Thursday, July 12, 2012

Blueberry-Raspberry Muffins

What is the difference between a muffin and a cupcake?  The answer is that muffins are ugly cupcakes.  That is true for most muffins.  Sure they might have fruit or other interesting things, but the cakey part is about the same a a cake.  This muffins is different.  Because of the addition of oatmeal, it has a completely different texture.  Yes, it is yummy.  But this has a texture to it that makes you think you are eating a breakfast item and not just a cupcake without frosting.

This recipe works with all types of fruit. Some combos I have tried are
peaches and mangos
cranberries with chocolate chips and walnuts
apple chunks and cinnamon
just blueberries

Just make sure that whatever you add is dry (not sitting in juice) and adds up to a total of two cups.  Fine, I'll admit that I usually add an extra half cup 'cause I like an obscene amount of fruit in my muffins.   Okay, it might be three cups. 

 They freeze well and can sit out on the counter all day and will not dry out.

2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
4 large eggs
1 16oz container sour cream
10 Tbsp butter
2 cups brown sugar, packed
2 cups rolled oats
1 cup fresh or frozen (not thawed) raspberries
1 cup fresh or frozen (not thawed) blueberries
2Tbsp sugar (for sprinkling on top)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line 24 muffins tins with liners (liners are not an option) Combine flour, b. soda, salt, and b. powder in a small bowl and set aside.

Beat the eggs with sour cream in a large bowl until thoroughly combined. In a medium saucepan, over medium heat, melt together the butter and brown sugar until dissolved. Cool slightly then beat into egg mixture. Stir in the oats. Fold in the flour mixture. Very gently fold in the berries.

Fill muffin cups 2/3 full. Drop a generous pinch of sugar on top. Bake for 25-28 minutes or until edges are brown and tops are firm. Cool on wire rack five minutes then remove muffins from tin and finish cooling them.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Fruit Pizza

Just in case you don't like suspense, this is not really a pizza. It is shaped like one and you cut it like one. After that, it is on it's own.I know everyone has a recipe for this. I am sure I am not sharing anything ingenious or original. I do use a combo that may not be the most common. I like it because it does have a light texture and a light lemony flavor. And then there is the fruit. Fruit is the best dessert - do not gasp you chocolate lovers, I just mean that since fruit is good for you AND is light and refreshing, it is truly a great ending to a meal. This is beautiful to look at and yummy to eat AND fun to make. Let your creativity run wild.Do not make it too far in advance or the crust will get soggy and the fruit will get old. I like to make the crust earlier in the day and mix the filling ahead and keep it in the fridge. For the fruit, I prep it and then lay it out on paper towels to dry and absorb any extra moisture. That way when you put in on the filling, it does not turn goopy.

For the filling:
8 oz package of cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup orange marmalade

Cream together and refrigerate until ready to use.

For the crust:
use any sugar cookie recipe or mix or refrigerated dough. Pillsbury is just fine. On a Parchment sheet, Trace the size of your pan on the wrong side. Flatten your dough and place another parchment sheet over it and roll out the dough to cover the circle, making sure that the dough is rolled out evenly. Peel the parchment off, place your pan on top, flip and peel off the other sheet. This helps achieve a even and flat surface. (If you simply press it in, it could be rather lopsided.) Bake according to the recipe, but allow it to over baked a little. You do not want a slightly under baked crust because it will get too soggy. It would be better to start out a little crunchy, even though this goes against every sacred sugar cookie rule. Let cool completely.

Wash fruit and slice, if needed. You can use any type, as long as it is fresh. Canned fruit may be used if drained and dry. Do not use frozen fruit. Melon does not work well either, because of its high water composition. Some of my favorites are kiwi, any berries, tangerines or Mandarin oranges, pineapple, grapes, mango, and starfruit. Bananas and apples need to be bathed in lemon juice or they will brown (they do not add much color, but they are yummy.)

When ready to assemble, spread the cookie crust with the cream cheese mixture evenly, allowing a very small outside rim or cookie. Beginning in the middle, lay your fruit on top in whatever design you want. Serve right away. Cut with a pizza cutter. Store leftovers in the fridge.