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

Monday, March 30, 2015

Carrot Muffins with Cream Cheese Glaze #MuffinMonday


These delicious muffins have all the flavor of tender carrot cake but are made with the two-bowl method traditional for muffins and are topped with generous lashing of sweetened cream cheese. 

A great Easter breakfast or brunch idea
With Easter Sunday less than a week away, you might be looking for a great breakfast or brunch recipe so I thought I’d share my muffin take on carrot cake since carrot muffins are perfect for the occasion. These little guys could also serve as dessert, although they are less sweet than actual carrot cake - a plus for those who have been eating their fair share of Easter candy.



How to make your family happy first thing in the morning
The night before I want to serve muffins for breakfast, I like to mix all my wet ingredients together, cover the bowl with cling film and pop it in the refrigerator. Then I mix all of my dry ingredients in a bigger bowl, cover with cling film and leave at the ready near the oven. When I get up in the morning, I turn the oven on to preheat and prepare my muffin pan. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry. Mix and bake. The glaze can be made ahead of time as well and refrigerated. This prep ahead method particularly handy on holidays or even on busy school mornings when everyone is trying to get out of the house on time. After all, muffins are fabulously portable.

Or mix and bake them right away. If you've been craving carrot cake, that might be the best plan.

Ingredients
For the muffins:
8 oz or 225g carrots – weight before peeling and cutting off stem ends
2 cups or 250g flour
3/4 cup or 170g sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1/2 cup or 115g butter, melted and cooled
2/3 cup or 160ml milk

For the cream cheese glaze:
1/4 cup or 65g cream cheese spread, at room temperature
1/4 cup or about 30g powdered sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1-2 teaspoons milk

Method
Peel your carrots and cut them into short lengths. Discard the green stem ends if any. Boil until tender then drain. Mash with a potato masher until fairly smooth.  Set aside to cool.



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

In a large mixing bowl, combine your flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon and salt.



In a small bowl, combine the eggs, melted butter, cooled mashed carrots and milk.  Mix thoroughly.



Add the wet ingredients to the dry and stir until just mixed.



Divide the thick batter between the muffin cups in your prepared pan.



Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden and a toothpick inserted comes out clean.



Remove from the oven and cool completely on a wire rack.



To make the glaze, mix the cream cheese spread with the powdered sugar, vanilla and one teaspoon of milk. Stir well. Add the second teaspoon of milk if necessary to get a good drizzling or piping consistency, depending on how you want to apply it. Make it thinner for drizzling, thicker for piping.



When your muffins are cool, drizzle or pipe on the cream cheese glaze. I used a plastic bag with the corner cut off.



Enjoy!


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Monday, March 23, 2015

Orange Poppy Seed Muffins #MuffinMonday

Fresh orange juice and poppy seeds make beautiful sunshiny muffins that everyone will want to wake up to eat! They also make great snacks. 

As I mentioned yesterday while serving up Irish lamb stew in this space, I am in chilly Rhode Island for the week - my last Spring Break! My baby girl will graduate from Rhode Island School of Design this May. She has been sweet enough to invite me to come each year since she started at RISD, so this is the last scheduled spring break that affects my life and holiday planning. Which makes me both sad and proud. This year, all of her close friends are also staying in town, working hard on their degree projects, so I have put myself in charge of sustenance starting with homemade tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches the other night and orange poppy seed muffins today, delivered to their studios as they worked. I am later than usual posting the muffins because tonight we ate eggplant Parmigiana and garlicky green beans so I was busy cooking that and scooping them up from studio to eat. It's 9 p.m. as I write this and they've gone back to work! Future meals on the menu include vegetarian crispy tacos and lentil burgers.

If you know me at all, you know I am in hog heaven cooking for girls again! These orange poppy seeds muffins were a special request, one I was only too happy to oblige.

Ingredients
2 cups or 250g flour
2/3 cup or 130g sugar
Zest of one orange plus extra for decorating, if desired
2 tablespoons poppy seeds plus extra for decorating, if desired
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
3/4 cup or 180ml orange juice
1/3 cup or 80ml extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup or 60ml milk

Optional glaze:
2-3 teaspoons fresh orange juice
7-8 tablespoons powdered sugar or as much as needed to reach your desired thickness.

