Pumpkin Streusel Muffins

It’s November and one week before Thanksgiving; time to pull out those pumpkin recipes.  This recipe is one of our favorites.  The best thing about muffins is they are easy to prepare, quick to bake and a great treat on a cool fall day.  These muffins are perfect to serve on Thanksgiving morning while watching the Thanksgiving Day parades.  

 

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Pumpkin Streusel Muffins

Ingredients

  • 1 2/3 cups flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup pumpkin
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup assorted chopped dried fruit (you can use one dried fruit or a combination of raisins, dried apricots, dried cranberries, and/or dried apples
  • Streusel Topping
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 tablespoon finely chopped pecans or walnuts
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees, line 12 muffins cups with liners.

    In a medium bowl combine flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt.  In another medium bowl combine pumpkin, milk, eggs, brown sugar, butter and dried fruit.  Mix well.  Pour pumpkin mixture into flour mixture and mix just until all of the dry mixture is incorporated. Divide mixture evenly between 12 muffin cups. Combine streusel ingredients - sugar, nuts and cinnamon, sprinkle over muffins.  Bake 20 - 25 minutes or until a tester comes out clean.  Remove to a wire rack, cool slightly. Serve warm, makes 12 muffins

Apple Empanadas

Looking for an easy dessert for your next tailgate or wine picnic?  Empanadas are easy to make and a great make and take treat. I was thinking of making fried apple pies but I really would prefer to bake than fry.  I had a few empanada wrappers left over from making my lamb stew empanadas and decided to make apple empanadas.   These are so easy to make when you use prepared wrappers.  I received a tip from a dear friend of mine about La Salenta empanada wrappers for baking (read the wrapper, some are for frying and some for baking).  They are flaky and delicious and made for convenience.  This brand is under the General Mills umbrella of products and should be easy to find in most locations.  I purchased mine at the local mart specializing in international foods.   These would be equally delicious with any filling you select, I must admit the apple filling is one of my favorites.

                                        

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Apple Empanadas

Ingredients

  • 10 empanadas wrappers
  • 2 apples, small diced
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • pinch nutmeg
  • pinch salt
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • milk, to brush on tops
  • sugar, to sprinkle on tops

Instructions

  1. In a medium skillet, melt butter over medium heat.  Add apples, brown sugar, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, lemon juice and salt.   Cook 20 - 25 minutes or until the apples are soft and the sauce has reduced.  Stir frequently. Stir in cranberries.  Cool filling.

    Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Take each empanada wrapper and brush sides with beaten egg.  Place approx. 1 tablespoon of the filling in the middle of each wrapper.  Fold in half and pinch to seal.  Crimp edges with a fork. Place on parchment lined baking sheet.  Repeat until you have filled all of the wrappers.  Make two small slices in the top of each empanada.  Brush the top of each with milk and sprinkle with sugar.  Bake for 25 minutes or until golden brown.

 

Sweet Potato Rolls/Interesting Find – Georgia Grinders Pecan Butter

I had a large sweet potato sitting in my vegetable basket and thought today would be the perfect day to make Sweet Potato Rolls.  The leaves are turning and I am thinking fall foods.  This recipe makes thirty-six rolls so a definite recipe to try if you are having company over the fall holidays.  The first batch I made dinner roll size and then decided to give a creative twist and make pumpkin shaped rolls – easy to do – take your round dinner rolls, before baking flatten sightly, cut eight small cuts around the edges.  Poke the middle with the end of a wooden spoon, insert a sliver of pecan and bake.  

I came across Georgia Grinders at a Farmers Market in Atlanta.  I am a true fan of peanut butter and thought I would pick up a jar of their pecan butter.  When these rolls were baking, I thought the pecan butter would be a wonderful accompaniment and I sure was on target.  A wonderful combination of flavors. 

 

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Sweet Potato Rolls

Ingredients

  • 2 packages active dry yeast
  • 1 1/2 cups warm water
  • 3 cups whole wheat flour
  • 3 - 4 cups white flour
  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup non-fat plain yogurt
  • 4 tablespoons softened butter
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 large sweet potato, cooked and pulp scooped out, approx. 1 cup

Instructions

  1. To bake sweet potato, scrub and poke with a fork several times.  Microwave on high for 6 minutes.  Remove, slice in half to cool, scoop out pulp.

