Pumpkin Muffins Three Ways

Halloween and Autumn mean not only will a bunch of candy will be brought into the house but also pumpkins! I’ve found myself thinking of creative ways to eat the pumpkins as opposed to just trashing them. Last year, I tinkered around with Cranberry Pumpkin Scones. We’ve got a lot of pumpkins this year so this will be one part of a series of “what the hell can I do with this pumpkin?” recipes.

 

I’m indecisive. I was also hungry, so I found it difficult to decide which direction to go with the muffins. When all else fails, do it all and feel guilty about it later lol.

 

The base of the muffins remains the same across the board. I divided the batter and individualized three different batches. Cranberry Pumpkin, which is very tart and tangy. Orange Pumpkin, which is beautifully flavored and scented using fresh orange zest and a squeeze of juice. Spiced Pumpkin, which made me actually say “wow!” I topped the muffins with leftover streusel from my Cranberry Peach Muffins. The streusel seriously sets off the Orange and the Spiced. I eyeballed my fixins so really, just add your goodies to taste.

 

Obviously, this recipe called for fresh, roasted pumpkin but if you’re using canned that’s perfectly fine too.

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Basic Pumpkin Muffin Batter

Yields roughly 15
Ingredients:

1 ¾ cup all purpose flour

1 tsp baking soda

½ tsp salt

½ c vegetable oil

¾ c granulated sugar

½ cup lightly packed brown sugar

2 c pumpkin puree (fresh or canned)

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 large eggs

¼ c milk

 

Streusel

 

Optional add ins:

Fresh cranberries

Pumpkin spice or cinnamon, nutmeg and all spice (to taste)

Freshly grated orange zest, at least one orange and a squeeze of juice

 

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees
  2. Spray muffin tins with cooking spray
  3. In a large bowl, combine dry ingredients and in another bowl combine wet ingredients including puree20171104_11175120171104_112426
  4. Carefully fold wet into dry until just combined and you don’t see any splotches of flour
  5. At this point, I divided the batter into three bowls
  6. Gently fold in cranberries into one batch20171104_113037 copy
  7. Zest your orange, gently combine zest and squeeze of juice into one batch20171104_112835 copy
  8. Add your spices, adjust ratio to suit your tastes20171104_113025
  9. Bake at 425 for 5-6 minutes then reduce to 350 degrees, bake until they pass the toothpick test, about 15-20 minutes.
    • Do not forget to reduce from 425 to 35020171104_11415520171104_114558
  10. Allow them to cool in the tin before removing20171104_12181720171104_121820
  11. Store in an airtight container in the fridge

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© 2017 by Alexa Mason. All Rights Reserved

Cranberry Peach Muffins

Have I mentioned how much I love Autumn? I went to the grocery store and I noticed that the cranberries have been released! Tis the season! I love to hoard cranberries throughout the fall and winter. I usually keep a bunch in the freezer. I use cranberries in my baking and my smoothies. I often task myself with coming up with new ways to use them. I bought cranberries and peaches. I sat around considering what I would do with the combination. I thought maybe a pie. Maybe clafoutis. Maybe a tart. I knew I was kidding myself; these were meant to be muffins. I topped most of these with streusel and that really set these babies off.

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Ingredients:

2 cups all purpose flour

1 cup granulated sugar

2 tsp baking powder

½ tsp salt

1 ½ sticks unsalted butter, melted

 

2 large eggs, room temperature

½ cup half and half, room temperature

½ tsp vanilla

 

2 peaches, chopped

1 ½ – 2 cups of fresh cranberries

 

 

 

Directions:

 

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
    • I know this seems high but we will be lowering the temperature. Science and stuff. This process will help you get a ‘taller’ muffin. Who doesn’t love muffin tops? Ask Elaine Benes.
  2. Butter and flour a cupcake tin, shake out excess flour.
  3. In the bowl of your stand mixer, combine dry ingredients.
    • You can do this by hand using a whisk and rubber spatula. My kiddo just really enjoys using the stand mixer so we used the stand mixer.
  4. In a small bowl, combine liquid ingredients.
  5. Using the paddle attachment, turn the mixer on low. Slowly add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients.
  6. You do not want to overmix. The batter may have lumps and that is perfectly okay.
  7. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold in the fruit20171020_181605 copy20171020_18190020171020_182001 copy20171020_182453 copy
  8. Spoon the batter into the tin, to the top.
  9. Bake at 425 for 5-6 minutes
  10. Lower temperature to 350 degrees. DO NOT FORGET THIS STEP.
  11. Bake for about 15-20 minutes, or until the muffins pass the toothpick test.
  12. Allow them to cool in the tin before removing.20171020_190951 copy20171020_191047 copy
  13. These are best day of but can be stored in airtight Tupperware in the fridge.

