Heart’s Desire

HeartsDesireMuffin

Rich & moist, chocolate banana muffins with dried cherries and bittersweet chocolate.

Heart’s Desire Muffins

Makes 5

3/4 c. all-purpose flour

1/2 c. granulated white sugar

1/4 c. natural cocoa

1 1/4 t. baking powder

1 t. ground cinnamon

1/4 t. baking soda

3/4 c. mashed overripe banana

1/4 c. unsalted butter, melted

1/4 c. buttermilk

1/2 c. dried cherries

1 1/2 oz. fine bittersweet chocolate, broken into small pieces

2 T. confectioner’s sugar, stirred together with a pinch of cinnamon.

Cinnamon gumdrops, optional, or desired garnish

Paper heart-shaped muffin molds*

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, granulated sugar, cocoa, baking powder, cinnamon and baking soda. Set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, beat together banana, butter, and buttermilk.
  4. Stir wet ingredients into dry ingredients until no dry spots show. Fold in cherries and broken chocolate.
  5. Spoon batter into muffin molds. Smooth tops with the back of a spoon.
  6. Bake for about 22 minutes or until muffins are firm to the touch.
  7. Sift confectioner’s sugar blend over muffins. Garnish, if desired. Serve (either in paper molds or removed from them.)
  • Available through Wilton and speciality baking supply companies.

Enjoy!

May your heart be full  of happiness this Valentine’s Day!

HeartsDesireMuffin@

Cranberry Walnut Muffins (Vegan)

MuffinsCranWalVegan2

Cranberry Walnut Muffins (Vegan)

Makes 4 dense, moist muffins

1 c. all-purpose flour

1 1/2 t. baking powder

1 t. ground cinnamon

1 pinch salt

1/2 c. honey

1 mashed banana (between 1/4 – 1/3 c)

1/4 c. canola oil

1 t. vanilla extract

1/2 c. dried cranberries (any flavor – I used blueberry for this batch)

1/3 c. chopped walnuts

Confectioner’s sugar mixed with a pinch of cinnamon

 

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Prepare four 1/2-cup ceramic ramekins with baking spray (or with vegan margarine and flour). Place ramekins on a baking sheet.

2. In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt.

3. In a separate bowl, combine honey, banana, canola oil and vanilla extract. Stir wet ingredients into dry ingredients until there are no dry spots remaining.  Stir in cranberries and walnuts.

4. Spoon batter into prepared ramekins. Place baking sheet in center of oven and bake for 20 – 25 minutes, or until the tops of muffins are firm.

5. Remove from oven. Dust with confectioner’s sugar mixed with a pinch of cinnamon. Serve warm.

Enjoy! Have a great day!

 MuffinCranWalVegan

Honey-Glazed Raisin Pecan Muffins (Gluten-Free)

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Honey-Glazed Raisin Pecan Muffins

2 c. white rice flour (gluten-free)

1/2 c. dark brown sugar

1 T. baking powder

2 1/2 t. ground cinnamon

1 c. Greek yogurt (full-fat)

1/2 c. melted butter

1/2 c. honey, plus extra for glazing muffins

2 lg. eggs

1 c. mixed jumbo raisins

1 c. chopped pecans

muffin papers or foils

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to  400 degrees F. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with papers or foils.

2. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder and cinnamon. Set aside.

3. In a medium bowl, whisk together yogurt, butter, 1/2 c. honey, and eggs. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and then stir with a mixing spoon until no dry spots appear. Fold in raisins and walnuts.

4. Divide batter between muffin cups, mounding batter up in the center of each muffin and rounding with the back of a spoon. (Batter will stand above the top of the muffin pan.)

5. Bake for 20 – 23 minutes or until firm to the touch. Remove muffins from the oven and immediately glaze each with about 1/2 t. of honey, spreading honey with the back of a spoon. Let cool for at least 10 minutes before serving. Muffins are best served warm with a bit of butter or jam. Enjoy!

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Have a lovely weekend!

Sweet Cherry Muffins

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Sweet Cherry Muffins

2 c. all purpose flour

1 c. granulated white sugar

1 T. baking powder

1/2 c. melted butter

1 c. buttermilk

2 lg. eggs

2 t. vanilla extract

2 c. dark sweet cherries, pitted and coarsely chopped (frozen ok)

cinnamon sugar

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Prepare 10 1/2-cup ceramic ramekins with butter and flour or with baking spray;  or line 12 standard muffin cups with muffin papers, with butter and flour, or with baking spray.

2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, and baking powder. Set aside.

3. Stir together butter, buttermilk, eggs, and vanilla extract until well combined. Stir mixture into dry ingredients until dry ingredients are evenly moistened. Fold in cherries.

4. Scoop batter into prepared muffin cups. Using the back of a spoon, shape tops of muffins into a slight mound. Sprinkle tops of muffins with cinnamon sugar.

5. If using ramekins, place ramekins on 2 baking sheets. Bake for about 15 – 20 min for 12 muffins or about 22 – 27 minutes for 10 muffins. Muffins should be firm to the touch when done.

Two Little Chefettes Monthly Cooking Challenge: Zucchini

Once again, thank you to Bebe and Ridha for putting together this month’s cooking challenge! Visit Two Little Chefettes to check out other entries and also to view the rules if you are interested in participating.

