Tag Archives: bake

Peanut Butter Pumpkin Muffins

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I guess I was on a muffin kick? A pumpkin kick? A baking kick? Some type of kick…a sweet kick, that’s it! Yes, as I procrastinated studying for my Econ test, I was on a baking kick. Plus, I needed a quick breakfast that I could grab on my way out to the car. Plus, I had a lot of pumpkin puree (overstocked for Thanksgiving…). PLUS I love peanut butter. And almond butter. And pistachio butter. AND these little things are actually pretty healthy- about 230ish kcal and 5/6g protein per muffin.

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ANYWAYS.

Here’s a wonderful recipe that I got from food52. I changed it up a little to lower the calories a tad. But boy, did they come out well!

Ingredients-

  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 2tablespoons toasted wheat germ
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 cup vanilla almond milk
  • 3tablespoons peanut butter
  • 1teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon honey

Directions-

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Put cupcake liners into 9 cupcake tins.

In a large mixing bowl combine the white flour, wheat flour, wheat germ, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, sugar and brown sugar. Set aside.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the almond milk, peanut butter, vanilla extract, pumpkin puree, egg, and honey.

Gradually mix in the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients by hand. No hand mixer involved! Mix until there are no visible dry bits left, be careful not to over mix (how many times have I said the word “mix” in the last two lines?).

Scoop enough batter into each tin so that it’s 3/4 (or almost all of the way) full.

Bake in a middle rack for 20-25 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Remove to a cooling rack immediately.

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Enjoy! Here’s a link to the yummly link to it…I can’t find it on the actual food52  blog! This will have to suffice :p

http://www.yummly.com/recipe/external/Peanut-butter-pumpkin-muffins-332658

 

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Peanut Butter Banana Muffins

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As I mentioned in a previous post, I recently got my driver’s license. What does this mean? Driving to school! What does THAT mean? Parking at a farm that’s at least a 5 minute walk from campus! What does that mean? Leaving the house at 6:40a so I can get a good parking space so it’s a 5 minute walk, not a 15 minute walk! And finally, what does THAT mean? Breakfast on the go!

What will I ever do without my overnight oats, or my ezekiel bread with almond butter and yogurt? Hmmm…as I pondered this idea, I started to crave a pastry. But not just any pastry. An awesome breakfast: muffins. And it just so happened I had some peanut butter on hand…and some really ripe bananas…

BAM. Breakfast and a happy Nica. And these muffins happen to be: huge, jam packed with protein (about 4 or 5g), low calorie (190kcal/muffin), and delicious! It’s the best all of the dimensions of the world of baking. So, without any further hesitation…

This recipe was adapted from the blog Crumb. Original link is at the bottom.

Ingredients-

  • 3 medium mashed bananas (about 7′)
  • ½ cup peanut butter (like Jif)
  • ½ cup honey
  • ½ cup plain yogurt (I used Fage total 0%)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup all purpose flour
  • ¾ cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp cinnamon

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400°F. Put 10 cupcake liners in cupcake tins.

In a large bowl, beat together the mashed bananas, peanut butter, honey, yogurt, egg, and vanilla until smooth.

In a smaller bowl, mix together the flours, baking power/soda, salt, and cinnamon. Add the dry to the wet ingredients, and stir until just barely combined. Don’t over stir! Divide the batter among the prepared cups; they should be pretty filled.

Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick stuck in the middle of a muffin comes out with moist crumbs. Let cool in the pan for about 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling completely. Store in air tight container. These muffins taste especially good when toasted.

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Enjoy! Here’s the original link-

http://www.crumbblog.com/2011/10/love-me-tender-peanut-butter-and-banana-muffins.html#ixzz2oFJwm2dw

Pumpkin Biscotti

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…So I may have gotten a bit too much pumpkin for Thanksgiving. But how could I not? I love pumpkin! It’s so delicious; it provides that subtle fall taste that I love. But I needed to make something out of these cans of pumpkin puree that I had sitting in my pantry. And as I mentioned in an earlier post, I made little cookie baskets for friends and teacher and such. BAM. Pumpkin Biscotti. I like biscotti because it’s a cookie, but it of course has that classic crunchy texture that’s perfect for morning coffee. Or, you could always just use it as a spoon for ice cream. Which would be pretty awesome, as well. Point is, biscotti is a great treat for whenever, is pretty simple (and fun!) to make, and is way too easy to eat. And pumpkin? Who said pumpkin puree had to be limited exclusively to fall? It’s the first day of winter, and I’m posting this pumpkin recipe and you should all make it because pumpkin is underrated! So there.