    In a stand mixer with a dough hook : combine water, yeast and brown sugar, let stand for 5 minutes.  Slowly add remaining ingredients (add 3 cups of white flour), once all combined, knead at medium speed for 4 minutes. (Dough will be sticky.  If the dough does not pull away from the side of the bowl, add additional white flour 1/4 cup at a time.) Turn dough into a greased bowl, cover and let rise for 1 hour or until double.  After 1 hour, punch dough down.  Divide dough into 3 portions, one at a time put each portion of dough on a well floured board.  Divide each third into 12 portions, shape into balls and place on parchment lined baking sheet.  Cover with a clean towel and let rise for 30 minutes.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Bake each tray of rolls for 15 - 17 minutes.  Remove and cool on a wire rack.

    To make pumpkin shaped rolls:  After the rolls have risen for 20 minutes, gently pat down the roll, cut 8 slits around the edge of each roll.  Insert the end of a wooden spoon in the center, place a pecan sliver in each.  Let rest 15 minutes, bake as directed above.

 

Zucchini Apple Harvest Bread

I have been back pouring through my mom’s stash of recipes and found this gem.   We always had a small garden growing up and I remember the abundance of zucchini during late summer.  My mom would freeze grated zucchini in the portions she needed for various recipes, perfect to have on hand when she was ready to bake anything with zucchini, including Zucchini Apple Harvest Bread.  The addition of a shredded apple makes this recipe unique, very moist and a wonderful bread to serve with a cup of coffee or tea.

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Zucchini Apple Harvest Bread

Ingredients

  • 1 apple, shredded
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 medium zucchini, shredded
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease two 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 inch loaf pans or 4 mini loaf pans.   Whisk eggs in a mixing bowl.  Add sugar, zucchini, apple, vanilla and oil.  Mix well.   Combine dry ingredients,  add to zucchini mixture.  Fold in walnuts.  Pour batter into prepared pans.  Bake for 45 - 50 minutes or until a knife comes out clean.  Cool 10-15 minutes before removing from pan.

Three Ingredient Biscuits

My husband thinks I should have titled this recipe The Best Biscuits Ever, however, I opted to name them Three Ingredient Biscuits.  I wanted the title to explain just how easy these biscuits are.  I shake my head when I see cans of biscuits in the refrigerated section of the market that are full of ingredients that I cannot even pronounce. This recipe is so quick and easy you must try them.  Maybe my husband was right – perhaps I should have named them The Best Biscuits Ever!

 

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Three Ingredient Biscuits

Servings 8

Ingredients

  • 2 cups self-rising flour
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl.  Once combined, turn dough our onto a flour dusted board.  Knead dough 5 - 6 times until smooth.  Roll dough 1/2 inch thick.  Cut with a 2 1/2 - 3 inch round biscuit cutter (or you can use the top of a drinking glass) dusted with flour.  Place biscuits on parchment lined cookie sheet approximately one inch apart.  Bake 10 - 14 minutes, until golden brown. 

Cinnamon Flat Tire Rolls

Well, not exactly flat tires, but cinnamon rolls that look like the air has been let out!  My mom was an avid bread baker and she always was trying something new.  This is one of her recipes, that I think is a real winner.  For seasoned bread bakers, these are a cinch to make.  For those of you new to bread baking, this is a sure-fire recipe to try.  The dough is easy to make and a great beginner recipe. I had an afternoon free and decided these were just the thing to make.  I think you will agree, they are well worth your time and your kitchen will smell divine.  They are crisp and delicious, where is my cup of coffee?

 

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Cinnamon Flat Tire Rolls

Ingredients

  • 3 1/2 - 4 cups flour
  • 1 package active dry yeast
  • 1 1/4 cups milk
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Instructions

  1. In a large mixing bowl combine 2 cups of flour and the yeast.  Heat milk, 1/4 cup sugar, and salt in microwave for 80 seconds.  With the dough hook on your mixer, slowly add the milk mixture.  Beat at low speed for 1 - 2 minutes until all of the flour is incorporated.  Add the egg.  Add remaining flour until the dough does not cling to the sides of the bowl.  Mix on medium speed for 3 minutes. Place dough in a greased bowl, turn over once to grease surface.  Cover, let rise in a warm place until double in size (1 - 1 1/2 hours).

