Let me just say this: there’s raspberries AND chocolate in these muffins, so I pretty much guarantee you’re going to love them!
I made these muffins for Matt to take with him to work (or that’s what he THINKS at least 😉 ) but I was feeling pretty good (getting my energy back!) and really wanted to bake. Plus I’ve been digging fruit so I decided to roll with it. So he took a few…and I got to keep some to enjoy as well, of course!
– 3 c. all-purpose flour (careful not to over measure)
– 4 tsp. baking powder
– 1/2 tsp. salt
– 1 tsp. cinnamon
– 2 lg. eggs (at room temp)
– 1/2 c. granulated sugar
– 1/4 c. brown sugar (I used light)
– 1 c. milk (at room temp)
– 1/2 c. coconut oil, melted (you CAN use canola/vegetable oil)
– 1 tsp. vanilla extract
– 2/3 c. white chocolate chips (dark or semi sweet would be delightful, too!)
– 1 & 1/4 c. fresh raspberries*
Preheat oven to 425′. Brush muffin tray with oil/spray with non-stick spray. Set aside.
In a large bowl, gently whisk together flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Mix until all combined. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs and both sugars until combined. Mix in milk, oil, and vanilla extract. Mixture will be a bit of a pale yellow. Fold wet ingredients into dry ingredients and mix everything together by hand. Avoid over mixing which would result in tough, dry muffins.* Gently mix until all the flour is off the bottom of the bowl and no big pockets of flour remain. The batter will be extremely thick and lumpy. Fold in the chocolate chips, then very gently (to avoid them from leaking their colour), fold in the raspberries.
Spoon batter into prepared muffin tin, filling all the way to the top.* Sprinkle tops with extra sugar. Bake at 425′ for 5 minutes.* Keeping the muffins in the oven, reduce temperature to 375 and continue to bake for 14 minutes until tops are lightly golden. Insert a toothpick into the centre and it should come out clean. Allow to cool for 10 minutes. Muffins taste better the same day, but they will last for up to 5 days if stored at room temperature in an airtight container.
*Be sure to read below for details and rationale for baking temps, etc…*
These muffins are so good!!! Super – moist and they come out extra tall if you fill the batter to the brim in your muffin tins. Baking them at a higher temp for the first 5 minutes (before lowering the oven temperature) lifts the muffin top up quickly and creates a tall crust.
They taste like your favourite bakery style muffins – you really should try them. Muffins from scratch are super easy, especially if you have a recipe to follow ;). These would be great with dark chocolate chips or semi as well. I actually wanted to use semi-sweet, however I didn’t have enough chipits left in the bag! Then I saw that I had a full bag of white chocolate chips and I actually did a bit of both (even though the recipe states “white chocolate”)! Be sure to use fresh raspberries as the frozen ones have too much juice – leakage.
Tart, sweet, and decadent all in one bite 😀 . Put away the cereal, don’t toast that bagel and you’ll thank me later! 😉
Jim Carrey, anyone? 😉 Matt loves him. And this post is about Matt’s graduation / 30th birthday par-tay (which finally took place last Saturday!) 😉 When I had first spoke about throwing this party for him, the tentative date was set for end of March. However, we went on our “house hunting trip” and so the party needed to be postponed. Since it was in celebration of two milestones, and his birthday is April 29th, an April party was perfect!
I had it at Matt’s brother’s church in Niagara Falls, which was the perfect location as this is where our families and most of our friends are! I had use of their kitchen including stoves and fridges, and any utensils/serve ware that I didn’t have enough of. I had drove down from the base where Matt had been training (where our rental is) while Matt was working at the base where we got posted to. He came to the Falls once he was done his shifts, and met me there. I came down a week earlier because it was my sister-in-laws baby shower (baby boy!) :D. This allowed me to have time to book a cake to be made, and to shop around for any last minute decor. My sister, was a big help with the set up. She also took these pictures for me of the finished result:
The ladder had an extinguisher on it, a “fire helmet”, an ‘M’ for Matt, and a the firehalls Dalmatian ;). My nephews and friends kids, loved playing with with stuffed puppy and tearing off the balloons!