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© 2017 by Alexa Mason. All Rights Reserved

Pumpkin Cranberry Scones

Tis the season! Cranberries are available!! This makes me happy, as you can tell. I like to use cranberries as often as I can. They’re yummy and tart, but they’re also really good for you! I like to keep a bag in the freezer and one in the fridge. Next time you make a smoothie, grab a handful and add them! So good.

My son went pumpkin picking and this guy has been gracing our dining room table for weeks. I wanted to make good use of him before he began to rot since he opted out of making a jack-o-lantern. I decided to make some scones. pump

I’m pretty sure that scones were my first foray into “adult baking” (whatever the hell that means lol). They’re pretty easy and the technique remains the same no matter what you add in. I’ve done blueberry, blueberry lemon, cranberry and a few others. They keep very well and if you want, you can freeze the formed scones and just pop them in the oven at a later date!

This is my first time making these. My first time cooking with fresh pumpkin too!

 

 

Ingredients

2 cups all purpose flour

1/3 c (packed) light brown sugar

1 tsp baking powder

½ tsp baking soda

1 tsp cinnamon

¼ tsp salt

½ cup VERY cold butter

1 cup pureed pumpkin (fresh or canned)

½ VERY cold milk

1 tsp vanilla extract

½-1/3 cup fresh cranberries (or ½ cup dried)

¼ heavy cream

 

(Aside: I used fresh pumpkin for this recipe. I cut the pumpkin, lubed it up with some olive oil. I roasted the pumpkin for about 45 minutes (or until tender). I allowed the pumpkin to cool before scooping out the flesh. If you want to skip this step, feel free to use canned pumpkin.)pump2pump3

Preheat oven to 375.

 

In a food processor, pulse VERY COLD butter (cut your butter into ¼ inch tabs) and flour together until it resembles coarse meal.

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To that, add sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda and salt.

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In another bowl, combine milk, pumpkin and vanilla until smooth.

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Add the wet mixture to the dry mixture, as well as the cranberries. Mix until just combined.

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Onto a lightly floured surface knead the dough gently. It may be sticky, just make sure your surface and your hands are well-floured.

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Form the dough into a rectangle about 1 ½ inches thick. Cut the scones into your desired shape, I’m partial to triangles. (Some people like to form a circle and cut “slices”, whatever floats your boat).

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Brush the top with heavy cream, sprinkle with turbinado sugar if you want to be fancy. I sprinkled these with cinnamon-sugar.

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Bake until golden brown and they pass the toothpick test. About 20-25 minutes.

 

MAN! Look at how moist these are!!pump15

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Allow to cool before serving.

I made a quick glaze and drizzled that over the scones. You can find a simple recipe here.

Store in an airtight container in the fridge. Will keep for a few days but…who are you kidding? You’re going to eat them.

 

 

 

 

 

© 2016 by Alexa Mason. All Rights Reserved

 

 

Fresh-Picked Apple Danish

Autumn is my favorite season. This weekend my family and I went apple picking at Larriland Farms in Maryland. It was a wonderful afternoon and we got a lot of goodies. Including a ton of fresh-picked apples. Pink Ladies, Granny Smith and Stayman were the varieties that my little boy picked.applesapples2apples3

I spent two days trying to figure out what to make and I settled on an apple danish. This recipe was super fun to make and actually really relaxing. I can’t wait to play around with this again with a different filling.

These were so tasty fresh out of the oven. Will keep for a couple of days in an airtight container in the fridge.

 

Ingredients:

5-7 apples (I used Pink Ladies and Granny Smith)

Half stick of unsalted butter

¼ cup of white sugar

1/3 cup of light brown sugar

¼ teaspoon of cinnamon

Pinch of salt.

 

Egg Wash

1 large egg, room temp

2 tbsp of milk, room temp

 

Follow the recipe for homemade Danish pastry dough.

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Preheat oven to 400 deg

While the dough rests in the fridge, slice your apples.danishh6danish6

Melt butter, allow it to brown not burn over medium heat.

Add apples

Add Add ¼ cup of white sugar and 1/3 cup of light brown sugar.

Simmer until crisp-tender. The apples will be soft but have some bite to them. A sauce will form.danish7danish8

Remove apples from pan and allow to cool in a small bowl.
Pour the sauce that formed into a a bowl and allow it to cool.

Remove dough from fridge

Flour your work surface and roll the dough out into a rectangle that is about 12×6-12×7”.

Slice the corners off of one side and two small triangles off of the other side.

Place dough onto your parchment lined or cooking sprayed baking sheet. (It will be very hard to move the braid if you form the braid on the counter.)

Using a sharp knife or pastry blade, create angled slices. This will form your braid.

Spread the sauce down the center of the rectangle and layer your apple slices.danish13danish14danish15

Alternate dough-strands to form a braid

Fold up the end and create a seal

Brush braid with egg wash

Bake the Danish for 15-20 minutes until golden brown. You will want to rotate the pan every 4-6 minutes to ensure the Danish browns evenly.

