It’s Blueberry Time/ Kosher Recipes

There’s only one bad thing that can be said about blueberries, they can be messy if you squish one.  Other than that, they’re really a wonderful fruit.

A typically American fruit the flavor and sweetness of the blueberry is the frosting on the cake that is fruit. A blueberry is a super food, one that is full of cancer-fighting antioxidants, vitamin C, fiber and potassium. This may sound obvious but when buying your blueberries you should remember they should actually be blue, if they’re even slightly green, red or purple forget them. Only blue will do.

The blueberries you want should be uniform in size, not big and small, firm not hard and have a slightly waxy sheen. To store then you should keep your blueberries refrigerated and please don’t wash them until you’re ready to use them. They will spoil if you do. They should last, in the refrigerator, for 10 days to 2 weeks.

You’re in luck, blueberries are in season right now and very affordable so hopefully this column will nudge you toward adding them to your shopping list this week.

 

Blueberry Guide

Approx 3 cups of blueberries in a pound

One cup of fresh or frozen blueberries =2/3 cup pureed

1 cup frozen blueberries = 2/3 cup thawed blueberries

BLUEBERRY AND CREAM MUFFINS

 

2 cups cake flour

3/4 cup sugar

11/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

pinch salt

3 ounces cream cheese cut in cubes

2 teaspoon lemon juice

Zest of 1 lemon

2 teaspoon vanilla

2 eggs

1/4 cup melted butter

1/2 cup milk

1 cup blueberries, fresh or frozen

Brown sugar to sprinkle on top

 

Preheat oven to 350. Line the cups of a muffin tin with 12 paper liners.  In a bowl combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, soda, and salt and set aside.

 

In a bowl of an electric mixer combine the cream cheese, lemon juice, lemon zest and vanilla and beat until smooth. Add the eggs and mix until blended. Stir in the melted butter and mix until smooth. Mix in milk. Add dry ingredients and stir until all dry is incorporated. Do not over mix. Fold the berries into the batter.

 

Pour an equal amount of batter into each muffin cup, filling each about 2/3 to 3/4 full. Sprinkle a little brown sugar on the top and then bake for 30 minutes (or until the top is golden), remove from the oven and cool on a rack for 15 minutes. Makes 12 muffins.

 

From my files, source unknown

 

BLUEBERRY APPLE SALAD

 

1 cup fresh or thawed frozen blueberries, divided

1/4 cup oil

2 tablespoons apple jelly

Zest of 1 orange

2 teaspoons lemon juice

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1/4 teaspoon salt

4 cups (about 4 ounces) baby spinach

2 Granny Smith apples, cored and thinly sliced

2 ribs celery, cut into 1-1/2-inch matchsticks (about 1 cup)

1/3 cup pecan or walnut halves, toasted

 

To prepare dressing: In a blender container, combine1/2 cup of the blueberries, oil, apple jelly, lemon juice, orange zest, mustard and salt; blend until smooth. Set the dressing aside. In a salad bowl combine the spinach with apple slices, celery, pecans and remaining 1/2 cup blueberries. Toss gently, drizzle the dressing over the top, toss gently and serve. Serves 4. This recipe can be doubled or tripled.

 

Modified from a recipe from my mom Anita Weinfield, Northbrook IL

LIME AND BLUEBERRY BARS

 

2 cups blueberries

21/4 cups flour

1/2 cup powdered sugar

1 cup softened butter

4 large eggs

1 teaspoon grated lime zest

1/3 cup lime juice

1 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

Extra powdered sugar

 

Preheat oven to 350. In a bowl combine the flour and 1/2 cup powdered sugar until blended. Cut in the butter (mash with a fork until dough holds together). Press the mixture over the bottom of a 9X13 baking pan. Bake for 20 minutes. In a bowl whisk together the eggs, sugar, lime zest, lime juice and baking powder. Gently fold in the blueberries. Gently pour the mixture over warm, baked crust. Return the pan to the oven and bake 20 to 25 minutes until the filling is firm. Remove from the oven and cool. Sprinkle with powdered sugar cut and serve. Serves 12

 

Modified from about.com

BLUEBERRY CORN MUFFINS

 

2 cups flour

1/2 cup cornmeal

3/4 cup sugar

2 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup buttermilk

1/2 cup orange juice

1/4 cup margarine or butter, melted

1 egg, beaten

1 tablespoon orange zest

2 cups blueberries

Coarse sugar

 

Preheat oven to 400. Grease a 1 12 muffin pan and 1 6 muffin pan and set them aside. In large bowl, combine the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Mix and set aside. In another bowl, combine the buttermilk, orange juice, margarine, egg and orange zest. Whisk to combine. Add the buttermilk mixture to the flour mixture and mix, by hand just to combine. Add the blueberries and gently mix them in. Do not over mix. Divide the batter between the 18 muffin cups. Sprinkle the tops with a little coarse sugar. Bake 20 to 25 minutes until the top is golden or a toothpick comes out clean. Makes 18 muffins.

 

Modified from an old Moosewood cookbook recipe in my files, book unknown

 

BLUEBERRY PULL-A-PART BREAD

 

2/3 cup sugar

1 tablespoon cinnamon

1 1/4 to 1 1/2 cups blueberries

2/3 cup brown sugar

10 tablespoons butter or margarine

2 teaspoons vanilla

1 tablespoon cinnamon

4 pkgs (10 oz ea) refrigerated buttermilk biscuits

 

Preheat oven to 350. REALLY grease a 10 x 4 tube pan and set it aside. In a bowl combine 2/3 cup sugar and 1 tablespoon cinnamon. Cut the biscuits in half. Roll each piece in sugar mixture. Arrange about one-fourth of the biscuit pieces and one-fourth of the blueberries in an even layer on the bottom of the pan. Place blueberries between biscuit pieces, creating a mosaic effect. Repeat with three more layers (covered dough balls and blueberries), covering blueberries of one layer with dough balls in next layer. In saucepan combine the brown sugar, margarine, vanilla, cinnamon and the additional 1 cup blueberries. Bring the mixture to a boil then reduce it to a simmer. Cook, stirring frequently until the sugar is dissolved and the margarine melted. Pour the mixture over biscuits and berries in the pan. Bake 34-45 minutes or until done. Let cool for 5 to 10 minutes before you try and remove this from the pan. Place a plate on the top of the pan and invert. Serves 8 to 10 servings.