Anyways, a note on this biscotti. It is adapted from Simply Recipes, author Garrett McCord. The link is at the bottom. The recipe says it only makes 15 biscotti, but that means it only makes 15 long, 7′ inch biscotti. I made about 40 mini biscotti out of this recipe, so don’t hesitate to make this recipe if you think you won’t get that many cookies out of it. You will…

Ingredients!

  • 2 1/2 cups of flour
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg
  • Pinch of ginger
  • Pinch of cloves
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup of pumpkin purée
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 4 oz semisweet chocolate, melted (for drizzling on top) 

How to: 

Preheat oven to 350°F. Mix together the flour, salt, sugar, baking powder, and spices into a large bowl.

In another bowl, whisk together the eggs, pumpkin purée, and vanilla extract. Pour the pumpkin mixture into the flour mixture. Mix together the ingredients with a hand mixer on low, until JUST mixed. 

Lightly grease a baking sheet or line it with parchment paper. Form the dough into 2 log, roughly about 15 inches by 2.5 inches. The loaves should be relatively flat, only about 1/2 inch high. Bake for about 15-20 minutes, or until the center is firm to the touch (but not too firm! Just not gooey and soft). 

Let biscotti cool for 15 minutes and then using a serrated knife (a bread knife. Trust me. Use a bread knife. You’ll think “Oh, I’ll just use whatever knife I have. WRONG. Bad idea. Bread knife.) cut into 3/4 inch- 1 inch wide pieces. Turn the oven to 300 F and bake for an additional 15-20 minutes. Cool completely. Drizzle chocolate over biscotti. 

Biscotti may be still a tad moist and chewy, so if you prefer it crisp let it sit uncovered overnight in a dry space. 

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Enjoy! Here’s the link to the original recipe: 

http://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/pumpkin_biscotti/

Dark Chocolate Crackle Cookies

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So this holiday season, despite the workload, I wanted to make cookies for people to show how much I appreciated them. So, I put together tiny chinese takeout boxes (that were Christmas patterned) of four cookies: classic peanut butter cookies, pumpkin biscotti, classic sugar cookies, and these dark chocolate crackle cookies. These cookies are a twist on regular chocolate-chocolate cookies; instead of using white sugar, it only uses brown sugar in the batter. Instead of being overly sweet, white sugar on the outside compliments the cookie. The cookie also uses orange zest, which gives a tiny kick and a fresh, citrusy taste. These cookies are perfect for a more mature palette, one that craves something a tiny bit different than the classic chocolate chocolate cookie.

Adapted from Abigail Johnson Dodge from Fine Cooking

Ingredients

  • 2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. table salt
  • 8 oz. (1 cup/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 cups firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 2 oz. (2/3 cup) natural, unsweetened cocoa, sifted if lumpy
  • 2 tsp. finely grated orange zest
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 3 large eggs
  • 8 oz. bittersweet chocolate, melted and cooled until barely warm ( actually used semisweet and those worked as well)
  • 3/4 cup (4 oz.) chopped chocolate (white, bittersweet, or semisweet, or M&M’s! hehe)
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar; more as needed

Procedure:

Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 350ºF. Line three large cookie sheets with parchment or nonstick baking liners, like the silpat.

In a bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda, and salt. In another bowl, beat the butter, brown sugar, cocoa, orange zest, and vanilla until well combined, about 4 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, beating briefly between additions. Add the cooled chocolate (make sure it’s cooled all the way! You don’t want those eggs to curdle, now do ya?) and mix until blended, about 1 minute. Add the dry ingredients and mix on low speed (so you don’t have a flour explosion!) until almost completely blended, about 1 minute. Add the chopped chocolate and mix until blended, about 15 seconds. Shape the dough into tiny balls, about 2 tsp-1 tbs big.

Pour the granulated sugar into a tiny bowl. Roll each ball in the sugar and set the balls about 1-1/2 inches apart on the prepared cookie sheets. Bake the cookies 11 to 12 minutes, maybe a little more if you’re doing more than one sheet at a time. They’re done when they crackle a little bit on the top, like pictured. Let the cookies cool on the sheet for 5 minutes before transferring them to a rack to cool completely.

