mixed.

Divide the batter between your prepared muffins cups. Scatter the pecans evenly on the muffin batter and press them down gently till they are stuck.

Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.  Remove from the oven and allow to cool for a few minutes.

Drizzle the last 1/4 cup of the Biscoff on top the muffins. You can warm it briefly in the microwave if need be. I used an icing decorator bag and a small tip so the warmth of my hands was enough to get things drizzling.

Remove from the muffin tin and finish cooling on a rack.


Pin It

Monday, September 8, 2014

Honey Lemon Fig Muffins #MuffinMonday

Fresh ripe figs make a lovely muffin, with no added sugar and only honey to add extra sweetness and a little lemon juice to bump up the batter flavor. Top with slices of fresh fig and a drizzle of honey before baking. 

Well, hallelujah! Let all God’s fig lovers give praise. I finally found some ripe figs I could afford in what had been an otherwise disappointingly practically figless summer! First I made preserves, which turned out more like jam as the large figs fell apart, but a few of the smaller ones were reserved for muffins. These muffins here. Oh, and I may well have eaten quite a few just as is. Aren’t ripe figs the best? I can close my eyes and I am 10 years old again, up high in the branches of my grandparents’ fig trees, enjoying the breeze and eating my fill. Sweet!

6-7 fresh sweet ripe, but firm, figs (about 320g)
1 lemon, for zest and juice
1/3 cup or 80ml honey, plus more for drizzling before baking, if desired
1/4 cup or 60ml lemon juice
3/4 cup or 180ml milk
1 egg
1/4 cup or 60ml canola or other light vegetable oil
2 cups or 250g flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

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

Slice the ends off of your figs and discard. Now slice 12 nice circles from the middle of the figs and set aside. Chop the rest of the figs up roughly.

Combine your flour, baking powder, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Zest your lemon into the bowl and stir well.

Juice the lemon and measure out 1/4 cup or 60ml.

In another smaller bowl, whisk together your egg, honey, milk, lemon juice and oil.

That's the last of my dark Ugandan honey. Time to go back!

Fold the wet ingredients into the dry ones and stir until just mixed. There should be some flour showing. Fold in the chopped figs.

Divide your batter between the 12 muffin cups. Top each with a fig slice and push it in slightly. Drizzle on a little extra honey, if desired.

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

Allow to cool for a few minutes in the pans and then remove to continue cooling on a wire rack.


Have you found sweet figs at an affordable price this summer? Or perhaps you are blessed with a fig-bearing tree. I’m rather fond of dried figs as well. Here are a few more recipes that might interest you.

Gram’s Fig Preserves – Just like my grandmother used to make them

Gram’s Fig Spice Cake – My grandmother’s special recipe, with buttermilk glaze

Figgy Jam Muffins – for when you can’t find fresh but really need to bake with figs - this was me earlier this summer! 

Pin It

Monday, September 1, 2014

Plummy Muffins for #MuffinMonday

With lots of sweet purple plums inside, and more pretty plum baked on the outside, these plummy muffins, with a hint of ginger, make a great breakfast or snack.

There are three meanings to the word plummy. First and foremost, as you will imagine, it relates to actual plums and comes from the same root word plume in Old English, borrowed the Old High Germanic pfluma and the Latin prunum. The second meaning, first recorded in the late 1700s is "something desirable." If you’ve ever watched Queen Elizabeth II delivering her annual Christmas message, you will have witnessed the third meaning, and here I quote the Oxford English Dictionary: (Of a person’s voice) having an accent thought typical of the English upper classes.

There is nothing snooty or upper class about these muffins, but the first two definitions certainly apply. Full of plums and highly desirable. Make you some!

2 cups or 250g flour
1/2 cup or 125g raw light brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 small ripe, yet firm, plums (Mine weighed almost 11 oz or 310g total weight.)
1 egg
1/3 cup or 75g butter, melted then cooled
3/4 cup or 175ml milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat your oven to 350°F or 180°C. Put liners in a 12-cup muffin pan or grease it well with butter or non-stick spray.

Slice the sides off of your plums and set them aside.  Cut the pits out and chop the rest of the plums in small pieces.

Make three equal three-quarter long cuts in the plum sides, so that you can fan them out on the batter before baking.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, ginger and salt.

In another smaller bowl, whisk together the egg, melted butter, milk and vanilla.

Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and fold to combine.  This will be very dry and you should have lots of flour still showing.

Gently fold in your chopped plums.

It looks dry but the chopped plums take care of that in the baking.

Divide batter among muffin cups.   Decorate each with a fanned out plum side.

Bake until golden brown and a toothpick inserted into center of a muffin comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from the muffin pan and cool on a wire rack.


Pin It

Saturday, August 30, 2014

#BaconMonth Round Up for #InternationalBaconDay

Bacon Parmesan Twists
In my humble opinion, every day should be International Bacon Day, and I often treat each as if it were. But, all people rejoice, because today is the actual day. Happy International Bacon Day, everyone! 

In honor of this great holiday - Seriously who's working? Leave me a comment, I'll see what I can do about sending you some bacon in recompense. - I've stopped by every post from every blog in our linky tool for Bacon Month and created a link list, categorized for ease of clicking! We've got everything from Appetizers and Drinks to Cookies and Dessert and lots of great bacon recipes in between.

What are you making with bacon today in celebration? Might I suggest a few recipes from the following 116 links?


Candied Habanero Bacon 

Appetizers and Snacks



Sweet and Spicy Bacon Cocktail Sausages 


Cheesy Bacon Baked Onions

Side Dishes

Spicy Roasted Bacon Tomato Cauliflower
Soups and Chilies

BLT Muffins 



Bacon Butty 


Bacon-wrapped Jalapeño Popper Stuffed Chicken

Main Courses

Cookies and Bars

Bacon Dark Chocolate Bourbon Cookies
Desserts and Sweet Treats

How to: 

Once again, many, many thanks to Julie from White Lights on Wednesday for organizing Bacon Month and sponsoring all the cookbook giveaways! 

Pin It