Baking: Nutella Cookies

I’m finally back in the kitchen and baking. Nothing brings me back quite like baking some goods for events.  This time around its for Father’s Day and for my boyfriend’s dad. I may not know a lot of stuff but I do know that he loves chocolate.  After looking through my Pinterest boards for a long time and thinking thinking and thinking some more, I finally decided on this Nutella Cookies.

Nutella Cookies

I love simple, quick and efficient recipes, especially when my indecisiveness causes me to have a lack of time and I need to do this quickly.  These “One Bowl Nutella Cookies” are from Chew Out Loud.  You can find the recipe HERE!

Whats better than a recipe with 6 ingredients, right? You probably have most of the items at home.  Plus, 8 minutes in the oven ONLY!! Nothing like a simple recipe to boost my motivation and confidence in the kitchen!

Nutella Cookies

However, I did make slight changes:

  • Replace all-purpose flour with (Cloud 9) Gluten-Free Flour
  • Chocolate chips are semi-sweet

Another success for this one is that I managed to control dividing the dough to be a smaller portion so that it would not expand and merge into one big cookie while it baked.  I’m usually really bad with that but I’m quite proud of being able to take the extra time to get that right.

Nutella Cookies

I can’t eat Nutella due to dietary restrictions but the feedback from my boyfriend and his parents were great.  They really liked it and I could actually see them enjoy it.  That’s what its all about 🙂 Plus, they didn’t taste the gluten-free flour which is great.  I’m still the happiest with my baking experience with Cloud 9.

Easy, efficient, Nutella, chocolate, quick and delicious! This one is a definite winner 🙂

Do you like Nutella? Chocolate? All of the above?

Rhubarb season is officially upon us so expect some recipes coming up.  I’ll be baking up a storm this week (hopefully)!

Happy Monday!! 🙂

Gluten-Free (Coconut Flour) Banana-Walnut Bread!

Last month I was contacted and asked to create a recipe using coconut flour. Seeing as how I’ve been meaning to give coconut flour a shot, for my gluten-free flour choice, I decided to give it a try! You can find more info on coconut flour on their site here.

For this recipe, after some thought I decided to use a banana bread as the foundation.  I’ve heard that coconut flour is a little more dry than normal flour but still very good.  But then, most gluten-free flour seems to have that problem too.  I wonder if it’ll turn out the same way.

Banana-Walnut Bread

Banana-Walnut Bread

As I’ve been saying in previous baking posts, moving has been really hard.  I can’t seem to find everything I need between leaving some pans for my mom, coincidentally the loaf pan so I was stuck with this square one.  Still, bread is bread and with a little lower baking time, it worked out pretty well. Before I say anything else, here’s the recipe I used, adapted from the Pumpkin Bread recipe in the Betty Crocker Christmas Cookbook. It’s not Christmas but its my go-to bread recipe.

Banana- Walnut Bread

Makes 24 slices (in a loaf pan)

3 mashed bananas
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup vegetable oil
2 tsp vanilla
4 eggs
3 cups coconut flour
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup coarsely chopped nuts

1. Move oven rack to low position so that tops of pans will be in center of oven.  Heat oven to 350F.  Grease bottoms only of pan with shortening or cooking spray.

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

3. Bake 8 inch loaves 50 to 60 minutes, 9 inch loaf 1 hour 10 minutes to 1 hour 20 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.  Cool 10 minutes in pans on wire rack.

4.  Loosen sides of loaves from pans; remove from pan to wire rack.  Cool completely about 2 hours, before slicing.

Banana Walnut Bread

For once, the recipe up there, ingredients is exactly the portion I used.  I had to guesstimate a bit of the portions as I couldn’t find my measuring cups but it worked out okay.  It definitely was a little dry and crumbly but the taste was very good.  I’d have to agree that with a little practice in finding the right level of moistness to the recipes and some research, coconut flour could be a really good alternative for a gluten-free diet/baked good.

This banana bread was pretty good.  I think it was a good idea to decrease the sugar since bananas already have quite a bit of it.  The walnut pieces gives it some chewy texture and it smelled delectable.  Think banana and coconut filling the house.  I’m serious, its a pretty good choice.  I’ve been searching a long time for a good gluten-free flour.  Cloud Nine with a rice and buckwheat base was a good mix but unfortunately thats not available at Costco anymore (or anywhere I frequent).  The Robin Hood GF flour has a beet base and it tastes really bad.  Blame that one for why I haven’t been baking a lot.  Now, coconut flour smells really good without being in the recipe and if it holds all those nutritious values like on the site, I’m down for giving it a shot.

