Cinnamon Rhubarb Muffins

August 28, 2013 § Leave a comment

Guys! I’ve got big news/blog changes coming soon, like next week (I hope). New address, new look! Get excited. On to the muffins slash my life.

This past weekend was the first “normal” weekend I, personally, have had since the middle of June. Which seems insane. I actually had Saturday and Sunday off and wasn’t traveling. Besides my husband working, it was so close to being a perfect weekend.

What makes a perfect weekend you ask? Reconnected with friends, yoga, the farmers market, fresh flowers, a great dinner out, karaoke (busted out with Vanilla Ice and Maroon 5 obvs), church and paddle boarding and a lot of cooking. I still feel so refreshed and already it’s Wednesday!

Thanks for letting me gush. Anyway, you’ll be getting to see some of what I made this weekend later on (hello, thyme lemonade!) but until then let me woo you with these cinnamon rhubarb muffins.

The last time I used rhubarb I made this rhubarb compote ice cream amazingness. Lets be honest, that was a lot of work. Totally worth it… but this time we took the rhubarb recipe down a notch on the prep work.

By the way, shout out to my mom (and dad) for the rhubarb! THANKS! I picked it out of their garden when we were there. Here we combine the basics, flower, eggs, butter, etc. with some greek yogurt and rhubarb. We also add cinnamon to the batter and cinnamon sugar to the top to really jazz it up. JAZZ HANDS.

Here’s a secret, I made two batches of these in one day. Both were awesome. But, time for a secret, in the second batch I ran out of plain greek yogurt so I used this lemon honey greek yogurt I have and it was still totally delicious. Work with what you’ve got!

Also, I brought these to work and got some compliments so I’m not the only one that thought these were light, fluffy and delicious.

 Cinnamon Rhubarb Muffins
from Fine Cooking
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 granulated sugar
  • 2-1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup plain greek yogurt
  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter (1/2 stick), melted and cooled
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups diced rhubarb (1/4 inch pieces)
Topping: 2 tbsp sugar, 1 tsp cinnamon
To Make:
1) Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with baking cups or spray with non-stick spray.
2) In a large mixing bowl whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda and salt.
3) In another bowl combine the greek yogurt, butter, eggs and vanilla until smooth. Pour into dry ingredients and stir just until combined, it will be fairly thick and sticky. Fold in the rhubarb.
4) Spoon the batter into the muffin cups. They should be pretty full when using all the batter, which is recommend. Top each muffin with 1/2 tsp cinnamon sugar topping (too much and it doesn’t settle in while baking and just comes off when you get them out of the pan).
5) Bake about 20 minutes, until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool in plan for about 5 minutes then let them cool on a rack.
I enjoyed it served with butter and a little extra cinnamon sugar. Will keep for several days in airtight container.

Popcorn and Dark Chocolate Chunk Coookies

July 26, 2013 § 1 Comment

Some of my most vivid childhood memories are of making chocolate chip cookies with my dad at our house in Minnesota. I’d come home from school on Friday afternoon and my dad would have the ingredients all set out.

We’d do the wet ingredients, which is probably when I learned to crack an egg. Then we’d mix the dry ingredients in another bowl, hopefully not confusing baking powder and baking soda or adding in three tablespoons of salt. My sister and I would probably fight about who got to do what, but I don’t totally remember.

Then we’d put them on the baking sheets. We’d each get a huge spoonful of cookie dough. And then clamor to scrape the dough out of the bowl for that extra taste. When they came out of the oven we got a few cookies with a big glass of milk. That was the best.

I think that’s why cookies are my favorite thing to bake, its associate with memories. These amazing popcorn and chocolate chunk cookies have that therapeutic, nostalgic quality with a little bit of new and crazy thrown in.
Pretty sure the popcorn factor just seems nuts. But man, are these tasty! And I’ve totally forgotten about how great making popcorn on the stove is. So simple and you can add some great flavors. I may be hopping on the popcorn topping wagon soon.
For now we’ll stick to add the popcorn into cookies. When I was little we also had an air popper for our popcorn, it was sort of like this number. Awesome.
Anyway, get on this cookie train soon. Set out your regular cookie ingredients out. Get yo popcorn popping on. Cut up some dark chocolate, which is super therapeutic. And mix away.
As a warning it will seem like there is just an excessive amount of popcorn, like double the amount of dough almost. But, with some folding, it will get in there. It kind of breaks down and makes for a great ratio of popcorn:cookie.
Popcorn and Chocolate Chunk Cookies
(adapted from Joy the baker)
makes 24 cookies
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1/4 corn kernels (makes about 4 cups)
  • 1/2 unsalted butter
  • 1/2 packed brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cup AP flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup chopped dark chocolate
To Make:
1) Start with the popcorn. In medium saucepan heat vegetable oil over medium heat. After a few minutes, pour in corn kernels in single layer. Place lid on pan, but slightly vented to let out steam while popcorn pops. When popping slows, take pan off heat. Sprinkle with a little bit of salt.
2) Remove unpopped kernels and let popcorn cool in a large bowl.
3) Now, preheat oven to 350* F. In a large mixing bowl cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Add in egg and vanilla and beat for another minute.
3) In another bowl, whisk flour, baking soda and salt. Add this to wet ingredients and beat just until mixed.
4) Next, fold popcorn into batter. It will break down and mix in, despite seeming like too much popcorn. Once popcorn is mixed in, add in dark chocolate.
5) Drop tablespoons of dough onto cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake 10-13 minutes until golden brown. Let rest on sheet for a few minutes then cool on rack.

Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies

July 22, 2013 § 1 Comment

Happy Cookie Week. There is another good one coming at you on Friday. But for today, lets focus on these peanut butter cookies. My husband declared these the perfect mixture of crunch and chewy. Then he wondered how I made them without flour. I said oats and science. I can’t explain the science part though.

The dough for this will seem pretty wet. And the cookies seem a little undone. Rest assured the dough is okay and the cookies firm up. They don’t look appealing before they’re baked. I mean, look at that mess of a mixing bowl.

If you used gluten free oats you’ve got some celiac-friendly cookies too.

By the way, if you look at the original recipe her cookies are way thicker than mine. Not sure why mine turned out differently but I like how they turned out. Enjoy!

Flourless Chocolate Chip Cookies
  • 2/3 cup old fashioned oats
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup chocolate chips
To Make:
1) Preheat oven to 350 and line two baking sheets with parchment papers.
2) Stir together oats and baking soda with a fork. Using a mixer, combine peanut butter, brown sugar, eggs and vanilla for 3-5 minutes. With a wooden spoon stir in oats and baking soda, then chocolate chips.
 3) Using a cookie scoop or tablespoon, put dough onto baking sheets. Bake for 10-11 minutes until golden brown. Let cool on baking sheet. Store in airtight container. Enjoy!

Bran Muffins

July 10, 2013 § Leave a comment

Do you remember the movie Stranger than Fiction? It’s Will Ferrel as an IRS auditor and his real life is being narrated by an author writing her latest book. One of my all time favorite movie scenes is from that movie.

Will Farrell is auditng a woman who own a bakery, played by Maggie Gyllenhaal. She’s a hippie and has arm tattoos (read: I want to be her) and has totally messed up her taxes for years. Will Ferrel, the typical boring, number-obsessed auditor, is assigned to her, while having his life narrated. A fantastic romantic, comedy, drama ensues.

After insulting her during several of their interactions Farrell’s brings Maggie Gyllenhaal’s character flours. Not flowers. She’s a baker and he gifts her fancy types of flour. It’s punny, adorable and involves baking. I love it.

I realize that was the worst description of a movie scene ever. Just go watch it. This bran muffin recipe sort of reminds me of that movie. We’ve got oat flour, barley flour, flax meal and oat bran. Our intestines are going to love us.

It also makes a massive amount (read 24) muffins which makes it perfect for refrigerating some  of the dough so later on this week you can get up and bake yourself some fresh muffins for breakfast in the morning with minimal effort.

It’s also adaptable, you can use shredded carrots or smashed bananas, or blueberries, or raisins as filling. And the flour mixture is pretty flexible as long as you keep the same amount of flours equal. Pretty sure you could bust out with some gluten free oat flour and be in business as well.

A couple other tips: use muffin liners as these are pretty moist and a little oily when they come out so are better for handling with liners. And err on the side of baking a little longer than you think necessary. Get on it today and make these muffins. You’ll be glad you did.

Also real life, I stress ate too many of these while planning my trip to Greece. Booking hotels is hard.
Bran Muffins
Makes 24
  • 1 1/8 cups oat flour
  • 1 1/8 cup barley flour
  • 1 1/8 cup flax meal
  • 1 1/8 cup oat bran
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 1 1/8 cup oil
  • 1 1/8 cup milk
  • 1 1/8 cup applesauce
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cup fruit – blueberries, raisins, shredded carrots, chopped bananas
To Make
1) Preheat oven to 350*. Combine all flours, baking powder, salt, sugars and cinnamon.
2) In separate bowl combine all wet ingredients. Stir into flour mixture just until combined. Lastly fold in fruit.
3) Line muffin pan with paper liners. Bake for about 25-30 minutes. Let cool for a few minutes in the pan and finish on a rack. Repeat with rest of batter or store leftover batter in the refrigerator. Enjoy!

Blueberry Crumb Cake

July 3, 2013 § Leave a comment

I feel like holiday breakfasts are underrated most of the time. Who gets excited about Thanksgiving breakfast? No one, you just end up snaking on those weird onion things all morning long. Gross. Anyway. You should make this for your 4th of July breakfast! Embrace the fact that you have a whole day off (or not, if you work retail or in health care…wah wah).

It’s a scrumptious, blueberry filled breakfast treat. Anything with crumb in the title works in my book. Or anything you put streusel topping on at all really.

It’s a pretty basic crumb cake batter, flour, cinnamon, sugar. You get the idea. Mix all that stuff together. Follow the recipe below.

Start with fresh blueberries if you’ve got ’em. And it’s summer so they’re actually popping up in stores now. I splurged and got a large box at TJ’s for $5.99. You could also use frozen as TJ’s has those for like $2. You’re going to coat them with a little bit of flour.

