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Archive for the ‘Muffins’ Category

I really enjoy baking quick breads and muffins to freeze in individual servings for a quick breakfast or snack option. Last week I found myself with a past its prime banana and a little bit of leftover canned pumpkin puree so I thought I would combine the two to make banana pumpkin bread.

Since I typically end up eating this kind of thing for breakfast, I wanted to put a healthier spin on the bread. Since bananas provide so much natural sweetness I was able to reduce the amount of sugar that I used. I also subbed half of the flour for whole wheat and used plain Greek yogurt in place of some of the oil. Easy swaps that make a difference in the overall nutrition stats. I did still top it with a pumpkin glaze but it was worth it!

The bread was very easy to put together and didn’t even require the use of a mixer. I think I had it in the oven in under 15 minutes. Once it cooled I topped it with the glaze and then let the glaze set. I then sliced the bread into individual slices that I wrapped in saran wrap and placed in a gallon bag. I placed the bag in the freezer so I can grab a slice whenever I need a quick breakfast.

All it needs is a quick 30 seconds in the microwave. Sometimes I like to pop the slice into the toaster for a minute or so too for texture. It’s extra delicious topped with butter, jam or nut butter!

Healthier Banana Pumpkin Bread
(Recipe adapted from Nancy Creative)

Ingredients:

FOR THE BREAD
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice (or go up to a tablespoon if you really want it spiced)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 very ripe medium banana, mashed with a fork
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt
2 eggs
1/4 cup canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla

FOR THE GLAZE
1/2 cup powdered sugar, sifted
1 tablespoon milk
1 tablespoon pumpkin puree

Directions:  

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9 x 5 loaf pan with cooking spray and set aside.

In medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice and salt.

In large bowl, mix together pumpkin, banana, yogurt, oil, eggs and brown sugar. Add in half of the flour mixture and mix well before adding in the other half. Continue to stir gently until everything is well combined.

Pour batter into prepared loaf pan and bake for 50-55 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Let the bread cool for about 10-15 minutes in the pan before removing it to cool completely on a wire wrack.

For the glaze, whisk together powdered sugar, milk and pumpkin and spoon over loaf once cool.

Yield: 8 servings

And here are the nutrition details…

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I have been on a baking kick lately. In the past couple of weeks I’ve baked these oatmeal maple scones twice, a hummingbird cake, peanut butter chocolate chip bars, pita bread and no-bake chocolate peanut butter oat cookies. The time in the kitchen has been relaxing and let’s face it…my sweet tooth is pretty out of control.

When I’m in the mood for something sweet and to bake my go-to is usually cookies or brownies. I wanted to branch out a bit so I flipped through a cookbook that was given to me as a gift a few months ago, Flour. It’s full of amazing recipes from Boston’s Flour Bakery and Cafe. I haven’t made scones in forever and had all the ingredients on hand for their oatmeal maple scones.

I expected the scones to be good but they were literally one of the best things that I have ever baked. So good that I had to make them again for my grandmother when I went to visit her the next week. I love anything that is oatmeal based and the texture of these scones is perfect. The edges are slightly crunchy but the centers are soft and the toasted pecans and golden raisins add a contrast. The scones are sweetened with maple syrup and include a maple glaze that is a great final touch.

The scones will keep at room temperature in an air tight container for a few days and they also freeze well. They might not seem too exciting but I promise you won’t regret making them for a breakfast (or anytime) treat!

Oatmeal Maple Scones
(Recipe source Flour)

Ingredients:

FOR THE SCONES
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cup old-fashioned rolled oats (not quick)
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup pecan halves, toasted and chopped
1/2 cup golden raisins or dried cranberries/cherries/etc
1/2 cup (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into 10 pieces
1/3 cup heavy cream (or half and half)
1/2 cup maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cold egg

FOR THE GLAZE
1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
3 tablespoons maple syrup
1-2 tablespoons water

Directions: 

 Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Using a stand mixer with the paddle attachment (or a hand mixer), combine flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda, salt, pecans and raisins on low speed until combined well. Add butter pieces and beat on low speed for about 30 seconds or until butter is broken down but with pebble sized pieces still visible.

In a separate small bowl, whisk cream, maple syrup, vanilla and egg together. With mixer still on low speed, add wet ingredients to dry mixture and beat for about 30 seconds until just combined.