 

Modified from epicurean .com

BLUEBERRY SALAD WITH SMOKED TROUT

 

8 oz romaine lettuce, shredded

4 Smoked trout fillets, skinned broken into medium pieces

1 1/2 cups blueberries

6 tablespoons olive oil

3 tablespoons white wine or rice wine vinegar

1 tablespoon minced parsley

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

 

In a bowl, combine arugula, trout and blueberries. In a small bowl combine the oil, vinegar, mint, salt and pepper. Divide the salad onto 4 chilled plates. Drizzle each serving with dressing. Serves 4

 

Modified from a recipe from Chef Marc Meyer, Five Points, New York City

 

BLUEBERRY ORANGE SAUCE

This is super over roast chicken or turkey

 

3 tablespoons sugar

1 tablespoon cornstarch

1/4 cup orange juice

1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries

2 oranges, sectioned

Salt and pepper to taste

 

In a bowl combine the sugar, cornstarch and salt and then set it aside. In a small saucepan combine the orange juice and 1/4 cup water and bring the mixture to a boil. Add the blueberries and orange sections and bring the mixture back to a boil. Cook for about 10 minutes. Add the sugar mixture to the berry mixture, whisk to combine and then cook for 1 to 2 more minutes, the sauce will thicken slightly. Remove it from the heat and serve. Makes approx. 2 cups.

 

NOTE: if you want a sauce to go over a fruit salad just omit the salt and pepper.

 

BLUEBERRY MANGO SALAD

 

2 cups fresh blueberries

3 to 4 mangos, peeled, seeded and sliced or cubed

1/3 cup frozen piña colada mix, thawed

1 to 2 tablespoons rum

Baby spinach

Toasted pecans

 

In a large bowl, combine blueberries, mangos, piña colada mix and rum and mix to combine. Divide the spinach between 4 plates. Spoon the berry mango mixture over the spinach. Top with the toasted pecans and serve. Serves 4. This recipe can be doubled or tripled.

 

BLUEBERRY CRANBERRY CHICKEN SALAD

 

4 cups cook chicken cut into bite sized pieces

1/2 cup red onion, chopped

4 stalks celery, sliced thin

1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar

1/2 cup minced green onion

1/4 cup chopped parsley

1/2 cup dried cranberries

1 cup blueberries

1/2 cup mayonnaise

2 tablespoons sour cream or plain yogurt

1/4 cup Dijon mustard

2/3 cup toasted almonds

 

In a bowl combine the chicken pieces, red onion, celery and rice vinegar. Toss to coat and add the green onion, parsley, cranberries and blueberries. Gently mix to combine. In another bowl combine the mayonnaise, yogurt and mustard and then spoon the dressing onto the chicken mixture. Mix to coat and then garnish with the toasted almonds. Serves 6. This recipe can be doubled or tripled.

 

Modified from a BHG.com recipe

Advertisements

Berries Galore/kosher recipes

I was recently chastised by one of my readers for not writing about strawberries and blueberries and blackberries this year. I emailed her back saying I’d get right on that and  she then replied saying that every year when they get really cheap she likes to load up on whatever berry is on sale that week and use them as much as she can and then freeze the leftovers to use later when they’re not so cheap. In my response to her response I asked her what she was looking for in the way of recipes and her reply was, and I quote “anything that isn’t the same “old boring spinach and strawberry salad  or blueberry muffin recipe you see in every newspaper or magazine for the past 30 years”.

I pondered her challenge for about 30 seconds and dove right into my treasure trove of “gotta try this someday” recipes and came up with quite a few different, unusual and downright spectacular non run of the mill recipes. So ladies and gentlemen and children of all ages, grab whatever kind of berry you like (and for the most part they are interchangeable in the following recipes) and start your ovens, mix masters and blenders and let the creating begin.

1 cup = 6 or 7 strawberries

1 (16 oz.) pkg.  strawberries equals approximately approx 3 cups sliced or chopped

1 (16 oz.) pkg. strawberries equals approximately approx 1 3/4 cups

BAKED FRENCH TOAST WITH BLUEBERRY SAUCE (dairy)

1 loaf French or Italian Bread or challah, sliced

4 eggs

1/2 cup milk

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon pure vanilla

5 cups blueberries (approx 1 1/2 pounds fresh or 2 (12-ounce) bags frozen)

1 cup chopped pecans

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 cup sugar

2 tablespoons cornstarch

2 tablespoons butter, melted

Powdered sugar

Place the bread slices in an ungreased 9X13 pan and set it aside. In a bowl combine the eggs, milk, baking powder, and vanilla together and whisk to combine. Pour the egg mixture over the bread, turning to coat the bread completely. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours or overnight.

Preheat oven to 450. Grease another 9×13-inch baking pan. In a bowl combine the blueberries (don’t defrost if frozen), chopped nuts (these are optional), cinnamon, sugar, and cornstarch and then spread it over the bottom of the prepared pan. Gently place the pieces of bread that have been soaking on top of the berry mixture (it’s best if the wettest side is placed face up). Make sure that the pieces fit together so that there are no gaps, they should be snug, so cut to fit if necessary. Brush tops of the bread with melted butter. Bake uncovered for 20 to 25 minutes or until the top is golden and the berries are bubbling around the sides. Remove from the oven and let set for 5 minutes, sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve.

NOTE: I’ve made this dish using with raspberries, peaches, strawberries and a mixture of a few fruits.  Serves 6 to 8.

Modified from a Woman’s World article, date unknown.

A CLASSIC ZABAGLIONE OR SABAYONE (dairy)

A Zabaglione is the Italian version of the French Sabayon custard like dessert (or visa versa). It is typically served with sliced berries.

5 egg yolks

1/3 cup sugar

1/3 cup semi dry or sweet wine or orange liqueur

1 cup whipping cream (whipping cream), whipped until stiff

5 1/4 cups fresh berries (blackberries, blueberries, quartered strawberries, and/or raspberries)

Set up a double boiler or a medium-size stainless-steel bowl over a pot of simmering water.  With a hand held electric mixer or thin wire whip, beat the egg yolks and sugar together approximately 3 minutes or until pale yellow.  Slowly whisk in the wine and set the bowl over the barely simmering water (water should not touch bottom of bowl).

