Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Glazed Donut Muffins

Glazed Donut Muffins

I am anticipating the big snowstorm that is suppose to start sometime today after 8:00 in the morning. Even though I don't really care for snow and was really getting use to the nice warm weather, I'm looking forward to being snowed in for a day.

I've already been making plans for what I'll do on Wednesday with the day off. Some of it of course involves baking. It just wouldn't be a snow day without baking something sweet and delicious in the oven. I'm thinking on Wednesday it'll be something chocolate too.

Well in anticipation of the upcoming snow I decided that I would post a recipe for muffins. Doesn't that just sound yummy on a cold winter day? These will be a perfect breakfast treat and they are quick and easy to make.

These muffins resemble the taste and kind of the look of glazed donuts. They are wonderful and I'm sure you are going to like them.

Glazed Donut Muffins
1/4 C of softened butter
1/4 C vegetable oil
1/2 C sugar
1/3 C brown sugar, packed
2 large eggs
1 1/2 t baking powder
1/4 t baking soda
1 t nutmeg
1 t cinnamon
3/4 t salt
1t vanilla extract
2 2/3 C flour
1 C milk

3 T butter, melted
3 C powdered sugar
1 t vanilla extract
2 T hot water

  1. Preheat the oven to 425. Lightly grease a standard muffin tin or line with paper muffin cups and spray with non stick cooking spray.
  2. In a medium bowl cream butter, oil, sugars together. Add eggs and beat to combine
  3. Stir in baking powder, baking soda, nutmeg, cinnamon, salt and vanilla.
  4. Stir in the flour and the milk, alternating to make sure everything is combined throughly.
  5. Spoon batter into prepared muffin tins. Fill cups 2/3 full.
  6. Bake muffins for 15 minutes.
  7. In a medium bowl combine melted butter, powdered sugar, vanilla and hot water. Whisk until smooth.
  8. Dip cooled muffins in glaze. Let it harden and dip a second time.
  9. Keep muffins in an airtight container.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Sourdough Starter

Sourdough Starter

I know this post seems a little lame, but I thought if in a few days when the starter is ready if you want you could also make the recipes that use the starter. So why not give it a try.

When you mix this up it will resemble pancake mix. Make sure when you mix it with a beater that you have a deep enough bowl or it is going to splatter everywhere. (Learn from my mistake. It wasn't a pretty sight.)

Sourdough Starter
1 1/2 t active dry yeast or bread machine yeast
3/4 warm water ( 105-115 degrees)
3 C warm water (105-115 degrees)
3 C all-purpose flour
4 t granulated sugar or brown sugar

To make starter: Dissolve the yeast in the  3/4 cup of warm water. add the 3 cups warm water; stir in flour and sugar. Beat with an electric mixer on medium speed just until smooth. Cover with 100% cotton cheese cloth. Let stand at room temperature for 5-10 days or until mixture has a sour, fermented aroma, stirring 2 or 3 times every day. (A warmer room speeds the process.) When the starter has fermented., transfer to a 2-quart or larger plastic container with a tight-fitting lid; refrigerate.

Keep checking back on what to do with the starter once it has fermented. The first recipe on the list is cinnamon rolls.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Meatballs with Mashed Potatoes and Gravy

Ever get tired of the same old thing for dinner? Do you feel like you're just eating junk all the time and not really anything healthy? Sometimes you just need a good home cooked meal, but you don't have a ton of time to make a really good meal.

 Well I just found a quick convenient way of making meatballs without the hassle of pan frying them and they taste wonderful.These baby's you just mix up, place on a baking sheet and bake in the oven for 15 minutes. No grease splatter all over. No unevenly cooked meatballs. Nothing but perfection.

 I simply mixed up the meatballs and threw them in the oven while I peeled my potatoes and got them cooking. Once the potatoes were cooking I got the gravy ready. The gravy was also a snap to make and the meal was so yummy! My husband had even come into the kitchen to see what I was making and when it would be ready because it smell so good.

Now I can't take all the credit for these recipes. I found the meatball and gravy recipe on Goodcheapeats.com while checking out Pinterest. I modified the meatball recipe for a family serving. The regular recipe is for making meatballs and freezing them for other uses later, which I just might do in the future.

