Blackberry Gingerbread Muffins

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Usually I think of making gingerbread during the winter holidays, but here’s a summerized version in muffin form! Fresh blackberries make these muffins moist and of course the ginger and molasses give these muffins that great gingerbread taste. I had clipped this recipe from an old issue of Victoria magazine and modified it slightly. The original recipe was supposed to have made 18 muffins; I added in extra blackberries, and came up with 24 to 26 muffins, or 24 muffins and 1 mini-loaf. Making the mini-loaf works out great because you can bake it right along with your muffins–it will just need about 5 to 10 minutes extra baking time.

I also added a creamy glaze with a blackberry on top, because without any glaze or garnish these flat-topped muffins look quite plain. In other words, they are not the prettiest-looking muffins without anything on top. But they do taste great plain, so if you don’t mind them looking that way, you can skip the glaze.

I never would have thought of combining blackberries and gingerbread on my own, but I liked it alot! If you like gingerbread, you’ll have to try this out!

BLACKBERRY GINGERBREAD MUFFINS by NancyC, adapted from Victoria Magazine

Makes 26 muffins (or 24 muffins and 1 mini loaf)

  • 3 cups all-purpose unbleached flour
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 Tablespoon ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon cloves
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup firmly packed light or dark brown sugar
  • 1 cup unsulphured molasses
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 cups fresh blackberries

Preheat oven to 350˚F. Line muffin pans with 24 paper liners; set aside. Grease and flour a mini-loaf pan; set aside.

In a medium bowl, blend together flour, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and allspice.

In a large bowl, cream softened butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Gradually add molasses, eggs (one at a time), and buttermilk and mix until everything is combined well.

Add the flour mixture all at once to the butter/molasses mixture and stir until just combined. Gently fold in the berries and mix to distribute evenly in batter.

Fill each muffin cup about 3/4 full, and put the rest of the batter in your mini-loaf pan. Bake muffins at 350˚F for 20 to 25 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean; your mini-loaf will need to bake about 5 to 10 minutes longer. Cool in pan for 5 minutes, then remove and cool completely on wire rack.

If desired, drizzle muffins with glaze…

CREAMY GLAZE and BERRY GARNISH

  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons Half & Half (light cream)
  • 26 blackberries for garnish

In a small bowl, blend powdered sugar and Half & Half until smooth and creamy. Drizzle over cooled muffins and top each muffin with a blackberry in the center.

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A summery gingerbread is definitely a new thing for me! Have you tried any different twists on gingerbread?

Linked to Fiesta Friday at The Novice Gardener.

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Lemon Raspberry Muffins: Sugar-Crusted or Lemon-Glazed

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Lemon is such a great springtime flavor and this past weekend seemed like the perfect time to make some lemon-flavored muffins! I found a recipe on Pinterest that inspired me, and it also inspired one of my friends to convince me to make them … Continue reading

Carrot Cake Muffins from The Slim Down South Cookbook and a Giveaway!

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85da3980e121e8d97d9341993c7a3c00I mentioned a few posts ago that I’d be having another giveaway for a cookbook with healthy recipes, and here it is! It’s a Southern Living cookbook–they always have such great recipes!–and it’s called The Slim Down South Cookbook. I had a chance to review it, and the publisher is also providing a giveaway copy for one of you! See the end of the post for details on how to win this giveaway!

This cookbook is written by registered dietitian and award-winning journalist Carolyn O’Neil and includes nutritious versions of Southern-style favorites for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and desserts. You’ll also find lots of great full-color photos of most of the recipes, like these…

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…which will inspire you to start making some healthy, appetizing food!

The book begins with a chapter called “A Healthy Southern Plate” which includes some great healthy lifestyle tips along with a 14-Day SLIM Eating Plan. You’ll find additional healthy tips in the other chapters, too, which have recipes for every meal, along with desserts and snacks. Calorie and nutrition information is included with every recipe.

Some of the great-sounding foods you can make include:

  • English Muffin French Toast
  • Zucchini-Onion Frittata
  • Baked Cheese Grits
  • Peach-and-Tomato Gazpacho
  • Salmon and Vegetable Salad
  • Crunchy Pecan Slaw
  • Chicken and Mini Waffles
  • Texas Caviar Rice and Beans
  • Mocha-Pecan Mud Pie
  • Lime-Raspberry Bites

I thought I’d try something from the chapter on breakfast food called “Rise and Shine!” These Carrot Cake Muffins sounded really good and I love trying new muffin recipes! I thought they came out great–crushed pineapple gives them a great moistness, and there are lots of healthy shredded carrots in them, too! It’s nice to start the day with something tasty as well as healthy! :)

CARROT CAKE MUFFINS from The Slim Down South Cookbook

Makes 18 muffins

  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon table salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil (I used light olive oil instead)
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 (8-ounce) cans crushed pineapple in juice, drained
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups shredded carrots (you can use the pre-shredded carrots to save time if you want)
  • Paper baking cups
  • Cooking spray

Preheat oven to 350˚F. Combine first 5 ingredients in a large bowl; make a well in center of mixture.

