Pumpkin Spice Nut Muffins
Yield 12 standard size muffins or 6 large muffins.
- 1 ¾ cups flour
- 1 ¼ cups sugar (I use one cup sugar)
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon (if your spices are old – get new!)
- ½ teaspoon nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon ginger
- ¼ teaspoon allspice
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/8 teaspoon cardamom (secret ingredient)
- 1 cup pumpkin puree (fresh or from a can)
- 1 tablespoon whole sour cream
- ½ cup whole milk
- ½ cup vegetable oil
- 2 table spoons molasses
- ½ cup coarsely chopped nuts (walnuts or pecans)
- Preheat over to 400F
- Grease muffin tins or use muffin paper cups and spray the insides, too.
- Sift together dry ingredients (flour through cardamom)
- In separate bowl, wisk together wet ingredients (pumpkin through molasses.)
- Pour wet ingredients into dry. Stir together until smooth. (Use a specula or wooden spoon.)
- Stir in nuts until combined. (or just place them on the top of the muffins before putting into oven.)
- Fill muffin tins 2/3 (that’s what all recipes suggest.)
- Bake for about 15-17 minutes (longer if it’s the larger muffins)
- Check for slight spring back or insert toothpick in the center and comes out clean.
I haven’t tried making a “loaf” of this recipe, but will try it sometime soon. These are delicious plain or you can top these muffins with a sugar drizzle icing (or maybe a sweet cream cheese topping.) Guests at Lillie’s seem to like a little sweet something in the morning served warm with butter on the side.
Red, White and Berry Cake!
By now, you may think I really like upside-down cakes. They are great for the fruit portion of the food pyramid. They're easy and make for a pretty presentation! I used this recipe, from Better Homes and Gardens August 2007, to help celebrate the 4th of July.
2 to 2-1/2 cups combination of fresh blue-,rasp- and/or blackberries
1 1/3 cups all purpose flour
½ cup yellow cornmeal
1 tblsp. Finely snipped fresh basil
2 tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. salt
2 eggs beaten lightly
½ cup sugar
2/3 cup milk
1/3 cup canola oil
Fresh mint for decoration
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Veggie spray 8-inch round cake pan, line bottom with parchment and veggie spray parchment. Take 1 ½ cups of berries and arrange evenly on bottom of pan. Set aside.
- In a larger bowl stir together flour, cornmeal, basil, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
- In another bowl whisk eggs, sugar, milk and oil together. Add egg mixture all at once to flour mixture. Stir until combined. Pour over berries. Spread evenly.
- Bake 40 to 45 minutes or until pick inserted near center comes out clean. Cool cake in pan 5 minutes. Run knife around edge of pan to loosen sides. Invert onto serving plate. Remove parchment. Let cool about 30 minutes.
- Top with remaining fresh berries and mint. Makes 8 to 10 servings.
- (Optional, but preferred for sweetness.) Before adding fresh berries on top, combine 1 cup powdered sugar, 8 drops of water and 1 tsp lemon juice, one drop of light corn syrup and mix to consistency of ribbon effect onto cake making a design.
- Add fresh fruit on the top and mint leaves.
It is deliciously moistserve warm! Good at breakfast as well as dessert after dinner with coffee or tea.
Apricot Upside-Down Cake
1/3 cup brown sugar
8 apricots, halved
2/3 cup call purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 stick (1/4 lb) unsalted butter
1/3 cup granulated sugar
6 ounce almond paste
3 extra-large eggs
1 orange grated zest
1 teaspoon vanilla
¼ teaspoon almond extract
Apricots have a short growing period. They are tender, fragile and delicate in flavor. The pit of an apricot is used to make amaretto – an almond flavor liqueur. It’s an option to use amaretto rather than almond extract for flavoring. To remove the pit, slice the apricot all the way around the pit, twist the halves and the pit will be released.
The almond paste can be found in the baking aisle of grocery store.
- Preheat oven to 325°F.
