Monday, September 27, 2010

Mango Banana Muffins

Had a can of mangoes I wanted to eat but it was in sugar syrup so that was sucky.  Couldn't let Bellamy eat it, so muffins it was.  These are super yummy and quick to throw together.  If your kid goes to a health nazi school like mine does, they can't say anything about it cause these are full of fruit and that's health.  That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

You could easily up the health factor by using all or half whole wheat flour, applesauce instead of oil, and splenda instead of sugar.   You could also add nuts, raisins, seeds, or anything else you could think of to these.  Blueberries would kick it up a notch too.  But if you're gonna do that, you may as well try my Blueberry Nectarine Bread. It's a winner.

Mango Banana Muffins recipe adapted from

2 Cups Flour
3/4 Cup Sugar
1 teaspoon Baking Powder
1 teaspoon Baking Soda
2 teaspoons Cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon Salt
3 eggs
3/4 Cup Vegetable Oil
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1 Mango, fresh or canned, diced small
1 Banana, mashed

Preheat oven to 350F/175C

Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt.
Combine eggs, oil and vanilla. Whisk well.
Add wet ingredients to dry, and mix just to combined.
Add mango and banana, fold to incorporate.

Fill greased or lined muffin tin 3/4 full.  Bake 25 minutes.  Makes 1 dozen.
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Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Bad Pictures, Great Pie - Coconut Custard with Sugar Cookie Crust

A combination of night baking and terrible weather have made the pictures less than desirable, but this pie has high self esteem and thinks it's pretty anyway.
I think you're pretty too pie, even if you are a little yellow.

Any Reading natives should know (and I'm sorry for you if you don't) about Spring Glen Farms at the Reading Farmers Market.  They used to make the BEST coconut and egg custards and would sell them in these great little single serving cups.  You can imagine my disappointment when I ran in there like my ass was on fire wanting a coconut custard and they told me they were discontinued. I made up for it though with roasted sweet potatoes. Next to stealing pennies from freezers, getting stuff from the Egg guy and doing three laps for free samples, the custards were the highlight of the trip.  Those and the sweet potatoes.  And cheese weeners. And those cupcakes my brother liked. Anyway...

This pie tastes exactly like those.  It's a little trip down memory lane and it was ridiculously easy to throw together.  Leftover cookie dough, a couple eggs, some butter, coconut, whats left of the milk and a spoonful of cornstarch gets you happiness in a pie plate.  This is good right out of the oven or room temp, but nothing beats it ice cold.  You will lose the creamy texture of the custard a bit, but that's a small price to pay in my opinion.

I made slight adaptations to the original recipe.  It calls for sweetened coconut and I used unsweetened.  I'm glad I did because this pie is perfectly sweet, and in my opinion using sweetened coconut will make it sickening.  If you choose to use sweetened, do yourself a favor and reduce the sugar to 1/2 cup or possibly even less.  I also used cornstarch in place of flour as that will not only thicken the custard better because I used skim milk, but it also cooks fully at the lower temperature and ensures that there will be no lumps in the custard.  Enjoy the pie.

Sugar Cookie Dough

1 Cup Butter (225 grams), room temperature
1 Cup Sugar
1 Egg
1 teaspoon Almond Extract (or Vanilla if you prefer)
2 teaspoons Baking Powder
3 Cups Flour
1 teaspoon Pumpkin Pie Spice (optional)
Preheat oven to 350F/175C

Cream butter and sugar.  Add egg, almond extract.  Blend well.  Combine flour, baking powder, pumpkin pie spice.  Add to sugar mixture 1 cup at a time, mixing well between each addition.  Divide dough in half and refrigerate for one hour. 

Take one half of the dough and roll it out so it fits a 9 inch pie dish with excess, about 1/8 inch thick.  Form it into your pie dish, gently pressing it down.  Cut excess around the edges and crimp or press.  Bake 5 minutes and set aside.

French Coconut Pie recipe adapted from Paula Deen

4 Tablespoons Butter, melted
2 Eggs, beaten
1 T Cornstarch
3/4 Cup Sugar
1 Cup Coconut, plus more for top
1 1/2 Cup Milk

Melt butter, add to milk and combine very well with whisk or immersion blender.  Add cornstarch and blend very well.  Add beaten eggs and blend very well. Add sugar and coconut, blend.  Pour into pie crust and top with additional coconut and a sprinkling of sugar.

Bake at 350F/175C for 35 minutes.  Reduce heat to 325F/160C and bake an additional 15 minutes.  Cool 15 minutes to 1 hour before serving, your preference.
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Thursday, September 2, 2010

Quick Fix - Nutella Brownie Bites

Want some brownies but don't feel like dragging all the crap out and baking for over an hour?  Me neither.  Here are awesome little brownies that are done start to finish in 20 minutes.  Best part?  Only three ingredients.  Here ya go.

Nutella Brownie Bites recipe from Savory Sweet Life

1/2 Cup Nutella
1 Egg
5 Tablespoons Flour

Preheat oven to 350F/175C

Combine Nutella and egg, whisk until well blended.

Add flour, whisk until well blended.

Line a mini muffin tin with 12 liners and fill each 3/4 full. 

Bake 11-12 minutes, until a pick inserted in the middle comes out with wet crumbs.  

Cool slightly and dig in.  Recipe can easily be doubled, tripled etc.  You can also use full size muffin tins, just adjust the baking time accordingly.

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Lemon Poppy Seed Drop Cookies

 I really wanted to make lemon poppy seed bread, but I wanted to make cookies even more.  So I made lemon poppy seed cookies.  Hot damn.  These are really yummy.  They are pretty much a simple sugar cookie recipe with a bit more leavening.  Add in lemon and poppy seeds and you have a winner.  I put sugar and lemon zest on top before they baked which makes them just all that better.  The only thing I may do next time is add 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of lemon extract just to punch it up a bit, but these are perfect as they are and go very nicely with a cuppa or three.

Lemon Poppy Seed Drop Cookies recipe adapted from Mel's Kitchen Cafe

2 Cups Flour
1 teaspoon Baking Powder
1/4 teaspoon Salt
1/4 teaspoon Baking Soda
1 Tablespoon Poppy Seeds
1/2 Cup (113 grams) Butter, softened
1/2 Cup Splenda (Or normal sugar, plus more for sprinkling on top)
1/2 Cup Brown Sugar
1 large Egg
1/4 Cup Buttermilk (or squeeze a teaspoon of lemon juice, then add 1/4 cup regular milk)
1/2 teaspoon Vanilla (I omitted this, didn't have any, didn't notice)
Zest of 2 Lemons (reserve some for sprinkling on top)
1/4 teaspoon Lemon Extract (optional, just pour it into the buttermilk)

Preheat oven to 375F/190C.

Combine flour, baking powder, salt, baking soda and poppy seeds.  Set aside.

Cream butter and sugars until fluffy.  Add egg and mix well.  Add zest and buttermilk, mix.  

Add flour mixture to sugar mixture.  Combine well.

Drop 1 Tablespoon of batter per cookie, 2 inches apart.  Combine reserved lemon zest and sugar, sprinkle on top of cookies and gently press down.

Bake 10 - 12 minutes.

Cool on pan two minutes, move to wire rack.
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