    Punch dough down and cut in half.  Cover and let rest for 10 minutes.  Flour the surface you will be rolling the dough on, roll the first half to a 12 x 12 inch square. Combine 1/2 cup melted butter with 1/2 cup sugar, 1/2 cup brown sugar and 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon.  Spread one-half of the sugar mixture over the rolled dough.  Roll dough jelly roll style, pinch edges, cut into 12 slices and place on parchment lined cookie sheets (I used 3 cookie sheets).  Repeat with the other half of dough.  Flatten rolls to about 3 inches in diameter.  Cover and let rise until double in size approx. 30 minutes.

    Combine the remaining 1 cup sugar, pecans and 1 teaspoon cinnamon, set aside. Melt remaining 1/4 cup butter.  Cover rolls with a piece of parchment or waxed paper.  Use a rolling pin to flatten the rolls 1/4 inch thickness; remove paper. Brush rolls with melted butter and sprinkle with sugar mixture.  Cover again with paper and roll rolls flat.  Bake 400 degrees for 10 - 12 minutes.

Olive Oil Chocolate Chip Zucchini Muffins

You all know I am a fan of farmers’ markets and I try to go to one every weekend.  It is always my mission to find fresh seasonal produce and to support our local growers.   During one of my recent visits I purchased one of the early crops of zucchini.  I don’t think any of them measured over 5 inches in length.  I brought them home and had the “now what am I going to make with these?” moments.   I also wanted to incorporate one of my favorite olive oils that I have blogged about previously, Spartan Oil.  You can tell in this photo this is a well-loved bottle of Spartan Oil that has seen many refills.  I am a fan of using olive oil in place of many cooking oils.  For this recipe, the combination of the oil, zucchini and chocolate are divine.  I was off to my neighbors delivering muffins that afternoon after my first taste and realized these are truly delicious.  Check out the second photo – my dear neighbor posted about the muffins on Facebook; a truly delightful post.

It’s National Doughnut Day! Orange Glazed Doughnut Holes

I posted this recipe two year’s ago and it has been one of my most viewed recipes.  I thought it would be worth a repost today.  Just as good today as it was two years ago.

 

Did you know that tomorrow, June 5th is National Doughnut Day?  National Doughnut Day is traditionally celebrated the first Friday of June, which this year falls on June 5. The celebration was first established by the Chicago Salvation Army  to honor women who served doughnuts to soldiers during World War I and II. The organization’s “doughgirls” once delivered doughnuts to the “doughboys,” and in 1938 it was made an official thing.   What a great tradition to continue.  I know that all of the large doughnut chains are hyping the day and having doughnut specials.  Why not make doughnut holes at home?  This recipe will have you celebrating National Doughnut Day each year!

Here is one more piece of information worth noting.

The dictionary-approved spelling for the ring-shaped cake made of dough and fried in fat is doughnut. The shortened donut has been around since the late 1800s, but it wasn’t popularized until the late 20th century, when the successful American doughnut chain Dunkin’ Donuts made it ubiquitous. Today, writers outside the U.S. still favor doughnut by a wide margin. Donut appears about a third of the time in published American writing.

 

 orange glazed doughnut holes

 

Orange Glazed Doughnut Holes
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Ingredients
  1. 1 1/2 cup flour
  2. 1/3 cup sugar
  3. 2 teaspoons baking powder
  4. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  5. 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  6. 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  7. 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  8. 1 egg
  9. 1/2 cup milk
  10. 1 tablespoons butter, melted
  11. Canola oil for frying
  12. 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  13. 1 teaspoon grated orange peel
  14. 2 - 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, nutmeg, cinnamon, and vanilla. In a small bowl, mix together the egg, milk and butter. Add to dry ingredients and mix well.
  2. Preheat oil approx. 2 inches of oil in the bottom of a large sauce pan, heavy skillet or Dutch oven. Heat oil to 375. Carefully drop dough by heaping teaspoons into the oil, I cooked 4 at a time. Cook 2 minutes, turning donut holes. Drain on paper towels, roll in the glaze. Yields 3 dozen.
Notes
  1. Orange glaze - mix together the powdered sugar, orange peel and orange juice. If mixture is too dry, add an additional tablespoon of orange juice.
  2. If you prefer, combine 1 tablespoon of cinnamon and 3/4 cup sugar and roll doughnuts in mixture instead of glazing.
A Passion for Entertaining http://apassionforentertaining.com/

