Tag Archives: Muffins

Sunrise Muffins

I’ve wanted to make these muffins ever since I bought Allison Fishman’s You Can Trust a Skinny Cook–mostly because the recipe involves putting an entire orange (peel, pith, and all) right into the blender.

That just appeals to the green monster-making side of me–and I’m so used to using and washing the blender every day that I don’t mind breaking it out again.  Combine that with the chilly, rainy weather that woke me up this morning, and sunrise muffins became a necessity.

Sunrise Muffins (makes a dozen muffins)

  • 1 orange (I actually used a tangelo), sliced into eighths
  • 1/2 C orange juice
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 C vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 C all-purpose flour (I used whole-wheat pastry flour, with excellent results)
  • 3/4 C sugar
  • 1 t baking powder
  • 1 t baking soda
  • 1 t salt
  • 1/2 dried fruit (I used a dried berry mix–cherries, blueberries, cranberries, and strawberries)

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees, and line muffin tins with papers.

The fun part: in the blender, combine the eggs, oil, orange juice, and sliced orange sections, and blend until smooth.  While blending, mix the remaining ingredients except the dried fruit in a medium bowl, and create a well for the orange mixture.  Pour it in, mix until a smooth batter forms, and fold in the dried fruit.

You may regret tasting the batter at this point because it is so gosh-darn, finger-licking, re-taste, save-a-little-extra-in-the-bowl-who-cares-if-the-muffins-are-tiny good.  Anyway, divide the (remaining) batter evenly into the 12 muffin tins.  Bake on the middle rack of the oven for 20-25 minutes, until the tops are golden brown.  Cool on a rack.

I love how golden these are, thanks to the orange–they really do look like a sunrise.

And the taste.  Wow.  I wasn’t expecting anything magical from these muffins, but these really served to remind me that basic can be best!  They are sweet and tangy but also have the perfect amount of salt.

A teaspoon of salt can do so much for a basic muffin.  I ate one muffin.  I want to eat many more muffins.  Morning can’t come soon enough.

Oh, and for those who are interested, these muffins are only 175 calories each!

In case these muffins aren’t enough to brighten your day, here’s some of my absolute favorite new photos from an apple-picking session I went on with my mom and younger sister Kristen a few weeks ago:


Filed under Breakfast

Tropical Mini Muffins

Are you guys sick of me miniaturizing everything that I bake yet?  ‘Cause I’m not.

Mini baked goods are fun, because I can eat three of them and it’s not a big deal at all.  It’s also nice because I don’t have to choose–do I want an English muffin or a tropical muffin?  Oh yes, I can have both.  Twice.  But if you aren’t a mini kind of person, it’s no big deal.  I’ll still like you.  And I’ll still probably eat two of your muffins.

Tropical  Mini Muffins

  • 3 ripe bananas
  • 3/4 C crushed pineapple in juice
  • 1 egg
  • 1 t vanilla
  • 1 t orange extract
  • 1/4 C canola oil
  • 1/2 t cinnamon
  • 1 t baking soda
  • 1 t baking powder
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 1/2 C brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 C whole-wheat flour
  • 2 T wheat germ

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and spray a muffin or mini-muffin tin or line with paper cups.  First mix the wet ingredients (banana, pineapple, canola oil, egg, and extracts) until blended.  It’s okay to have chunks of banana–I actually prefer that.  Next, add the dry ingredients (everything else) and mix until everything is just blended.  Easy, right?

Pour into muffin cups (they should be 3/4 of the way full, but I filled them all the way ’cause I only wanted to make one batch!) and place on the middle rack to bake until they are golden brown, about 10-12 minutes.  Make sure a toothpick comes out dry (but not too dry).

Mini muffins are also cute for looking good in photos.  Unless you pour too much batter in the cups and then your muffins are top heavy.  Still better than having to bake two batches, though.

These were good–super moist.  Fritz was a huge fan, because he could eat a banana-bread based food three times a day for the rest of his life and be perfectly content.  I thought the pineapple chunks were a nice treat, and the orange extract was just barely noticeable.  It could also be left out–no big deal.

Since this recipe made 24 mini muffins, and I’m gonna be gone for the week, I stuck half of them in the freezer so Fritz doesn’t feel the pressure to eat all of them in a couple of days.  I don’t like to force feed him just so food doesn’t go bad (except for vegetables, but that’s for his own good).

I think these muffins took Fritz back to his South African tropical days.  He ate four of them rapid fire when they were out of the oven (but it’s okay!  They are mini!).

