Category Archives: Muffins

muffins and mimosas: a foolproof guide to brunch, part two

A long time ago I posted a foolproof guide to brunch part one. I didn’t mean to wait so long before following up, but I recently hosted a birthday brunch for a friend, and made a few new dishes that were so delicious I couldn’t wait to share them with you. IMG_3801

For this brunch I relied entirely on Smitten Kitchen, which you all know is my favorite food blog. I decided to have an egg component, a carb component (or two) and an fruit component for the perfect balance.

baked ranchero eggs with blistered jack cheese and lime crema

i was told by a close friend that this was “the best thing i’ve ever made”, so i think that speaks for itself. this recipe is outstanding. it would make an amazing dinner too. the eggs, cheese, lime scented sour cream and the crispy tortilla strips…YUM.

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Recipe from “The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook,” by Deb Perelman

For the ranchero sauce:
1 jalapeño, or to taste
1 28-ounce can fire roasted tomatoes
1 medium white onion, roughly chopped
1 large garlic clove, peeled and crushed
Salt and black pepper, to taste
1 1/4 cups cooked black beans, drained

For the tortilla strips:
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 small corn tortillas
Salt, to taste

12 large eggs
1 1/2 cups coarsely shredded jack cheese

For the crema:
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
1 cup Mexican crema or sour cream

For garnish:
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

To make the ranchero sauce, preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Quarter and seed the jalapeño, if desired, and toss into a blender. Add the tomatoes, onion, garlic and several pinches of salt and pepper. Blend until smooth.IMG_3781

Pour into a 12-inch oven proof skillet, add the black beans and bring to a simmer. Cook for 10 minutes or until sauce has reduced slightly.

Meanwhile, make the tortilla strips. Brush a baking sheet with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Cut the tortillas into 1/2-inch wide strips and arrange them on the oiled tray. Brush the tops of the strips with the remaining tablespoon of oil and sprinkle with salt.

Bake for 3 to 6 minutes, or until they are brown and crisp.

Make the crema by stirring together the lime juice, crema and a pinch of salt.

Once the sauce has thickened slightly, remove the pan from the heat and break the eggs across the surface of the sauce, distributing them as evenly as possible. Return to heat, cover the pan and simmer eggs gently in sauce for 10-12 minutes, or until the whites are nearly but not completely opaque. Sprinkle surface of the tomato and egg mixture with the cheese and broil until the cheese is bubbly and a bit blistered – just a few minutes. Garnish with dollops of lime crema, broken pieces of tortilla strips and cilantro.

cinnamon toast french toast

because this can be assembled ahead of time it is a hostess’ dream. it’s rich and eggy with an amazing crunch, and it was great with vanilla greek yogurt dolloped on top.

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recipe from Smiten Kitchen

1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
16 slices (from a 1-pound or 450 gram loaf) white sandwich bread
1 stick (4 ounces or 113 grams) unsalted butter, softened
3 cups (710 ml) whole milk
6 large eggs
1/4 teaspoon table salt
2 teaspoons (10 ml) vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Whisk the cinnamon and sugar together in a small dish. Line two large baking sheets with foil. Place the bread slices on the baking sheets in one layer. Spread each slice of bread with 1 teaspoon of butter, then sprinkle each slice with one teaspoon of the cinnamon-sugar mixture.IMG_3775

Toast the trays of bread in the oven until the bread is golden, and until the cinnamon-sugar makes a caramelized crunch on top, for about 7 to10 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 375 degrees and let the toast cool slightly.IMG_3782

Generously butter a 9×13-inch baking dish. (You might have a little butter leftover but I wanted to build in some leeway in case, understandably, you weren’t buttering your bread with precise teaspoon measurements!) Cut two slices of the cinnamon toast in half horizontally. Arrange the cinnamon toast down in two rows along the width of the pan. Begin with the bottom half of one slice of toast, then fan 7 more slices in a row, finishing with the top half of the slice. This ensures that those served the end pieces of the baked French toast are not stiffed with thin slices! Repeat with another 7 full slices and 1 halved slice of cinnamon toast in the second row.IMG_3785

Whisk the milk, eggs, salt and vanilla in a medium bowl and pour evenly over cinnamon toast in baking dish. Let sit for 15 minutes (or overnight, if you’re preparing this ahead of time) so that the custard absorbs a bit.IMG_3786

