Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Amazing Bakery Style Blueberry Muffins

Every baker's favorite time of year must be Summer time. I love all of the berries that are available and to me, nothing is better than baking with fresh berries. One of my all-time favorite recipes posted on the blog is actually the very first recipe we ever posted - The Best Blueberry Muffins. I don't know anyone who doesn't love a great Blueberry Muffin and I truly believe this is the best. Tender, light, moist, not overly sweet or dense with a delicious crunchy cinnamon topping. On their own, these Blueberry Muffins are fabulous, but the topping is really what makes them The Best Blueberry Muffin.
The best thing (yes, I used the word best again) about this recipe is that it's so easy! Anyone can make amazing bakery style Blueberry Muffins at home. One of my secrets is using  Panettone Baking Cups. They help the muffins to bake up taller and keep the delicious topping intact (believe me, you don't want to lose a drop of this stuff!).
You should be able to find Panettone Baking Cups at a well stocked baking supply store or order them online.
You can also use the tulip shaped baking cups.
Honestly, you could use any baking cup or none at all and just spray the muffin pan, but I think these muffins are so special they deserve a pretty presentation.
I truly hope you'll give this recipe a try!
Find the recipe for The Best Blueberry Muffin by clicking here
If you use Panettone Baking Cups, you will get 6-7 large size muffins out of this recipe. Place the baking cups on a rimmed cookie sheet (the cups are free standing) and fill approx. 2/3 full of batter and sprinkle topping on top.
If you use the Tulip shaped baking cups or regular muffin liners, you will get 7-8 muffins.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Baked Chocolate Donuts with Mocha Glaze

These Chocolate Donuts with Mocha Glaze combine 3 of my favorite things - Chocolate, Donuts and Coffee all in one! How can you beat that? The donuts are baked, making them healthier than the fried version, and they are deceptively light, not overly sweet. Imagine a light chocolate "cupcake" topped with a chocolate glaze flavored with a hint of coffee. Who wouldn't want that for breakfast?
The great thing about this recipe (in addition to the taste) is that it's easy to make and only makes 6 donuts! After all, having a dozen Chocolate Glazed Donuts sitting around could be a dangerous thing....
Next time you're looking for an easy and delicious breakfast treat that's a little bit on the indulgent side (without all of the guilt), I hope you'll give this recipe a try!

Baked Chocolate Donuts with Mocha Glaze
Makes 6 donuts

1 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/4 cup natural unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup + 3 tablespoons whole milk
1 large egg, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon melted butter (preferably unsalted)

Glaze Ingredients:
1 1/4 cup powdered sugar
3 tablespoons natural unsweetened cocoa powder
2-3 tablespoons strong brewed coffee
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
small dash of salt
Drizzle of heavy whipping cream


Preheat oven to 325F

Spray a 6 cavity Donut Pan with nonstick cooking spray.

Combine all dry ingredients in a large bowl and whisk to combine.

Add the milk, egg, vanilla extract and melted butter and whisk just until combined (do not overmix).

Using a rubber spatula, transfer the batter to a plastic storage bag. Cut off the tip and divide evenly between the 6 cavities of the Donut Pan.

Bake approx. 9-10 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.
Allow to cool in pan for 2 minutes, then carefully remove to cooling rack.
Make glaze - Combine the powdered sugar, coffee, vanilla and salt in a bowl and stir to combine. Drizzle in a small amount of heavy whipping cream to lighten. 
Dip or drizzle the donuts with the glaze.

Kick back, relax with your favorite cup of coffee and enjoy!
Recipe adapted from Foodfamilyfinds

Monday, July 22, 2013

Peach Blueberry Muffins

Peach Blueberry Muffins

We recently had some of Earl's friends visiting from Florida (great people! ), and I wanted to make something special for breakfast.  Sooo… what do I make? Well, my Anytime Anywhere Muffin recipe. I have posted this recipe before and use it all the time, see link below: 
If you're not the best baker or you're personally afraid of baking, this really is the recipe for you. It uses basic ingredients, is easy to make and tastes great.  I make this recipe at least twice a month since it's so versatile and easy to put together.  The version I am sharing today is a Peach Blueberry Muffin. This recipe changes with the seasons, since the peaches are so perfectly sweet at the market right now, this is perfect recipe to use. (I have made Strawberry, Blueberry, Banana-Nut, Chocolate Chip, Oatmeal Strawberry.. pretty much any combination works ).

