Begorrathon 2015: Irish Apple Cake

Welcome to another little entry for Begorrathon in celebration of Ireland month over at The Fluff is Raging and 746 Books.

As you may have realized, I’m a little rusty on everything Irish.  The only think I know is St. Patty’s Day and that is today 😉 And that a ton of people like to go to the Irish pubs here and drink. Well, I’m not going to drink tonight since I do have work tomorrow but last night I did manage to make a little desserts.  Pinterest called it an Irish Apple Cake so I’m going to assume its traditional to some sense and that it works for this 😉 I’m thinking of making an actual main dish this weekend, just because its really kicked up some cooking and baking juices that I desperately have been needing.

IRISH APPLE CAKE

Serves: 12

Irish Apple Cake

Fresh out of the oven

Irish Apple Cake

The crumbly texture and abundance of apples

You can find the recipe here: http://thekitchenmccabe.com/2014/03/07/irish-apple-cake-with-custard-sauce/

The original cake is supposed to be in a cake pan but last night, my cake pan vanished.  Nowhere to be seen.  Maybe I moved it to my own home.  So I took the what I think is called the Angel food cake pan.  Still, it did the job, right? It did have a little accident as I tried to put it on a plate and broke apart but all is well, still edible 🙂

As usual, there are few changes:

  • Flour: gluten-free flour
  • Ground cloves replaced with allspice
  • 3 (instead of 4) Granny Smith apples: probably because I didn’t chop them into small enough pieces
  • Milk: Cashew milk (trying this new one from Earth’s Own)
  • Omitted custard sauce (we’re not huge fans and I need someone to actually eat the cake)

Irish Apple cake

Irish Apple Cake works extremely well with gluten-free flour.  If you haven’t used GF flour before, its a lot drier than all-purpose and thats why making fruity cakes work really well.  Maybe not exactly dried fruits but I mean, fresh fruits.  This one was so abundant with apples that it actually kept the flavor well.  I’m going to admit that the Robin Hood Gluten-Free Flour I’m using now and that whole beetroot base is definitely an acquired taste (I’m still working on acquiring it).  Which comes to my point that because this one had so many apples, it didn’t have as much floury taste and that worked to its favor.  I also love the crumbly texture and its even more so because its with the drier GF flour.

There’s a whole lot to love about this Irish Apple Cake.  I’m guess if I cut the apples into smaller pieces, I’d have 4 apples and it would work out even better. Although a little more time consuming because you need to cut the butter into little pieces (maybe because I don’t have those fancy tools).  It could also use with a little less sugar.  Maybe half cup would do if you don’t like baked goods too sweet. Pretty much, this recipe is relatively easy to make.  Just budget some time in to cut in the butter and peeling and chopping the apples, everything else is straight forward.  Believe me on one thing, when the house smells like this apple cake, all the prep work is worth it 🙂

Any other recipes to suggest? What fresh fruits do you like in baked goods?

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day!

Begorrathon 2015: Irish Soda Bread

To celebrate the wealth and breadth and general awesomeness of Irish cultural life,746 Books and The Fluff is Raging are co-hosting a month-long cultural celebration of all things Irish. – The Fluff is Raging

Begorrathon is also called Ireland month and it runs throughout March.  I don’t know a whole lot about Irish culture.  The only thing I know is Saint Patrick’s Day and I don’t even celebrate that with friends.  Well, this year, the celebrations are more than sitting at home (at least) but going to see Cinderella with my girl friends.

Still, I wanted to contribute with something a little different and challenge myself at a few recipes.  The first challenge is in my more polished domain, baking an Irish Soda Bread (although you wouldn’t believe that based on this recipe).  Now, this is a little challenging because I had to somewhat research the components of an Irish Soda Bread and wonder if I got it right because I’ve never tasted it before… Tell me, what does Irish Soda Bread taste like? I guess I’ll find out.