Enjoy! Here’s the link to the original recipe:

http://www.finecooking.com/recipes/dark-chocolate-crackles.aspx?nterms=112342,50060

Cheesy Zucchini and Red Onion Flatbread from Bon Appètit

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I love cheese. So much. Brie, cheddar, ricotta, parmesan…the only cheese I don’t really love is bleu or gorgonzola. I mean, they’re alright. But anyways.

I also love bread. Carbs. Can’t get enough of em. Which is saddening, since I never have bread/pasta.

But tonight, I had both. IN ONE FOOD. It was glorious. So I shall share my discovery with you and you will bask in the glory of this cheesy bread.

I found this recipe on yummly.com, which found it on epicurious, which found it in Bon Appètit’s August 2006 edition. I did a couple of modifications 🙂

Ingredients:

  • Nonstick vegetable oil spray
  • 1 10-ounce tube refrigerated pizza dough
  • 3/4 cup garlic-and-herb cheese spread (such as Alouette), divided
  • 3/4 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese, divided
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley, divided
  • 1 small red onion, about 1/4 cup finely chopped
  • 1 7- to 8-inch-long zucchini (yellow or green), chopped up pretty finely.
  • Olive oil

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper; butter the paper. Unroll dough onto parchment. Or if its just a hunk of dough, stretch it out so it’s an 8×8′ squareish shape. Spread half of herb cheese over 1 long half of dough, leaving 1/2-inch plain border. Sprinkle with half of Parmesan and 2 tablespoons parsley. Using parchment as aid, fold plain half of dough over filled half , but don’t seal the edges. Spread remaining herb cheese over top; sprinkle with remaining Parmesan.  Sprinkle the veggies over the top of the bread; in lines or layers or however you please. The original recipe calls for the veggies to be sliced up in circles, but I think it’s way easier and quicker to just chop it all up and throw it on. Presentation is nice, but this is just as pretty. Sprinkle vegetables with oil; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake bread until puffed and deep brown at edges, about 24 minutes. Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon parsley.

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Here’s the original recipe from Epicurious! http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Cheesy-Zucchini-and-Red-Onion-Flatbread-235578#ixzz2jXua1Ang

Hope you enjoy this as much as I did!

Healthy Carrot-Pumpkin Cookies

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Here’s a little sneak peak to how my evening went:

1. food gathering (grocery shopping)

2. failed attempt to make carrot chips (dang it)

3. tried to do a portion of SAT practice test

4. got bored of practice test.

5. Made cookies while watching the Broncos v. Giants game (which was awesome; although the Broncos really need to figure out how to not get a penalty on every freaking defense play. Like, seriously?)

The best part of my night by far was making these cookies. Why, you ask? Well. My mom got a whole freaking bag of carrots for that carrot cake last week. We were left with so. Many. Carrots. I took the challenge to use these carrots. And it turned out very, very well.

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I literally threw a bunch of stuff into a bowl, mixed it up, and it worked out REALLY WELL. Like, I was surprised. But my goodness, they are delicious! .The moisture from the shredded carrot and the pumpkin puree works really well with the flour and oats; they are also naturally sweetened with honey, maple syrup, and dates! These cookies are perfect for snacking or a healthier dessert.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 pinches salt
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 2 cups shredded carrot (about 2 1/2 large carrots, 8ish inches in length)
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree, NOT pie filling
  • 1/4 cup honey*
  • 1/12 cup maple syrup*
  • 1/4 cup oats
  • 1/4 cup chopped dates
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, slightly softened

Procedure:

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Combine the flour, baking soda, salt, and pumpkin pie spice in a bowl and mix. Set aside.

Mix the carrot, pumpkin puree, honey, maple syrup, oats, dates, and butter with a hand mixer until thoroughly combined. Gradually add the flour mixture, beating until well incorporated.

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Lightly butter baking pans and drop tablespoon sized cookies onto the sheets. Flatted slightly with your fingers, but not too much. Just so that they are not huge clumps. On a 11x18ish sheet I was able to fit 25 cookies. Bake about 10 minutes, or until slightly firm in the middle. These are NOT hard, granola-y cookie. These are a soft, moist cookie. Be careful on the baking time.

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Enjoy!

Alton Brown’s Frozen Blueberry Pie

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I went blueberry picking!

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…I picked a lot of blueberries.

