I never realised how much I enjoy muffins until now. This will be my fifth muffin recipe in eight months (six if you include English Muffins), which is quite a lot I think! I think the main appeal is that you can legitimately eat them for breakfast even though oftentimes they are basically cake. Cake for breakfast. Win!
These are dressed up as a slightly healthier option though. Lots of protein courtesy of the peanut butter and bananas. Wholewheat flour for goodness. Only a quarter of a cup of sugar for twelve muffins and the option for no fat! Yogurt is added for body and moisture, you can choose to use 0% fat or low fat or even full fat if you don’t give a damn about that sort of thing. If that’s you’re attitude, I applaud you. For a little additional sweetness I added in some dried cranberries. Think peanut butter and jam, it really works. Chocolate would also work (when doesn’t it) in the form of chips or chunks. You choose and customise as you please. (more…)
It has been a little while since my last post, and that is due to all the packing, moving and unpacking that has been going on in my life. It’s amazing how much stuff you accumulate over ten years. However I’m mostly settled in now and back to baking!
I’m attempting croissants this afternoon for my parents anniversary breakfast tomorrow morning so look out for that recipe later in the week, hopefully they work out! For now I bring you a much quicker and simpler breakfast treat. Blueberry muffins have to be my all time favourite muffin. When blueberries are cooked they become sweet and mellow, and in a muffin provide bright bursts of flavour which in this muffin contrast beautifully in flavour and texture with the walnuts. The addition of an oaty crumbly topping brings these to the next level, almost out of breafast territory but the oats are helping us cling on. (more…)
I love peanut butter. This has been clearly documented on this blog here, here and here. It took me until I was in my twenties before I really got in to peanut butter, I think it was about the time I realised I could turn it in to buttercream frosting…go figure! Pairing peanut butter with jam (jelly) is a classic American snack, but it’s just not really a thing here in the UK. I must say that it is actually pretty good, if you find that peanut butter is just a bit too dry on its own (you know the way it sticks to your mouth when you eat it?) then adding jam really is the answer.
These muffins were baked after searching the cupboards for inspiration. There wasn’t enough chocolate for cookies, no berries for cupcakes, no over ripe bananas for bread and then I found the peanut butter and a jar of homemade jam…perfect!
I made a few minor tweaks to the recipe so suit what I had on hand and they turned out really great. The yogurt helps keep them moist and the wholemeal flour adds texture and makes you feel like you’re doing some healthy eating. Pat yourself on the back, the muffins are totally good for you…sorta, maybe, not. Either way, they’re good and are WONDERFUL snack food. (more…)
Happy Monday! I’m particular happy this Monday as there are only 4 weeks of work left before the Christmas holidays!! Not that I’m counting down or anything. I’ve started to feel particularly Christmas-y as of this weekend…I even cracked out my festive jumper on Sunday. It was probably a step too far but I love it so much and it was Christmas present last year so there wasn’t a lot of opportunity to wear it in the new year.
I’ve also started to think about what gifts I’m going to make this year. Vanilla extract was on the list a while ago but I’m too late for that one. Last year I made jars of popcorn, granola and cookie/brownie mix. Possible gifts this year are jams and chutneys, bags of sweets or festive shortbread. For some reason I’m feeling particularly craft this year, so there might even be an attempt at making my own Christmas cards, but I’ll have to see about that one.
Aaanyway, that’s enough Christmas chat for now. Here, as promised, are some pear laden muffins! Pear, cranberry and some – delicious as a snack in their own right – walnuts. I was concerned that the fresh cranberries could be overly tart in the muffins so before adding the walnuts to the mix, they are roasted in cinnamon sugar which makes them super delicious.
The cranberry does give a bright, kick to the muffins but the sweet pear along with the subtle spice of the earthy walnuts perfectly counterbalances it. A generous sprinkling or sugar and some extra walnuts gives a lovely crunch and texture contrast too.
These muffins were a surprising hit with my workmates , but maybe that was just the free cake on a Friday morning. As one colleague suggested they would made a great breakfast over the festive period. They are quick to put together in the morning if you were up for it, or they could be wrapped and frozen after baking then defrosted overnight to be popped in the oven to reheat in the morning. (more…)
Making time for everything in a hectic week is not easy. Just take this blog and my appalling lack of updates recently. Falling behind and running out of time really stresses me out so I know I need to start making a big effort to become more organised and pro-active. I have been busy the last few weekends, which is when I do most of my baking, but if I had prioritised post writing over grand prix watching I wouldn’t have left a full week between recipes.
To try and help myself out a bit I’ve been organising wherever possible. I bought a big weekly calendar which I have pinned on my wall (right where I get ready every morning so there is no escaping it!) where I schedule my posts for the week ahead. I can also tick these off when they’ve been posted – always fun! My baking equipment had spread to all corners of my bedroom, the curse of sharing with a non-baker and having a small kitchen, so a small set of drawers were purchased to store my photo props, cake tins, cutters and cake decorating bits and bobs. I also bought an adorable little Moleskin note book that fits in to my handbag where I can jot down any ideas or make plans when inspiration strikes.
So these muffins mark the start of a new organised Kirsty…or something like that! They are good muffins though, using mango to provide delicate sweetness and coconut to give them a tropical flavour. When baked mango becomes soft, sweet and luscious adding great moisture to cakes. Coconut flakes add contrasting texture as a finishing touch.