I’m completely unfamiliar with Irish cuisine so please don’t judge the appearance…

IRISH SODA BREAD

Irish Soda Bread

Recipe inspired by Frugal feeding and you can find it right HERE.  Click through to see the recipe I used for this Irish Soda Bread with a little tweaks of my own (listed further down).

Outer appearance is not quite so important since the interior looks alright.

Irish Soda Bread

The main difference probably is that Frugal feeding’s recipe uses wholemeal flour and I only had all-purpose.  I wonder if gluten-free would’ve made it better.  Maybe I’ll try that on a second attempt.

The texture was actually pretty good and the taste was decent for something that had nothing other than honey and some homemade buttermilk (found online HERE!) I’m actually not sure about that because I’m lactose-intolerant, I had to change milk to almond milk. I think it might have made a difference also.

Tons of substitutes for ingredients in this one but in the end, it smelled good as it was baking.  Despite looking not so great, the bread tasted relatively appealing.  I thought it would taste weird and it didn’t. Thats a plus! Guess I can’t always judge the ingredients and predict what will come out.

 

I’m definitely planning on giving this a second go.  I had a bit of trouble with the consistency and I really want to figure it out. I enjoy exploring different recipes so that helps.

For those you who have tried Irish Soda Bread, what is the actual texture and taste supposed to be like? Can you describe it just to see if mine was actually successful?

Plus, I have at least one more Irish recipe I’m planning on trying out this weekend, once I decide on what.  I just saw an Irish Whiskey Cake some other blogger had posted.  Is that something I should do or should I go with a main meal/dish (which was my original plan)?

Remember to go check out Begorrathon over at The Fluff is Raging.  Just in case you don’t want to go up and get the link, its right HERE! Explore the Irish culture by checking out all those fantastic posts.  I still have a bit of catching up myself but from what I’ve seen, its pure awesomeness!

Baking: Cranberry Scones!

More cranberries!

I’m about to give up on this, but then I only have 3/4 pouch left.  So, after talking about making scones for weeks, here I am! I dug out a recipe on Martha Stewart site (a place I haven’t ventured to in a long time) and made these 🙂

cranberry scones

You can find the recipe here: http://www.marthastewart.com/338474/cranberry-scones

There were a few modifications to the recipe.

  • As usual, I used Gluten-Free flour because thats all I have now. And its a lifestyle I’m working on. There is one thing to note about gluten-free anything is that it makes baked goods slightly more dry and in the case of an already pretty dry baked goods, like scones, there needs to be some moderation if you like.
  • I estimated the amount of butter, mostly because I only had two little slabs left so I could only work with what I had…
  • Half and half means milk and cream.  I used almond milk (2/3 cup) and then instead of cream, I used raspberry yogourt.  I would have preferred to use vanilla but it was a choice between raspberry and blueberry.

cranberry scones

The scones tasted good but I’m guessing because of the gluten-free flours, it felt even more dry than it usually would.  The cranberries added a burst of flavor and there were still hints of the raspberry yogourt in there which really helped.  However, I’d say it was a success because matched with tea in the morning, it was pretty good 🙂

I don’t make scones often so there’s still a lot of improvement that I can make on this.

Do you like scones? What do you like to add to it? 

I still have one more cranberry baking adventure. Any suggestions?

Baking: Oatmeal Cranberry Cookies (with Chocolate Chips)

I’m starting to have gotten all those fresh cranberries.  I’m at the last stretch to try and finish it before it gets too ripe to make anything.  In heart of making cranberry scones, somehow I changed my plan as I was flipping through recipes and decides to make oatmeal cookies instead.

I adapted this recipe from Butter’s Baked Goods  by Rosie Daykins.  This originally was with pecans and white chocolate chips.  I removed the pecans from the recipe below but if you ever want to use it, just ask and I’ll send you the full recipe 🙂

Note that I made two different ones.  In the first dozen, I made it with just cranberries and in the second one, for my boyfriend, I added in chocolate chips.