Whisk together oil and next 3 ingredients; add to flour mixture, stirring just until moistened. Fold in carrots. Place paper baking cups in 18 muffins cups, and coat with cooking spray; spoon batter into cups, filling two-thirds full.

Bake at 350˚F for 22 to 25 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Based on 18 muffins: Serving Size 1 muffin Calories 128 Fat 3.8g (sat 0.5, mono 1.6g, poly 1.5g) Protein 2.1g Carb 21.5g Fiber 0.9g Chol 21mg Iron 0.8mg Sodium 223 mg Calc 11mg

I must have filled my muffin cups a little fuller, because I ended up with 17 muffins instead of 18. But I liked how full and rounded they turned out, so I’d probably do that again. My baking time was 22 minutes. I was out of cooking spray, so I filled my paper liners without spraying them and that worked out fine–the muffins just stuck slightly to the liners.

85da3980e121e8d97d9341993c7a3c00THE GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED! Congratulations to Cathy, whose comment #22 was chosen via random.org as the winner!

Now for the Giveaway…if you’d like to enter to win a copy of The Slim Down South Cookbook, leave a comment on this blog post between now and Wednesday, January 29, at 10 p.m. (CST)–the random drawing will be made from the comments on this post only! The winner will be chosen randomly via Random.org and announced on Thursday evening, January 30. Winner will be notified via email (if winner does not respond in 3 days, I’ll do another drawing). Giveaway limited to readers in the Continental U.S. and Canada.

First entry: Leave a comment on this post–it would be great to hear what your favorite Southern dish is-even if it’s not that healthy! :)

Bonus entry: If you are a new or existing follower or subscriber, you can leave one extra comment telling me the way (or ways) you are following.

Note: If your comment doesn’t show up right away, it just means I need to click on it to approve it before it’s visible–I do this because of spam comments that sometimes come through!

White Cheddar and Sage Biscuits

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ncSirKensington1nmI recently had the chance to sample some complimentary products from Sir Kensington’s. They sent me a wonderful package of their all natural gourmet Classic Mayonnaise, Chipotle Mayonnaise, Ketchup and Spiced Ketchup.

Sir Kensington’s makes quality non-GMO condiments–their ketchup is made with crushed tomatoes, raw sugar, and a great blend of vinegar and spices that give it a very rich tomato taste (and with a lot less sugar and sodium than other brands). I love their spiced ketchup, too, which is flavored with chipotle peppers, cilantro, lime juice, and coriander.

The Classic Mayonnaise is wonderful–very smooth, rich and creamy. And I like that it’s made with cage-free eggs and has 33% less saturated fat than other mayos. If you like mayonnaise with some spice, their Chipotle Mayonnaise makes a perfect sandwich spread or veggie dip, flavored with chipotle peppers, cumin, garlic, and tomato–such a great blend of spicy flavors!

ncSirKensMayo3nmI also received some recipes from Sir Kensington’s and I just had to try their White Cheddar and Sage Biscuits, because I am such a cheese-lover! I was also curious to try this recipe because the biscuits have mayonnaise in them and I have never made biscuits that way before! I did change their original recipe slightly because it called for self-rising flour, and I substituted flour, baking powder, and salt instead. And the original recipe suggests baking the biscuits in a cast iron skillet, but my smaller iron skillet would not hold all the biscuits, so I baked them on a parchment-lined baking sheet instead.

I thought these biscuits were really good! The mayonnaise gives them a great texture and rich flavor. And of course I love the cheese in these, too! The fresh sage makes a great savory combination with the cheese. If you are a biscuit-lover, then you will need to try these out–they’d be great with some eggs for breakfast or with some soup or chili for lunch or dinner!

WHITE CHEDDAR AND SAGE BISCUITS (adapted from Sir Kensington’s)

Makes 11 to 12 biscuits

  • 2/3 cup buttermilk
  • 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil (I used non-GMO canola oil instead)
  • 3 tablespoons Sir Kensington’s Classic Mayonnaise
  • 3/4 cup shredded white cheddar cheese
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh sage, finely chopped
  • 2 cups all-purpose unbleached flour
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • parchment paper, for lining baking sheet

Preheat oven to 425˚F. Line a 10 x 15″ baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside.

In a large bowl, mix together the buttermilk, oil, and mayonnaise.

In a separate bowl, mix together the white cheddar, chopped fresh sage, flour, baking powder, and salt. Gradually stir the flour mixture into the wet ingredients and mix until all ingredients are combined.

Turn dough out onto a well-floured surface. If dough is sticky, knead in a little extra flour. Pat the dough out to about a 1/2-inch thickness. Use a biscuit cutter to cut dough into round pieces. Place on parchment-lined baking sheet and allow biscuits to rest on the sheet for 10 minutes before putting into the oven.

Bake in a preheated 425˚F oven (220˚C) until lightly browned, about 16 to 18 minutes. Remove from pan and serve.

Some of the stores that carry Sir Kensington’s products include Sur la table, Safeway, Whole Foods, and Wegmans. It’s a great brand to try if you feel like treating yourself to gourmet mayonnaise and ketchup! Have you ever tried this brand before?

