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Archive for November, 2018

For the last several years we have been celebrating Thanksgiving with our friend the Eppenberger Family. They make delicious cranberry sauce from scratch every year, and I always save extra cranberry sauce to make these delicious muffins.

The muffin batter is pretty much consisted of the “orange” part while the “cranberry” part comes from the cranberry sauce filling. It tasted so good, tangy and refreshing. Although the batter is dense and thicker than average muffin batter, but after baking the muffins were very nice– golden brown on the top, light and fluffy inside. I think I nail it down this time– the secret is egg separation method. It’s a bit more work, but definitely worth the efforts.

Orange Cranberry Muffins
Orange Cranberry Muffins
Orange Cranberry Muffins

Cranberry Orange Muffin Recipe (makes 12 muffins)

Ingredients:
2 cups flour
5 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp baking power
1/4 tsp salt
zest of 2 oranges

Egg yolk mixture:
2 egg yolks– room temperature
1/2 cup fresh squeezed orange juice
3/4 cup whipping cream
4 tbsp melted unsalted butter– keep warm
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Egg white mixture:
2 egg whites– room temperature
2 tbsp sugar

Filling:
12 tsp fresh cranberry sauce– see note below

Topping (optional):
Chopped walnuts

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 400F. Line muffin pans with muffin cup liners.
  2. In a large bowl, sift flour, 5 tbsp sugar, baking power and salt. Mix in orange zest. Make a well in the center.
  3. Whisk all ingredients (except melted butter) in egg yolk mixture to blend well. Add in melted butter and mix well again. Pour into flour mixture. Use a spatula to fold in just enough to moist. The batter will be stiff. Do not over mix the batter.
  4. In a separate clean bowl, whip egg whites on high speed until it looks white and bubbles are very tiny. Gradually add in sugar. Continue whipping on hash speed until soft peak (curve tip) forms.
  5. Fold in whipped egg whites into the batter in 2 batches.
  6. Fill each muffin cup 1/3 full, spoon 1 tsp cranberry sauce in the center. Top the muffins cups with remaining batter, covering cranberry sauce all around. Sprinkle some walnuts on top if used. Bake for 20-22 minutes or until golden brown, and the muffin top springs back when lightly pressed. Remove to cool on a rack for 5 minutes before serving.

Regina’s Note:

  • Eggs: be sure to use room temperature eggs. A quick way is to soak eggs in luke warm water for 10-15 minutes to bring to room temperature.
  • Cranberry sauce: cook the sauce a bit longer (can use microwave, uncover and reheat for a few minutes) so it gets thicker, and stay nicely in the center of the muffin instead of leaking to the surface of the muffins.
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Asiago Bacon Muffins

Asiago Bacon Muffins

Asiago Bacon Muffin Recipe (makes 12 Muffins)

Ingredients:
2 cups flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
7 tbsp sugar
1/2 cup (8 tbsp) finely shredded Asiago cheese
1/2 cup bacon crumbs– microwave to crisp up slightly
2 stalks green onions– chopped
1 clove garlic– minced
1 cup (one 8oz tub) sour cream
2 eggs– room temperature
2 tbsp milk
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter– melted

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line muffin pan with muffin cup liners.
  2. Sift flour, baking powder, salt and sugar to a large bowl.
  3. Add cheese, bacon, green onions and garlic to flour mixture. Mix well.
  1. In a separate bowl, combine sour cream, eggs and milk. Whisk to blend well.
  2. Pour melted butter and cream mixture to flour mixture. Gently fold in the batter until all incorporated. Spoon batter into muffin cups.
  3. Bake at 375F oven for 25 minutes, until muffins spring back when pressed (or toothpick inserted comes out clean). Remove from muffin pan and cool on a rack.

Regina’s Note:

  • You can always add in 1/4 cups of walnuts if preferred.
  • Cheese: You can use other cheese like Parmesan or Cheddar, but the flavor would be different.

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Six over ripe bananas plus a tight schedule means I had to find a quick and easy recipe to make banana-something for our breakfast tomorrow. Luckily I didn’t have to look for long– this recipe has over 5K 5-star reviews! One review comment even says it’s the best banana bread in over 40 years of her baking! I had all the ingredients (except for sour cream which I was a bit short), the steps were pretty simple to follow… so let’s give it try… It takes an hour to bake. I timed it to pop in the oven before picking up my kids from three schools. When we came back the house smelled so wonderfully banana heaven…

The results? Moist, fluffy, and full of banana goodness. I cut down the sugar so the sweetness was just right for our taste. I’m not a quick bread person but I like this one. No wonder it has over 5K reviews with 5 stars… The bread freeze well so why not bake two loaves, and keep one for another time…

Banana Nut Bread

Banana Nut Bread

Banana Nut Bread Recipe-– adapted from Janet’s Rich Banana Bread (yields 1 loaf)

Ingredients:

3 ripe bananas– mashed
1 1/4 cup flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
1/3 cup sugar
2 eggs– room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup sour cream– see note below
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degree F. Spray loaf pan with cooking spray.
  2. Combine flour, baking soda and salt.
  3. Melt butter in a large bowl in microwave. When butter is still warm, whisk in sugar until sugar dissolves. Let cool slightly.
  4. Add eggs and vanilla extract, mix to blend well.
  5. Sift in flour mixture, in two batches, to butter mixture. Mix well after each time. The batter will become stiff like a cookie dough.
  6. Fold in sour cream, then fold in mashed bananas and walnuts.
  7. Bake in preheated 350F oven for 1 hour, or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.

Regina’s Note:

  • Sugar: Original recipe calls for 1/2 cup sugar but I cut down to 1/3 cup, and it turned out just nice. I also whisk to melt sugar in warm melted butter.
  • Sour cream: I only had 1/4 cup sour cream remaining in the fridge, so I used heavy whipping to fill to 1/2 cup. The bread turned out moist and fluffy. Alternatively you can also use yogurt.
  • The bread freeze well. Keep it in a closed bag. Reheat in low temperature oven until warm if desired.

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