Strawberry Mint Muffins

It’s time for a muffin recipe! After a wonderful week with Matt’s (and my) friend, Rob, visiting from Kansas, we thought it would be fun if the guys had a golf weekend and I went to Houston to help my parents clean out part of my grandmother’s house.

It was a great weekend, including Dad surprising us with tix to the Astros game on Saturday! (Thanks, Dad!!) I ate so well this weekend! But, after rich foods at restaurants and special meals with friends and family, I was ready for a homemade ______. (fill in the blank, I wasn’t sure)

This overgrowing mint plant was a hint. (Yes, I have a Topsy Turvy, and it’s wonderful…don’t judge!)

These strawberry mint muffins are slightly sweet (not too much) and have some healthy things in them, and they’re SUPER EASY! The mint flavor is very subtle, but you can add 1/2 teaspoon of mint extract if you’d like more.

STRAWBERRY MINT MUFFINS

*makes 24 mini muffins*
1 cup Bisquick
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup milk + a splash
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1 egg
5 mint leaves, chopped
1 cup strawberries, chopped (about 7 berries)


TOPPING: (optional)
2 tablespoons margarine/butter 
1/2 cup old-fashioned oats
3 tablespoons brown sugar



In a large bowl, combine all ingredients. Stir with large spoon until all ingredients are blended. Pour batter into muffin cups.

If you desire to add the topping, mix the 3 ingredients in a separate bowl until all oats are moistened. Using your hands, form quarter coin-sized bits and place on each muffin cup in the pan. 

Then, bake at 350 for 12 minutes. 
  


With and without topping
Make these when you need to take something to work for the group, to sub as a dessert or freeze and pull out when you need a little breakfast on the go. If you freeze, heat up for 25 secs in the microwave. 
Happy Memorial Day!
I am consistently amazed by the strength and sacrifice of those in the military and their families. A huge thank you to all, including my 7 great uncles who served in World War II.




 

~Laurel~

Chocolate Peanut Butter Muffins

Adapting Bonnie’s recipe, but not much, we had some mini muffins for mom and dad’s visit. I tend to like variety, so I used one batch of standard muffin dough, split it into two smaller bowls, and made Cinnamon mini muffins and Peanut butter chocolate chip mini muffins. One batch makes 24 mini muffins, just the amount my one pan holds. Enjoy as a snack, dessert or with brunch (we had eggs florentine with them).

cinni mini muffins 

1-2 t. ground cinnamon (I tend to add a lot, for flavor)
1/2 t. ground nutmeg
1/2 t. allspice (optional)

topping:
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 t. cinnamon
1 T. margarine/butter, softened

chocolate chip peanut butter muffins

1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
1/4 cup peanut butter, softened
 
basic muffin dough (makes 24 mini muffins)
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (or 1 cup white flour, 1/2 cup wheat pastry flour)
1/2 cup sugar or 2/3 cup Sucanat
2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. salt
1 TB ground flax seed + 2 TB water (or 1 egg)
1/2 cup vanilla soymilk (or cow’s milk)
1/4 c. margarine/butter, melted (you could sub applesauce, but it’s not the same)

directions:
1) Preheat oven to 375. Mix flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a bowl. In a second bowl, mix wet ingredients–egg, soymilk and margarine. Once mixed thoroughly, combine the wet into the dry mix bowl and stir well. Separate (sticky) dough into half, putting the second half back into the wet ingredient bowl. This is how you’ll create 2 flavors of muffins.

2) In the first bowl, combine the chocolate chips and softened peanut butter. You want semi-melted, but not runny, peanut butter. Spray or line 12 of the mini baking cups and spoon a little less than a tablespoon into each of them.

3) In the second bowl (cinni mini muffins), add the cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice. (Add extra spice to taste.) Stir well and spoon into the other 12 mini baking cups.

4) Bake for 8-10 minutes. While baking, mix together topping for cinnamon muffins. (Choco-pb muffins don’t need a topping, trust me.) Let muffin pan cool on counter for a few minutes, then sprinkly brown sugar mixture onto top of each cinni mini muffin. Eat and enjoy!

This recipe is easily doubled or tripled, as ambitious as your little bake sale heart desires.

lion at naptime…on his back  
It was great to have mom and dad in town this weekend. We went to a dinner at my school, ate lots of tasty food, and spent a lot of time together. Great stuff! We visited the local zoo for the first time… *warning: matt loves instagram (google it if you like). So, as my favorite Baba Wawa says, Take a little time to enjoy the view. Enjoy some time outside (before it gets too hot) and have an incredible week!

koi pond with lovely lilypads                    
~Laurel~

Can’t Stop Baking!

Yesterday, I got the urge to bake. So I baked…a lot. None of them were my recipes (originally), but I vamped all of them to make them 1) (hopefully) tastier & 2) healthier. That’s what it’s all about anyway, right?

THE MENU: chocolatey, cakey, sconey.
THE MUSIC: An old new favorite…Ella Sings Broadway on vinyl…

Sometimes I wonder if I was born 60 years too late…she’s definitely one of my top 3 faves. So, while she & I sang Hernando’s Hideaway and I Could Have Danced All Night, I baked and baked. Joy!

