Toffee, Chocolate and Banana Banoffee Muffins

Banoffee Muffins are a special treat! Made with the delectable combination of toffee, chocolate and banana, they borrow the classic flavors from the British favorite Banoffee Pie. The name combines the words banana and toffee together…. 

Read More »

Strawberry Poppy Seed Muffins

Strawberry Poppy Seed Muffins

In honor of Spring I’m offering you a darling Strawberry Poppy Seed Muffin recipe. When I think of Spring strawberries aren’t far behind. The first jewels of the season always seem to be the best: super sweet and juicy, with the deepest shades of red and minus imperfections. Maybe it’s the anticipation…but for whatever reason by time June rolls around they don’t taste or look the same to me.

These are simple, sweet and scrumptious with a medley of strawberry puree and poppy seeds swirled throughout. Sour cream in the batter gives them a soft and tender crumb. I love how the poppy seeds show through the glaze to speckle the tops with black and pink dots. They are one of the quickest, easiest muffins I have ever made, well worth the little bit of effort they take. And they have one of the most delicious scents. The smell alone will drive your taste buds mad.

Strawberry Poppy Seed Muffins

Strawberry Poppy Seed Muffins
(adapted from The Muffin Cookbook)(Makes 12)
16 ounces Strawberries (approximately 1 + 1/3 cups pureed)
1 Egg
1/2 cup Sugar
1/4 cup Vegetable Oil
1/2 cup Sour Cream or Non-fat Greek Yogurt
2 cups King Arthur White Whole Wheat Flour or All-Purpose Flour
1 + 1/2 tablespoons Poppy Seeds
2 teaspoons Baking Powder
1/2 teaspoon Salt
For Strawberry Glaze:
1 tablespoon of Strawberry puree
1 tablespoon of Sour Cream or Non-fat Greek Yogurt
Dash of Vanilla
1-2 cups Confectioners’ Sugar
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease a 12-cup muffin tin or fill with paper liners.
2. Puree strawberries in a blender or food processor. Set aside 1 tablespoon for glaze.
3. In medium bowl mix strawberries, egg, sugar, oil and sour cream until well blended.
4. In a large bowl combine flour, poppy seeds, baking powder and salt. Stir strawberry mixture into flour mixture just until evenly moistened.
5. Spoon evenly into cups. Bake 18 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool on wire racks before glazing.
6. To make the glaze whisk strawberry puree, sour cream and vanilla together in a small bowl. Add confectioners’ sugar and whisk. Make the glaze as thick or as thin as you like by adding additional sugar. Drizzle glaze over tops of muffins or stick the tops right in the glaze letting excess drip off. Let set 20 minutes and dip tops again.

Strawberry Poppy Seed Muffins

Do you love Burgers? Join my Burger Club as we cook, blog, and rate this Green Chile & Cream Cheese Burger.

And I’m also taking your Side Dishes for the April Showdown!
foodie_views_link_url = ‘BLOG_POST_URL';
Strawberry Poppy Seed Muffins on FoodistaStrawberry Poppy Seed Muffinsfoodie_views_submit_or_vote();

Blueberry Banana Coffee Cake

I have a low-fat, low-sugar blueberry and banana coffeecake recipe to share today. It’s a lovely treat for breakfast, with a cup of tea for an afternoon snack or with a scoop of vanilla ice cream for dessert.

It comes together quickly and bakes up tall and fluffy dotted throughout with plump, juicy blueberries…. 

Read More »

Sour Cream Spice Cake

Sour Cream Spice Cake

This is a favorite recipe for Sour Cream Spice Cake with golden raisins, walnuts and Cream Cheese Frosting. It has everything I love in a cake plus some!

It’s rich and warmly spiced with cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. The stars of every bite! It has a moist and tender crumb with a deliciously dense texture that is peppered throughout with just the right amount of crunchy walnuts and chewy, golden raisins. It’s enrobed in a buttery cream cheese frosting that’s borderline sinful.

And did I mention it’s a one-bowl cake? Just the stuff Cinnamon Girls dream of. But my words haven’t done it enough justice. Go make it. Now. And it will become a tried and true favorite. I promise. It will not disappoint.