Continue to beat constantly, approximately 10 to 15 minutes, until the eggs triple in volume, thicken, and reach a temperature of 140, as registered on an instant thermometer. The eggs will first become frothy, and then as they cook, they will slightly stiffen but still hold the air. If you stop whipping or the water boils you might scramble the eggs. Be sure to move the beater or whip around the bowl so the eggs cook evenly. NOTE: If the eggs begin to curdle pull the insert away from the water for a few seconds to cool it (keep whisking constantly). Remove from heat and cool the mixture completely in the refrigerator. When the mixture is cool, gently fold in prepared whipped cream using a rubber spatula.

NOTE: Zabaglione can be made ahead and stored, covered, in the refrigerator for several days. Bring the sauce to room temperature before serving with your favorite berries.

In a serving dish (a large martini or wine glass makes a nice presentation), dollop some of the zabaglione. Add fresh berries. Finish by adding another good-side dollop of zabaglione and top with mint sprig and a few more berries. Makes 6 to 8 servings.

Modified from epicurious.com

WHOLE WHEAT BERRY BANANA BREAD

3 large over-ripe bananas
1/3 cup sour cream
1/2 cup sugar
2 cups whole wheat flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup blueberries, raspberries, blackberries or a mix

Preheat oven to 350. Grease a 9×5-inch loaf pan with non stick spray or oil. In a large bowl, mash the bananas and add the sour cream and sugar. Mix to combine. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, soda, and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the banana mixture, and stir just until combined.  Fold in the berries.

Spread the mixture evenly in the prepared pan and bake until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean, about 50-60 minutes. Allow to cool before cutting and serving. Serves 8 to 10

 

CORN CAKES WITH BLACKBERRY OR BLUEBERRY SYRUP

Syrup:

1 pint blackberries or blueberries

1 1/2 cups maple syrup

Corncakes:

1 cup flour

1 cup yellow cornmeal

1 tablespoon sugar

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 cups corn kernels, fresh or frozen or canned

1 1/2 cups milk

2 large eggs

Oil for oiling the griddle

1 cup berries for garnish

To make the blackberry syrup, combine the berries and syrup in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring often. Reduce the heat and simmer until the berries have broken down and combined with the syrup, about 5 minutes. Remove the syrup from the heat and keep it warm.

To make the pancakes, preheat the oven to 200. In a bowl whisk together the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, and salt. In a food processor or blender, combine 1 cup of the corn kernels and the milk and process until smooth. Add the eggs and process to combine. Pour the corn mixture into the flour mixture and stir just until smooth. Fold in the remaining corn.

Heat a griddle over high heat until the griddle is very hot and then lightly grease the griddle. Using a ladle use spoon about 1/4 cup batter onto the griddle for each pancake. Cook for about 2 minutes or until the top of the pancake is covered in bubbles. Flip the pancakes and cook for an additional 1 minute or 2. When cooked place the corn cakes on a cookie sheet and keep warm until the rest of the corn cakes are done. Serve hot with the berry sauce and extra berries. Serves 4 to 6

BLACKEBERRY CHICKEN

2 chicken breasts, boneless and skinless, cut in half

2 tablespoons butter or margarine

1/4 cup of chopped onions

3 tablespoons of raspberry jelly

1/2 to 1 cup fresh blackberries

3 tablespoons of apple cider or rice wine vinegar

1/4 cup whipping cream or non dairy substitute

In a skillet melt the butter or margarine and saute the chicken breasts on one side for about 5 minutes. Flip the chicken over and add the onion to the pan. Cook for about 5 minutes more. Remove the chicken from the pan and keep warm. Add the jelly, blackberries, and vinegar to the pan and cook, scraping the bottom to remove the pieces that are stuck to the bottom. Cook for about 1 to 2 minutes over a high heat to slightly reduce liquid. Reduce the heat, add the cream and whisk to combine. Place the chicken on a serving platter and pour the sauce over chicken and serve. Serves: 4.

BLACKBERRY LIMEADE

3 cups fresh blackberries

7 cups cold water

1 cup sugar

1 cup fresh lime juice

Ice,

In a blender, puree the blackberries with 1 cup of the water. Strain through a fine sieve. In a small saucepan, combine the sugar with 1 cup of the water and bring to a boil. Simmer until reduced to 1 cup, about 15 minutes; let cool. In a pitcher, combine the blackberry puree with the sugar syrup, lime juice and the remaining 5 cups of cold water and refrigerate until chilled. Serve in tall glasses over ice. Makes 2 quarts

Note: you can use raspberries or blueberries in place of the blackberries

Modified from a recipe by Martha McGinnis

1 GLASS BLACK AND BLUE SANGRIA

5 blackberries

5 blueberries

1 oz Creme de Cassis (black currants liqueur)

1 glass semi sweet red wine

Crushed ice

Put the ice, blackberries and blueberries into a glass. Add in the Creme de Cassis and red wine.  Mix to combine and serve. Makes 1 glass. This can be doubled or quadrupled.

DELIGHTFULLY STRAWBERRY BUTTER CREAM

You have to use cooked or frozen strawberries for this recipe

8 oz frozen strawberries, defrosted

1 cup butter, room temperature

1 1/2 cups Crisco (10 ounces)

2 pounds of powdered sugar

*Optional 1/2 to 1 teaspoon Strawberry extract for more intense flavor.

In the bowl of an electric mixer mix the butter and the Crisco together until it is totally combines. While the mixer is on low slowly add in the powdered sugar, strawberries, and the extract until everything is combined. Refrigerate for at least one hour before using. If the frosting is too liquidly add more powdered sugar. Too stiff add more strawberries. Makes 2 1/2 cups. .

WATERMELON AND STRAWBERRY LIMEADE

2 cups water

1 cup sugar

1 1/2 tablespoons lime zest

1 cup fresh squeezed lime juice

1 pint fresh strawberries, pureed

3 cups watermelon, puréed

1 to 2 liters cold club soda

ice

6 to 10 sliced strawberries for garnish

In a sauce pan combine the sugar, lime zest and water and bring it to a boil. Reduce heat and let simmer for 3 minutes. Strain the zest out and let cool for about 15 minutes. Pour the sugar water into a pitcher. Add the ice, lime juice, puréed strawberries, watermelon. Add the, club soda and mix to combine. Add the sliced strawberries and serve. Serves 8 to 12 depending on how much club soda you add.

