Thursday, September 29, 2011

Apple Crumble Pie Muffins

Fall has arrived and I am totally embracing the season by baking as much as I can with apples. Watch out because I have a bunch of apple recipes coming your way in the next couple of weeks. 

Here is a little picture of our first apple picking outing of the season this year....so much fun but TONS of mosquitoes nagged at us as we picked.  I seriously have no patience for mosquitoes (especially when they bite my kiddos!!!).  Rrrrrrr!!!



 One of the first things I made with the apples we picked that day was a lovely batch of muffins called,  Apple Crumble Pie Muffins.  Seriously, seriously good muffins is produced by this recipe.  And yes, the muffins do remind me of apple pie as they are packed full of chopped apples, cinnamon goodness and a perfect crumble topping. Best of all they are super easy and quick to make.  The longest part of this recipe is the peeling, coring and chopping of the apples.


The original recipe suggested making regular size muffins but I choose to make the muffins in my jumbo size muffin tins.  I was able to make 9 jumbo muffins out of the batter. 

Apple Crumble Pie Muffins
(recipe was found on This and That - lots of fun recipes found throughout this blog)

Crumb Topping Ingredients:



1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup flour
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 tsp ground cinnamon

Muffin Batter Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
2/3 cup veggie or canola oil
1 egg
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk (I made my own by squirting in a couple tsp's of lemon juice into the milk and letting it sit for a couple of minutes)
2 1/2 cup flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
2 cups peeled and diced apples



Directions:

1. Prepare topping by combining all crumb ingredients in a medium size bowl.  Set aside as you make the muffin batter.

2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare muffin batter by taking a large bowl and whisking together brown sugar, oil, egg, vanilla extract and buttermilk all together until smooth.

3. In a separate bowl sift together flour, baking soda and salt.  Add sifted flour mixture into wet mixture.

4. Fold in diced apples - mix just to combine....you don't want to over mix batter as your muffins will have a tough consistency if over mixed.

5. Grease muffin tins or line with muffin cups.  Fill 2/3's of the way up.  Sprinkle muffin batter cups with crumb topping.  Pop in oven and bake for 25-30 minutes (time maybe less if making regular size muffins).  You will know that the muffins are done when they are golden brown and tops will spring back when touched.

I know you will enjoy these muffins!


Happy Apple Crumble Pie Muffin Baking!



Thursday, September 22, 2011

Brrrrrookies - THE bar to make :-)

Today I am sharing with you a bar recipe that will seriously...Change. Your. World.  I'm reaching out particularly to those of you that enjoy a good brownie.  I am also reaching out to those of you that enjoy a good chocolate chip cookie.  For those of you that enjoy BOTH brownies and cc cookies hold onto your hats because this treat of a recipe has BOTH of them in it....thus the name BROOKIE comes alive.


Oh yeah....first you have a layer of brownie and then a layer of chocolate chip cookies together they become a union of sinfully delicious yumminess.


How in the world can you resist such a treat like this?!? Unless you don't like chocolate....there are a few of you out there in the world (which is totally fine, more chocolate for me!).

Brookies
(This fabulous recipe was found @ Shugary Sweets)

Brownie Layer Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups sugar
3/4 cup flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
3 eggs
3/4 cups butter, melted
1 cup semi-sweet or milk chocolate chips

Cookie Layer Ingredients:

3/4 cup butter flavored Crisco (butter can be substituted if need be)
1 1/4 cup brown sugar
1 Tbsp  real vanilla extract
2 Tbsp milk
1 egg
1 3/4 cup flour
1 tsp salt
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp  ground cinnamon
1 1/2 cup semi-sweet or milk chocolate chocolate chips



Directions:

1. Line a 9x13 baking pan with parchment paper.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

2. Make brownie layer by combining ALL "brownie ingredients" in a large bowl. Mix until just combined.  Pour brownie batter into prepared pan.

3. Make cookie layer by beating Crisco and brown sugar together until well combined.  Add in vanilla extract, milk and egg.  Slowly add in flour, salt, baking soda and cinnamon.  Once all dry ingredients are combined to the wet stir in chocolate chips. 

