Banana Buttermilk Pistachio Muffins

August 15, 2014

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I had a couple bananas get a little too ripe the other day. That hasn’t happened in a while and I must say I was pretty pleased, because that meant I just had to make some sort of yummy banana treat. So I decided to surprize the husband with a batch of freshly baked Banana Buttermilk Pistachio Muffins. I love to use buttermilk when I bake. It adds a slight tang to everything and gives baked goods a wonderfully tender and light texture.

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These muffins were indeed light, despite the fact that they had a bit of whole-wheat flour in them, which can make a muffin somewhat heavy or dense. And they weren’t too sweet, which I prefer in a breakfast muffin. If you like a really sweet, almost dessert type of muffin you may wish to up the sugar, add some chocolate chips into the mix or perhaps sprinkle some Demerara sugar over the top when you bake them. I did modify the original recipe a bit as well. It called for canola oil but I used coconut oil which tastes absolutely divine in pastries.

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And although I know that folks mostly use walnuts or peanuts in banana muffins, I decided to go with pistachios and was very pleased with the combination. These Banana Buttermilk Pistachio Muffins were quick and easy to prepare. And made for a delightful start to the day!

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Banana Buttermilk Pistachio Muffins

  • Servings: 12 muffins
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

recipe slightly adapted from Williams Sonoma

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup whole-wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 cup low-fat buttermilk
  • 1 cup well-mashed ripe banana
  • 2 Tablespoons coconut oil, melted ( or you can substitute in canola oil)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup chopped pistachios

Directions:

Preheat an oven to 375°F. Spray 12 standard muffin cups with canola-oil cooking spray, or use paper liners.

In a large bowl, stir together the all-purpose and whole-wheat flours, sugar, baking powder,baking soda and cinnamon.

In another bowl or a large, glass measuring pitcher, whisk together the buttermilk, banana, egg and vanilla. If you are using coconut oil, warm the buttermilk mixture in the microwave ( do this in 5 -10 second bursts, you just want it warmed not cooked and microwaves can get a bit out of control if you are not careful :) ), until it comes to room temperature.  Once it is warmed up, add the coconut oil. If you put coconut oil into a cold mixture it will congeal to solid clumps (yuck!). If you are using canola oil, you can simply add it to the buttermilk mixture. No warming required. Pour the wet ingredients over the dry ingredients and stir just until blended. Do not overmix. Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin cups, filling each about three-fourths full. Sprinkle the tops evenly with the pistachios (or nut of your choosing).

Bake the muffins until they are lightly browned and a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean, 15 to 20 minutes. Let cool in the pan on a wire rack for 15 minutes, then turn out onto the rack and let cool completely. The muffins will keep in a zippered plastic bag at room temperature for 2 or 3 days, or in the freezer for up to 2 months.

Enjoy!

Banana Buttermilk Pistachio Muffins brought to you by: Runcible Eats (http://www.leaandjay.com )

 

 


Irish Leek & Cheddar Tart

March 9, 2014

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There’s more than one day to a weekend. At least that’s what I’ve been told, even though it often feels like the weekend only spans a couple of hours, whereas the work week seems to go on for a bit shy of eternity. Well yesterday, I gave you a great brunch recipe for that Caramel Apple & Irish Whiskey Clafoutis, but I’ve got another great one all lined up for today and since the weekend seems to still be lingering around a bit, maybe you could jump on into the kitchen and whip up this Irish Leek & Cheddar Tart.

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Though this delicious tart should not be relegated to the breakfast/brunch time slot by any means. Truth be told though, we’ve added a simple green salad and eaten this tart for lunch or dinner just as many times as it has appeared in the morning. We are big leek fans around here and will gobble them up in no time flat even when they are just simply sautéed in butter, but once you add some stout beer, nutmeg, and thyme into the mix. Look out!

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The stout adds a real depth of flavour to those leeks. And the sharp Irish cheddar perfectly completed the dish, turning a tart with very simple ingredients into an indulgent delight. Categorize this recipe under “eat anytime” and often!

