Happy Friday! Just have to point out that this is my 3rd post of the week! I don’t anticipate every week being this productive, but I am glad to start the year off tackling some of my blogging goals. Now for a yummy, fast and simple recipe for your weekend…
With half a bag of cranberries still in my fridge, and some ideas brewing for what to do to this muffin recipe, I whipped these up during nap time. Using pineapple juice in the last muffins led me to the thought of coconut and I just so happened to have both coconut oil and coconut milk in my pantry. Just like last time I wished I’d had a can of crushed pineapple to add in. Maybe I’ll get around to making a tropical cranberry muffin one of these days. But that would involve me buying another bag of cranberries and then having leftovers after making the muffins which would then require me to make something else with cranberries. I might have to put it on hold until next holiday season. I might be muffin-ed out.
I’ve sung the praises of coconut oil before. This zucchini bread is one of my favorite things. Coconut oil behaves pretty much the same as oil and butter in a baked good. But it’s rock hard at temps at which vegetable oil is liquid and butter is spreadable. It remains solid until is reaches temperatures above 76°F. I warmed it in the microwave before using it in this recipe. I keep muffins and breads in the fridge unless I know they’re going to be eaten within a couple of days to keep them from going bad. With the coconut oil in the muffins they come out of the fridge very hard. A quick warm up in the microwave and they become nice and soft and ready to devour. I found some great information on this blog about using coconut oil and its health benefits. I’d never thought about cutting in to pastry dough!
Coconut is a main and noticeable ingredient in these muffins. There’s coconut oil, milk and flakes. So the coconut averse may not be into these. If you do want the benefits of the coconut oil, just sub milk or buttermilk and leave out the coconut flakes. The coconut oil alone shouldn’t make a coconut hater turn up their nose, but I don’t find coconut oil alone to be too coconutty, especially after being baked into something. Correct me if I am wrong!
On another note, I got this wonderful spreader for Christmas from my mother-in-law. “No such things as too much butter” is definitely something I find to be true. You can get your own at For Such a Time Designs on Etsy. She hand stamps pieces of flatware and I’ve been perusing her site quite a bit lately. Check her out!
Coconut Cranberry Muffins
1 1/2 cups flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup coconut oil, warmed to liquid
3/4 cup lite coconut milk, shake the can before opening and measuring
1 cup fresh cranberries, roughly chopped
1/2 cup sweetened flaked coconut
Preheat oven to 400°F.
Grease and sugar a 12-cup muffin tin.
Combine flour, powder and salt in a small bowl and set aside.
Beat sugar and coconut oil until combined, then beat in coconut milk and egg.
Add flour mixture to the liquid ingredients and mix just to combine.
Fold in the cranberries and flaked coconut.
Divide batter equally among the cups. Sprinkle with raw sugar or flaked coconut.
Bake for 15-20 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool for a few minutes in the pan before transferring to a rack to cool completely.
Happy New Year! Can I still say Happy New Year a week into it? I think so. One of the things I want to do in 2014 is to blog more here on Hottie Biscotti. I did a photo a day project on the Baby Z blog in 2013 and love that it gave me a purpose in blogging and a goal to achieve for the year. I have a lot of ideas for this blog; weekly recipes, cookbooks to cook through, kid friendly meals, dinners for busy moms/dads, vegetarian meals, and a few others. But I know that if I say I’m going to do all of that I will be overwhelmed, will start to get my priorities out of order, end up disappointing myself and not be a good wife, mom and friend. So I’m just going to set a goal of blogging once a week. Maybe I’ll start some series, maybe I’ll blog more than once in a week, maybe I’ll end up cooking more out of my library of cookbooks. But if I don’t, and all I have is 52 blog posts in 2014, I can say I’ve accomplished my goal.
Anyone else out there buy a bag of fresh cranberries over the holidays and find themselves with an unopened bag of them in need of being used? Anyone? I did.
Of course what I found when I searched for “cranberry muffins” were a bunch of recipes involving orange juice and orange zest. I know cranberry and orange are good together. But I’m not super crazy about the combination. And I never have orange juice around. I took this muffin recipe, used pineapple juice instead of orange, used up some of my cranberries, and wound up with a tasty batch of muffins.