4. Drop cookie dough batter by the spoonful (I used a small ice cream scoop) evenly over brownie batter layer....


5. Pop in oven and bake for about 25 minutes or until brownie edges have come away from the edge of the baking pan.   


Cool completely before cutting into squares.  Putting the pan of Brookies in the refrigerator is a great way to speed up the process as recommended by Aimee.



SOOOOO good!!! And just a little FYI, a small piece of this treat will make your eyes roll back in your head. BIG pieces are optional. ;-)

Happy Brookie Baking!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Mini Carrot Peach Loaves



Sometimes it is fun to drop off a special treat to a friend....for no reason at all other than a gesture to show that we care and that we were thinking of them. Not only do I enjoy bringing a special smile to someone's face over an unexpected treat but it also helps me NOT eat so much of the baked goodies that I seem to produce quite often - yes, I admit I have a serious problem...I LOVE to bake!!!  Shhhhh....don't tell anyone, that doesn't already know. ;-)

 Recently after making a batch of Mini Carrot Peach Loaves my oldest daughter and I piled into the car and delivered the treats to a couple of special people in our lives. 




We tied cute and colorful ribbons around the mini breads (another problem of mine...I just ADORE anything mini...and ribbon too!-I have a special place in my heart for ribbon.) and away we went.  The breads were a hit!  The flavors of carrot and peach matched well with one another that was accented with just a touch of cinnamon.  The texture and taste of the sweet bread was perfectly moist and with just enough sweetness to allow it to be eaten for breakfast, snack or even dessert.  Warmed with a layer of butter was also reported to cause great happiness to our friend's taste buds.  Can you blame them?!  Butter = YUM!

Because of my love for anything mini I choose to make this recipe into 4 mini loaves....



....but of course you can just as easily just pour the batter into 1 regular size 9x5 bread loaf pan and be just as successful with this recipe. 




Mini Carrot Peach Loaves
(recipe is from Ryan Bakes - Ryan has super yummy recipes on her blog!)

Ingredients:

3/4 cup pecans, chopped (optional)
2 1/2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
1 1/2 cups peeled and chopped fresh, ripe peaches
3/4 cup freshly grated carrots
2/3 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup milk
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease 4 mini loaf pans or 1 regular loaf pan.  If you choose to use pecans place nuts in a single layer in a shallow pan and bake for 8-10 minutes or until toasted and fragrant.  Stir halfway through baking.  Cool nuts 15 minutes before adding to the recipe.

2. In a large bowl stir together flour, sugar, spices, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  Add in peaches, carrots, oil, milk, beaten eggs, vanilla extract and toasted pecans.  Stir just until dry ingredients are moistened - do NOT overmix as bread will become tough if overmixed. 

3. Spoon batter into prepared pan(s) and pop into oven.  Bake for 30-40 minutes for mini loaves, 1 hr - 1 hr and 10 minutes for regular size loaf or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.  Cool for 5 minutes in pan before removing.


Happy Mini Carrot Peach Loaves Baking!

p.s. This week my oldest daughter entered into Kindergarten.  We are SO proud of her for her happiness, braveness and willingness to learn new and exciting knowledge from school. Below is a picture of her coming off the bus from her first day of school ...


Hello there Kindergartener!!!



Thursday, September 8, 2011

Baked Parmesan Garlic Chicken


  Chicken is often my main ingredient when it comes to my dinner time meals.  Sometimes I will incorporate it in a casserole, other times I will marinate it and then grill it.  Baking chicken is yet another way I will prepare it.  None the less I am always looking for new, quick and delicious ways to prepare my chicken. 

 Recently on Mommy's Kitchen (LOVE Tina's blog!!) I entered a giveaway for a cookbook called, 101 Hearty RECIPES from Gooseberry Patch.  Because I couldn't wait for the winner to be announced a couple weeks later (and because I was desperate for some new dinner recipes) I ordered the book on amazon.com right away.  30 hours later the cookbook was delivered to my door.  I was a HAPPY girl!  Right away I started looking through the cookbook, tagging recipes that I wanted to make ASAP.  One of the first recipes that I came upon was Parmesan Garlic Chicken.  I was sold immediately when I saw that the recipe called for sour cream to be brushed all over the chicken breasts before it was coated in a lovely mixture of seasonings, grated parm cheese and crushed Ritz crackers. YUM! And yes, it sure was YUM! Can't wait for you to enjoy this chicken recipe too!  