Fold them into the batter. And spread that in a greased and floured baking pan. Make your streusel topping and spread that on top and you’re in business and ready to bake. If you have a crowd to feed and want to make a 13×9 just double the recipe. Finally, lets take a minute to acknowledge that I got my stuff together in time to make a holiday recipe and post it before the actual holiday. Happy Holiday Week!

Blueberry Crumb Cake
For cake:
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour, plus extra for pan and blueberries
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup milk (or buttermilk)
  • 1 1/2 cup fresh blueberries
For Struesel topping:
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup cold, unsalted butter, cut into tablespoons
To Make
1) Preheat oven to 350*. Grease and flour a 8 or 9 inch square baking pan, dust with flour.
2) Using a mixer, cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, then add in egg. In another bowl, whisk flour, powder, soda, salt and cinnamon in a bowl.
3) Now, alternate mixing in the flour and milk just until combined.
4) Wash and dry the blueberries. Stir 1 tsp of flour to cover them. Once down, fold in the blueberries to the batter. Spread the batter evenly in the plan.
5) Make the streusel topping but mixing all ingredients together until moist crumbs form, using your hands or a pastry cutter. Sprinkle topping over the batter.
6) Bake for 45-50 minutes or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out cool. Let cool completely before serving.

Dried Cranberry and White Chocolate Chip Cookies

June 19, 2013 § 2 Comments

Do you know those people in your life that always have delicious food? They can just throw stuff together it seems and it’s awesome? Well, my sister’s sister-in-law is one of those people. I distinctly remember staying at their place once on a road trip through Montana on our way to Glacier (where else?) and having dinner. We picked up pizza from a local favorite, and she threw together the most fantastic salad and had fresh fruit crisps waiting for after. I don’t even love salad that much but hers was so good. And fruit crisp? Perfect. These cookies are great! They’re almost a shortbread type cookie, so soft and chewy and delicious. Just how I love my cookies.
This recipe makes lots of cookies so you can save some dough for later if you want don’t want to make them all. And they don’t spread too far so you can really put a lot on one baking sheet. I highly recommend these.
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup soft butter
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 3 eggs
  • 4 1/2 c flour
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup white chocolate chips
  • 1 cup dried cranberries

To Make:

1) Preheat oven to 350* F. In a mixer, cream sugars and butter. Add in vanilla and eggs and mix until light and fluffy.
2) Pour in flour 1 cup at a time until well combined. Add in soda and salt. Finally, stir in the white chocolate chips and dried cranberries until well mixed. If you want to bake later, can be refrigerated for several days.
3) Drop by rounded tablespoons onto baking sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes until browned on bottom. Let cool on rack for 2 minutes, transfer to rack and let cool there. Enjoy! (Can be stored in airtight container for several days)

Baked Apple Donuts

June 3, 2013 § Leave a comment

When I was a kid I spent the night at my best friend’s house probably once a week. And a lot of weekend mornings I was visiting their dad would run off to Dunkin’ Donuts to pick up a dozen for our breakfast. This was not a tradition my family had and so I just loved it.
It make weekend mornings special. Ever since then my perfect Sunday morning involves fresh donuts from the place down the street (figuratively, not literally). I reserve it for random weekend mornings now but it’s so fun to do.
In order to make to my weekend fantasies come true at home and on weekdays, I splurged on Amazon. This donut pan arrived in that brown box a few days later. I knew I needed to christen the pan with some fantastic donuts and when I saw this recipe for cinnamon sugar coated donuts I knew it was the winner.

These donuts are a light and fluffy baked version of the typical fried variety at the store. And baking them is much less intimidating than frying something, which I have an irrational fear of.

The recipe starts off with simmering dried apples in apple juice to get them really plump and tasty. When added to the batter and baked they’re succulent bites that really make the donuts awesome.

The original recipe recommends using a pastry bag to get the batter spread evenly into the pan but I didn’t want to get something else messy and used a regular spoon and it was just fine. So go on, buy yourself a donut pan and make your weekend (now weekday) dreams come true.

Baked Apple Donuts
makes 12 donuts
  • 1 cup apple juice or cider
  • 3/4 cup dried apples, in bite-sized pieces
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
For the topping
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
To Make
1) In a small saucepan, bring apple juice and dried apples to a low boil and simmer, uncovered until liquid is all absorbed. Take off heat and let it cool to room temperature.
2) Preheat oven to 325*. Spray a donut pan with non-stick spray. In small bowl, whisk flours, soda, salt and cinnamon. In another, larger bowl whisk together brown sugar, egg, vegetable oil, applesauce and extract.
3) Add flour mixture to larger bowl and stir until combined. Finally, stir in the dried apples.
4) Spoon mixture into donut pan, until the cup is about 3/4 full. Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean. Cool in pan for a few minutes, then remove and let cool completely on rack.
5) In a bowl combine cinnamon and sugar. Dip donuts in the sugar, covering completely and shake off excess. Store in airtight container, sugar will absorb into donut. They’re best the day of, but good for 2-3 days after. Enjoy!

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