I really loved the pineapple juice in these. They smell spectacular and taste wonderful, especially warm with a little spread of butter. The cranberries are perfectly tart and give a beautiful pop of color. I think a small can of drained, crushed pineapple mixed in would make them phenomenal. Now that I’m thinking about it, I will probably make these again with some other add ins…stay tuned.
These come together quickly and have a super simple ingredient list. If you don’t have juice, I think you could get away with milk or buttermilk instead. Blueberries, strawberries or raspberries would be great if you have some around. Happy baking!
In preparing for our move to Houston I am trying to get rid of things. I have a stack of old Everyday Food magazines that I’ve kept on a bookshelf for years, but haven’t used them for recipes in quite some time. I decided to go through them, rip out recipes I could see myself making (or have made before), and then throw the rest away. This recipe for mini cornbread puddings came from one of the many pages torn from one of those magazines.
They were a cinch to prepare, a little tough to remove from from the pan (despite being greased) and a pleasure to eat, warm and at room temperature the next day. They could maybe use a kick from some cayenne pepper, chopped jalapenos or green chiles. These little treats are much more moist than your regular corn muffin, and I am sure could be done in a regular sized 12-cup muffin tin with some changes in cooking time and temperature.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees, with rack in upper third. Butter 24 mini muffin cups; set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, salt, and baking soda.
Make a well in center of flour mixture. In well, whisk together egg, sour cream, and corn. Mix with flour mixture just until incorporated (do not overmix).
Dividing evenly, spoon batter into prepared muffin pan. Bake until tops have browned and a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean, 10 to 15 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes in pan; turn out onto a cooling rack. Serve, or cool completely and store at room temperature in an airtight container, up to 2 days.
Most weekday mornings Ben is out of the house before I even roll out of bed. He almost always has a bowl of cereal for breakfast. He always uses one of our green soup bowls. He is a creature of habit, and I love that about him. But I changed up his routine this weekend.
This past Saturday I was up first and managed to throw together these muffins for breakfast. They came together so quickly! Buttermilk makes these muffins wonderfully moist. The berries provide a burst of tart sweetness. A little sprinkle of raw sugar gives a nice crunch without the extra work of making a streusel. Yes, I am too lazy to make a simple steusel.
I used a combination of fresh raspberries and blueberries, about a cup of each. Blackberries would also be delicious. This recipe comes from The Joy of Baking. Enjoy!
Buttermilk Berry Muffins
2 1/2 cups flour
3/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
zest from 1 lemon
3/4 cup buttermilk
2/3 cup canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups fresh berries
1/4 cup raw/turbinado sugar
Preheat oven to 375°F. Prepare 18 regular size muffin cups with muffin cups or grease and sugar cups.
Whisk flour, sugar, powder, soda, salt and lemon zest in a large bowl.
In a separate bowl whisk buttermilk, oil, egg and vanilla.
Gently fold wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until just combined.
Fold in berries, being careful not to mash them too much.
This is the second time around for me and these bran muffins from Ina Garten. The first time I made them I followed the recipe exactly…well, I did leave out the orange zest. They were terrific. There wasn’t a real need to change anything. You will not be disappointed if you try the original recipe. Here is the link.
I had some blackened bananas that needed to be put to good use, and fast. So I decided to try them in these muffins instead of the firmer chopped banana I’d used the first time. Here are the other changes I made.
Added 1 teaspoon of cinnamon to the dry ingredients
Used skim milk (mixed with lemon juice) instead of buttermilk
Used half whole wheat and half AP flour
Used half golden raisins and half regular raisins
Substituted pecans for the walnuts
Used the orange zest
The result was yet another yummy bran muffin. They do not photograph well though, so I used this photo courtesy of foodtv.com. I liked the subtle flavor of the orange zest. I definitely like the pecans better than walnuts…but that’s just a personal preference. The texture was a bit heartier with the wheat flour. The skim milk might have made the texture or moistness of the muffins a bit different, but not to a degree that I really noticed. The combination of golden and regular raisins is nice, but not necessary. I had some extra golden ones left over, so I used them. I wouldn’t buy them just for these muffins as the plain raisins are great.
