Lemon Summer Muffins

Hello bakers! Well, my world has been a little upside down, so I needed to take a minute and get used to things. Unfortunately, I am not a stress baker! I choose to read and cry and drink a little wine. I just can’t help it. But I am back with a brand new computer and some fun baking inspiration. I am loving muffins that can be cupcakes, and vice versa. I wanted a little bit of sweet in my muffin, but I also wanted a little less sweet in my cupcake. So, Cupins! I don’t really like that name and the other option was Muffcakes, and…. that just wasn’t working for me either… for obvious reasons!

As much as I love chocolate, it is just too hot for such a heavy treat. But fresh lemon is the very essence of summer. It is crisp, fresh, refreshing and genuinely tasty. Everything about a lemon makes me smile. The fact that you can put it in your water, or in your cookies or in your pasta sauce just makes me love it that much more. I made a simple lemon glaze to delicately drizzle over my muffins/ cupcakes, but they are great without.

So, what you will need…

  • 1 3/4 C. All-Purpose Flour, sifted
  • 2 tsp. Baking Powder
  • 1/2 tsp. Baking Soda
  • 1/4 tsp. Salt
  • 1 Tbsp. Grated Lemon Zest
  • 2 Large Eggs
  • 1/2 C. Nonfat Milk
  • 3/4 C. Granulated Sugar
  • 6 Tbsp. Unsalted Butter, Softened
  • 1/2 C. Fresh Lemon juice
  • 1/2 C. Confectioners Sugar

Here was my process…

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. and line a muffin pan with muffin liners. This recipe makes 12 regular size muffins.
  2. In a medium-sized bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and add lemon zest. Set aside.
  3. In another bowl whisk eggs until blended.
  4. Add sugar, butter, and 1/4 C. Lemon juice to the egg mixture.
  5. Slowly add the milk and stir with a wooden spoon until smooth.
  6. Add the dry ingredients to the egg mixture and stir until just combined.
  7. Spoon the batter equally into prepared muffin tins.
  8. Bake at 400 degrees F. for 12 minutes. Let cool completely before glazing.
  9. To make the glaze take the remaining lemon juice and the confectioners sugar and combine in a bowl, stirring until smooth. Drizzle glaze over each muffin. Let set, and enjoy!

This is a super delicious, and refreshing little treat. You can have it for breakfast with a cup of tea and some blueberry yogurt, or for dessert with a scoop of frozen yogurt. These also stand well on their own. Plus you don’t have to worry about feeling gross and full, just happy and satisfied.

Happy Baking!

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Popovers w/ Cinnamon Sugar Butter

Finally! I love Popovers and I am always referencing them… so… ta da! Here they are. I stuck to my fail safe version, nothing fancy. The key to any Popover is making sure that the eggs and the milk are at room temperature. Helps keep them all light and fluffy, the way they are meant to be!

We were having grilled  BBQ chicken and a green apple, blackberry and spinach salad for dinner. I felt that the lack of carbs would leave a huge hole on my table. Normally I wouldn’t care, but it is just that kind of week ;).

I wanted to eat bread without feeling like I was really “eating bread”. How perfect are Popovers for that feeling?! They are literally hollow. So, I whipped up some cinnamon sugar butter and that was that. Honestly, the cinnamon sugar butter complimented the complex flavors of the BBQ chicken. Really, you ought to try it!

So, you will need…

  • 1 C. All purpose Flour
  • 1/4 tsp. Salt
  • 2 Large Eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 Tbsp Butter, melted
  • 1 1/4 C. Whole Milk, room temperature

Here was my process…

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F, and prepare popover pan or muffin pan. Lightly grease the sides and dust with flour.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the flour and salt.
  3. In another medium bowl whisk together, the eggs, butter and milk until well blended.
  4. Pour the egg mixture into the dry mixture and beat with a wooden spoon just until all ingredients are well incorporated.
  5. Pour the batter into the prepared pan, filling each tin half way full, and bake at 425 degrees F. for 30 minutes.
  6. At 30 minutes, reduce heat to 375 degrees F and bake for another 15-20 minutes until tops are a rich golden brown.
  7. Remove from oven, pierce the side of each popover to allow the steam to escape.
  8. Serve as quickly as possible!

For the cinnamon sugar butter, just let butter reach room temperature and hen add a dash or two of cinnamon and a dash or two of sugar. mix until well blended. I usually take jam or honey with my popovers, but this felt like a fun thing to do. I love eating fun food!

So, next time it is time for a cook out at your house and you want to keep things “light”, take out that popover pan and give it a whirl. You just can’t go wrong!

Happy Baking!

Sweet and Spicy Cornbread

It is just starting to get a little bit warm around here, and so I have been cooking with fresh ingredients and loving every minute of it. I wanted to make some spicy spring chili with cornbread, but it just felt to boring! I love Cornbread and all, but geeze… it is really just a dull, dull bread. That can get very dry and tasteless if done wrong! Of course I am just not one of those people 😉

For Easter, the Easter Bunny (aka my mom!!!, yes, still…) brought me a guacamole basket filled with avocados, limes, tomatillos, Habanero peppers, chili peppers and jalapenos! We could only put so much in the guac, and then I made chicken tacos with some of them… they are damn spicy! So, I figured, why not Pump Up the Volume ( yes, I just went there) and pull a Christian Slater on this cornbread!