So on Friday we drove to Brooklyn to say goodbye to our good friends Bre and Zev since they are moving on Tuesday.  It was lots of fun to see them, and as usual, lots of food and alcohol was consumed–and nonstop talk ensued.  Like I said before, it’ll be really sad to see them go.  We need to start planning our visits upstate right away.

And poor Henry was stuck at home, looking longingly in the direction of Brooklyn.


Filed under Breakfast, Desserts

Whole-Wheat English Mini-Muffins

Happy Sunday, friends!  I love Sundays–because I’ve finished running errands earlier in the weekend, I have the entire day to relax and make a yeasty bread that needs to rise twice.  Due to my love (obsession?) with breakfast, I decided to make some whole-wheat English muffins.  And then I made them mini.

That way, you can have two, each with a different topping.  It feels more exciting that way.  But if you want, you can use the same recipe and make regular-sized ones.

Whole-Wheat English Mini-Muffins (adapted from Bernard Clayton’s New Complete Book of Breads)

  • 2 1/2 C all-purpose flour
  • 2-2 1/2 C whole-wheat flour
  • 2 packages yeast (4 1/2 t)
  • 2 T sugar
  • 1 t salt
  • 1 1/4 C skim milk, warm
  • 3 T butter, room temperature
  • 1 egg, room temperature
  • Cornmeal

There should also be an egg in there.  At the time this photo was taken, my egg was warming from fridge-temp to room-temp in a hot water bath.  Good tip, by the way–’cause you always want to bake with room temperature eggs, but who really has the foresight for those things?

In the mixer bowl of your beloved KitchenAid (or in a regular large mixing bowl, if you are less lazy), combine the 2 1/2 C all-purpose flour, the yeast, salt, and sugar, and stir to blend.  Warm the milk (don’t boil, but do make sure it’s almost hot), and add the butter directly to it to melt.  Pour the milk/butter mixture into the flour mixture and mix for about 2 minutes.  Add the egg and beat until smooth.

Mix in the remaining whole-wheat flour, 1/4 C at a time, until the dough is a “shaggy mass” (thanks for that descriptor, Bernard).  Change to the dough hook and knead until the dough is smooth and elastic.  If you need more flour, add it in small amounts until it’s not sticky–but don’t go overboard.

Wrap the bowl in plastic and allow the dough to rise until it is doubled in size, about an hour.

Punch down the dough and knead briefly, then let it rest for ten minutes.  Spread a small handful of cornmeal over the work surface, and roll the dough out until it is about 1/4″ thick (I kept mine a bit thicker, but I would roll out to 1/4″ next time for flatter muffins).  Cut into rounds–for my mini-muffins, I used a wine glass that was about 2 1/2″ across, but use a cookie cutter that’s about 4″ across for regular-sized muffins.

English muffin army.

Place a towel over the rounds and let them rise again until doubled in size, about another 45 minutes.  Turn the oven to 45o degrees 20 minutes before you estimate they will be done rising so that it can preheat.  Gently lay the muffins on a cookie sheet and bake on a middle rack for about 10-15 minutes, flipping them halfway through.  They’ll be a nice golden brown on the top and bottom when they are done.

Allow them to cool on a wire rack before tearing them apart and slathering them with butter and jam.  Once they’re cooled, stick ’em in the toaster the way you’d do with any English muffin.

Yum.  Not as many nooks and crannies as I expected, but that’s probably due to two things: 1) I used half whole-wheat flour and 2) I didn’t roll them out as thin as I should have, so they might have risen a bit differently.

Either way, still delicious (and they really taste just like an English muffin!).  You also can’t detect the whole-wheat flour at all.

I can’t wait to have one with peanut butter and one with raspberry jam for breakfast tomorrow–PB&J at its finest!

What’s your English muffin topping of choice?  Are you a PB&J kinda person like me, or a traditional butter and jam muffin eater?  Cheese?  Fresh fruit?  Honey or golden syrup?  Or an eggs and bacon guy like Fritz?


Filed under Breads, Breakfast

Sausage and Egg Muffins

Ah-mazing news, my friends.

When Fritz and I did our taxes for this year (okay, when Fritz did our taxes this year), we got a surprisingly large refund. 

That would be money coming in that we didn’t budget for–a surplus!

Considering gas prices, it’d probably be wise to set it aside.  However, that’s no fun, and Fritz suggested that we make a large purchase.

A fun large purchase:

A camera!!

I’ve been lusting after digital SLRs since I started blogging, and I’ve felt rather limited in my blogging abilities by our point-and-shoot digital camera.  I think I’ve pretty much exploited it’s abilities to the max.  My beautiful sisters and some equally gorgeous girlfriends that are into photography all have DSLRs that take the most perfect, focused, striking photographs with a real-live depth of field, and other cool photography things that I know absolutely nothing about.

