Category Archives: Baked Goods

Copycat Starbucks Bran Muffins

My husband has breakfast with his life-long buddy just about every Saturday.  Lately, they’ve been going to Starbucks for coffee and a baked good.  I asked DH to bring back one of their Bran Muffins, which are soooo yummy!

Then it dawned on me, why not make my own?  I searched the internet and settled on this recipe:

https://www.geniuskitchen.com/recipe/starbucks-bran-muffins-404763#activity-feed

Meh, not so much.  I’m not sure why I wasn’t wow-ed by these muffins… was it the recipe?  Or was it the dried Apples that I found at the local market, that had absolutely no Apple taste to them, dunno … but I’ll go back to making my standard Bran Muffin recipe, from the side of the cereal box.

Apple Squares

I participate in several Food Forums, I may have mentioned this before; a nice gentleman posted a recipe that his Sister gave him for what they call Apple Squares, me, I say pure yumminess is much more along the line!

Apple Squares

courtesy of Andy M.

Serves 9

 

130g (1 C.) All Purpose Flour

240g (1 1/4 C.) granulated Sugar

1/2 tsp. Salt

1/2 tsp. ground Cinnamon

1/8 tsp. ground Nutmeg

2 tsp. Baking Powder

3/4 C. Chopped Walnuts (I used Pecans)

3 Macintosh Apples, peeled, cored and diced (I had Ruby Frost Apples that needed using)

2 Eggs, beaten

 

Preheat the over to 375°F

Grease and line with parchment paper, an 8″ x 8″ pan

Combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl.  Add the Apples and mix well.  Stir in the beaten Eggs thoroughly.  This makes a very stiff batter, but be patient, it will come together.  Pour the batter into the pan and spread it out evenly with an off-set spatula.

Bake for 40-45 minutes, until a toothpick test comes out clean.  Cool the cake completely on a wire rack, in the pan.

Using the parchment paper, remove carefully to a cutting board and slice with a serrated knife into 9 equal pieces.

YUM!

Why not guild the lily and serve your cake ala mode?  😀

Homemade Soft Pretzels ala Alton Brown

My husband has been trying to get me to make him Soft Pretzels for YEARS!  And I can understand, he’s from Philadelphia and loves  his Soft Pretzels 😀

Well, I have no idea what got into me, but I was in the mood for something yummy and different, so I went on the WWW to search for a good recipe.  There are several websites/blogs/vlogs etc. out there with solid techniques for making Soft Pretzels, but I settled on:

https://altonbrown.com/homemade-soft-pretzels-recipe/

I thought that the finished product looked a bit fat, but DH LOVED  these.  I didn’t have Pretzel Salt, and used course Hawaiian Sea Salt, that was okay, but I really wished  that I had some Queso for dipping!  Next time, and believe me, there will be a next time, soon!

ENJOY!

 

King Arthur Flour 100% Whole Wheat No Knead Bread

After making King Arthur Flour No Knead Crusty White Bread recipe, I wondered if I could find a really good Whole Wheat Bread recipe too.

BINGO!

https://www.kingarthurflour.com/recipes/no-knead-100-whole-wheat-bread-recipe

Here’s what I learned while making this Bread, it’s a very sticky dough!

A plastic Bench Scraper works super  here.

I also learned a tip from King Arthur Flour, when smoothing out the top of that sticky dough, use some Cooking/Baking Oil Spray on your finger tips.

Here’s another tip: Use that Cooking/Baking Oil Spray on an old Shower Cap and cover the dough to rise.

That rose-up beautifully!  But, hmmm, what happened here?  Oops, we had a bit of a fall while in the oven  😀

Our Bread has wings!

That’s okay.  We sacrificed the wings, ate them as a snack, and we had the BEST  toast with our breakfast!

 

 

A New Brownie Recipe for My Kitchen In The Middle Of The Desert

If you’ve been following my blog with any regularity, you’ll know that we just love our Brownies here In The Middle Of The Desert.

 

I’ve made so many different kinds, flavors, add-ins and so on and so on.

Recently I found this recipe …

https://www.shugarysweets.com/bakery-style-brownies/

… on a social media site, I can’t remember which one, but they looked pretty dang good.

