Chocolate Muffins

So I was in the mood to bake. Chocolate muffins sounded wonderful and just challenging enough to cure my baking mood. The recipe that had the best pictures and best looking recipe was from Bright Eye Baker. Elsa and I started by putting on aprons. She has a darling little apron with with her little checkered shirt and braided pigtails. She did a great job of lining all the muffin pans with liners, stirring together the dry ingredients and adding them to the mixer and adding chocolate chunks (one for the batter, one for her mouth, one for the batter…)

Anyway, my favorite way to eat these is to warm them slightly in the microwave so the chocolate chunks melt, then eat with fresh strawberries and milk. Delicious!

 

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Chocolate Muffins

Ingredients:
8 1/2 ounces (or 2 level cups) all-purpose flour
3 1/2 ounces (or 1 level cup) cocoa powder
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs plus 1 egg yolk
8 3/4 ounces (1 1/4 cups) sugar
1/2 cup oil
12 3/4 ounces (1 1/2 cups) sour cream
1 tablespoon vanilla
10 1/2 ounces chocolate, whatever kind floats your boat. I did chocolate chunks…

Directions:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease or line muffin pan.
Whisk together flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
In the bowl of a mixer, beat eggs. Slowly add sugar while beating and continue to beat until the mixture is pale and thickened.
Beat in the oil until fully incorporated. Add sour cream and vanilla.
Add dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Add about 8 ounces of chocolate or if you’re me, add more. Taste the batter. It’s amazing.
Scoop into prepared muffin cups. Top with remaining chocolate chunks, M&Ms, sugar sprinkles or whatever you want.
Bake muffins for 10 minutes, then reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake for another 5-10 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool completely.

Yield: 12 (I got around 18 muffins)

 

Croissants

I’ve always wanted to make croissants, but found it to be an intimidating task. After eating delicious turkey and Swiss cheese sandwiches on pretzel croissants with honey mustard dipping sauce (from Sam’s Club), I made up my mind to finally try it. The first batch of dough didn’t rise due to expired yeast and (I think) a faulty recipe. Finding a different recipe proved to be a hard first task. Every recipe was different or had something weird about it, so I finally called home and asked my sister to look up one from my culinary book. On Cooking had a basic recipe. All I can say is croissants take FOREVER to make! I made some of them pretzel and the rest just plain.

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Croissants
Ingredients:
Notes about weighing ingredients below.
2 lbs 4 oz bread flour
1 oz salt
6 oz sugar
21 oz milk, heated to 90 degrees
1 oz yeast
1 lbs 8oz butter
1 egg for egg wash (mix with water)

Directions:
Stir flour, salt and sugar together in the bowl of the mixer with a dough hook.

Mix warm milk and yeast mixture together. Add to dry ingredients and stir until combined. kneed on medium speed for about 10 minutes.

Place dough in a large greased or floured bowl, cover and let rise until doubled in size, approximately 1 hour.

Prepare butter while dough is rising. Place the butter in between two large pieces of parchment or wax paper to approximately 8×11″ and chill.

After dough has risen, punch it down and roll out into a large rectangle about 1/2 inch thick and large enough to enclose the butter. Place unwrapped butter in the center and fold the dough around the butter, enclosing it.

For the next part, I highly recommend watching a few Youtube videos on how to laminate croissant dough. Sorted was the one I decided to follow. It made the process much less intimidating to me.

Roll out the block of dough into a long rectangle (about 1″ thick). Fold dough in thirds, a single book fold. This completes the first turn. Wrap the dough in plastic and chill for approximately 20-30 minutes. Repeat two more times. Chill overnight before shaping and baking.

To shape croissant rolls, cut off 1/4-1/2 of the block at a time and keep the rest in the fridge. Roll each section of dough into a large rectangle about 1/4 inch thick. Cut into uniform triangles. Starting with the large end, roll each triangle into a crescent and place on a paper-lined sheet. Make sure the ends are well under the roll. I bent my edges in to form more of a crescent for some.

Brush with egg wash. Proof until doubled (this takes forever), but not in a warm place, so the butter won’t melt.

Make at 375 degrees for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown .

To make Pretzel Croissants:

Bake 1/4 cup baking soda in a 250 degree oven for 1 hour. Store indefinitely.

