To Apple Maple Pecan Muffins

What do you do when you have an ingredient that you need to use up? Well I google or foodgawker that specific ingredient to see what comes up. Top results for buttermilk: Buttermilk pancakes, buttermilk waffles and buttermilk muffins. The latter is the route I decided to take, but not your typical dinner buttermilk muffin but more so I figured that I could use the buttermilk in one of my sweet muffin mix recipes as a substitute for milk and ’twas a success (:

These muffins were nice and moist, bursting with flavor and even better when nuked in the microwave.

I mean what’s not to love? Apples, Maple Syrup and Pecans are all delicious and when combined they make for a dynamic trio!

In the words of my dad “that’s a good muffin”

Ingredients: (12 standard muffins and 12 mini muffins) 

2 cups flour (1 cup all purpose flour + 1 cup whole wheat)

1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup buttermilk

1/4 cup canola or vegetable oil

1/8 cup pure maple syrup

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 large egg

2 cups peeled, cored and diced apples

1/2 cup pecans, chopped

1 tablespoon sugar

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400˚F.  Prep a 12 muffin baking pan (I used silicone baking cups, paper cups or spray works too)

In a large bowl, mix dry ingredients (flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt).  In a small bowl, beat buttermilk, oil, maple syrup, vanilla extract, and egg until blended; stir into flour mixture just until flour is moistened.  Fold in apples. Make sure not to over stir – this will make for dense instead of fluffy and airy muffins that everyone loves.

In a small dish, mix sugar, cinnamon and chopped pecans.

Fill muffin cups with batter.

Sprinkle the sugar, cinnamon pecan mixture on top of the muffins.

Bake muffins for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the muffins pass the clean toothpick test.

Immediately remove from pan and transfer to wire rack…or eat.

Yields 12-16 muffins (I don’t know why this happened but I had extra batter so I made 12 mini muffins to go along with the 12 normal size muffins – usually this batter only yields 12 so I must have filled the muffins cups less than usual)

These freeze nicely too!

Cheers

n

Toasted Coconut Almond Chocolate Scones

I have always loved a good scone. In fact when I found out I was going to Scotland for a few days I told my traveling partner (Jess) that we had to get scones for breakfast one day. She said why? Aren’t those just a dry biscuit – or something along those lines. She was not as enthused as me. And I tried to explain to her, when in Scotland you have a Scottish scone, well I got my way and we had scones in Inverness and she fell in love. In fact the next time we got scones in Edinburgh it was at her request. I always think of this story when I hear someone mention scones.

Now I saw this recipe on Joy The Baker’s blog and new I just had to try them. And since it is Valentine’s tomorrow I used a heart shaped cookie cutter to cut them out.

I thought they were grab – subtle hints of all three flavors (coconut, almond and chocolate). I had a warm one with blackberry jam and it was delish – I definitely recommend some jam since scones are dry, but they are still a great breakfast/mid-morning food.

I took these into work for Staff D and everyone seemed pleased.

Ingredients: Made 11 heart shaped scones

3 cups all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons raw or granulated sugar

3 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

3/4 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, cold and cut into cubes

1 large egg

3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons buttermilk

1/3 cup shredded coconut (sweetened or unsweetened – I used unsweetened)

1/3 cup slivered almonds

1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (I used mini)

buttermilk and sugar for topping before baking

Directions:

Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Place shredded coconut and slivered almonds on a baking sheet and toast in the oven for about 8 to 10 minutes.  Keep your eye on the coconut.  It browns quickly.  Remove from the oven when toasted and allow to cool.  Heat oven to 400 degrees F.  Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together flour sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

Toss the cold butter cubes into the flour mixture.  Using your hands, quickly work in the butter into the flour mixture, breaking it up with your fingers.  Some butter bits will be the size of small pebbles, and some will be the size of oat flakes.  Set in the fridge for a few minutes.

Whisk together buttermilk and egg.

Remove the flour and butter mixture from the fridge and add coconut, almonds, and chocolate chips.  Whisk together and create a well in the center of the mixture.  Add the buttermilk mixture all at once to the well.  Use a fork to bring the wet and the dry ingredients together.  Mixture will be shaggy.  Lightly flour a work surface and dump the shaggy dough mixture out onto the counter.  Bring together the dough with your hands into a 1 1/2-inch thick disk .  Use a 2 1/2-inch round biscuit cutter to cut out biscuits.  Flour the biscuit cutter if it starts to stick to the dough.

Place biscuits, about 1 inch apart, on the prepared baking sheets.  Brush with a bit of buttermilk and a few pinches of raw or granulated sugar.  Bake biscuits for 14-18 minutes, until golden brown and cooked through.  Remove from the oven and serve warm, with jam.

Cheers to a happy Monday

n