Pumpkin Crumb Muffins with a Cream Cheese Center

Fall has finally arrived! And with that comes hot chocolate, soups, and pumpkin. Pumpkin everything! And I am one of those people that loves everything pumpkin.

I also love muffins. And cream cheese.

Last year I made a pumpkin muffin that had the cream cheese swirled in it, this year I made them with a cream cheese filling. Oh. My. Gosh.

First you will need to make the cream cheese filling and pop it in the fridge to chill. Super easy, just take an 8oz block of cream cheese, room temperature and blend in 1 cup of powdered sugar.

Next, make the sugar crumb topping. I used ½ cup sugar, about 6 tablespoons of flour, 1 tsp cinnamon and 4 tablespoons of butter cut into chunks. Cut the butter into the sugar and flour until it resembles crumbs. Guess that’s why it’s called crumb topping! Anyway, I usually like to use my hands towards the end of the blending as I can get better crumbs. Just my thing. Set aside.

Now for the muffins! I used my stand up mixer for this. Pour in your bowl 1 cup of vegetable oil, one 15oz can of pumpkin puree, 1-1/2 cups sugar, and 4 large eggs. Mix until just combined.

Then add your spices, I used 1 teaspoon each of cinnamon and nutmeg, ½ teaspoon ground cloves, and ½ tablespoon of pumpkin pie spice. Also add 1 teaspoon of salt and baking soda. Blend until the spices are just blended in.

Now add your flour, one cup at a time, 3 cups total. Scrape the bowl often. Once the flour is blended in do not mix any further.

Preheat your oven to 350 and line your muffin tins with paper cups. I still spray the paper cups. Remove the cream cheese filling from the fridge and be prepared to assemble!

Put a little of the batter in each of the cups making sure that the bottom of the cup is totally covered. Drop in about 1 tablespoon of the cream cheese filling. Then fill the muffin cup with batter until no less than ¾ full. I tap the muffin tin gently on the counter to make sure there are no air bubbles and that the cream cheese is completely surrounded with the batter.

Top with a sprinkling of the sugar crumb topping. Bake at 350 for about 20 minutes. Remove the muffins from the pan to cool.

I can’t tell you how long they will last because I can promise you ….. they won’t! You and everyone that you share them with will scarf them up!!

Enjoy!

Pumpkin Crumb Muffins with Cream Cheese Filling

Makes 24-26 muffins

 Cream Cheese Filling:

1 8oz block of cream cheese, softened to room temp

1 cup powdered sugar

Blend until soft and creamy, refrigerate until ready to use

Sugar Crumb Topping:

½ cup sugar

6 T flour

1 tsp cinnamon

4 T butter, cut into cubes

Cut butter into sugar, flour and cinnamon mixture until crumbly, set aside

Muffins:

1 c vegetable oil

1 15oz can of pumpkin puree

1-1/2 sugar

4 eggs, large

Blend until combined

Add in 1 tsp cinnamon, 1 tsp nutmeg, ½ tsp ground cloves, ½ T pumpkin pie spice, 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp baking soda. Mix until just combined.

Add 3 cups of flour, one cup at a time and only mixing until blended, scraping bowl frequently.

Preheat oven to 350, line muffin tin with paper cup liners. Drop in enough batter to cover the bottom of the paper liner, drop in about 1 T of the cream cheese filling, fill the rest of the cup with batter. No less than ¾ full. Tap the muffin tin on the counter to remove air bubbles. Sprinkle with crumb topping. Bake for about 20 minutes. Remove from pan to cool.

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Banana Bread with Walnut Crumb Topping

I was craving banana bread! And this time I wanted it to have a crumb topping, absolutely heaven!

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Nothing soothes my soul more than a delicious moist loaf of banana bread. Okay, well maybe the beach does that too, but I sort of mean my tummy soul!!

The craving probably started when I went to the grocery store, wandering around the produce section and found a display of really over ripe bananas! And bags of walnuts laying on the display too. Very clever marketing strategy! It was almost as though they purposely bought over ripe bananas and walnuts just for those that wanted banana bread!