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Irish Leek & Cheddar Tart

recipe adapted from: Wee Kitchen

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 of Perfect Flaky Pie Crust recipe (recipe found below…or use store-bought if pressed for time)
  • 1 1/2 lbs. leeks, white and pale green parts, washed and chopped
  • 4 oz. ( 1/2 stick) butter
  • 1 Tablespoon flour
  • 3/4 cup Guinness or Murphy’s Stout beer
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
  • 3-4 sprigs of thyme, leaves only
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 3 1/2 ounces mature Irish Cheddar Cheese ( I used Kerrygold)

Directions:

Make batch of shortcrust pastry, or open box if using store-bought. Roll out shortcrust pastry on lightly floured work surface. Line 9″ tart pan with the dough. Cover the dough with a piece of aluminum foil and freeze for about 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 375°F. Place dough-lined pan on a baking sheet with aluminum foil in place. Fill foil with beans or pie weights. Bake dough for 20 minutes, or until dough is beginning to turn golden.

Meanwhile, make the filling. In large saucepan melt the butter. Add the leeks and cook until tender, about 10 – 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir the flour into the leeks and cook for 30 seconds to 1 minute more. Add the stout beer, stirring continuously until combined. Add salt, pepper, nutmeg and thyme. Let mixture simmer until beer is reduced and a thick sauce remains. Remove from heat and set aside.

In bowl, whisk milk and egg together.

Set tart pan on a parchment lined baking sheet. Sprinkle half of grated cheddar over the pastry dough. Add the leek mixture and top with remaining cheddar cheese. Carefully pour the egg mixture into the tart pan over the leek/cheese filling. Return tart pan to oven and bake for 25 – 30 minutes until filling is puffed and golden brown.

Perfect Flaky Pie Crust

Originally adapted from: Inspired Taste but also appears in my Mushroom, Onion & Thyme Galette

Ingredients:

(this recipe makes dough for two pie crusts – you will only need 1 for this tart recipe)

  • 2 1/2 cups (360 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup (227 grams) very cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes (2 sticks)
  • 6 tablespoons vodka (chilled)
  • 2 Tablespoons ice water

Directions:

This recipe will make enough dough for two pie crusts. You will only need one for this tart recipe. You can either half the recipe or go ahead and make the whole thing and freeze half so you’ll be ahead of the game next time you need shortcrust pastry.

Mix 6 tablespoons of vodka and 2 tablespoons of water. Put in fridge or freezer (don’t forget it) to chill.

Add 1 1/2 cups flour, salt to a food processor. Pulse 2 to 3 times until combined.

Scatter butter cubes over flour and process until a dough or paste begins to form, about 15 seconds. (There should be no uncoated flour).

Scrape bowl, redistribute the flour-butter mixture then add remaining 1 cup of flour. Pulse 4 to 5 times until flour is evenly distributed. (Dough should look broken up and a little crumbly).

Transfer to a medium bowl then sprinkle 6 tablespoons of ice water/vodka over mixture. Using a rubber spatula, press the dough into itself. The crumbs should begin to form larger clusters. If you pinch some of the dough and it holds together, it’s ready. If the dough falls apart, add 1 to 2 tablespoons of extra water/vodka and continue to press until dough comes together.

Remove dough from bowl and place in a mound on a clean surface. Work the dough just enough to form a ball. Cut ball in half then form each half into discs. Wrap each disc with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 1 hour, and up to 2 days. You can also freeze it for up to 3 months (just thaw it overnight in the fridge before using).

Enjoy!


Caramel Apple & Irish Whiskey Clafoutis

March 8, 2014

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Have mercy! Is it the weekend yet? I’ve got just the perfect weekend lazing around and drinking early brunch dish for you. A Caramel Apple & Irish Whiskey Clafoutis! Wowzers right?!! A clafoutis is a french dessert that consists of baked fruit (usually cherries) in a flan like batter. I found this wonderful whiskey splashed Irish twist on that classic French dish over at Edible Ireland  (love that site! – great recipes, beautiful photography – what more could you want)and just couldn’t wait to make it. (as if the weekend could mosey on up any slower…)

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Now I know of few of you folks out there are probably smirking and thinking “Yeah, so much for her lazy weekend if she was making some sort of French thing, which you just know has to be time-consuming, complicated and annoying!” Oh I am so happy to say that you would be wrong. This dish, impressive – yet rustic – as it looks was quite easy to make and delicious to boot!

