Adventures In Baking

(in a perpetually messy kitchen)

Posts tagged muffin

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Lemon Yogurt Muffins

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I’m blogging these for the sake of…education, I guess. I didn’t love these. The texture lacked that fluffiness I like in a lemon muffin, and the flavor was okay but not really enough to make up for it. Maybe a more seasoned baker can take a look and let me know what I did wrong. (Huh? Can you? Please?)

This recipe was all about prep, so I started by zesting and juicing the lemons.  I had one Meyer lemon left from the season, so I used that first and then regular lemons to make up the rest. I used more than a teaspoon of zest, probably 1 1/2 and possibly two. I like lemon.

(Also, I’ve been unhappy with all the shadows in my baking photos as of late, so I started playing with the flash, taking shots both with and without it to see which I prefer. Jury’s still out.)

juice and zest

While the butter was melting (and subsequently cooling), I beat the egg. I wanted everything at hand when it was time to mix the batter.

egg, beaten

(See, that one I preferred without the flash, despite the shadow.)

The directions said to add the lemon juice to the milk in a “large glass”, and we happen to have, randomly, an EXTREMELY large glass in our kitchen. Dave’s. No idea why. It’s large, though! I put it next to a can of baking powder so you could see just how large it is.

large glass

I whisked the dry ingredients together: all purpose flour (a rarity in my baking), cane sugar, salt, and baking powder.

dry ingredients, whisked

Then to the less visually appealing mixture, in another bowl: the milk mixture, melted butter, beaten egg, yogurt, lemon zest, and vanilla. Fortunately the recipe was very reassuring about how unattractive this combination could be. (I used the flash so you’d get the full effect.)

liquid ingredients

It looked better once mixed. I poured it into a well in the center of the dry ingredients. I’m including the no-flash and the flash photos of this, and wish they’d just met in the middle.

pouring, no flash

pouring, flash

I stirred the batter together, being very careful not to overmix. In a light lemon muffin, proper mixing can make or break the texture. I swear, I was careful.

batter

I scooped the batter into muffin cups.

batter in cups

They were done in about 20 minutes, and they smelled lemony and lovely.

muffins in tin

I let them sit in the pan for a few minutes, then moved them to a wire rack to cool.

muffins on rack

muffins on rack

So…I guess I wouldn’t make these again. I didn’t roll them in butter & sugar as the original recipe directed, but a muffin should be able to stand on its own without such things, and these would not have been saved by it. They weren’t terrible; I ate a couple of them over a few days, and so did my co-workers, but I think I’ve used better recipes.

Still, it’s entirely possible that I messed these up, so here’s a link to the recipe and please let me know if you fare better so I can try again. They were fun to make.

LEMON YOGURT SUGAR MUFFINS RECIPE

Filed under lemon yogurt muffins lemon muffins muffin lemon low fat

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Wholesome Oat Muffins

image

Get aboard the muffin transport! You won’t regret it.

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I should have made these muffins instead of last night’s disasters, but we have them now, so the muffin balance has been restored. These are delicious and the recipe seems to lend itself to adding different spices, sugars, or bonus ingredients.

The process began with oats and buttermilk.

oats and buttermilk

It looked like a great idea until I mixed them together. Then it looked like barf.

oats and buttermilk

I happily put that out of my direct sightline, set the timer for thirty minutes, and started working on the dry ingredients. I started with whole wheat white flour (instead of the suggested all purpose), and added baking soda, baking powder, and salt. The recipe called for a quarter teaspoon of cinnamon, but I used two heaping teaspoons, then threw in almost half a teaspoon of nutmeg and a few generous sprinkles of pumpkin pie spice.

dry ingredients

I whisked that all together, then set it aside. I took out a third bowl (so many bowls!) and cracked two eggs into it, then added canola oil (instead of vegetable oil), brown sugar, and vanilla. It took a while to mix it properly and get all the brown sugar lumps crushed and blended, but that was fine, as I was still counting down the 30 minutes for the oats & buttermilk.

wet ingredients

wet ingredients, mixed

Eventually the timer went off the oats were ready, and I added them to the egg/oil mixture. (Still looks a little barfy.)

added oats

I folded in the flour mixture, mixing only until fully incorporated.

mixed with dry ingredients

Then I divided the batter among 12 muffin cups. When they looked reasonably even (but still somewhat lumpy), I clumsily sprinkled oats across the top of each one.

sprinkled oats

I baked them for 14 minutes. I had tasted the batter before baking, so I wasn’t surprised by how great they smelled, just pleased.

fresh out of the oven

I let them sit in the pan for another five minutes, then moved them to a wire rack. Then, I moved them to Nathaniel’s muffin transport, made of Lego.

muffin transport

muffin transport

And then I ate one! A delicious, sweet, fluffy, light, tasty oatmeal muffin that I will definitely make again, especially if we eat all 12 of these tonight.

