Snickerdoodle Muffins. Yum!!
I think I’ve mentioned before that I was a weird kid haven’t I? Not that this comes as a surprise to any of you who read my blog. I have to say though, I came by it honestly. It was all the fault of my brother and sister. They corrupted me. Yep, yep yep. All laid at their psychological doorsteps. There was the time they filled the washing machine with tons of soap and it overflowed everywhere. When confronted by our dad, they said that I did it. Hello?! I was so young I don’t really even remember this happening, it’s just one of those passed down family stories. Point being, if I was that small, how the heck did I reach the washer? But, dad bribed me to “tell the truth” with an offer of jello. I’m a sucker when it comes to jello so I fessed up. I’m pretty sure I didn’t get the jello.
That was just one of the many ways they warped my poor tender psyche. There were also words which have stuck with me to this day and still make the five year old stuck inside my feeble minded middle aged body giggle hysterically. Like the word doodle. To you and you and you it means a sort of random drawing right? I don’t want to know what it means to YOU, you sick puppy.
Not to me though. Nope. Done been warped, I tell you. It’s all his fault *points to my brother and wonder if he sees this*. Doodle to me still brings up mental images of a coloring book I had as a child that, on the cover, told me, in gaily colored words, that one of the fun things to do inside was to “doodle”. And I giggled. My brother giggled. My sister giggled. I’m pretty sure the dog giggled. Because to us, doodles were a certain part of the upper female anatomy. We were kids… thinking of that part made us giggle. Lots. How did the word doodle come to mean boobs… breasts… cleavage, knockers, hooters…well, you get the point. I have. No. Earthly. Idea. I need to ask my brother. He’s even older and more decrepit than I, so he may know how that word came to be the word for boobage in our admittedly strange household. Continue reading
I have a thing about not trying anything that is trendy, too talked about or gets the rating of “to die for”. I’ve mentioned before as a matter of fact how much I loathe that phrase. No matter how much of a foodie I am, there are no foods I would die for. Nope, not even Twinkies, Cheetos, a medium rare ribeye or a tall glass of Coke. I also tend to have a snobby streak when it comes to trying some recipes. Yep; me, the woman who happily uses cake mixes and cream of crap soups. For some reason when I bake, I want to know that I baked it, not that I used fifty six convenience products. Well, other than that cake mix thing. Don’t stop now! Click here!
I don’t like Summer. There. My shameful secret is out. I don’t like tank tops (if you had my body, you wouldn’t either ) or shorts, I don’t like laying in the sun (I prefer no wrinkles and no invasive surgeries to cut out skin cancer) dripping sweat to obtain a skin color that isn’t what I was born with. I don’t like mosquitoes and I don’t like opening my back door on a Summer night only to have 3,897 bugs fly in the house and into my hair while I screech like a three year old who has just been shown a clown picture.
I DO however like beaches or pools and I love to grill out. But then I do that in January because I’m weird that way and unfortunately, until I can win the lottery and build a house with a very very large heated pool, I can only swim during those hot months. Darn it all anyway.
I like Autumn. I also like Winter but I KNOW that’s strange so I won’t ruin my rep too much here. I like shorter days and longer nights. I like the smell of a wood burning fireplaces (gas logs are the devil and should be banned from the face of the earth). I like sweaters and cozy blankets to cover up with as I sit with my family in the nice warm house watching TV; preferably Christmas specials like The Grinch or Charlie Brown. I like soups and stews and fresh baked breads. I love anything made with pumpkin or cranberries and anything that smells spicy and…well… Autumnish.
I like this bread. I found the original recipe somewhere on line years back and when I made it, it was dry and heavy and just not a lot of flavor. So I played with it. Because that’s what I do. And now it is sweet and moist and bursting with the flavors of Autumn. Pumpkin and cranberry sauce and spices all meld together into a bread that tastes of Fall and football games; fireplaces and steaming cups of hot cocoa shared with those you love. It’s one of my favorite quick breads and it is oh so easy and gives you something that tastes amazing. So give this a try and then close your eyes and imagine that it’s NOT 90 degrees outside. And yes; this really IS the worlds most awesome. I took a poll. No, btw, it’s not a typo. There are no eggs in this. Yet it is still incredibly moist.
Worlds Most Awesome Pumpkin Cranberry Quick Bread
- 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 2/3 cups sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon allspice
- 1 teaspoon ginger
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon orange extract
- 1 (16 ounce) can whole berry cranberry sauce
- 1 (16 ounce) can pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling; just pureed pumpkin)
- 2/3 cup vegetable oil
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
Grease two 9 inch loaf pans.
In a large bowl, mix all dry ingredients thoroughly.
In second large bowl combine all wet ingredients; mix thoroughly.