Mix 1/4 cup baked baking soda with 8 cups cold water. Once croissants have risen, dip into the baking soda water, letting excess drip off. Brush with egg wash and sprinkle with salt, sesame seeds or poppy seeds if desired.

Warning: this makes 60 croissants (as if you couldn’t tell by the mass amounts of butter) I halved the recipe and it still worked and made about 20 or more.

Weights: (for a half recipe) 

These are the rough estimates that I used. Just remember, not all ingredients have the same mass.
1 lb 2 oz of flour is about 3.5 cups
3 oz sugar is 1/2 cup minus 1 tablespoon
1 tablespoon salt
10.5 oz milk (1 1/4 cups)
1/2 oz yeast (or two packages)
12 oz butter (or 3 sticks of butter)
 

 

Raspberry Lemon Scones

I have neglected my blog for a long time and it’s time to get back to it. Since my past post, I’ve moved (temporarily) to Tennessee to watch my one-year-old niece. I don’t cook much here, but today I did.

It was one of those days, pouring rain, bleak looking clouds and wind. Everything just looked soggy and grey. What better then to bake? Little Elsa played happily, keeping out of the kitchen cupboards, which she loves. So with Christmas tunes on, I began to bake. After I finished taking pictures, I Skyped home to show my family…. They were jealous.

I’ve made other recipes from the Brown Eyed Baker , but this one looked especially delicious. Turns out it was. 

 

 

 

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Ingredients: 
3 tablespoons sugar, or a little more
1 lemon (zest and juice)
2 cups all purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons cold butter
1 cup heavy cream (with additional milk as needed)
Powdered sugar

 
Directions: 
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Grease a sheet pan.
Flour, baking powder and salt. Toss lemon zest with sugar and add to flour mixture. Cut in butter. Add cream and stir until combined. Gently add raspberries and more liquid as necessary. Pat into a 7-8 inch circle. Slice into eight segments and arrange on prepared pan. Sprinkle with sugar if desired.
Bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.
Combine lemon juice with powdered sugar to make glaze. The original recipe said to wait until the scones have cooled completely, but who has time for that?

 

 

Crumpets

To be honest, I’ve never made these, but they are delicious! My sister Anna enjoys making them and we all enjoy devouring them! The more you beat it the more air will be caught inside to give it better texture. Never ever cut one of these open with a knife. The correct way is to use the tines of a fork to split it in half.


Ingredients:
3 cups flour
1 pkg (1/4 oz) yeast
1 1/2 cups water, at 110 degrees F
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk

Directions:
In a large bowl, combine flour and yeast.  Add water and mix well, forming a sticky dough.  Cover with plastic wrap and let stand in a warm place for one hour or until batter has doubled in bulk and is puffy.  Dissolve baking soda and salt in milk and add to batter.  Beat with an electric mixer until well mixed and batter is runny, to help form holes.  Preheat a griddle or electric skillet to medium heat.  Grease very lightly; also grease metal rings and set on griddle to warm up.  Pour about 2 T. batter into each ring.  Reduce heat to low and cook gently about 7 minutes or until underside is browned and top is covered with bubbles.  Carefully remove rings.  Turn and cook crumpets 2 – 3 minutes or just until lightly browned.  Grease rings again and repeat with another batch.  Cool crumpets completely.  To serve, reheat by toasting both sides under a broiler.  Serve warm with butter and jam.  Makes one dozen crumpets.

Cornbread

Totally classic cornbread recipe.  We either make them in muffin cups (cause it cuts down on the crumbles) or in a regular pan.

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Ingredients:
1 cup milk
2 eggs
3 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons butter, melted
2 tablespoons oil
1 cup cornmeal
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 9″ pan.
Mix wet ingredients together
.Mix dry ingredients together.
Blend just until moistened.

Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.

Dinner Rolls

These are probably some of my favorite rolls. We recently made 135 for a reception and left them in Ziploc bags for the two days leading up to the event and they were fluffy and not dried out. I love them warmed with homemade jam on top!



Ingredients:
1 tablespoon dry yeast
2 1/4 cups warm water (110- 115 degrees)
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup shortening
1/4 cup non-dairy creamer
2 1/4 teaspoons salt
6 to 7 cups bread flour  (Bread flour = 1C. all purpose flour + 1T. gluten flour)

Directions:
In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water.  Add the sugar, shortening, creamer, salt and 5 cups flour. Beat until smooth.  Stir in enough remaining flour to form a soft dough (dough will be sticky).
Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes.  Place in a bowl coated with cooking spray, turning once to coat the top.  Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about one hour.
Punch dough down.  Turn onto a lightly floured surface; divide into 24 pieces.  Shape each into a roll.  Place on greased 9×13″ pan. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 30 minutes.
Bake at 350 degrees for 12- 15 minutes or until lightly browned.  Remove from pans to wire racks.


