Monday, September 29, 2008

Yup, more mufins!

I have been on a jumbo muffin kick lately, in case you haven't noticed. Whenever fall comes around there are always those certain recipes you make. These Pumpkin Cranberry muffins are that list for this family. The Cranberries add a very moist taste to the bread. I usually bake these in loaves, but I decided to make them into muffins today. My one brother was asking "this is for us...right??" Yup, it was.
" Cranberry Pumpkin Bread"

3-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3 cups sugar
4 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
4 eggs
1 can (15 ounces) solid-pack pumpkin
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries, thawed
1 cup chopped walnuts (I never add these)
In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda and salt. In another bowl, beat the eggs, pumpkin and oil; stir into dry ingredients just until moistened. Fold in cranberries and walnuts. Spoon into two greased 9-in. x 5-in. loaf pans. Bake at 350° for 70-80 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely. Yield: 2 loaves.

Here is one of our favorite coffee cake recipe made into muffins!

"Dot Full Of Chips Coffee Cake"

3 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1 c vegetable oil
1 cup milk
2 eggs
3 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup brown sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1 stick of salted melted butter

In a large bowl, mix all 8 ingredients together. Pour half into a 9x13 inch baking pan. In a small bowl, mix filling ingredients. Sprinkle half on the batter. Spoon remaning batter over the filling. Top with remaining filling. Pour melted butter over the top. Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes. *Best when served at least an hour after baking to let butter soak into cake*
**I did exactly as the directions said to, but baked them in a jumbo muffin pan instead of a 9x13 inch pan.**

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Some Favorite Muffins

Muffins are one of the best early morning foods around. They are a perfect way to kick off a day. My family and I have always enjoyed these muffins...with a glass of cold milk they are so good! Try them, you won't be dissapointed!
"Double Chocolate Banana Muffins"
1 1/2 cup flour
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup baking cocoa
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1 1/3 cup mashed ripe bananas
1 egg
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
In a large bowl, combine the first 6 ingredients, (all dry ingredients). In a small bowl, mash ripe bananas. Add oil and egg. Stir into dry ingreidents until moistened. Fold in chocolate chips. Fill greased or paper-lined muffin cups 3/4 full. Bake at 350 degrees F. for 20-25 minutes. Makes 1-1/2 dozen.
**I made jumbo sized muffins - exactly one dozen**

I know this Iowa sunset says "GOD exists!"

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

The winner & some of my favorite cookies!

Thanks everyone for entering my contest! It was fun reading what everyone came up with. The winner is....Jenny who said: Your muffins look really terrific. What about Warm Churro Style Muffins for the title?
Here are some cookies that my family and I adore! They are so yummy and quite easy!

"100 Best Cookie"

1 cup sugar

1 cup brown sugar

1 cup butter

1 cup oil

1 tsp. vanilla

1 egg

3 1/2 cups flour

1 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. cream of tarter

1 cup oatmeal

2 cup chocolate chips

1 cup rice crispies

1 cup chopped nuts(I never add these)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix 1st 9 ingredients with a mixer. Stir in the oatmeal, chips, crispies, and nuts. Make balls and put on ungreased baking sheets. Bake for 10 minutes. These sugar cookies are delicious!

"Paralee's Sugar Cookies"

1 cup butter
1 1/2 cup sguar
3 well beaten egg yolks
2 cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. cream of tarter


Preheat oven to 375. Cream butter and sugar. Add yolks, mix well. Add flour, soda, and tarter. Add vanilla. Roll into balls. Dip in sugar. Bake for 10 minutes.
**To keep these soft and chewy, make sure you put them in foil or cover them - they harden quickly!**

Resting away....

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Muffins, awards, and a surprise!

A yummy breakfast food. Found these off the internet this morning, and knew I had to make them. They are topped with a delicious cinnamon sugar - yummy. While they were good, I think they were too bready. Next time I make them, I am going to make them more moist.
But, if you noticed - there isn't a recipe name.
So, I need your help! Tell me what you think they should be named, and whoever has the best recipe name suggestion wins a prize! Deadline is Monday at 12 midnight.

12 oz. (24 Tbs.) unsalted butter, warmed to room temperature
1-3/4 cups sugar
4 large eggs
1 lb. 11 oz. (6 cups) all-purpose flour
1 Tbs. plus 2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1-3/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground nutmeg
1-2/3 cups milk
1/4 cup buttermilk
For dipping:

8 oz. (16 Tbs.) unsalted butter; more as needed
2 cups sugar
2 Tbs. ground cinnamon
Put a rack in the middle of the oven and heat the oven to 350°F. In a stand mixer or a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, until just mixed in. Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and nutmeg. Combine the milk and buttermilk. With a wooden spoon, mix a quarter of the dry ingredients into the butter mixture. Then mix in a third of the milk mixture. Continue mixing in the remaining dry and wet ingredients alternately, ending with the dry. Mix until well combined and smooth, but don't overmix. Grease and flour a standard-size muffin tin. Scoop enough batter into each tin so that the top of the batter is even with the rim of the cup, about 1/2 cup. (A #16 ice-cream scoop gives you the perfect amount.) Bake the muffins until firm to the touch, 20 to 25 min.
To finish:
Melt the butter for the dipping mixture. Combine the sugar and cinnamon. When the muffins are just cool enough to handle, remove them from the tin, dip them into or brush them all over with the melted butter, and then roll them in the cinnamon sugar. Okay, now onto some awards! Susan over at Food.Baby gave me this brillante weblog award, thanks Susan!
Barbara over at Barbara Bakes gave me this award, thank you so much Barbara! I am going to pass it on to:
  1. Bridgett over at La Bella Cook
  2. Cristine over at Cristine Cooks
  3. Candy over at The Courageous Cook

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Oh my!