Never Too Late for Valentine’s Day Chocolate Recipes

 

Chocolate has been the “high priestess” of aphrodisiacs since it was discovered over 3,000 years ago inMexico.  Montezuma (of the don’t drink the water fame) would drink 50 goblets of a chocolate drink a day to give himself stamina to handle his harem of over 600 women.

So with my quantum leap of food logic I say what better way to say I love you on Valentines Day than giving or serving chocolate (for breakfast lunch AND dinner).

Hold on a second before you go rushing out to buy DeBrands, Godiva, Ghirardelli, Hershey’s or even Nestles. You need to know a little bit about the chocolate you’re about to use or eat. Not all chocolate or cocoa is created equally. Different recipes call for different types of chocolate.
Unsweetened or baking chocolate is simply cooled, hardened chocolate liquor. It is used primarily as an ingredient in recipes, or as a garnish. Semi-sweet chocolate is also used primarily in recipes. It has extra cocoa butter and sugar added. Sweet cooking chocolate is basically the same, with more sugar for taste. Milk chocolate is chocolate liquor with extra cocoa butter, sugar, milk and vanilla added. Milk chocolate is the most popular form for chocolate. Cocoa is chocolate liquor with most of the cocoa butter removed, creating a fine powder. Each form of chocolate can create a different taste so make sure you’ve got the right ingredient for your recipe.

White chocolate is somewhat of a misnomer. In theUnited States, in order to be legally called ‘chocolate’ a product must contain cocoa solids. Most of the stuff you get in the market place today does not contain these solids so technically it’s not really chocolate. Real white chocolate is primarily cocoa butter, sugar, milk and vanilla.

Chocolate in its many forms is always welcome as an expression of love. The making or serving the following recipes won’t guarantee the love will be returned but they could give you a shot a few extra brownie points.
CHOCOLATE CHOCOLATE CHIP SCONES

1 3/4 cups flour
1/3 cup cocoa powder
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into chunks
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 bars (1.5 ounces each) Dark Chocolate, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
Coarse sugar

 

In bowl of a food processor, combine flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt. Pulse until well blended. Add butter chunks and process for a few seconds, just until butter is size of peas. Transfer mixture to large bowl and stir in sugar.

In small bowl, whisk together heavy cream, eggs and vanilla extract. Pour cream mixture over dry ingredients. Add chopped chocolate and stir to form dough. Knead dough lightly in bowl about 10 times. Transfer dough onto lightly floured work surface and shape into 8-inch round disc. Transfer round to plate, cover with plastic wrap and chill for 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 375. Remove dough from refrigerator and cut round into 8 wedges. Transfer scones to ungreased baking sheet and sprinkle tops with coarse sugar. Bake for 22-25 minutes or until set. Transfer to wire rack and cool completely. Or serve slightly warm. Makes 8

 

Modified from epicurious.com

CHOCOLATE CREPES

2/3 cup flour

1/3 cup sugar

1 teaspoon unsweetened chocolate powder

1 egg

1 egg white

1/4 cup oil

1/4 cup milk

strawberries or raspberries or sorbet

 

Mix all dry ingredients together in a mixing bowl. Add all liquid ingredients and stir until batter is smooth and creamy.  Let batter rest in the refrigerator until the air is settled, about 2 hours. When ready to prepare crepes, heat crepe pan over medium heat and pour 1/3 to 1/4 cup of the batter into hot pan. Rotate pan until batter is cooked through and then turn to cook the other side. When done remove from pan and let cool on a rack. Store until ready to serve. May be made one to two days ahead of time. Fill with berries, sorbet. Serves 2.

CHOCOLATE WAFFLES

This recipe is a fun way to portion out cake mix into individual servings much like cupcakes, but with a much quicker bake time.

 

1/2 cup of unsweetened cocoa powder

1 cup of boiling water

2 cups of flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup of softened butter

1 cup of sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 eggs

 

In a bowl whisk together the cocoa and boiling water. Allow to cool to room temperature before using. In another bowl mix together the flour, baking soda and salt. Add 2 large eggs to the butter mixture, stirring between each egg to combine thoroughly. Alternate adding the dry ingredients and the cocoa water mixture to the butter mixture, stirring until just mixed. Batter may be stored in the refrigerator until needed. Makes 4 waffles.

 

CHOCOLATE FRENCH TOAST PUFF

This recipe should be started the night before you want to serve it as it has to sit for at last 4 to 5 hours before you cook it.
12 slices white bread, crusts removed
2 cups skim milk, divided
1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
8 eggs
2 cups half and half

Topping
3/4 cup butter, very soft or melted
1 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup flaked coconut
3 tablespoons dark corn syrup
Whipped cream or maple syrup, optional
Generously grease a 9×13 baking dish that is at least 2 inches deep. Arrange trimmed bread slices on bottom of pan in 2 layers. In a small saucepan, combine 1 cup milk, chocolate chips and sugar. Heat over medium heat, stirring, until chips are melted and sugar is dissolved. Do not let mixture come to a boil. Stir in vanilla. Let cool. In a large bowl, beat eggs, remaining milk and half and half. Mix chocolate mixture into egg mixture. Pour over bread slices. Cover pan tightly and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight. In the morning, remove from refrigerator and prepare topping.

