Category Archives: Muffin Monday

MICROWAVEABLE Pecan Sandie Strawberry Shortcakes

“Summer” has hit with a vengeance here in Northern Baltimore County. The thermometer has been hovering in a hazy upper 80’s for several days. There was no way I was going to turn on the oven in my non – air conditioned kitchen to bake… but man… I really wanted to make some strawberry shortcake.

I thought about the microwave, but quickly dismissed the idea. Previous attempts at microwave baking had produced cakes that were both gummy and unappetizing.

Then in a fit of heat related insanity I convinced myself that “Maybe this time will be different!!!” And you know what? I was right!

So dear readers I bring you:

Pecan Sandie Shortcake 3

Photo Credit: Maggie

 

Pecan Sandie

Strawberry Shortcakes

(Microwave style)

INGREDIENTS:

Shortcakes–

  • 1/2 c melted Butter
  • 1/2 c Sugar
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 c Flour
  • 1 teaspoon Baking Powder
  • 3 Tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon of Almond Milk
  • 1 teaspoon of Almond Extract
  • 1/2 cup of chopped Pecans
  • Plastic Wrap
  • Cooking Spray

Butter Cream Icing —

  • 1/4 c Butter
  • 3/4 c Powdered Sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon Almond Extract
  • Milk as desired for texture

Strawberries —

  • 1 cup of Strawberries cleaned and sliced

 

1. Prepare 5 large silicone muffin cups by spraying liberally with cooking spray. Set aside

2. Combine the melted Butter and the Sugar in a medium-sized bowl.

3. Add the Eggs and beat throughly.

4. Add the Flour, Baking Powder, Almond Milk and Almond Extract and beat or whisk until well combined and batter forms a bubble when it is folded upon itself.

5. Fold in the Pecans.

6. Divide the batter into the baking cups. They will be about 1/3rd filled. Give each one a little tap against the table to let out any air bubbles. Cover each with Plastic Wrap, but leave a little opening, so the steam can get out.

7. ONE AT A TIME put a muffin cup in the Microwave and heat on HIGH for 60-70 seconds. I did this for the full 70 seconds and it worked perfectly. Remove the plastic wrap CAREFULLY ( remember the steam? ) and place upside down on a plate to cool.

8. Repeat for the other Shortcakes.

 

ICING and STRAWBERRIES:

1. Melt the butter to soften it (but don’t completely melt it.)

2. Add the Powdered Sugar and Almond Extract. Mix til smooth.

3. Add Milk one tablespoon at a time until icing is smooth and spreadable.

4. Spread on the tops of the cooled Shortcakes.

5. Top with Strawberries, and add additional Strawberries between cakes.

6. TRY to wait until after dinner to eat this yummy dessert.

 

Here are all five shortcakes assembled on the cake dish. They taunted us all through dinner.

Here are all five shortcakes assembled on the cake dish. They taunted us all through dinner.

 

I got comments like “Restaurant worthy” and “5 stars” and “You can make this anytime!” for this little dessert. It was really good. The mini-cakes alone are terrific. They didn’t come out gummy or too moist. The cake consistency is just right. They really did taste like a cake version of a Pecan Sandie.

 

Absolutely worth a try.

 

Look inside that shortcake. Look at that delicious flakiness.

Look inside that shortcake. Look at that delicious flakiness.

 

This recipe was inspired by one on Instructables.com You should totes go visit them and see what they’ve got cooking.

 

[To my VEGAN readers — These obviously don’t fit the Vegan bill, but I’d be interested in how you think we might be able to adapt this recipe to something that would work your table.]


Muffin Monday: VEGAN Fig Chocolate Muffins

A game of mancala and a glass of cold milk is the only thing that could possibly make these muffins any better than they already are. Just sayin'

A game of mancala and a glass of cold milk is the only thing that could possibly make these muffins any better than they already are. Just sayin’

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 1/4 cups Whole Wheat Flour
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamon
  • 1 cup diced figs (or dates)
  • 1/2 cup diced peanuts
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 cups tomato juice or blended vegetable juice (e.g., V8)
  • Dark Chocolate Bar (I used 3 large squares of chocolate)
  • Sugar for the tops of the muffins
The chocolate kept its shape and made a nice little well of dark deliciousness. I used a bar that had 80% Cocoa so it was super dark and yummy.

