Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Pumpkin Muffins

These muffins were made to use up half a can of pumpkin puree. This recipe makes dense spicy muffins studded with raisins and pecans. They are great for a quick snack or breakfast. This recipe also works really well with shaped mini bundt pans.
Case in point, these adorable pumpkin shaped moulds. These are just sweet enough to satisfy a craving for baked goods while being wholesome enough for everyday. You could even slick them with a brown butter glaze or frosting but I don't because that would veer too far into cupcake territory, and sometimes you just don't need any adornment.

Pumpkin Nut Muffins

This recipe works well in shaped muffin pans, such as the pumpkin mini-bundt pan.

• 1/2 cup butter, softened
• 1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
• ¾ cup light brown sugar
• 1 cup canned pumpkin or cooked pumpkin puree
• 1 egg
• 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 1 teaspoon baking powder
• 1 teaspoon baking soda
• ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
• ¾ cup milk
• ¾ cup whole wheat flour
• 2/3 cup pecans, roughly chopped
• 1 cup raisins

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F
2. Lightly grease a 12 cup muffin pan or line with muffin paper cups.
3. Beat the butter until fluffy.
4. Add the flour, sugar, pumpkin, egg, cinnamon, vanilla, baking powder, baking soda, nutmeg, and milk. Beat until well combined.
5. Add the whole wheat flour, pecans, and raisins and fold until just combined.
6. Fill the prepared pan until each muffin cup is about two-thirds full. Bake in 375 degree F oven, 25-30 minutes until risen and golden. Remove from oven and let cool on wire rack.

Makes about 12-16 muffins.

Time: about 1 hour

From: Good Kitchen Magic by Carol Tennant

Monday, February 1, 2010

Chocolate Crinkles

I was enticed into baking these cookies because i liked the zebra patterning on the outside of these cookies. This recipe was a hit with my sister who liked their high fashion exterior and sweet chocokate flavour.

The cookies get their distinctive appearance from powdered sugar. The unbaked cookie dough is actually rolled in sugar before going into the oven and as they cook the sugar forms a snowy crust that crackles as the cookies expands and bakes. The dark chocolate interiors offer a beautiful contrast to their pristine outer surface and hint at the chocolatey goodness within. The cookies taste lovely and give off little clouds of powdered sugar when you bite into them.

These were quite good, but not my personal favourite. I like my chocolate cookies to be richer. I wouldn't rush out to make these again, if i want chocolate I'd rather have soft gooey brownies, but these are definately worth trying for the zebra lovers in your family.

Chocolate Crinkles

Prep time: 15 minutes total time: 3 hours 45 minutes Dairy
Makes: about 3 dozen cookies

• 1 cup granulated sugar
• 2 tablespoons, butter, softened
• 1 teaspoon vanilla
• 2 oz unsweetened baking chocolate, melted and cooled
• 2 eggs
• 1 cup all-purpose flour
• 1 teaspoon baking powder
• ¼ teaspoon salt
• ½ cup powdered sugar

1. In a large bowl, mix granulated sugar, butter, vanilla, and chocolate with a spoon. Stir in eggs, one at a time. Stir in flour, baking powder and salt. Cover and refrigerate at least 3 hours( or put in the freezer for 15 minutes then refrigerate 1 hour.)
2. Heat oven to 350 degrees f. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Drop dough by teaspoonfuls into a shallow dish filled with the powdered sugar; roll around to coat. Shape into balls. On cookie sheet, place balls about 2 inches apart. (The dough is easier o shape when it is cold so if it starts to loosen refrigerate for a few minutes. You may need to put the cookies back in the fridge for a few minutes before baking if it is a very hot day; This also helps the cookies keep a fuller round shape when they bake.)
3. Bake 10-12 minutes or until almost no indentation remains when touched. The cookies will look under-baked, but they firm up quite a bit as they cool. Immediately remove from baking sheet to wire rack; cool.

1 cookie = calories 60, (calories from fat: 20), Fat: 2g (saturated: 1g), Cholesterol: 15mg, Sodium: 40mg, carbohydrate: 10g, Protein: 1g

From: Betty Crocker Baking for Today