 

Preheat oven to 350. In a medium bowl, combine butter, brown sugar, walnuts, coconut and dark corn syrup. Spread or spoon the topping over the bread slices. Bake, uncovered, 1 hour or until center is set. If edges are browning to fast, cover with foil. Remove from the oven and cool for 10 minutes or so until cool enough to spoon or slice. Top with whipped cream or syrup, if desired. Serves 8

 

CHOCOLATE ORANGE BREAKFAST DRINK

 

1 orange – peeled, quartered, and cut into 1/2 inch slices

2 tablespoons chocolate syrup

1 cup cold milk

1 cup crushed ice

 

Combine orange pieces, chocolate syrup, milk, and ice in a blender. Blend until smooth. Pour into a tall glass and serve. Makes 1 serving

 

COLOSSAL CHOCOLATE CINNAMON ROLLS

2 loaves (1 pound each) frozen white yeast bread dough, thawed, divided

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

2 cups semi sweet or milk chocolate chips

1 cup chopped pecans, divided

1 cup powdered sugar, sifted

3 tablespoons milk
Grease two 9-inch-round baking pans. Roll out 1 bread loaf into 16 x 10-inch rectangle on lightly floured surface. Combine sugar and cinnamon in small bowl; sprinkle 2 tablespoons over dough leaving 1/2-inch border around sides. Sprinkle with 1 cup morsels and 1/2 cup nuts. Roll up the dough starting at short end; seal edges. Cut into 6 slices; place cut side up in prepared baking pan. Repeat with remaining bread loaf, sugar mixture, morsels and nuts; place in second prepared baking pan. Cover; let rise in warm place until dough almost fills pans. Preheat oven to 350. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until deep golden brown. Cool slightly in pans on wire racks. In a small bowl combine the powdered sugar and milk and mix into a stiff glaze. Drizzle over warm cinnamon rolls. Serves 10 to 12.

PUMPKIN CHOCOLATE CHIP MUFFINS

 

3 cup sugar

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup oil

1 teaspoon baking soda

2 eggs

1 teaspoon nutmeg

1 can of pumpkin (1 pound)

1 tablespoon cinnamon

3 cup of flour

1/4 teaspoon ginger

1/4 teaspoon allspice

8-12 oz. chocolate chips (miniature or regular)

 

Preheat oven to 375. In the bowl of an electric mixer combine the sugar, oil, eggs, Mix to combine. Mix dry ingredients separately; then add slowly to wet ingredients. Stir in chocolate chips. Grease muffin pan and fill cups 2/3 full. For full size muffins bake 20 to 25 minutes. For mini muffins bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. Makes 12.

 

I’m Cuckoo for Cocoa

            When our friends Debbie and Dennis came to visit last year Debbie brought some FABUOLOUS homemade chocolate Mandelbrot/biscotti which I promptly devoured all by my pretty little self. When asked for the recipe she graciously gave it to me and I tried (tried being the operative word here) to reproduce it.  While it was close and really quite good, it just wasn’t “quite” the same deep dark rich chocolaty tasting as hers. Knowing that in the sacred world of “friends exchanging recipes” leaving out an ingredient or step in the instructions is not something she would do I called her and asked what I’d done wrong (yes, even I, the queen of the kitchen occasionally make what are euphemistically called mistakes). Seems I’d used the wrong kind of cocoa powder. I’d used the regular Hershey’s brand and she’d used Dutch Cocoa powder.

So what, you ask, is the difference between cocoa powder and Dutch cocoa powder? Let’s start at the beginning. First there is the cocoa bean. These babies are roasted and then ground to remove the cocoa butter, (that natural fat in the cocoa bean so often found in sun tan lotion).  What remains is a paste called chocolate liquor.  This chocolate liquor is dried and ground to produce cocoa powder.  Dutch cocoa powder is regular cocoa powder that has been treated with an alkali to neutralize the cocoas natural acidity. Regular cocoa powder is acidic while the Dutch variety is neutral.

Because having the right level of acid to alkaline agent is critical when baking you shouldn’t substitute regular cocoa powder for Dutch cocoa powder or vice versa if a recipe calls for a specific type of cocoa powder.

COCOA RASPBERRY TORTE

 

1 1/2 cups flour, plus more for dusting
1 cup ground blanched almonds
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pinch of salt
10 tablespoons cold butter, cut into small pieces
2 egg yolks
1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 1/2 tablespoons milk
1 cup raspberry jam
Powdered sugar, for dusting (optional)

 

Preheat oven to 350. Put flour, almonds, granulated sugar, cocoa, cinnamon and salt into a food processor and pulse to combine. Add butter and pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal; transfer to a large bowl. In a small bowl, beat together yolks and lemon juice then add to flour mixture along with milk and stir with a fork just until mixture comes together.

Press about 2/3 of the dough into an 8-inch tart pan with a removable bottom or spring form pan to form a 1/2-inch-thick crust. (If using a tart pan, crust should reach the top of the pan. If using a spring form pan, crust should reach about 1 inch up the sides.) Spread jam thickly over the bottom of the crust; set aside.

Working on a well-floured surface, use floured hands to roll remaining dough into 3/4-inch-wide ropes. Press ropes into 1-inch-wide strips and lay across tart in a crisscross pattern to form a lattice top. Bake tart until jam is bubbly and crust is just golden brown around the edges, about 40 minutes. Serve tart at room temperature or chilled, dusted with powdered sugar, if you like.

 

COCOA ALMOND SMOOTHIE

 

2 ripe fresh or frozen banana cut into chunks
6 ounces vanilla yogurt
3/4 to 1 cup milk
2 tablespoons ground almonds
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
1 cup ice cubes

 

Combine all of the ingredients in a blender and whirl at top speed for about 1 minute or until smooth. Pour into a glass and enjoy. When making fruit smoothies, adding ice to the blender is a matter of personal choice. If you are using frozen fruit in place of fresh fruit you may choose to omit the ice.

ZUCCHINI COCOA MUFFINS

 

2 1/2 cups flour

1 cup white sugar

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup cocoa powder

1/2 cup margarine or butter

1/4 cup milk

1 teaspoon lemon juice

2 eggs

1 3/4 cups shredded zucchini

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla

1/2 cup pecan pieces

 

Preheat oven to 350. Place paper liners in muffin pan. In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cocoa powder, ground cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Cut in shortening until flour mixture resembles coarse meal. Slightly beat eggs. Add eggs, milk, lemon juice zucchini, and vanilla. Stir until just combined. Add pecans and mix to combine. Spoon the batter into the muffin tins, filling 1/2 to 2/3 full. Bake for 15-20 minutes and then cool on racks.

