Blueberry Lemon Muffins

Lemon Blueberry Muffins

Lemon Blueberry Muffins

When I was a teenager I went blueberry picking with my mother.  When we came home with our buckets full of  gigantic blueberries, the first thing we made was blueberry pancakes for dinner that evening.  The second thing we made were these blueberry muffins.  I think they were the first item I learned to bake.   I have never deviated from this recipe even though I have looked at many others over the years.  They are just sooo good, and they taste like home.

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These muffins are so easy to make; no beater is involved.  They are made completely by hand.  Just measure everything out, whisk together the dry ingredients,  whisk the liquids, add the sugared berries, and fill your muffin tins.  Bake and be sure to have at least one while they are still warm.  I like to have some butter melted and ready when they come out of the oven, and a little cup of sugar.  Then I dip or brush butter all over the top of each one, and sprinkle on the sugar.   Mmmmm, Mmmmm.

You know you want one!

You know you want one!

Most likely everyone already has their favorite recipe for blueberry muffins, but I’m sharing mine with you in case you don’t.  What makes these muffins a little different from others is the lemon-sugar that coats the berries before they are folded into the batter.  Lemon with blueberries is such a wonderful taste combination, and it really works to great advantage in these muffins.  Give them a try and compare to others you’ve made.

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BLUEBERRY LEMON MUFFINS

Yield:   Makes 12 muffins

Ingredients:

Blueberries and lemon---made for each other.

Blueberries and lemon—made for each other.

  • 1  3/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2  1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/3 cup salad oil
  • 1 cup blueberries, washed and drained
  • 2 Tbsp. sugar
  • 1 tsp. grated lemon peel
  • 1 tbsp. butter, melted;  a little extra sugar for topping

Directions:

1.  Preheat oven to 400*F.   Line a muffin pan with paper liners, or grease well.

2.  Whisk together the flour, 1/4 cup sugar, baking powder and salt  in a mixing bowl.

3.  In another smaller bowl, whisk together the milk, egg, and oil.

4.  Make a well in the flour mixture and add the egg mixture all at once.  Stir quickly just to moisten.  There may still be some slumps.

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5.  Mix together the lemon peel with the 2 Tbsp. sugar,  add the damp berries and toss to coat.   Stir gently into the muffin batter.

6.  Fill the muffins cups–they will be quite full.    Bake at 400*F for 25 minutes.  Remove from oven when they are golden and test done.

7.  While still warm, brush tops with melted butter and then sprinkle with extra sugar.

Brush tops with melted butter and sprinkle with sugar.

Brush tops with melted butter and sprinkle with sugar.

 

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SOURCE:    An old recipe from my recipe box.

 

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Whole Grain Blueberry Spice Muffins

Whole-Grain Blueberry Spice Muffins

Whole-Grain Blueberry Spice Muffins

Muffins are the ultimate quick breakfast or snack, and the healthier they are, the better for you.  I’ve been experimenting with converting some of my older muffin recipes into ones that have healthier ingredients in them.  These are not the kind of muffins that could be a dessert or sweet snack.  These are great for breakfast because they will provide the energy you need to get going and will keep you satisfied until lunchtime.

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For this recipe I used half whole wheat flour along with regular all-purpose flour, and added whole-grain oats.  Quick oats could be used, but I like the rough texture and fiber that whole oats provide.  I also took out granulated sugar, and substituted brown sugar instead, making the muffins less sweet, but just sweet enough.  There is very little fat in this recipe since I used fat-free milk, and left in only 3 tablespoons of butter.  Add in some spices that can be apple pie spice, or pumpkin pie spice, or just plain cinnamon and nutmeg to make these muffins your own.  I like a little something  on my muffin tops (not the ones at my waist 🙂 ) so I sprinkled a little sugar on them before baking, giving the tops a little sparkle and crunch.

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These muffins bake up nice and high, and they are easy, nutritious and delicious.  They freeze very well so one or two will be readily available to defrost and reheat in the microwave whenever you want one.   To freeze muffins, let cool completely, then place desired quantity on a baking sheet and freeze individually before transferring to a zip-lock freezer bag.