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But if you’re still being a doubter, perhaps you would perk up a bit knowing that you can make the apple caramel mixture up the night before. That way when the weekend arrives, you won’t have to spend one more extra precious moment than necessary “slaving away” in the kitchen. You just heat the apples up, mix up the batter, add the apples in and pop it into the oven . Easy peasy. Then you can just sit around sipping your mimosa (or Buck’s Fizz). Before you know it that decadent brunch treat will be ready and your weekend will be off to a fantastic whiskey-caramel-apple-y start!

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Caramel Apple & Irish Whiskey Clafoutis

recipe from: Edible Ireland

Ingredients:

for the batter:

  • 80 g (2/3 cup) flour
  • 75 g (1/3 cup) sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder (optional – but it will keep the clafoutis from sinking as quickly when removed from the oven)
  • 3 large eggs
  • 100 g (6 tablespoons) butter, melted
  • 250 ml (1 cup) milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

for the apples:

  • 30 g (2 tablespoons) butter
  • 4 crisp eating apples, peeled, cored and sliced
  • 60 g (1/3 cup) light brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 or 3 tablespoons Irish whiskey*

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F). Butter a 25 cm (10 inch) pie plate or cast iron skillet or large individual ramekins.

To make the caramel apples, melt a knob of butter in a large pan over a medium-high heat. When it’s sizzling, reduce the heat to medium and tip in the apples, sugar and cinnamon, stirring to coat the apples in the butter and sugar. Cook the apples for about 5 minutes, until they have softened and the sugar has turned syrupy. Keep warm.

Whisk the flour, sugar, cinnamon and a pinch of salt together in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, mix together the eggs, melted butter, milk and vanilla. Pour half of the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients, whisking until it looks like a paste, then add in the rest of the liquid, whisking until the batter is smooth and well blended. (Alternatively, you could just place all the batter ingredients in a blender and whizz until smooth.)

Place the pie plate or skillet on a baking sheet to catch any drips when the clafoutis is cooking in the oven. Pour in the batter, then using a slotted spoon, transfer the apples to the plate or skillet, leaving as much of the caramel sauce in the pan as you can and making sure the apples are evenly distributed. Bake the clafoutis in the oven for 25 to 30 minutes, until the clafoutis is puffed up and golden brown and the centre is set.

About 5 minutes before the clafoutis is done, reheat the caramel in the pan to loosen it again, then stir in the whiskey and allow to cook for 1 or 2 minutes to burn off the alcohol. Serve the clafoutis warm with the caramel whiskey sauce drizzled over.

*If you’ve had a “whiskey incident” and know you couldn’t smell, much less taste whiskey first thing in the morning, switch it out for some brandy or calvados.

** This is also a great dessert recipe. Just imagine serving it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream drizzled with that caramel whiskey sauce. Yum!

Enjoy!

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Arán Spíosraí with Irish Whiskey Glaze

March 5, 2014

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Alright! Here we go on day five of my annual St. Patrick’s Day blog-a-polooza with a recipe for Arán Spíosraí with an Irish Whiskey Glaze. Arán Spíosraí simply means Spice Bread and I think we all know what Irish Whiskey Glaze means. Isn’t that the look that your eyes take on after tasting a bit too much of your frosting recipe as you prepare it?  (Good old Jameson!) Well, in my defense, I had to make sure the recipe was good before I published it right? What kind of a cook would serve something up without tasting it? And some things require a bit more tasting than others…

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Anyhooo….This lovely quick bread can probably be thought of as more cake-like than bread-like. Quite sweet, it is chock full of chopped citron and raisins along with a veritable riot of spices – cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice ginger – hence the name. Very versatile, this bread is great for breakfast slathered in butter, equally welcome along with your afternoon tea or can be a simple yet tasty dessert topped with a bit of fresh whipped cream. And leftovers are not a problem. It holds up well in the pantry and I think the taste even improves a bit with age. Perfect to have a loaf on standby for your St. Patrick’s Day celebrations.

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Arán Spíosraí with Irish Whisky Glaze

recipe from: Bob Vivant

Ingredients:

For the Bread:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1/4 cup candied citron, chopped
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 6 oz. Lyles Golden Syrup ( can substitute 1/3 cup honey and 1/3 cup molasses or 2/3 cup light corn syrup)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup milk

For the Irish Whiskey Glaze:

  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 cup confectioner’s sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 Tablespoons Irish Whiskey
  • pinch of sea salt

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Line a 9×5″ loaf pan with parchment paper or grease it with butter.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients. Stir in the raisins and candied citron. Make a well in the center.