The chocolate kept its shape and made a nice little well of dark deliciousness. I used a bar that had 80% Cocoa so it was super dark and yummy. You can also see bits of the fig in the pic. The muffin’s orange color comes from the Tomato Juice, which you can’t really taste at all.

DIRECTIONS:

1) Preheat the oven to 400°F. Lightly grease and flour muffin cups.
2) Whisk together all the dry ingredients, including the Flour, Sugar, Salt, Baking Powder, Baking Soda, Cardamon, Figs and Peanuts.
3) In a blender, whisk together the Vanilla, Vegetable Oil, and Tomato juice.
4) Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients; don’t over-mix, stir just until everything is moistened.
5) Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin cups, filling each nearly full.
6) Sprinkle the tops with coarse white sparkling sugar, if desired. (OF COURSE it is desired!)
7) Bake the muffins for 5 minutes
8) Cut the chocolate squares into quarters so you have 12 quarters and put one quarter into each of the partially baked muffins
9) Continue baking for 18 to 20 minutes, until they’ve domed nicely and they’re lightly browned around the edges. And they pass the toothpick test.
10) Remove the muffins from the oven, and transfer them to a rack to cool.

These are super yummy. The cardamon and fig combo is out of this world. And my tasters thought they were some of the best muffins they’d ever had. They aren’t too moist so I suspect they would travel pretty well, but, frankly, they were consumed too quickly to make it to the Post Office.
Yield: 12 muffins.

full Muffin

Looking for other Vegan Muffin recipes? Just type VEGAN in the search field to the left.


Muffin “Monday”: Peanut Butter Muffins

Muffin beauty shot
INGREDIENTS:
  • 4  cups Flour
  • 1/2 cup Sugar
  • 4 teaspoons Baking Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 1/3 cup Powdered Peanut Butter
  • 1/3 cup Almond Butter
  • 2 cups Skim Milk
  • 2 Eggs (beaten)
  • 6 tablespoons Butter, melted
I discovered powdered peanut butter at my local grocery store. It is great for smoothies and baking, and has far less calories than traditional peanut butter.

I discovered powdered peanut butter at my local grocery store. It is great for smoothies and baking, and has far less calories than traditional peanut butter.

DIRECTIONS:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and prep 18 muffin cups.

2. In a large bowl mix the Flour, Sugar, Baking Powder, Salt and Powdered Peanut Butter
3. Fold in the Almond Butter
4. In a smaller bowl mix together the Milk, Eggs and melted Butter.
5. Mix the wet ingredients into the dry.
6. Divide evenly into the muffin cups.
Peanut Butter muffin oven ready
7. Bake for 25 minutes, until tops of muffins are golden brown and they pass the toothpick test.
8. Remove from oven and cool for 10 minutes before enjoying.
Muffin solo 2
These muffins were nice and dry (but not crumbly) so they travel well. I used them in two care packages and they seem to have made the journey through the post office well.  (Those sauerkraut muffins from last time, did not make it in time, too moist.)
They pair perfectly with a touch of jelly or a bit of butter. My taster Maggie said that “They were the perfect bite size for breakfast.”
Peanut Butter Muffins baked

Muffin Monday: Sauerkraut Chocolate Muffins

with sauce

Momma always said… when life gives you lemons make lemonade. But how about when life gives you sauerkraut? Well, when you marry a German the odds are good that he or she is going to like the pungent cabbage dish. Mine does. So when a certain local grocery chain had a sale on the stuff I was gifted several unsolicited cans for his sake. I’m gratified that my family loves my husband enough to think of him in the canned vegetable aisle, but I don’t even know how to make sauerkraut. So naturally… I looked up Sauerkraut Muffins on the internet to see if there was a base recipe I could borrow for this blog. AH-HA I’m obviously not the only person with the problem, because I found sever interesting recipes.

Basically my version uses the kraut instead of the grated zucchini that you can usually find in my muffins.

