Muffin Mondays | Apple Pie Muffins

It tastes like a pie! And a muffin! But serioulsy, it tastes like apple pie. Warm apple pie if you eat them hot out of the oven like it did. Two wonderful buttery worlds collide and the resulting muffin is everything you need this Thanksgiving. Thick juicy apples rolled in a sweet spicy mix of cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger. It all comes together to form a delicate muffin. The brown sugar oat crumble on top is the perfect pie (muffin) crust. Make sure to leave your apples in fairly large chuncks so they do not disappear into the muffin. This is afterall all about the apples. I used some beautiful tart honey crisp apples in this muffin.

If the thought of baking a pie for Thanksgiving is a little daunting, then why not bake apple pie muffins instead? I mean who doesn’t love muffins? I do!

Apple Pie Muffins

recipe adapted from My Baking Addition

Ingredients:

2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
1 egg
¾ cup sour cream
¼ cup milk
½ cup butter, melted
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 ½ cups packed brown sugar
2 cups peeled, chopped apples

for the topping:
½ cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
¼ cup rolled oats
1 tsp ground cinnamon
3 tbsp butter, melted

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line 12 cup muffin pan with paper liners. In a large bowl whisk together flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda and salt. In another bowl whisk together the egg, sour cream, milk, butter, vanilla and brown sugar. Stir until sugar has dissolved. Pour wet batter into dry ingredients and stir until just combined, do not over mix. Gently fold in apples. Fill muffins cups to the top.

In a small bowl stir together brown sugar, flour, rolled oats and cinnamon. Drizzle melted butter over the top and mix until blended. Sprinkle crumble over top of the muffins. Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes or until the tops of the muffins spring back when lightly pressed. Cool on wire rack. Store at room temperature.


 

Orange Sour Cream Cake

Sometimes you just need cake. But sometimes you are too sick to go out for a slice so you have to make it yourself. This happens to you right? Or is it just me? Well sick at home and craving cake I decided to put my fresh orange juice and some Satsuma mandarin oranges to good work.

Hot out of the oven, I drizzled an orange glaze over the top of the cake and topped it with some zest. The cake is buttery soft with delicate hints of the orange. I love how it isn’t too sweet. The wonderful smell of winter citrus is intoxicating.

Now this is my kind of cold remedy!

p.s. if you aren’t too sick to go out for a slice of cake check out my guide below to some of the best slices of cake in L.A.

http://my.citysearch.com/guides/364/have-your-cake-and-eat-it-too.html

 

Orange Sour Cream Cake (recipe from www.eatingoutloud.com)

3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. vanilla
8 oz. butter
1 1/2 cup sugar
3 large eggs
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
3 tablespoons fresh orange zest

Orange Glaze

1 1/4 cups powdered sugar
2-3 tablespoons orange juice
1 tsp. fresh orange zest

Cake Instructions

Preheat oven to 350F (180C). Grease pans with butter and lightly dust with flour. In a mixing bowl, cream together the sugar and butter. Slowly add the sour cream, eggs and vanilla until thoroughly combined.In a separate bowl, sift together the dry ingredients. Slowly add dry ingredients, mix until smooth. Add orange juice and zest, mix to combine. Place into prepared pans. If baking in 1 pan, bake for about 1 hour or until cake tests done. If baking in 2 pans, bake for about 30-35 minutes or until cakes test done.

Glaze Instructions

Whisk together the powdered sugar, orange juice, and zest until a think glaze forms. Drizzle over the cake once cooled.

Muffin Mondays | Pear Cardamom Coffee Cake Muffins

The recent crisp cool air makes me crave warm comforting spices and desserts of stewed apples or pears. This time of year I just love the smells of nutmeg and cinnamon and  cardamom that seem to come with the holidays. This morning still warm and snuggly in my pjs I baked up some pear cardamom coffee cake muffins. They were perfect for a cold morning with a hot cup of tea. I think I may bake them again for family in a few weeks for Thanksgiving, they were so good.

The coffee cake strussel is sweet and crumbly and gives great textural balance to the fluffy muffins. The pears come out buttery soft and practically melt into the muffin. And can we talk about the cardamom? Pear and cardamom, I think they really like each other and it shows. This pairing is nuanced and wonderful. Turn that heater on and enjoy some warm muffins this morning!