In a small sauce pan, melt the butter. Remove it from the heat and stir in the brown sugar and Lyle’s Golden syrup. Beat in the egg and milk until combined.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry and stir until combined. Place batter in prepared pan.

Bake for 60-70 minutes until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Cool loaf on a rack for 20 minutes and then remove from the pan. Allow to cool completely before glazing.

To make the glaze, melt the butter in a small saucepan. Remove from heat and whisk in confectioner’s sugar, vanilla and whiskey. Allow the glaze to cool for 15 minutes. Spoon the glaze into a pastry bag fitted with a round tip. Pipe glaze in pattern of your choice across top of bread.

Enjoy!


Traditional Irish Pancakes for Pancake Tuesday

March 3, 2014

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Hey…wait a second! Pancakes? Weren’t you expecting Pancakes yesterday with that Flapjack post? Well here they are today. But again, they are not the pancakes you may be used to in the States. These are Traditional Irish Pancakes and tomorrow, March 4th is Pancake Tuesday! Also know as Pancake Day, Shrove Tuesday or Fat Tuesday depending on where you might be standing at the time, this is the last day before Lent begins. So what does that have to do with a Pancake? Well, during Lent folks were supposed to abstain from eating any luxurious or decadent foods which included milk, butter and eggs. Making pancakes along with all of their traditional toppings was a good way to use up all of these forbidden ingredients before the period of fasting began. Traditional Irish Pancakes are thinner, more like a French crêpe, than those big, fluffy, cake-like buttermilk versions so often found in America. Traditionally, you will find these pancakes topped with lemon juice and a sprinkling of superfine sugar. However I’ve also heard of folks eating them with Lyle’s Golden syrup, jellies, jams, honey or Nutella, all of which seem more decadent to me than lemon juice and sugar.

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What did I get up to with mine? Well, I just happened to have a jar of Green Apron’s award-winning Chocolate Raspberry Preserves which I had squirreled away after my last visit to Ireland. The Green Apron is a small artisan preserve company located Derryclough, Ballingarry, County Limerick, Ireland, owned and operated by my friend Theresa Storey. All of the preserves they produce are shamefully delicious, but the Chocolate & Raspberry is my particular favourite. Last year, I made some Chocolate & Raspberry Buttermilk Doughnuts with them to kick off my St. Patrick’s Day countdown. I still drool a bit when I think back to them. If you are in Ireland and would like to get ahold of a jar, you can find the Green Apron in the Limerick Milk Market every Saturday. They also do some other markets and fairs from time to time, so check their Facebook page for updates. I’m afraid The Green Apron Preserves are not being sold in the States at this time, but if you visit Ireland, make sure to pay them a visit while there. So back to my pancakes. Those Chocolate & Raspberry Preserves seemed pretty decadent to me, so I broke out the jar that I had been hoarding away and schmeared  that jammy goodness all over a pancake or two. Yum!

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Guess you could say that I’m all set now for 40 days of deprivation…or not! (just wait until you see all the decadent creations I will be blogging about for the next 14 days…you’ll know there is no abstaining going on around here!) But I’m sure you all will be behaving quite virtuously, so I’m glad you’ll be able to have your last big hurrah for a while tomorrow with these indulgent Traditional Irish Pancakes.

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Traditional Irish Pancakes

recipe from: Irish American Mom

Yield: 12 – 15 pancakes

Ingredients:

for the batter:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 oz. ( 1/2 stick) butter, melted
  • 2 oz. (1/2 stick) butter, melted  (for frying)

toppings:

  • freshly squeezed lemon juice ( 2-3 lemons)
  • 1/2 cup caster sugar (superfine sugar)
  • jams, Nutella, Lyle’s Golden syrup, honey

Directions:

Whisk flour and salt together in large bowl. Make a well in the center.

Mix eggs and milk together until fully incorporated.

Slowly pour milk mixture into well in dry ingredients bowl, whisking all the while. Continue mixing until you have a smooth batter.

Add melted butter and continue whisking until smooth.

Heat 8″ skillet over medium high heat. Brush pan with melted butter.

Pour approximately 1/4 cup of batter into the pan. Tilt from side to side until a thin layer of batter is achieved.