 

COCOA MERINGUES
2 ounces unsweetened baking chocolate squares, chopped
1/4 cup powdered sugar
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
3 large egg whites
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/2 cup granulated sugar

 

Preheat oven to 220. Line cookie sheets with aluminum foil and set them aside. In a small bowl, whisk together powdered sugar and cocoa and then set it aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer beat the whites and cream of tartar until it starts to form soft peaks. Increase speed to medium high and slowly, in a steady stream add the sugar. Beat until mixture forms stiff peaks and is glossy. Stop the mixer and by hand with a spatula or wooden spoon, gently fold in the cocoa mixture and chopped chocolate. Try to make sure that the cocoa mixture gets thoroughly mixed in but don’t over mix. Using a tablespoon drop a heaping tablespoon of the mixture 2 inches apart onto the prepared cookie sheets. Let meringues sit at room temp for 1/2 hour before baking. Preheat oven to 220. Bake for 1 hour and DO NOT open the oven door. Remove from the oven and let cool on the cookie sheet. When the meringues are cool remove them from the foil. Makes 25 to 30.

 

PEAK A BOO SCONES
2 cups flour
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 stick (1/2 cup) salted butter, chilled
1 large egg, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2-3/4 cup whipping cream
2/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
2/3 cup white chocolate chips

 

Preheat oven to 400. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt. With a pastry blender or knife, cut chilled butter into flour mixture to resemble coarse crumbs.In a small bowl, combine egg, vanilla, and 1/2 cup of whipping cream. Stir cream mixture into flour mixture. If needed, add up to 1/4 cup more whipping cream, until mixture is just moistened. Stir in both chips, and than use hands to knead dough about 10 times. Lightly flour a working surface. Pat dough into 8-inch circle. Cut circle into 12 wedges using a sharp knife. Place each wedge 1 inch apart onto ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 12-15 minutes or until set. Do not overbake. Let stand for 3 minutes before transferring to cooling surface. Makes 12 scones.

New Year Resolution Recipes

Ok, so my new year’s resolution to eat healthier in 2010 ended at precisely12:03 amwhen I dove into the guacamole and M&M’s (don’t judge me). Thoughts of getting into those post Christmas sale size (none of your business) I bought last week when out the window along with visions of me finally being able to get rid of the “baby fat” from my last pregnancy 24 years ago.

In the hopes that a small portion of my resolution dignity can be saved this year as I’ve decided to devote this column to low fat/calorie recipes in the hopes that I can reduce a few calories and fat grams from our diets. You’ll notice I didn’t say NO fat as I’m one of those diet heretics that holds to the belief that to forbid is to tempt and that everyone needs a little fat in their diet.

Hope (and my scale) are both optimists and without any further adieu my first gift of the New Year is this column with recipes so good you won’t miss what’s not there. No, I’m not giving you calories on these recipes, suffice it to say that the category that is fat, they contain less than their counterparts.

You can use regular or low fat dairy products in these recipes but be careful when substituting no fat products in baking as they contain a higher percentage of water and that can alter the final results significantly (as in it won’t turn out the way you want it to).

LOWFAT BLUEBERRY MUFFINS (dairy)

2 cups sifted flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 eggs (or 4 egg whites)

1 1/4 cups skim milk

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries

Preheat oven to 400. Spray a muffin pan with cooking spray. In a large bowl combine the flour, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder and salt and mix to combine. In another bowl combine the eggs and milk and beat to combine. Add sugar to the egg mixture and beat to combine. Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture and mix to just combine, do not over mix. Gently fold the blueberries into the batter, again, do not over mix. Divide the batter between the 12 greased muffin cups. Bake 20 minutes or until the top is golden. Makes 12

LOWFAT BRAN MUFFINS (dairy)

1 cup flour

2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

2 cups bran cereal (crush it up a bit)

11/4 cups skim milk

1/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar

1 egg white

1/2 cup applesauce

1 tart apple peeled and chopped

1/2 to 1 cup raisins

Heat oven to 400. Spray a muffin pan with cooking spray or use foil paper liners.  In a bowl combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon.  In another bowl combine the cereal, milk and sugar. Let the milk and cereal mixture set for 5 minutes and then add the egg, chopped apple, raisins and applesauce.  Add the apple mixture to flour mixture and mix to just combine. There will be lumps in the batter, don’t worry.  Divide the batter into the prepared muffin cups.  Bake for 20 minutes or until browned.  Makes 12.

LOWFAT PINEAPPLE CHICKEN (meat)

2 1/2 lbs. boneless skinless chicken breasts cut into bite size pieces

2 cups water with 2 chicken bouillon cubes or 2 tablespoon powder

2 tablespoons oil (I like sesame oil but any will do)

1 green pepper diced

1 onion, cut into bite size pieces

1 cup celery, thinly sliced

1 cup unsweetened pineapple chunks (canned) (save the juice)

1/2 cup pineapple juice

1 to 2 teaspoon soy sauce

2 tablespoons flour

1 tablespoon cold water

ground pepper to taste

rice or noodles

Simmer the chicken in the water with bouillon cubes. Save 1 cup of liquid that the chicken is cooked in. Saute the onion, green peppers, celery and pineapple until crisp tender, but not browned.  In a bowl combine the cup of saved chicken broth with the pineapple juice and soy sauce. Whisk to combine. In a small bowl combine the flour and water. Whisk to combine and add the flour mixture to the chicken broth mixture. Whisk to combine. Add the liquid to the vegetables in the pan. Add the cooked chicken and season with pepper to tasted Add to
vegetables. Add the cooked chicken and a dash of pepper, and cook until
hot throughout. Serve over rice or noodles. Serves 6

LOW FAT TEXMEX PASTA SALAD (meat or pareve)

1 lb cooked bow tie pasta

1/2 lb. ground chicken or turkey, cooked (optional)

2 tomatoes, seeded and diced

1 can (16 oz) corn, drained

1 red pepper, diced

1 can (16 oz) black beans, rinsed and drained

1 small red onion, diced

2 stalks celery, diced

1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and diced

1 1/2 cup chunky salsa

1/2 no or low fat mayonnaise

1 tablespoon chili powder

1 teaspoon cumin

salt and pepper to taste

In a big salad bowl combine the mayonnaise and salsa and mix to combine. Add the remaining ingredients, toss to coat and season with salt and pepper to taste. Refrigerate for at least 45 minutes for the flavors to combine. Serves 8.