My go-to recipe for Brownies has been from Hershey’s, I mean come on, who knows chocolate in America better than Hershey’s… by the way, have you ever been to Hershey Pennsylvania?  The entire town smells like chocolate, the light posts have Hershey Kiss shaped shades and geez, it’s just a super neat place.

But I digress, back to the topic of Brownies.

I took Aimee’s recipe and made it my own by adding a half teaspoon of Espresso Powder to pump up the chocolate volume and a half cup of chopped Macadamia Nuts.  I think though next time, a full cup of Nuts would be better.

Look at THAT!!!

Man oh man oh man OH MAN!!  Them’s some good Brownies, let me tell you buddy.  My husband, who doesn’t comment on food too often, has exclaimed with each and every bite “… these are just the best Brownies you’ve ever made, really!”

They are quite rich and decadent, I gotta tell ya, so I cut this 9 by 9 inch block-o-goodness into 16 pieces.

This is from batch #2 made with chopped Pecans, topped with Mint Cookie Crunch Ice cream, YUM!!

AND they are over the top delicious  with a scoop of Ice Cream on top!

Brownie, Ice Cream and then warmed Blueberry Preserves over the top

OR  take it one more step with the Brownie, Ice Cream and then your favorite Preserve, warmed and drizzled artfully all over.

Mahalo, thank you Aimee, for sharing this fabulous recipe with all of us.

Did I Say That I Made Cheesecake?

Yup!  Only the second time in my entire life that I’ve ever made Cheesecake.  I had no idea where to start, so I turned to my girl Martha, Martha Stewart that is.  I kinda-sorta followed the recipe, but I remembered that the first time I did this, the recipe made me TWO HUGE CHEESECAKES!!

AND I didn’t have quite enough Cream Cheese this time around.  I had three blocks left over from my Carrot Cake frenzy of this past Spring.  When I checked the “use by” dates on them it was all hands on deck!

My changes were 3 bricks of Cream Cheese instead of SEVEN, 3 eggs rather than 5 and half of what was called for all of the ingredients for the filling.  The crust was a standard crust recipe off the box of the Graham Cracker Crumbs, simple.

It came out very dense and not as sweet, I really liked it better actually.

That’s a lot of Cheesecake for two people though, so I frozen probably half the cake, in slices, for later.

Morning Glory Muffins

I had these muffins on my mind for the past few days, but what with this and that comings and goings, I just got around to making them.  I’ve made these previously, for our new Communities Craft & Bake Sale back a ways… the gluten-free muffins actually did better than the regular ones believe it or not.

My muffins are a jump-off from King Arthur Flour’s recipe, but with a few twists and turn of my own… I just can’t seem to follow a recipe, I’ve got to give them a tweak here and there.

 

Auntie Doni’s Morning Glory Muffins

½ C. dried Cranberries, chopped

2 C. AP Flour

1 C. Brown Sugar, less 1 Tbsp.

2 tsp. Baking Soda

2 tsp. Ground Cinnamon

½ tsp. Ground Ginger

½ tsp. Salt

2 C. peeled and grated Carrots

1 large Apple, peeled, cored, and grated, approx. 1-1 ¼ C. (I had Fuji Apples, but use what you like)

½ C. shredded Coconut, sweetened or unsweetened

½  C.  chopped Pecans

½ C. canned, crushed Pineapple, drained well, reserve the juice

3 large Eggs

2/3 C. Vegetable Oil

2 tsp. Vanilla Extract

2 Tbsp. Molasses

¼ C. of that reserved Pineapple Juice

 

Preheat the oven to 375°F.

Lightly grease a 12-cup Cupcake tin (or 6-cup Jumbo muffin tin), or line it with papers and spray the insides of the papers (I used Baker’s Joy spray-no papers).

In a small bowl, cover the dried Cranberries with hot water, and set them aside to soak.

In a large bowl, whisk together the Flour, Sugar, Baking Soda, Spices, and Salt.

Stir in the Carrots, Apple, Coconut, Pecans and Pineapple.

In a separate bowl, beat together the Eggs, Oil, Vanilla, Molasses and Pineapple Juice; add to the Flour mixture, and stir well.

Drain the Cranberries and stir them in.

Divide the batter among the wells of the prepared pan, filling each cup to the top.

