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Muffin & Cupcakes

I got to read once that baking is a stress reliever. Maybe this is not an absolute truth, but sure it works for me. First of all because my mind just clears up when it is up to start baking: I focus on what I am doing and nothing else matter. Secondly, the fact I am going to share my treats makes me feel good. That said, today I really felt like I needed to bake a tray of wonderful muffins to make my peace with the world. So when I woke up (very early this morning, even if I didn’t set an alarm ugh!) instead of making me some orange juice I decided to bake some super quick muffins with orange and almond! Yeah well…ok being super healthy and all…but I added also some choco chips cause I thought they would have helped me being a bit more cheerful (I could have used rum for this purpose, but it was definitely too early in the morning lol). Muffins turned out great and by the time I was done morning sadness was just a vague memory…to the delight of my parents who got to eat them for breakfast! 🙂

Orange Choco Almond Muffins

Ingredients_

– 1 cup baking flour
– 2/3 cup brown sugar
– 1 cup whole wheat flour
– 1 1/2 cup sliced almonds
– 2 tsp baking powder
– 2 eggs
– 1 cup cream cheese
– 2 little oranges (juice and zest)
– 1/2 cup choco chips

Directions_

1. Adjust oven rack to middle position; heat oven to 350° F. Line standard muffin/cupcake tin with paper or foil liners.

2. Whisk together flours, sugar, almonds (previously crumbled) and baking powder in bowl of standing mixer fitted with paddle attachment. Add the eggs slightly beaten and orange juice and zest; beat at medium speed for 1 minutes then add cream cheese and mix until smooth and satiny. Scrape down sides of bowl with rubber spatula and mix by hand until smooth. Toss in chocolate chips and stir them with a spoon just until combined.

3. Divide batter among cups of prepared tin, leaving half to 3/4 of them empty. Bake until muffin tops are pale gold and toothpick or skewer inserted into batter comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Let set muffins in their tin for another 20 min and transfer to wire rack.

Orange Choco Almond Muffins1

I love September not only cause it’s my month of birth, but mostly because there’s a different energy in the air. Summer is about to be over, but it’s still warm and sunny outside. At night you can fill the breeze and start cracking the window instead of sleeping with the air-conditioning on! Specially in Italy, it looks like the beginning of a new year (and basically it is), as everybody came back from August summer holiday and now is ready to start back again. It’s a month full of good intentions (I will go to the gym, I will start eating healthy, I will…add whatever you want) and lots of things to do! For example, here at the country we have tons of fruit ready to be picked up: apples, pears, wild blackbarries, plums, grapes and figs (of course!). Two days ago I came home with a basket full of green mini-figs…they are bite-sized and soooo sweet. I decided to dry out part of them but I had some leftover and…ta-daaaa: Choco Chip & Fig Cupcakes! I like them cause figs turned out still moist but cupcake batter was perfectly baked. Simply yummy!

Image

INGREDIENTS:

– 1½ cups all-purpose flour
– 1 cup granulated sugar
– 1½ teaspoons baking powder
– ½ teaspoon table salt
– 8 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 stick), room temperature
– ½ cup sour cream
– 1 large egg , room temperature
– 2 large egg yolks , room temperature
– 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract

– ½ cup chocolate chips (bitter or semi-sweet, as you please)

– 12 little figs, washed and dried

DIRECTIONS:

1. Adjust oven rack to middle position; heat oven to 350° F. Line standard muffin/cupcake tin with paper or foil liners.

2. Whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in bowl of standing mixer fitted with paddle attachment. Add butter, sour cream, egg and egg yolks, and vanilla; beat at medium speed until smooth and satiny, about 30 seconds. Scrape down sides of bowl with rubber spatula and mix by hand until smooth and no flour pockets remain. Toss in chocolate chips and stir them with a spoon just until combined.

3. Divide batter among cups of prepared tin, leaving half to 3/4 of them empty. Take figs and place each one of them in the center of a cup, pushing it softly down the batter. Bake until cupcake tops are pale gold and toothpick or skewer inserted into cupcake batter comes out clean, 20 to 24 minutes. Remove the cupcakes from tin and transfer to wire rack.

A couple of days ago I bought some frozen blueberries. I usually prefer to use fresh fruit for my treats, but I had to give them a chance! I didn’t have in mind what to do with them, but yesterday I decided to make some muffins for morning breakfast. It literally took me 10 minutes to make them (plus 20 to bake) and the result was a moist, soft, fluffy consistency I really loved!

BBMuffins

Ingredients

– 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for tins
– 3 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
– 3 teaspoons baking powder
– 1 teaspoon salt
– 1 1/4 cups sugar, plus more for sprinkling
– 1 large egg
– 2 large egg yolks
– 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
– 1 cup milk
– 1 3/4 cups blueberries

Directions
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Butter large (3 3/4 inches) or small (2 3/4 inches) muffin tins, and set aside. In a large bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar on medium speed until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add egg, egg yolks, and vanilla; mix until well combined. Reduce speed to low; alternate adding reserved flour mixture and milk to mixer, beginning and ending with flour. Remove bowl from mixer; gently fold in berries by hand. Divide batter among muffin tins; sprinkle generously with sugar. Bake until light golden, about 45 minutes for large muffins, about 30 minutes for small muffins. Cool in pan 15 minutes. Remove from pan; transfer to wire rack, and let cool completely
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