Before baking, if you’ve got any extra cinnamon-sugar (you’ll likely have a tablespoon or two), sprinkle it over the French toast. Bake for 30 minutes, until puffed and golden and until no liquid seeps out of the toasts when they are nudged about in the pan. Cut into squares and serve plain, or with a dollop of plain yogurt and fresh berries, or maple syrup.

plum poppyseed muffins
i have always loved lemon poppyseed muffins, so when i saw the recipe for these i knew that i had to try them out. i love that they’re filled with fresh plums, whole wheat flour, and greek yogurt which keeps them moist. delish!
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Recipe from “The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook,” by Deb Perelman
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and browned and cooled, plus butter for muffin cups
1 large egg, lightly beaten
¼ cup granulated sugar
¼ cup packed dark or light brown sugar
¾ cup sour cream or a rich, full- fat plain yogurt
½ cup whole-wheat flour
1 cup all- purpose flour
¾ teaspoon baking powder
¾ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon table salt
Pinch of ground cinnamon
Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
2 tablespoons poppy seeds
2 cups pitted and diced plums, from about ¾ pound Italian prune plums (though any plum variety will do)

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Butter twelve muffin cups.
Whisk the egg with both sugars in the bottom of a large bowl. Stir in the melted butter, then the sour cream. In a separate bowl, mix together the flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and poppy seeds, and then stir them into the sour- cream mixture until it is just combined and still a bit lumpy. Fold in the plums.
Divide batter among prepared muffin cups.IMG_3794
Bake for 15 to 18 minutes, until the tops are golden and a tester inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean. Rest muffins in the pan on a cooling rack for 2 minutes, then remove them from the tin to cool them completely.
breakfast apple granola crisp
classic dessert with a few tweaks that made it great for breakfast. this was great served with vanilla greek yogurt and berries. and it was even better the next day.
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Recipe from Smitten Kitchen

3 pounds of whatever apples, or mix of apples, you like to bake with, peeled, cored and cut into medium chunks
2 tablespoons lemon juice
3 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Salt
1 stick (8 tablespoons or 4 ounces) unsalted butter
1/4 cup honey
1/2 cup flour
2 cups oats
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1/2 shredded coconut (sweetened or unsweetened, as you wish; I used unsweetened)

Preheat oven to 400°F. Mix apple chunks with lemon juice, sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon and pinch of salt in a 9×13-inch baking dish until apples are evenly coated.IMG_3773

In a medium saucepan, melt the butter with the honey. Stir in the flour, oats, almonds, coconut and another pinch of salt until clumps form. Sprinkle evenly over the apple mixture and bake in the oven for about 45 to 55 minutes, or until the apples are softened and bubbly.IMG_3774

Should the granola brown before you wish it to, cover the baking dish carefully with foil for all but the last few minutes of baking time, when removing the foil will help the granola recrisp. Cool to room temperature and then stash in the fridge to eat with your morning yogurt.

i know this was a long one, but now you have all of my favorite brunch recipes in one place!

bon appetit.

banana bread two ways

i love banana bread. i also love chocolate zucchini, pumpkin, lemon poppy seed and cranberry walnut breads. the dilemma i always face when making these quick breads is deciding whether i should make all of the healthy substitutions i know (swapping out the oil for applesauce/yogurt, the white sugar for agave/honey, the egg for ground flaxseed and water, etc) and risk potentially sacrificing some of the flavor or whether i should go all out and use the oil/butter/sugar as written. luckily, when i set out to make banana bread this weekend, i realized i had eight ripe bananas in the fruit bowl and it dawned on me that i could make both the healthy whole wheat flaxseed recipe and the jacked up butter and bourbon recipes that i had been eyeing online. so i did.

whole wheat flaxseed banana bread

healthy goodness

Inspired by this and this.

Makes 1 loaf

4 tablespoons olive oil
1/3 cup greek yogurt
1/4 cup honey or agave
¼ cup light brown sugar
2 eggs, beaten
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
4 bananas (ripe and mashed)
¼ cup ground flaxseed
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
Pinch of ground cloves
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 ½ cup whole wheat flour
For the topping: 1 tbsp ground flaxseed, 1 tbsp brown sugar, 1 tsp cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together oil, yogurt, brown sugar and honey/agave until well blended. Add eggs and vanilla and whisk until well mixed. 