Do you eat gluten-free foods? Have you tried out coconut flour as a substitute for all-purpose/wheat flour? 

Thick & Chewy Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies!

Its been tough getting in time to bake but the past Tuesday was my boyfriend’s birthday, so the least I could do was bake him some goodies. His favorite is Chocolate Chip Oatmeal cookies.  All my cookbooks are at my new place so I dug around in my Pinterest and remembered that I had pinned this recipe from a blog that I’ve followed for quite some time called Chew Out Loud.  I still have a ton of recipes to try from this blog but these looked like quite the winner.  As usual, I made a few changes to it but this one is not gluten-free as my boyfriend isn’t so I don’t make him eat GF flour unless necessary 😉

Thick n Chewy Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Thick & Chewy Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

The recipe I used was this one: http://www.chewoutloud.com/2014/12/21/thick-n-chewy-oatmeal-dark-chocolate-cookies/

Makes 24 cookies

Suffice to say these aren’t quite Thick & Chewy and I only managed to get half the batter used.  My mom ended up transforming the second half the next day into muffins after adding in some cashew milk or something.  The cookies were quite good. My boyfriend seemed to enjoy it. Still, my issue was also that I forgot to flatten it and just kept it in a rolled up batter. Rushing to baking when I don’t do it frequent enough is hurting my little skills that I have.

oatmeal chocolate chip cookies

Lets start with the changes:

  • Omit cinnamon: ran out
  • Unsalted butter instead of salted and less than required: I used the only bit left, maybe 14 tbsp, I just estimated.
  • Semi-sweet chocolate chips instead of chopped semi-sweet chocolate

The cookies was pretty easy to make.  Cookies usually are and that’s why I love making them.  Plus, the oven time is usually around 15 minutes so its quick as well.  Efficiency is definitely a plus for this recipe. I felt like there was a lot of sugar for this one but my boyfriend felt it was good. I can’t eat chocolate so I didn’t get a taste.  The looks are really good as well.  I could’ve waited for it to cool a little more because it would have settled a little more (as the recipe suggests).

This is definitely an easy and efficient recipe to try.  My boyfriend liked it quite a bit.  I absolutely love the smell of chocolate swirl around the air as it bakes.

Do you like chocolate chip and/or oatmeal cookies? 

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!

Zucchini Fritters!

I’m on a cooking thing right now.  I promise you baking will happen soon.  I really miss it but I’m just so indecisive when it comes to what to make.  There are so many choices and just not enough time (or ingredients).

I’ve had a pack of zucchini waiting desperately for me to cook.  The plan was to make zucchini chips but I never got around to it since I made those bacon avocado fries (if you missed that, check it out HERE).  Thats the plan for this weekend (or at least some time this week).

When I searched up Pinterest, the first thing that popped up at me was Zucchini Fritters. Don’t know why. Maybe its the good balance of veggies and protein from eggs so it seemed like a good choice for dinner.  Regardless, I love Pinterest and all the ideas its offered me.

You can find the recipe for this right HERE from Damn Delicious!

I did mine in 3 different batches testing out the heat and whatnot.  The first time turned out in a disaster…

Zucchini Fritters

First try—fail

Well, it still tasted good and not burnt even but it did not look appealing…at all!

Second try was a little bit better…still needed a little bit of patience to get the flipping over part better.

zucchini fritters

Second try

Actually, this looks pretty nice, no? Its too bad that the flip side is not so good.

And then the third one, testing with a big one because I’m lazy and impatient at this point. I’m a pretty lousy cook mostly because I can have impressive amount of patience for baking (and crafts) but with cooking, I just really find it so difficult.

zucchini fritters

Big piece is not a good idea.

Now, there is one big change I made for this.  The link to the recipe is up there if you want to take a peek before checking this part out.  I didn’t grate the zucchini as I should have so thats why it was harder for it to stay together in one piece.  I just absolutely loathe grating and I couldn’t find where mine went. It always seems to disappear on me.

Other changes:

  • All-purpose flour was gluten-free
  • Omit parmesan (next time I will try with lactose free cheese)

Another baking adventure done 🙂 This one I’m definitely going to revisit.  It was so good! Sure, it didn’t look too pretty and dicing those zucchini in little pieces was incredibly tiresome and long to do but it paid off and thats what counts.

Next goal: Zucchini chips!

How do you like to  make zucchini? Have you done fritters before? Any tips you’d like to share?

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? 

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?