Today’s version  is a delicious combination of Peaches Blueberries with a hint of cinnamon… yummy.. I wish you could have smelled them baking, they smelled delicious. So grab a cup of coffee and enjoy!  I really hope you give this recipe a try, it's worth the 45 minutes to make and bake!
Happy Cooking!
Peach Blueberry Muffins
Makes 10 large or 12 regular size muffins
1 ¾  cups all purpose flour
½ cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 large egg beaten
¾ cup whole milk (but you can use 1%-2%, that’s fine)
¼ cup vegetable oil (Canola oil is fine too)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 peach
1/3 cup wild blueberries
¼ cup of Turbinado sugar ( any type of sugar will work)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees
Line a muffin pan with 12 liners ( I made my muffins a bit bigger so I only needed 10)
Dice the peach


1. In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and cinnamon.  Whisk till all combined.
2. Add the diced peach and blueberries. Make sure the fruit is coated with the flour mixture and set aside.
3. In a small bowl, combine egg, milk , oil and vanilla. Mix well.
4. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture.  Add the egg mixture. Using a wooden spoon, combine the flour and egg mixture together. Do not over mix. Just make sure that all is combined and moistened.
5. Using a large spoon or cookie scoop, spoon a large spoonful of muffin batter into each muffin cup.
6. Sprinkle each muffin with the Turbinado sugar.
7. Bake for 20 minutes
8. Cool for 5 minutes, ENJOY!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Empanadas de las Monjas (Turnovers from the Nunnery)

Empanadas de las Monjas (Turnovers from the Nunnery)


I know you’re probably questioning the title, but honestly this recipe was given to my Cousin Gabby, who then gave it to my Tia Conchia, who originally got it from a Nun.


Growing up, we loved to stop by the Nunnery on our way to visiting our Grandparents in a small town in Texcate Mexico. The Nuns would make and sell these AMAZING little turnovers to make money for the church. They were light, sweet and flaky, the perfect little treat for us girls. Anywise, over the years I have thought often of these little pastries so I was pleasantly surprised when my Aunt came to visit this weekend and had the recipe with her! So this weekend, she shared the recipe with me. There were a few things about the recipe that didn’t make sense to me, so I made a few modifications. After testing out the new recipe, my Aunt was shocked how much better they tasted. The end result was these perfect little pastries filled with sweet filling and an amazing turnover crust!


I hope you give this recipe a try. They are definitely worth your time!


Empanadas de las Monjas

Makes 60-65 mini turnovers




1 ½ cups All- purpose Vegetable Shorting

1 cup unsalted butter

7 cups of flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1- 12oz bottle of beer ((I used New Castle) (no idea what the nuns were doing with beer!)

½ cup half and half ( not in dough, but used to seal the pastries)



Filling (homemade filling) double recipe if your only making blueberry ones

2 cups frozen blueberries (thawed)

½ cup sugar

¼ teaspoon cinnamon

½ teaspoon lemon juice

2 ½ tablespoons cornstarch

2 tablespoons water


1 jar of fruit preserve (I used strawberry, do not use Jelly)


Or you can just use 2 jars of your favorite preserve)



1 can of Sweetened Condensed Milk

½ cup Turbinado Sugar (or raw sugar would work)                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       





Make the dough:

1. In a large bowl, whisk the flour with the salt. Set aside.

2. Cream the shortening and butter together using a the paddle attachment.

3. Add flour and beer to the shortening mixture in three parts, until mixture is a nice, thick dough.


4. Switch the mixing attachment to dough hook. Mix 2 minutes.


5. Put dough in a bowl, and hand knead for about 1 minute.

6. Taking pieces of dough, make into 1 inch balls and set on a cookie tray lined with wax paper.

7. Once you done making all the balls, set to rest for 1 hour.


While dough is resting make the homemade filling:

8. In a medium saucepan, combine blueberries, sugar, cinnamon, lemon juice. Cook over medium heat.

9. Mix the cornstarch and water in a small bowl and set aside.

10. Once the blueberries start to boil, stir in the cornstarch mixture. Bring to a boil and boil for about 2 minutes. Set aside and allow to cool completely.
(best result, make the jam the day before)


Assemble the tarts:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees:


11. After the dough balls have been resting for an hour, take a tortilla press and press each ball into 4” circle (if you do not have a tortilla press, use two pieces of wax paper and a rolling pin)

12. Add 1 teaspoon of filling to the center of disk.

13. Using your finger tip, dip in half and half mil and brush the edges of the disk.

14. Fold each circle in half over the filling. Use your finger tip to press the edges gently to seal.

15. Place on cookie tray lined with Parchment paper.

16. Crimp each tart with the tines of a fork. 

17. Brush each tart with the sweetened condensed milk and sprinkle with Turbinado sugar.

18. Bake for 23-26 minutes.  Tops will be light golden brown.

19. Cool for 15 minutes, ENJOY!



Saturday, July 13, 2013

Petite Strawberry Cakes (or muffins if you eat them in the morning!)

These little cakes are special; they deserve a cozy spot in a sunlit corner with you cuddled up in your favorite easy chair with a pot of tea and a good book. They're perfect for tea time or brunch with the girls - light and delicate, not too sweet with a hint of orange zest and a slight crunch from the sprinkling of Turbinado sugar. The strawberries are baked on top of each cake and topped with a vanilla bean glaze.
If you're like me and you bake these cakes in the morning and can't wait for tea time or dessert time, just call them muffins! No one will ever know you're eating dessert for breakfast!