WHOLESOME OAT MUFFINS (original)

My recipe for Wholesome Oat Muffins (adapted from Women’s Health)

ingredients:

1 cup rolled oats
2 tablespoons rolled oats
1 cup low fat buttermilk
1 cup whole wheat white flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 heaping teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg
1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup canola oil
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

directions:

Heat the oven to 450 degrees. You will reduce the temperature when you put the muffins in. Prepare a 12-cup muffin pan with liners or cooking spray.

In a small bowl, combine one cup of oats with the buttermilk, and let soak for 30 minutes.

in a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and pumpkin pie spice. Play with the spices as much as you like, seasoning based on your preferences.

In a large bowl, stir together the egg, oil, brown sugar, and vanilla until very well mixed. Once the oats are ready, add them in and stir. Then add in the flour mixture until just combined, being careful not to overmix.

Divide the batter evenly among the muffin cups and sprinkle the two tablespoons of oats on the top of each one.

Put the tray in the oven and reduce the temperature to 425. Bake for 11-15 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let them cool in the pan for another 5 minutes before removing.

Filed under wholesome oat muffins oats oatmeal breakfast muffin low fat healthy lego nathaniel

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Peanut Butter and Dark Chocolate Mini Muffins
Dave doesn’t usually express a strong baking opinion, but tonight he asked for something that didn’t have pumpkin, but did have chocolate. I didn’t exactly come up with something Weight Watchers-friendly, but sometimes one must make sacrifices, especially where peanut butter and chocolate are concerned.
Also, it looked like a fun recipe to make.
I started by putting an egg, peanut butter (Skippy Natural), milk, brown sugar, and natural cane sugar (instead of white) into a big yellow bowl.

The biggest challenge was stirring it all together properly without it sloshing all out of the bowl. I confess I did not entirely succeed. I mostly succeeded.

Did I mention this is a one-bowl recipe? It is. I added baking powder and whole wheat pastry flour.

The recipe called for a cup of dark chocolate chips, and I had sorta almost a cup of them. Kind of. maybe 3/4 of a cup.


Once I stirred it all together, it started looking pretty good.

And then the directions said this:

Pour 1 teaspoon onto each muffin hole.

But I couldn’t actually pour anything. I glopped it as best as I could, and pried it off the spoon more often than not.

Once I had what looked like about half the batter left in the bowl, I added 4 tablespoons of milk and 3 tablespoons of cocoa powder.

Then I added a glop of that to the globs that were already in the pan. These mini muffins were getting less mini by the minute.

I had a lot of batter left over and the muffins were huge! Next time I’ll just do a few batches of them, but this time I just took the leftover cocoa batter and made a mini loaf.
They baked for 20 minutes, and then were done.

It said to take them out of the pan right away, which was not so pleasant as they were still burning hot, but did lead to quicker cooling. Also quicker eating, since I left them for a few minutes and when I got back to the kitchen, there was already a bite taken out of one of them. Dave tried to blame Nathaniel, but he wasn’t very convincing, and then Nathaniel gobbled up the other half of the mini muffin so it wouldn’t be sitting around anymore. They’re so thoughtful.

The mini loaf took a little longer than 20 minutes, but smelled just as good.

These all turned out great. You’re supposed to use crunchy peanut butter, which I didn’t have on hand, but that’s okay. These are fantastic. Full of flavor, great texture, and I could make them look even prettier now that I’ve played with them a little. They don’t last long anyway, though. So tasty!! Full of peanut butter and chocolate goodness. 

PEANUT BUTTER AND DARK CHOCOLATE MINI MUFFINS RECIPE

Peanut Butter and Dark Chocolate Mini Muffins

Dave doesn’t usually express a strong baking opinion, but tonight he asked for something that didn’t have pumpkin, but did have chocolate. I didn’t exactly come up with something Weight Watchers-friendly, but sometimes one must make sacrifices, especially where peanut butter and chocolate are concerned.

Also, it looked like a fun recipe to make.

I started by putting an egg, peanut butter (Skippy Natural), milk, brown sugar, and natural cane sugar (instead of white) into a big yellow bowl.

yellow bowl

The biggest challenge was stirring it all together properly without it sloshing all out of the bowl. I confess I did not entirely succeed. I mostly succeeded.

properly mixed

Did I mention this is a one-bowl recipe? It is. I added baking powder and whole wheat pastry flour.

adding flour

The recipe called for a cup of dark chocolate chips, and I had sorta almost a cup of them. Kind of. maybe 3/4 of a cup.

dark chocolate chips

chocolate chips on batter

Once I stirred it all together, it started looking pretty good.

batter

And then the directions said this:

Pour 1 teaspoon onto each muffin hole.