Sweet with honey (and love) and spicy with chilis! That would definitely be something to write about.

So, you will need…

  • 1 1/4 C. All-Purpose flour
  • 3/4 C.  Corn Meal
  • 1/4 C. sugar
  • 2 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 C. Milk
  • 1/4 C. Canola Oil
  • 2 Egg Whites, beaten (NOT WHOLE EGGS)
  • 2 fresh jalapenos diced
  • honey to drizzle over uncooked cornbread before baking, hence the sweet and spicy… just saying!

Here was my process…

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F and grease preferred method of baking pan, dish, skillet, etc.
  2. In a  large bowl combine flour, corn meal, sugar, baking powder and salt. Mix lightly, just until everything is combined.
  3. Add Milk, Canola Oil and beaten egg whites. Mix well.
  4. Add jalapeno, diced, chopped however you like them!
  5. Spoon batter into prepared baking pan.
  6. Drizzle honey over each piece. The honey will sink into the cornbread and create a delicious crust.
  7. Bake for 20-22 minutes!

 

These are best served fresh, and don’t be afraid to add a bit more spice!

Happy Baking!

Blackberry Brie Muffins

This was a fun little adventure in my kitchen. It is starting to get warmer and more springlike around these parts, and I just wanted to celebrate spring while still being prepared for the cold, through a muffin! I actually started out just using blackberries, but the strawberries were so juicy and beautiful, I had to show them some culinary love as well! So I did half blackberry brie, and half strawberry brie muffins. They were both great, although I was a bigger fan of the blackberry ones just because they are my favorite berry!

They came out moist and smelling incredible. even my picky eating friend who said, “What is brie? I won’t be messing with those.”, he liked them both! So that is a sign of success in my kitchen, and so these muffins get an A+!

So, you will need…

*yields 12 muffins

  • 1 3/4 C. All-Purpose flour
  • 1/2 C. Granulated Sugar
  • 2 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1 Egg, beaten
  • 3/4 C. Milk
  • 1/4 C. Canola Oil
  • 1/2 C. Fresh Blackberries, or Fresh Strawberries cut into pieces
  • 1/2 C. Brie cut into pieces – they can be as big or as small as you want. I cut off the rind, but that is also up to you

Here was my process…

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 Degrees F and prepare the muffin pan with liners or grease.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.
  3. In a separate bowl whisk egg until fluffy, about 1 minute.
  4. Add milk and oil to egg, whisk for another 30 seconds or so.
  5. Make a well in the center of the dry mixture, and add the wet mixture. Mix until everything is combined.
  6. Add blackberries or strawberries and brie to mixture, mix well.
  7. Spoon into prepared muffin pans, bake at 400 degrees F for 18-20 minutes until muffin tops are a slight golden blonde.

 

I think these are best when they are warm, I even put some fat free frozen yogurt on mine! But they are great at any temperature and they can be enjoyed at anytime!

Happy Baking!

Pumpkin Pie Spice Muffins with Cinnamon-Vanilla Glaze

This is my own take on the Pumpkin Muffin. I am not a fan of pumpkin pie because of its texture, but I love the flavor. This is a muffin that tastes like a spiced pumpkin pie, and the glaze adds a cupcake feel that is just plain fun! The glaze is optional of course, but my muffins are less sweet than usual so the glaze adds the perfect amount of sweetness.You can heat them up and enjoy with vanilla frozen yogurt for dessert, with a cup of coffee for breakfast, or just in the mid afternoon for a nice snack. No matter when and where they are always delicious.

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Here was my process…

I like to roast my own sugar pumpkin to bake with. But a can of pumpkin can be so much easier! If you are roasting the pumpkin set the oven to 350 degrees. Split the pumpkin and scoop the “guts” out. (Roasting the seeds to put on the muffins is always great). Place split, seeded pumpkin cut side down on baking sheet, cover with foil and cook for 90 minutes.Remove pulp of pumpkin and then puree in a blender. You will need about 2 cups of pumpkin puree. If you are using a can, you will need one 15 ounce can of pumpkin puree.

Next I mixed the flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and allspice and a pinch of salt. In a separate bowl I blended the pumpkin puree, eggs and veggie oil until well blended. Then mix the puree in with the dry mixture until a smooth batter forms.

Once mixed spoon into prepared muffin pans. I personally love to use parchment paper liners. They look great and it is more interesting than the regular cupcake liners.

Bake at 350 degrees for 18 minutes.

While they are in the oven you can start on your glaze. Its simple. Just take 1 cup of powdered sugar, 1 tablespoon vanilla extract and 1 teaspoon of cinnamon. Mix it until it is smooth and just like that, you have your glaze.

Once the muffins have mostly cooled, drizzle glaze over muffins. You don’t need much, and there is no right way to glaze these awesome little bites of heaven.

So, you will need…

  • 1 small sugar pumpkin or 1 15 oz can of pumpkin puree
  • 3 cups flour (I use half all-purpose and half whole wheat)
  • 1 1/2 cups white and brown sugar mixture
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoons ground cloves
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 eggs
    • Cinnamon Glaze:
    • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
    • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
    • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
    • 1 Tbsp milk 

Happy Baking!