Oatmeal cranberries cookies

Just Cranberries

Oatmeal Cranberry Cookies

Ingredients

Makes 24 cookies

*2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
*1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup butter, room temperature
1 1/4 cups dark brown sugar
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
*1 tsp pure vanilla
1 1/2 cups large-flake rolled oats
*2/3 cup white chocolate chips
*2/3 cup dried cranberries
Oatmeal Cranberry Cookies

With Chocolate Chips

1. Preheat oven to 350F.

2. Onto a large piece of parchment paper, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt  Set aside.

3. In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and both sugars on medium to high speed until light and fluffy.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl.

4. Add the eggs one at a time and beat briefly after each addition.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the vanilla and beat again to combine.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl.

5. Turn the mixer to low and add the dry ingredients and the oats and mix until combined.  Add the white chocolate chips and cranberries and mix again to fully distribute.

6 Use the ice cream scoop to drop 24 equally sized portions of dough onto the prepared cookie sheets, about 1 1/2 inches apart.  Use the palm of your hand to press down lightly on the top of each cookie to flatten slightly.

7. Bake in the preheated oven for 15 to 17 minutes or until lightly golden around the edges and slightly soft in the center.

8. Remove from the oven and transfer to wire racks to cool completely.

patmeal cranberries cookies

Lets start with modifications, as usual:

  • Omit baking powder and vanilla.  I really should remember to buy them when I do groceries…
  • Gluten-free flour instead of regular all-purpose flour
  • Semi-sweet Chocolate Chips instead of white chocolate chips
  • Fresh cranberries instead of dried cranberries (I added about 1 cup instead of the 2/3 cup)

I haven’t made oatmeal cookies in so long that I forgot how delicious they were.  Plus, it is one of the simplest things to make.  These were perfect.  Plus, the whole fresh cranberries adds this tart taste to it which balances out the flavors a little.  My boyfriend isn’t a cranberry fan but the chocolate chips were great.  Next modification will be making a batch with just chocolate chip oatmeal cookies.

The only change I would make is to add some nuts in.  I’m sure it would add an even better texture to it 🙂

Any oatmeal cookie fans? Any suggestions for what to make with fresh cranberries? 

Baking: Cranberry Bread!

Ever since last year around Christmas/December, I’ve been on the lookout for fresh cranberries.  Its great to make cranberry sauce if I had to make a turkey for the holidays. For baking, fresh cranberries may be more sour than dried ones but its so much more moist or just better texture when using fresh stuff.  That is why I bought three pouches of cranberries so after having a dessert that I did for New Year’s Eve with my best friend (forgot to take pictures), I still have room for some more baking adventures. The first one that I chose is Cranberry Bread!

cranberry bread

This is a variation of the Pumpkin Bread that I posted before HERE taken from Betty Crocker’s Christmas Cookbook.

Cranberry Bread

Makes 1 loaf of 9×5 inch pan

Ingredients:

1 2/3 cups sugar
2/3 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup milk
*2 tsp grated orange peel
*2 tsp vanilla
*4 eggs
*3 cups all purpose or whole wheat flour
*2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
*1/2 cup coarsely chopped nuts
3 cups fresh or frozen cranberries (thawed and drained)
1. Move oven rack to low position so that top of pan will be in center of oven.  Heat oven to 350F.  Grease bottom of pan with shortening or cooking spray (I use oil).

2. In large bowl, stir sugar, oil, milk, vanilla and eggs until well mixed.  Stir in remaining ingredients except nuts and cranberries.  Stir in cranberries and nuts.

3. Bake for 1 hour 10 minutes to 1 hour 20 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.  Cool 10 minutes in pan or wire rack.

4. Loosen sides of loaves from pan; remove from pan to wire rack.  Cool completely, about 2 hours, before slicing.  Wrap tightly and store in room temperature up to 4 days or refrigerate up to 10 days.

cranberry bread

Some modifications:

  • Didn’t have so omitted: baking soda, grated orange peel, vanilla.
  • Misread so didn’t add in chopped nuts.
  • Substitute almond milk instead of regular milk
  • Substitute flour with gluten-free flour
  • Used 3 eggs instead of 4

This cranberry bread was pretty good.  It was moist and very fluffy.  The cranberries are a little sour so I used vanilla yogourt with it and it actually turned out pretty good. A very simple recipe and easy to put together.  Loved it!

