Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Farmers' Market Strawberry Muffins

I love going to the farmers' market downtown on Saturday mornings.  Our city has one that is several blocks long and has so much more than just farmers and produce!  There are coffee shops (hello!), bakeries, hand-crafted goods like yarn goods, wood carvings, handmade glass, jewelry; there is just about something for everyone.  And musicians along the way to keep you entertained.  And the food!  So much to choose from.

This past Saturday, I scored some of the best strawberries!  I bought two quarts, thinking I'd make some freezer jam.  Um....I think I need to buy some more strawberries before I can attempt that - between eating them as I was washing and cutting them up, feeding them to my kids (and husband), and making these absolutely amazing muffins, these berries didn't last very long!

And let me just tell you, farm-fresh strawberries (whether purchased from a farmers' market or at a u-pick field) are SO, SO, SO much better than anything you will ever buy commercially in a store!  They are juicier, more flavorful, packed full of so much goodness, you just may squeal with delight!  They are typically smaller, but much, much better!

I absolutely LOVE this recipe for muffins - it has Greek yogurt (I am a BIG fan) and lots of berries and yumminess inside.  They baked up so beautifully, I actually yelled to my husband to come watch as I took them out of the oven.  Silly, I know...but I was just a proud momma of my fresh strawberry muffins!

 You MUST get you some fresh strawberries, some Greek yogurt, and whip up this recipe.  It made ALMOST two dozen (23 muffins), and my kids and husband loved them as much as I did.  They taste a little like mini strawberry shortcakes....they're delish with a dollop of whipped cream on top!

3 c. all-purpose flour
1 Tbs. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
10 Tbs butter, softened
1/2 c. sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla 
2 tsp lemon juice
1 1/2 c. plain Greek yogurt
1 1/2 c. FRESH strawberries, chopped
Raw sugar for topping 

Preheat oven to 400.  Grease or line 24 baking cups (2 muffin tins)

Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  Set aside.
Cream together butter and sugar until fluffy.  Add eggs, one at a time, and vanilla and lemon juice.  Mix until fully combined.  Add half the yogurt, then half the flour mixture.  Repeat until all is mixed in.  Gently fold in the strawberries.

Divide muffin batter among muffin tins - an ice cream scoop is handy with this!  Sprinkle liberally with raw sugar.

Put in 400 oven and bake for 8 minutes.
REDUCE OVEN HEAT to 350 and bake for 11 more minutes, until just starting to turn golden brown.  Remove from oven and let cool in pan about 10 minutes, then turn out onto cooling rack to cool completely.

Ready to go in the oven!

Baked to perfection!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Cinnamon Chip Bake

Yes, I AM still alive!  Time to dust off Spare Time Baker and get back to baking!
Today, I really wanted some sort of cinnamon roll tasting thing.  But I needed it to be quick, I wanted it to be easy, and I had limited resources in my kitchen.  I tried to find something on Pinterest that fit the bill, but failed.  So I figured I'd experiment a little and see what I could come up with.  I'm pretty pleased with myself; it was quick, easy, and turned out delicious (if I do say so myself!).

I'm going to go ahead and dub this the "Cinnamon Chip Bake" - because I'm not sure what else to call it!  It's made of a YUMMY biscuit-type dough, that is rolled into balls, and baked with cinnamon chips nestled in between, then smothered with a rich glaze.  And there is a minimal amount of dishes dirtied - BONUS!


2 c. flour
2 Tbs. brown sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1 c. buttermilk
1/2 c. heavy cream
1/2 c. cinnamon chips

for glaze: 1/2 c. heavy cream, about 1/2 c. to 1 c. powdered sugar and 1 tsp. vanilla

  • Preheat oven to 400.  Spray a round or square bake pan (or baking dish) liberally.
  • In a large mixing bowl, mix together flour, brown sugar, baking powder and salt.  Slowly add in 1 c. buttermilk, then 1/2 c. heavy cream.  Stir together until a wet dough forms.  
  • Roll dough into balls (about 2") and place them in prepared pan.  You can nestle them all right up together, it's okay.  Sprinkle the cinnamon chips all over the top, letting some fall in between.
  • Bake for about 20 minutes, until done (will not brown much).  

Mix together the glaze:  Whisk the 1/4 c. cream with 1/2 tsp. vanilla, and then whisk in the powdered sugar until you get the consistency and taste you want.  Pour liberally over the still-warm biscuits.  Share with a few of your favorite people and enjoy!