Tag Archives: baking

Never Fail Sweet Potato Pie

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This time of year is sweet potato pie time! I’ve never made my own homemade sweet potato pie, so I decided this would be the year to do it. When I received some vouchers for complimentary products from the Sager Creek Vegetable Company recently, I decided to try a sweet potato pie recipe from their website. They call this recipe Our Best Never Fail Sweet Potato Pie. That sounded like the perfect recipe for me, since I’m not a very experienced pie-maker! This recipe makes three, yes three, sweet potato pies, so it’s perfect if you’re needing to make lots of pies for the holidays. I used the Sager Creek Vegetable Company’s Princella cut sweet potatoes for the filling and they worked out great! And you can use unbaked frozen pie shells, which also saves time (you need to thaw them before using). I just happened to have three of those in my freezer. So I guess making this recipe was meant to be! 🙂

I changed the recipe slightly by adding some additional spices–in addition to ground cinnamon, I also added nutmeg and ginger. The sweet potato filling has a really great flavor with the combination of these spices. It’s really yummy and a great recipe to keep in mind when you want to make a batch of pies! The pie crust edges do brown quite a bit, but you can keep them lighter by covering the edges with foil when baking.

NEVER FAIL SWEET POTATO PIE by NancyC, adapted from SagerCreekVeggies.com

Makes three 9″ pies

  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 2 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 6 large eggs, beaten
  • 1 (40-ounce) can Princella sweet potatoes, drained and mashed
  • 1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 6 Tablespoons cornstarch
  • 15 ounces evaporated milk (I used three 5-ounce cans)
  • 3 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 (9-inch) deep dish unbaked pie shells (I used frozen pie shells, thawed–I actually used two deep dish and one regular size because that’s what I had on hand)

Preheat oven to 400˚F.

In large bowl, cream butter and sugar. Add beaten eggs and stir. Then add mashed sweet potatoes and blend everything well.

Next, stir in ground cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and cornstarch; then add in evaporated milk, vanilla, and salt, making sure all ingredients are thoroughly mixed.

Pour mixture into the three pie shells and bake at 400˚F for 15 minutes. Lower heat to 350˚F and continue baking for an additional 25 to 30 minutes, until the tip of a knife inserted in center comes out clean.

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Of course some whipped cream on top of your pie is always a good idea, too!

Hope you and your family and friends enjoy a wonderful meal and time together this Thanksgiving! And may this holiday remind us of the many blessings we have to be thankful for!

Come before Him with thankful hearts. Let us sing Him psalms of praise. PSALM 95:2 Living Bible (TLB)

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Apple-Zucchini Bread

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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.

Enjoy a slice of this bread for breakfast or an afternoon snack with some coffee, tea, or apple cider. It’s great just as it is, but you could also spread some apple butter on your slices for more apple flavor!

APPLE-ZUCCHINI BREAD by NancyC, adapted from Taste of Home

Makes 1 (8 x 4″) loaf

  • 2 cups all-purpose unbleached flour
  • 1/2 Tablespoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup light olive oil or non-GMO canola oil
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 Tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup shredded unpeeled zucchini
  • 1/2 cup shredded peeled apple (I used a Granny Smith apple)
  • Optional: 3/4 cup chopped pecans or walnuts

Preheat oven to 350˚F. Grease and flour a 8 x 4″ loaf pan well; set aside (If you use a 9 x 5″ loaf pan, your baking time will be a little less, and your loaf will not look quite as full, since it will be a little wider and longer).

In large bowl, combine flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg.

In medium bowl, beat eggs; add oil, sugars, and vanilla, blending well. Pour this mixture over dry ingredients and mix well. Stir in zucchini, apples, and pecans or walnuts, if using (batter will be thick). Spoon batter into your prepared 8 x 4″ loaf pan. Bake at 350˚degrees for 55 to 60 minutes or until toothpick inserted near center comes out clean (if you use a 9 x 5″ pan, your baking time may be more like 50 to 55 minutes).

Cool in pan for 15 minutes, then remove to a wire rack to cool completely. Note: even though I greased and floured my loaf pan, I still had to loosen the edges of the loaf with a knife so it would come out easily.

September has gone by much too fast for me–has it for you, too? The cooler, crisp mornings are really nice, but I do miss the longer days of summer. Are you enjoying autumn, and have you been trying out any new apple recipes?

Linked to Inspire Me Monday at Create with Joy, Thursday Favorite Things at Katherine’s Corner, and Full Plate Thursday at Miz Helen’s Country Cottage.

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.