The candy bar had ‘burning buildings’ on them, and a chalkboard stating the top movies/ music / toys on the year 1985 (when Matt Q’s born!). A photo collage was created thanks to the help of my sister! It telly was a little more tricky to put together than I bargained for. Pictures of Matt growing up with family and friends were included. There was ones of him camping, drumming, and dating me, and our wedding day. I tried to capture the 30 years of his life so far, and to include a picture from all the guests that came to the party!
Hot Tamales were the spicy, hot candies.
Chairs were set up along the outside of the walls, and kind of grouped together to encourage conversation. We did buffet style with the food tables in the centre of the room. Matt’s favourite food, Italian, was out. Matt’s mom provided homemade lasagnas, and then spaghetti with a homemade meatsauce was also there with of course chillies and parm. Garden salad, Caesar and garlic bread accompanied the pasta dishes. I made a (red) punch, and then of course bottled water was also provided for this firefighter themed party 🙂 .
I displayed a couple of his textbooks, his graduation certificate of completion, and a couple cool firetrucks I picked up for our new house (maybe for in the family room?).
Everything was was done kind of rustic, and red, orange and yellow ( including dinner plates, napkins, etc), with a touch of black and white (Dalmatian).
The cake was SO good and was white, with strawberry filling (Matt’s fave) and buttercream and had his grad day picture on it. It was served amongst cookies with tea and coffee.
About 40 people came, which was a great turn out, and everyone seemed to have a great time! There were many cards and well wishes given and Matt loved it. He thanked me numerous times afterwards, and I know it meant a lot to have the support of his family and closest friends there. We are looking forward to the adventures that lie ahead and even though we’ll be moving away from where we grew up, we know we have loved ones praying for us back home!
My sister came up to visit us a couple weekends ago. It’s such a blessing to be staying in a place where we have room for guests to stay when they come to visit! My sister and I are super close, more so now than when we were younger. There are eight years in between us, and when you’re graduating elementary school, while your sister is starting elementary school, it’s hard to relate to one another. But as we’ve grown into adulthood, we developed a strong bond and she is my very best friend. We have more in common now, too, which makes spending time together even more enjoyable.
She spent the weekend here, and it was nice just to talk and visit. I haven’t seen her since the holidays, so it was nice to catch up. We went to the mall, watched a few movies, and went out for lunch a couple of times. Some much needed quality “girl time”. And of course, we HAD to find some time to bake in there. I think she likes to bake just as much as I do (or is she just being the agreeable younger sibling to her first born sister? 😉 ).
We decided to bake a coffee cake. Something sweet that would accompany our
addictionfavourite morning drink…you guessed it – COFFEE! We’re pretty big fans of any caffeinated bevy. A cinnamon streusel coffee cake. Streusel means “something strewn” in old German – easy to throw together! It’s topped with a sweet glaze, which is perfect for it. And has a delicious inner circle of cinnamon. Everyone needs a solid coffee cake recipe in their repertoire, so here ya go!
Cinnamon Streusel Coffee Cake:
Streusel Topping and Center:
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 1/2 sticks cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 1/2 cups pecans, coarsely chopped
For the Cake:
1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 cup granulated sugar
2 lg. eggs
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup sour cream (I used plain greek yogurt)
For the Glaze:
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
2 tbsp. milk
Make the streusel topping: Mix together flour, 3/4 cup brown sugar, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, and 1 teaspoon salt. Cut in butter using a pastry cutter or rub in with your fingers until small to medium clumps form. Mix in 1/2 cup pecans. I put some plastic wrap on the top, and popped it in the fridge until I was ready to use it.
For the streusel center: Mix together remaining 1/4 cup brown sugar, 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, and 1 cup pecans.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Make the cake: Butter a 9-inch tube pan. Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, and 1/2 teaspoon salt into a bowl.
Beat butter and granulated sugar with a mixer on medium speed until pale and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in eggs, 1 at a time, then vanilla. Beat in flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with sour cream (or greek yogurt!), beginning and ending with flour. Continue to beat until well combined.
Spoon half the batter into pan. Sprinkle streusel center mixture evenly over batter. Top with remaining batter, and spread evenly using an spatula. Sprinkle streusel topping mixture evenly over batter.
Bake until cake is golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 50 mins – 1 hr. Once a bit cool, remove from pan and transfer to a wire rack. Let cool completely.
Make the glaze: Once completely cooled, you can glaze it up! Mix together confectioners’ sugar and milk. Drizzle over cake, and let drip down sides. Let set for 5 minutes before serving.