Pour the wet ingredients into bowl of dry ingredients. Mix just until thoroughly combined. Do not over mix as this will cause tough bread with lots of little peek a boo holes all throughout it.
Bake at 350 for approximately 60 minutes or until sharp knife inserted in center comes out clean. If necessary, cover lightly with foil during the last 20 minutes to prevent the edges from burning.
Let cool in pans for ten minutes then turn out onto racks to finish cooling.
This is yummy spread with cream cheese or, like I like it, with a ton of butter. But it’s also so good that leftover a couple of days later, at room temp is still pretty awesome.
I mentioned on my facebook page earlier that this is one of my favorite pieces of music-
Rhapsody On A Theme Of Paganini
It’s also kind of the way I cook. Well, except when the baby is whining, the teens are ornery and my husband is oblivious. Then… not so rhapsodic. But generally speaking, cooking is a sort of rhapsody to me. It’s melodies and lyrics and booming orchestras all wrapped up in my cooking. But the problem is this…. like those horrid people who cover classics and remake them in Pop music *cough Michael Bolton/Mariah Carey* cough*, I am incapable of making something and keeping it as it was originally intended to be. Sometimes, this leads to total disaster and we just aren’t going to talk about that because I’m old and vain and refuse to have you laugh at me when I haven’t meant for that to happen.
But other times, it works out quite well and that is when we have “Rhapsody On A Theme”.
Today, the theme was me wishing it were already Autumn and wanting something made with Pumpkin; preferably scones. But could I just make Pumpkin scones and call it done? Nooooooo… not me! As you already know is par for the course, I have to mess with things and make them…well… MINE. So I did. I had just brought up from downstairs a bag of butterscotch candy. You know the ones. The little hard golden yellow ones. So the thought struck me that something about butterscotch and pumpkin and all the spices going with it seemed to go together. So I crushed up some of the butterscotch and mixed it in with the scone dough. Then sprinkled some on top before baking them. Then sprinkled a bit more on after glazing. And when it comes to pumpkiny treats, I have always been of the mind that 99.9% of recipes never have enough spices. I mean, c’mon… 1/2 teaspoons of cinnamon and other yummy spices!? No way mannnnnnn. I need more! More I say!! So…erhmmm… I added more. If you aren’t as fond of lots of sweet spice, go ahead and use less.
The result was a moist tender scone with a yummy Pumpkin spice flavor and a hint of butterscotch. That came with a spiced glaze and more hints of butterscotch. All in all, I’ll call ths one of my more successful rhapsodies These are quickly put together if you use the food processor. I didn’t use a mixer but I can’t see it taking much longer if you did. I hope you like it. If not, mail them to me. I’ll eat your share.
These taste like Autumn and I don’t know about you but I’m ready.
Pumpkin Butterscotch Scones With A Spiced Butterscotch Glaze
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 3/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon ginger
- 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
- 1 large egg
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 3 tablespoons heavy cream
- 7 tablespoons cold butter, cut into thin slices
- 35 butterscotch disc candies, ground in the food processor
- SPICED GLAZE-
- 1 1/4 cups powdered sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoon milk
- 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/8 teaspoon ginger
- 1/8 teaspoon cloves
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Combine flour, baking powder, 1/2 cup of the ground butterscotch discs (set remaining aside to use to sprinkle on scones before baking and after glazing), salt, sugar and spices in bowl of food processor.
- Add the butter to the food processor and pulse until no chunks of butter remain.
- Add in the pumpkin, egg and cream. Pulse until the mixture comes together into a soft ball.
- Dump the dough out onto a VERY lightly floured board. Pat out into a round about 3/4′s of an inch thick.
- Transfer dough to a lightly greased baking pan. Using a sharp knife, score all the way through the dough, cutting into 6 to 8 scones (I did six very large ones cause I know the guys I live with but normal people would want smaller ones lol) but don’t separate the scones. Sprinkle with half of the remaining ground butterscotch discs.
- Bake at 425 for 14 to 16 minutes or until they are light golden brown and firm on top.
- Cool on a wire rack.
- While they cool, whisk together all the glaze ingredients. Spoon the glaze on top of the cooled scones, spreading to cover. Sprinkle with the remaining crushed butterscotch. Let the scones sit for about half an hour so that the glaze can set.
- Eat. Wish for a warm cozy fire and a cup of hot cider.
Once upon a time, there was a large basket of potatoes. They were your standard potatoes; nothing special and they knew it. Buried down deep in the basket was one lone potato that nobody liked. He was….different. He was a funny orange color and not white, red or brown like they were. So they teased him a lot. He got called “orange eyes” and “sweet baby” and they would never let him play in any reindeer games until Santa Claus apologized to him. Wait. Scratch that. Wrong story. They would never let him play potato games. Every time they played “count the green spots” or “hide your eyes” they ignored him.