How do you use fresh cranberries? Loved to hear your ideas.  I need to use up 1.5 pouches of it 🙂

Pumpkin Pancakes!

My boyfriend and I don’t spend a lot of time making breakfast together in the mornings because of our work schedules but we totally love making breakfast style dinners.  Usually it involves potatoes and sausages and eggs.  On Sunday, I had this sudden craving for pumpkin pancakes.  Don’t ask me why.  Maybe its because I remembered I had a can of canned pumpkin or maybe it was looking through the Looneyspoons recipe book and finding the recipe for pumpkin pancakes but he agreed with the idea and after I mixed up the batter, he cooked it (because he’s better at it than I am).

As mentioned before, this is from the Looneyspoons collection cookbook. After the recipe, I’ll talk about the changes I did.

pumpkin pancakes

Pumpkin Pancakes

Makes 12 medium pancakes

*1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
*1 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
*1/2 tsp each baking soda and salt
*1 can evaporated milk
1 cup canned pure pumpkin
1/4 cup brown sugar (not packed)
2 eggs
2 tbsp butter, melted
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup each vanilla-flavored yogurt and pure maple syrup1. Preheat griddle to medium-high heat.  Combine both flours, baking powder, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda and salt in a large bowl.  Mix well. In a medium bowl, whisk together milk, pumpkin, sugar, eggs, butter and vanilla.

2. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and stir just until dry ingredients are moistened.

3. Spoon batter by 1/3 cupfuls onto preheated griddle that has been lightly coated with cooking spray.  Gently spread batter to about a 4 inch diameter.  Cook for about 1 1/2 minutes per side, or until pancakes are golden brown and cooked through.  Be careful not to burn them.  Serve immediately topped with vanilla yogurt and maple syrup.

pumpkin pancakes

As any recipes, I worked with what was available to me.  You will notice changes or omissions shown with  the asterisks (*).  In this one, the only omission with baking soda.  I know its sad that I don’t have any at home. Other than that, all-purpose flour and wheat flour was replaced by gluten-free all-purpose flour. Pumpkin pie spice was replaced with allspice. The evaporated milk was replace by 1 cup almond milk.  I only topped with vanilla-flavored yogurt and my boyfriend only topped it with maple syrup.

Another change would be that I don’t have a griddle so no preheating of that.  I just put together the batter and made it in a non-stick pan. We also always have a problem with the thickness of the batter so we always have to add more milk or water to make it a little more liquid.

I love pumpkin pancakes (although I should try making other flavors eventually). This one was pretty good. It wasn’t too sweet and it tasted a little of pumpkins and all that.  It was fluffy and delicious 🙂 How else do you describe pancakes anyways? I thought they were really great and its easy to put together. Plus, vanilla yogurt is absolutely awesome as a topping and I’m not a huge fan of it to begin with.

Do you like pancakes? 

BBQ Dessert: Apple Brownies

The past Sunday was an evening at my girl friend’s place for BBQ.  Her and her husband both provided the main meals and we each had to bring a little something.  As always, I never pass up the chance to bake.  I’ve been craving the opportunity to bake but with moving and Fantasia and work, it just didn’t fit in.

Usually, I’d flip through my crazy amounts of cookbooks and dig something out but this time, I decided to go search on the internet for Summer desserts for BBQ. Among a list of 10 recipes or whatnot, I decided on this one: APPLE BROWNIES!

Ever since I’ve become intolerable of chocolate, I’ve pretty much stayed away from brownies.  And before that, I wasn’t much of a baker so I never ate a lot of that anyways.  Either way, I’ve never heard of Apple Brownies.  So I was curious about how they would turn out.

