Friday, November 23, 2012

Apple Butter Muffins

Can you believe that November is almost over? I sure can't, it's just flown by! I mean, Hallowe'en was almost a month ago! Fall is coming to a close, although the weather here clearly thinks was a gorgeous, sunny day with temperatures much more appropriate to September than November...not that I'm complaining! I think the real November weather is coming later this week...

With the frost comes the end of fall fruits too, and that includes apples. I feel like this fall I've done a lot of baking with pumpkin, but not nearly enough with apples. I was craaaaving a muffin one day, and we had so many apples in the house that I just thought apple muffins would be perfect. And boy, was I right!

These apple butter muffins will make the most of those delicious, crisp apples that you still have hanging around, and the apple butter center is such a tasty surprise. They make the perfect snack!

Apple Butter Muffins

Adapted from Canadian Living
Makes 12 muffins

  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 3/4 cup flour
  • 1 cup applesauce
  • 1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp. cloves (scant)
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 1/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 cup finely diced apple
  • 1/2 cup apple butter
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl, combine canola oil, sugar, egg and applesauce.

Add flour, spices, salt and baking powder, mixing until fully incorporated. Gently fold in diced apple.

Divide half  of the batter between 12 muffin cups. Divide apple butter between muffins, then top with remaining batter. 

Bake in preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, or until cake tester comes out clean.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Apple-Pear Crisp (in Mason Jars!)

Don't you just love cute little desserts? I sure do! There's just something that makes dessert more fun when it's cute.

We had a bunch of pears that really needed to be used up, so I decided to make pear-apple crisp. You don't really see plain pear crisp that much - mainly apple. I used some apples because I didn't have quite enough pears, but if you are a huge pear fan, feel free to substitute pears for the apples - I'm sure it would be just as delicious!

Apple-Pear Crisp (in Mason Jars)
Adapted from The Pioneer Woman
Serves 6

For the filling:
  • 4 large pears
  • 2 apples (Gala works well)
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 Tbsp. cornstarch
For the topping:
  • 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup pecans, finely chopped
  • 6 Tbsp. butter, melted
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Wash, peel and dice pears and apples. Place in a large bowl and add sugar, salt and cornstarch, mixing until fruit is coated. Divide fruit evenly among mason jars.

In a separate bowl, combine flour, oats, sugars, cinnamon and nuts. Drizzle melted butter over top gradually, mixing to combine.

Divide topping among mason jars; you may have a bit extra...snack time! Just kidding...sorta...

Bake in preheated oven for 30-40 minutes.

Let jars cool about 10 minutes before serving. Serve with vanilla ice cream.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Pumpkin Scones

Has anyone else been to Starbucks this week? Well, if you have, I'm sure you noticed that they are now serving their holiday drinks! I love their Peppermint Hot Chocolates around this time of year, but in the fall, I love all of their pumpkin spice things. The drinks are great, but my real favourite is the pumpkin scone! I don't even eat scones that much, but there is something about those babies that I just can't resist!

The only problem with those is that they're so HUGE! But still so delicious. So when I saw a recipe for pumpkin scones on weelicious, I just had to make them. I made these as sort of "snack size scones" and reduced the size by about half, but if you would rather have bigger scones, go ahead and make 4 scones instead of 8, or double the recipe for 8 large scones!

So whether you also love those big Starbucks pumpkin scones, or you just love pumpkin (or, you just love scones...), give this recipe a try. They make a perfect fall snack!

Pumpkin Scones
Adapted from weelicious
Makes 16 small scones
  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 3 Tbsp. brown sugar
  • 1/2 Tbsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • pinch ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
  • 1/3 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 egg, beaten
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

In a large bowl, whisk the flour with the sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. 

Using a pastry blender or two knives, cut the butter into the flour until it resembles coarse meal. Once butter is fully combined, add in the pumpkin and the egg. Gently mix until combined. Mixture may be dry, so feel free to use your hands near the end. 

Dump the dough onto a floured cutting board and knead a few times. Place dough on parchment, and roll out dough into a 1-inch circle. Cut into 8 wedges and place parchment on a baking sheet. Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes or until golden brown.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

Is your house overflowing with candy left over from Hallowe'en? Well, mine is...sort of. We have a little bit left that didn't get handed out...and then my sister has a whole load of it in her room. The problem is that, in order to eat her candy, I have to be verrrry sneaky.

A few days after Hallowe'en, I decided to make these cupcakes. We had some leftover pumpkin in the fridge because it seems that I have been on a pumpkin baking spree (and pumpkin only comes in like, GIANT cans...what's with that?) and I wanted to use it up. Well, I'm glad I made them because they were delicious!

They have that perfect blend of fall spices that you always expect when you eat something pumpkin flavoured, and they make a perfect treat for a chilly autumn afternoon.

Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting
Adapted from Brown Eyed Baker
Makes 16 cupcakes

For the cupcakes:

  • 2 cups cake flour
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • heaping 1/2 Tbsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
  • pinch of cloves
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 3/4 cup canned pumpkin
For the frosting:
  • 3 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 1/3 cup cool whip
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 2 cups icing sugar, sifted
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine the cake flour with the baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. Set aside.

In a large bowl, beat the butter with the brown sugar. Once mixed, beat in the eggs, one at a time. 

Add the flour to the butter mixture in 3 additions, alternating with buttermilk and ending with flour. Once combined, add pumpkin.

Pour into lined muffin tins. Bake for 17-20 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool completely before frosting.

While cupcakes are cooling, make the frosting. In a large bowl, beat together the butter and cream cheese. Beat in cool whip and vanilla. Sift in icing sugar, and beat until fully incorporated. Pipe or spread onto cooled cupcakes.
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