Baking, Breakfast, Entertaining, For the Freezer, Recipes

Blueberry Streusel Muffins

I have been on a muffin kick lately.  I came up with a technique that produces those tall bakery-style jumbo muffins and I’ve been baking, testing and adapting recipes like mad.

This blueberry muffin recipe uses yogurt instead of butter, which my cholesterol appreciates (except in the streusel topping, but that’s minimal.)  The family really likes them – even the boy, who says he doesnt like chunks of berries in things.  I guess he changed his mind.

To get tall muffins here are a few tips:

  1. Don’t be afraid to use your baking powder.  I live at high altitude so I find this is really important – 3 tsp per 2 Cups of flour sounds like a lot, but it’s not…could probably even have another and not be affected.
  2. Use a jumbo muffin tin, with a regular baking cup liner (not the jumbo ones).  I spray the tin AFTER I put the liners in – but the space between the top of the liner and the top of the muffin cup seems to give it something to cling to and climb up.  It works well.
  3. Fill the paper liners up TO THE TOP.  Because you are using a regular liner in a jumbo tin, filling the cups up is important.  it may seem like they’ll be messy but because you spray them, they slide right out onto the rack – I use a small offset spatula to just lift them right out.

I use frozen wild blueberries, but you could easily use fresh – or frozen regular blueberries – either will work just fine.  I’ve found that if I use frozen, I leave them frozen and mix them in.  Once I have everything in the muffin cups, I let them sit on top of the oven while it preheats – it relaxes the batter, which gets stiff from the cold berries.  Right before I slide them in the oven I top with the Streusel – and BE GENEROUS with this stuff – it really makes a difference in the muffin.

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Baking, Breakfast, Entertaining, Recipes

Blackberry Muffins

This is a keeper of a Blackberry Muffins Recipe for sure!  We are at the time of year around here where fruit is stupidly expensive.  $1.99 a lb for apples is higher than I’ve ever seen it.  Hopefully spring brings with it some new crops that bring our prices down.  Berries must be in season because they’ve been fairly reasonably priced, with blackberries at $.99 a 1/2 pt at City Market – and I got some for $.99 a pint at Sprouts the other day as well.

Berries keep for a good long time in the fridge if you rinse them well, and get them OUT of that stupid plastic container and diaper thing they come in – that diaper thing causes rot faster than anything.  I put mine in a sealed container with a few paper towels in the bottom, that way they’re ready to go when you want to make this blackberry muffins recipe!  I’ve had blackberries and blueberries keep for 2-3 weeks in the fridge like this.  Raspberries are a bit more delicate, though – they don’t keep as long – but they should be stored the same way.

So needless to say, I had a lot of blackberries on hand and while we eat them happily – I wanted to make something for the boys to take with lunch es and have for breakfasts this week.  I’m on a low-fat diet so I adapted this recipe just a bit from one I found at SimplyRecipes.com.  Hope you like it!

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Baking, For the Freezer, Holidays, Recipes

Oatmeal Cookies with Dark Chocolate & Walnuts

Oatmeal is good for you, right? So these Oatmeal Cookies with Dark Chocolate & Walnuts are really really good for you……

Okay maybe not – but these cookies are swoonworthy – and definitely packed with flavor.  I like that they use old-fashioned oats – I think they hold up better, they don’t “dissolve” into the cookie – which means a better oatmeal-cookie-texture.

Use semi-sweet chips if you prefer, but I’m a dark chocolate fan for sure.  They get a little crunchy and a little soft – great for lunchboxes, holiday gifts or dunking…or all three. I have a 3/4″ cookie scoop, and although it’s technically a uni-tasker – its a must-have in my kitchen.  Using teaspoons to put cookies on a tray is old-school – and it works fine, but I never had look ending up with uniform size cookies.

I hope you like these – they’re so much better than oatmeal raisin cookies – which are gross – and just one reason to have trust issues.  Raisins are ick.

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Baking, Desserts, For the Freezer, Holidays, Recipes, Wanderlust

Swedish Spritz Cookie Recipe

These tasty butter cookies are a holiday tradition in our home.  While you can dye and color the dough to make green trees or whatever you like, I prefer the plain sugar cookies with sprinkles and redhots as decoration.
You need a cookie press for this recipe.  You could roll them in logs and refrigerate and slice, but it’s just not the same. cookie-press I got my cookie press on Amazon.com – It’s the OXO Good Grips Cookie Press and it works well – it works BEST if the cookie sheets are really cold, but that’s not really practical when you’re baking dozens at a time – just be patient and understand that the dough consistency is directly related to how the cookies come out of the gun and onto the sheet – don’t be afraid to chill the dough down if things just get a bit too soft.

Colored sugar and red hots for tree stars or holly berries are my favorite decorations – but you can do absolutely whatever you like!

Enjoy!

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Baking, For the Freezer, Holidays, Recipes

Chewy & Spicy Ginger Cookies

I love ginger cookies – not the dense, tasteless gingerbread men with the too-sweet frosting – I like ginger/spice cookies that are not as sweet and taste great with a hot cup of coffee – dunked of course.  This recipe is pretty tasty and has A LOT of spices in it – hopefully you have this in your cabinet and you aren’t running out the buy a spice just to make these cookies – but remember old spices are not bold spices – so when in doubt throw it out.

These also freeze and transport really well – so ship them to a loved one this holiday 🙂

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Baking, For the Freezer, Holidays, Recipes

Amish Cookie Recipe

These are a much requested cookie in our house. Todd likes them with Pecans as well as Walnuts – so choose whichever you like.  They freeze, transport and mail quite well.  They don’t get super brown – so don’t overbake waiting for them to brown up!

In some cookies, it is okay to substitute margarine – but these just dont taste or turn out the same if you do substitute.  They’re not bad, just not as good…so use the real stuff.

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