Sue M.’s Scones

We had these for breakfast this morning. Raspberries were a little too tart to add, but the strawberries were delicious!

Ingredients;
2 cups flour
1/4 cup butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 egg, beaten
milk, enough to make 2/3 cup when added to egg
2 tablespoons sugar

Directions:
Mix dry ingredients together.
Cut in butter.
Mix wet ingredients together.
Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix just until moistened.
Put dough onto greased cookie sheet and shape into scone.  Sprinkle with sugar if desired.  Bake at 425 degrees for 15-20 minutes.
Throw in some sliced strawberries and lemon zest and top with large sugar crystals for a delicious variation. 
Throw in poppy seeds and lemon zest.

Scallion, cheddar and poppy seed scones. 

Cinnamon scones. I added some cinnamon roll filling and topped with sugar.

Vanilla scones. Topped with sugar and a vanilla glaze.

Lemon Loaf

My younger sister Ev made this recipe yesterday. Our hand mixer was broken, so she made it all by hand. Everyone was nagging to eat it before I took pictures, so it is a more than delicious recipe!

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Ingredients;
6 tablespoons butter
1 cup sugar
2 eggs, beaten
1 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
rind of one lemon, grated
1/2 cup milk
juice of one lemon
1/4 cup powdered sugar

Directions:
Cream butter, sugar and eggs.
Mix together flour, baking powder and lemon rind.
Add creamed mixture to dry ingredients.
Add milk.  Stir just until moistened.
Pour batter into greased loaf pan.  Bake at 350 degrees for one hour.
Mix lemon juice and powdered sugar into a glaze.  Pour over loaf after baking.

Baking Powder Biscuits

This is our other biscuit recipe. I love the crispy bottom and top and how simple it is to make. This was the first recipe I ever made by myself.

Ingredients:
1 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup milk

Directions:
Mix dry ingredients.
Cut in butter.
Add milk all at once.  Stir just until moistened.
Drop by tablespoons onto greased cookie sheet.  Bake at 450 degrees for 11-15 minutes.

Can add 1/2 c. cheese.
Can brush with 1/4 cup melted butter and herbs (1/2 t. garlic salt, 1/2 t. basil).

Sweet Lemon Rolls

I made this recipe up and I loved the flavor. They’re easy to make and can be made in large hotel pans.

Ingredients:
Bread:
1 cup milk
1 1/4 cups water
2 Tablespoons yeast
1/2 cup sugar
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons salt
4 tablespoons butter, melted
2 eggs
6 cups flour
Filling:
2 cups white sugar
2 cups brown sugar
Zest from 1 lemon
4 drops lemon extract
1- 1 1/2 cups butter (depending on how much filling you want)
Cream cheese frosting or buttercream or simple glaze

Directions:
Mix water and milk. Heat to 110 degrees.  Put in Bosch or a bowl.
Add yeast, sugar and 2 cups flour.  Mix in Bosch or by hand.  Cover and let sponge for 35-45 minutes covered..
Add salt, butter and eggs.  Stir.
Mix in remaining flour 1/2 cup at a time until it cleans the side of the bowl.  Knead 6-8 minutes.
Let rise till doubled (apx. 45 minutes). Punch down.  Divide into thirds.

Working with one quarter at a time, roll into a 1/4 inch thick rectangle, apx 10.5 inches wide.  
Mix together filling ingredients until they form a thick paste (use pastry blender or hand mixer).  Spread one third of filling on dough, spreading right to edges.
Roll dough tightly.  Pinch seam.  Using dental floss, cut into 1 1/2 inch wide pieces.  Place, pretty side up on a greased round cake pan.  
Repeat with other two sections of dough and filling.
Cover and let rise 30 – 45 minutes. Top each roll with a slice of lemon.
Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes.
To bake in morning, complete through till ready to put in oven.  Cover with plastic wrap and place in fridge.  In the morning, let pans set at room temperature for 30 minutes.  Bake as usual.
To serve, invert onto plate and frost.  These really need milk with them.