Why didn’t they like him though? Because he was special. He could do things that they couldn’t do. He also had a much higher vitamin k amount in him but being lovers of Cheetos and Twinkies, they didn’t care too much about that. Wait. Scratch that too. That’s me that is the Twinkie and Cheeto lover. My bad.
Moving on. They didn’t like him because they were stuck in the same old ruts and they knew it. Mashed, fried, baked, boiled. Mashed, fried, baked, boiled. YAWNNNNNNN.
But not Mr. Sweet Potato. He was the only one in the basket capable of being made into the treat I am sharing with you today. Try taking a russet potato and frying it and then sprinkling it with cinnamon/sugar and dunking it in a warm bath of marshmallow brown sugar cream cheese dip. Not too appetizing huh? So one day Mr. Sweet Potato stood up and decided that he wasn’t going to take it any more. he was going to speak up. So he stood up (as well as any potato can stand up; he was kinda wobbly) and he cried out “Accept me for who I am!!! I YAM WHAT I YAM!!!”
Ok, so none of that really happened. But it seemed like a damn good lead in to today’s recipe. Today I made fried sweet potato chips coated in cinnamon sugar and served with a creamy sweet marshmallow cream cheese dip. Who doesn’t love chips and dips right? This is just putting a new, sweet and tasty spin on the idea. My daughter in law, who says she hates sweet potatoes, can’t stop eating these so I think that means they are a roaring success Give them a try. They would be a perfect dinner side dish, a late night snack, a great dish for a BBQ or a wonderful way to get kids to eat high in nutrients sweet potatoes. They are…wait for it… to die for. ARGHHHHH!!! No they aren’t. They aren’t. They aren’t!!! Shame on me for using that phrase!!!
CINNAMON SUGAR SWEET POTATO CHIPS
A CREAMY BROWN SUGAR CINNAMON MARSHMALLOW DIP
- 3 sweet potatoes, thinly sliced
- vegetable or canola oil
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- FOR THE DIP-
- 1 10 ounce bag Kraft Cinnamon Bun Marshmallows (can sub regular marshmallows; just add more cinnamon)
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 4 ounces cream cheese
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 2/3 cups heavy cream
- In a large pot, heat about 2 inches of vegetable oil to 350 degrees.
- Fry the sweet potato slices, small batches at a time, until cooked, crispy and golden brown.
- For the dip, combine dip ingredients in a medium microwave safe bowl.
- Cook for 2 minutes on high. Stir to mix then cook in 30 second increments if needed, until smooth and creamy.
- As each batch of potatoes finishes, let cool for about 2 to 3 minutes, then shake in a bag with the sugar cinnamon mixture until well coated.
- Pour dip into a serving bowl and serve with chips.
- These don’t hold great. They are ok cold but as any fried potatoes do, they soften up and lose their crispness so you’re better off not making them far ahead of serving time
You know the one I mean. The one I made the other day that was chock full of cocoa and heath bars and whipped cream. THIS one . Well, making a meringue of that size leaves you with some left over egg yolks. Then there was the yummy Chicken Curry from yesterday.
This one here . Well, I made too much rice when I made that. My refrigerator isn’t the neatest place in the world at the best of times (translate- looking for something in there requires detective skills and hand grenades) but adding in a container filled with egg yolks precariously balanced on top of various Fage yogurts and a container of Brussell Sprouts
and something that growled at me that I left alone and a bowl filled with cold rice makes for a dangerous situation, especially when you have kids and a husband for whom being careful is a mysterious thing women do.
So I decided to make rice pudding. Albeit, a very rich rice pudding with six egg yolks in it but a rice pudding nonetheless. But as much as I love rice pudding, I wanted to do something different with it. Well, I love tea. Just about any type of tea though I have never really been able to get on the “green tea tastes better and is better for you” bandwagon. And I really love spiced Chai. On a side note, it drives me nuts when people say they want some Chai Tea. Chai is the word for tea, just not in English So when they say they want Chai tea, they are saying they want tea tea hehe.
Asssss I was saying, I love chai. All the spices in it, the heavenly smell… it just some good stuff. So I decided to make a Chai spiced Rice Pudding. But that’s not all folks! Nope, buy one now and we’ll include a second for free!!! Erhmmm… sorry. Been watching too much TV. I decided to make the chai spiced rice pudding but also make it bruleed. It certainly has enough egg yolks and cream in it to qualify for a brulee topping
I mentioned on the facebook fan page for the blog that it would probably be a good idea to make sure you actually READ your spice bottle instead of just grabbing one that begins with the letter C assuming it is the Cardamom you want. Because if you don’t read, you may just end up doing what I did and using Coriander in your rice pudding instead. Not smart. Thank God something told me to only use a sprinkle and then look at the bottle. Coriander spiced rice pudding just doesn’t sound good to me.
