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

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.


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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! 

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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.


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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! 

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Monday, August 25, 2014

Becca's-Pistachio-Oat-Cookie Muffins #MuffinMonday

With only one half cup of sugar and one quarter cup of oil in 12 muffins, not to mention the steel cut oats, flax seeds, pistachios, raisins and cranberries, these guys are reasonably healthy but, more importantly, for me at least, they are chock full of flavor! 

Ever since I started participating in Muffin Mondas more than two years ago, my mind has worked in strange and wonderful ways. I am always, and I mean always, on the lookout for muffin inspiration. Doing my shopping, cooking other recipes (sweet or savory) and especially when I am trolling the internet and reading posts on blogs that I love. This week’s inspiration came from the no-bake pistachio oat cookies made by my friend, Becca from It’s Yummy. Becca does share decadent sweets and desserts from time to time, and she’s a fan of all things bacon – so we have that fabulous love in common - but overall, she tries to keep things reasonably healthy. Part of her mission is to turn an unhealthy meal into something delicious and nutritious, without spending a fortune! And who wouldn’t appreciate that?!  If you haven’t met her yet, please do go on over and say howdy and give her a little love. Besides being a great recipe developer and blogger, she is also one of the sweetest, kindest, most generous people you would ever like to meet.

Anyhoo, here’s my muffin take on her great no-bake cookies! Thanks for the inspiration, Becca!

1/2 cup or 90g steel cut oats
1/2 cup or 120ml orange juice
1/2 cup or 65g shelled roasted pistachios (unsalted, if possible)
1/3 cup or 50g golden raisins
1/3 cup or 60g dried cranberries
1 1/2 cups or 190g flour
1/2 cup or 100g sugar
1/3 cup or 45g toasted flax seeds
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 eggs
3/4 cup 180ml milk
1/4 cup or 60ml canola or other light oil
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Because the steel cut oats need soaking to soften enough to add to this recipe, start the day before you want to bake. Warm your orange juice and pour it over the oats in a small bowl. Cover it and set it aside until it is cool. Now put it in the refrigerator overnight. Ideally, you’ll want to let the oats soak for at least 12 hours. Give it a stir occasionally, if you think about it.

Warm orange juice just poured in on the left. After an overnight soaking on the right.
It turned a little starchy and sticky but don't let that bother you. 

When you are ready to bake, preheat oven to 350°F or 180°C.  Line a standard 12-cup muffin pan with paper cases or grease liberally.

Chop your pistachios roughly and do the same with the dried cranberries if they are large. Set aside a small handful of the pistachios, cranberries and raisins for decorating the tops of the muffins before baking, if desired.

In a large bowl, mix together your flour, sugar, flax seeds, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.

Toasted flax seeds are crunchy and delicious! I'll be putting them in and on everything from now on.

In a smaller bowl, whisk your eggs, milk, oil and vanilla. Add the soaked oats and any liquid with them to the eggs/milk/oil bowl and stir well.

Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix until just moistened. Some flour should still be showing.

Fold in the chopped pistachios, cranberries and raisins.

Divide the batter into the muffin cups and decorate the tops with the reserved pistachios, cranberries and raisins, if using.

Bake in your preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into a muffin comes out clean.

Allow the muffins to cool for a few minutes in the muffin tin and then remove to a rack to cool completely.

Or break one open and start eating it warm!


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