** Best enjoyed with a hot cuppa java 😉 **
Recipe adapted from Southern Food
These scones are one of the best I’ve ever tasted – flaky, soft, and beautifully delicious! Once they’re baked they get drizzled with a glaze…SO GOOD! They’re perfect for a brunch or a party/shower. Even good just with a coffee or a cuppa tea. 😉
Glazed Cinnamon Scones:
2 cups flour
2 tsps. b.powder
1/2 tsp. b.soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup butter, cold or frozen
1 egg, separated
3 tbsp. honey
1/3 cup buttermilk (or 1/3 c. milk mixed with 1/2 tsp. of lemon juice – creates buttermilk 😉 )
Crumb Topping (can be adjusted to your liking):
1-2 tbsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
Glaze (can be adjusted to your liking:
1 cup powdered sugar
1-3 tsp. milk (enough to make consistency of glaze)
1/2 tsp. vanilla
Preheat oven to 400*. In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Cut in butter (frozen is better in scones – it will melt while it’s baking and create buttery, flaky goodness!). Mixture should look crumbly with the butter cut in.
In a small bowl, separate egg white and yolk. Set the white aside.
In a separate medium sized mixing bowl, whisk egg yolk, honey and buttermilk (or milk and lemon juice combo). Add to the dry ingredients bowl. Stir until just combined (over mixing can result in dry scones).
Form dough into a ball and place on a floured surface. Roll/pat out to 1/2″ in thickness and 8″ in diameter. Cut into 8 (or more, if you like smaller scones) equally – sized pieces.
Transfer to a greased baking sheet (or what I use – my Pampered Chef bar pan). Whisk the egg white until froth forms and brush over the tops of scones. Mix sugar and cinnamon “crumb topping” together and sprinkle over egg-white-topped scones. 😀
Bake at 400* for 10-12 minutes.
Mix together powdered sugar, milk and vanilla until glaze forms. Drizzle over scones after they bake.
*Recipe adapted from The Coupon Project*
The other day I was at the mall with a friend and we stopped in at Starbucks for a
coffeelatte. I saw the lemon poppyseed loaf slices, and I couldn’t resist. It’s always so good! It was the perfect midday indulgence…
I figured there HAD TO BE a way to replicate this at home! Of course, Pinterest has a bunch of Starbucks Copycat recipes, including their drinks and baked goods. Are you even the slightest bit surprised?! 😉
Now, I know that most bakers would prefer to use butter in their baking for the flavour factor, and most times I would agree. But the fact that this recipe calls for oil instead caught my eye. There are certain instances in which oil can really help to deliver the moistness that so many loaves lack. And then there was the fact that this recipe yields 2 loaves instead of 1. Well, it seemed to me that it was about perfect and I decided I just HAD to give it a go!
The verdict? This recipe is ahhh-mazing. The loaves had just the right amount of lemon I was craving. They were moist and delicious, similar to a pound cake. And easy too! You really can’t go wrong here. Perfect recipe for a weeknight dessert, or an afternoon snack. 🙂
Lemon PoppySeed Loaf (Starbucks Copycat Recipe)
Adapted from: A Farmgirl’s Dabbles
Yield: 2 loaves
For the Lemon Loaf:
3 cups AP flour
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 Tbsp. poppy seeds
1 1/2 cups milk
1 cup + 2 Tbsp. canola oil
3 lg. eggs
3 tsp. lemon extract (or you can use vanilla an add lemon zest)
For the Glaze:
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 tsp. vanilla
1 Tbsp. butter (melted)
1.) Preheat oven to 350’f. Generously grease (or spray with cooking spray) two 8 1/2 x 4 1/2″ loaf pans.
2). In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine dry ingredients (flour, sugar, salt, baking soda, and poppy seeds. Mix on lowest speed until combined.
3.) In a separate medium sized bowl, combine milk, oil, eggs, and lemon extract (or vanilla and lemon zest, if using). Slowly pour the wet ingredients into the dry with mixer on lowest setting. Mix until combined. Beat on medium speed for 1 minute.
4). Pour into prepared pans and bake for approximately 1 hour; or until a toothpick has been inserted into the loaves and comes out clean.
5.) While the loaves are baking, make the glaze. In a small mixing bowl, combine the icing sugar, lemon juice, vanilla and melted butter. Whisk until smooth.