When I made the gravy I used chicken broth just because I didn't have any beef broth. I'm going to try using beef broth the next time I make it and maybe even add some mushrooms. I would also double the gravy recipe the next time. My family and I love gravy and there just wasn't enough to really douse our meatballs and mashed potatoes. I guess it was so good we really wanted more.

As far as the mash potatoes goes, I just peeled and quartered about 8 potatoes and boiled them until done. When you quarter them they don't take very long to cook. Once they were done I added butter and milk and mashed them. Nothing special, but they tasted great with the gravy.

So give these recipes a try. I'm going to bet you'll find them to be yummy too.

1 lb of ground beef
3/4 C bread crumbs
1 egg
1/3 C of onion, chopped
1 clove of garlic
3 t dried parsley
1 1/2 t dried basil
1/4 t salt

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Don't over mix. Form into meatballs and place on a baking sheet, preferably with sides. Bake for 15 minutes in a 350 oven or until meatballs are cooked through.

1/4 C butter
1/4 C Chopped onion
1/4 C flour
2 C beef or chicken broth
1/4 t pepper
1 t dried thyme or dill weed

In a large fry pan, melt butter. Saute onion until clear. Whisk in flour and cook until bubbly. Whisk in broth. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until thickened. Stir in seasonings. Add meatballs and cook long enough to warm meatballs through. Serve with mashed potatoes.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Homemade Samoas Bars

It's that time of year again where we all are ordering those delicious Girl Scout cookies. I tend to have a few favorites that I buy hoards of each year. I end up throwing them in my freezer and we try to slowly eat them. That doesn't happen very often, the slowly part. Girl Scout cookies never last very long in my house.

One of my family favorites is the Samoa cookies. You know those cookies with the chocolate bottom and the coconut caramel topping. Whenever we have those in the house we practically fight over them. Someone is always accusing someone else of eating the whole box.

Now I think I've found a recipe that is pretty close to the famous Girl Scout cookie. It is in the form of a bar instead of a cookie, but they are still yummy none the less. I found this particular recipe on Baking Bites and she does have other mock Girl Scout cookie recipes. This one just happen to also be a bar recipe.

The only issue I had with this bar was the cookie part was a little crumbly. I had a really hard time with the dipping of the chocolate bottom, so I kind of just spread chocolate on the bottom. I'm thinking that I shouldn't have baked the bottom quite so long. I think my oven is just a little bit hotter.

Now this recipe will no way deter one from purchasing a box of cookies from your local Girl Scout, but it sure might help the time pass quicker as you wait for your order. It also might help you make through those times that you are craving them, but have none left in the freezer. So still put your cookie order in and in the mean time bake up a batch of these and enjoy.

Homemade Samoas Bars
1/2 C sugar
3/4 C butter, softened
1 large egg
1/2 t vanilla extract
2 C flour
1/4 t salt

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Lightly grease a 9 X 13 baking pan. In a large bowl, cream together sugar and butter, until fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla extract. Working at a low speed, gradually beat in flour and salt until mixture is crumbly, like wet sand. The dough does not need to come together. Pour crumbly dough into prepared pan and press into an even layer.
Bake for 20-25 minutes, until base is set and edges are lightly browned. Cool completely on a wire rack before topping.
3 C shredded coconut
12 oz caramels
1/4 t salt
3 T milk
10 oz dark or semisweet chocolate (chocolate chips are ok)
Preheat oven to 300 F. Spread coconut evenly on a parchment-lined baking sheet and toast 20 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes, until coconut is golden. Cool on baking sheet, stirring occasionally. Set aside.
Unwrap the caramels and place in a large microwave-safe bowl with milk and salt. Cook on high for 3-4 minutes, stopping to stir a few times to help the caramel melt. When smooth, fold in toasted coconut with a spatula.
Put dollops of the topping all over the shortbread base. using the spatula, spread topping into an even layer. Let topping set until cooled.
When cooled, cut into 30 bars with a large knife or a pizza cutter.
Once bars are cut, melt chocolate in a small bowl. Heat on high in the microwave in 45 second intervals, stirring thoroughly to prevent scorching. Dip the base of each bar into the chocolate and place on a clean piece of parchment or wax paper. Transfer all remaining chocolate into a bag or ziploc bag with the corner snipped off and drizzle bars with chocolate to finish.
Let chocolate set completely before storing in an airtight container.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Cinnamon French Toast

Sunday's are great days to make a big breakfast for the whole family. This is the day that my family and I usually go all out and make a big breakfast. We try to really mix it up and have a variety of dishes to eat.

