Category Archives: Cakes and Muffins

Cinnamon and Sugar Muffin Puffs

Cinnamon PuffsEvery once in a while I just need something super indulgent for breakfast. Most of the time that means doughnuts for my family. When our favorite doughnut shop retired earlier this year we were at a loss. We’ve tried many of the other neighborhood spots, but none of them are quite as good. Although I recently took a doughnut making class, I have not yet made them at home on my own. So I have succumbed to simply making muffins on a regular basis. This recipe is my version of a churro in muffin form. I hope you enjoy.

Shopping List:

2 cups flour
1 cup milk or cream
2/3 cup brown sugar or granulated sugar (I used brown.)
2 eggs
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
8 tablespoons vegetable oil

Topping:

4 tablespoons melted unsalted butter, 2 tablespoons sugar, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Instructions:

  1. Heat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl start by whisking together flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and spices.
  3.  Make an indentation in the center of the bowl and mix in the vanilla, milk and eggs.
  4.  Spoon these into a well-greased mini-muffin baking tray. Bake for 12-14.
  5. When they are done pop them out of their tray and roll them quickly in the butter, sugar and cinnamon topping.

Top 5+ SweetTreats

P1040655It’s been that kind of week where I need to indulge with some delectable desserts. So instead of stuffing my face, I thought I would try to live vicariously and revisit some of my favorite posts in the dessert arena. I hope you enjoy these too!

Jacob's Favorite Brownie Cookies
Jacob’s Favorite Brownie Cookies

Brownie Cookies These are my kids’ most frequently requested cookies!

Nothing like a baseball cookie after a game.

Nothing like a baseball cookie after a game.

Home Run Frosted Sugar Cookies A simple recipe for sugar cookies with icing.

 

An indulgent breakfast treat.
An indulgent breakfast treat.

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Quick Bread What better way to start a morning than eating oatmeal! Ok, so it’s not quite as healthy as that.

Jamie Oliver's Steamed Pudding Cake
Jamie Oliver’s Steamed Pudding Cake

Steamed Pudding Cakes This one is fast and easy, you know, for those emergency dessert situations.

For a special morning treat.
For a special morning treat.

Super-Indulgent, Mini-Chocolate Chip Pancakes These are sinful. Enough said.

Bonus: Sorry no photo for this one, but they were so good I had to share. Easy Almond Cookies I adapted these from the  Betty Crocker website where I simply used white cake mix (instead of lemon) and added 1 1/2 teaspoons of almond extract and a few almond slivers on top of each one.

 

 

 

Super Indulgent, Mini-Chocolate Pancakes

P1060599

I know it seems pretty unlikely, but this week I am turning forty. Yep! You heard me right. I think I’m certainly on the older end of some other food bloggers, but whatever. For those of you wondering how I’m handling this milestone, I can honestly say that I feel pretty good. In fact I feel fabulous! In my forty years I’ve accomplished quite a lot, career, marriage, kids….blah, blah, blah. But I am thrilled there is so much more to come, the tough infant years and struggling with balancing it all is behind me.

So it’s not only my birthday this week, but also my three-year blogiversary…and Valentine’s Day. The stars could not have aligned better for a perfect little breakfast treat post. Continue reading Super Indulgent, Mini-Chocolate Pancakes

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Quick Bread

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Quick BreadLately, I’ve been on this kick where I am trying my best to avoid buying so many prepackaged snacks for my kids. When they were toddlers it was no problem to get them to snack on fruits and veggies, but with the hectic lifestyle that seems inevitable for kids (and moms). All that running between activities after school, of course. I’ve fallen into that trap that I told myself I would never do…rely on endless carbs that result in my kids having no appetite for dinner.

In the spirit of making changes to our eating habits, this just seemed like a good fit. Over the past couple of years I have tried making Peanut Butter Chip granola bars, Peach-apple fruit leatherTropical Pineapple Smoothies and  of course Chocolate Chip Zucchini muffins, my neighbor’s favorite. But none of these truly felt all that healthy or satisfying for the kids.

And then, for a while there I went down the route of a mini-meal after school with Pizza Pop ’ems and chicken taquitos, but there is only so much reinventing I can do. That’s when I thought of making oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, but this time turning them into a quick bread. What a fab idea, right? There must be a recipe out there for something like this, surely Quaker Oats might have one, but alas no. It was Sunset magazine that saved the day. With a few easy tweaks to suit our palate this became a winner. And it made a large enough loaf to last a long 3-day weekend.

Shopping List:

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup rolled oats

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup brown sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup chopped pecans

1/2 cup miniature chocolate chips.

1 1/2 cups buttermilk

2 large eggs

1/4 cup melted butter.

For the streusel:

1/4 cup softened butter

1/4 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup flour

Instructions:

1. In a large bowl mix together 2 cups all-purpose flour, 1 cup rolled oats, 1/2 cup granulated sugar, 1/2 cup brown sugar, 2 teaspoons baking powder, 1 teaspoon baking soda, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 cup chopped pecans, and 1/2 cup miniature chocolate chips.

2. Stir in 1 1/2 cups buttermilk, 2 large eggs, and 1/4 cup melted butter.

3. In a separate small bowl mash together the ingredients for the streusel.

3. Pour into a greased and floured 9-cup loaf pan. And top with streusel mixture.  Then bake at 350 degrees for 50-60 minutes until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.

Adapted from Sunset Magazine

Indulgent Chocolate Bread Pudding

What’s moist and spongy on the inside, crunchy on the outside and a chocolatey mess  all over. This dessert! It is perfect for a Sunday night dinner, since you can make it in advance, and let it bake while you are eating the meal.