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The Danish will be crispy and flaky on the outside and moist on the inside. For a bit of added decadence, brush any remaining sauce onto the Danish fresh out of the oven. Super NOM!

 

 

© 2016 by Alexa Mason. All Rights Reserved

Chewy Apricot Breakfast Bars

I still have a ton of dried fruit and I’m trying to figure out how to use it. I’ve been snacking on them straight out of the bag, I’ve made smoothies and I’ve made cinammon rolls. And I still have a bunch left. I’m not generally a fan of a huge breakfast, I like to nosh in the morning. These are very yummy and the apricot flavor comes right through. You can pick a few up and go.

 

 

1 cup all purpose flour

1 cup oats

½ to 1/3 cup of sugar

¼ tsp salt

¼ tsp baking soda

1 stick of unsalted butter, cold (cubed or shredded)

 

5 oz of dried apricot

½ cup of raw honey

1-2 tsp of water

*You can also use ¾ to 1 cup of apricot preserves

 

  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. In a bowl, combine the flour, oats, sugar, salt and baking soda.bars
  3. Cut in butter (using fingers or pastry blender) until the mixture looks like crumbs, you will have chunks of butter.bars2
  4. You’ll want to work quickly but if the butter starts to melt, stick the mixture in the freezer for a few minutes
  5. Press half of the mixture into your greased pan, you want a small-ish pan.
  6. In a food processor, blend apricots and honey. If the mixture is thick add the water.bars5
  7. Spread the apricot mixture then sprink with the remaining oat mix
  8. Press down gently
  9. Bake for 30-45 minutes, or until golden brown.
  10. Cool on baking rack and then cut into squaresbars4
  11. Store in air-tight container

 

 

 

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© 2016 by Alexa Mason. All Rights Reserved

Spiced Honey & Banana Muffins

I love a good muffin and I’m always experimenting with different flavor profiles. Banana is a classic. In this recipe I used some of my favorite fall spices and instead of refined sugar, I opted for raw honey. This is not a super sweet muffin but if you insist, I added an alternative towards the end 😉

muff

Yields 12+ muffins

2 cups all purpose flour

1 tbsp baking powder

1 tsp ground cinnamon

½  tsp nutmeg

½ tsp freshly grated ginger

½ tsp salt

2-3  very ripe bananas

½ stick unsalted butter

½  cup honey (if you want a sweeter muffin go for ¾ cup)

1 egg

1 cup milk

2 tsp vanilla extract

 

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and line muffin tin
  2. Whisk together flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, baking powder and salt
  3. In a separate bowl mash bananas and mix in the honey, egg and butter.muff1
  4. Add the vanilla and the milk until combined
  5. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, mix with spatula until combined
  6. Fill muffin cups until about two-thirds fullmuff3
  7. Bake until a tooth pick comes out clean, 10-12 minutesmuff4muff6

 

 

The muffins can be kept in an airtight container, leftover batter can be frozen and used at a later date.

 

For a little indulgence:

Mix ½ cup of confectioners sugar with a few tsp of milk until smooth and dip the muffin tops in!

 

 

 

© 2016 by Alexa Mason. All Rights Reserved

Red Velvet Waffles

We received our first recipe donation! We created a poll on Twitter and you all wanted a breakfast/brunch recipe. Mason loves The Red Waffles and we make these pretty often. It’s definitely a decadent go-to!

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Yields 6

 

Waffles:

2 eggs

2 cups of all purpose flour

1 ¾ cups of buttermilk

½ cup of vegetable oil

¼ cup of sugar

4 tsp baking powder

½ tsp of salt

2 tsp of vanilla extract

½ tsp distilled white vinegar

2 tbsp red food coloring

1 tbsp cocoa powder

 

Glaze:

1-2 cups of confectioner’s sugar

1 tsp of vanilla extract

¼ – ½ cup of milk

(3-6 oz of cream cheese, optional)

 

For the glaze:

  1. Whisk together ingredients until smooth

 

For the waffles:

Preheat the waffle iron

 

  1. In a large bowl, whisk the flour, sugar, baking powder and cocoa powder together.waffle
  2. In a separate bowl, mix the buttermilk, oil, eggs, vanilla and vinegar together.
  3. Carefully stir in the red food coloring. Slowly add the buttermilk mixture to the dry ingredients, mix until smooth.

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  1. Spray the waffle iron with cooking spray.

 

  1. Using a ladle, carefully pour the mixture onto the iron, do not over fill.

 

  1. Close the iron and cook until the waffle is a deep red and crisp on the outside.

 

  1. Serve each waffle with the glaze.

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NOM!

 

 

 

© 2016 by Alexa Mason. All Rights Reserved