 

WHOLE  GRAIN BLUEBERRY SPICE MUFFINS

Yield:   Makes 16 muffins

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups flour  (I used 1cup all-purpose, and 1 cup whole wheat.)IMG_7284
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  •  1/2 teaspoon apple pie spice (or pumpkin pie spice)
  • 1 cup fat free milk
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg, slightly beaten
  • 1  1/2 cups frozen blueberries (keep frozen until ready to use)
  • cooking spray
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar

Directions:

1.   Preheat the oven to 400*F.   Grease or paper-line 16 muffin cups.

2.  In a large bowl combine all dry ingredients.  ( flour through pie spice)

Combine all dry ingredients in a large bowl.

Combine all dry ingredients in a large bowl.

3.  In a separate smaller bowl or measuring cup, whisk together wet ingredients. (  milk through egg)

4.  Combine wet ingredients with dry,  stirring only enough to incorporate.  Fold in the blueberries.

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5.  Divide batter evenly between 16 muffin cups.   Sprinkle tops of batter with granulated sugar.

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6.  Bake at 400*F.  for 16 – 18 minutes, till tops spring back when touched.   Cool on a wire rack.

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SOURCE:   Carolyn’s Originals

Banana Chip Muffins

Banana Chip Muffins

Banana Chip Muffins

It’s hard to know when would be the best time to eat these wonderful muffins.  Certainly, for breakfast, but they make a mighty fine dessert or snack as well.  I tested out this recipe last weekend because I plan to make them for an Easter Bake sale.  Muffins are always great with coffee on Easter morning, when you know there will be a big meal sometime later in the day.

When I was a teenager our youth group always got up really early to attend an Easter sunrise service.   At that hour of the morning, it was quite chilly outside, so when the service was over we always went to someone’s house or back to church for hot chocolate and whatever other goodies were provided.  Moving and beautiful as the service was, I always looked forward to the refreshments that followed.  These muffins are the essential accessory  to a hot beverage, and would be perfect served at an early morning function, or maybe an early meeting at the office.

Muffin and a hot beverage.

Muffin and a hot beverage.

These are sturdy muffins chock full of flaked coconut, chocolate chips, and nuts if you care to add them.  The tropical taste of the coconut blends beautifully with the banana flavor and develops the batter along the way; the inclusion of  chocolate chips is a necessity for those  individuals who require chocolate in every bite of muffin.

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What makes the texture of these banana muffins somewhat cake-like and soft is the process by which the batter is assembled: the butter and brown sugar are creamed together until fluffy and smooth.  This builds the batter’s creamy quality and prepares the mixture for the addition of the whole eggs.  Once the eggs are added, the flavoring extract and the mashed bananas are incorporated, followed by the final mix-in of the dry ingredients and enough buttermilk to moisten the whole.  The batter is now ready to accept the shredded coconut, mini chips and nuts.

Spooned into lined muffin cups and baked, the batter bakes up into plump muffins that have lovely rounded tops.  When you break open a warm muffin, you’ll find a tender, moist, “crumb” holding chocolate chips and coconut, all wrapped by the taste of banana.  Sigh!!

Can anything make them better?   Yes, butter!!

Can anything make them better? Yes, butter!!

BANANA CHIP MUFFINS

Yield:   12 muffins

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour (I used 1 cup white whole wheat and 1 cup regular flour.)IMG_7014
  • 1  1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 8 tablespoons ( 1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup mashed ripe bananas (about 2 large bananas)
  • 1/3 cup buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup flaked coconut
  • 3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips ( I used mini chips.)

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Directions:

1.  Preheat the oven to 375*F.  Line 12 muffin cups (3-ounce size)  with paper liners, or grease lightly.

2.  In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter and the brown sugar for about 2 minutes, until light and fluffy.

3.  Beat in the eggs to incorporate,  add in the banana and vanilla.   The mixture may look curdled.   Add the flour mixture alternately with the buttermilk, continuing to mix just to combine.

4.  Reserve 2 tablespoons chocolate chips.  Add the rest of the chips, the coconut, and nuts, (if using) to the batter and stir in to distribute evenly.

5.  Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin cups.  Sprinkle the tops with the reserved chocolate chips.  Bake 25 – 30 minutes until a toothpick into the center of one muffin comes out clean.