Interesting Find – Farmer’s Daughter Jams and Preserves and Whole Wheat Biscuit Recipe

I am always on the search for interesting food items to incorporate into my cooking and my blog.  When I saw Farmer’s Daughter Jams and Preserves this past weekend, I just have to buy a few jars.  The cute jars and catchy batch names such as Blackberry Julep Jam and Strawberry Honeysuckle Preserves were calling my name.  I spend of bit of time researching the company and found they are headquartered in Hillsborough, NC.  After checking their website (http://www.farmersdaughterbrand.com/index.htm) I found the following information that tells their story:

Farmer’s Daughter is a farm-driven artisan food business celebrating the flavors of the South and the soils of the North Carolina Piedmont while gaining inspiration from authentic food cultures worldwide.  It was founded in 2007 by April McGreger, who learned the art of preserving at the elbows of her mother and grandmother amidst a rural farming community in Mississippi.  Farmer’s Daughter seeks to promote the value of sustainable, small-scale agriculture as well as traditional, handmade methods of preserving.

I am always impressed with those that continue the traditions set by their mothers and grandmothers.  We tried both of the above varieties, they are wonderful and especially delicious on my whole wheat biscuits- YUM!

These biscuits are incredibly easy to prepare and the results are always great.  I rolled my dough approximately 3/4 inch thick, if you want event taller biscuits, you can roll the dough up to 1 inch thick.  You will have fewer biscuits, but very impressive when over the top in height!

 

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Whole Wheat Biscuits

Servings 12

Ingredients

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 4 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter softened and diced
  • 1 egg lightly beaten
  • 1 cup milk

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

    In a large mixing bowl. combine the flours, baking powder, sugar, salt and cream of tartar.  Add butter and using a pastry blender, cut butter into mixture until the butter is the size of small peas.  Make a well in the center, add egg and milk and combine with a fork until all of the dry ingredients are moist.  Turn dough onto a well floured surface and knead until all is smooth and all dry ingredients are incorporated.  Roll dough to 3/4 inch thick, cut with three inch cutter.  Place biscuits on parchment lined baking sheet, 1/4 inch apart.  Bake 12 minutes or until golden brown.   

 

 

 

 

Sugar Crusted Lemon Blueberry Muffins

Did you know that blueberries are one of the few fruits native to America?  Our early settlers in Plymouth, MA were exposed to blueberries by the Native Americans and now they are grown in many regions of the US and Canada.  Springtime always seems to bring the blueberries, strawberries and raspberries to center stage in any produce department.  I couldn’t pass by the blueberries, perfect for my Sugar Crusted Lemon Blueberry Muffins.  I top these with coarse grain sugar for that extra crunch.  

One more note, you can make these the night before and bake in the morning – what a wonderful way to start the day!

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Sugar Crusted Lemon Blueberry Muffins

Ingredients

  • 1 3/4 cups flour
  • 1 cup sugar, divided
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg, well beaten
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1 cup blueberries, washed and drained
  • 2 teaspoons lemon rind, grated
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1/4 teaspoon lemon juice

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  In a large bowl, mix the flour with 1/2 cup sugar, the baking powder, and salt.  Make a well in the center.  Combine the egg, oil, and milk.  Add to the dry ingredients, stir until moistened.  Toss the blueberries with 2 tablespoons of sugar and the lemon rind.  Fold into the batter.  Fill muffin pans lined or greased 2/3 full.  Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown.

    While the muffins are cooking, melt the butter and stir in the lemon juice.  Dip the warm muffin tops in the butter and sprinkle with sugar.  You can use coarse sugar or granulated sugar for the tops.

    Make ahead - you can prepare the batter and fill the muffin cups, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.  Just bake, dip and serve.