Bacon and eggs are a couple of items that we usually have on Sunday.The variety comes with the pancakes, waffles, muffins or French toast. All of these are changed up with different flavor varieties. We have banana, chocolate chip, apple, cinnamon and etc.

My family really likes French toast and this time I made cinnamon French toast. Usually I use just regular bread for the French toast, but this time I actually had part of a French bread loaf left over, so I decided to cut it into slices and use this for my Cinnamon French toast.

I always use my electric griddle when making pancakes or French toast. It doesn't need to be greased, so that cuts down on calories and I can cook a lot more at one time. Plus it is super fast when cooking for a lot of people. If you don't have a electric griddle I would suggest getting one. They come in handy for a lot of things.

So have a great Saturday and enjoy making this recipe of Cinnamon French Toast.

Cinnamon French Toast
4 eggs
1/4 C milk
1 t cinnamon
3 t sugar
French bread, sliced

Crack eggs into a bowl and whisk with a kitchen whisk. Add the milk, cinnamon and sugar. Whisk with a whisk until well blended. Soak French bread in egg mixture well before frying on the griddle. Serve with butter and syrup.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Cornstarch Cookies

Yesterday I had the most awesome time with my friends from work. We decided to take a cake decorating class at Michaels. This was our first class to kind of just get the beginning basics for decorating cakes. It was so much fun and we actually learn a lot about cake decorating.

For our first lesson we decorated cookies. Our cookies had to be flat cookies so we could practice making these little stars on them. Before we tried making them on our cookies we practiced making them on a practice board. It actually wasn't too hard. I just wished I had bought some stuff to color my frosting, because they looking a little boring in plain white.

The cookie recipe I chose to make was called Cornstarch cookies. I know the name of the cookie sounds disgusting, but they are like those melt in your mouth cookies you get from the bakery. They are very easy to mix up and they roll out well. You just need a good rolling pin and a round cookie cutter.

Since I only had to bring six cookies to class I decorated the other cookies with a little powered sugar frosting and sprinkles. When you make powdered sugar frosting add a little bit of milk at a time. You want the frosting to be kind of stiff so it won't run off the cookie. A little bit of milk goes a long way, so easy does it on the milk. Make sure the cookies are well cooled before frosting.

Cornstarch Cookies
4 sticks of butter
3 1/2 C flour
1 C cornstarch
1 C powdered sugar
1/2 t salt

Preheat oven to 325 for 10 minutes.
Cream butter with mixer for 3 minutes.Add ingredients one at a time, mixing well each time.  Sift the flour and add to butter.  Add the cornstarch then the powdered sugar and finally the salt. Once the mixture is combined knead on a floured surface for a few minutes. Then roll dough out to 1/4 inch thickness and cut cookies using a round cookie cutter. Bake for 10 minutes. Cool cookies on a cooling rack before frosting.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Raspberry Cheese Danish

Well it's finally the weekend! Halleluiah! I am going to do a little indulging this weekend with some sweet treats. And why not it is Super Bowl Weekend. It kind of gives us license to over indulge with food a little.
To start the weekend off I'm making a little breakfast treat that is Oh so Yummy! It raspberry cheese danish. I found the recipe in my Taste of Home magazine. I changed it a little to put my own spin on it. The recipe calls for raspberry, but I would think you could really use any type of jam that you have on hand.
These danishes are very quick to make so you can whip them up super fast and you don't have to spend the whole morning in the kitchen. Enjoy!

P.S. Make sure you cool them a little before adding the frosting. I was a little too eager and the frosting kind of melted, but they were still good.

Raspberry Cheese Danish
1-8oz tube of crescent dough
4 oz of cream cheese
1/4 C powered sugar
4 T Raspberry jam

Unroll the crescent dough and separate into rectangles. Seal the perforations, making 4 rectangles.
Combine the cream cheese and sugar. Spread on the dough diagonally. Top with 1 T of jam for each rectangle.
Pinch up opposite corners and give a twist to seal.
Bake on a parchment covered pan at 375 for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown.

1/2 C powdered sugar
2 t milk

Combine the two ingredients and drizzle on slightly cooled danishes.