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6.  Remove the muffin tin to a wire rack.  Cool the muffins in the pan for 5 minutes.  Remove muffins from the cups and finish cooling on the rack.  Serve warm or cool completely and store the muffins in an airtight container at room temperature.

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Happy Easter!  :)

Happy Easter! 🙂

 

SOURCE:   Chocolatier Magazine

 

Maple Bacon Oatmeal Muffins

Maple Bacon and Oatmeal Muffins

Maple Bacon and Oatmeal Muffins

These are the best breakfast muffins, ever.   You read that right.  These muffins are for all of you who can’t make up your mind in the morning.  These muffins are like four breakfasts rolled into one:  they are a stack of pancakes, a bowl of oatmeal, bacon and eggs or just a muffin, thank you very much.

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Just when I’m trying to avoid eating greasy things like bacon, or pancakes slathered with butter and maple syrup, here I go combining them.  No, I’m not trying to kill you, or me either, I’m just full of contradictions.  But there is meaning in my madness:  the oatmeal is in there for a purpose.  Oatmeal provides fiber, and the fiber cleanses out the greasy bad stuff.  Oh, the power of oatmeal.  It’s feeling the weight of responsibility on its shoulders.  But I know it can handle it, else I wouldn’t be using it.   Maple syrup?  It’s there to take the place of sugar.  You know, sweeten things up a little.  And living in maple syrup country as I do, I try to include it when ever possible.  Bacon?   Well what can I say about bacon that hasn’t already been said by a million  other people.  Bacon makes everything better.  That’s all there is to it.

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You must try these muffins —- and think how healthy they are for you!

MAPLE BACON OATMEAL MUFFINS

Yield:   This recipe makes about 17 -18 muffins.  It can easily be halved for a yield of about 8-9 muffins.

Ingredients:

  • 1  1/4 cups quick cooking or regular rolled oats

    A trio of great ingredients:  maple syrup, oatmeal and bacon.

    A trio of great ingredients: maple syrup, oatmeal and bacon.

  • 1 1/2 cups milk  (any kind, I used almond milk)
  • 2 cups flour (I recommend using 1/2  white whole flour and/or spelt flour for additional nutrition and fiber)
  • 1 Tbsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1 egg ( when making half a recipe, I still used 1 whole egg)
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 6 strips bacon, cooked and crumbled
  •  2 Tbsp. maple syrup for brushing tops

Directions:

1.  Preheat the oven to 350*F.   Line muffin tin(s) with paper liners and set aside.

2.  In a large bowl, combine milk and oats, then let it sit while you cook the bacon to allow the oats to soften.

Cooking the bacon.

Cooking the bacon.

3. In a separate large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar.

4.  Whisk maple syrup, melted butter, and egg into the oatmeal mixture.  Lightly stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients along with the bacon.

5.  Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin cups until each is about 3/4 full.  Bake for 20 – 25 minutes until they are golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

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Transfer to a cooling rack and brush the tops with the reserved maple syrup, using a pastry brush.

Brush the tops with maple syrup while still warm from the oven.

Brush the tops with maple syrup while still warm from the oven.

Be sure to “taste test” one while it is still warm.  😀

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SOURCE:   an adaptation of Oatmeal Muffins from Taste of Home

Pumpkin Apple Muffins

Pumpkin Apple Mufins

Pumpkin Apple Muffins

The cold fall and winter months are not my favorite. But cold weather weekends…..I don’t mind them too much, because I spend a lot of time in my kitchen.  There’s something to be said about cooking and baking at this time of year, filling the house with incredible smells and warmth.IMG_5730

This recipe,  oh, dear readers, this recipe!   Apples, pumpkin, spices, cream cheese filling, streusel topping AND a drizzle of frosting—what more do you need to know?   Though I love every recipe I share with you, I don’t usually gush except for the very best.  I’m definitely gushing over these muffins.  Every bite elicits an “mmmmm…”,  ‘Wow…”,  “So good….”, etc.  Mr. D. on tasting them said…”I would walk over hot coals for these”, to which I replied,  “Oh My Goodness, that good?”

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Here’s the deal with these muffins….they should really be named Pumpkin Apple Cream Cheese Streusel Muffins, which is a mouthful, so I just shortened it.  What you need to know about these muffins is –if you don’t like them with, say cream cheese , no problem, skip that part.  If you don’t like streusel, no worries, omit it, and move on!  Don’t have any apple?,  Ok, leave it out.  Streusel, yes; cream cheese, no?  Totally do-able.  Like your muffins naked?  Knock yourself out.