This recipe idea was sparked by the fact that for a while now, I’ve been trying to find incentives for my picky eaters to finish their meals and unfortunately what works is the appeal of a treat after dinner–which in all reality if they finished their meal, they should have seconds not dessert. But the real reality is that I am so excited that they’ve finished what I put on their plate, I don’t mind treating them.

Anyway, after the holidays and all of the goodies that have come our way, I thought I’d try and sneak in some healthier versions of treats (more of these to come soon). Since I figure that with bread pudding we are getting some protein and fiber from the eggs and the bread, so if I reduce the sugar it’s not so bad for us as treats go. Don’t get me wrong, this is still not a granola trail mix cookie or any other super healthy treat. But it is pretty darn good.

Shopping List:

3 cups of torn bread (I used 5 slices of whole wheat sandwich bread)

1 egg plus 1 yolk

 1 1/2 cups milk (I used 1%)

1/3 cup sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 cup semi -sweet chocolate chips

Instructions:

1. In a medium pot on high heat bring 1/2 cup of the milk and all of the sugar to a boil.

2. And then, add the chocolate, stirring until the chocolate is melted into the milk. Then take it off the heat.

3. Slowly whisk in the eggs, the remaining milk and 1 teaspoon vanilla.

4. Place the bread cubes in a 4 cup glass baking dish and pour the chocolate mixture over the bread. Push the bread down so that it is all drenched in the chocolate.

5. Set this small dish inside a larger 8 x 8 inch glass baking dish and fill with 1 inch of warm water. This is called a water bath, it allows the pudding to cook evenly. Bake for 55-65 minutes at 325 degrees. To serve, dust with powdered sugar or top with your favorite ice cream or whipped cream.

Serves:4

Adapted from: The Joy of Cooking

Oatmeal Streusel Muffins

The overwhelming smell of brown sugar and cinnamon baking in the oven takes over the kitchen. And I begin to swoon. Of course it becomes unavoidable that I will devour this streusel topping. Oh yeah, there’s a muffin attached to it. Did I mention that? I mean look at that photo. It’s begging me to gobble it up. Quickly I am snapped back to reality when the question is posed: “Mommy,when will the muffins be ready?”

My Big Boy was hoping I would make these for the first day of school and that’s when I realized why not try to substitute some of the flour with oatmeal.  This is yet another validation of my love of muffins. They turned out fab!

Shopping List:

2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup quick cook  dry oatmeal

1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar

2/3 cup butter or shortening

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

2 eggs, beaten

1 1/3 cups buttermilk ( or 1 1/3 cups milk plus 1 tablespoon and 1 teaspoon lemon juice mixed together)

1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional, I didn’t use them in this batch).

Instructions:

1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a 12-cup muffin pan with cooking spray or cupcake liners.

2.  In a large mixing bowl combine flour, oatmeal, brown sugar and salt. Cut in the butter or shortening until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Set aside 1/2 cup of the crumb mixture.

3. To the remaining crumb mixture add baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and nutmeg.

4. In a separate small bowl combine buttermilk and eggs. Add the egg mixture to the dry ingredients and mix well.

5. Divide batter amongst the 12 muffin cups. Stir together reserved crumb mixture and nuts if using them. Divide this mixture over each muffin cup. Bake for 17-22 minutes. Poke it with a toothpick or knife and check that it comes out clean.

Makes 12 muffins.

Adapted from: Better Homes and Gardens New Baking Book, page 308.

Jamie Oliver’s Steamed Pudding Cakes

Give me some cake. STAT! When you’re in a cake emergency and you need it fast this cake is super simple and speedy to make.

A little over a year ago now, I was inspired by Jamie Oliver’s tv show Food Revolution (the first season, before it came to my town) to toss out the chicken nuggets and stop bowing down to my kids and serving three different meals for dinner. I wasn’t doing any good by instilling the restaurant  attitude at home. It was exhausting trying to please a picky eater, and I think my willingness to do this actually perpetuated the attitude. So, I decided to make a change, and I bought Mr. Oliver’s cookbook looking for ways to do this. In his book I found inspiration as to the simplicity of meals. This was the first dessert I made from his book and it was a hit around the table.

Six months later, I decided to start blogging about my own revolution. Now a year later, I can honestly say that I rarely make food from the freezer that is not my recipe. (I make a lot of double batches and freeze them for later).  Thanks Jamie Oliver for inspiring me to think outside the freezer!

Shopping List:

butter, for greasing

 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted

1/4 cup packed, dark brown sugar

6 tablespoons butter

1 teaspoon baking soda

2 teaspoons ground ginger

2 large eggs

juice and finely grated zest of 1 small orange

2/3 cup milk

11 tablespoons golden syrup (I used maple syrup in my version)

creme fraiche or custard to serve ( I didn’t use any in mine)

Instructions:

1. Grease the insides of 6 little microwaveable dishes with butter, I used coffee cups.

2. In a medium bowl combine all of the ingredients except  the syrup and creme fraiche or custard. Add one tablespoon of the syrup and mix everything together with a wooden spoon until well combined.

3. Spoon 1 tablespoon of syrup in the bottom of each of the dishes, then divide the cake batter among them.

4. Tear 6 pieces of parchment paper a little larger than the diameter of the dishes. Grease them with a little butter and place them on top pf each dish pressing down gently.

5. Place all of the dishes in the microwave and cook on 50% power for 7 1/2 minutes. Leave the cakes to stand in the microwave for another 5 minutes before carefully removing the parchment paper.

6. To serve, warm 1/4 cup of the syrup in the microwave for 30 seconds. Invert the cakes on to a small dish, you might need to cut around the edges of the dish first to help loosen it. Drizzle with some of the warm syrup and a dollop of creme fraiche or custard.

Makes 6 mini cakes.

This is from Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution Cookbook. Although my cover looks more like the British version. I found this recipe on page 333.