But I couldn’t actually pour anything. I glopped it as best as I could, and pried it off the spoon more often than not.

first part of batter in pan

Once I had what looked like about half the batter left in the bowl, I added 4 tablespoons of milk and 3 tablespoons of cocoa powder.

batter with cocoa powder

Then I added a glop of that to the globs that were already in the pan. These mini muffins were getting less mini by the minute.

added cocoa batter

I had a lot of batter left over and the muffins were huge! Next time I’ll just do a few batches of them, but this time I just took the leftover cocoa batter and made a mini loaf.

They baked for 20 minutes, and then were done.

baked still in pan

It said to take them out of the pan right away, which was not so pleasant as they were still burning hot, but did lead to quicker cooling. Also quicker eating, since I left them for a few minutes and when I got back to the kitchen, there was already a bite taken out of one of them. Dave tried to blame Nathaniel, but he wasn’t very convincing, and then Nathaniel gobbled up the other half of the mini muffin so it wouldn’t be sitting around anymore. They’re so thoughtful.

bite

mini muffins

The mini loaf took a little longer than 20 minutes, but smelled just as good.

mini loaf

These all turned out great. You’re supposed to use crunchy peanut butter, which I didn’t have on hand, but that’s okay. These are fantastic. Full of flavor, great texture, and I could make them look even prettier now that I’ve played with them a little. They don’t last long anyway, though. So tasty!! Full of peanut butter and chocolate goodness.

mini muffins

PEANUT BUTTER AND DARK CHOCOLATE MINI MUFFINS RECIPE

Filed under peanut butter and dark chocolate mini muffins peanut butter dark chocolate chips mini muffins muffin cocoa powder whole wheat pastry flour

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Espresso Spice Pumpkin Muffins
Something’s just OFF with me today, so I am surprised these muffins turned out so well. Honestly, I was knocking things over the whole time I was making these, spilling things too, and I swear that every time I opened the fridge, things just leapt out at me. I dropped my iPhone three times today. Before I even left the house this morning, I was convinced I had my contact lenses in the wrong eyes (as in left in right and right in left, not someone else’s eyes), and with 2 minutes to go before I had to leave I was switching them, then realizing I was wrong, switching them back, and then discovering I’d smeared mascara all over my face.
It’s been THAT kind of a day.
It’s no wonder I thought I was pushing my luck to bake tonight, but these urges cannot always be stifled. Nor should they, I suppose.
I had some pumpkin to use up, and just to continue the day’s “off”-ness, I ended up having to open a new can anyway, and now that one’s in the fridge waiting for yet another recipe. Oops.
Oh yeah, and I took a picture of the ingredients for this one and had to re-do it three times because I kept leaving something out. By the time I got everything in, a bottle of barbecue sauce poked its way into the picture, despite the fact that there is, I promise, no barbecue sauce used in this recipe whatsoever. But there it is, lurking suspiciously behind the eggs and the muffin tray.

I guess it just wanted to be part of the action. But to me, it was just another thing demonstrating that my attention to detail was slipping fast.
With uncharacteristic boldness, I dove in anyway, despite the odd direction the day had already taken. I got the dry ingredients (whole wheat white flour, baking powder, and salt) whisked up good, then set the bowl aside.
In another bowl, I added the brown sugar to the eggs.

I whisked.

In went the pumpkin and the vanilla.

I whisked.

Okay, now here’s where I started improvising.
The recipe said to melt 6 tablespoons of butter in the microwave and stir in the spices (espresso powder, cinnamon, fresh nutmeg, and cloves), but I wanted to replace half the butter with yogurt. The formula for that is to replace half the butter with half as much yogurt, so I melted three tablespoons of butter, and then because I knew I’d be adding the cold yogurt to it, I let it cool a little before adding everything in. In retrospect, I could have added the spices while it was still freshly hot; I’ll definitely do that next time. (And I also didn’t use the microwave, I just melted it on the stove.)
Once the butter had slightly cooled, I added the spices and stirred. Can you tell I was in a bit of a state? Normally I put things away as I go but tonight I felt as if I was barely keeping up and everything just stayed where I left it as I jumped on to the next step.
Anyway, the spices blended nicely into the melted butter.

For the yogurt, I finally had occasion to use my 1/2 tablespoon measuring spoon. I swear I have never ever seen that specific measurement in a recipe, ever, but I do have a spoon for it. I added 1 1/2 tablespoons of plain yogurt (low fat) and stirred, then put the whole mixture into the egg & sugar bowl.

The recipe got very specific after that. I added half the flour mixture, then put in the milk, then added the rest and stirred just until the last traces of flour disappeared.



Next I combined white sugar, espresso powder, pumpkin pie spice, and a little bit of cinnamon and sprinkled that generously over the muffins.

They looked pretty good when they came out of the oven, although they took much longer to bake than most of the other muffins I make. It was almost 25 minutes, I think. They sure looked tasty.