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

Combine your flour, sugar, baking powder, poppy seeds and salt in a large mixing bowl. Grate in your orange zest.


In another smaller bowl, whisk together your eggs, orange juice, oil and milk.



Fold the wet ingredients into the dry ones and stir until just mixed.



Divide your batter between the 12 muffin cups.



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.

To make the glaze, put your orange juice in a small bowl and then add the powdered sugar a tablespoon or two at at time, stirring well in between, until you reach your desired consistency.



Spoon a little on top of each cool muffin.

Then sprinkle with  extra orange zest and poppy seeds, if desired.



Enjoy!





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Monday, March 9, 2015

White Chocolate Lemon Muffins #MuffinMonday

The third in my candy bar series, a white chocolate lemon bar from Movenpick was the inspiration for these fluffy, lemon muffins flavored with yogurt, lemon zest and said white chocolate lemon bar. 

I’ve been experimenting lately with some gluten-free baking because one of my friends here is gluten-intolerant. What I have found is that I can pretty much replace the normal flour with a gluten-free mix, (I like the Dove Farms White Bread Flour because it has a little added natural gum.) if I weigh the flour and use 125g per needed cup. It seems that the flours used to make up the gluten-free mix, in this case rice, potato and tapioca, must be lighter than wheat so a cup of the flour mix is just not enough flour. By weight, it's perfect.

One last change in the recipe involves method. In most muffin recipes, one adds the wet ingredients to the dry and folds until they are just combined. With gluten-free flour blend, you need to make sure no flour still shows. In other words, mix well.

I made these muffins with the gluten-free bread flour today and they were light and fluffy and, frankly, one of the best sweet muffins I’ve ever eaten.

Ingredients
2 cups or 250g flour (If subbing gluten-free flour mix, please use the weight measurement.)
2/3 cup or 130g sugar
For creative minds only!
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
7 oz or 100g white chocolate (with lemon, if you can get it)
Grated zest one medium lemon
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
3/4 cup or 185g yogurt
1/4 cup or 60ml milk
2 large eggs
1/2 cup or 120ml canola or other light oil

Optional glaze
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
About 4-5 heaping tablespoons powdered sugar

Method
Preheat your oven to 350°F or 180°C.  Butter your muffin pan or line it with paper liners.

Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt to a large mixing bowl. Grate in the lemon zest and mix.

Juice your lemon.

Chop your white chocolate bar roughly with a knife. I separated out 12 pieces of white chocolate to poke in the top of each muffin before baking.  They turned brown while baking, which is not attractive, so never mind that step. Fortunately, the glaze covered them up mostly.



In another smaller bowl, whisk together the eggs, sugar, milk, yogurt, juice and canola oil.



Let your helper clean out the yogurt pot for recycling.


Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ones and stir until just mixed through. Or mix thoroughly if you are using a gluten-free flour blend.



Fold in your chopped white chocolate/lemon bar.



Divide the mixture between the muffin cups in pan.



Bake in your preheated oven for 20-25 minutes or until golden.  Allow them to cool for a few minutes then remove the muffins to a wire rack to cool completely.



Ignore the chocolate bits I put on top, as previously discussed. Those should be inside the muffins.

If you want to add glaze, put your tablespoon of lemon juice in a small bowl. Add powdered sugar a couple of tablespoons at a time and stir well, until the glaze is a good drizzling consistency.  When your muffins are cool, drizzle on the glaze.



Enjoy!





The Candy Bar Series



1. Dark Chocolate Toasted Sesame Muffins using Lindt Dark Chocolate Roasted Sesame




2. Pecan Caramel Chocolate Muffins using Frey Pecan & Caramel





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Monday, March 2, 2015

Salami Cheddar Lentil Muffins #MuffinMonday


Spicy salami, extra sharp cheddar and tender lentils combine to make a delicious savory muffin that’s great for breakfast or lunch, with flavor and protein enough to get you through the day. 