Anyway, this recipe is for one loaf, which is more than enough for me. In fact, half of it will go in the freezer. But it will be hard to part with, if even for a few weeks.

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To a bowl I added all of the ingredients for the bread and blended on a medium speed until completely mixed and poured into a greased loaf pan. Easy!

Next I made the crumb topping, carefully place on top of the batter making sure it is completely covered with this delicious nutty and sugary mixture.

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As mentioned before, my oven…. I have a love hate relationship with the smaller over and I really need to learn to bake in the larger bottom oven, but when will I actually do this? The bottom and sides often are over done before the center is finished baking. *sigh

Here’s the recipe:

Banana Bread with Walnut Crumb Topping

For the bread

2 large eggs

1-3/4 cup of flour

½ cup sugar

1/3 cup brown sugar

½ tsp salt

1 tsp baking soda

1 cup mashed banana

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Add all of the ingredients except the mashed bananas. After the batter is mixed well, gently blend in the banana, do not over mix. Pour into a greased loaf pan.

For the crumb topping

½ cup of soft butter (1 stick)

1 cup light brown sugar

1 cup flour

1 tsp cinnamon, optional

½-3/4 cup chopped walnuts

Place all of the ingredients except the walnuts into a bowl and cut with 2 knives or a pastry blender until it resembles crumbs, then add the walnuts and cut in until just blended through. Sprinkle on top of the batter making sure it is covered in the topping.

Bake for about 1 hour or until a cake tester comes out clean.

Be happy and live well!  And be sure to follow me on Facebook!

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Blueberry Crumb Coffee Cake with Honey Lemon Glaze

I was hungry for blueberry crumb muffins

I was hungry for a cinnamon coffee cake.

What happens when you have that craving? You combine them and make an incredibly delicious blueberry crumb coffee cake!

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I have been in heaven every time I have a piece. And it’s even better when you pop in the microwave and warm it for just a few seconds.

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This would be a great breakfast cake when you have over night guests.  Or for a  brunch, or just yourself!

I had a bag of frozen blueberries that I wanted to use up. I’ve been on a mission to use everything in my freezer before it’s too late! The bag of mango’s didn’t make it though, they were freezer burnt!

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Anyway, they worked well. I thawed them first, then drained and coated them with flout before tossing them in the batter.

The crumb topping was enormous! If you don’t want that much you could easily cut the recipe in half.

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The honey lemon drizzle was a spur of the moment decision, I had just a small amount of honey remaining in the container. And I had a lemon that desperately needed to be used.

And the cake batter was just a basic coffee cake recipe, super easy and delicious.

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Here is what I did for the cake:

First I sprayed an 8 x 8 glass pan, lined the pan with parchment paper and sprayed again. You don’t need to use the parchment, you can just use the greased pan.

As I mentioned, I thawed and drained the berries then coated them with flour.

Into my mixer I creamed together ½ cup (1 stick) very softened butter and ¾ cup sugar. Then I added 1 large egg, ½ cup milk, baking soda and salt. Once that is blended I added 2 cups of flour, one cup at a time, stopping to scrape the bowl in between each addition. Just a quick note about the milk, I used what I had on hand which is 1%, I know a lot of recipes call for whole but the 1% worked!

I then removed the bowl from the stand and gently folded in the blueberries. Once the berries are evenly distributed through the batter, pour into the prepared pan.

To make the crump topping I used ½ cup (1 stick) softened butter cut into pieces, 1 cup light brown sugar, 1 cup flour, 1 teaspoon cinnamon. Cut the butter in with the flour and sugar until crumbly, sprinkle over cake batter.

I baked the cake at 350 for about an hour. My oven is gas and after 2 years I still can’t get the hang of it. It runs about 25 degree’s hotter than what I want so I really have to watch it. I also have a double oven; the top oven is small, and the bottom is larger but not as large as a standard oven. It’s large enough to roast a turkey. I love it, and it’s convenient for me because it’s just me. BUT, baking in the smaller oven can be a challenge. SO, in your oven you might want to start checking the cake around 40-45 minutes.