Bake the Cupcake sized muffins 20 minutes and the Jumbo muffins for 25 minutes, until a wooden toothpick inserted in the center of one of the inner muffins comes out clean.

Remove from the oven, let cool for 5 minutes in their pan on a rack, then turn out of pans to finish cooling. Wrap any leftovers airtight, and store at room temperature for several days; freeze for longer storage.

Yield is about 1 1/2 dozen Cupcake sized or 8 or so Jumbo Muffins, this time I got 12 Cupcake and 2 Jumbos… nice for sharing 😀

These little cuties are delicious any time.

ENJOY!

Non-Scratch Baking

Today, I did something that I don’t  normally do, I made a baked good from a box…  😮

I know, but I wanted to try something different that I saw at the Mega-Mart the other day.

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Sam’s Choice™ Wild Blueberry Muffin Mix.

I had been thinking of Wild Blueberry Muffins for a few weeks, and this seemed to fit the bill.

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Not bad lookin’ or smelling for that matter.

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I served them up this morning with some scrambled Eggs, Turkey Sausage, Cantaloupe and juice.  Now I’d say that’s a filling brunch; I give it a four star rating  ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

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This kit comes with canned Wild Blueberries, you just add water, oil and 2 eggs.  It’ll bake up 6 jumbo Muffins that I think came out tender, with a nice crumb and we have plenty leftover for tomorrow.   That’s a win/win in my book.  😉

Our New Favorite Cracker

I think I’ve mentioned that I LOVE Trader Joe’s and all of their snack-y stuff, right?

Well, I found a new Cracker, at least for us it is, who knows how long its been around and I plain missed it …

Trader Joe’s Bite Size Everything Cracker, MMM!

Think of it like an Everything Bagel.  Nowadays you can even buy a jar of Everything Topping to use at home on whatever.

I added a little Cheese on the side of my share yesterday and you’ve got yourself a very nice late afternoon snack to hold the wolves at bay until suppertime.

Our Great Western Adventure ~ September 2013 ~ Installment #15 ~ Last Stop

I’m going to leave out Cheyenne Wyoming, mainly because it was simply a stop to sleep as we made our way to our final town, Durango Colorado.

DH and I have been here a few times before for visits with a friend of mine, but honestly, we really like it there.

The drive from Cheyenne though was a little harrowing to say the least. As we approached a mountain pass, we could see that a pretty bad looking storm was coming. Unfortunately it hit us full force as we got to the top of Wolf Creek Pass in Colorado.

I have never, in my life, been so scared.

Hail, snow, sleet, ice, all coming down in buckets, the first winter storm of the season, great! My husband pulled off of the road twice, mostly because we just couldn’t see and we don’t have four wheel drive. Somehow, we made it down the other side of that mountain and were only 3 hours beyond our estimated time of arrival at our hotel.

Well, the next morning the sun was out and there was oodles of snow up on the mountains, so we took a drive from Durango to Silverton. A little cold for a gal from Hawaii, but just gorgeous!

Sautéed Sesame Beef rice bowl @ Rice Monkeys in Durango Colorado

My friend is a chef in Durango, so who better to ask where to eat, right? We had lunch at Rice Monkeys. We ordered Edamame to start and then Teri-Chicken rice bowl for DH (didn’t get a photo `cuz hubby wolfed it down) and Sautéed Sesame Beef rice bowl for myself. That hit the spot!

The following day we were having dinner at our friend’s home, so we figured a big breakfast or brunch as it was, would be best. On my DF’s suggestion, we went to Durango Doughworks. The best  bagel that we’ve had in a very long time, good call Joey! In fact, we wound up eating breakfast here twice on this visit and I’m sure that we’ll be back again the next time that we are in town.

Dinner at my chefy-friend-Joey’s was the bomb-diggity! She pulled no punches, she put out a spread of so many different dishes, I wasn’t sure where to start. The best plan of attack was to try a little of everything!

Our last night in Durango, we went to dinner at Mutu’s Italian Kitchen, once again on my girl friend’s recommendation. She knew that my husband would enjoy his meal, and he sure did.

Our Great Western Adventure

Now it’s time to head towards home, we’ve been on the road for a month, though neither of us really felt like we wanted this to end.