Goth Panda

May 6, 2011

Orange Muffins

Orange Muffins

Yes, I made more muffins! I had two oranges nearing the end of their life span, and so I turned them into muffiny goodness.

Orange Muffins

I made the glaze, too, but I kept it on the side so people could determine whether or not they wanted it. The glaze was very, very sweet, and the muffins were perfectly fine without it, so we ended up eating most of them without.

Orange Muffins

I got this recipe via Annie’s Eats, who got it from “The Pastry Queen” by Rebecca Rather

Yield: about 2 dozen muffins

For the muffins:
1 cup milk
½ cup freshly squeezed orange juice
½ cup sour cream
2 large eggs
2 sticks unsalted butter, melted
3-½ cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1-½ tablespoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
Zest of 1 orange (organic if possible)

For the glaze:
¼ cup freshly squeezed orange juice
1-½ cups confectioners’ sugar
1-2 teaspoons orange zest (organic if possible)

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 350˚ F. Line 16 wells of a muffin pan (or pans) with paper liners. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the milk, orange juice, sour cream, eggs and melted butter. Whisk together to blend. In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Stir to blend. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix just until incorporated. Fold in the orange zest with a spatula.

Divide the batter evenly between the prepared muffin cups. Bake about 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool in the pan 5-10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack placed over a baking sheet.

To make the glaze, combine the orange juice, confectioners’ sugar, and orange zest in a small bowl. Whisk together until smooth, adding more juice if necessary to achieve your preferred consistency. Drizzle the glaze over the muffins while they are still warm. Allow the glaze to set before serving. Store in an airtight container.

April 29, 2011

Cornmeal-Maple Biscuits

Cornmeal-Maple Biscuits

I found these biscuits in the King Arthur Flour Whole Grain cookbook. I liked the idea of a cornmeal drop biscuit as a quick breakfast, topped with honey and butter. And although these biscuits were not very attractive to look at, they were very delicious.

Although I think I do prefer biscuits that are rolled and cut, with nice flaky layers, sometimes a good, quick drop biscuits is all you need. These biscuits can’t be called light or flaky, but they do have a good flavor. I liked them a lot and would definitely make them again.

Cornmeal-Maple Biscuits

Cornmeal-Maple Biscuits

From King Arthur Flour Whole Grain Baking

Yield: 1-1/2 dozen (2-inch) biscuits

1 c (4-7/8 oz) whole yellow cornmeal
1 c (4 oz) white whole wheat flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
5 tbsp (2-1/2 oz) unsalted butter
1/2 c (4 oz) milk
1/4 c (2-3/4 oz) real maple syrup

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly grease a baking sheet or line it with parchment paper.

Whisk together the cornmeal, whole wheat flour, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. Cut the butter into the dry ingredients with a fork, your fingers, or a pastry cutter, until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.

In a separate bowl, stir the milk and maple syrup together, and add to the dry ingredients, stirring just until the dough is evenly moistened. Scoop the dough by heaping tablespoons onto the prepared baking sheet. Press down lightly with your fingers if you like, to flatten the biscuits, or leave them just as they are. Bake the biscuits until the edges are light golden brown, 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and serve warm.

March 29, 2011

Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins

Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins

Yes, the muffin obsession continues! I originally planned to make lemon poppy seed muffins before the chocolate muffins, but I was hindered by not having either lemons or sour cream. It is kind of hard to make lemon poppy seed muffins without lemons. I did have the poppy seeds! But still.

Lemon Poppy Seed Muffin

These were just as easy and delicious as the other Dorie Greenspan recipes I have made recently. I didn’t bother to make the icing because I didn’t want them too sweet, and they still had plenty of lemon flavor. They stayed moist and delicious until we ate them all, but that really doesn’t prove much since we ate them pretty quickly.

Lemon Poppy Seed Muffin

Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins

From Baking: From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan
12 muffins

2/3 cup sugar
Grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
2 cups all purpose flour
2 t baking powder
1/4 t baking soda
1/4 t salt
3/4 cup sour cream
2 large eggs
1 t pure vanilla extract
1 stick unsalted butter, melted and cooled
2 T poppy seeds

1 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted
2-3 T fresh lemon juice

To Make the Muffins:
Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Butter or spray the 12 molds in a regular-size muffin pan or fit the molds with paper muffin cups. Alternatively, use a silicone muffin pan, which needs neither greasing nor paper cups. Place the muffin pan on a baking sheet.

In a large bowl, rub the sugar and the lemon zest together with your fingertips until the sugar is moist and the fragrance of the lemon strong. Whisk in the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In a large glass measuring cup or another bowl, whisk the sour cream, eggs, vanilla, lemon juice and melted butter together until well blended. Pour the liquid ingredients over the dry ingredients and, with the whisk or a rubber spatula, gently but quickly stir to blend. Don’t worry about being thorough-a few lumps are better than over mixing the batter. Stir in the poppy seeds. Divide the batter evenly among the muffin cups.

Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, or until the tops are golden and a thin knife inserted into the center of the muffins comes out clean. Transfer the pan to a rack and cool for 5 minutes before carefully removing each muffin from its mold. Cool the muffins completely on the rack before icing them.

To Make the Icing:
Put the confectioners’ sugar in a small bowl and add about 1 1/2 T of the lemon juice. Stir with a spoon to moisten the sugar, then add enough additional lemon juice, a dribble at a time, to get an icing that is thin enough to drizzle from the tip of the spoon. You can then drizzle lines of icing over the tops of the muffins or coat the tops entirely, the better to get an extra zap of lemon.