So in the name of surplus, and hobbies, and learning how to navigate the manual world of grown-up photography, I’ve been exploring the world of Nikon and Canon and all their lesser-known counterparts.

And I need your help.

But before we talk about that, let’s talk about sausage, eggs, and muffins.  Better yet, all three of those rolled into one quick-‘n’-easy breakfast. 

I borrowed this recipe from one of those lovely girls I was talking about earlier, Cait, and while in between drooling over those lovely DSLR photos I was also talking about, I managed to put together this recipe.  It’s almost exactly the same as hers, with a few modifications.

Sausage and Egg Muffins (Cait’s post here)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Cook the sausage fully (if you bought sausage links, just pull off the casings and use it as ground sausage) over medium heat.  If you used my recipe for chicken breakfast sausage, here’s the instructions.

Crack the eggs into a medium-sized bowl and add the diced onion, peppers, and sausage.  Whisk until light and fluffy.  Add salt and pepper now if you like, or later so you can taste it and see how much you want.


Spray a mini-muffin pan (or a large muffin pan–or both!) with canola oil.  Fill the muffin cups to the top with the egg mixture.

Bake on the middle rack of the oven, about ten minutes for the mini-muffins, and 15-20 for the regular sized ones.  Check every few minutes, because there is nothing worse than dry eggs.

I mean, there are a few things that may rank a little worse than dry eggs, but not much.  I really don’t like ’em.

Between the veggies and the sausage, though, these turned out to be nicely moist eggs.  Muchly preferred by yours truly.

Not to mention fun to stack in pyramid shapes before eating!

Besides being cute as a button, I love that these eggs are highly transportable.  The mini ones were my favorite, but that might just be because I can’t resist anything that is a diminutive version of something else.  That especially includes muffins.


Also, as a side note, I thought you might like to know that I almost accidentally submitted this post with the blog title “Sausage and Eff Muggins“.

Kinda has a nice ring to it.

But wait!  Before you go, what kind of camera or lenses do you or your friends and family use?  Do you love it?  Hate it?  Canon?  Nikon?



Filed under Breakfast

Orange Sesame Muffins

Good morning friends!

I have the most spectacular Sunday morning recipe for you.  It’s citrus-y, fresh, and warm with the nutty tang of sesame seeds.

It’s orange sesame muffins.

Now, before I share this recipe with you, I just want to say something.  In the last few posts I’ve been absolutely raving about every single thing, calling every food better than the next and basically bringing myself to tears with the perfection of my own culinary genius.

Well, I just wanted to clarify something.  It’s not because everything I make turns to gold, or because I was blessed with some genetic gift in which Martha Stewart-esque recipes float in and out of my consciousness while I sleep.  It’s really just ’cause I only post the good stuff.

Fritz and I often have mediocre dinners (those days where there’s only broccoli, sliced ham, and leftover rice in the refrigerator), we heat up frozen pizzas (I’m obsessed with Digiorno rising crust–it’s our treat dinner), and sometimes I make recipes that I have to force Fritz to eat (these weird cocoa frozen energy bite things–not good).  Anyway, just wanted to make sure that you know.  It’s not normal to have everything turn out perfectly–especially when you are experimenting with new ingredients or tastes.

But sometimes, just sometimes, you do get perfection.

Orange Sesame Muffins (adapted from this recipe–scroll down to see it)

  • 1 1/2 C whole-wheat flour
  • 1/2 C all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1/4 C ground sesame seeds
  • 2 T sesame seeds
  • 2 T wheat germ
  • 2 t baking powder
  • 1 egg
  • 1 flax egg (1 T flax in 3 T warm water–let it set for at least 5 minutes before adding it)
  • 1/2 C buttermilk
  • 1/4 C canola oil
  • 1/2 C honey
  • 1 T orange zest
  • 1 C freshly squeezed orange juice, with pulp (I used four tangelos)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Add all the dry ingredients (flours, sesame (ground and whole), baking powder, wheat germ, and salt) and stir to combine.  Reserve some of the whole sesame seeds to sprinkle on the top.  Add the remaining ingredients and mix just until wet.

Pour into muffin tins lined with muffin cups, until they are almost full and sprinkle with the remaining sesame seeds.

Bake on the middle rack until browned on the top, about 20 minutes.  Remove, cool, and eat.

Be careful not to overbake these.  For once I was really paying attention, and I took them out right as they were done (including the cooling time, in which they usually cook a bit more).  The result?  The most moist and soft whole-wheat muffin I’ve ever had.  If I hadn’t baked them myself, I wouldn’t believe that they were made with whole-wheat flour.