- Butter a 9" round cake pan and line the bottom with parchment. Butter parchment. Evenly spread the brown sugar on the parchment paper. Arrange the apricot halves cut-side down on the brown sugar.
- Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt.
- Cream the butter and sugar together, add the almond paste a little at a time, beating until creamy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the orange zest, vanilla and almond extract.
- On low speed, add the dry ingredients, mixing just until blended.
- Pour the thick batter over the apricots, spreading it evenly.
- Bake until the top is golden brown and firm to the touch and the cake begins to pull away from the sides of the pan. 45 to 55 minutes.
- Let cool on rack for 30 minutes then invert onto a serving platter. Serve warm or at room temperate with sweetened whip cream if desired.
Lavender Heart Cookies
½ c unsalted butter
¼ c granulated sugar
1 ½ c all-purpose flour
2 tbls fresh lavender florets OR 1 tbls dry chopped
2 tbls superfine sugar
- Cream butter and sugar together until creamy. Stir in the flour and lavender and bring the mixture together in a soft ball. Cover and chill for 20 min.
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Roll out dough on a lightly flour surface and stamp out cookies using a 1” heart cutter. Place on a heavy baking sheet and bake for about 10 min, until golden.
- Sprinkle w/superfine sugar then leave the cookies standing for 5 minutes to set. Using a metal spatula, transfer carefully from baking sheet to wire rack and cool completely. Store in airtight container for up to 1 week.
Holiday Cranberry Upside-Down Cake
This cake is festive looking and nutritious (as cakes go). The sweetness is subtle unlike a pineapple upside-down cake. This has been served as the home-baked goodness for breakfast and Lillie’s guests thought it was tasty and others preferred my sugar cinnamon muffins.
Pre-heat oven 350°F
9” Cake pan buttered
1 cup dark brown sugar
4 tablespoons butter
12oz package of fresh cranberries (whole)
- In a small sauce pan, melt the butter and sugar together and cook slowly until the brown sugar becomes steamy. Do not burn. Pour into bottom of cake pan. Then place in your washed fresh cranberries (whole) over the melted sugar.
1 ½ cups flour
2 tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. salt
½ cup butter
1 cup sugar
2 egg yolks
1 ½ teaspoon vanilla
½ cup milk
2 egg whites
Cream of tartar
- Sift the flour, baking powder and salt together in a separate bowl. Set aside.
- Separate egg yolks from whites. Put yolks aside until needed for cake.
- Beat egg whites soft peaks, add cream of tartar, and beat until firm peaks develop. Set aside.
- Beat butter and white sugar together until creamy. Add the egg yolks one at a time beating well after each addition. Add vanilla. Mix. Add the milk alternately with the dry ingredients (flour) until combined. Stop beating and gently fold in the beaten egg whites into the cake batter until combined.
Spread the batter over the cranberries and bake for about 1 hour. Allow the cake to cool about 5 to 8 minutes.
- Place platter (top side down) on the top of the cake in the pan and invert the platter and cake in together. Do not remove pan immediately. Let rest for another 5 minutes, then remove pan. If there are berries stuck to the bottom of the pan, carefully remove and replace them in the places where they came from on the cake.
- For an added touch, try melting 1 cup of semi-sweet morsels and drizzle in a circular pattern, giving it a lacy look, over the cranberries. This will give a little sweetness to the cake.
Zizi Irene's Cornbread
Preheat oven at 375°F
- Spray non-stick 9x 5 loaf pan or muffin pan (use liners)
1 cup all purpose flower
¾ cup cornmeal
1/3 cup sugar
½ teaspoon each of baking soda and salt
2 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup sour cream,
¼ cup milk
1 egg lightly beaten
2 tablespoons melted butter
- Sift dry ingredients together, add dairy items, mix together until well blended.
- Pour into pan or muffin cups (each 2/3 full).
- Pop into oven for about 20 minutes.
- Check doneness by inserting a cake pin or toothpick. A dry pick means it's done!
- Serve warm with your favorite jam.