The cake is done when a cake tester comes out clean. Then just lift the cake out of the pan and onto a cooling rack or a cutting board to cool.

To make the glaze I just used the juice of one lemon, ½ teaspoon of vanilla, about 1 tablespoon of honey and I just stirred in the confectioners’ sugar until I got the consistency that I wanted. Sorry, I didn’t measure, I just flew by the seat of my yoga pants!!! I added the glaze when the cake was just warm.

This cake is delicious and best when served warm and fresh from the oven. But is still quite yummy the next day, warmed for a few seconds in the microwave.

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Here is the recipe, I haven’t figured out how to add the option to print the recipe yet, but I’m trying!

BLUEBERRY CRUMB COFFEE CAKE with HONEY LEMON GLAZE

For the cake:

½ cup very soft butter

¾ cup sugar

1 cup milk

1 large egg

2 tsp baking powder

½ tsp salt

2 cups flour

About 2 cups of blueberries

Cream together the butter and sugar. Add the milk, egg, baking powder and salt. Then add the flour, one cup at a time, scraping the in between. Pour into a greased 8×8 pan.

For the topping:

1 cup light brown sugar

1 cup flour

1 tsp cinnamon

½ cup (1 stick) soft butter cut into pieces

Cut together until you have a crumbles, sprinkle in top of cake batter.

For the glaze:

The juice of one lemon

½ tsp vanilla

1 T honey

Confectioners sugar, still in about 1 tablespoon at a time until you get the consistency you want. I may have used about ¾ cup.

Live well friends!

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Snicker Doodle Cookies

I love Snicker Doodle cookies!! I didn’t make them for Christmas, but instead I decided to wait until after the Holidays.

I used my Mom’s recipe, but I wanted to change the cinnamon and sugar part and make some of the cookies with some chai spices.

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The chai spice cookies are the darkest , the cinnamon sugar are the lightest, and then I just combined both the chai mixture and the cinnamon sugar and those cookies are in the middle!

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Mom’s recipe calls for all shortening but I used half butter. They still turned out delicious!

The chai spices I used were:

½ teaspoon of each of cinnamon, allspice, ground cloves, ginger, nutmeg and a pinch of ground black pepper.

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As much as I adore my chai tea latte’s, I think I favored the cookies with the cinnamon sugar. Maybe I just didn’t have the chai spice mixture quite right….

So I combined the cinnamon sugar mixture with the chai spice mixture, and I really loved it!

Here is my Mom’s Snickerdoodle Cookie recipe:

Mix together 1 cup shortening and 1-1/2 cup sugar

Beat in 2 eggs

Sift and then stir in 3 cups flour, 2 tsp cream of tartar, 1 tsp baking soda and 1/2 tsp salt

Roll dough in balls the size of walnuts, then roll in the cinnamon sugar mixture.  Place 2 inches apart on a cookie sheet and bake at 400 degrees for about 8-10 minutes.  These cookies will puff up, then flatten out with crinkled tops.

I hope you enjoy, these always turn out great!  Live well!

Be sure to follow me on Facebook, I sometimes post things that don’t make it to the blog.

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Easy Homemade Crusty Bread

I don’t know about you, but not only do I love freshly baked bread, but I also love the way my house smells when it’s baking!

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Even better is a slice of the bread with a big glob of butter melting over it!!  And the yummy hard crust is heaven!

This recipe is so easy, quick to put together, and so delicious, you have to try it 🙂

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I used bread flour, I haven’t tried it with regular flour but I am sure it would work as so many recipes out there call for just regular flour.  Here’s what I did:

1 and 1/2 cups very warm water

1 tablespoon yeast

1 teaspoon salt

3 cups bread flour

I put the warm water in a very large bowl and add the yeast.  I left that sit for about 5 minutes and then added the salt.  I used my wooden spoon to gently swirl it around to make sure it was mixed.  Make sure the bowl is large enough to allow the dough to rise, it will double in size!!