Here’s what it looked it out fresh out of the oven!

Apple Brownies

Fresh out of the oven!

If you are interested in trying this out, you can find the recipe following this link:

http://www.beyondkimchee.com/apple-brownies/

Making Apple Brownie is pretty quick and simple.  The most time consuming part might chopping up the apples.  I did this all without an electric mixer and it still turned out rather well.  They asked for a 9×13 inch pan however mine is 0.5 inch longer and wider so the brownies were thinner than they asked for, I believe. However, it tasted pretty good.

Apple Brownie

There are a few modifications that were made to the recipe.

  • Omit vanilla (ran out)
  • Used gluten-free flour (Cloud 9’s from Costco)
  • Omit baking soda (ran out)

Compared to normal, the changes are very little this time.  It was a sudden decision so I didn’t even realize that I had ran out of these.  My mom bakes also, so it could be that she used the last bit and we never got around to replenishing it.

Apple Brownie

Despite the changes, Apple Brownie (or any fruit brownie) would be something I’d revisit.  Its soft and fluffy, fruity and just so delicious.  Brownies in general are in the sweet area so if you’d like to lessen the sugar that shouldn’t affect it much.  I thought it was a good balance.  This is a healthier option.

I just wonder what other variations I can make, such as what other fruits.  Maybe strawberry and rhubarb.  I’ve only done crumb bars for that.  Or maybe plums or peaches? I’m guessing something with a more solid texture.

Do you like brownies? Have you tasted any other than chocolate brownies? Would you give these a shot? Do you like apples (in desserts or simply as a fruit)?

Gluten-Free Zucchini Loaf! :)

I’ve been planning this for a little while and I feel that there is no better time to launch a new little focus here in terms of baking.

There’s been a little bit of research going on after my uncle and aunt came a few months ago and talked about the benefits of gluten-free lifestyle and suggested that maybe it was the hidden cause of the sudden downturn of my health from the relapse of lactose intolerance to caffeine sensitive among the many other stuff.  Generally, my sensitive digestion system.  I have accepted and worked around to how to live with all these foods that I can’t eat but it sure would be nice to not have to go out and worry about it one day or just at least not feel bloated all the time.

After taking a little time to adjust, I’ve decided to slowly go on the gluten-free path.  Its going to be hard to find alternatives and from the look of it, might even be more costly but nonetheless, my health is the most important and I want to be sure to feel better.

With that, here is my new little focus in baking & cooking: Gluten-free meals and desserts 🙂

Of course, I’m only doing this little by little and my first step was to cut bread out of my life.  Plus, I picked up my first bag of gluten-free flour from Costco a month ago so when I had an an abundance of zucchini stacked up in the fridge, I decided to finally try my hand at making a Zucchini Loaf.

Here’s how it turned out 🙂

Gluten-free Zucchini Loaf

I got the recipe in the Butter Baked Goods by Rosie Daykin.  The recipe itself is called Grandma Daykin’s Zucchini Loaf.

Here is the original recipe, however I halved it to make one loaf only.

Ingredients

Makes 2 loaves, about 8 to 10 slices per loaf

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tbsp cinnamon
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
2 large eggs
2 cups grated raw zucchini
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
1 tbsp pure vanilla

How to make it:

1. Preheat the oven to 325F.
2. Onto a large piece of parchment paper, sift together the flour, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, salt, baking soda and baking powder.  Set aside.
3. With an electric mixer, beat the eggs on medium speed until light and fluffy.  Add the zucchini, sugar, oil, and vanilla and mix to blend.
4. Turn the mixer to low and slowly add the dry ingredients and mix until just blended.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
5. Pour the batter evenly between the two prepared pans.  Use a spatula to spread the batter smoothly across the pan.
6. Bake in the preheated oven for about 60 minutes or until a wooden skewer inserted into the center comes out clean.
7. Remove from the oven and allow the loaves to cool slightly, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Use a serrated knife to slice the loaves, then serve.