Pear and Cardamom Coffee Cake Muffins  

(recipe adapted from Food & Wine apple crumb coffee cake muffins)

STREUSEL

1 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 cup light brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

5 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

CRUMB CAKES

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup granulated sugar

1 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom

1 stick cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

3/4 cup sour cream

1 large egg, beaten

2 large pears peeled and finely diced

MAKE THE STREUSEL Preheat the oven to 350°. In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle, combine the flour with the brown sugar and salt. Add the butter pieces and mix at medium-low speed until the mixture resembles coarse meal; continue mixing the streusel until very small clumps form. Transfer the streusel to a large plate and refrigerate until it is well chilled, about 10 minutes.

MAKE THE CRUMB CAKES Line 18 standard-size muffin cups with paper liners. Spray the liners with vegetable oil cooking spray. In the mixer bowl, combine the flour with the granulated sugar, salt, baking powder, baking soda, cardamom and cinnamon. Add the butter pieces and beat at low speed until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Add the sour cream and beaten egg and beat until the batter is smooth. Add the diced pear and beat just until incorporated.

Fill the muffin cups halfway with the crumb cake batter. Press the streusel into clumps and sprinkle on top. Bake the crumb cakes in the center of the oven for about 30 minutes, until risen, golden and springy to the touch; rotate the pans halfway through baking. Let the crumb cakes cool slightly before serving.


Muffin Mondays | Pumpkin Muffins

Tis the season for pumpkins, it is my favorite time of year. I swear I could eat pumpkin everything all year long. Pumpkin bread, pumpkin pie, pumpkin soup, pumpkin pasta you name it, you add those tasty orange gourds and I’m there. And now that I think of it, pumpkin is probably one of the rare foods that I enjoyed as a kid and still love just as much now. You know what I mean? When you were a kid maybe you despised having to eat brussel sprouts, but pumpkin pie was a different story. There is just something about that spiced pumpkin flavor that is so appealing.

To start off the week right I baked you some simple and sweet pumpkin muffins. They exude bright pumpkin spices: cloves and allspice, nutmeg and a touch of ginger. They are fragrant and flavorful. The addition of molasses ties everything together and gives the muffins a cozy earthiness and warmth. These muffins are perfect with a hot cup of tea on a chilly morning. Go ahead and gourd yourself!

Muffin Monday is an initiative by Baker Street. A culinary journey of sharing a wickedly delicious muffin recipe every week. Drop in a quick line to join her on her journey to make the world smile and beat glum Monday mornings week after week. 

Pumpkin Muffins  (recipe adapted from Ellie Krieger)

Cooking spray

2 cup all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar

3 tablespoons unsulphered molasses

1/4 cup canola oil

2 large eggs

1 cup canned pumpkin

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3/4 cup lowfat buttermilk

 

Directions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Coat a 12-cup muffin pan with cooking spray.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the all-purpose and whole-wheat flours, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and nutmeg.

In a large bowl, whisk the sugar, molasses, oil and 1 egg until combined. Add the other egg and whisk well. Whisk in the pumpkin and vanilla. Whisk in the flour mixture in 2 batches, alternating with the buttermilk. Whisk just until combined.

Pour the batter into the prepared muffin pan. Tap the pan on the counter a few times to remove any air bubbles. Bake for 20 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center of 1 of the muffins comes out clean.

Let cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Run a knife around the muffins to loosen them and unmold. Cool completely on the rack.

Big Gay Ice Cream

This week LA is graced with the one week pop-up of New York’s Big Gay Ice Cream Truck and boy is this girl excited. I’ve already made one visit to the truck with friends and we waited over a half hour for their soft serve delights. It was worth it. I’m planning visit number two this afternoon. Fingers crossed they have their Monday Sundae this time!

The Big Gay Ice Cream truck is a NY fave offering a variety of soft serve cones and sundaes. The truck is adorned with rainbows, unicorns and Bea Arthur, it is just fabulous. They are best known for their ‘salty pimp’ flavor:   vanilla soft serve piped with dulce de leche sprinkled with a generous amount of sea salt and coated in chocolate. It is sweet, salty and wonderful.

We also enjoyed the Bea Arthur cone. Upon first bite it may seem a touch boring, but don’t give up hope the crushed nila wafer coating lends a buttery sweetness to the soft serve.

To end it all we had the Mermaid sundae. Fresh lime curd coated soft serve dusted with graham cracker crumbles. Delicate and light. I enjoyed the sundae, but I missed the cone.

The best part of all are the cones. So salty and delectable. The salty pimp cone was oozing dulce de leche. By the time you get down to the cone it is slightly tender from the melting soft serve. Crunchy yet soft, sweet yet savory bites. I savored the cones.