Garlic Parmesan Chicken
(recipe from 101 Hearty RECIPES)

Ingredients:

1 sleeve Ritz crackers, crushed
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 tsp salt
1 tsp garlic powder
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/2 cup sour cream (light sour cream could be easily used in place of regular sour cream)
1/3 cup butter, melted

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Lightly grease 9x13 baking pan.

2. In a shallow bowl (a pie plate would work great) combine crushed crackers, parm cheese, salt and garlic powder. 

3. Rinse chicken breasts with water and the pat dry.  Coat both sides of chicken with sour cream using a pastry brush.

4. Dredge chicken through seasoned cracker crumb mixture.  Place chicken in prepared pan and then drizzle with melted butter.

5. Bake, uncovered, for 45 minutes or until juices run clear and chicken is golden brown.

Enjoy!


Happy Parmesan Garlic Chicken Baking!
    

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Rustic Blueberry Galette

Yum. Yum and MORE yum is all I can say about this AMAZING blueberry dessert.  I highly recommend you take this recipe and run to the closest kitchen, put on your apron (if you like wearing one when you bake/cook), check your pantry and fridge for the ingredients needed (if necessary go to the store to get what you are missing and then make this recipe.  You will NOT be disappointed


This delicious galette is filled with fresh blueberries - the original recipe (which I found at Simply Scratch) called for a mixture of fresh peaches and blueberries.  You could use just peaches and omit the blueberries all together. The recipe leaves plenty of room for creativity with fruit for it's filling.  The crust that surrounds the fruit is out of this world delicious! Tasty and very easily put together....especially if you use your food processor.  I made my crust in the beginning of the day put it in the fridge to get nice and cold and then brought it out of the refrigerator as I prepared the fruit filling for the galette.  You don't want to bring the pie crust out of the cold too long before you actually need it for then the butter in the crust will get warm and no longer provide a beautiful flakiness to your pie crust.


One of the best parts of this recipe is that warmed apricot or peach jam is gently brushed over the crust and fruit.  The jam provides a lovely sweet flavor that enhances the fruit filling and it gives a beautiful "rustic" color to the galette as it bakes in the oven. That Laurie from Simply Scratch is one smart cookie adding this special touch to her recipe! :-)


Rustic Blueberry Galette
(recipe from Simply Scratch- a beautiful food blog...beautiful!)

Pie Crust Ingredients:

1 1/2 cup AP flour
1 Tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 sticks COLD unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 egg yolk
3 Tbsp milk (original recipe calls for whole milk - I used 2%)
3 Tbsp peach or apricot preserves, warmed (which I warmed in the microwave in a microwave proof measuring cup for 30 seconds)


Filling Ingredients:
4 heaping cups of fresh blueberries (or you can use 3-4 cups sliced fresh peaches and 1 cup fresh blueberries)
2 heaping Tbsp AP flour
1 Tbsp cornstarch
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1 pinch of salt
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg (optional)


Pie Crust Directions:


1. In a bowl of a food processor add the flour, sugar and salt - mix to combine.


2. Add in cold butter pieces and pulse until small pea size crumbles appear.


3. In a small bowl combine egg yolk and milk.  Pour into food processor and pulse just until combined. 

4. Take dough mixture out of food processor and put onto a piece of parchment paper.  Form dough into a large disk, wrap parchment paper around it and place in refrigerator to chill for at least 30 minutes.


Galette Filling Directions:


1. In a large bowl add fruit, flour, brown sugar, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg (if you choose to use it).  Gently toss all together.


2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Take your chilled pie crust out of fridge and carefully roll out into a 1/4" thickness of a circle - about 12" in diameter. Transfer rolled out dough onto a cookie sheet.


3. Pour fruit filling into center of pie crust....


....then carefully fold pie crust over fruit, pleating the crust as you go....

4. Warm jam on top of stove or in microwave.  Brush heated jam over all of crust and then drizzle the remaining over fruit filling.  Bake in preheated oven for 50-60 minutes - rotate pan half way through the baking time.  Cool 15 minutes before cutting and serving.



I served my galette just as it was but next time I have promised myself to serve it with fresh sweetened whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.  Yummy!  

Happy Rustic Blueberry Galette Baking!

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