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Adapated from the Oxmoor House

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Athena Winter Squash Muffin with Molasses

So, here I was, home again with my daughter, and instead of Hurricane Sandy, it’s Nor’Easter Athena.  Snow was falling in huge flakes at the beginning of November!!  First I decided that these storms should be named after a man instead of a woman.  I did a little research on names and came up with Seth, because according to mythology, he was an ancient evil god of Chaos, storms, and the desert, who slew Osiris.  That sounded perfect!
Then, I heard sounds of my daughter who slept all of an hour, got up to go to the bathroom, and never went back to sleep.  Great!  I had a whole L-O-N-G afternoon to entertain her.  First we decided to do a holiday craft project for her grandparents, and then we needed a new storm project.  I looked in the fridge and noticed that I had all this hubbard squash in there, so what better thing to make than pumpkin/squash muffins.  When I started looking for recipes, I saw some that had added molasses.  And, since my latest obsession is with molasses, (see Frankenstorm Chocolate Chip and Molasses Brittle Cookies), this seemed perfect.  So, I aptly named the muffins after our storm Athena, a.k.a. Seth.
A Review:
These muffins were super moist, like bread, deep in color from the molasses, not too sweet, and incredibly satisfying.  If wanting a bit more flavor, then I’d recommend ratcheting up the amount of spices.  However, everyone in the house including storm visitors ate more than one!

Athena/Seth GF Winter Squash Molasses Muffins (DF, SF)

Servings:
1 dozen large or 40 mini-muffins
Ingredients:
1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened – I used Earth’s Balance
3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar20121107-200828.jpg
1 large egg
2 cups (1 can) of cooked squash or canned squash/pumpkin
1/4 cup blackstrap molasses
1 3/4 cups GF flour = 218.75 grams or 7.72 oz
1 tablespoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon cinammon
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
*1/4 cup chopped nuts (optional)
Preparation:
If needing to roast squash ahead of time, see blog post on Hubbard Soup for roasting instructions in #1 & 2 of instructions.
1.  Beat butter at medium speed of an electric mixer until creamy, but you can use a whisk if your butter is room temperature.
2.  Slowly add brown sugar, beating/stirring well.
3.  Add egg, beating/stirring well.
4.  Add squash and molasses, beating/stirring well.
5.  Combine flour, baking soda, salt, and spice.  Whisk together to make sure they’re incorporated.
6.  Slowly add flour mixture to pumpkin mixture  (beating at medium-low just until blended).
7.  Stir in nuts.
8.  Spoon into greased muffin pans, filling three-fourths full.
9.  Bake at 375° for 20 minutes and remove.

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Fresh Out of the Oven

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So after my round of blueberry picking, I decided there was no way I’d be able to preserve them.  They were too good and we all just wanted to eat them fresh.  However, I found that I had enough blueberries to make the BEST gluten-free blueberry muffins I’ve ever eaten, EVER!

This recipe came from The Baking Wizard, Greg Patent, a man (who after reading his bio), has truly done amazing things in his life.  His passion was inspired by the cooking channel on the first TV his family had ever owned.

Below is his recipe and my adaptations:

Gluten-Free Blueberry Muffin Recipe

Yields: About 30 mini muffins

Ingredients

1 cup granulated sugar
2 ½ cups (12 ½ ounces) Bob’s Red Mill gluten-free all-purpose baking flour – I used a GF flour mix I had concocted with Authentic Foods Brown Rice Flour Superfine.  The key here is to weigh your flour!
¾ teaspoon xanthan gum – my gum came from nuts.com
2 ½  teaspoons baking powder
1 tsp kosher salt (or 3/4 teaspoon table salt)
1 ½ cups (7 ½ ounces) fresh blueberries
2 large eggs, at room temperature
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
¼ cup vegetable oil – I used safflower oil
½ cup full-fat sour cream
½ cup whole milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract – make sure your brand is GF.  I make my own.
Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
Turbinado sugar, for sprinkling on muffin tops – I didn’t have any, so I just sprinkled regular sugar, but think it would have been even better with turbinado.
Adjust an oven rack to the center position and preheat the oven to 425 degrees.  Spray a standard size muffin tin, preferably non-stick, with nonstick spray.

Directions

  1. In a large bowl, whisk together thoroughly the sugar, flour, xanthan gum, baking powder, and salt.  Add the berries and toss to coat.
  2. In a medium bowl, add the eggs, butter, oil, sour cream, milk, and vanilla.
  3. Whisk to combine and add the lemon zest.
  4. Add to dry ingredients and fold in gently until batter is thoroughly moistened and smooth.  Let stand 5 minutes.
  5. Divide among muffin cups, filling them almost to the top. Sprinkle with the turbinado sugar.
  6. Bake 17 to 19 minutes until golden and muffins feel firm to the touch, rotating pan halfway through baking.
  7. Cool in pan 5 minutes, then prop the muffins on their sides in the cups to cool further. Serve warm or at room temperature.
  8. Makes 12 large muffins. These are great warm with butter.

The beautiful blueberries I picked!

The batter in the mini tins, about to be cooked in the oven.

The finished blueberry muffins!

 

Perfect!

Don’t these look heavenly?! They were moist, flavorful, and beautiful.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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