Thursday, October 28

banana gingerbread muffins

These turned out great! So seasonal! Taylor liked them and according to my calculations, right under 200 calories each. These are my kind of muffin, more dense and quickbreadish, rather than a cake.

I think you could also substitute a cup of pumpkin for the cup of mashed banana, but the banana is sweeter than pure pumpkin so you may be missing out on some sweetness, if that's what you expect from your muffins.

Banana Gingerbread Muffins
makes 1 loaf of bread or 12 muffins
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp ground ginger
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground allspice
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp ground cardamom
pinch freshly ground nutmeg
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup banana, mashed (about 2 large)
1/2 cup molasses
1/2 cup buttermilk*
4 tbsp oil

Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly grease a 9×5-inch loaf pan or 12 cup muffin pan or place paper liners in muffin pan. (as you can see I had to use fall liners)

In a large bowl, whisk or sift together flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices.
In a medium bowl, whisk together brown sugar, banana, molasses, buttermilk and vegetable oil. Pour into dry ingredients and stir until just combined. Pour into prepared pan and sprinkle with coarse sugar, if desired.

Bake muffins for about 20-25 min and loaf about 45 min, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

*make your own buttermilk by adding 1/2 t. vinegar to 1/2 c. skim milk and letting it sit about 3 minutes.

Sunday, October 24

sudden saturday sugar cookies

I wished I had halloween sprinkles and black piping icing when I randomly decided to make these on a saturday afternoon.

I made these partially because I thought it would be fun to decorate halloween cookies, but mostly because I had three egg yolks in the fridge, crying out not to be wasted. And this recipe fit the bill!

{"melt in your mouth" sugar cookies}
via Better Homes and Gardens' The New Cookbook
1/2 c. butter, softened
1/2 c. shortening
2 c. sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon  cream of tartar
1/8 teaspoon salt
3 egg yolks
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 3/4 c. all-purpose flour
In a large mixing bowl beat butter and shortening with an electric mixer on medium high for about 30 seconds. Add sugar, baking soda, cream of tartar and salt. Beat until combined, scraping sides of bowl occasionally. Beat in egg yolks and vanilla until combined. Beat in as much flour as you can. Stir in remaining flour.

Shape dough into 1 inch balls. Place 2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake in a 300 degree oven about 15 minutes or until sides are set but not brown. Cool on cookie sheet for 1 minute. Transfer to wire rack and let cool.

Sunday, October 17

raisins pecan oatmeal cookies

These are also known, as of 2pm, October 17, 2010, as the Best Cookies Ever.

Ina says, "I consider myself and oatmeal cookie aficionado and I've been searching for decades for the perfect recipe. Finally! These are crisp on the outside and chewy on the inside with lots of chunky raisins and toasted pecans."

There is nothing more to say.

{raisin pecan oatmeal cookies}
from Ina Garten's Barefoot Contessa: Back to Basics
1 1/2 cups pecans
1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup dark brown sugar, lightly packed
1 cup granulated sugar
2 extra-large eggs at room temperature {yes, i used Jumbo eggs}
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon kosher salt
3 cups old-fashioned oatmeal
1 1/2 cups raisins
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Place the pecans on a sheet pan and bake for 5 minutes, until crisp. Set aside to cool. Chop very coarsely. {i bought chopped pecans from the CM bulk bin}
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar together on medium-high speed until light and fluffy. With the mixer on low, add the eggs, one at a time, and the vanilla.
With a sifter or a mesh strainer, sift the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt together into a medium bowl. With the mixer on low, slowly add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture. Add the oats, raisins, and pecans and mix just until combined.
Using a small ice-cream scoop or a tablespoon, drop 2-inch mounds of dough onto sheet pans lined with parchment paper. Flatten slightly with a damp hand. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, until lightly browned. Transfer the cookies to a baking rack and cool completely. For chewier cookies allow them to cool on pan. {do this!}

Friday, October 1

pumpkin pie for lunch.

we're just taking this to a new level.

it's october! 

{pumpkin pie for lunch}
combine the following {with a vigorous spoon or a blender}

one cup fat free fage Greek yogurt
three tablespoons pumpkin puree
one half a banana {not necessary, and seems weird but it sweetens it!}
one tablespoon Stonewall Kitchen Maple Pumpkin Butter
one fourth a cup chopped toasted pecans or almonds
a dash of pumpkin pie spice
graham cracker crumbs