Tag Archives: baking

Apple-Zucchini Bread

apple zucchini bread @ nancyc

Apple-Zucchini Bread just seems so perfect for this time of year—early fall is when I’m inspired to bake apple-flavored things! This recipe not only has apples, but zucchini too, which is great—you can never have enough good zucchini recipes for all that zucchini from the garden, can you? Or in my case, from the farmer’s market!

This quick bread has a subtle apple flavor and is also flavored with cinnamon and nutmeg. You can add pecans or walnuts in it too (I didn’t add any nuts to the loaf pictured above). It’s a moist, dense loaf on the inside, and a little crispy and crumbly as you cut into it on the outside. Make sure you grease and flour your pan well–I found that I also needed to loosen the edges of the loaf with a knife so it would come out of the pan easily.

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Chocolate Chip Muffins

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I realized that it’s been awhile since I made anything with chocolate in it, so I thought it would be a great time to make some Chocolate Chip Muffins! These are nice and cake-y, with lots of chocolate chips in every bite! In fact, it’s so chocolatey, you don’t need a glaze on this muffin because it’s plenty sweet all on its own. The muffin tops do brown around the edges, as you can see in the photo–so be sure not to over-bake, or the whole muffin top will get brown as well and the muffins will be on the dry side. If you like chocolate for breakfast or brunch, these are perfect…and they make a great afternoon snack, too!

CHOCOLATE CHIP MUFFINS by NancyC

Makes 21 muffins

  • 3 cups all-purpose unbleached flour
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup non-GMO Canola oil or light olive oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2/3 cup milk or light cream (Half & Half)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup plain or vanilla Greek yogurt
  • 1 (12-ounce) package semi-sweet mini chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375˚F. Line 2 standard-size muffin pans with 21 paper liners; set aside.

In large bowl, blend flour, granulated sugar, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

In medium bowl, mix oil, eggs, milk or light cream (Half & Half), and vanilla, blending well. Blend in the Greek yogurt, mixing well.

Pour liquid mixture into flour/sugar mixture and mix until just combined–do not overmix! Fold in the chocolate chips, blending evenly into the batter.

Spoon batter into the lined muffin cups, filling slightly more than 3/4 full. Bake at 375˚F for 16 to 17 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Let muffins cool in pan for 5 minutes, then remove to a wire rack to cool completely (or go ahead and eat them warm!).

Now that the weather has cooled off  a little, I’ve been enjoying doing more baking. What have you been baking lately?

Linked to Fiesta Friday at The Novice Gardener and Inspire Me Monday at Create with Joy.

Strawberry Banana Muffins

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My latest banana-inspired recipe also has fresh strawberries in it–the perfect muffin for summer! They’re so moist and full of delicious chunks of fresh strawberries. I love how the sprinkling of coarse sugar gives these muffin tops a little sparkle and crunchiness, too! I just did a light sprinkling, but you can do a heavier sprinkle if you want a real sugary top. So the next time you have some ripe bananas and fresh strawberries on hand, keep this recipe in mind! 🙂

STRAWBERRY BANANA MUFFINS by NancyC

Makes 11 muffins

  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 4 Tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup chopped fresh strawberries (cut into small chunks)
  • 1 cup mashed ripe bananas (about 2 medium)
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose unbleached flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • Optional: coarse sugar for sprinkling on top of muffins (use about 1/4 teaspoon per muffin or a little more, if you like)

Preheat oven to 375˚F. Line a muffin pan with 12 paper liners; set aside. In medium bowl, blend sugar and butter, then add in egg, and vanilla, blending well. Mix in the strawberries and bananas. In large bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. Add strawberry/banana mixture to the flour mixture and stir until just combined. Fill muffin cups 3/4 full and sprinkle tops with coarse sugar, if desired. Bake at 375˚F for 15-16 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Let muffins cool in pan 5 minutes, the remove and cool completely on wire rack or serve warm.

These muffins are great for breakfast, brunch, or an afternoon snack–they’d go great with some Strawberry Lemonade, too! Do you have a favorite strawberry/banana recipe?

Linked to Fiesta Friday at The Novice Gardener and Inspire Me Monday at Create with Joy.

Blackberry Gingerbread Muffins

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Usually I think of making gingerbread during the winter holidays, but here’s a summerized version in muffin form! Fresh blackberries make these muffins moist and of course the ginger and molasses give these muffins that great gingerbread taste. I had clipped this recipe from an old issue of Victoria magazine and modified it slightly. The original recipe was supposed to have made 18 muffins; I added in extra blackberries, and came up with 24 to 26 muffins, or 24 muffins and 1 mini-loaf. Making the mini-loaf works out great because you can bake it right along with your muffins–it will just need about 5 to 10 minutes extra baking time.