And surprise, they ARE tasty. Really flavorful. The espresso, spices, sugar and pumpkin all come together so well! I was nervous because the smell of the espresso was so strong while I was baking that I checked the recipe multiple times to make sure I hadn’t put in too much. Even Dave, who is innately drawn to the smell of coffee, thought something was burning. But it wasn’t. It was just getting more delicious.
I think by tomorrow morning the texture will be perfect, most baked goods with pumpkin are best the day after baking. But tonight? Already a lovely treat, and well worth the spills, clangs, and confusion…maybe they’re even redemptive. 
ESPRESSO SPICE PUMPKIN MUFFINS RECIPE

Espresso Spice Pumpkin Muffins

Something’s just OFF with me today, so I am surprised these muffins turned out so well. Honestly, I was knocking things over the whole time I was making these, spilling things too, and I swear that every time I opened the fridge, things just leapt out at me. I dropped my iPhone three times today. Before I even left the house this morning, I was convinced I had my contact lenses in the wrong eyes (as in left in right and right in left, not someone else’s eyes), and with 2 minutes to go before I had to leave I was switching them, then realizing I was wrong, switching them back, and then discovering I’d smeared mascara all over my face.

It’s been THAT kind of a day.

It’s no wonder I thought I was pushing my luck to bake tonight, but these urges cannot always be stifled. Nor should they, I suppose.

I had some pumpkin to use up, and just to continue the day’s “off”-ness, I ended up having to open a new can anyway, and now that one’s in the fridge waiting for yet another recipe. Oops.

Oh yeah, and I took a picture of the ingredients for this one and had to re-do it three times because I kept leaving something out. By the time I got everything in, a bottle of barbecue sauce poked its way into the picture, despite the fact that there is, I promise, no barbecue sauce used in this recipe whatsoever. But there it is, lurking suspiciously behind the eggs and the muffin tray.

ingredients

I guess it just wanted to be part of the action. But to me, it was just another thing demonstrating that my attention to detail was slipping fast.

With uncharacteristic boldness, I dove in anyway, despite the odd direction the day had already taken. I got the dry ingredients (whole wheat white flour, baking powder, and salt) whisked up good, then set the bowl aside.

In another bowl, I added the brown sugar to the eggs.

brown sugar and eggs

I whisked.

whisked

In went the pumpkin and the vanilla.

pumpkin and vanilla

I whisked.

pumpkin mixture

Okay, now here’s where I started improvising.

The recipe said to melt 6 tablespoons of butter in the microwave and stir in the spices (espresso powder, cinnamon, fresh nutmeg, and cloves), but I wanted to replace half the butter with yogurt. The formula for that is to replace half the butter with half as much yogurt, so I melted three tablespoons of butter, and then because I knew I’d be adding the cold yogurt to it, I let it cool a little before adding everything in. In retrospect, I could have added the spices while it was still freshly hot; I’ll definitely do that next time. (And I also didn’t use the microwave, I just melted it on the stove.)

Once the butter had slightly cooled, I added the spices and stirred. Can you tell I was in a bit of a state? Normally I put things away as I go but tonight I felt as if I was barely keeping up and everything just stayed where I left it as I jumped on to the next step.

Anyway, the spices blended nicely into the melted butter.

spices in melted butter

For the yogurt, I finally had occasion to use my 1/2 tablespoon measuring spoon. I swear I have never ever seen that specific measurement in a recipe, ever, but I do have a spoon for it. I added 1 1/2 tablespoons of plain yogurt (low fat) and stirred, then put the whole mixture into the egg & sugar bowl.

pumpkin with spices melted

The recipe got very specific after that. I added half the flour mixture, then put in the milk, then added the rest and stirred just until the last traces of flour disappeared.

milk added

more flour

muffin batter in cups

Next I combined white sugar, espresso powder, pumpkin pie spice, and a little bit of cinnamon and sprinkled that generously over the muffins.

muffins with topping

They looked pretty good when they came out of the oven, although they took much longer to bake than most of the other muffins I make. It was almost 25 minutes, I think. They sure looked tasty.

muffins

And surprise, they ARE tasty. Really flavorful. The espresso, spices, sugar and pumpkin all come together so well! I was nervous because the smell of the espresso was so strong while I was baking that I checked the recipe multiple times to make sure I hadn’t put in too much. Even Dave, who is innately drawn to the smell of coffee, thought something was burning. But it wasn’t. It was just getting more delicious.

I think by tomorrow morning the texture will be perfect, most baked goods with pumpkin are best the day after baking. But tonight? Already a lovely treat, and well worth the spills, clangs, and confusion…maybe they’re even redemptive. 

ESPRESSO SPICE PUMPKIN MUFFINS RECIPE

Filed under espresso spice espresso powder pumpkin muffin off day melted butter yogurt