LA you have two more days to find Big Gay and get some soft serve love so what are you waiting for. Sure there are lines, sure it is just soft serve, but it is fun tasty tasty fun!  Check out their website for their weekend stops.

Ice Cream Break | Ube Shakes

Ube: Filipino purple yam, or as I like to think of it sweet purple heaven. Confused by the color or the name? Don’t be shy, just trust me and  order an ube shake. You will love it. Ube and coconut ice cream and a little bit of milk meet a blender and something magical happens. Sweet purple milkshake heaven. You can experience this piece of icy cold heaven at the Oinkster in Eagle Rock.

Everytime I go to the Oinkster I order an ube shake. I usually pair it with an original pastrami sandwich and their insanely addictive Belgian fries. I am hardly able to walk out I’m so stuffed, but even bursting at the seams it is impossilbe to go to the Oinkster without getting an ube shake. Ube shakes make for the perfect ice cream break!

 

Muffin Mondays | Nectarine Jam Muffins

The end of summer is slowly creeping up. My heart will break when nectarines, peaches and plums start disappearing from the farmer’s markets. Thankfully there is Sqirl Jam to capture my favorite fruits and preserve their beauty for enjoyment in the fall and winter. Jessica Koslow is the jamming maven behind Sqirl.  She meticulously crafts small batches of jams and preserves.  When I crave my favorite juicy summer plums I love Sqirl’s Santa Rosa Plum with Shear Rock Flowering Thyme. For today’s muffins I turned to Sqirl’s Cashmere Nectarine jam. Nectarines are my #1 favorite fruit. True story. What is yours?

These nectarine jam muffins burst with summer sweetness. The muffin is soft, not too sweet and subtly scented with vanilla. The real star here is the jam. It slowly seeps through each nook of the muffin with a nice bit of it settling to the center. I love this jam so much I slather a little extra on with each bite. Simple, summer, splendid. Capture summer in a muffin.

Muffin Monday is an initiative by Baker Street. A culinary journey of sharing a wickedly delicious muffin recipe every week. Drop in a quick line to join her on her journey to make the world smile and beat glum Monday mornings week after week. 

recipe below…

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Ice Cream Break | Scoops Westside

End of the week… time for an ice cream break!

Scoops Westside is the solution to your ice cream cravings. They offer 10-12 different flavors daily (follow them on Twitter or fan them on Facebook to see each days delectable offerings). Scoop’s is run by the charming Matt Kang, say hi if you stop by he is awesome!

Their brown bread ice cream is one of favorite flavors. Sure the salty banana oreo is great and the apple pie ice cream too, but the brown bread is wonderfully simple and perfect. Sweet creamy caramel loveliness studded with Grape Nuts that have a delicate softness from sitting in the ice cream. It has a rich nutty sweetness that I just love. Each Grape Nut filled bite is nostalgic for me and makes me remember loving soggy Grape Nuts for breakfast as a child. Did you eat Grape Nuts? Seems like a strange cereal for a kid to like but I did. And hey, since there is cereal involved, could brown bread be breakfast? Ice cream for breakfast, let’s try it.

Sitting in Scoops Westside with a cup of brown bread enjoyed with one of their cute and colorful spoons is all I need for the perfect afternoon ice cream break. And they have fresh coffee too! A coffee and ice cream break all in one – a great way to end the week.

check out their awesome video… and go get some ice cream!

 

 

Ice Cream Break | Short Order Custard Shakes

It is hot! I’m melting kinda hot! So naturally I want ice cream. Ice cream really is so much better in the summer time. So shall we take an ice cream break?

Or how about a shake break? Great when you are on the go and need a cold refreshment. Short Order offers some incredible custard shakes. While I love a good milk shake, custard shakes really bring more to the table. Short Cake makes the sweet custard that is the base of all of Short Order’s custard shakes. They use Strauss dairy for their custard and it is churned at a slow pace. Custard shakes have a higher fat content than regular ice cream shakes, which gives them that thick velevty wonderful texture. Coffee malt is one of my favorites. Coffee fix plus shake break all in one.

If you are a fan of the vanilla custard shake from Shake Shack in New York then give the vanilla custard shake at Short Order a try it is equally as amazing. Each tahitian vanilla filled sip and I am whisked back to Madison Square Park and wonderful Shake Shack memories. When I first had this vanilla shake I was so thankful to have finally found a cure for my Shake Shack craving right here in LA.

If you’re feeling lucky, try ordering the off-menu special Black Forrest custard shake. So rich, so chocolatey, so wonderful. Best part is enjoying the luxardo cherry on top!

Take an ice cream break, you deserve it.