Here’s what happened:


1)
Bethenny’s Low Fat Fudge Chocolate Chip Muffins

I have a guilty pleasure, I’ll admit. I like the Bravo reality show “Bethenny…” about a New York housewife and her craziness. She’s witty, crass, & wears beautiful clothes while pulling off her hectic schedule and chaotic life. She’s a self-proclaimed healthy foods chef, so I thought I’d give a couple of her recipes a shot. They’re simple and really tasty! This particular one is vegan, completely guilt-free and so chocolatey! The only thing I changed was using dark chocolate (non-vegan) chips instead of the vegan variety. (I’m too cheap to spend $6 on a bag of vegan chips.) The key is applesauce instead of eggs and oil, which I use a LOT for a sub. You don’t notice the difference when all is said and baked!


You throw everything into a bowl (easy cleanup and quick!) and pop it in the oven. I eat them for breakfast/dessert, a side with lunch, and (sorry mom) for dinner sometimes, too. They freeze well, too.

  • 1 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • ½ cup raw sugar (1/3 cup packed brown sugar works, too; white if you must)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ¼ teaspoon almond extract
  • ¾ cup oat flour (wheat works, too; white if you must)
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup semisweet vegan chocolate chips (for non-millionaires, reg milk/dark chocolate chips work, too)
  • 1 dash cinnamon (who am I kidding? I throw in MORE than a bitty dash.)

Preheat the oven to 375. Spray/paper-line 8 muffin cups. Fill each cup 2/3 full and bake for 17-20 minutes. You can use the toothpick method, but I usually know they’re ready when the top is slightly firm and the visible chocolate chips look “melty.” The applesauce allows for the entire muffin to bake really evenly, which is quite nice.



2) Low-Fat Coffee Cake (not the prettiest, but still tasty)

This came from that magazine “Taste of Home,” you know, the one where you have to be Mary Sue Earl from Timbuktu and must have a degree in all things southern, just in order to submit your fave recipe! It’s a simple, traditional cinnamon coffee cake you’ve had a million times before…lots of cinnamon, a sugary crumble on top, and gooeyness. I’ve gotta admit, this recipe wasn’t my favorite. My grandmother loved coffeecakes, and she always used the base from Joy of Cooking…a classic. I like that one better. Of course, her’s called for something like 2 sticks of butter…this LOW-FAT version requires no butter/margarine and only egg whites. The cake was moist and fluffy, but not as moist as the full-fat version served at every Baptist church breakfast and bridge club on this side of the Mississippi. (ha) This one is good (and guilt free!), but there are other really great ones that you can modify. Here’s my moister (yet still low-fat) version:

Ingredients

  • 1 2/3 cups oat flour (all-purpose will work, too)
  • 3/4 cup sugar (turbinado or white)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/2 cup fat-free milk (cow’s or soy)
  • 4 TB margarine/butter, unsalted & at room temp
    TOPPING:
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup of granola/corn flakes, crushed

Directions

  • In a medium bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. In another bowl, beat egg whites, applesauce and milk. Add to dry ingredients. Pour into a 9-in. square baking pan that has been coated with cooking spray. Combine topping ingredients; sprinkle over batter. Bake at 375° for 22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Serve warm. Yield: 9 servings.



3) Raspberry Scones Recipe

I got this one off of Joy of Baking’s website. I’ve used a couple of her recipes, and they’re fun. While this was not an authentic British scone, it was good. The dough was tasty (you have to taste it!), and I used Strawberry Jam (my favorite) instead of fresh raspberries, like the recipe calls for. They turned out tasty, a bit crisp on the outside and soft and moist in the middle. Yum! Here’s my version:

Ingredients:

2 cups oat flour (1 2/3 wheat flour works, too)

1/3 cup granulated white sugar

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

3 tablespoons unsalted butter/margarine, cold and cut into pieces

1/2 dark chocolate chunks or chips (optional)

1/3 cup strawberry preserves

1/4 unsweetened applesauce

1/2 cup plain yogurt

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 large egg, lightly beaten


Directions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F and place rack in middle of oven. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Cut the butter into small pieces and blend into the flour mixture with a pastry blender or two knives. The mixture should look like coarse crumbs. Stir in the chocolate chunks (chips) and raspberries. In a small measuring cup whisk together the yogurt, vanilla extract, applesauce, and egg. Add this mixture to the flour mixture and stir just until the dough comes together. Do not over mix.

Transfer to a lightly floured surface and knead the dough gently four or five times and then pat, or roll, the dough into a circle that is about 7 inches round and about 1 inch thick. Cut the dough into eight triangles. Place the scones on the baking sheet.

Bake for about 16-18 minutes or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack.

Although not necessary, if you want the tops of the scones to be crispy, then turn your broiler on high. Sprinkle confectioners (powdered or icing) sugar over the tops of the scones and place them under the broiler. Broil for just a few seconds, turning the pan as necessary, until the sugar has melted and turns golden brown. Make sure to watch the scones carefully as the sugar will burn very quickly. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Makes 8 scones.

Fun, fun! I’ll put the rest of my baked goods up tomorrow! Happy Monday. Relax, enjoy the week and try not to stress the small things.


~Laurel~

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