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@

Bananaberry Smoothie

SmoothieBananaBerry

Bananaberry Smoothie

(serves 2)

1/3 c. light coconut milk

2 T. fresh orange juice

1 medium size frozen banana, peeled and cut into slices (about 3/4 c.)

1 c. mixed fresh berries (sliced strawberries, raspberries, blackberries and/or blueberries)

fruit for garnish

Place coconut  milk, orange juice, banana and berries in blender and process until smooth. Pour into serving glasses and garnish with fruit. Serve immediately. Enjoy!

Notes

• A mix of red berries and dark berries produces the best color.

• This recipe makes a smoothie that is thin enough to drink. For a thicker smoothie, use frozen berries.

Orange Chocolate Chip Baked Donuts

Warm from the oven, these baked donuts are hard to resist!
DonutsOrangeChocChip

Orange Chocolate Chip Baked Donuts

Donut batter ingredients:

1 3/4 c. + 2 T. white rice flour (for gluten-free) or all-purpose flour

1/3 c. granulated white sugar

2 t. baking powder

pinch of salt

3/4 c. buttermilk

2 lg. eggs

2 T. unsalted butter, melted

2 t. fresh, finely grated orange zest

1 t. orange extract

2.5 oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped

Topping ingredients:

1/2 c. confectioner’s sugar

1/4 t. ground cinnamon

1 T. + 1 t. fresh orange juice

1/2 t. orange extract

2 T. honey

cinnamon sugar

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Spray a 6-mold donut baking pan with oil, set aside.

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

3. In a medium bowl, whisk together buttermilk, eggs, melted butter, orange zest, and orange extract. Stir wet ingredients into dry ingredients until the mixture is smooth. If the batter is a little too stiff, slowly stir in just a little bit more buttermilk. Fold in chopped chocolate.

4. Divide the batter between the oiled donut molds. Spread batter with the back of a spoon to smooth out tops. If needed, run your fingers under cold water, shake them off lightly, then use them to shape the donuts. Batter will stand slightly above the top of the donut pan. Bake for about 10 minutes or until done to the touch.

5. While the donuts are baking, prepare the topping. Stir together confectioner’s sugar, cinnamon, orange juice, orange extract, and honey until very smooth.

6. When donuts are done baking, invert onto a cooling rack. Glaze right away, then sprinkle generously with cinnamon sugar. Serve immediately.

More baked donut recipes:

Strawberry Shortcake Donuts

Cinnamon-Dipped Donuts

Enjoy! Have a great day!

North Pole Cupcakes

NorthPoleCupcakes4

These festive, chocolatey-peppermint, cheesecake cupcakes are easy to make with a food processor and can be made ahead of time and frozen so that you have them on hand for holiday company or surprise visitors – that is, unless a certain someone in your house likes to sneak into the freezer and eat them as is. You might need to make extras!  Enjoy!

North Pole Cupcakes

An easy to make, festive treat for the winter holiday season!

makes 12

Ingredients

• 12 Mint Oreo cookies (or gluten-free sandwich-style cookies)

• 2/3 c. granulated white sugar

• 16 miniature peppermint candy canes, divided

• 1/4 c. dark chocolate chips

• 16 oz. cream cheese, softened

• 1/4 c. sour cream

• 2 lg. eggs

• 1 T. chocolate liqueur

• 1/2 t. mint extract

• whipped cream for topping (canned is ok)

• shaved chocolate, chocolate sprinkles, sugar pearls, or sugar sprinkles for garnish

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with muffin papers. Place one cookie in the center of each muffin paper.  (The cookies will be a little smaller than the bottom of the muffin cups, but the cookies puff out during baking.)

2. Unwrap 4 of the candy canes and break candy into small pieces (should be about 1 T.). Using a large food processor, process sugar and broken candy canes until they are crushed to a fine consistency. Add chocolate chips and process until the chips are finely crushed. Add cream cheese and process until smooth. Scrape down bowl. Add sour cream and process until smooth. Scrape down bowl. Add eggs, chocolate liqueur, and mint extract. Process or beat until well blended and perfectly smooth. Scrape down bowl.

3. Divide cheesecake batter between muffin cups, filling to the top, but not over the top. Bake for about 20 minutes or until cheesecake batter is puffy and set in the middle. Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack. (The cupcakes will sink in the middle as they cool and don’t look very pretty until garnished.)

