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Archive for June, 2010

I’m a little short on time this week as the summer semester has begun but I have the promised recipe! When I return with longer posts I’ll know infinitely more about wines, liqueurs, and beers. I can’t wait to share some of the fun with all of you! In a way less school-is-boring way that is :D. Well here it is boys and girls!

Rosemary Ginger Shortbread

Serves: at least 12, this is uber rich stuff!

1 lb (2 cups) Butter, softened

1 3/4 cups Sugar

4 cups Flour

1 tsp Kosher Salt

2 large Eggs, beaten

1 cup Crystallized Ginger, chopped

3 tbsp Fresh Rosemary, chopped (may use 2-3 tsp dried rosemary for a milder flavor)

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.  In another bowl sift together flour and salt to add some air. Add this mixture to the butter and sugar and mix just until combined. As always, do not over-mix. Add approximately 3/4 of the beaten eggs and reserve the remaining 1/4 for a glaze. Add the chopped ginger and rosemary and mix until well incorporated.

Spread the mixture into a 9″x13″ pan. No need to grease it; it has plenty of butter already in there! Mix that 1/4 egg mixture with 1 tablespoon of water until a pale yellow color. Brush this over the shortbread batter.

Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 35 to 45 minutes, until glaze is a light golden color and a toothpick comes out clean. Cut into 2″ bars when cool!

You might think 2″ is really tiny when you look at it, but these babies are like tasty flavor powerhouses!

Give ’em a try today!

Eat well and love much,

The shortbread girl

ps- I hope you see one of these at least once in your life!

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Kefir Jam Muffins

When I first made these muffins I was really feeling rather…uninspired. The days have been long and rather dull for me as I gear up for my last two months of school. Boredom kills my motivation and inspiration unlike anything else.

I needed a simple breakfast recipe that could be made well in advance and only used ingredients I had on hand. I searched online and in my cookbook/magazine stash for nearly 2 hours before finally settling on a recipe for “Morning Magic Muffins” by Arlene Stolley. The recipe looked very simple and I had everything on the list of ingredients except for one thing: buttermilk. Usually I would have done the teaspoon of vinegar in your milk alternative but I’ve been experimenting with something called Kefir and decided to give this probiotic-heavy option a try.

This is an easy recipe for an on the go breakfast and the results are fantastic, fluffy muffins!

Grab from the pantry and fridge: flour, sugar, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, kefir (or buttermilk), canola oil, applesauce, an egg and your favorite jam (mine is some home made blackberry jam).

Mix all your liquids in a bowl (except for the jam).

And mix all your dry ingredients in the bowl of your mixer until there aren’t any more clumps of brown sugar.

Make sure you’ve got your muffin liners ready to go right about now.

Then mix the dry and wet ingredients together just until the batter comes together.

Scoop about 1/4 cup of batter into each muffin liner or until 2/3 full. If making jam muffins, place 1 teaspoon of favorite jam in the center of each muffin and lightly press it into the batter. Bake at 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes.

Oh yum. The crumb on these guys is fantastically moist! Whip up a batch today!

Kefir Jam Muffins

Slightly adapted from Cooking Bouquet by Arlene Stolley

2 1/4 cups All-Purpose Flour

1/2 cup packed Light Brown Sugar

1/4 cup Sugar

2 teaspoons Baking Powder

1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda

1/2 teaspoon Salt

1 cup Kefir (or buttermilk)

1/3 cup Canola or Vegetable Oil

1/3 cup Applesauce

1 large Egg

Jam or Jelly

Directions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees

In bowl of stand mixer mix all dry ingredients until there are no more clumps of brown sugar. In separate bowl, mix kefir, oil, applesauce and egg. Add liquid mixture to flour mixture and mix just until the batter comes together.

Using 1/4 measuring cup or ice cream scoop fill muffin cups 2/3 full. If making jam muffins add 1 teaspoon of jam to each muffin and lightly press into the center of each muffin cup.

Bake for 20-25 minutes or until muffins are set and golden on top.

Notes from the book: Arlene notes that you can refrigerate the mixed batter in a container for up to one week if you need to make these very well in advance. Additionally, the recipe for this muffin is easily adapted for many other variations such as blueberry, banana, cinnamon-sugar, or any other variation you can think of!

Eat well and love much,

The Muffin Woman

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