They are quite cute, too.  They came out pretty sweet, so if you wanted to decrease the amount of honey by a few tablespoons, you could–just tread carefully.  They are pretty good as is.


So, some of you may know that my kitchen is limited in terms of storage space.  Fritz built me a bunch of adjustable open shelves on top of our weirdly too-high-to-sit-at bar and a hutch to hold spices and such, but I still run out of counterspace and storage space really quickly.  You can imagine my happiness when our next door neighbors decided to toss out a little shelving unit that I rescued from the curb on my way to school.  It now sits to the left of our stove and is packed to capacity with all those little kitchen things one runs out of space for–you know, blogging paraphernalia.  One man’s trash…

…is Henry’s treasure.

Hope this week starts off as your best yet.


Filed under Desserts

Granola Muffins with Raspberry Preserves

I love that feeling after you spend three hours deep cleaning your one bedroom apartment when you sit on the couch and everything smells so. clean.  It’s just so nice knowing that I don’t have to think about vacuuming for at least another week, until it will begin to haunt the fringes of my thoughts–and then I will put it off again for as long as possible until another day like today.

Better yet is the feeling that I don’t have class tomorrow.  That almost makes up for the fact that I have barely started studying for my upcoming Ortho final (which is on Monday), and will have to dedicate the weekend to my scholarly aspirations.  Luckily, my dad’s coworker gave me a large stack of food magazines, so I have ample distraction already lined up.

Yesterday’s distraction?

Granola Muffins with Raspberry Preserves (from A Kitchen Safari) 

  • 250 ml cake flour (1 C all-purpose)
  • 10 ml baking powder (2 t)
  • 2 ml salt (1/2 t)
  • 5 ml cinnamon (1 t)
  • 125 ml whole-wheat flour (1/2 C)
  • 80 ml granola (a little over 1/3 C)
  • 60 ml dark brown sugar (1/4 C + 1 T)
  • 125 ml melted unsalted butter (1/2 C)
  • 125 ml milk (1/2 C skim)
  • 80 ml raspberry preserves (1 t per muffin)


  • 60 ml brown sugar (1/4 C + 1 T)
  • 60 ml granola (heaping 1/4 C)
  • 2 ml ground cinnamon (1/2 t)
  • 30 ml unsalted butter (2 T smart balance)

As you can see, these are probably the least healthy thing I have made since I started blogging.  I made them for the small group we had planned today, because I felt bad I always make healthy snacks, but it was canceled so now we have too many unhealthy (but so delicious!) muffins.  Although, for a baked good, these definitely aren’t that bad for you.

Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees C (350 degrees F) and line muffin tins with paper cups and set aside.  Combine the dry muffin ingredients, make a well, and add the wet ingredients, except for the preserves.  Mix.

Fill 1/3 of each muffin cup, and add 1 t of raspberry preserves to each center.

Top with the remaining muffin mix.  As an aside, you can also add 1 t cottage cheese to each muffin–which I definitely would have done if I had it on hand.  I love cottage cheese.

Make the glaze by combining all the ingredients in a small bowl.  Gently spoon over the tops of the muffins.

Bake for 20-25 minutes until “nicely browned”, whatever that means. Actually, you’ll know.  They really do look…nicely browned.

Yum.  By far the best part of these little gems (aside from the crunchy, buttery top), is the sweet and tangy middle where the raspberry preserve has just melted into the muffin in a way that was definitely invented in heaven.

I also made lamb curry a few days ago:

I served it over brown rice with chickpeas.  Fritz liked it, but he had craved lamb curry for a few weeks and this wasn’t exactly the taste he was looking for.  I used tamarind paste (which I could eat with a spoon–weird, huh?), and I think that took it in a different direction than he was looking for.  Anyone out there got a good lamb curry recipe for me to try?  I’ve requested his mom’s recipe, because I know that will be the taste he’s been craving.

I’m off to go study for an hour before bed!  Ta-ta!


Filed under Desserts

Gluten-Free Pomegranate Corn Muffins

Wow.  That was a good workout.

And now I’m back on the couch, updating another blog post instead of doing all the homework that is awaiting me.  But I kinda feel like I have to, because I want to bake something yummy tomorrow too and then everything will just be all backed up.

Also, I hate homework.  So let’s talk about baking instead.

We have another “married-and-twenty-somethings” get-together coming up on Thursday, and that’s just a great excuse to do some baking.  Since Cait is gluten-free, it’s also a good excuse to try baking something new.  And by the way, baking gluten-free is impossible! fairly difficult to master.  You need a lot of ingredients, usually including at least three different kinds of wheatless flour.  This is definitely the most successful (not to mention healthiest) of my attempts at gluten-free bakery, so enjoy, all you allergics and celiacs out there!

