Blueberry and Cherry Muffins

I took a pretty long hiatus from baking this winter. Maybe it was my new job or moving into my new apartment and never really unpacking all of my kitchen stuff, but for whatever reason, I stopped baking until about a week ago. I forgot how much of a rush I got off of cooking and baking and how much it helped with my stress. After a stressful Saturday, I decided I needed to bake something. With limited ingredients, I made these wonderful muffins, and they were pretty delicious too!

muffins (1 of 1)

 

Blueberry and Cherry Muffins:

Ingredients

  • 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup milk or half and half
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • 1 cup cherries

Streusel Topping

  • 4 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoon flour
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil or melted butter

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350º. Line muffin tin with paper liners. Makes about 14-20 muffins.
  2. Prepare streusel topping by whisking together sugar, flour, cinnamon and oil. Mix until topping has sandy texture, then set aside.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and lemon zest, then set aside.
  4. In a large mixing bowl with paddle attachment, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy on low medium (about 3 minutes). Add eggs one at a time, scraping down the bowl after each egg. Then, add sour cream, milk and vanilla.
  5. Using a rubber spatula, add flour mixture and stir until just combined.
  6. Fold in blueberries and cherries.
  7. With an ice cream scooper, divide batter evenly into muffin cups. Sprinkle muffins with streusel topping.
  8. Bake at 350º for 20 to 25 min, to test, insert a tooth pick into the center to see if it comes out clean.
  9. Let muffins cool in the pan for about two minutes. Then, place on cooling rack for about ten minutes. Muffins are great to eat while they are still warm.

 

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Pumpkin Pancakes (Gluten Free)

pumpkin pancakes (1 of 1)

On Thanksgiving, I tried this gluten free pumpkin pancakes recipe, and I was surprised how much I loved it, plus my gluten loving friend was wowed by these pancakes . I have also made these vegan by using chia seeds instead of eggs. This recipe is from Cookie and Kate, and I only made a couple of changes, but it’s definitely a must try and making the oat flour is pretty simple.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 3/4 cup oat milk
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice (about 1 small lemon, juiced)
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup (or honey)
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs or 2 tablespoons soaked chia seeds.
  • 1 cup oat flour (Add about two cups of old fashion oats (not instant) to a food processor and mix until preferred consistency. I made the flour a little chunky.
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves or allspice
Instructions
  1. In a small mixing bowl, stir together the pumpkin puree, milk, coconut oil (or butter), lemon juice and maple syrup (or honey). Beat in the eggs. (If your coconut oil goes back to its solid state like mine did at this point, just warm the mixture for short 20 second bursts in the microwave, stirring between each, until it is melted again.)
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the oat flour, baking soda, salt and spices.
  3. Form a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the wet ingredients. With a big spoon, stir just until the dry ingredients are thoroughly moistened. Do not overmix! Let the batter sit for 10 minutes.
  4. Heat a heavy cast iron skillet/non-stick pan over medium-low heat, or heat an electric griddle to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Lightly oil the surface of your pan with coconut oil, butter or cooking spray. If you’re using a non-stick electric griddle like mine, you might not need any oil at all.
  5. Once the surface of the pan is hot enough that a drop of water sizzles on it, pour ¼ cup of batter onto the pan. Let the pancake cook for about 3 minutes, until bubbles begin to form around the edges of the cake.
  6. Once the underside is lightly golden, flip it with a spatula and cook for another 90 seconds or so, until golden brown on both sides. You may need to adjust the heat up or down at this point.
  7. Serve the pancakes immediately or keep warm in a 200 degree Fahrenheit oven.

Red Velvet Smoothie

I saw a Pinterest photo about using beets to make a red velvet smoothie. Here is my recipe and it is definitely worth a try. I thought it was amazing!

day 249 (1 of 1)Red Velvet Smoothie

Ingredients

Directions:

  1. Put all ingredients except water and blend until smooth.
  2. If mixture is too thick add more water.

Enjoy!