Sour Cream Spice Cake

Sour Cream Spice Cake
(adapted from Betty Crocker)
2 + 1/4 cup all-purpose Flour
1 + 1/4 cup packed Brown Sugar
3/4 cup Golden Raisins, chopped
1 cup Sour Cream
1/2 cup Walnuts, chopped
1/2 cup Butter or Margarine, softened
1/2 cup Water
2 teaspoons Cinnamon
1 + 1/4 teaspoons Baking Soda
1 teaspoon Baking Powder
3/4 teaspoon Cloves
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1/2 teaspoon Nutmeg
2 large eggs
Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting (recipe to follow)
1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and lightly flour bottom and sides of a 13×9 inch pan or two 2-inch or 9-inch round pans or one 9×2-inch heart pan.
2. In a large bowl beat all ingredients except frosting with electric mixer on low speed 30 seconds, scraping bowl constantly. Beat on high speed for 3 minutes,
scraping bowl occasionally. Pour into prepared pan(s).
3. Bake 13×9-inch pan 40-45 minutes, round pans 30-35 and heart pan 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool on wire rack for 10-15 minutes. Turn out from pan and cool completely before frosting.
Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting
1 package Cream Cheese (8 ounces), softened
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 teaspoon Vanilla
1 teaspoon Cinnamon
2 to 3 teaspoons Milk
4 cups Confectioners’ Sugar
1. In a medium bowl beat cream cheese, butter, vanilla, and cinnamon together until light and fluffy.
2. Gradually add in the milk a 1/2 teaspoon at a time as needed and the sugar one cup at a time. Beat on low speed until smooth and fluffy.
3. Frost cake and store in refrigerator or in a cool place.

Sour Cream Spice Cake

Sour Cream Spice Cake

 Don’t forget to enter my Side Dish Showdown!

Sour Cream Spice Cake With Cream Cheese Frosting on FoodistaSour Cream Spice Cake With Cream Cheese Frosting

foodie_views_link_url = ‘BLOG_POST_URL';

foodie_views_submit_or_vote();

Overnight Cinnamon Rolls

Overnight Cinnamon Rolls

I baked cinnamon rolls from scratch for the very first time over the holidays, something I have been wanting to do for a very long time. I used Alton Brown’s ‘overnight’ recipe that calls for preparing them the day before and baking them off in the morning. I loved the comforting feeling upon waking up and having them there waiting for me to pop into the oven. Such convenience. And then to have the entire house fill with that welcoming smell of cinnamon dough was blissful.

But in all honesty I wasn’t ‘wowed’ by them the way I wanted to be. The roll itself was kind of bland – even after I had doctored it up by adding Cinnamon right into the raw dough. If you know me – you know I have a hard time following a recipe exactly as written. I also added chopped walnuts to the filling which was a delicious touch and doubled the icing recipe also adding more cinnamon (because you can never have too much of a good thing) and a dash of vanilla.

I was looking for something extra special; something to impress; and these failed to do that for me. Don’t get me wrong I wouldn’t refuse one if offered. They weren’t terrible tasting or anything, but I won’t make them again. They did solicit “oohs” and “mmms” from family members. And I’m happy because I can finally cross them off that long ‘to do’ list of mine…

Overnight Cinnamon Rolls

My changes:
-Add one teaspoon of Cinnamon to the dough at the beginning along with the butter and eggs.
-Sprinkle a cup of chopped walnuts over the cinnamon filling before rolling up.
-Add a 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon and a dash of vanilla to the icing. Double the icing recipe if you like a lot like I do!

Overnight Cinnamon Rolls

Cranberry Cheesecake

Cranberry Cheesecake

I hope you all had a lovely family and food-filled Thanksgiving! My Mom’s table was a heavily laden carb fest of deliciousness; broccoli/velveeta casserole, streusel-stuffed baked sweet potatoes, sausage stuffing, potato-rutabaga-cheese casserole, buttermilk biscuits, cranberry sauce, and of course a giant turkey. We gobbled gobbled our way through that and then for dessert we had this cheesecake, pumpkin pie, and fruitcake.

The cheesecake was scrumptious and so gorgeous with the vibrant cranberry sauce on top! And is there a more fitting topping than cranberry sauce at this time of the year? The cheesecake bakes up light but dense with the creamiest consistency I’ve ever tasted in a cheesecake. There’s no excuse for not making your own cranberry sauce – it’s so simple and so much fresher tasting and healthier than the high-fructose canned variety. This is perfect to bring to a holiday party or potluck. And I think it will find it’s way onto our Christmas table.