LOWFAT SALMON SALAD WITH BUTTERMILK DRESSING (dairy)

2 lbs. grilled salmon broken into bite size pieces

6 cups salad greens

3 tomatoes, seeded and chopped

3 tablespoons sunflower seeds

1/2 cup non-fat buttermilk
2 tablespoons low-fat sour cream
1 tablespoon low fat mayonnaise
3/4 teaspoon finely chopped fresh tarragon or 1/4 teaspoon dried tarragon,
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic

1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon dry mustard, or to taste

In a food processor or blender combine the buttermilk, sour cream, mayonnaise, tarragon, garlic, salt and mustard. Process until combined and smooth and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Divide the greens between 6 plates, top with salmon, tomatoes, and sunflower seed and drizzle some of the dressing over the top. Pass the remaining dressing with the salad. Serves 6.

You can replace the salmon with chicken or turkey

Submitted byWanda Louias Long GroveIL

LOWER FAT FETTUCCINE ALFREDO (dairy)
1 tablespoon margarine
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 1/3 cups skim milk
4 tablespoons non fat cream cheese
2 tablespoons light cream cheese
1 1/4 cups freshly grated parmesan cheese, divided
4 cups hot cooked fettuccine
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
freshly ground pepper to taste

In a sauce pan saute the garlic in the margarine and cook for about 1 minute. Whisk in the flour, cook for a minute and then gradually whisk in the milk, stirring constantly. Cook for 7 to 8 minutes or until the mixture is thick and bubbly. Stir in the cream cheese; cook 2 minutes. Add 1 cup Parmesan cheese, stirring constantly until it melts. Add the parsley and pepper, mix to combine and then pour the cheese mixture over hot cooked fettuccine. Mix to combine. Place the mixture in a serving bowl and sprinkle the top with the remaining 1/4 cup parmesan cheese. Serves 4

Modified from about.com

LOWFAT CHOCOLATE RASPBERRY SOUR CREAM CAKE(dairy)

1 cup flour
1 cup sugar
1 cup reduced fat sour cream
1 egg
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa

2 to 3 tablespoons regular or low sugar raspberry preserves
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt

Powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350. Spray a 8X8 baking pan.  In the bowl of an electric mixer combine all the ingredients except the powdered sugar and mix until smooth. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 30 to 35 minutes. Cool for about and hour and sprinkle the top with powdered sugar. Serves 6

Cupcake VS Muffins You Choose the Winner

It isn’t often in this trouble filled world that a difference of opinion is solved in an amiable manor. The dispute over what or what is not a cupcake (as opposed to a muffin) and be solved in either a simplistic, cupcakes have frosting, muffins do not answer or with a semi scientific response where a basic recipe for both require about 2 cups flour, 2 to 4 tablespoons sugar, 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1
egg, 1/4 cup oil, shortening or butter and 1 cup milk. To turn the basic muffin recipe into a cupcake it to double the shortening, sugar and egg ingredients and voila, the muffin becomes a cupcake.

Seeing that is was about 2 o’clock in the morning when this craving came upon me I of course came up with a few less politically
correct answers for the question “What is the difference between cupcake and muffins?”

1. A muffin is a confused cupcake or vice versa depending on which you like more.

2. If you throw a cupcake against a wall you a gentle “whomp” sound and lots of crumbs as it explodes and falls on the
floor.

3. If you throw a muffin against a wall you get a
“thud” noise and it puts a dent or hole in the wall.

4. Cupcakes are made of cake silly, whereas muffins
typically a quick bread.

5. Muffins are unattractive cupcakes and cupcakes are
pretty muffins.

6. In a cupcake you cream the butter and sugar together
before adding the other ingredient. With a muffin you dump everything in the
bowl at once and hope it doesn’t explode.

7. Most cake recipes can be utilized to make cupcakes
where as you can’t really make a cake out of a muffin recipe.

8. Muffins typically cook at a higher temperature than
cupcakes.

9. While you can/do grease the muffin/cupcake pans before
cooking you rarely use a paper liner for a muffin

10 Who cares, they’re both delicious.

 

Make no mistake; this is an equal opportunity cup cake
and muffin column. It came about when I decided I couldn’t go one more day
without a muffin, or was that a cup cake. I went through my recipe files and
came up with two almost identical recipes but one was called a cup cake and the
other a muffin. Being the curious soul I am, I ended up researching and the
following recipes that could be either muffins or cupcakes are the happy
result. You decide.

 

PINEAPPLE UPSIDE DOWN MUFFINS

 

Topping:

1/4 cup packed light brown sugar, divided

1 can (10 ounces) pineapple slices, drained cut in thirds

 

Muffins:

 

1 1/2 cup flour

1/2 cup oatmeal (not the quick kind)

1 tablespoon cinnamon

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

2 eggs

1/4 cup oil

2 tablespoons orange juice

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 can (8 ounces) crushed pineapple with juice

1 cup shredded carrots

3/4 cup raisins

 

Preheat oven to 400. Grease a 12-cup muffin pan.

 

Make the topping: Sprinkle 1 teaspoon brown sugar into
each prepared muffin cup. Place 2 pieces of pineapple in each muffin cup. Set
the pan aside.

 

Muffins: In a large bowl combine the flour, oats,
cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Mix to combine and set it aside.
In another bowl combine the brown sugar and eggs and mix well. Whisk the oil,
orange juice and vanilla into the egg mixture and mix until combined. Add the
crushed pineapple, mix to combine and then add the egg mixture to the flour mixture
and stir until just blended. Gently mix in the carrots and raisins. Divide
batter equally among prepared muffin cups. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until tops
are golden and a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean. Immediately
run a knife around edges of cups and turn muffins out onto a baking sheet.
Reposition any stray pineapple pieces. Let cool for at least 10 minutes. Serve
upside down, warm or at room temperature.