You have to try this. Can't describe it - you gotta make it. It has 7 ingredients and only takes 10 minutes to blend together. Baking takes the longest, but it is totally worth it. I made it this afternoon and it was gone in about 30 minutes - if you have a family, making 2 of these would ensure that you actually get some of this deliciousness.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Pie

1 unbaked 9-inch (4-cup volume) deep-dish pie shell*
2 large eggs
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter, softened
1 cup (6 ounces) semi-sweet chocolate morsels
1 cup chopped pecans
Serve with ice cream (optional)
Preheat oven 325 degrees F.
Beat eggs in large mixer bowl on high until foamy.
Beat in flour, granulated sugar and brown sugar. Beat in butter.
Stir in morsels and nuts and spoon into pie shell.
Bake for 55-60 minutes. Cool on wire rack. Serve warm.

Recipe from Nestle Classic Recipes, 2003

**If using frozen pie shell, use deep dish style and thaw completely. Bake on baking sheet and increase baking time slightly.** Okay, remember when Lewis was this little?? About 8 weeks old.
Here he is now, 6 months old and a whopper of a dog!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Best Fall Cookies EVER!

Wow. I think I found one of the best cookie recipes ever. These cookies are so soft, softer than any other cookie I've made. And with a tall glass of milk - life couldn't get any better in the cookie world. You can make them big sized or medium sized cookies, I made most of mine meduim sized and a couple big sized. Either way - you're gonna like these!

"Giant Ginger Cookies"

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar, plus 1/3 cup for coating
6 tablespoons molasses
1 large egg

Preheat oven to 350 degrees, with racks in upper and lower thirds. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, salt, ginger, allspice, and pepper.
With an electric mixer, cream butter, brown sugar, and 1/2 cup granulated sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in molasses and egg. With mixer on low, gradually beat in flour mixture until just combined. Flatten into a disk, wrap in plastic, and freeze for 20 minutes.
Divide dough into twelve 2-inch balls. Place remaining 1/3 cup granulated sugar in a bowl. Roll balls in sugar to coat; place at least 4 inches apart on prepared baking sheets. Flatten into 3-inch rounds. Sprinkle with sugar remaining in bowl.
Bake until brown, rotating sheets halfway through, 9 to 10 minutes. Cool cookies on a wire rack.
They make perfect give-away cookies.

My brothers and sisters and I....

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Perfect for a Saturday morning!

What is perfect? Donuts. Homemade donuts. To be specific, homemade donuts with chocolate frosting. Oh yum. First time making this kind of a donut - and these will be made many more times. And you know what? They weren't hard. A little time consuming, but not hard.
"Oh My! Chocolate Donuts"
1 (1/4-oz) package active dry yeast (2 1/2 teaspoons)
2 tablespoons warm water (105–115°F)
3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour plus additional for sprinkling and rolling out dough
1 cup whole milk at room temperature
1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter, softened
3 large egg yolks
2 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
About 10 cups vegetable oil for deep frying
Stir together yeast and warm water in a small bowl until yeast is dissolved. Let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes. (If yeast doesn’t foam, discard and start over with new yeast.)
Mix together flour, milk, butter, yolks, sugar, salt, cinnamon, and yeast mixture in mixer at low speed until a soft dough forms. Increase speed to medium-high and beat 3 minutes more.
Scrape dough down side of bowl (all around) into center, then sprinkle lightly with flour (to keep a crust from forming). Cover bowl with a clean kitchen towel (not terry cloth) and let dough rise in a draft-free place at warm room temperature until doubled in bulk, 1 1/2 to 2 hours. (Alternatively, let dough rise in bowl in refrigerator 8 to 12 hours.)
Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and roll out with a lightly floured rolling pin into a 12-inch round (1/2 inch thick). Cut out as many rounds as possible with 3-inch cutter, then cut a hole in center of each round with 1-inch cutter and transfer doughnuts to a lightly floured large baking sheet. Cover doughnuts with a clean kitchen towel and let rise in a draft-free place at warm room temperature until slightly puffed, about 30 minutes (45 minutes if dough was cold when cutting out doughnuts). Reroll scraps.
Heat 2 1/2 inches oil in a deep 4-quart heavy pot until it registers 350°F on thermometer. Fry doughnuts, 2 at a time, turning occasionally with a wire or mesh skimmer or a slotted spoon, until puffed and golden brown, about 2 minutes per batch. Transfer to paper towels to drain. (Return oil to 350°F between batches.)
I also fried the doughnut holes for about 1 minute and them tossed them in powdered sugar and cinnamon sugar straight out of the hot grease.
"Chocolate Glaze"
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/4 cup whole milk, warmed
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
2 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
Combine butter, milk, corn syrup, and vanilla in medium saucepan and heat over medium heat until butter is melted. Decrease the heat to low, add the chocolate, and whisk until melted. Turn off heat, add the powdered sugar, and whisk until smooth. Place the mixture over a bowl of warm water and dip the doughnuts immediately. Allow glaze to set for 30 minutes before serving.
The donut holes.

