Saturday, January 31, 2015

Nutty Cream Carrot Muffins

Wow! Three days in a row I'm here. When I looked around my blog, I noticed this entry, still in draft. I never posted it even though I wrote it back in 2013. It's not too late. So without further ado, Here are wonderfully decadent cream cheese and nut covered carrot muffins. These were so heavenly right out of the oven! The soft cream cheese topping was melt in your mouth goodness atop these beautiful, tall muffins!
The nuts were only on top, with the cream cheese, but the orange and carrot showed everywhere else!
This was a recipe out of "Company's Coming Mostly Muffins" page 43. I'll share the recipe since it was so good.

Nutty Cream Carrot Muffins recipe
4 oz. Block of cream cheese
1/4 cup sour cream
4 tsp white sugar
1/4 cup finely chopped walnuts

1 3/4 cups white flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt

2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups finely grated carrot
1 cup soured milk (1 Tbsp. lemon juice with milk to make 1 cup)
3 Tbsp. frozen concentrated orange juice, thawed (I used 1 Tbsp. orange rind and 2 Tbsp. orange juice)
3 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1 tsp. vanilla

Topping: Combine first 3 ingredients in small bowl. Add walnuts. Stir. Set aside.

Measure next 5 ingredients into large bowl. Stir. Make a well in centre.

Combne remaining 6 ingredients in medium bowl. Add to well. Stir until just moistened. Fill 12 greased muffin cups full. Spread about 1 Tbsp. cream cheese mixture on each muffin. Bake in 375 degree oven for 18 to 20 minutes until a wooden toothpick comes out clean. Let stand in pan for 5 minutes before removing to wire rack to cool. Makes 12 muffins.

Note: in the future, I will not convect bake these. I'll use regular bake so the muffins rise straight up. On convect bake, they went a little lop-sided. Terrific muffins though!

Friday, January 30, 2015

Perfect Pumpkin Loaf

Perfect. That's a word I reserve for something very special. My friend brought this loaf to our weekly gathering and it was so good I almost ate half a loaf! I bugged her until she revealed the recipe to me. She could not remember where she got it either, but I'm passing it on to you because it is something that needs to be shared. I hope it turns out as delicious for you. Her original recipe used 3 1/4 cups of all purpose flour but I changed 1 cup to whole wheat with good results.
Perfect Pumpkin Loaf - yields 2 loaves
2 ¼ cups flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
2 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. cinnamon
½ tsp. nutmeg
½ tsp. allspice
½ tsp. ginger

1 ¾ cups pumpkin
1 cup oil
1 cup white sugar
2 cups brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
2/3 cup water
4 eggs
1 ½ cups chocolate chips

Grease two large loaf pans.

Whisk together the flours, soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and ginger in a small bowl.

Whisk together the pumpkin and oil in a large bowl. Add the sugars and whisk again. Add eggs, one at a time, whisking after each addition. Add vanilla and water and whisk again. Stir in chocolate chips. Fold in dry ingredients.

Bake 1 hour and 20 minutes at 350°F or until a toothpick comes out clean. If using convection oven, reduce heat to 325°F.

Cool in pans for 15 minutes and then turn out onto wire racks to cool completely.
See what happens when you leave it to cool? Your hungry husband comes home and "tastes" only a "little corner"! He promptly got yelled at and apologies were made, but the perfect loaf was just a little corner less than perfect! 
No big deal. It was, of course, delicious! I'm still trying to figure out if it was the allspice or the ginger that made it so much yummier than any pumpkin thing I've made before... I'll have to do some testing. Sounds like a tasty thing to do.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Three Flours Bread

Hello once again! I'm returning today because of a night of movie watching. That's right, a movie made me blog again. The movie was Julie and Julia - the movie where Julie writes a blog about doing every recipe from the cookbook by Julia Child. I had seen it before but it inspired me again so here I am!

Today's loaf was again from my big bread cookbook. It is called "Three Flours Bread" on page 205. It made me two nice big loaves. I personally call it "Soy Bread" because it has white flour, whole wheat flour and soy flour as the three flours. Since we are used to the taste of the other two, the soy flour stood out. It is a fine loaf of bread and the recipe worked wonderfully well. My family ate it with no difference, except for the eldest, who preferred my usual bread. I did find this bread was quite crumbly and soft. It is much sweeter than the bread we're used to but nobody complained about that!
It looks really pretty, doesn't it?