Gluten-free Zucchini Loaf

Other than halving all the ingredients to make one loaf, I also had a few modifications.

  • The all purpose flour was replaced by the Cloud 9 Gluten Free All-Purpose Baking Mix. Its one to one cup replacement so it makes the whole process easier.
  • I don’t have pumpkin pie spice so I had to do a little rough blend of ground cinnamon, ground ginger and ground nutmeg.
  • As for zucchini, my grater miraculously vanished.  It could have gotten mixed up in my packing somehow so I spent some extra time to finely chop it.
  • In terms of vegetable oil, I used canola oil since that was the closest I had (the other would’ve been olive oil and I’m not sure that would do so good).
  • I didn’t have enough vanilla but I did pour all the remainder I had left.

This recipe is pretty much in the awesome area.  It had the right amount of sweet to balance off the zucchini.  Plus, I’m not sure if it was the flour or just the entire recipe itself but every bite melted into my mouth literally.  I fell in love with this more than I expected. If this is what zucchini loaf tastes like, sign me up for more 😉

Have you tried eating gluten-free foods? Do you have any suggestions as to how to slowly get into it? Have you tasted zucchini loaves before?

 

Peanut Butter Sandwich Cookie

I’m slowly picking up the baking momentum again.  Its making me extremely happy 🙂

The original plans was to make Chocolate Eclairs but I realized that I had shifted all my pastry baking utensils to my new place so after shifting through my book in search for something to make with my awesome lactose-free heavy cream, I landed on The Peanut Butter Sandwich Cookie in my newest cookbooks, Butter Baked Goods by Rosie Daykin.

I made them a bit late on Sunday night so I ended up making the filling and putting it in the fridge to compile on Monday morning. Here’s how the final product looked like:

Peanut Butter Sandwich Cookie

Here is the recipe from the book:

Ingredients

Makes 12 sandwich cookies

Cookie:

2 1/4 all-purpose flour

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1 cup butter, room temperature

1 cup smooth peanut butter

3/4 cup granulated sugar

3/4 cup dark brown sugar

1 large egg

1 tsp pure vanilla

Filling:

1 cup smooth peanut butter

1/2 cup butter, room temperature

2 cups icing sugar

1/2 cup heavy cream

Peanut Butter Sandwich Cookie

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 350F.
2. Onto a large piece of parchment paper, sift together the flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
3. In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and peanut butter on medium to high speed until well blended.  Add the granulated and dark brown sugars and continue to cream until light and fluffy.
4. Add the egg and beat briefly.  Scrap down the sides of the bowl.  Add the vanilla and beat again to combine. Scrape down the sides of the bowl again.
5. turn the mixer to low and ad the dry ingredients and mix until fully combined.
6. Use the ice cream scoop to drop 24 equally sized portions of dough onto the prepared cookie sheets, about 1 1/2 inches apart.  Hold your three middle fingers together and press down on the top of each to make slight indentations across the top.
7. Bake in the preheated oven for 15 to 17 minutes or until the cookies are lightly golden brown around the edges.
8. Remove from the oven and transfer the cookies to wire racks to cool completely.
9. Meanwhile, prepare the filling: In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the peanut butter and butter on medium to high speed until light and fluffy.  Add the icing sugar and continue to cream until well combined.
10. Turn the mixer to low and slowly add the cream.  Gradually increase the speed of the mixer and continue to beat until the mixture is smooth and creamy.
11. When the cookies have cooked, turn 12 of them bottom side up.  Spoon 2 heaping tablespoons of filling onto each.  Place the remaining cookies on top and press down lightly until the butter cream has spread to the edges of the cookies.

Peanut Butter Sandwich Cookie

This cookie here took a long time to make.  Its a two step deal because of making the cookies first and then making the filling then compiling but I’d say that the end result is worth it because its quite rare but I ended up with something very similar to the picture in the book.  The only thing was that I think that my cookies should have been in there for even less than 15 minutes because mine are on the crunchy side.