Here goes…

 

INGREDIENTS;

3/4 cups of chopped Sauerkraut

2 cups Flour

1/2 cup Cocoa

2 tsp Baking Powder

1 tsp Baking Soda

1/2 tsp Salt

1/4 tsp Cinnamon

1/4 tsp Cardamom

2 Eggs

1/2 cup Olive Oil

2/3 cup Sugar

2 tsp Vanilla Extract

3/4 brewed Coffee (any kinds) room temperature

batter

SAUCE:

1/2 cup Almond Butter

1/2 cup Dark Chocolate Chips

2 Tbsp Maple Syrup

2 Tbsp Butter

ready to bake

DIRECTIONS:

1 Preheat oven to 350. Prep muffin cups.  (This recipe makes a dozen, but I doubled it so I could send some out to unsuspecting college students.)

2. RINSE the Sauerkraut several times to cut the vinegar taste. Set aside.

3. In a large bowl mix the Flour, Cocoa, Baking Powder, Baking Soda, Salt, Cinnamon and Cardamom.

4. In a medium bowl mix the Eggs, Olive Oil, Sugar and Vanilla Extract.

5. Add the wet to the dry and mix until combined (it will be on the dry side.)

6. Alternate adding 1/4 of the Sauerkraut and 1/4 of the Coffee, gently folding with each addition.

7. Divide evenly into the muffin cups.

8. Bake for 30 minutes until the muffins pass the toothpick test.

9. Make the Sauce (yes, these muffins have a sauce, I don’t know why that doesn’t make them cup cakes, just roll with me here.) place the Almond Butter, Dark Chocolate Chips and Maple Syrup in a medium sauce pan. Cook over low heat until the Chocolate starts to melt. Add the butter. Stir continuously.

10. Pour a hefty tablespoon of the sauce over each of the muffins (divide evenly.) Let cool 5 minutes then enjoy.

baked

I tried the muffins with and with out the sauce and they are definitely better WITH the sauce. I liked these muffins. I liked them MUCH better than I like actual Sauerkraut, but, really, just as muffins they were good… not too sweet and the present with interesting flavor profiles (the coffee, cardamom, cinnamon and almond butter help with that.)


“Muffin” Monday Peach Lavender Zucchini

pretty

 

If you haven’t guessed by now… I like to bake with what is on hand. And right now… the gardens of Maryland are bursting with Zucchini. Although my particular Zuke plants have been stubbornly unyeilding, my nephew John gifted me a zucchini the size of a small child.  I scooped out the seeds, sliced it up and put it through the food processor.  I got enough grated Zucchini for this recipe, a bonus batch (Dark Chocolate Chip Z. Bread) and some rather yummy Zucchini and sausage soup. So don’t throw out those over sized Zukes.

INGREDIENTS:
2 cups Sugar
4 cups Flour
1 teaspoon Salt
1 teaspoon Baking Soda
1/4 teaspoon Baking Powder
4 teaspoons Pumpkin Pie Spice
3 Eggs
1 cup Oil
3 teaspoons Vanilla
1 teaspoon finely chopped lavender plus 1 teaspoon sugar

crushed Rosemary
1 cup very ripe peaches, chopped
3 cups Zucchini, grated

DIRECTIONS:
1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees and prep 8 small loaf pans with baking spray.
2. In a large bowl combine the Sugar, Flour, Salt, Baking Soda, Baking Powder and Pumpkin Pie Spice.
3. In a smaller bowl beat the Eggs. Add the Oil and Vanilla.
4. Gently fold in the Lavender/Sugar  then add the Peaches.
5. Add the liquid to the dry and mix.
6. Add the Zucchini and mix.
7. Divide batter evenly into the loaf pans.
8. Bake for about an hour or until the loaves pass the toothpick test.
9. Let cool for 15 minutes and enjoy.

final shot

 

BONUS RECIPE: For the Dark Chocolate Chip Z. Bread… replace the peaches and Lavender with one bag of Dark Chocolate Chips. (Yes, I am that clever.)