You can change a lot of things in these muffins to make them your own. I would not leave out the banana though since I am sure that gives some necessary moisture. Next time I might use cranberries instead of raisins. I think that would be nice with the orange flavor, which I might bump up more by using more zest and some orange juice. If you think of or try anything else, let me know. Enjoy!
Why I ever bought a can of sweet potatoes is a mystery. I bake sweet potatoes every now and then, but I have never had a use for canned sweet potatoes. I saw this can of potatoes and went to the trusty internet in search of something I could bake with it. I found this recipe on cooks.com for sweet potato muffins. I changed it to a sweet potato cake by simply baking it in a bundt pan. Here is the link.
Ben is not a sweets person, but he really liked this cake. He even ate it for breakfast on 2 mornings last week, and he always has cereal. When I make something that Ben eats without being asked to or having a piece served to him, I am pretty excited about it. The cake is moist, the raisins and pecans add nice contrasts, and it is delicious. Enjoy!
Sweet Potato Cake
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 1/4 cups cooked mashed sweet potatoes or yams, fresh or canned
1 stick butter, room temperature
2 eggs, room temperature
1 1/2 cups flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup milk
1/2 cup chopped raisins
1/4 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
Grease and sugar a bundt pan.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Beat sugar, sweet potatoes and butter until smooth.
Add eggs and blend well.
Sift together flour, baking powder, spices and salt.
Add alternately with milk to sweet potato mixture, stirring just to blend. Do not overmix.
Fold in raisins and nuts.
Pour into prepared pan and bake for 45 minutes, or until firm to the touch, and cake tester comes out clean.
These muffins, while a tad bit crumbly, are so incredibly delicious. I have a true and undying love for pecans, and so these had me from the very beginning. The combination of cinnamon and pecans in these muffins is wonderful, and greasing and sugaring the muffins cups gave them such a great crunchy, sweet exterior. You can always use paper muffins cups instead of greasing the muffin pan. These are on the sweeter side for breakfast muffins, but I don’t mind that. Anything I can do to fit in another dessert in my day is a good thing.
I found the recipe on Group Recipes, but used melted butter instead of the oil originally called for in the recipe. Here is the link to the original recipe. The oil would probably make them more moist, so I might try that the next time I make these…and there will be a next time.
These are great when enjoyed warm, but also great at room temperature. I warmed mine in the microwave for about 15 seconds each morning as I enjoyed them all week. That’s just one of those things you must deal with while living with only one other person, leftovers always last a long time. Sometimes this is a good thing, like with these muffins. Other times I wish I had more people to eat the last couple servings of a dish. Our family is growing, but Baby won’t be enjoying these muffins for a while!
Cinnamon Pecan Muffins
1 1/2cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon shopping list
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup, 1 stick, melted butter
1 cup chopped pecans
Mix first 5 ingredients together, then add egg, milk and butter.
Mix until almost blended, adding pecans. Do not over mix batter.
Fill greased and sugared muffin pans two-thirds full.
When I first started to get a little crazy about baking in college I asked for this Martha Stewart Baking Handbook cookbook for Christmas. I used it quite a bit at the beginning as evidenced by the flour crusted on the front cover and bits of food scattered on some of the pages. Sadly, I haven’t used it as much recently.
This is a beautiful book with lovely photos of every single recipe. After making these muffins I have a newly rekindled love for this book and for Martha. I need to take a break from online recipes and get back to my huge collection of cookbooks. Why have them if I’m not going to use them? You might know what I’m talking about if you have at least 30 cookbooks, many of which are just sittin’ pretty on a bookshelf, and yet you find yourself searching on the internet when you want to make something. What a shame! Let’s get back to loving our cookbooks.