Also very rare is that there are no modifications to this recipe.  My heavy cream was lactose-free so that I could eat it and the only modification was that for the filling I halved the sugar because I’m not one to like the over sweetness of these cookies.

To me, these tasted great but still on the sweet side where I wouldn’t eat a lot of them.  I barely could finish one because I made them so big.  However, level of sweetness varies. My boyfriend thought they were perfectly balanced and ate one and even the part I couldn’t finish.  If I were to do this again, I’d definitely lessen some sugar in the recipe or maybe change it to brown sugar completely.

Are you a fan of peanut butter? What do you think of these peanut butter sandwiches?

P.S. I have lots of rhubarb soon to be harvested in my yard so I’ll be baking immense amounts of that probably, drop in the comments some suggestions please 😉

Mother’s Day Baking: Morning Glory Muffins

Good morning! Not so great because its Monday? How about some sweet smelling baked goods to wake you up?

I’ve been really taking it easy on the baking.  It mostly has to do with the fact that other than renovating my new place, its been a lot of shifting and sorting through my stuff taking up most of my weekends. The intention is always there.  I’m a baker at heart.  Nothing quite replaces the feeling of whipping up a batter of sweetness. Its my dream to become a successful baker but time is rather scarce right now.  Any event is a good excuse to put my other duties aside and get out the spatula and preheat the oven.  My mom already baked a bunch of stuff so I decided to bake a batch of muffins for my boyfriend’s mom. After some thought, I remember that she loves carrot cake/muffins, etc.

I recently got this new cookbook with lots of delicious recipes that I’ve been dying to try out.  This book is called Butter Baked Goods by Rosie Daykin.  In the carrot ingredient, I had a choice of a carrot cake (that required too much work) so I went for the Twice-a-Week/Morning Glory Muffins.

Morning Glory Muffins

Fresh out of the oven!

I made a few small changes but here is the recipe:

Makes 12 muffins

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 3/4 cups granulated sugar

1 tbsp cinnamon

2 tsp baking soda

2 cups grated carrots

1 cup sultana raisins

1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

1 cup chopped pecans

1 large apple, peeled, cored and grated

4 large eggs

1 cup vegetable oil

1 tbsp pure vanilla

Morning Glory Muffins

Close-up!

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 350F.
2. In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, cinnamon, baking soda, carrots, raisins, coconut, pecans and apple and mix well.
3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, oil and vanilla.
4. Add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until just combined.
5. Use the ice cream scoop to divide the batter evenly between the paper liners
6. Bake in the preheated oven for 35 minutes.
7. Remove from the oven and allow the muffins to cool slightly in the pan, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Morning Glory Muffin

The first bite! 🙂

As mentioned before, I made some little changes here.  Most of it includes swapping lacking ingredients and excluding others.  First of all, I excluded raisins (because I don’t have them) and apples (because I was tired of grating).  Second, I replaced chopped pecans with slivered almonds because thats all I  had. Also for the baking time, depending on your oven, I suggest for you to lower the baking time by just a little.  Mine were ready in about 25 minutes.

Phoebe @Starry Traveler dropped by to hang out a bit and she’s not a huge cinnamon fan.  This muffin has more than usual amount of cinnamon but somehow the variety of ingredients balances out the taste really well and she liked it.  I wasn’t too sure how removing the apple and raisins would be for the recipe but I actually like the taste that it gave.  Plus, its more focused on emphasizing the carrots and sweetness and adding a nice chewy part with the coconut shreds and crunchy with the almonds.  Very nice for the taste buds!

The only thing time consuming about this recipe is grating those carrots.  I’m not much for grating anything so my inexperience made me incur some slight cuts.  Be very careful! Other than that, have fun and enjoy! It is truly a heavenly mix and I’m not much of a muffin person, so that says a lot 🙂

Lets hope I start getting back into my foodie and baker lifestyle.  I seriously missed it a lot! 🙂

Are you a muffin person? How about carrots and/or cinnamon? What do you think of this?