Friday, October 4, 2013

Simple and Sweet Pumpkin Muffins

Fall inspired baking commenced this past weekend. Saturday morning Doodle Bug woke up with a hankering for a pumpkin muffin. I didn't want to eat at Panera's again (where I knew they had pumpkin muffins), so off we went on a Mother-Daughter quest for the elusive pumpkin muffin. We first went to Sweet Theory, a local amazing vegan bakery, but they were not open. We then walked down the street and around the corner to the fabulous Cool Moose Cafe. Cool Moose has FABULOUS muffins that they slather with butter and GRILL for your gluttonous pleasure, but blueberry and morning glory muffins were not on Doodle Bug's immediate agenda (no matter that mom's mouth was watering at the thought of the crunch of the grilled muffin crust).  So, off we went to Einstein Bagels, where at long last, the pumpkin muffin was discovered. She gobbled up her muffin in record time while I sipped my pumpkin spice coffee and reflected on the fun that we had seeking out our breakfast.

Finally! A pumpkin muffin!
Doodle Bug LOVES pumpkin. Have I mentioned that before? Probably at least 20 times by now. We first recognized her affinity for all things pumpkin last fall. I, on the other hand, do not enjoy the taste of pumpkin. I adore the spices used in fall baking, but the taste and texture of pumpkin does not strike my fancy. I find it hysterical that our little super, super, S-U-P-E-R picky eater loves pumpkin. It's great for her nutritionally, so I encourage the regular intake of this orange/slimy food (blasphemy, I know).

So, after our morning fun I decided to take a shot at my own pumpkin muffins for her. I found a great recipe online, and I just adapted it to make it a little healthier for my toddler that doesn't understand portion control when it comes to pumpkin.

Okay, so on with the recipe already....

  • 1 can pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie)
  • A few TBSP maple syrup (because our family has a slight obsession with the maple goodness)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1-1/2 cup applesauce
  • 2-1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar white sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 TBSP pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
Maple Vanilla Glaze Ingredients:
  • A TBSP maple syrup
  • 1/4  tsp good vanilla extract (I just Mexican vanilla) 
  • a little confectioners sugar (maybe a TBSP)
  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. In your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine pumpkin, applesauce, sugars, and maple syrup.
  3. add in eggs and beat until combined.
  4. sift together flour, pumpkin pie spice,salt, and baking soda.
  5. Slowly add dry ingredients to wet- just mixing enough to incorporate all ingredients. 
  6. Use a large scoop and prepare muffin pans (either use paper cups or spray)
  7. Bake for 25 or so minutes (until inserted tooth pick comes out clean).
  8. Cool on wire racks before storing. 
  9. Combine ingredients for glaze and drizzle over top.
    little minis
Yield: 24 muffins; about 80 mini muffins (bake minis for 10-15 minutes)

I have also made this recipe adding in chocolate chips-- that was a hit with my middle school students!


Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Scones for the Fall

So, I have been on a scone baking kick for the past few weeks, and I think I have found my favorite recipe yet. It is officially October, so I can bust out the fall flavors and kick them into high gear!

My husband has a work breakfast once a month, and this month I told him to sign me up for scones. They were so easy to make that I thought it would be the perfect easy addition to their breakfast buffet. Well, last night he informs me, "AH... tomorrow is breakfast club." I had a meeting at my church, so I knew I would have to whip up something simple when I got home. I came home at around 8:30, and the house was empty. Doodle Bug, dad, and Archer (the whippet) had gone for a walk. I decided to take this opportunity to create a fun scone flavor instead of just making my previous recipe.

I found an interesting recipe for French Toast Scones with a Maple Glaze, so I thought I would take some ideas from this recipe as well as substituting some ingredients for what I had at home (no time to run to the grocery store!) and the flavors I like best.

This recipe was super easy and produced the best scones I have ever tasted! It is definitely a must try during these fall months!

Just a tip-- use Ceylon cinnamon-- there is absolutely NO comparison! 


 For the scones:
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 TBSP brown sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp all spice
  • 1/4 tsp ginger
  • 1/8 tsp clove
  • 1/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick)
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla
  • 1 egg, beaten
For the cinnamon sugar topping:
  • 2 TBSP sugar
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
For the glaze:
  • 1 tsp pure organic amber honey
  • 1-2 tsp pure maple syrup
  • 2 tsp milk
  • 1 tsp heavy whipping cream (or more if needed)
  • 1 pinch cinnamon and all spice
  • 1 TBSP or more powdered sugar (to thicken)
  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, sift together flour, sugar, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, all spice, clove, and pumpkin pie spice.
  3. Cut cold butter into the four mixture. You can use a pastry fork or two forks. mixture should look like small crumbs. I always grate my butter first (just makes it easier to evenly distribute). 
  4. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together heavy whipping cream, egg, and vanilla.
  5. Make a well in the center of the flour and butter mixture. Pour cream mixture in the center and fold in so that all the ingredients are combined. 
  6. I wanted to make more than 8 scones for this recipe, so I used a medium scoop. Scoop onto pan lined with parchment paper.
  7. Sprinkle cinnamon sugar mixture on top and brush with heavy cream.
  8. Bake for about 10 minutes or until lightly browned (I always rotate my pans 1/2 way through baking because I have a gas oven). 
  9. Take scones out and let cool on a wire rack.
  10. Prepare glaze: combine all glaze ingredients together and drizzle over cooled scones. Allow glaze to set before storing.
  11. Best eaten within 24 hours. 
Yield: 18 small round scones. 

These are DELISH!