food amongst family and friends

Cream cheese stuffed pumpkin and zucchini muffins May 5, 2012

Filed under: Baking,Make Ahead,Muffins,Uncategorized,Vegetarian — blisteringlydrunk @ 12:11 pm
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I had the extreme pleasure of enjoying one of these muffins at Vanessa’s (who’s cookbook I love and is hopefully soon to be a guest poster here) place in the fall. Soooooooo good. And as I was in need of some new school snack ideas (my daughter has quit eating all of our old standbys) I thought I would see if I could health this up a bit with some whole grains and way less sugar and oil. Overall, it turned out really well; easily my new go to pumpkin muffin. Plus, I had some grated zucchini sitting in my fridge, and some leftover cream cheese filling, so I tried these zucchini spice muffins and added the cream cheese filling. Great success! I think cream cheese filling could get my girls to eat anything actually. Anyway, these are a bit more work than your average muffin, though not a lot more, and they are totally worth 3 times the effort. I dare you to make them and not eat them all yourself!

Cream Cheese Filling (This should be enough to make both recipes, but if you like a lot of filling, you may want to make 1 1/2 batches):

8 0z (1 brick) light cream cheese

1/2 cup icing sugar (I might even go for 1/3 cup next time)

1/2 tsp vanilla

Using an electric mixer, beat everything together until thoroughly combined. Dump onto a large piece of plastic wrap and roll into a log inside the wrap. Place in freezer for at least 30 minutes (I did it in the morning and then made the muffins once I was home, so mine was frozen solid, but it worked just fine).

Pumpkin muffins (makes 2 dozen BIG muffins or 30 more normal sized ones):

3 cups spelt flour (or half and half whole wheat and all purpose)

1 tsp each, ground cinnamon, ground nutmeg, ground cloves, salt and baking soda

1 Tbsp plus 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice

4 eggs

1 1/4 cups sugar (you may be able to reduce this a bit further, but much more and I think the spices will become overwhelming)

2 1/2 cups pumpkin puree

2/3 cup canola oil

1. Preheat oven to 350 and line your muffin tins with papers (I think these might stick without them, but try it if you have a really good non stick tin). In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour through pumpkin pie spice.

2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat together eggs, sugar, pumpkin and oil until well blended. Add the dry ingredients on low speed, mixing until just combined.

3. Slice up your log of cream cheese into as many muffins as you intend to make. Place just enough muffin batter into each liner to cover the bottom ( 1-2 Tbsp). Add a slice of cream cheese filling and then fill with remaining batter.

4. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until the top springs back to a light touch (being mindful of the filling). Cool on rack and enjoy!

Zucchini Spice Muffins (this one made about 18 medium sized muffins):

3 cups spelt flour

1 Tbsp baking powder

1 tsp salt

2 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp pumpkin pie spice

1/2 cup dark brown sugar

2 eggs, lightly beaten

1/4 cup canola oil

3/4 cup buttermilk

1 tsp vanilla

1 1/2 cups zucchini

1. Preheat oven to 350 and line or spray your muffin tins. In a large bowl, stir together flour through pumpkin pie spice.

2. In a medium bowl, whisk together sugar, eggs, oil, buttermilk, vanilla and zucchini. Add to dry ingredients and stir together until just combined (this makes a fairly heavy dough, don’t worry, as the zucchini cooks it adds a lot of moisture; at this point I thought these would be the worst muffins ever, just based on the thickens of the batter).

3. Assemble the muffins as you did for the pumpkin ones; batter, filling, more batter. Bake for 18-20 minutes, then cool on rack.



PS Both recipes froze beautifully, so don’t be afraid of making the large quantities.



Tasty and good for you Carrot Muffins October 27, 2011

Filed under: Baking,Breakfast,Make Ahead,Muffins — blisteringlydrunk @ 9:56 am
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When I saw this recipe in Canadian Living, I knew I had to try it, because they had already done everything I do to all my favourite muffin recipes; replaced fats with yogurt, cut the sugar, upped the spice and made it whole grain. And other than adding in some raisins and spelt flour, I had nothing left to change. These are tasty and spicy and moist and you can feel good about eating them or feeding them to your kids (mine ate these right up). Plus, browned butter; who knew what that could do to a muffin?