Every recipe in this cookbook is great. The cinnamon raisin bread is especially delicious and I’ve made it more than just a few times. It was the first yeast bread I tried that worked! It has a great cinnamon swirl and lots of juicy raisins. I am making myself crave it right now, so I might have to go make a loaf or two…
The blueberry muffins were easy to prepare and made my house smell delicious while they baked. The generous amount of blueberries guarantees at least a few juicy berries in every bite. I ate these at room temperature and also halved and toasted with a nice spread of butter. Either way they are wonderful. Watch the muffins after about 20 minutes, because mine were done after 25. I did not sprinkle the sugar/nutmeg mixture on the muffins, but think they would be extra yummy with the nice crunch. Enjoy!
Martha Stewart’s Baking Handbook
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pan
2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pan
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups fresh blueberries
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup milk
¼ cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
Preheat oven to 375 F. Generously grease and flour a standard 12-cup muffin pan.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. Working over the bowl, toss blueberries in a fine sieve with about 1 1/2 teaspoons flour mixture to lightly coat; set aside the flour mixture and the blueberries.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or using a handheld mixer, beat butter and 1 cup sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
Add eggs, one at a time, beating until combined. Mix in vanilla.
With the mixer on low speed, add reserved flour mixture, beating until just combined.
Add milk, beating until just combined. Do not overmix.
Using a rubber spatula, fold in the blueberries.
Divide batter evenly among the prepared muffin cups.
If desired, in a small bowl, mix together remaining 1/4 cup sugar and nutmeg. Sprinkle sugar mixture on top of muffin batter.
Bake, rotating pan halfway though, until muffins are golden brown and a cake tester inserted in the center of one muffin comes out clean, about 30 minutes. Transfer pan to a wire rack to cool 10 minutes.
Remove from pan and let cool. Serve warm or at room temperature.
This recipe was posted to Pioneer Woman back in December of 2007 and I knew from the ingredients alone that these had to be delicious. And who can argue with bread dipped in butter and rolled in cinnamon sugar? No one. That’s who. Here is the link to her post. I really like her site and every recipe I’ve tried has been great. If you don’t follow her blog already, then you should.
I don’t know why I haven’t tried these until now. My mother-in-law made them a few weeks ago, and I was inspired to try them myself. I made them in mini muffin cups instead of the regular size so that I would have more tasty treats. I had leftover batter after filling the 24 cups, so I used a madeleine pan for the rest…they didn’t look that great t, but they tasted good.
Since I was using a smaller pan, I reduced the baking time to 15 minutes. Other than that everything is the same as Pioneer Woman’s recipe. Why mess with a good thing? While these are a bit messy to prepare, they are worth it. Any puffs left over can be stored at room temperature in an airtight container for a few days. They don’t taste quite as good as fresh, but they will still satisfy your sweet tooth.
If you are anything like me, when you look in your freezer you might see about a dozen or so frozen black bananas. When bananas go bad in my house I either make banana bread if I have the time, or I stick them in the freezer. This pile of frozen bananas adds up quickly. Before I made these muffins I had 16 frozen bananas!
I pulled out 3 bananas from my stash and made these muffins earlier this week. The recipe is from allrecipes.com. Here is the link.
To the original recipe I added a cup of caramel pieces and 1 teaspoon of cinnamon. I lowered the oven temperature from 400 F to 375 F. My batch of muffin batter made more than enough for 12 muffins. I was able to make an additional 8 mini muffins, so maybe 16 regular sized muffins total. Everything else is just as it is in the original recipe.
The oats add a nice texture, and the caramel pieces bring in some extra delicious sweetness. Some of the caramel pieces sunk to the bottom of the muffins, so some of them were hard to remove from the pan. Be sure to grease your pan and paper well! These muffins are OK at room temperature, but I recommend warming them in the microwave or toaster oven.
Caramel Banana Oat Muffins
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup white sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup milk
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup mashed bananas
1 cup caramel pieces
Combine flour, oats, cinnamon, baking powder, soda, and salt.
In a large bowl, beat the egg lightly. Stir in the milk, oil, and vanilla, then mix in the sugar.
Add the mashed banana, and combine thoroughly. Stir the flour mixture into the banana mixture until just combined.
Fold in caramel pieces.
Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper bake cups, spray with cooking spray, and divide the batter among them. You may have extra batter to make a few more muffins.
Bake at 375 degrees F (205 degrees C) for 18 to 20 minutes.