Remove bowl from mixer and scrape down sides to make sure that all dry ingredients have been incorporated. Using a 1/4 or 1/3 cup measuring cup, drop rounded scoops of dough onto a baking sheet 2 to 3 inches apart. You should have 9 scones.

Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until tops are golden brown. Start checking at the 30 minute mark. Transfer to a wire rack to cool for about half and hour.

Make the glaze while the scones are cooling. Whisk together sifted powdered sugar, maple syrup and water. Once the scones have cooled, brush tops with glaze.

If you keep the scones for more than one day or freeze them, they can be “refreshed” by heating in a 300 degree oven for about 5 minutes.

Yield: 9 scones

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I have been getting so much inspiration from Southern Living this summer. I’m not sure if maybe they’ve had a change in their food department or have just been focusing more on improving/freshening their food features but the recipes they have been publishing have been wonderful! I have a long list of things that I’d like to try from recent issues.

This Spiced Peach Carrot Bread was a “must make ASAP” and given the constant presence of peaches on my counter during the late summer months, I had all the ingredients on hand. I really enjoy quick breads and loved the idea of peach and carrot bread in lieu of the usual banana base.

I made some modifications to the original recipe. I doubled the spices, replaced some of the oil with Greek yogurt and added vanilla extract. The bread turned out beautifully and it’s so easy to prepare. You only need one bowl and no mixer! It was great on its own and it was especially tasty topped with almond butter for breakfast. This will definitely become a yearly summer staple.

Enjoy the last of the summer peaches (before we are bombarded with all things pumpkin and winter squash!) and make this recipe.

Spiced Peach Carrot Bread
(Recipe adapted from Southern Living – July 2011)

Ingredients:

3/4 cup chopped pecans
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups peeled and chopped fresh peaches
3/4 cup grated carrots
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt
1/2 cup milk
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and prepare a 9 x 5 loaf pan with cooking spray.

Toast pecans either in the oven in a shallow pan for 8-10 minutes or on the stove top in a pan over medium heat. Stir occasionally. When they are fragrant and slightly darkened in color, they are ready. Allow to cool.

Stir together flour, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. Add the peaches, carrots, oil, yogurt, milk, eggs, vanilla and pecans and stir until just moistened and combined.

Pour batter into prepared baking dish and bake for about 1 hour and 10 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pan for 5 minutes before removing and placing on a wire rack to completely cool.

Yield: 1 loaf

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Recently, I’ve had the baking bug. I attribute it to our staying in town on the weekends. We went through a four-week stint where we traveled every weekend. All of that traveling made my weeks crazy trying to cram everything in and prepare for the next weekend’s travel. I have loved being home on the weekends and back in the kitchen. Over the last couple weeks I’ve baked pumpkin chocolate chip bars, homemade crackers, peanut butter chocolate chip bars, pita bread (twice!) and these muffins.

The inspiration from these muffins came from a can of Libby’s pumpkin puree in my pantry that was calling my name. I came home one night and it was rainy and cool. I immediately headed to the kitchen and started paging through my favorite cookbooks for pumpkin muffin recipes. I found a Pumpkin Apple Bread recipe in The Gourmet Cookbook and decided to adapt it to be a bit healthier and muffin form.

The modifications I made included halving the recipe, subbing some of the all-purpose flour for whole wheat, reducing the sugar, cutting back on some of the oil in favor of applesauce and omitting the streusel-like topping in favor of a small sprinkle of brown sugar and cinnamon. The muffins turned out great, even with the modifications! Usually Brandon can immediately tell when I’ve “healthified” things but he was totally on board with these and ate them every morning for breakfast.

I think my favorite thing about these muffins is the addition of  diced apple. How perfect is it that this recipe includes two of the best Fall baking ingredients!? These are a great change from my normal banana muffins and I will be baking them again this season!

One Year Ago: Pumpkin Cupcakes with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting

Pumpkin Apple Muffins
(Recipe heavily adapted from The Gourmet Cookbook)

Ingredients:

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
Very small pinch of cloves (1/8 teaspoon)
1/2 (of a 15 ounce) can pumpkin puree
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/4 cup applesauce
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 apple, peeled, cored and chopped
Extra brown sugar and cinnamon to sprinkle over the muffins before baking

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a 12-cup muffin tin with liners (or cooking spray).

In a large bowl, whisk together flours, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. In a separate medium bowl, mix together pumpkin, oil, applesauce, sugar and eggs. Add wet mixture to flour mixture and stir until combined. Fold in apples.