Cook until bubbles appear in batter and the top starts to look a bit dry – approximately 1 minute.

Flip pancake and continue to cook for an additional minutes.

Transfer cooked pancakes to plate and cover with foil to keep warm.

When ready to assemble, pour 1 teaspoon lemon juice on each pancake and sprinkle with caster sugar. Or alternatively cover pancake with toppings of your choice. Roll each pancake up and devour!

Enjoy!


Baileys, White Chocolate, Cranberry & Pistachio Flapjacks

March 2, 2014

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These Baileys, White Chocolate, Cranberry & Pistachio Flapjacks are exactly what the doctor ordered today! But wait, I just realized that I might have confused a few of you out there in the blogosphere. You’re probably looking at the photo and thinking, “What Flapjack? That’s a granola bar. A flapjack in the States is a pancake.” Hmmm…perhaps. But in Ireland, that is a Flapjack. It is funny how sometimes even though everyone is speaking English, the words just don’t mean the same thing. For instance, in college once upon what seems like one million years ago, a bunch of us gals were sitting around talking about what fashion accessories we thought looked good on guys. I mentioned that I thought guys looked good in suspenders, which was met with much laughter. Drying her eyes, one friend went on to ask me “how do you get the fellas to wear them?” Somewhat puzzled I said “You just tell them they look good in them and they’ll wear them!” Met with gales of howling laughter. O.k. I thought, what gives? Well…it turns out “suspenders” in Irish-English are a garter belt used to hold up ladies stockings. They not the things that go over your shoulders to hold up your britches, which are in fact are not called suspenders in Ireland but are called “braces”, which I thought were just the things worn on snaggledy teeth to straighten them. Tricky huh?  Another memorable Irish-English faux pas on my part was when a male friend of mine said he was heading out in his car to drive downtown and I said, “Will you give me a ride?” Yeah…that string of words means something totally different from what I intended. (I’ll just let you figure that one out on your own…) Oh well, live and learn.

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So back to the subject at hand…these little delights are flapjacks. And the ones shown here a chock full of all sorts of yumminess like White Chocolate, Cranberries, Pistachios and – be still my heart – Baileys! But Flapjacks are very versatile, you can swap in or leave out whatever you like. Anyone for dark chocolate and coconut? If you are feeling particularly healthy one day, use honey instead of golden syrup and throw in a big helping of fruit, grain and nuts. (Guess you’d have to leave out the Baileys if you were going all healthy huh? shock, horror) It’s all up to you. And me? I like the combination I’ve come up with here, especially that sea salt sprinkled over the top to give it that sweet and salty taste sensation. Only complaint is they were gone in a flash. Luckily they are quick and easy to make, so I can just do another batch. And happily I did find a great use for all those crumbly bits that were left behind in the tin. I’ve been sprinkling them over my yogurt or Skyr (for those of you who read my recent Iceland post). Delicious! Nothing like a hint of Baileys first thing in the morning to get you going!

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Baileys, White Chocolate, Cranberry & Pistachio Flapjacks

recipe adapted from: The Daily Spud

yield: 24 -26 flapjacks – depending on how you cut ‘em

Ingredients:

  • 175 grams (12 1/2 tablespoons) unsalted butter
  • 50 grams dark muscovado sugar ( you can substitute in dark brown sugar)
  • 2 Tablespoons Lyle’s Golden Syrup ( you can substitute in light corn syrup or honey)
  • 2 Tablespoons Baileys
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine salt
  • 1/2 cup chopped pistachios
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup white chocolate chips
  • 250 grams rolled oats
  • flaked sea salt

Directions:

Line a 9″ x 9″ baking tin with parchment paper.

Preheat the oven to 325° F.

Place a small, heavy saucepan over medium heat and add the butter, sugar, golden syrup, Baileys and salt. Heat, stirring occasionally, until the butter and sugar have melted.

In a large bowl, whisk together the oats, pistachios, cranberries, and white chocolate. Make a well in the center and add the melted butter mixture. Mix until combined. Place oat mixture in baking tin and press it down with the back of a spoon or a spatula. Sprinkle flaked sea salt over pan.

Bake on middle rack in oven until golden brown, about 20 – 30 minutes. allow to cool completely in the pan before slicing.

Enjoy!


