Friday, October 22, 2010

Muffins and crumbles..time to warm up your house with lovely Autumn Baking!

Alright, its getting cold, and I'm trying to save on heating.  What do i do? Crank up the oven and start filling the kitchen with lovely delicious Autumn baking.  I love Autumn, better than Fall, it may even be my daughter's middle name, whenever that may happen.  Oh, back to the topic of baking.  I've tested these 2 recipes out with the lab people (i.e. my co-workers), and received several feedbacks.  Modified them based on feedbacks, and voila...the last recipe is just a quick and simple joy to make on a chilly evening, wiht the smell of spiced bake apples overfill your entire house... enjoy!!!

Healthy Pumpkin Muffins (sorry i can't think of any more attractive name to call it)
Alright, with this version, the blue font will be for the healthy conscious peeps, and the red will be for the ones with sweet tooth.

2 C flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1/2 C brown sugar  or 1/2 C brown sugar and 1/2C white sugar
2 large eggs
1 to 1 1/2 C pumpkin puree (peer review quoted as not enough pumpkin flavor when i used 1 C, so its ok to go as high as 1 1/2C)
1/4 C milk
a pinch of salt

Pre-heat oven at 400 degF.  Mix well dry ingredients flour, baking powder,cinnamon, ginger and salt.  In a separate bowl, cream softened butter, then add in sugar and eggs one at a time.  Beat until all is incorporated. Slowly fold in the pumpkin puree into the mixture and pour in the milk.  Lastly, add in all the dry ingredients, mix well or blend with mixer until it is in batter consistency.

Divide the batter into 12-hole muffin pan that is lined with paper cups (for easy cleanup purpose), since i am so lazy washing my muffin  pan.  It is ok if it looks overflowing>>> this creates muffin tops!
Bake for about 25 minutes or test with a clean knife, insert into the middle of the muffin and see if it comes out clean.

This second recipe was inspired by TKM who called me up and ask if i have any muffin recipes that contains ooey gooey surprise filling inside.  I tested this one out, and it turns out to be surprisingly, a success! Peer reviewed by lab people also, and feedbacks were positive.  I am also providing a healthy (in blue) and a "normal"  (in red) measurements for some selective ingredients.

Chocolate Muffin with Surprise Ooey Gooey Cream Cheese Filling

Cream cheese filling: 
1 package cream cheese (please do not use light or reduced fat!!)
¾ C to 1 1/4  Cup sugar, on the low side if you want less sweet, but can go up to 1 1/4C, but more than that you need to go see a diabetes doctor!
1 egg
1/2 tsp vanilla essence
A splash of lemon juice, and can add some (~1/2tsp) shaved lemon rind if you so desire (I usually do).
1/2C chocolate chip morsels (optional)

Beat cream cheese and sugar until smooth.  Add lemon juice and rind, vanilla, beat some more.  Add in egg and beat thoroughly.  (for your filling, can add some semi sweet chocolate morsels at this point, if so desire, and fold it in evenly)

Cup Cake recipe:
Use your favorite cupcake recipe, or the following:
1 ¼ cup flour
1 to 1 1/2 C sugar
1/3   C unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
½ C milk and ½ C water (total of 1 C fluids)
1 tsp of instant coffee (in 2tbsp hot water)
1/3 C Vege oil or melted butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
A dash of salt

Mix flour, sugar cocoa, baking powder and salt (dry ingredients).  Then add in the 1 cup of fluids (milk and water), coffee mixture and vanilla extract.  Stir well until blended, or slow mix it briefly with blender.

Fill in muffin tin with 1/2 of the cupcake batter, layer in 1 tbsp or so of the cream cheese filling, and top it off with a little bit more of the cupcake batter.  You can probably play around the ratio and try ½ and ½ of batter and cream cheese.  
Don’t forget to pre-heat oven at 350 degC and bake for about 20-25 minutes.  Check with a knife in the middle to see if its runny, just like any cake recipe!  But also remember, the cream cheese will continue cooking and settle once cooled.  You don’t want to overbake your batter and let that dry out.  And voila, a favorite in the family!


The next recipe is one of the most versatile recipe for autumn, especially after an apple picking trip with your family, and you don't know why in the world you picked 20 lbs of apples!?!!  Here's one scenario on how to get rid of all the apples your 3 year old picked:

Baked Spiced Apples with Oats and Walnut Crumble (with a surprise melted brie layer - optional)

A spin off of the traditional apple crumble, do this individually on a ramekin to make it a custom size dessert for anytime of the day.

Oats and Walnut crumble:
2/3 C packed brown sugar
1/2 C flour
1/2 C uncooked instant oats
1/2 C crushed walnuts (just ziplock back the nuts and pound them like crazy Madea with your wine bottle)
3/4 tsp cinnamon
3/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground ginger
3/4 stick cold butter
always, a pinch of salt

Here's the secret, once you made your crumble, you are good as gold! ziplock bag what is not used and freeze it in your freezer.  Pull it out and use it anytime when you have a small serving size of fruits that you would like to bake and top it off with!  Heaven!!!

So, for the apples, however many apples you want to prepare, slice them up, toss them with just a little bit of sugar, or if you think they are sweet enough, just leave them as is and pile them up into your individual ramekins, place a slice of brie cheese (optional), and top it off with the crumble toppings you just made.  Place ramekin(s) into a preheated 350 deg F oven and bake for ~15 minutes, or 25 minutes if you have 4 ramekins in the oven. Serve with a scoop of vanilla, and lets call it an all American dessert for a lovely autumn snack or dessert.  Enjoy the post!!

1 comment:

  1. Are you using low fat or fat free milk?