Muffins Got the Blues

I know it has been a while since I put up something new. Truth is, we’ve been watching the waistlines around here (or at least trying to), so we decided to give up our weekly homemade treat. That is, until today.

We’ve had some beautiful weather here lately, and Scott and I have been making every attempt to get out in it this long weekend. Sunday’s outing was to a local blueberry farm where you pick your own berries. I’d never been, and now I can’t wait to go back! We came home with 4 pounds of deliciously warm berries (try to resist popping one of those gorgeous and warmed-by-the-sun beauties in your mouth. I dare you!), and my fingers itched to do something with them. I’ve sorted them into two-cup bags for future use. And I came across this beauty of a recipe.

Original recipe is here: http://domesticatedacademic.wordpress.com/2012/07/31/power-muffins-blueberryoatmealyogurtpower/

What You Need

2 cups flour

1 cup oats

2/3 cup sugar

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

½ tsp salt

1 ½ cups plain Greek Yogurt

2 eggs, slightly beaten

2 tbsp butter, melted

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 cup fresh blueberries

And Here’s What You Do

  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Either spray a muffin tin with non-stick spray or line with paper liners
  3. Combine all dry ingredients in a large bowl
  4. Combine all wet ingredients (minus blueberries) in a separate bowl
  5. Carefully fold the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients
  6. Gently fold in the blueberries
  7. Divide batter into muffin tins
  8. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the top is golden and an inserted toothpick comes out clean

What I Did

The original recipe calls for rolled or quick-cooking oats. I only had old fashioned oats, so that is what I used. I feel that it gives a certain heartiness to the texture. It also called for honey Greek yogurt, but since I knew that I would have leftover yogurt, and I’m more prone to eat the plain, that is what I went with. I also kept a few blueberries back to stick on the tops of the muffins right before they went into the oven. I topped each one off with a small sprinkling of sparkle sugar, and I’m very pleased with the way that they turned out!

Don’t expect a runny or thin batter. Due to the high water content of the berries, the batter alone needs to be a little on the dry and sticky side. And be patient getting the ingredients combined. Just when you think that all of the flour has been incorporated into the wet ingredients, you find another little pocket. Just keep gently working at it, and you will eventually get there.

It will look something like this:

Bit dry

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Scott and I split one right after the first pan came out of the oven, and we both agreed that they were delightful. The muffin itself is not terribly sweet, having to balance the sweetness of the berries. The moisture from the berries also does a fine job of getting through the batter, so don’t worry about dry muffins. I assure you, they will turn out just fine.

I’m waiting on the reaction from coworkers, as the muffins will be making their way to my work in the morning. I figure that everyone needs a little pick-me-up coming back to work after a three day weekend.

There really should be more of those.  Three day weekends AND blueberry muffins.

Glorious!

Until Next Time,

Peace, Love, and Cupcakes

Salted Caramel Pumpkin Muffins

So, yes.  I’m still on the pumpkin.  But these were a special request from one of my sisters-from-another-mother.  I had the privilege of throwing her a baby shower this past weekend, and I knew that these would be the perfect addition to the party.

Original recipe is here: http://www.lemontreedwelling.com/2013/09/salted-caramel-pumpkin-muffins.html

 

What You Need

2 cups sugar

1 cups brown sugar

¾ cups veggie oil

1 ½ tsp baking soda

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp salt

½ tsp allspice

½ tsp cinnamon

½ tsp nutmeg

½ tsp ginger

1 15 oz can pumpkin puree

2 eggs

3 ½ cups flour

1/3 cup water

  1. Beat together the sugars and oil in a large mixing bowl until well blended.
  2. Mix in the baking soda, baking powder, salt, and spices until well combined.
  3. Add the pumpkin and eggs and mix thoroughly
  4. Stir in the flour and water
  5. Divide batter evenly among 24 regular sized muffin tins, greased or lined with paper liners. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes.
  6. Cool muffins and top with salted caramel glaze

 

Salted Caramel Glaze

4 tbsp (1/2 stick) butter, cut into chunks

½ cup packed light brown sugar

1/3 cup fat free half and half

½ tsp vanilla extract

1 cup powdered sugar

Salt

  1. Melt together the butter, brown sugar, half & half and vanilla extract in a medium saucepan.
  2. Over medium heat, stir until mixture comes to a full boil.  Boil 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat.
  3. Let stand 2-3 minutes and cool slightly.  Gradually add powdered sugar and stir until mixture is thickened, but still pourable.
  4. Pour over muffins to glaze.  Top with sea salt.

 

What I Did

I had all the ingredients for the muffins, but I was short on half and half.  I looked up good substitutions on the good old interwebs, and improvised.  Light soymilk and a little extra butter work just fine in place of the half and half, thank you very much!  I don’t know that anyone would have been able to tell the difference.

photo (4)

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Pumpkin and salted caramel combined are the makings of something truly wonderful!  They truly are all the wonderful parts of fall wrapped up into one tasty little package.  These taste exactly like you think they would taste, no lie!

If you ignore all other pumpkin recipes this fall, this is definitely one that you need to try!

Until Next Time,

Peace, Love, and Cupcakes

Pumpkin Muffins – Fall is Here!

Okay, so fall is sorta here.  In Florida, fall means the evenings are mostly nice, and you won’t feel like you need a shower the minute you step outside.  I sometimes miss the week of fall weather that I used to have in Alaska…

Maybe I just need to move.

Anyway, the arrival of fall kicks off the season of my favorite flavors – pumpkin, spice, caramel, peppermint, cranberry etc.  I love pumpkin in pretty much anything, and I’ve seen this recipe kicked around a few times in Weight Watchers cookbooks, in Hungry Girl emails, and I decided it was time to give them a try.

Here’s What You Need:

1 18.25 oz yellow cake mix

1 15 oz can of pumpkin

And Here’s What You Do:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Mix ingredients together (hand mixer will do, or a spoon and elbow grease).  Line a standard muffin tin with paper liners.  Divide the batter equally amongst the 12 liners.  Bake 20-25 minutes.
What I Did:

Not one to just stick with one idea, I decided to make three (yes, three) different versions of this recipe.  I bought yellow, chocolate, and spice cake mixes (Oh, and for those of you who read my post about the chocolate toffee cookies a few weeks ago, yes, they do make cake mixes that big.  But Walmart does not carry them.  Publix does.)  and three cans of pumpkin.

Mix, mix, mix…

I also bought myself a cookie scoop.  It looks like a small ice cream scoop, but it’s bigger than a melon baller.  It’s awesome. As you can see by the picture, It makes lovely round balls of batter.

It also makes for more uniform portions.  It’s my new best friend!

Anyway, these little beauties came out of the oven and filled our humble abode with the delightful smells of fall.  We dug into them (because we have to test for quality!) and immediately fell in love!  I think the best part is that they are pretty much GUILT FREE!!!  No eggs, no oil, and you can make them gluten free because I saw gluten free cake mixes (how seriously cool is that?)

Scott allowed me to take some to work.  I think I took 24 to work with me.   They were gone in 30 minutes.
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Three people at work told me today that they too had made the muffins over the weekend, and marveled at how easy they are to make.  Yayy!!!  I love hearing people trying out recipes that I’ve shared with them!!!

I will definitely hang on to this recipe.  It’s crazy easy, and you can’t really mess it up, unless you burn them, and that’s not great.  Burned pumpkin is not a fantastic smell.

Until next time,

Peace, Love, and Cupcakes