Do you get the picture here?  This is basically a “choose your own muffin adventure”.  So let’s get on with it…..

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PUMPKIN APPLE MUFFINS

Yield:   Makes 18 muffins

Ingredients:

Muffins:

  • 2  1/2 cups flourIMG_5681
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 cups chopped apples, peeled

Cream Cheese layer:

  • 6 oz cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. milkIMG_5689
  • 2 tsp. vanilla

Streusel:

  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 5 Tbsp. cold butter, cut into small pieces
  • Glaze (optional)
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. milk

Directions:

1.  Preheat oven to 350*F.   Line muffin pans with paper liners, or spray with cooking spray.

2.  Prepare dry ingredients by whisking together flour, granulated sugar, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda and salt.

3.  In another bowl mix together the eggs, pumpkin and oil.

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Mix these wet ingredients in with the dry ingredients until incorporated.

4.  Stir in chopped apples.

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5.  Fill muffin cups about 2/3 full.

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6.  Make the cream cheese mixture–  In a mixing bowl of your electric beater, beat cream cheese, sugar, milk and vanilla together until smooth.  Place a heaping teaspoon on top of muffin batter in cups.

7.  Make streusel–Combine all the dry ingredients, then using a fork or pastry cutter, cut in butter until coarse crumbs form. Sprinkle evenly over all the muffins.

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8.  Bake for 20 – 25 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean.  Cool on a cooling rack.

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9.  Mix up glaze, if using, and drizzle over tops of muffins.

Note:   When I made this recipe, I cut all quantities in half, and I still got 11 muffins.  My muffin cups were filled to the tops.  The only part I omitted was the glaze.  These are quite sweet,  you could have one as dessert.  Awesome!

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SOURCE:   Cookies and Cups

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins, Lightened Up

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins.

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins.

With the chill that’s been in the air the last few days now, I’m finally getting a desire to eat some of the foods and flavors that we typically associate with fall.  Enjoying a pumpkin latte at Starbucks is pretty high up there on my list of favorite things to do and I have been know to also order a pumpkin spice cream cheese muffin to go with it.  Nothing like a little pumpkin overload.  😀

Now, I know that those muffins contain a whopping number of calories, fat and sugar, but they are so delicious.  As an occasional treat they are OK,  but I would like to enjoy them more frequently in a healthier version.   As luck would have it, I recently came across a recipe on-line for a copycat of the pumpkin muffins, and so with that as a basis, I set out to lighten it up, and see if I could still retain the luscious taste of the original muffin.

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In my opinion these are pretty close to the original.  If not an exact duplicate, they are close enough to be equally enjoyable, and a whole lot healthier.  My makeover included replacing the all-purpose flour with white whole wheat, replacing much of the oil with applesauce, reducing the sugar, and using low-fat cream cheese for the filling.  In addition, I made a crumb topping that includes oats for extra texture and a little more fiber.  These muffins have been a hit with everyone who has had them, and I feel much better about sharing them, knowing that they are not such calorie bombs!.

The on-line recipe makes a total of 24 muffins, which is way too many for me and Mr. D., so I cut it in half and made only 12 muffins.  The full recipe is presented here for those of you who like to make larger quantities, but can easily be halved if you want to.  The muffins freeze very well, and rewarm nicely in the microwave.   In fact, they are more spicy and intensely flavorful when warm.

LIGHTER PUMPKIN CREAM CHEESE MUFFINS

Yield:   24 muffins

Ingredients:

For the filling:

  • 8 oz. reduced-fat cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 2 Tbsp. honey

For the muffins:

Five spices plus cocoa and molasses make them intensely flavorful.

Five spices plus cocoa and molasses make them intensely flavorful.