Divide batter between muffin tins, filling about 3/4 (or a tad more) full. Sprinkle brown sugar and cinnamon over the tops of muffins. Bake for 22-25 minutes, or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely. Muffins will keep for 3-5 days out or freeze well for a couple of months.

Yield: 12 muffins

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68 Days of Gourmet: Day 39

At 10 p.m. last night, after a long day of cooking and prep for my niece’s 2nd birthday party, I announced that I was tired and over cooking for a while. I told Brandon if he wanted breakfast this morning he would have to brave the icy road conditions to go get bagels. And then I woke up and found myself in the kitchen making muffins and a frittata. Guess I just needed a good night’s sleep to turn my attitude around!

We got several inches of snow/ice in Charlotte this weekend. That pretty much means that normal life comes to a halt in the South. The roads are super icy and I was worried that the birthday party would be cancelled. They decided to go ahead and have it so I spent all of yesterday preparing the butterfly cupcakes, ham and cheddar pretzel bites and fruit skewers. Blog updates to come soon with the butterfly cupcakes and pretzel bites. Cannot wait to share the cupcakes – they came out better than I hoped and were a huge hit!

I took yesterday as a rest day – the weather was terrible and I had so much cooking to do. We took Sullie for a walk this morning. She had so much fun playing in the snow. This afternoon I went to my favorite yoga class at Charlotte Yoga. Just the best way to wrap up the weekend and get my mind ready for the week ahead.

I made a lot of modifications to the Applesauce Spice muffins. The original recipe called for almost a stick and a half of butter. That just was not happening this morning! I ended up using about 4 tablespoons of  butter (half a stick) and subbing 1/3 cup of plain yogurt for the rest of the butter. Also, I used half wheat flour and reduced the sugar. Felt much better about eating two of these delicious muffins this morning with those changes. They are tender, not too sweet and have a great apple spice flavor. A great way to mix up my normal banana muffin routine! The recipe below is my modification so check out the link below for the original recipe.

Applesauce Spice Muffins
(Recipe adapted from Gourmet, November 2003)
Printable Recipe

Ingredients:

FOR THE MUFFINS
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 stick (4 tablespoons) plus 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/3 cup nonfat plain yogurt
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 cup pecans or walnuts (3 1/2 ounces), coarsely chopped

FOR THE TOPPING
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Directions:

Preaheat oven to 400 degrees. Prepare 12-muffin pan with cooking spray or cupcake liners.

Stir together flour, baking powder, baking soda, spices and salt in a bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together eggs, brown sugar and yogurt until well-combined. Slowly stir in butter, whisking until mixture is creamy. Stir in applesauce, then fold in flour mixture until flour is just moistened. Stir in nuts and divide batter among muffin cups.

Mix together topping ingredients and sprinkle over muffins. Bake about 20 minutes, until tops are puffed and golden. Cool in pan for 5 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Yield: 12 muffins

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pbccbananamuffins

I know, I know…it’s been all about the baking posts lately. I promise I’ll get back to real food soon but I’ve just been in the mood to bake lately. Also, I recognize that I have a slight addiction to baking muffins that involve banana. I’ve shared the story before but I am a total peanut butter addict and peanut butter and banana sandwiches are one of my favorite lunches. But sometimes I just don’t use my bananas for the week and find myself making muffins with the overripe bananas. I’m a little strange because I cannot eat a banana plain. It literally makes me sick to my stomach but I love them in things…like PB&B sandwiches and banana pudding!

So I decided I was ready for a change from my standby banana muffin recipe and wanted to try to incorporate my favorite sandwich in a muffin. I found this recipe on Baking Bites. It was simple and so delicious…especially with a glass of milk! I will definitely be making these often!

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins
(Recipe adapted from Baking Bites)

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup oats
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 cup mashed banana (about 2)
6 tablespoons peanut butter (I used all natural crunchy but you can use anything you have on hand)
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup chocolate chips

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease a 12-muffin tin or prepare with liners.

Whisk together flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a bowl. Set aside.

In a separate bowl, mix together vegetable oil, brown sugar, eggs, mashed banana, peanut butter and buttermilk until smooth. Stir in flour mixture flour mixture mix well.

Divide batter evenly into prepared muffin pans, filling about 3/4 full.

Bake for 16-20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean and the top springs back when lightly pressed.

Remove muffins frompan and cool on a wire rack.