CHAI SPICED BRULEED RICE PUDDING
- 3 cups leftover cold rice
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 2 cups whole milk
- 6 egg yolks
- 1 large egg
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon allspice
- 1/2 teaspoon cloves
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon cardamom (NOT Coriander )
- 1/2 cup raisins (optional. Doesn’t really go with the Chai idea but I just love raisins in my rice pudding)
- 1 cup brown sugar mixed with 1/4 cup white sugar
Note- If you just want a regular rice pudding use the cinnamon but omit the other spices
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Butter a 3 quart baking dish.
- In a large pot, mix your cold rice with the milk, cream, vanilla, sugar and spices, making sure to break up any lumps. Add the raisins if using. Heat over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until it comes to a simmer.
- Meanwhile, beat your egg yolks and one egg together. When the milk mixture comes to a simmer, take 1/2 cup of it and SLOWLY drizzle it into your eggs to bring up the temp of the eggs so that they don’t just scramble when added to the milk. When the 1/2 cup milk and the eggs are mixed, slowly drizzle this into the hot milk/rice mix, whisking the whole time.
- Cook over low heat for five minutes, stirring constantly.
- Carefully pour the pudding into the buttered baking pan. Cook at 325 until a knife inserted in the center comes out almost clean. It’s ok if there is a little soft rice or liquid on the knife. You just don’t want it to come out dripping. It will finish cooking from it’s own residual heat if the knife is mostly clean.
- Sprinkle the mixed brown and white sugar over the top of the pudding. Using a kitchen torch (I love playing with fire) carefully caramelize the sugar.
- Serve warm, cold or at room temp; however you prefer it. Is yummy served warm (the sugar on top hardens up) with a scoop of vanilla ice cream melting over it. Or like I had it; with a small puddle of heavy cream poured onto it. YUM!
I have often wondered how, with me as their mother, any of my kids made it past preschool age with any decent language skills. I was one of those parents who loved the way my kids pronounced words and couldn’t bring myself to correct them and ruin the cuteness. In my defense I didn’t talk baby talk to them. I was the type that would be holding my newborn infant and talking politics or Shakespeare because really there are just so many times you can look at your baby and coo “you’re so adorable… you look just like me don’t you… don’t you?” or “Oh. My. God. You have your fathers bowel habits don’t you? Could you please stop now?” I just loved hearing it.
Like Cimmamin for cinnamon. When my sixteen year old and fourteen year old reached puberty, I finally broke down and told them the correct pronunciation. Or when one of my older boys wanted picked up as a toddler, he would hold out his arms, give me a pleading look and say “hold you?”. He doesn’t do that anymore. I hope. I’ll have to ask his wife. Or how the same child said “Yie” for yes until he was like 7.
Well, I had better get to the recipe now because when my kids see this post, it will most likely be the last one I ever write. Pray for me. These blondies are awesome. They are stuffed full of Cinnamon chips, sprinkled with cinnamon sugar and finally finished with a cinnamon drizzle. Overkill, you say? Nahhhhh….. not if you love Cimmamin. I mean Cinnamon.
- 1/2 lb unsalted butter (2 sticks)
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1 cup white sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 2/3 cups all purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 package cinnamon chips (sold in same area as the chocolate chips)
- 1/3 cup powdered sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 2 to 4 tablespoons cream or milk ( amount will vary. You want enough to get a nice drizzling texture.)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Line a 13×9 inch pan with foil, using enough that some hangs over the ends of the pan. Butter the foil or spray with nonstick cooking spray.
- Beat the butter and sugars in a large bowl until thoroughly blended. Add the eggs and vanilla. Beat thoroughly.
- Mix the flour, baking powder , one teaspoon cinnamon and salt in a small bowl. Add to the wet mixture. Using a wooden spoon (or some sort of spoon ) beat just until combined. Fold in the bag of cinnamon chips.
- Spoon the batter (it will be very thick) into the foil lined pan. Spread evenly. I dampened my hands a bit and spread it that way. It won’t stick to you if your hands are damp. Just don’t get them soaked and turn your batter into soup.
- Bake in the 350 degree oven for about 25 to 30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool in the pan set on a wire rack until completely cool. If you try to cut them or lift them out of the pan before they are cool, they will break. Not that I’d ever do anything like that though. Someone told me this. Yeah, that’s it.
- When cool, combine powdered sugar and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon. Add milk or cream until it is a drizzling consistency. Drizzle over cooled blondies.Cut into serving sized pieces… like 2 pieces. Don’t share.
- Unless you like when they kind of fall apart, you’re best off letting making these a day ahead, covering them well and refrigerating them before you try to cut them. They will firm up quite nicely then. Otherwise… it is goo city. TASTY goo city, but goo city nonetheless