March 18, 2011

Cheddar, Parmesan, and Cracked Pepper Scones

Scones Done

I liked the looks of these savory scones as soon as Nicole at Pinch My Salt posted them.

Dry Ingredients

The only changes I made to the recipe were to adapt my Buttermilk Biscuit techniques of grating the butter in the food processor (which I then handily used to grate the cheddar) and using a water spritzer since my dough was very dry. I also left out the hot sauce and smoked paprika, because although I was pretty sure I would like them, I was also pretty sure that Mike wouldn’t. I didn’t bother reserving some parmigiano for topping, and just mixed all of the cheese into the dough.

Cut and Separated

I also made these as eight full-size scones instead of 16 mini scones. This is because (as I said) my dough was very dry, and it took a few turns of spritzing it with water and folding it to get it to pull together into a cohesive dough. I was worried that I was working the dough too much, so I thought I would just stick with one dough wheel instead of separating the dough and reshaping it to make two.

Flaky, Cheesy Layers

These were delicious the night I baked them, but sadly scones and biscuits don’t stay good for long. This just means you should be excused for eating them all up right away. Just look at those cheesy, flaky layers!

Cheese!

Cheddar, Parmesan, and Cracked Pepper Scones

Adapted from Pinch My Salt

Yield: 8 full-size scones or 16 mini-scones.

1 1/4 cups cake flour
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground mustard
1/2 cup (one stick or 1/4 pound) cold unsalted butter, grated
1/2 cup shredded aged cheddar cheese
1/2 cup shredded Parmigiano Reggiano
1/2 cup cold buttermilk
1 large egg

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. In a large bowl, whisk together flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt, pepper, and ground mustard. Stir the grated butter into the flour mixture until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add the shredded cheddar and parmesan.

3. In a medium bowl or large measuring cup, whisk together buttermilk and egg. Pour buttermilk mixture into the flour mixture and stir with a wooden spoon just until a ball of dough comes together. Dump the dough onto a lightly floured surfaced and knead a couple of times (using a bit of flour if the dough is too sticky or spritzing with a water bottle if it is too dry) just to bring the dough together.

4. For mini-scones, cut the dough into two equal pieces; for regular sized scones, do not divide. Flatten the dough into a circle, about 1″ thick. Cut the circle into 8 triangles and move them to a parchment-lined baking sheet.

5. Bake scones in a preheated 425 degree oven for about 15 minutes for mini-scones and 25 minutes for full-sized scones, or until golden brown along the edges. Let cool on a wire rack for 5-10 minutes before eating. Enjoy warm or at room temperature.

March 16, 2011

Chocolate-Chocolate Chunk Muffins

Muffins

So I think I mentioned in my post about Chocolate Chip cookies that I am not a fan of semi-sweet or bittersweet or dark chocolate, or anything in which the chocolate is not balanced by a goodly amount of sugar. I would actually rather have no chocolate bar than a dark chocolate bar. But the one place where I do prefer semi-sweet chocolate is in a good chocolate muffin. I avoided chocolate muffins for a long time, thinking that they would just be a pale imitation of a chocolate cupcake. But since I first tried one, I have grown fond of chocolate muffins on their own terms: not sweet and rich like a cupcake, but moist and light. And semi-sweet chips offset that perfectly in my opinion. Somehow milk chocolate would not do.

Muffin Cups Filled

This is the second Dorie Greenspan muffin recipe I have tried, and if all of the recipes are as good as these simple muffin recipes, I can see why her books are so popular. The only thing I changed is that I used semi-sweet chocolate instead of bittersweet because that’s what I had. I read on the internet that you could interchange the two, except for semi-sweet would be a little sweeter, and let’s face it, for me that is almost never a bad thing. In the future I might use the ready made chips or chunks instead of having to chop my own. It wasn’t a big deal for the pieces that got melted with the butter, but I think the ones that got stirred into the muffins were too big. But I quickly got sick of chopping them, so they were probably not as small as they could have been. I think I also needed to bake these longer to get them thoroughly done, maybe 5 minutes more than the recipe says.

Chocolate Chunks

Muffins

Chocolate-Chocolate Chunk Muffins

From Baking: From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan via Epicurious

Yield: Makes 12 muffins

3/4 of a stick (6 tablespoons) unsalted butter
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped (I used semi-sweet)
2 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups buttermilk
1 large egg
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Butter or spray the 12 molds in a regular-size muffin pan or fit the molds with paper muffin cups. Alternatively, use a silicone muffin pan, which needs neither greasing nor paper cups. Place the muffin pan on a baking sheet.

Melt the butter and half the chopped chocolate together in a bowl over a saucepan of simmering water; or do this in a microwave. Remove from the heat.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In a large glass measuring cup or another bowl, whisk the buttermilk, egg and vanilla extract together until well combined. Pour the liquid ingredients and the melted butter and chocolate over the dry ingredients and, with the whisk or a rubber spatula, gently but quickly stir to blend. Don’t worry about being thorough—a few lumps are better than overmixing the batter. Stir in the remaining chopped chocolate. Divide the batter evenly among the muffin molds.

Bake for 20 minutes, or until a thin knife inserted into the center of the muffins comes out clean. Transfer the pan to a rack and cool 5 minutes before carefully removing each muffin from its mold.