 

Adapted from 750 Best Muffin
Recipes by Camilla Saulbury

AFTER THE HOLIDAY SWEET POTATO MUFFINS

Leftovers are the key to this
recipe

 

1 cup mashed sweet potatoes

2 eggs

1/2 cup sugar

1/4 cup oil

1/4 cup water

1 to 1 1/2 teaspoon orange zest

1 tablespoon vanilla

2 cups flour

3/4 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1 cup cranberry sauce

 

Preheat oven to 350 and grease a 12 cup muffin pan. In a
large bowl combine the sweet potatoes, eggs, sugar, oil, water, orange zest,
and vanilla. Mix to combine and set aside. In another bowl combine the flour,
salt, baking powder, and baking soda, then add to the sweet potato mixture. Mix
to just combine. Add the cranberry sauce and mix to just combine. Fill the
prepared pan so that the batter fills each muffin cup 2/3’s full. Bake for 25
to 30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool the muffins in pan on
a rack for about 5 minutes then remove to cool on a rack. Makes 12.

 

JAM FILLED ALMOND MUFFINS

 

2 1/4 cups flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 large eggs

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 cup buttermilk

1/4 cup orange juice

1/4 cup oil

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 cup blackberry, blueberry, raspberry or cherry
jam

1/4 teaspoon almond extract

1/2 cup sliced almonds

1 tablespoon granulated sugar

 

 

Preheat oven to 400. Grease 12 muffin cups with cooking
spray and set it aside. In a bowl combine the jam and almond extract and mix to
combine. Set it aside. In a bowl combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda
and salt. In another bowl combine the eggs and brown sugar. Mix until combined
and then add the buttermilk, orange juice, oil and vanilla. Mix to combine. Add
to the flour mixture to the egg mixture and mix until JUST combine. Do not over
mix. Fill each of the 12 muffin cups ½ full of the batter. Drop a generous
teaspoonful of the jam into the center of each muffin and then top with the
remaining batter, filling each muffin cup ¾ full. Sprinkle the almonds on the
top and then sprinkle the sugar over the almonds. Bake 15 to 20 minutes or
until the tops are golden brown and spring back when touched. Loosen edges with
a knife and remove them from the pan after about 5 minutes. Cool on a rack.
Makes 12

 

Tip: You can substitute 1 tablespoon lemon juice and 1
cup milk for the buttermilk.

 

Modified from eatingwell.com

 

 

CREAM CORN AND SALSA CORN MUFFINS

 

1 cup corn meal

1 1/2 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/3 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon lemon juice

1 cup milk

1/2 cup salsa

1/4 cup vegetable oil or butter

2 teaspoon honey

1 egg

1/2 cup cream style corn

1/3 to 1/2 cup diced red bell pepper

 

Preheat oven to 375. Grease 12 muffin cups and set them
aside. In a large bowl combine the corn meal, flour, baking powder and salt. In
another bowl combine the milk, lemon juice, oil, honey, and egg. Mix to combine
and then add the milk mixture to the flour mixture. Mix to just combine and
then add the corn and peppers. Bake 20 to 25 minutes, or until golden brown on
top. Makes 12.

 

 

CHOCOLATE MUFFINS AKA BREAKFAST CUPCAKES

Great with butter or jam they can also be frosted

 

2/3 cup (2 ounces) Dutch-processed cocoa

1 3/4 cups (7 1/4 ounces) King Arthur Unbleached
All-Purpose Flour

1 1/4 cups (9 3/8 ounces) light brown sugar

1 teaspoon baking powder

3/4 teaspoon espresso powder, optional

1 teaspoon baking soda

3/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup (6 ounces) chocolate chips

2 eggs

1 cup (8 ounces) milk

2 teaspoons vanilla

2 teaspoons vinegar

1/2 cup (4 ounces, 1 stick) butter, melted

coarse pearl sugar, for topping (optional)

 

Preheat the oven to 400. Line a standard muffin pan with
paper or silicone muffin cups, and grease the cups.

 

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the cocoa, flour,
sugar, baking powder, espresso powder, baking soda, salt and chocolate chips. Set
aside.

 

In a large measuring cup or medium-sized mixing bowl,
whisk together the eggs, milk, vanilla and vinegar. Add the wet ingredients,
along with the melted butter, to the dry ingredients, stirring to blend;
there’s no need to beat these muffins, just make sure everything is
well-combined.

 

Scoop the batter into the prepared muffin tin; the cups
will be heaped with batter, and the muffin will bake into a
“mushroom” shape. Sprinkle with pearl sugar, if desired.

 

Bake the muffins for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a cake
tester inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean. Remove the muffins
from the oven, and after 5 minutes remove them from the pan, allowing them to
cool for about 15 minutes on a rack before peeling off the muffin papers or
silicone cups. Yield: 12 muffins.

 

From the King Arthur Flour website.

 

CHOCOLATE AND PEANUT BUTTER CUPCAKES

Using a mix makes this super easy

 

1 box devil’s food cake mix

1 cup water

1/3 cup oil

4 eggs

 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Use Combine all ingredients
into a bowl and mix well. Pour into cupcake liners, filling them about 2/3
full. Bake for approximately 25 minutes, or until tooth pick inserted into
center comes out clean. Cool completely.

 

Make the filling

1/2 cup butter

1/2 cup creamy peanut butter

1 cup graham cracker crumbs

1 cup powdered sugar

 

In a glass microwavable bowl combine the butter and
peanut… Microwave for 30 to 45 seconds or until the butter is melted. Stir to
combine and add the graham cracker crumbs and powdered sugar. Mix to combine,
but don’t worry, it will be thick. Refrigerate the peanut butter mixture for 30
minutes to firm. Once cupcakes have cooled completely, use a small paring knife
remove a hole in the center of the cupcake making sure not to go all the way to
the bottom. Make it shallow and wide as opposed to deep. Roll just over a
tablespoon of filling into a small ball and place into center of the whole and
set them aside. (you may have extra filling, it makes a great buckeye candy if
you dip it in chocolate).

 

 

Peanut Butter Frosting:

1 cup butter, room temperature

2 teaspoon vanilla

1 to 1 1/4 cup creamy peanut butter

4 cups powdered sugar

3 tablespoon milk

 

In the bowl of an electric mixer combine the butter and
vanilla and mix to combine. Add the peanut butter and mix until combined. On a
low speed slowly add the powdered sugar in one cup at a time and then add the
milk to give the frosting its desired consistency. Frost the filled cupcakes
being careful as you cover the peanut butter filling. Makes 12. .

 

Submitted by Rhonda Trilalon Detroit MI, modified