Both Zucchini Bread variants were well received. I think the Lavender scared a few people off, and I got more requests for the Dark Choc. Chip. But really, both the peach and the lavender melted into the batter and were barely detectable after everything was baked. the same with the zucchini (It probably helped that I used the fine whole side of the grater blade.)  Both these recipes were delicious. The Chocolate had a bit more flavor, the Peach Rosemary was for more refined tastes. The house smelled AMAZING through out the entire process.

 


Muffin “Monday”: Zucchini Cherry

Zuke Cherry plated

Yeah, so I’m LATE again in posting my Muffin Monday post. And, yeah, this isn’t technically a muffin. But if once you (make and) taste this awesome Zucchini Cherry loaf you will totally forgive me.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 cups Sugar
  • 4 cups Flour
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon Baking Powder
  • 4 teaspoons Pumpkin Pie Spice (you can use Cinnamon if you don’t have Pumpkin Pie Spice)
  • 3 Eggs
  • 1 cup Oil
  • 3 teaspoons Vanilla
  • 3 cups Zucchini, grated
  • 1 cup Cherries, chopped and pitted.

 

DIRECTIONS:

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Prep 6 mini loaf pans (this recipe also make 24 med. muffins.)

2. In a large bowl combine the dry ingredients.

3. In a small bowl crack the Eggs and slightly beat them. Add the Oil and Vanilla.

4. Combine the wet with the dry and stir until well mixed. The batter will be on the thick side.

5. Add the Zucchini and Cherries. (This will moisten up the batter considerably.)

Zuke Cherry Batter

6. Divide evenly into the mini loaf pans.

7. Bake for about 1 hour (for mini loaves) or 40 minutes (muffins).

8. Use the toothpick test to judge if the loaves / muffins are done. (I prefer a drier Zucchini bread.)

Zuke Cherry baked

9. Let cool and enjoy.

 

Not only do these baked goods taste awesome, but they travel well and are perfect for shipping out to loved ones needing a little TLC from home. The fact that they use up 3 cups of grated Zuke is a total bonus. They are perfect for the squash you’ve left on the vine a bit too long. You know the one’s I’m talking about… the one’s that are roughly the size of small dog?

I’m waiting to get my reviews in from those darlings who received a package from me this week. But I’m confident these Loaves / Muffins will receive two, crumb covered, thumbs up.

 

 

 


Muffin Tuesday: Peach Zucchini Almond

IMG_0715

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 Eggs
  • 1/2 cup Sugar
  • 1/2 cup pureed Peaches
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp Nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp Ginger
  • 1 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1 1/2 cup Whole Wheat Flour
  • 2 cups  Zucchini, grated
  • Almond Slivers

DIRECTIONS:

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and prep 12 medium muffin cups.

2. Puree the Peaches in a food processor or blender.

3. In a large bowl mix the Eggs, Sugar, Peaches,  Vanilla, Salt Cinnamon, Nutmeg and Ginger together.

4. Add the Baking Powder, Baking Soda and Whole Wheat Flour to the wet mixture.

5. Fold in the Zucchini.

6. Divide evenly into the muffin cups and top with Slivered Almonds.

IMG_0707

7. Bake for 20-25 minutes until tops are brown and muffins pass the toothpick test.

8. Coll for 10 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to coll further.

These turned out really well. They taste delightful and the texture is spot on. Although I’m with out my trusty taster Maggie (she went back to school) I mailed  her a batch and I think these will hold up well in transit. I’m proactively giving them two thumbs up.

IMG_0720

 

BONUS MUFFIN: Banana Zucchini with a kick of Peach

IMG_0716

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 1/2 cup Whole Wheat Flour
  • 1 tea Baking Soda
  • 1 tea Salt
  • 2 super RIPE Bananas, mashed
  • 1/2 cup Sugar
  • 1/2 soy Yogurt (OK I cheated and used Greek Yogurt that was in the fridge … but you could totally make it with Soy Yogurt)
  • 1/4 cup Vegetable Oil
  • 1/4 cup pureed Peach (who had pureed Peach left over from the other recipe? This girl.)
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1 cup Zucchini
  • Almond Slivers

 

DIRECTIONS:

1 Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, and prep 10 0r 11  muffin cups (this recipe did not make 12. It just barely made 11)

2. In a medium bowl whisk together the Whole Wheat Flour, Baking Soda and Salt.

3. In a large bowl mash the Bananas, add the Sugar, Yogurt, Vegetable Oil, Peach and Extract. Stir until combined.

4. Add the dry ingredients into the wet .

5. Fold in the Zucchini.

6. Divide evenly into the muffin cups and top with Almond Slivers.

IMG_0711

7. Bake for 35 minute or until the muffins pass the toothpick test.

8. Cool on a wire rack.

These are yummy, but came out moist. They passed the toothpick test, but once they cooled the centers got a bit gooey.

 

 

 


Muffin Tuesday: Strawberry Pecan Buckwheat Muffins

 

IMG_0702

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 cup Buckwheat Flour
  • 1 cup regular Flour
  • 2 tsp Baking Powder
  • 3/4 cup Brown Sugar
  • 2/3 cup Skim Milk
  • 1 stick Butter
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 cup fresh Strawberries, sliced
  • 1/2 cup chopped Pecans

 

DIRECTIONS:

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, and Prep the 13 medium-sized muffin cups

2. In a large bowl combine the Flour, Baking Powder and Sugar.

3. In a microwaveable measuring cup melt the Butter.

4. Add the Milk to the Butter, then add the Egg.

5. Mix the wet into the dry and stir until combined.

6. Fold in the Strawberries and Pecans.

7. Divide evenly into the baking cups.

 

IMG_0695

8. Bake for 20 minutes. Muffins are done when they pass the toothpick test.

9. Cool for 10 minutes before enjoying.

 

These muffins are moist and don’t keep long in a hot summer kitchen so eat them with in a few days of baking (or freeze). I would have liked a crunchier top to these muffins. Next time I make them I might pull back on the milk a bit.

They went over well with my family. The Buckwheat gives them a hardy, earthy flavor, and the Strawberries give them a kiss of sweetness and freshness.

IMG_0698

 

These muffins are NOT Vegan.

 


Muffin Monday: Blueberry, Almond, Choc. Chip (Vegan)

Blueberry, Almond, Choc. Chip muffins fresh from the oven.

Blueberry, Almond, Choc. Chip muffins fresh from the oven.

You didn’t think I’d leave you hanging, just because we’ve started the Summer Writing Challenge did you? We writers need our muffins too, am I right?

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3/4 cup fresh Blueberries
  • 1 Banana
  • 1 teaspoon Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1/4 cup Maple Syrup
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 1/4 cup Vegetable Oil
  • 2 cups Whole Wheat Flour
  • 1/3 cup Sugar (Vegan Sugar if you’ve got it)
  • 2 teaspoons Baking Powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon Sea Salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup Almond Slivers
  • 1/c cup Dark Chocolate Chips

 

DIRECTIONS:

1. Preheat the oven to 350 and prep 12 muffin cups by spraying with baking spray.

2. In a BLENDER process the Blueberries and Banana into a slurry. Add the Apple Cider Vinegar, Maple Syrup, Vanilla Extract and Vegetable Oil.

3. In a large bowl mix together the Whole Wheat Flour, Sugar, Baking Powder, Cinnamon, Sea Salt and Baking Soda.

4. Combing the wet with the dry and mix well.

5. Fold in the Almond Slivers and Dark Chocolate Chips.

6. Divide evenly into the muffin cups and bake for 25-30 minutes. Muffins are done when they pass the toothpick test.

7. Remove muffins from oven and cool 10 minutes. Enjoy.

IMG_8263

This recipe made 12 pretty good-sized muffins. I think a nice twist on this recipe would be to switch WHITE choc. chips for the dark choc.

My taster Maggie thought these were “Delicious” just as there were. She liked the chocolate the best.

We both thought the banana overwhelmed the blueberry, which was a smidgen disappointing given the fact that “banana” didn’t even make it into my title! Next time I make this recipe I think I’ll pump up the blueberries (to one cup.)

 

Happy baking. Cheers,

Rita

 

 

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