Pumpkin Pecan Crunch Bread & Mini Muffins

November 28, 2013

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I can’t believe it! Not only is Halloween done and dusted, but I am actually roasting a Thanksgiving turkey as I type! (Wish me luck because this is the first time I have ever attempted to roast a whole bird! I’ve only done breasts before and the whole thing is definitely a bit more cumbersome to say the least…) Where in the world did Fall go? You know, it is a very slippery slope from Thanksgiving to Christmas and I can feel us just picking up speed at this point. I had wanted to share all of these lovely Fall apple recipes with you, but it looks like that might have to wait until after Thanksgiving…which is happening now. Oh well, what can I say? Things here have been a bit crazed to say the least and one does what one can. I should probably focus on the positive. So I will say that I do have a lovely Thanksgiving Day recipe for you…Pumpkin Pecan Crunch Bread and Pumpkin Pecan Crunch Mini Muffins.

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It is the same recipe, just different pans really. I like it prepared both ways. If you’re just hanging around with the family and are feeling rather relaxed and informal, the loaf pans are a bit less work. But I will say if you are making this for a get together, go with the mini muffins every time. Not only do they look adorable, but they are easier to manage in public than slicing a loaf of bread. Also, I should mention that the crunch-y, streusel-like topping has a tendency to break up and fall off of the full loaves more easily. And believe you me, you do not want to lose out on eating one crumb of that magical topping. It is completely addictive and really adds so much to this spicy, moist pumpkin bread. You just can’t get any better. Or so I thought… until I decided to drizzle a little bit of maple cream cheese glaze over the top! Mercy!

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I originally found the recipe on Once Upon a Chef.  A great blog which you should definitely take a peek at if you haven’t already! The Chef actually only adds the crunchy pecan topping to her muffins, which she makes as full sized muffins rather than the mini ones that I’ve done here. Furthermore, she bakes her pumpkin loaves without the crunchy topping. It was me that decided to do the topping for both. And me that got a bit carried away and had to add that glaze drizzle. Gilding the lily a bit, I’ll admit, but I just couldn’t stop! If you have a bit more restraint than me, feel free to leave it off. You can even feel somewhat virtuous about it…But me? I’ll be the one licking the maple glaze bowl clean!

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Hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday!

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Pumpkin Pecan Crunch Bread & Mini Muffins

recipe adapted ever so slightly from: Once Upon a Chef

yield: two 4 1/2 x 8 loaves or 45 mini muffins

Ingredients:

For the Crunchy Topping:

  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • ¼ cup Demerara sugar
  • ½ cup chopped pecans
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon

For the Maple Cream Cheese Glaze: (optional)

  • 3 Tablespoons Cream Cheese
  • 2 Tablespoons Confectioner’s Sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon Maple Syrup

For the Muffins (or Loaves):

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1½ cups granulated sugar
  • ¾ cup (1½ sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 15-ounce can 100% pure pumpkin (I use Libby’s)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350° F. Spray one mini muffin pan, or two 4 1/2 x 8″ loaf pans with non-stick cooking spray.

For Topping: Combine flour, butter, Demerara sugar, chopped pecans and cinnamon in a small bowl. Set aside.

For Muffins: Combine flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, cloves, cinnamon and nutmeg in a medium bowl and mix well. Set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar at low-speed until just blended. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition; continue beating at medium speed until very light and fluffy, a few minutes. Add pumpkin and beat until combined, scraping down sides of bowl as necessary. Turn speed down to low and mix in flour mixture until just combined. Use an ice cream scoop to transfer batter to muffin pans, filling each muffin tin about ¾ full. Sprinkle topping evenly over batter. Bake for about 18-21 minute, or until cake tester inserted in center comes out clean. Let cool on rack for about 10 minutes, then turn out onto rack to cool completely (use a butter knife to lift them out of pan).

For Loaves:

Turn batter into prepared pans, dividing evenly. Sprinkle topping evenly over batter. Bake for about 65 – 75 minutes, or until cake tester inserted in center comes out clean. Let loaves cool in pan about 10 minutes, then turn out on wire rack to cool completely.

For the Maple Cream Cheese Glaze:

Mix the cream cheese, sugar and maple syrup together until combined. Continue to stir until light and fluffy. Add a little milk or cream until mixture is of a consistency that can be drizzled. Drizzle over cooled loaves or muffins.

Enjoy!


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