Cranberry Cheesecake

Cranberry Cheesecake
(adapted from Good Old Food by Irena Chalmers)
1 cup Graham Cracker Crumbs
4 tablespoons butter, melted
1 and 1/2 pounds Cream Cheese
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1/2 teaspoon Almond Extract
1 and 1/2 cups Sour Cream, at room temperature
1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly butter a 9-inch springform pan.
2. Combine the graham cracker crumbs and the melted butter in a small bowl. Press the mixture evenly onto the bottom of the springform pan.
3. Put the cream cheese in a large bowl and beat until smooth. Beat in the sugar and the eggs, scraping the sides of the bowl frequently. Beat in the vanilla and almond extracts and sour cream.
4. Pour the mixture into the crust and bake* for 55-60 minutes until cheesecake is puffed and firm to the touch. Remove from oven and run a thin knife around the edges to loosen it from the pan. Let cool completely and chill for several hours or overnight before serving.
5. Serve with cranberry sauce and whip cream.
*I recommend cooking this in a bain marie to prevent cracking. Put the uncooked cheesecake/pan into a larger baking pan, put on oven rack and fill halfway up sides of springform pan with boiling water. Bake as directed.
Cranberry Sauce
1 cup water
3/4 cup sugar
12 ounces fresh Cranberries
To flavor add one or a combo:
orange zest, lemon zest, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg
In a medium sauce pan dissolve the sugar in the water over medium heat. Add cranberries and continue to cook, stirring, carefully, the cranberries will pop, about five – seven minutes. Add your flavoring element. Combine well. Remove from heat. Cool. Store in fridge.

Cranberry Cheesecake

Devilish Chocolate Cake

Devil Dog Cake

This cake is highly reminiscent of a Devil Dog. Remember those from your lunchbox days? Or maybe you eat them now and no memory is needed. They weren’t my favorite. I was all about Funny Bones. Chocolate cakes with a peanut butter filling enrobed in a shell-like milk chocolate frosting. Those were my idea of heaven. The Devil Dog was my Mom’s favorite. A few weeks ago she bought a box during a fit of nostalgia. Purely for old times sake. I curiously ate one. They were awfully dry like trying to eat cement mix. It was hard to chew no less swallow the lump of cake. More cream was clearly needed. There wasn’t even enough to squish out the sides and lick off like an ice cream sandwich! I hope my memory isn’t marred now…

Devil Dog Cake

Mom baked this with no intention or idea that it would resemble the flavors of a devil dog. It was such a coincidence that we had them just a few weeks before – the first time in a decade or more. I tasted devil dog in the very first bite. It was the devil dog glory that lives on, if only in my mind. Rich, dense, with the distinct chocolate taste and sticky, sweet frosting of my memories. But this was far better than the real Devil Dog I had tasted just a few weeks ago. Far better than the devil dogs in my memory…

Chocolate Devil Dog Cake with Seven Minute Marshmallow Frosting
(Adapted from The Cake Bible)

1/2 cup and 3 tablespoons unsweetened Cocoa, Dutch-processed
1 cup boiling water
3 Eggs
2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
2 cups Sifted All-Purpose Flour
1 and 1/2 cups Sugar
1 tablespoon Baking Powder
3/4 teaspoon Salt
1 cup Unsalted Butter, softened

Preheat oven to 350.

Prepare pans, two 9-inch or one 13x9x2 inch. greased and floured.

In a medium bowl whisk together the cocoa and boiling water until smooth. Cool to room temperature.

In another medium bowl whisk the eggs, 1/4 of the cocoa mixture, and vanilla.

In a large mixing bowl combine the remaining dry ingredients and whisk together. Add the butter and the rest of the cocoa mixture. Mix on low speed using an electric hand mixer until flour is moistened. Then mix on medium for 1 and 1/2 minutes. Scrape down the sides and gradually add the egg mixture in 3 batches, beating for 20 seconds after each addition.

Divide batter evenly between the two pans, or to one large pan.

Bake layers for 25-35 minutes, large pan 35-40, check done-ness by inserting a fork or toothpick, when it comes out clean, remove.

Cool cakes in pans for ten minutes on wire racks. Remove from pans onto greased wire racks and cool to room temperature before frosting.

Notes:

Devil Dogs have a cream filling – the texture of the marshmallow frosting is not the same – but the flavor is; only better, fresher, and cleaner tasting. A whipped cream frosting would go really well with this too.

Seven-Minute Marshmallow Frosting
(adapted from McCall’s Book of Cakes and Pies)

2 Egg Whites (1/4 cup)
1 and 1/2 cup Sugar
1 tablespoon light corn syrup or 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/3 cup water
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract

In the top of a double boiler* combine egg whites, sugar, corn syrup, and 1/3 cup water.

With an electric hand mixer beat 1 minute to combine ingredients.

Cook over rapidly boiling water, beating constantly for 7 minutes or until stiff peaks form.

Remove from boiling water, add vanilla, beat until frosting is thick enough to spread about two more minutes.

*You can use a stainless steel mixing bowl fitted on top of a saucepan or a smaller pan fitted on top of a larger one. Just make sure the boiling water doesn’t touch the bottom of the pan.

Last, but not least, I leave you with Moon, The Kitchen Cat. I should know by now not to turn my back on my food. See how sweet and innocent he appears? If you look closer you will notice his Whip Cream Mustache.
Moon W/ Whip Cream Mustache
  
 The Little Devil!