 

 

 

Day 243-Kale and Blueberry Smoothie

Yes, I am still drinking green smoothies for breakfast. What is most surprising is I am actually enjoying trying new ingredients and getting excited to drink the smoothie! I am genuinely shocked! Yesterday, I tried the combo of kale and blueberries.  Recipe below:

day 243 (1 of 1)

Ingredients:

Directions:

  1. Put all ingredients in a blender and combine. If the smoothie is too thick to drink through a straw, add more water.

Day 234-The Green Smoothie

So if you asked before I moved to Boulder to drink a green smoothie, I would probably would have laughed in your face while eating a brownie! However, I decided to give this green smoothie thing a try and it wasn’t bad! I made this recipe this week and it tasted very much like a milkshake. Recipe below:

day 234 (1 of 1)

Ingredients:

Directions:

  1. In a large blender, combine spinach, kale, carrot juice, banana, coconut water and cinnamon for about three minutes.
  2. Add melted coconut oil and blend for another minute.

You can pretty much try any variation of ingredients; this combo is my favorite so far.

Croissants, Creation #6

Croissants are pretty amazing when done well, I love a very flaky croissant, that just melts in my mouth. I have attempted making croissants at home twice, unsuccessfully. The first time, they were not flaky at all, just tasted like dinner rolls, it was depressing!

I decided to try the Tartine recipe, and it blew me away; it was easy, time-consuming, but easy enough. This croissant recipe really should be broken into a four schedule. I hope y’all give this recipe a try; it really is worth the effort.

I would recommend reading the recipe thoroughly before starting and make sure you have all equipment.

Recipe is courtesy of Tartine.

Day 1

Preferment:

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup non fat milk
  • 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
  • 1-1/3 cup all-purpose flour

Directions:

  1. In saucepan, warm the milk to 80 to 90 degrees.

  2. Pour the milk into a mixing bowl, sprinkle the yeast over the milk, stir to dissolve the yeast with a wooden spoon, and then add the flour, mixing with the spoon until a smooth batter forms.

  3. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or place in a covered container and place in refrigerator overnight.

Day 2:

Dough

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon active dry yeast
  • 1-3/4 cups whole milk
  • 6 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter,melted

Directions:

  1. Measure out all the ingredients and have them ready.
  2. Transfer the preferment and then the yeast to bowl with stand mixer fitted with the dough hook.
  3. Mix on low speed until the yeast is incorporated into the preferment batter, which will take a minute or two. Stop the mixer as needed and use a spatula to clean the bottom and sides of the bowl, folding the loosened part into the mixture to incorporate fully.
  4. When the mixture has come together into an even mass, increase the speed to medium, and mix for a couple of minutes. Gradually add half of the milk and continue to mix until the milk is fully incorporated.
  5. Reduce the speed to low, add the flour, sugar, salt,melted butter, and the rest of the milk, and mix until the mixture comes together in a loose dough, about 3 minutes.
  6. Turn off the mixer and let the dough rest for 15 to 20 minutes.
  7. Turn the mixer again on low speed and mix until the dough is smooth and elastic, a maximum of 4 minutes, do not over mix, if dough is too tough and milk 1 tablespoon at a time.
  8.  Cover the bowl and let the dough rise in a cool place until the volume increases by half, about 1-1/2 hours.
  9. Lightly flour a work surface. Transfer the dough to the floured surface and press into a rectangle 2 inches thick.
  10. Wrap the rectangle in plastic wrap, or place in a plastic bag and seal closed. Place the dough in the refrigerator overnight.

Day 3:

Roll-in Butter

Ingredients:

  • 2-3/4 cups unsalted butter, cold, but flexible

Directions:

  1. About 1 hour before you start laminating, place the butter that you will be rolling in the bowl of a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Mix on medium speed until pliable but not warm or soft, about 3 minutes.
  2. Remove the butter from the bowl, wrap in plastic wrap, and place in the refrigerator to chill but not resolidify.