Me. I am jumping, I am not sitting funny.:)

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

My Latest Thing.... to go to Flickr and look for new recipes. That's what I did with these. I did a search for cookies and these came up. I also found those "World Famous" Bluelicious Muffins off of Flickr. I can't wait to find more recipes off of there, I'll of course share the yummy ones with you! What caught my eye about these cookies was, this: These cookies will be soft and taste "store bought". If you try these you won't be dissapointed!
"Erin's Famous Chocolate Chip Cookies"
2 sticks of butter, softened
1 cup of light brown sugar
3/4 cup of sugar
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 TBLS vanilla extract
3 cups of flour, sifted (very important step!)
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3 cups chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350.Cream butter with sugars. Add eggs and vanilla and mix until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add (in small increments) the sifted flour, baking soda, and salt (I like to sift those 3 ingredients together). Stir in chocolate chips.Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper (it makes clean-up so much easier!). Form 2 tbls worth of dough into a ball and gently flatten into a patty (a cookie scoop works great for this). Place patties about 2 inches apart. Bake for 10-12 minutes until top of cookies are dry but very light in color.

See you soon with more treats!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Always Good...

...are Peanut Butter Cookies. What is even better is when they are "double" Peanut Butter Cookies. Topped and rolled in a peanut, cinnamon, and sugar mixture you also find a nice peanut butter surprise inside the cookie - this recipe is hands down a keeper. It has less than 10 ingredients and is quite easy....a recipe totally worth keeping.

"Double Peanut Butter Cookies"(thanks Jenny for the recipe)

1/4 cup Dry Roasted Peanuts, finely chopped
1/4 cup Granulated Sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup Creamy Peanut Butter
1/2 cup Confectioners Powdered Sugar
1 refrigerated roll of peanut butter cookie dough, well chilled
1. Heat oven to 375°F. In small bowl, mix chopped peanuts, granulated sugar and cinnamon; set aside.
2.In another small bowl, stir peanut butter and powdered sugar until completely blended. Shape mixture into 24 (1-inch) balls.
3.Cut roll of cookie dough into 12 slices. Cut each slice in half crosswise to make 24 pieces; flatten slightly. Shape 1 cookie dough piece around 1 peanut butter ball, covering completely. Repeat with remaining dough and balls.
4.Roll each covered ball in peanut mixture; gently pat mixture completely onto balls. On ungreased large cookie sheets, place balls 2 inches apart. Spray bottom of drinking glass with No-Stick Cooking Spray; press into remaining peanut mixture. Flatten each ball to 1/2-inch thickness with bottom of glass. Sprinkle any remaining peanut mixture evenly on tops of cookies; gently press into dough.
5.Bake 7 to 12 minutes or until edges are golden brown. Cool 1 minute; remove from cookie sheets to cooling rack. Store tightly covered.
Blow away bro.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Need I Say More??

I can't really describe these. You simply have to taste them or make them. Usually you think of eclairs as hard to make and take a long time, but these are quite the opposite. And who doesn't love an eclair?? My favorite part was the chocolate topping, absolutely yummy. If you are in need of a fancy & yummy dessert - try these! They'll be sure to please!
Oh yummy.
"Yumolicious Chocolate Eclairs"
1/2 cup butter, cubed
1 cup water
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 eggs
1 package (5.1 ounces) instant vanilla pudding mix
2-1/2 cups cold milk
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 squares (1 ounce each) semisweet chocolate
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup confectioners' sugar
2 to 3 tablespoons hot water
In a large saucepan, combine butter and water. Bring to a rapid boil, stirring until the butter melts. Reduce heat to low; add flour and salt. Stir vigorously until mixture leaves the sides of the pan and forms a stiff ball. Remove from the heat. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. With a tablespoon or a pastry tube fitting with a no. 10 or larger tip, spoon or pipe dough into 4-in.-long x 1-1/2-in.-wide strips on a greased baking sheet. Bake at 450° for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 325° bake 10 minutes longer. Cool on a wire rack. For filling, in a large bowl, combine pudding mix and milk; mix according to package directions. In another bowl, whip the cream until soft peaks form. Beat in sugar and vanilla; fold into pudding. Fill cooled shells. (Chill remaining pudding for another use.) For icing, melt chocolate and butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Stir in sugar. Add hot water until icing is smooth and reaches desired consistency. Cool slightly. Spread over eclairs. Chill until serving. Yield: 8-9 servings.
My little brother Joe, I guess he isn't so little - he's taller than me!
Have a great rest of a week and see you soon with some really quick desserts!