Gluten-Free Pomegranate Corn Muffins (adapted from this recipe)

  • 1 1/2 C gluten-free cornmeal
  • 1/2 brown rice flour
  • 1 1/2 t guar gum
  • 1/4 C white sugar
  • 2 t baking powder
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 2 T plain greek yogurt
  • 2 T canola oil
  • 1 1/2 C skim milk
  • 1 C pomegranate seeds

Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.  Mix the dry ingredients together first, then add the wet ingredients (whip the egg  separately first).  Mix thoroughly–gluten-free baked goods tend to be dense and have difficulty rising, so the more air you can whip into the batter, the better.  And my muffins rose a lot.

Add the pomegranate, and mix by hand.  If you use the mixer, the seeds will burst and you will have pink muffins.  Not the worst thing, but you also wont have that delightful burst of juice when you bite into one.

Pour into greased muffin cups.

Bake for about 20 minutes, until they are beautifully golden-brown on top.  Cool on a wire rack, then take about 40 pictures of them so you can blog about it later.  Oh wait–you probably don’t have to do that.

While your muffins are baking, it might be a good time to go look for your cat.  If he’s anything like Henry (who is, after all, the star of this blog) you may find him laying in the largest patch of sun available in the house, preening (or grooming, or whatever it is that cats do).  He has to look his best at all times!

Check back in tomorrow to see some pumpkin bars.

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Filed under Breakfast, Desserts

(Healthier) Pumpkin Spice Muffins

I bought a couple of cans of pumpkin puree the other day while grocery shopping, and spent a couple of days pondering what to make–I was leaning towards cookies until my mom reminded me about a delicious baked good that I had forgotten even existed: muffins!  I haven’t made muffins for a while, but I do know that muffins in general pretend to be a healthy food while in actuality they are just a glorified cake that you are allowed to eat for breakfast.  As I am trying to eat somewhat healthily, I searched for a recipe that had at least a few redeeming qualities.  No point in making food that you feel guilty eating, right?
(Healthier) Pumpkin Spice Muffins (Adapted from CDKitchen’s Victoria Wesseler; original recipe here)

  • 1 C all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 C whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 t baking powder
  • 1 t baking soda
  • 3/4 C sugar (the original recipe called for 1 1/4 C!! totally unnecessary)
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1/4 t ground cloves
  • 1/2 t freshly ground nutmeg
  • 1 t cinnamon (sorry Fritz)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 C pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 C plain no-fat greek yogurt
  • 1/3 C water
  • 1/2 C raisins

 Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  I used my mixer for this, and added first all of the dry ingredients (including spices), and started mixing at a low speed while adding all of the wet ingredients.  Technically you should mix the wet ingredients in a separate bowl first (beating the eggs for some extra air) but 1) I’m lazy and 2) I like dense muffins.  So there ya go. 

Pour the batter into greased muffin tins.  I wanted to use cupcake liners to make the muffins more school-transportation friendly, which worked but the muffins do stick a little bit to the liner.  I’m guessing that’s because there’s no oil in the batter.  I also found a couple of mini-bundt cake pans that I bought at an 18-mile garage sale (yes, that’s right.  18-miles of garage sale-ing madness) for a dollar, and wanted to try them.  They came out so cute–perfect for individual desserts if I were to ever throw a fancy little dinner party in the far-away future.

Bake for 20-25 minutes until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.  Let cool for five minutes before removing from the tin, then finish cooling on a wire rack.  A lot of recipes I searched for recommended a tangy cream cheese icing to drizzle on top, but when I tried them they were honestly sweet enough to not need it–thank goodness I went from 1 1/4 C of sugar to 3/4 C!  Though I’m sure the icing would be delicious, since I love cream cheese frosting.

I think Fritz is officially getting over his anti-cinnamon feelings, and might in fact be growing immune to it since at least half of the food I make has cinnamon in it (I just don’t always tell him).  Next up on my list of foods to make Fritz love without his knowledge is mustard, then garlic.

Since I have two practicals coming up on Wednesday and Thursday of this week, I’ll hopefully be doing tons of focused and effective studying so that I don’t have to get all panicky and nervous on Tuesday night.  We just finished the 4th season of LOST and until we request the next season from the library I don’t even have that to distract me.  More likely though, I’ll start cooking more elaborate foods then ever before and study much less than I should.  But, to get off to a good start I’m going to study a little bit right now while Fritz is outside putting the cover on our pool.  Wish me luck!

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Filed under Breakfast, Desserts