Stir in mashed bananas until well combined.

Sprinkle the spices, ground flaxseed, baking soda and salt over the mixture and mix in.

Add the flour last and mix until just incorporated and no flour spots remain.

Pour into loaf pan that’s buttered, greased or sprayed with cooking spray. In a small bowl combine the ground flaxseed, brown sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle over it over the top. 

Bake for about 50 minutes to 1 hour or until a wooden stick inserted center comes out almost clean. Let cool in pan on a wire rack for about 30 minutes. Remove from pan and cool completely on wire rack.

bourbon, spice and chocolate chip banana bread

admiringly found on smitten kitchen

4 ripe bananas, smashed
1/3 cup melted salted butter (if you only have unsalted as I did, add 1 tsp of salt later)
3/4 cup light brown sugar
1 egg, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon bourbon (optional)
1 teaspoon baking soda
Pinch of salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
Pinch of ground cloves
1 1/2 cup of flour
handful of chocolate chips (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

With a wooden spoon, mix butter into the mashed bananas in a large mixing bowl. Mix in the brown sugar, egg, vanilla and bourbon, then the spices. Sprinkle the baking soda and salt over the mixture and mix in.

Add the flour last, mix until just combined. Sprinkle chocolate chips over the top if using (and you really should) and mix to combine. 

Pour mixture into a buttered 4×8 inch loaf pan. Bake for 50 minutes to one hour, or until a tester comes out clean. Cool on a rack. Remove from pan and slice to serve.

the verdict? as expected, both are SO good in their different ways. the healthy one has become our go-to breakfast: a nice thick slice toasted and slathered with natural peanut butter, eaten alongside greek yogurt and blueberries, or devoured all by itself. the decadent one makes the most perfect after dinner pick me up: moist and filled with melted pockets of chocolate, with the faintest smell of butter and bourbon. YUM. if you can’t pick one, just make both!

bon appetit,

edie

raspberry topped lemon muffins

Hi everyone! Sorry for the long hiatus since my last post!! My life got a little crazy between finals, moving out of my apartment, and starting an internship as soon as I got home. But no fear, I have been cooking and taking pictures during the last month, so I have some new recipes to share with you!

My friend hosted a going away brunch during finals week and asked everyone to bring something to share. I immediately starting mentally flipping through all of the scones, muffins and other breakfast items that i’ve been waiting for the right moment to make. I settled (pretty quickly) on Smitten Kitchen’s raspberry topped lemon muffins. Since the moment I laid my eyes on these muffins I knew we were meant to be. Lemon. Raspberries. Mini Muffins. Say no more.

They exceeded all of my expectations and were a huge hit at the brunch! They all went flying off the tray as soon as I arrived, and I was slammed with many requests for the recipe (so here it is!):

Raspberry Topped Lemon Muffins
Courtesy of (who else?) Smitten Kitchen

Yield: 14 large or 56 mini muffins

1 1/8 cups sugar, divided
4 teaspoons finely grated lemon peel (from two large lemons)
2 cups all purpose flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 large egg
1 cup buttermilk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1.5, 1/2-pint containers (about) fresh raspberries

1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Line 14 standard muffin cups (or 56 minis) with paper liners.

2. Mash 1/8 cup sugar and lemon peel in small bowl until sugar is slightly moist.

Microplane-the best!

3. Whisk flour, baking powder, and salt in medium bowl to blend. Using electric mixer, beat remaining 1 cup sugar and butter in large bowl until smooth. Beat in egg. Beat in buttermilk, then vanilla and lemon sugar. Beat in flour mixture.

4. Divide batter among muffin cups (the 2/3-3/4 level worked well for minis). Top each large muffin with 4 raspberries (or mini muffins with one each).

5. Bake muffins until lightly browned on top and tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 35 minutes (baking time was on the shy side of 20 minutes for mini muffins).

This may just be the best muffin I’ve ever had. The lemon zest muddled with sugar gives the muffins a bitter intenseness that is sharply contrasted with an almost sour raspberry, which ends up giving you quite an intense bite. These are anything but ordinary. To switch things up I can picture poppy seeds mixed in, orange zest switched for the lemon, blackberries or other fruit swapped for the raspberries, the list goes on.

Make these immediately and never look back.