Then I added the flour, stirring with the same wooden spoon.  The dough will be wet and sticky!  If you need to add a little water or flour to get the right wet sticky dough, go ahead just do a very small amount at a time.  Don’t worry about it too much.   Mine was too wet so I added some flour then I thought it was too dry so I added water….  It still baked up well!

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Cover with plastic wrap, put in a warm part of your counter and forget about it for a couple of hours.  I went to the market, when I returned home the dough was doing its thing so I just left it there while I made my soup.

All in all, it probably was on my counter for about 3-4 hours.

When you are ready to bake your bread, remove the plastic wrap and get your hands in there!  You might want to make them wet or coat them with flour, be prepared….it is sticky dough.  Divide the dough into 2 rounds.  You can bake them both if you want or put one in the fridge for laer in the week.  The dough should last about a week in a container that is tightly sealed.

On a piece of parchment paper place one of the dough balls, work it into a round and keeping any seams or folds on the bottom.  Let that rest for 20 minutes.

After 20 minutes, preheat the oven to 425 degrees and put a pizza stone in the oven to heat up.  Set the timer for another 20 minutes.

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After the bread has rested for a total of 40 minutes, put about 3 deep slices in the dough.  I sprinkled the top with sea salt and a little ground thyme, you do not need to do this step.  Carefully, because the oven is screaming hot,  place the bread still on the parchment paper on top of the pizza stone.  Bake for about 40 minutes or until the loaf is a light toasty color, remove from the oven and let it sit for about 5 minutes, then slice and serve.

I have heard that an upside down cookie sheet works in place of the pizza or baking stone, I’ve never tried that.   I love my stone. it’s a good investment.

I have also placed a pie pan full of water in the oven while it is preheating and while the bread is baking, I did not notice a difference.

Hope you love this crusty bread as much as I do!

Live well!

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Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

Today I am going to share a recipe from a friend at work.  She baked these delicious pumpkin chocolate chip cookies.  They were so tasty that I could not control myself AT ALL!!!

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I thought my usual one cookie would suffice, it did not!  I am pretty sure I had at least three!!

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Here is Rhonda’s recipe:

1 cup butter flavored Crisco

1 cup white granulated sugar

1 cup brown sugar

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

15 oz can of pumpkin puree

3 cups flour

2 teaspoons baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

Cream the sugars and Crisco until fluffy, add the eggs one at a time.  Add the vanilla and pumpkin.

In a separate bowl whisk together the flour,baking soda, salt and spices.

Slowly add the flour mixture to the moist ingredients, blending as you go.  Stir in the chocolate chips.

Drop by tablespoon sized balls onto a cookie sheet sprayed with a non-stick spray.  Bake at 350 degrees 15-20 minutes.

You need to give these a try, you will NOT be disappointed!

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Pumpkin Pie

‘Tis the season for pumpkin!  And cinnamon and apples and sweaters……  This pumpkin pie is perfect for holiday dinners with family and friends, or just because you want a good creamy pumpkin pie!

This is my FAVORITE (and only) pumpkin pie recipe.  In fact as I am typing this I think I might have to go have another slice before I go to bed!!  *sigh

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This recipe is very easy and simple, quick to prepare but the longest part is waiting for it to cool so you can EAT IT!!!

Here’s the recipe:

15 oz can of pumpkin puree

1/4 cup sugar

1/4 tsp cinnamon

1/8 tsp each of ground ginger, ground cloves and ground nutmeg

1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice

1/4 tsp salt

2 large eggs

2 T molasses

1/2 cup plus 2 T sweetened condensed milk

1/4 cup milk

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Pour all ingredients into a large bowl, lightly mix with a hand held mixer until well blended and pour into an unbaked 8-9 inch pie shell.  Lightly sprinkle with ground cinnamon.

Bake at 425 for 10-15 minutes.  Reduce heat to 350 and bake for approximately 30-40 minutes or until the center of the pie is cooked.  Cover lightly with foil if the crust starts to brown.

Top with plain whipped cream or cinnamon whipped cream, OR if you are a cinnamon freak like me…add an extra little sprinkle of cinnamon again!

Enjoy!!

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