1/3 cup butter

1/2 cup dark brown sugar, loosely packed

2 eggs

1 cup plain yogurt (I used fat free greek style)

2 cups grated carrots

1 cup all purpose flour

3/4 cup spelt flour

1/3 cup ground flax seeds

2 1/4 tsp ground ginger

1 1/2 tsp cinnamon

2 1/2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

Pinch ground cloves

3/4 cup raisins

1. Brown butter over medium heat in a small saucepan, by melting it, then cooking until it stops foaming and browned bits appear on the bottom, swirling occasionally. This should take about 5 minutes. Set aside and let cool.

2. Preheat oven to 350 and prep 12 large muffin tins or 24 mini muffin tins (I did half and half).

3. Whisk together flours, flaxseeds, spices, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In another bowl, whisk together browned butter with sugar, then beat in eggs and yogurt, finally adding the carrots. Add dry ingredients and raisins to the wet ingredients and stir just to combine.

4. Spoon into greased or lined muffin tins. Bake big muffins for about 23 minutes, small ones for 15-18 minutes or until the top springs back to a light touch. Let cool in tins for 5 minutes, then transfer to rack to cool completely.





Chocolate Chocolate Zucchini Bread September 8, 2011

Filed under: Baking,Breads,Loaves,Make Ahead,Muffins — blisteringlydrunk @ 2:21 pm
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This is a picture of the snack I am consuming while posting this, including the jar of iced coffee in the background; so yummy. My mom always made chocolate zucchini bread when we were growing up, so this recipe comes from her, which I think she adapted in more recent years from the Looney Spoons cookbook, which I re-adapted to suit my preferences. This recipe makes 2 good sized loaves, but we made some into mini loaves and mini muffins, all of which turned out well, just adjust the cooking time accordingly (I think the mini muffins were done in 18-21 minutes and the loaves at about 30). This also freezes really well.

1 cup spelt flour

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour

1/2 cup cocoa

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp each, baking soda and cinnamon

3/4 tsp salt

1 1/2 cups sugar (I didn’t find this to be overly sweet, but you could probably sub in 1 cup agave syrup and cut the oil a bit if you wanted)

3 eggs

1/2 cup plain, fat free greek yogurt

1/3 cup canola oil

2 tsp vanilla

2 cups packed, grated zucchini (I did mine in the food processor)

1/2 cup mini chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 350 and prep 2 loaf pans with cooking spray and flour.

2. Combine dry ingredients, except sugar, in a large bowl.

3. Whisk together sugar, eggs, yogurt, oil, and vanilla in a smaller bowl. Add zucchini, then add to dry ingredients along with chocolate chips, stirring just to combine.

4. Pour half of batter into each loaf pan and bake for 45-50 minutes (mine were done at 45) or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes in pan, then turn out onto wire racks to cool.





Mom’s ultimate banana oatmeal chocolate chip muffins May 5, 2011

Filed under: Baking,Breakfast,Muffins — blisteringlydrunk @ 7:55 am
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AKA I’m-a-terrible-and-unorganized-mother-who-forgot-that-she-was-in-charge-of-sending-the-snack-for-preschool-until-an-hour-before-sending-my-husband-to-volunteer muffins. So that was my panic attack at 7:54am yesterday morning. I don’t know why it didn’t occur to me before that very moment that I was to be sending a snack for all 18 4 year olds, or, for that matter, why it did finally occur to me. Luckily, I had an unopened box of fruit bars on the shelf in the cold room and this recipe, which I have made a million times before, always seem to have all the ingredients for, and can mix, bake, and cool in under 45 mins – thank you Mom, these are the tools you gave me. This recipe is currently written out in a much younger me’s handwriting and stuffed into my “This Recipe Bears Repeating” recipe box (photo below). These were made A LOT growing up, and I’m pretty sure they were usually consumed before they were completely cooled (so the chocolate was still melty). I have since adapted them to be whole grain, and I often sub in plain yogurt for the oil, but this time I had no yogurt. Here we go:

1. In a large mixing bowl, stir together the following:

1 cup spelt or whole wheat flour

3 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp each, cinnamon & salt

1/4 tsp nutmeg

3/4 cup rolled oats

1/4 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup chocolate chips

2. Preheat oven to 375. In a small bowl, stir together:

1 egg, lightly beaten

a scant 1/4 cup oil (which for me is less than 1/4 cup but more than an 1/8) or about 1/3 cup whole plain yogurt

either, 1/2 cup milk and 2 mashed bananas

or, 1/3 cup milk and 2/3 cup applesauce

3. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and stir just to combine. Spray your muffin pans or line with papers and divide the mixture evenly among 12 regular muffin holes or 24 minis (as pictured). Bake for approximately 15-18 minutes for big muffins or 12-14 minutes for mini muffins