12 lbs to be exact. It was extremely fun (even though my mom told me to wear a black shirt so I wouldn’t get stained by blueberries. Bad idea. We were in the sun the whole time) AND extremely rewarding. Blueberries are awesome because you can eat them fresh or frozen, in a muffin, in a pie, in a coffee-cake, in pancakes, in waffles, as a jam….you get the picture. So I made a pie with my grandma’s versatile pie crust recipe and Alton Brown’s frozen pie recipe. The reason it is frozen is because you make it let’s say the night before an occasion, then you pour the filling into a pie mold then you let it freeze for 6-8 hours or over night THEN you pop it out and bake it! It’s awesome because it’s easy and it’s able to be made in advance.

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And it. Was. Amazing. The filling didn’t do any unnecessary oozing when cut; it’s actually easy to cut a slice! And beside a scoop of vanilla ice cream…

You must try this. And no, you don’t need to go blueberry picking and get 12 lbs of blueberries to do it. Without further ado:

Ingredients-

For Pie Crust:

  • 1 1/2 sticks butter, cubed
  • 1/4 cup Crisco, cubed
  • 2 1/3 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 6 tbs ice water

For Filling

  •  4 cups of blueberries
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 5 tbs of tapioca flour/starch
  • 1 tablespoon fresh orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest
  • 1 egg yolk whisked with 1 teaspoon water

How to:

For the filling-

Wash the berries and pat dry. Mash up half of the blueberries in a small bowl.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the sugar, salt and tapioca flour/starch. Add the mashed blueberries, orange juice and orange zest and stir to combine. Let the mixture sit for 15 minutes. Fold in the whole berries.

Line a 9-inch pie plate with aluminum foil. Place the blueberry mixture into the foil and place in the freezer until solid, approximately 6 to 8 hours.

Once the filling is frozen, remove from the aluminum foil and wrap in plastic wrap and store in a freezer bag for up to 3 months.

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For pie crust and baking-
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

For the pie crust-

Combine the flour, salt, crisco, and butter in a food processor. Pulse until the mixture is crumbly. Add the water and process just until a ball forms. Remove from processor and wrap dough in saran wrap and put in the fridge for at least 15 minutes, or until workable. When ready, make sure you have a lot of wax paper and a lot of flour. Rip two big pieces of wax paper and put them on top of each other so that you have a square surface. Lightly flour. Get the dough out of the fridge and unwrap. Cut a third of it off and place back in the fridge. Pound down the remaining dough with a rolling pin until its a bit flatter to work with. Lightly flour the surface and rip another piece of wax paper and place on top. Roll out the dough in a circular fashion until it is about 3/16 of an inch thick. Or until you know that when you invert it into the pie pan, the dough reaches the lip of the pie pan. Which brings me to the next task: Place a 9 inch pie pan face down on the dough. Slide one hand under the dough to the center of the pie pan. Invert the dough into the pie pan. Once flipped, make sure dough is pressed down against pan in all places. Trip excess of crust and throw in the fridge with the remaining dough. Now, this is the important part: stab all of the dough with a fork. Seriously. My Grandma says she NEVER uses pie weights; just stab it to death with a fork.

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With the remaining dough, roll it out in the same fashion, but more lengthwise so you can cut 6 equal strips of dough to form the basket-like structure. Remove the frozen pie filling from the freezer and place into the prepared dough in the pan. Lightly brush the edge of the crust with the egg yolk. Lay 4 strips of dough across the top of the filling horizontally, leaving an even amount of space in between each strip. Fold back 2 alternating strips and lay down another strip in the middle of the pie, perpendicular to the other strips. Return the strips that are laid back to their original position. Next, fold back the other 2 strips and lay down a strip to the left of the center perpendicular strip. Return the strips that are laid back to their original position and repeat on the other side of the perpendicular strip, folding back the same 2 strips as you did on the other side. Once you have a lattice, brush all the strips of dough with the egg yolk, trim excess dough and pinch strips and edge of crust in order to seal. Place on the bottom rack of the oven and bake for about 1 hour 15 minutes. The pie should be bubbling lightly around the edges. If the lattice is not browned enough in the center, place under the broiler for 1 to 2 minutes.

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Place the pie on a rack and allow to cool to room temperature before serving, approximately 1 1/2 to 2 hours.

 

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Place the pie on a rack and allow to cool to room temperature before serving, approximately 1 1/2 to 2 hours.

Devour with vanilla ice cream.

Here’s Alton Brown’s original recipe!

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/frozen-blueberry-pie-recipe/index.html