  • 3 cups white whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1 tsp. cloves
  • 1/2  tsp. ginger
  • 4  tsp. pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 Tbsp. cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 cups pumpkin puree
  • 1 Tbsp. molasses
  • 1/2 cup vegetable or canola oil
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened applesauce

For the topping: *

  • 4 Tbsp. white whole wheat flour
  • 7 Tbsp. old fashioned rolled oats
  • 3 Tbsp. turbinado (coarse) sugar or brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 3 Tbsp. cold butter, cut into small pieces

Directions:

1.   Make the filling:  combine the cream cheese and honey in a small bowl.  Beat with an electric beater until smooth.  Scrape onto a piece of wax paper, and shape into a long roll (log), not any wider than a muffin cup.  Place into the freezer to chill while you mix up the batter and fill the pans.

Make filling, roll into a log and chill it.

Make filling, roll into a log and chill it.

2.  Make the muffins:  Preheat the oven to 350*F.  Line muffin pans with paper liners.  In a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients ( flour through baking soda).

In  another bowl, combine the eggs, sugar, pumpkin puree, oil and applesauce.  Blend well.  Add to dry ingredients, and stir just until incorporated.

3.  Make the topping:  combine all ingredients except butter in a medium bowl.  Whisk to blend.  Cut in the butter using a pastry blender or two forks until mixture is course and crumbly.  Refrigerate until ready to use.

Have the topping all made and ready.

Have the topping all made and ready.

4.  Assemble muffins:  fill each muffin cup with a small amount of batter ( 1 – 2 Tablespoons) just to cover bottom of the liner.

A little batter in the bottom of each cup.

A little batter in the bottom of each cup.

Remove filling from freezer and cut into 24  slices.  Place one slice of filling in each muffin cup.

Put a slice of filling into each cup.

Put a slice of filling into each cup.

Divide the remaining batter among the muffin cups, placing it on top of the cream cheese to cover completely.

Cover with remaining batter.

Cover with remaining batter.

Sprinkle a small amount of the topping mixture over each muffin.

Sprinkle on topping.

Sprinkle on topping.

5.  Bake for 20 – 25 minutes.  A toothpick inserted near the center should test clean. (Avoid the cream cheese filling.) Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely before serving.

Imagine biting into one of these!

Imagine biting into one of these!

This will be extremely difficult to do, but the filling gets very hot, so please resist temptation.  😀

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins,  unbelievably delicious.

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins, unbelievably delicious.

*  Topping is completely optional.  These muffins are great with or without the topping.  Chopped walnuts or pecans could be mixed into the topping, or sprinkled on top in place of the topping.

P. S.  I wish I had made 24, because now they are all gone and I just have to make more.

SOURCE:   Heavily adapted from Food.com

Morning Glory Muffins

Morning Glory Muffins

Morning Glory Muffins

Just the name of these muffins puts you in a good mood doesn’t it?  Somehow it feels like you’re going to have a good day.    I like to call them “glorious morning muffins”, and they are one of my favorites.  They can turn the dreariest morning into a glorious one.  : )

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These carrot-flecked whole-grain muffins can be made ahead so you can hit the floor running on a busy morning.  Add a non-fat latte and your day will be off to a healthy start.

COCONUT-CARROT MORNING GLORY MUFFINS

YIELD:  12 muffins

Assemble the ingredients and they go together quickly.

Assemble the ingredients and they go together quickly.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup whole wheat or white whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup old-fashioned rolled oats, plus 2 tablespoons for garnish
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil, or coconut oil, melted if necessary
  • 2 cups shredded carrots
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut, plus 2 tablespoons for garnish
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup chopped nuts,  optional

1.  Preheat oven to 350*F.  Coat a 12-cup muffin pan with cooking spray or line with paper liners

2.  Whisk whole-wheat flour, 1/2 cup oats, baking powder, cinnamon, salt and allspice in a medium bowl.

3.  Whisk eggs, applesauce, honey and vanilla in a large bowl.  Whisk in oil.  Gently stir in the flour mixture just until moistened.  Fold in carrots, 1/2 cup coconut, raisins and nuts, if using.

4.  Divide the batter among the muffin cups.  Mix together the remaining oats, and coconut.  Sprinkle on muffin tops.

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5.  Bake at 350* until they spring back when lightly touched and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with only moist crumbs attached,  30 – 35 minutes.  Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack.  Serve warm or at room temperature.

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Delicious as they are when first made and eaten warm, they also seem to improve over night and taste even better the next day, when flavors have had time to blend.