Mom’s Famous Pumpkin Pecan Muffins April 6, 2011

Filed under: Baking,Breakfast,Muffins — blisteringlydrunk @ 5:49 pm
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I have been craving these for a while now. My mom always made them when we were kids, and since I’m not sure where the original recipe came from, I’m just going to give her credit for them. These are fast and easy, with a nice amount of spice, and they turn out moist on the inside and crisp on top, seemingly without fail. I made half of this batch into 12 mini muffins for a playdate, and just cooked them for 5 or 6 minutes less and the other half into 6 of the giant muffins you see here. If you like to make things healthier, I think that a bit of oil could easily be cut here (say 1/4 instead of 1/3 cup) and a bit of sugar could be cut as well, as the dates add a lot of sweetness.

1 1/2 cups spelt flour

3/4 cup brown sugar

2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp, each baking soda, salt, allspice, ground ginger, and cloves

Combine all of the above in a medium sized bowl.

Next, in a large bowl, beat together:

1 cup canned pumpkin puree

1/2 cup milk

1/3 cup canola oil

1 egg

Add dry ingredients to wet and stir until just combined. Fold in:

1/2 cup chopped dates

1/2 cup chopped pecans

Bake in greased or lined muffin tins for 20 mins at 375 or until tops are golden and spring back when touched.





Banana Nut Muffins March 25, 2011

Filed under: Baking,Muffins — blisteringlydrunk @ 12:28 pm
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I can’t remember where I found this recipe, but I do remember that it had a LOT more fat and sugar in it initially. I tried to make it so I could eat them without feeling too guilty, however they are still pretty sweet, so more sugar could be cut if you are worried about that sort of thing. I’m pretty sure that what makes these muffins so good is the method; whipping the bananas with the sugar so they are light and fluffy. I always make mine with spelt flour, however, I think you could sub in whole wheat if you cut it with a bit of all-purpose. This makes 12 big muffins or 18 smallish muffins.


2 cups spelt flour

1 1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

4 overripe bananas

1 cup brown sugar (I always use dark brown)

1/3 cup butter, melted & cooled

1/2 cup plain, fat free yogurt

1 egg

1 egg white

1 tsp vanilla

1/3 cup chopped pecans (plus a few pecan halves to decorate the tops if you want)

1. Preheat oven to 375 and line your muffin tin with papers or grease them up.

2. Combine flour, soda and salt and set aside. Roughly mash 2 bananas with a fork and set aside.

3. Using an electric mixer, mix the remaining bananas with the sugar for a good 3 minutes, until shiny and the sugar is dissolved. Add in melted butter, eggs, yogurt and vanilla, mixing until combined.

4. Stir in dry ingredients and then fold in nuts and mashed bananas.

5. Pour into muffin tins and bake for about 18 – 20 mins (if you have silicone muffin tins, it seems to take a little longer).




Banana-Saskatoon Yogurt Muffins February 22, 2011

Filed under: Baking,Muffins — blisteringlydrunk @ 5:51 am
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I don’t bake muffins all that often, but when I  do, I’m always surprised at how quick and easy they are to throw together. This recipe is a particular favourite in my house. It’s relatively  healthy, made with very little butter and whole grain flour, and easy to adapt to your personal tastes. I have adapted this recipe from one for blueberry muffins that I found years ago on an obscure website and I cannot find the original recipe or website, try as  I might. If your recognize this recipe as your own, please let me know so I can pay you proper credit.


Makes 12 regular muffins or 10-11 giant muffins

2 cups spelt flour (or 1 cup white flour & 1 cup whole wheat flour)
2 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
1/2 – 1 cup toasted walnuts, chopped (optional)
4 T unsalted butter
2/3 cup sugar
2 large eggs
2 t vanilla extract
1 cup plain yogurt
2 ripe bananas, mashed
3 handfuls frozen saskatoons (or your berry of choice)

  1. Combine dry ingredients,  excluding sugar. Stir in 3/4 of the walnuts.
  2. Beat butter until light, then add the sugar and beat a couple more minutes.
  3. Add eggs one at a time, beating a couple minutes each.
  4. Stir in vanilla, yogurt and banana.
  5. Add the dry ingredients to wet and gently stir, just to combine.
  6. Fold in saskatoons.
  7. Spoon into greased muffin tins. I like to overflow the tins and I usually get 11 muffins.
  8. Top with remaining 1/4 of walnuts and sprinkle with a little brown sugar if desired.
  9. Bake at 375F for about 25 minutes until golden brown at the edges.