4. Once completely cool, cover pan with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 3 hours before serving. (Once cooled, muffins can be removed from the baking pan, placed in a plastic container, covered tightly, and frozen until shortly before serving. If no one sneaks into the freezer to eat them, cupcakes should keep for about 1 month.)

5. Serve cold. (If frozen, remove cupcakes from freezer shortly before serving – about 15 minutes. When ready to serve, remove muffin papers. Garnish each cupcake with whipped cream, shaved chocolate or other decorations, and an unwrapped candy cane. Enjoy! Happy Holidays!

Variation: Instead of whipped cream, top with chocolate ganache or chocolate buttercream flavored with peppermint.

Pumpkin Dried Cherry Quick Bread

PumpkinBreadSlice

Pumpkin Dried Cherry Quick Bread

Ingredients:

2 c. all-purpose flour or white rice flour

1 T. ground cinnamon

1/2 t. ground mace

1/2 t. salt

1 c. packed pumpkin puree

1/2 c. canola oil

1/2 c. low-fat buttermilk

2 lg. eggs

2 t. vanilla extract

1/2 c. granulated white sugar

1/2 c. packed light brown sugar

3/4 c. dried cherries+extra for garnish

confectioner’s sugar

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray baking pan* with vegetable oil.
  2. Whisk together flour, cinnamon, mace and salt. Set aside.
  3. Stir together pumpkin, oil, buttermilk, eggs and vanilla extract until well combined. Stir in sugars until well moistened.
  4. Stir flour mixture into pumpkin mixture until no dry spots remain. Fold in dried cherries.
  5. Scoop batter into baking pan, smoothing the surface with the back of a large spoon. Bake for about 40 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted near the center comes out clean or with large crumbs that look cooked through.
  6. Cool for 10-20 minutes on a cooling rack.  Invert bread onto another rack, then re-invert onto a serving plate. Dust with confectioner’s sugar before serving. Serve warm or cool. Garnish with dried cherries.

Enjoy!

*The pan that I use is a non-stick fluted cake pan that is a little bit over 8 cups in volume.

PumpkinBread&Roses

Roses&CarnationsOrange

Have a lovely day!

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

Boozy Bourbon Brownies

A little something for National Bourbon Day …

(Not for children)

BoozyBourbonBrownies7

Boozy Bourbon Brownies

Makes about 25 small rich brownies

Ingredients:

6 oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped

1/2 c. unsalted butter

1/2 c. dried currants

2 T. bourbon

3/4 c. all-purpose flour

2 T. natural cocoa

1/4 t. salt

2 lg. eggs

1/2 c. granulated white sugar

1/2 c. dark brown sugar, firmly packed

Boozy Bourbon Cream Cheese Frosting (Recipe below)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.  Butter and flour a 9” square baking pan or spray with baking spray.
  2. Melt chocolate and butter together, stirring frequently. Set aside to cool.
  3. Combine the currants and bourbon. Set aside.
  4. In  small bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa and salt. Set aside.
  5. In large bowl, beat eggs and white sugar together until pale, thick and creamy. (This takes about three to four minutes on high speed. Do not underbeat.) Beat in dark brown sugar and then beat in chocolate mixture. On lowest speed, beat in currants and bourbon.  Then beat in dry ingredients just until they are incorporated. Pour batter into baking pan. Spread evenly.
  6. Bake for about 32 to 37 minutes or until a cake tester inserted into the middle comes out almost clean and the brownies feel firm to the touch.  Place baking pan on a wire rack to cool.
  7. Before serving, cut brownies into squares and remove from pan. Frost tops of brownies with Boozy Bourbon Cream Cheese Frosting.

 

Boozy Bourbon Cream Cheese Frosting

Makes enough to frost one 9” square pan of baked goods or to decorate about 30 cookies.

Ingredients:

6 oz. cream cheese, softened

1/2 c. confectioner’s sugar

1 T. + 2 t. Bourbon, or to taste

 

Directions:

Combine ingredients in a small bowl. Beat until perfectly smooth. Taste. If desired, slowly beat in more Bourbon. Use to frost baked goods.

 

Have a great weekend!