SOURCE:  Eatingwell.com

Lemon Curd Filled Poppy Seed Muffins

Lemon Poppyseed Muffins with lemon curd filling.

Lemon Poppyseed Muffins with lemon curd filling.

Some muffins can be boring, especially if you’re used to making them from a boxed mix, and your choices are somewhat limited.   If I’m putting in the time and effort to bake muffins then I want them to be special and worth the effort that went into making them.  I can say that these little gems are way special and way good.  I will even go so far as to say they are elevated to greatness by the addition of lemon curd baked in the middle of each one and fresh lemon zest in the batter and lemon juice in the icing.

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This is how I used some of the curd that I made and wrote about here.

Is this extra work?   Heck, no!  I like to see the flecks of lemon zest in the dough and taste that deep lemon flavor in every bite.  Most people would probably  agree that muffins are a breakfast ( or brunch) food, but I say eat them anytime you heart desires.  Think afternoon tea and a lemon muffin.  Oh,  yeah,  they’re that good!

LEMON CURD FILLED POPPY SEED MUFFINS

YIELD:    a dozen muffinsIMG_3299

  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 2 Tablespoons poppy seeds
  • lemon curd

For the icing:

  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • 2-3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1.  Preheat the oven to 400*F.  Place paper muffin cups in a regular-sized muffin pan.   Place muffin pan on a baking sheet.

2.  In a large bowl, rub the sugar and lemon zest together with your fingers until the sugar is moist.  Whisk in the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

Thoroughly mix lemon zest with the sugar.

Thoroughly mix lemon zest with the sugar.

3.  In another bowl, whisk the sour cream, eggs, vanilla, lemon juice and melted butter together until well blended.  Pour the liquid ingredients over the dry ingredients and quickly stir to blend.  (Be mindful not to over do it here)  Stir in the poppy seeds.

Add wet ingredients to dry and mix gently.

Add wet ingredients to dry and mix gently.

4.  Fill muffin cups with half of the batter and put a teaspoon full of lemon curd in each one.

Place half the batter in muffins cups and add a teaspoon of lemon curd.

Place half the batter in muffins cups and add a teaspoon of lemon curd.

Fill in with the rest of the batter.

Fill with remaining batter.

Fill with remaining batter.

Bake for 18 – 20 minutes or until the tops are golden and a toothpick inserted into the center of the muffins comes out clean.  Cool muffins on a rack completely before icing them.

5.  When the muffins have cooled, put the confectioners’ sugar in a bowl and add about 1 1/2 Tablespoons of the lemon juice.  Stir together and keep adding small amounts of the juice until you get a drizzly consistency.  Use a spoon to drizzle icing over the tops of the muffins.

Drizzle lemon icing over cooled muffins.

Drizzle lemon icing over cooled muffins.

Just right with a cup of tea.

Just right with a cup of tea.

SOURCE:  adapted from   Baking:  From my home to yours  by Dorie Greenspan

Rum Raisin Cranberry Muffins

You know something?  I’m not happy  when certain behaviors (on my part) become expectations.  You do something say, twice, and suddenly it becomes your job and other people now expect it from you.  Does this happen to you?  What I do to try to prevent this is to change things up frequently.  For instance just the other morning Mr. D. asked me “got any scones?”  Now, why would he expect me to have scones available—because in the past few weeks I made two or three different kinds of scones, and now he wants them all the time.  See what I mean?   BUT this week, there are no scones!   No, we are taking a break for a while, because I am off in a new direction.  This week it’s muffins.

Rum Raisin Cranberry Muffin

Rum Raisin Cranberry Muffin

Muffins are the replacement for scones.  Not just any muffins.  Ones in which the raisins and cranberries have been soaked in rum for a while before adding to the batter.  And there’s orange peel and spices in there, too.  After one of these with your morning coffee, you’ll be whistling a new tune as you leave for work.   ” Hi Ho, Hi Ho, it’s off to work I go.”  or “whistle a happy tune, whenever you’re feelin blue”, or, “whistle while you work, Tra-la-la-la-la-la.”   OH, my,  I think I’m getting into my happy Christmas Spirit a little early here.  But seriously, these muffins are way good, and  healthy too, so its OK to have one and not have feelings of guilt..