6.) Once loaves are finished baking, remove from oven and spread icing glaze over both. Allow loaves to cool for 15 minutes in the pans. Run a knife along the sides of the pans, to loosen the loaves. Turn upside down onto a cooling rack and allow to completely, and for the glaze to harden.
You’re welcome ;). Lemon desserts are so delightful and remind me of Spring. Which, of course, is right around the corner :). Ahh, yes – the power of positive thinking! Hope you had a wonderful weekend!
Happy Wednesday, folks! Can you believe Christmas is next week?! It seems that the older I get, the faster the month of December flies by. Following on my blog post trend for this week: another cookie recipe! I wanted to share another one with you, seeing as how baking and wrapping have been taking up the majority of my time lately.
Whipped shortbread is actually pretty simple, and I vow to NEVER buy it again. Why? Because homemade is so much better! And the best part about THIS shortbread is that it’s so easy to make! It’s a nice, classic Christmas cookie that you can easily wrap up and give as a gift or bring along to a holiday party. I love the buttery, melt-in-your-mouth consistency and they go FANTASTIC with a hot cup of tea. Enjoy!
1 lb. soft margarine
3 cups flour
1 1/4 tsp. vanilla (optional)
1/2 cup cornstarch
1 cup icing sugar, sifted
1.) Preheat oven to 350’F.
2.) Cream margarine with electric beater.
3.) Add both cornstarch and icing sugar a little at a time.
4.) Add flour and continue beating until mixture has the appearance of whipped cream.
5.) Drop by tsp. onto ungreased cookie sheet.
6.) Bake for approximately 10-12 minutes until golden – but NOT brown. Bottoms should be lightly browned, however.
And there ya have it! Easy peasy for this Christmas cookie classic. You can always jazz them up a little by adding a couple red and green sprinkles to each spoonful of the batter before baking. Some recipes call for an addition of maraschino cherries on top as well – which can also be fun! Me, I like them plain and simple. Whew! Cookies are done…and now it’s on to all that wrapping 😉 .
Peppermint Cookies…they are SO good. They’re a soft, melt-in-your-mouth kind of good, with a hint of minty flavouring. They also have a wonderful scent while they are in the oven! I love peppermint at Christmas especially, and I bake these bad boys every year (although sometimes they’re made in the “off season” due to popular demand 😉 ). They are an all-time favourite!! Matt’s family has a Mennonite heritage, and this drop cookie recipe is well known by all members of the extended family. It has been passed down from the generations and I am excited to share it with you all!
Yield: 5-6 dozen
2 cups white sugar
1 cup margarine
1 cup table cream
(Approx.) 6 cups of flour (“enough to make a soft dough”)
6 tsp. baking powder
2 Tbsp. peppermint extract
1.) In a medium mixing bowl, beat butter and sugar, then beat in the eggs one at a time.
2.) Add both the table cream, and peppermint extract, mixing well with each addition.
3.) In another mixing bowl, combine the flour and b.powder. Add these dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, stirring with wooden spoon or using a hook attachment on your large mixer.
4.) Cover and let stand in fridge overnight (or a few hours – long enough so the dough is sticky).
5.) Drop dough by rounded tbsp. on ungreased cookie sheet (I use my bar pan , and LOVE it).
6.) Bake in preheated oven (at 350’f. ) for approximately 10-12 minutes.
7.) You can test doneness by checking the underside of cookie – until golden from underneath).
8.) Transfer to a cooling rack.
f desired, make a thin icing with confectioners sugar (icing sugar) and whipping cream. A less indulgent method would be confectioners sugar and milk. Sometimes I add vanilla or almond extract if I feel like jazzing things up a bit…maybe even more peppermint extract could be good as well 😀 ! Mix it to a consistency that will spread easily on cookies.
10.) I usually store mine in a Tupperware container. They also freeze well! Enjoy ❤
This recipe has been tweaked over the years, making it easier for us more “amateur bakers” ;). However, the more traditional way of baking Peppermint Cookies requires baking ammonia (which can be purchased at a drug store, health food store OR online) and peppermint OIL not extract. If you’re interested in this recipe, a wonderful one can be found in the “Mennonite Girls Can Cook” cookbook or on their website. (They give 100% of their cookbook royalties to help others? AND it’s on sale until Christmas!)