If you’ve never cooked lentils before, you can surely used canned ones for these tasty muffins, but lentils are one of the easiest legumes to cook, taking only about 25-30 minutes and no soaking beforehand. Just add a little salt and cover them amply with water. Bring to the boil and then simmer until tender. Rinse and use how you will. (I save the broth for soups too!) I often make a pot of lentils and then drain them and freeze the little green nuggets of goodness. They are great in salads, soups, muffins and quiches or throw a few in an omelet. I also make a lentil burger that I should share someday. Meanwhile, there are muffins!

Ingredients
2 cups or 250g flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon salt
5 1/3 oz or 150g extra sharp cheddar cheese
7 slices salami (about 2 1/4 oz or 65g)
1/2 cup or 105g cooked, drained lentils (I like the French Puy lentils.)
3/4 cup or 180ml milk
1/4 cup or 60ml canola or other light oil
2 eggs

Method
Preheat your oven to 350°F or 180°C and prepare your 12-cup muffin tin by spraying with non-stick spray or lining with muffin papers. I tend to just use the spray when I’m baking a cheesy muffin, in case the cheese sticks to the paper liners.

Grate your cheddar if it didn’t already come grated and slice your salami into long strips. Set aside a handful of the cheese, a handful of the drained lentils and 12 of the longest salami strips for topping. Chop the rest of the salami up in smaller pieces.



Combine your flour, baking powder, paprika and salt in a large mixing bowl.

Isn't that paprika a fabulous red?!


Add in the smaller pieces of salami, the bigger piles of cheese and lentils and mix well. Use your fingers, if you have to, to separate the pieces of salami from each other.



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

Fold the wet ingredients into the dry ones and stop when it’s just mixed.



Divide your batter between the 12 muffin cups.

Sprinkle the tops with the reserved cheese and lentils. Roll your long strip of salami up into a spiral and poke it into the top of the muffin batter.



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



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

If you can't stand it, go ahead and cut one open and eat it. They are lovely inside.



Enjoy!







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Monday, February 23, 2015

Pecan Caramel Chocolate Muffins #MuffinMonday

The second in my candy bar series, made with Frey’s Caramel and Pecan milk chocolate, this sweet muffin has big dollops of caramel, just folded through the batter, leaving sweet golden streaks, and more than its fair share of toasted pecans. 

So I’m baking with my chocolate bar stash again. I take them out of the storage box and fan them out like playing cards, then choose one to recreate in muffin form, adding more of the key ingredients.  I almost did maple-walnut but my walnut supply is low. So now you have that one to look forward to, if I don’t get to white chocolate-lemon first. Or dark chocolate with chili. I know, I know. But I’m having fun!

Ingredients
Also contains hazelnuts. Why?
1 cup or 115g whole pecans, toasted
1 Frey Pecan & Caramel bar (3 1/2 oz or 100g)
2 cups or 250g flour
3/4 cup or 150g sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
3/4 cup or 180ml milk
1/4 cup or 60g butter, melted and cooled
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup or 80ml caramel - plus extra for drizzling on baked muffins, optional

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

Chop your chocolate bar with a knife and put aside 12 chunks for decorating the tops of the muffins. Set aside 12 of the prettiest pecans and chop the rest up to add into the muffin batter.



In a large bowl, stir together your flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.



In another smaller bowl, whisk together your eggs, milk, melted butter and vanilla. Fold your wet ingredients into your dry ones.  Stop when there is still quite a bit of flour still unmixed.

Fold in the larger pile of the chopped chocolate bar and the chopped pile of pecans.



Drop the caramel in spoonfuls all over the top of the batter.

Fold it in, trying not to stir too hard. You want to see big golden streaks of caramel in the batter still.



Divide the batter between your prepared muffin cups.

Top each with a piece of chocolate and a pecan.



Bake in the preheated oven for about 20 minutes or until a toothpick stuck in the middle comes out clean.



Allow to cool for a few minutes in the pan and then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.

Once cool, drizzle on a little more caramel if desired.



Enjoy!





The Candy Bar Series


1. Dark Chocolate Toasted Sesame Muffins using Lindt Dark Chocolate Roasted Sesame




3. White Chocolate Lemon Muffins using Movenpick Swiss Chocolate White Lemon

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