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When I decided to make these I did not have a recipe, just an idea of what I wanted to create.  So I turned to my King Arthur Baking Sheet for a basic cranberry  muffin recipe and then did some major modifications to come up with this combination of flavors. Heating the rum mixture causes the alcohol content to evaporate, leaving behind a faint rum flavor, but also plumps up the raisins and cranberries.  However, if you would prefer not to use rum, you may substitute either apple cider or apple juice, or even orange juice.

RUM RAISIN CRANBERRY MUFFINS

YIELD:   1 dozen muffins

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/4 cup dark rum
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1  1/2 cups regular or white 100% whole wheat flour
  • 3/4 cups quick-cooking oats
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk powder or non-fat dry milk powder
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 cup chopped nuts, optional
  • 1 Tablespoon finely grated orange zest (orange peel)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil or melted butter

1.  Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  Grease the wells of a muffin pan, or line with papers.

2.  Combine the rum, raisins and cranberries in a small saucepan.  Bring to a boil over medium-low heat.  Remove from heat.  Cover and let cool for 10 minutes or so while you continue with the recipe.

3.  In a large bowl whisk together the dry ingredients.  In another bowl whisk together the  eggs, orange zest, milk, and oil or melted butter.

4.  Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, stirring just until barely blended, add in the cranberry/raisin mixture with their juice, and continue to blend them into the batter without over mixing.   Fill the muffin cups about 3/4 full.   Divide all the batter evenly among the cups–they will be almost full.

5.  Bake for 18 – 20 minutes until they’re golden brown, and test done with a toothpick.  Remove from the oven, leave in the pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire cooling rack to finish cooling.

Rum Raisin Muffins after baking

Rum Raisin Muffins after baking

GLAZE     Not necessary, but it really puts the finishing touch on these muffins. (It’s the frosting on the cake! )

  • 2 Tablespoons orange juice, apple juice or apple cider
  • 1 cup powdered sugar

In a small saucepan (or use the microwave), stir together the glaze ingredients.  Bring just to a boil to dissolve the sugar.  Dip the tops of the warm muffins into the glaze.  As it cools is becomes a sweet, crunchy little cap on the muffins.   Cute!

Muffins with Glaze

Muffins with Glaze

So good with coffee!

So good with coffee!

SOURCE:  based on a recipe from King Arthur Flour

Pumpkin-Apple Streusel Muffins

Pumpkin-Apple Streusel Muffins

I’ve just eaten one warm from the oven..I was patient just long enough to photograph them and then I HAD to have one.  Oh,Boy,  are they good!  Fall spices, apple and pumpkin married together, not too sweet, a tender crumb, and a crunchy crumb topping.  What else could you do to these to make them any better?   I think these are perfect anytime you want to have one.  At breakfast with coffee?  Mid-morning coffee break?  For Lunch with yogurt or cottage cheese perhaps?  For dessert after dinner—as I said, anytime at all.  You must make these now, before there’s no more pumpkin left on the store shelves.  You’ll be sorry if you don’t.
The recipe makes a batch of 18 muffins.  I thought that was a lot for just two of us, so I made half a recipe and got nine muffins. Now I wish I had made the whole thing and froze some.  Guess I’ll just have to make more to have on hand for Thanksgiving morning.

PUMPKIN-APPLE STREUSEL MUFFINS

YIELD   18 MUFFINS

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour  ( I used half white flour and half whole wheat)
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 cups apple finely chopped

STREUSEL TOPPING

  • 2  Tablespoons flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 4 teaspoons butter

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Lightly grease 18 muffin cups, or line with paper liners.

2.  Mix all dry ingredients together in a large bowl.  ( flour through salt)

Dry ingredients.

3.  Mix wet ingredients together in a medium bowl.  ( eggs, oil and pumpkin puree)

Wet ingredients.

4.  Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix just to moisten.  Fold in apples.

Mix everything together. Fold in chopped apple.

5.  Fill muffin cups about 3/4 full.

6.  Mix together the streusel ingredients to form coarse crumbs, and sprinkle on batter.  Pat lightly to adhere.

7.  Bake at 350 degrees for 35 – 40 minutes.  Test for doneness with a toothpick.  Cool slightly in pans and then transfer to cooling racks to cool completely.   Ha!  if you can wait that long!

SOURCE:  adapted from all recipes.com