I thought about trying to come up with an exotic and creative way to use zucchini for the challenge; but since these muffins are such a nice way to start the day, I decided to  use this recipe instead. Basically, a variation on zucchini bread, these moist and flavorful muffins are best served warm and can be eaten with butter or cream cheese, though no further adornment is needed.

Lemon-Glazed Zucchini Muffins

Makes 10 – 12

2 c. all-purpose flour or gluten-free all-purpose flour

1/2 c. granulated white sugar

1/2 c. light brown sugar, firmly packed

2 1/2 t. baking powder

1/2 t. baking soda

1 t. ground Vietnamese cinnamon

1/4 t. ground ginger

1/4 t. ground aniseed

1/4 t. ground allspice

1/4 t. salt

pinch of ground cardamom

1 c. lowfat buttermilk

1/2 c. canola oil

2 lg. eggs

2 t. lemon extract

1 1/2 c. coarsely grated zucchini

1 c. chopped pecans

1 c. confectioner’s sugar

2 T. fresh lemon juice

(1) Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Prepare 12 standard muffin cups or 10 one-half cup ceramic ramekins with baking spray, or with butter and flour, or by lining with muffin papers. (For gluten-free use butter and gluten-free flour or use muffin papers.)

(2) In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugars, baking powder and spices. In a medium bowl, whisk together buttermilk, oil, eggs, and lemon extract until well combined. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients just until the dry ingredients have been absorbed. Do not overmix. Fold in zucchini and pecans.

(3) Divide batter between prepared muffin cups or ramekins. (If using ramekins, divide them between 2 baking sheets.) Using the back of a spoon, smooth muffin tops. Bake until muffins are firm to the touch, about 15 – 17 minutes for 12 standard muffins, about 20 – 23 minutes for 10 ramekin-size muffins.

(4) While muffins are baking, make glaze by slowly stirring lemon juice into confectioner’s sugar and beating with a spoon until perfectly smooth. Spoon glaze over muffins as soon as muffins come out of the oven. Place on wire cooling racks until muffins are cool enough to handle. Then unmold.

Just Out of the Oven: Strawberry Buttermilk Muffins

A summertime favorite of our guests at The Morning Star Bed & Breakfast …

Strawberry Buttermilk Muffins

2 c. all-purpose flour (or, for gluten-free muffins, white rice flour)

1 c. granulated white sugar + 2 to 3 T. extra for sprinkling tops of muffins

1 T. baking powder

8 T. unsalted butter, melted

1 c. buttermilk

2 lg. eggs, beaten

2 t. orange extract

2 c. chopped ripe, fresh strawberries (washed & stems removed)

(1) Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Prepare 10 one-half cup ramekins or 12 standard muffin pans for baking using one of the following methods: spray with baking spray (not for gluten-free), butter and flour (rice flour for gluten-free), or line muffin pans with muffin papers/foils. (Using foils is the safest way to prevent cross contamination of foods for people who are gluten-intolerant.)

(2) In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar and baking powder. In a medium bowl, whisk together butter, buttermilk, eggs and orange extract. Stir buttermilk mixture into dry ingredients. Fold in strawberries.

(3) Scoop batter into ramekins or muffin pans. Sprinkle tops of muffins with sugar. If using ramekins, place them on baking sheets. Bake for about 20 minutes or until muffins are firm to the touch and lightly golden brown. (Gluten-free muffins will just be brown around the edges.)

(4) Place muffin pans or baking sheets on wire racks until muffins are cool enough to serve – about 10 minutes.

Best Ever Gluten-free Blueberry Muffins

The first time I heard of gluten-intolerance was about fourteen years ago, back when we still had the B & B at our previous house. A guest who was staying with us for six weeks had Celiac’s disease and so I learned how to cook without wheat, barley or rye, and how to avoid cross contamination of  the gluten-free foods. After that, it was several more years before I had another guest ask for a gluten-free breakfast.  Now we receive that request every few weeks. Our gluten-sensitive and gluten-intolerant guests are always delighted to have these sweet and moist muffins. (Note, there are different degrees of gluten-sensitivity; but if you are cooking for someone who is truly gluten-intolerant, you will need to be extremely careful to avoid cross-contamination and even use cookware that has never has never had a gluten product in it. I always make a point to tell people on a gluten-free diet that we do not have a gluten-free kitchen, but that we take every possible precaution to avoid cross-contamination.)

Best Ever Gluten-free Blueberry Muffins

(Makes about 12)

2 c. white rice flour

1 c. granulated white sugar

1 T. baking powder

1 stick unsalted butter, melted

1 c. low-fat buttermilk

2 lg. eggs

2 c. blueberries (fresh or frozen)

confectioner’s sugar for serving

(1) Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Line muffin pans with muffin cups (using a foil cup inside a paper cup) or place muffin cups (using a foil cup inside a paper cup) on a large baking tray.

(2) In a large bowl, whisk together rice flour, sugar and baking powder. In a medium bowl, whisk together butter, buttermilk and eggs. Stir buttermilk mixture into dry ingredients. Fold in blueberries.

(3) Scoop batter into muffin cups. Bake for about 20 minutes or until muffins are firm to the touch and lightly golden brown around the edges.

(4) Place muffin pans or baking sheet on wire racks until muffins are cool enough to serve – about 10 minutes. Sprinkle with confectioner’s sugar before serving.  Individually wrap any leftover muffins in plastic wrap and freeze.