Yield: 12 muffins

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easybananamuffins

You can almost always find banana muffins in my freezer. I love peanut butter and banana sandwiches but sometimes I don’t get around to using all the bananas. I hate to waste them so I usually end up making muffins with the overly ripe bananas.

My favorite recipe is adapted from a Cooking Light Banana Bread recipe. I like that the recipe is easily cut in half and is perfect to use one banana and make six muffins (of course you can make the full recipe too).

It takes no time at all to get these in the oven. You don’t even have to break out a mixer! Everything can be done by hand. The muffins are soft with a nice crispy crumb when they’re fresh out of the oven. They freeze well and are perfect for an on the go breakfast.

Easy Banana Muffins
(Recipe adapted from Cooking Light)

Ingredients:

1  cup  all-purpose flour
1/2  teaspoon  baking soda
1/4  teaspoon  salt
1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/8 cup vegetable or canola oil
1 large egg
1 large banana, mashed
2 tablespoons, plus 2 teaspoons of plain low-fat yogurt or low-fat sour cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Cooking spray

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 and spray muffin tin with cooking spray.

Mix together flour, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl. Set aside.

In a separate bowl, mix together sugars, oil, egg, banana, yogurt or sour cream and vanilla.

Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and mix until just moist and incorporated. Spoon batter into prepared muffin tins, filling about 2/3 of the way full.

Bake for about 18-22 minutes, until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pan for a few minutes and then transfer to a wire rack.

Yield: 6 muffins

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strawberrymuffins

With a fridge full of fresh cherries and strawberries, I found myself wanting to make a batch of muffins. I was looking for a very simple recipe where I could just stir in the chopped cherries and strawberries into the batter. I scoured the Internet for recipes and the only one that truly appealed to me was this recipe I saw on a blog I’m unfamiliar with, Cucina Nicolina.

I made six strawberry and six cherry muffins (I just divided the batter at the end). The muffins were exactly what I was looking for. I really enjoyed the texture and appreciated that they weren’t overly sweetened. The flavor of the fruit was the star.

Muffins are the perfect on the go breakfast. I usually just stash them in the freezer and grab one on my way out to work. These have been a welcome change to the banana muffins that I’m typically stocked with.

Strawberry (or Cherry) Muffins
(Recipe source Cucina Nicolina)

Ingredients:

2 cups all-purpose flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 cup milk (I used 2 percent)
2 cups cherries (pitted) or strawberries, roughly chopped (or 1 cup of each if you want to mix it up!)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Prepare muffin pan with cooking spray or liners.

Whisk together flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. In a separate bowl, mix together egg, vegetable oil, sugar and milk. Make a hole in the dry ingredients and pour in wet ingredients. Mix together until just combined. Do not overmix. Batter should still be fairly lumpy. Stir in chopped fruit (if you’re doing a combination, you will want to divide the batter first).

Fill muffin tins about two-thirds full. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until golden in color.

Yield: 12 muffins

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banananutellabaked

We have a jar of Nutella in the pantry that I bought to make Nutella Croissants. Last weekend I was making banana muffins and thought it would be fun to put a dollop of Nutella in the center before baking. It was a good idea. Especially warm. So next time you make your favorite banana muffins, try layering a teaspoon of Nutella in the batter. You won’t be disappointed!

Banana Nutella Muffins
(Recipe source Cooking Light and Bakin’ and Eggs)

Ingredients:

2  cups  all-purpose flour
3/4  tsp  baking soda
1/2  tsp  salt
1 /2 cup sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/4  cup  butter, softened
2  large eggs
1 1/2  cups  mashed ripe banana (about 3 bananas)
1/3  cup  plain low-fat yogurt (can sub non-fat yogurt, greek yogurt or sour cream)
1  teaspoon  vanilla extract
3/4 cup Nutella
Muffin liners or cooking spray

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350°. Line muffin tins with liners or coat with cooking spray.

In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, and salt, stirring with a whisk. In a separate bowl, combine banana, yogurt and vanilla.

Beat sugar and butter with a mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy and well blended, about 1 minute. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add banana mixture and beat until blended. Add flour mixture and beat at low speed just until moist.

Fill muffin tins about 1/4 of the way full with the batter. Place 1 teaspoon of Nutella in the center of each muffin. Fill muffin tins with remaining batter. They should be about 3/4 full.

Bake for 18-22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool on wire racks – but remember – these are best enjoyed warm!

Yield: 12 muffins

nutellabananamuffins

nutellabananafilled

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