I also added a creamy glaze with a blackberry on top, because without any glaze or garnish these flat-topped muffins look quite plain. In other words, they are not the prettiest-looking muffins without anything on top. But they do taste great plain, so if you don’t mind them looking that way, you can skip the glaze.

I never would have thought of combining blackberries and gingerbread on my own, but I liked it alot! If you like gingerbread, you’ll have to try this out!

BLACKBERRY GINGERBREAD MUFFINS by NancyC, adapted from Victoria Magazine

Makes 26 muffins (or 24 muffins and 1 mini loaf)

  • 3 cups all-purpose unbleached flour
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 Tablespoon ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon cloves
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup firmly packed light or dark brown sugar
  • 1 cup unsulphured molasses
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 cups fresh blackberries

Preheat oven to 350˚F. Line muffin pans with 24 paper liners; set aside. Grease and flour a mini-loaf pan; set aside.

In a medium bowl, blend together flour, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and allspice.

In a large bowl, cream softened butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Gradually add molasses, eggs (one at a time), and buttermilk and mix until everything is combined well.

Add the flour mixture all at once to the butter/molasses mixture and stir until just combined. Gently fold in the berries and mix to distribute evenly in batter.

Fill each muffin cup about 3/4 full, and put the rest of the batter in your mini-loaf pan. Bake muffins at 350˚F for 20 to 25 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean; your mini-loaf will need to bake about 5 to 10 minutes longer. Cool in pan for 5 minutes, then remove and cool completely on wire rack.

If desired, drizzle muffins with glaze…

CREAMY GLAZE and BERRY GARNISH

  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons Half & Half (light cream)
  • 26 blackberries for garnish

In a small bowl, blend powdered sugar and Half & Half until smooth and creamy. Drizzle over cooled muffins and top each muffin with a blackberry in the center.

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A summery gingerbread is definitely a new thing for me! Have you tried any different twists on gingerbread?

Linked to Fiesta Friday at The Novice Gardener.

Blackberry Scones

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Hope you are enjoying the last day of your holiday weekend! I haven’t touched my computer for several days and it sure has been nice to unplug for awhile! 🙂 I haven’t done much cooking or baking this weekend either, but I did make another blackberry recipe with those blackberries I picked. I thought blackberry scones would be nice to try, and I actually tried a recipe out last week which did not turn out well at all! But I wasn’t quite ready to give up on blackberry scones, so this was my second attempt. And these scones turned out so much better! They are slightly sweet, moist, brimming with blackberries, and topped with a light creamy glaze…just the thing for a summer breakfast! You’ll need to use frozen blackberries (or freeze your fresh ones) so they won’t get all mushed up when you’re kneading the dough. The frozen blackberries will color the dough a little as you’re kneading it, but fortunately you only have to knead it a few times. If you don’t have blackberries, blueberries will work fine, too!

BLACKBERRY SCONES by NancyC, adapted from Tasty Kitchen

Makes 8 scones

  • 1/2 cup plain or vanilla Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups all-purpose unbleached flour
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, diced
  • 1 cup frozen blackberries

LIGHT CREAM GLAZE

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons Half & Half (light cream)

Preheat oven to 350˚F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a small bowl, blend Greek yogurt and baking soda; set aside.

In another small bowl, blend together the egg and vanilla; set aside.

In a large bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Cut in the cold butter using a pastry blender until the butter is the size of small peas.

Stir together the yogurt/baking soda mixture and the egg/vanilla mixture; then add this mixture to the flour mixture, stirring just until moistened. Gently stir in the frozen blackberries.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured board and knead a few times, just until the dough comes together. Place the dough onto the parchment-lined baking sheet and pat into a round disk about 1/2″ to 3/4″ thick. Score into 8 wedges. Bake for 28 to 30 minutes, or until the scones are golden brown and a toothpick inserted near center comes out clean or almost clean.

Cool scones for 15 minutes, then top with glaze. To make glaze, put 1 cup powdered sugar in a small bowl. Add 2 Tablespoons of Half & Half (light cream) and stir until well blended and creamy. Drizzle over cooled scones–drizzle on as much or as little glaze as you like–you probably won’t need to use all of it.

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These scones were probably the most noteworthy thing I made over the 4th of July weekend–did you make any special holiday treats?

Linked to Inspire Me Monday, Show and Share Party, Wow Us Wednesdays, Wonderful Wednesday, Full Plate Thursday, Thursday Favorite Things.