Petite Strawberry Cakes (aka Strawberry Muffins)
Makes 9 small cakes

1 cup all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick), room temperature
1 large egg, room temperature
2 teaspoons fresh orange zest
1/3 cup buttermilk
Approx 5 small-medium size strawberries, sliced
3 tablespoons turbinado sugar (or Sugar in the Raw)

Glaze Ingredients:
1 cup powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
1-2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream (or milk)


Preheat oven to 350f

Generously spray muffin tin with non-stick cooking spray.

In a small bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

Using your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the brown sugar and butter at medium speed until light and fluffy (approx. 2 minutes).

Add the egg, vanilla and orange zest and mix on low speed until combined. Scrape down the bowl with a rubber spatula.

With the mixer running on low speed, alternate adding the flour mixture and buttermilk - start with 1/3 of the flour mixture, add 1/2 of the buttermilk and repeat. Mix just until combined, do not overmix.

Divide the batter evenly between the prepare muffin cups (I got 9 cakes).

Arrange 2 slices of strawberries on top of the batter in each cup and press them slightly into the batter. Sprinkle evenly with the Turbinado sugar.

Bake approx. 20 minutes or until done (test with a toothpick).

Remove from oven and allow to cool in the pan for just a few minutes then carefully and gently remove them and place on a cooling rack to cool completely. Tip: If you notice a lot of liquid pooled around the strawberries when you remove them from the oven, take a tip of a paper towel and soak up a little of the extra liquid so your cakes don't get too mushy.

While the cakes are cooling, make the glaze
Combine all of the ingredients in a medium size bowl. Adjust to desired consistency.

Lightly drizzle the glaze on the cakes and enjoy!

Monday, July 1, 2013

German Chocolate Whoopie Pies

June seems to be a popular month for German Chocolate. I've probably already mentioned that both my sister Freda and Yvonne's birthdays fall within the same week in June and they both love German Chocolate Cake so I usually try to make something following the German Chocolate theme. We've already posted recipes for German Chocolate Cupcakes and German Chocolate Cookies so I thought, why not combine them into a Whoopie Pie? Kinda like cupcake and cookie all in one...
These German Chocolate Whoopie Pies turned out great. The filling is to die for (I could eat it alone with a spoon) and I used Dutch Process Cocoa Powder for the chocolate cookie, which is darker and has a more mellow flavor. David Lebovitz has a great article explaining the difference between Dutch Process and Natural Cocoa Powder.
If you have a German Chocolate lover in your life, I hope you give this recipe a try!
German Chocolate Whoopie Pies
Makes approx 10 Whoopie Pies
Whoopie Pie Ingredients:
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 large egg, room temp
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup Dutch Process Cocoa Power
1 1/2 teaspoons Baking Soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup Buttermilk
Coconut Pecan Frosting Ingredients:
One 12 oz can evaportated milk
3 egg yolks
1 1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter
2 2/3 cups sweetened flaked coconut
2 cups pecans, toasted and coarsely chopped
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Make the Coconut Pecan filling:
Follow the directions here and allow to cool to room temperature. You can also make the filling a day or two ahead of time and bring to room temperature before using.

** Note: This recipe makes more filling than you will need for a single batch of Whoopie Pies. You can either make a double batch of Whoopie Pies or use the extra filling to frost cupcakes. Or, if you're like me, eat it straight from the bowl with a spoon! :)
Make the Whoopie Pies:
Preheat oven to 350f
Spray a Whoopie Pie pan with nonstick cookie spray. If you don't have a Whoopie Pie pan (aka Muffin Top Pan), you can use a regular cookie sheet, but I recommend using a cookie scoop to make sure the cookies are uniform. Also, note the cookies may spread a little more on a cookie sheet vs. the Whoopie Pie Pan. They'll be a little thinner and may need shorter baking time, but they will still taste delicious.
In a medium size bowl, combine the flour, cocoa powder and baking soda. Set aside.
In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or in a large bowl using your hand mixer), cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy (approx 2 minutes).
Add the egg and mix to combine.
Add 1/3 of the flour mixture, mix just until combined, then add 1/2 of the butter milk and mix just until combined. Repeat the process, ending with the last 1/3 of the flour mixture.
Scoop approx 1/4 cup of batter into the prepared Whoopie Pie Pan. Bake approx 10-12 minutes or until the tops spring back when lightly pressed.
Cool in the pan for 1 minute them remove to a wire cooling rack to cool completely.
Assemble the Whoopie Pies:
Spread the room temperature Coconut Pecan filling on top of the flat part of one Whoopie Pie. Place the other Whoopie Pie on top with the flat part facing the filling.
Store individually wrapped with plastic wrap for up to 2 days.
If you don't eat them all, you can even give them as gifts (like I did!).
Recipe Adapted from: About Southern Food