Laminating Process:

  1. First, lightly dust a cool work surface, and then remove the chilled dough and the butter from the refrigerator.
  2. Unwrap the dough and place it onthe floured surface.
  3. Rollout the dough into a rectangle 28 by 12 inches. With a long side of the rectangle facing you, and starting from the left side, spread and spot the butter over two-thirds of the length of the rectangle. Fold the uncovered third over the butter and then fold the left-hand third over the center, as if folding a business letter. The resulting rectangle is known as a plaque. With your fingers, push down along the seams on the top and the bottom to seal the butter in the plaque .
  4. Give the plaque a quarter turn so that the seams are to your right and left, rather than at the top and bottom.
  5. Again roll out the dough into a rectangle 28 by 12 inches, and fold again in the same manner.
  6. Wrap in plastic wrap or slip into a plastic bag and place in the refrigerator for 1 -1/2 to hours to relax the gluten in the dough before you make the third fold, or “turn.”
  7. Clean the work surface, dust again with flour, and remove the dough from the refrigerator. Unwrap, place on the floured surface, and again rollout into a rectangle 28 by 12 inches. Fold into thirds in the· same manner. You should have a plaque of doughmeasurir.g about 9 by 12 inches, about the size of a quarter sheet pan, and 1-1/2 to 2 inches thick.
  8. Wrap in plastic wrap or slip into the plastic bag, place on a sheet pan, and immediately place in the freezer to chill for at least 1 hour. If you intend to make the croissants the next morning, leave the dough in the freezer until the evening and then transfer it to the refrigerator before bed. The next morning, the dough will be ready to roll out and form into croissants, proof, and bake, or you can leave the dough in the freezer· for up to 1 week, just transfer it to the refrigerator to thaw overnight before using.

Day 4:

Egg Wash:

Ingredients:

  • 4 egg yolks
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • Pinch salt

Continued croissant process:

  1. When you are ready to rollout the dough, dust the work surface again. Roll out the dough into a rectangle, 32 by 12 inches and 3/8 inch thick. Using a pizza wheel or pastry wheel , cut the dough into long triangles that measure 10 to 12 inches on each side and about 3-4 inches along the base.
  2. Line a half sheet pan (about 13 by 18 inches) with parchment paper. To shape each croissant, position a triangle with the base facing you. Cut small slit in center of base about 1 inch.
  3. Positioning your palms on the two outer points of the base, carefully roll the base toward the point.
  4. To finish, grab the point with one hand, stretching it slightly, and continue to roll, tucking the point underneath the rolled dough so that the croissant will stand tall when you place it on the sheet pan. If you have properly shaped the croissant, it will have 6 or 7 ridges.
  5. As you form the croissants, place them, well spaced, on the prepared half sheet pan. When all the croissants are on the pan, set the pan in a draft free area with relatively high humidity and let the pastries rise for 2 t0 3 hours. The ideal temperature is 75 degrees.  A bit cooler or warmer is all right, as long as the temperature is not warm enough to melt the layers of butter in the dough, which would yield greasy pastries. Cooler is preferable, and will increase the rising time and with it the flavor development. For example, the home oven (turned off).
  6. During this final rising, the croissants should at least double in size and look noticeably puffy. If when you press a croissant lightly with a fingertip, the indentation fills in slowly, the croissants are almost ready to bake. At this point, the croissants should still be slightly “firm” and holding their shape and neither spongy nor starting to slouch. If you have put the croissants into the oven to proof, remove them now.
  7. Set the oven to 425°F to pre-heat for 20 to 30 minutes.
  8. About 10 minutes before you are ready to bake the croissants, make the egg wash. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, cream, and salt until you have a pale yellow mixture. Using a pastry brush, lightly and carefully brush the yolk mixture on the pastries.
  9. Let the wash dry slightly, about 10 minutes, before baking.
  10. Place the croissants into the oven, immediately turn down the oven temperature to 400°F, and leave the door shut.for the first 10 minutes. Then, working quickly, open the oven door, rotate the pan 180 degrees, and close the door. This rotation will help the pastries to bake evenly. Bake for 6 to 10 minutes longer, rotating the pan again during this time if the croissants do not appear to be baking evenly. The croissants should be done in 15 to 20 minutes total. They are ready when they are deep golden brown on the·top and bottom, crisp on the outside, and feel light when they are picked up, indicating that the interior is baked through.
  11. Remove the croissants from the oven and place them on a wire rack to cool. As they cool, their moist interiors will set up. They are best if eaten while they are still slightly warm. At room temperature, they are fine as well, or you can rewarm them in a 375°F oven for 6 to 8 minutes to recrisp them before serving. You can also store leftover croissants in an airtight container at room temperature for 1 day, and then afterward in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. If you have stored them, recrisp them in the oven before serving.

Enjoy the croissants!