Orange Creamsicle Muffins

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Are you a fan of Orange Creamsicles? I used to eat those a lot when I was a kid! If you like that orangey, creamy taste, you’ll probably enjoy these pretty and puffy rounded-top muffins. They have a great orange flavor and the white baking morsels give them an extra creaminess. They’re finished off with a yummy orange glaze and more of those creamy white baking morsels, coarsely chopped up. This recipe makes about 14 to 15 regular-size muffins.

ORANGE CREAMSICLE MUFFINS

Makes 14 to 15 muffins

  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup light olive oil
  • 1/2 cup milk or Half & Half
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup vanilla Greek yogurt
  • 1/3 cup orange juice concentrate, thawed and undiluted
  • 1/2 Tablespoon orange zest (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon orange extract
  • 1 cup white (vanilla) baking morsels (aka white chocolate chips)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a regular-size muffin pan with paper liners. In large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; blend together and set aside. In medium bowl, mix sugar and oil together, blending well; then mix in milk (or Half & Half), egg, yogurt, orange juice concentrate, orange zest, and orange extract; mix until well blended. Add this mixture, half at a time, to flour mixture and stir until blended, but don’t overmix! Fold in the white baking morsels. Spoon batter (the batter will be thick) into muffin cups, filling them between 2/3 and 3/4 full. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center of muffins comes out clean (muffins will be lightly browned on top). Cool 5-10 minutes and remove from pan, then cool completely on a wire rack. While waiting for the muffins to cool, you can mix the glaze…

ORANGE GLAZE

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons orange juice concentrate, thawed and undiluted
  • 1/2 Tablespoon milk or half & half
  • 2 to 3 Tablespoons white (vanilla) baking morsels, coarsely chopped, for garnish

Mix powdered sugar, orange juice concentrate, and milk together in small bowl and blend well, until sugar is dissolved. This will be a thicker glaze. Spoon over muffins and sprinkle some coarsely chopped white baking morsels on top. Let glaze set for at least 10 to 15 minutes, then serve.

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I think orange is a great muffin flavor! Do you have a favorite orange muffin recipe?

Strawberry Yogurt Muffins

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One thing I love about these muffins is that you can make them plain…

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…or you can make them fancy!

They taste great without any kind of topping at all because they’re filled with lots of small chunks of fresh strawberries, and Greek yogurt makes them nice and moist. I think the butter in these have something to do with the rich taste, too. They are really yummy! I debated about putting a glaze on top of the muffins because they taste great just the way they are–why mess with a good thing? But then again, they do look pretty cute with a little glaze and a strawberry half on top! So, it’s up to you…if you like your muffins plain and simple, leave off the glaze…but if you want a fancier muffin, add some glaze and a strawberry!

STRAWBERRY YOGURT MUFFINS by NancyCreative, adapted from A Spicy Perspective

Makes 24 muffins

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 Tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup plain or vanilla Greek yogurt
  • 2 cups fresh strawberries, diced or cut into small chunks (measure strawberries after they’ve been cut into chunks
  • Optional: Creamy Glaze (see recipe below) and 12 strawberries, hulled and cut in half for garnish

Preheat oven to 350″F. Line 2 muffin pans with paper liners.

In large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, then stir in vanilla.

In small bowl, blend flour, baking soda, and salt.

Alternate beating the flour mixture and the yogurt into the butter/sugar mixture in the large bowl. Fold in the strawberries, gently mixing them into the batter. FYI, the batter will be thick!

Spoon batter into muffin cups, dividing batter evenly among all the cups (they’ll be between 2/3 and 3/4 full) and bake at 350˚F for 20 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Let muffins cool completely (I tasted these both warm from the oven and after they cooled completely, and I like them better when they are cooled!), then either serve or add the glaze and a strawberry half on top.

CREAMY GLAZE

  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons milk or half and half
  • 12 strawberries, hulled and cut in half for garnish

Mix powdered sugar and milk (or half and half), blending well–this will be a thick glaze. With a spoon, add a small dollup of glaze to the top of each muffin and spread out a little. Then add a strawberry half over the glaze. Let glaze set about 10 to 20 minutes before serving. Refrigerate any leftover muffins.

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NOTE: You can also make this recipe as a bundt cake–bake in a 10″ bundt pan at 350˚F for 60 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Grease and flour your pan well so your cake will come out easily. Let cake cool in pan about 20 minutes before removing. Cool completely on wire rack, then either serve plain or top with Creamy Glaze (let glaze set 10 to 20 minutes before serving).

How do you like your muffins–plain or fancy?

Egg Nog Muffins

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I had some extra egg nog again this year, so I decided to try out an egg nog muffin recipe of my own. These muffins rise very nicely, with wonderfully rounded tops. They’re not overly sweet, so they’re great spread with butter, jam, or even some cranberry chutney…and the Egg Nog Glaze adds a nice touch of sweetness on top. If you like your muffins sweeter, you can add in some chocolate chips, dried cranberries, or golden raisins, which I’ve noted in the recipe below. The muffins have a very subtle egg nog flavor, so they’ll also appeal to non-egg nog lovers.

EGG NOG MUFFINS with EGG NOG GLAZE by NancyCreative

Makes 18 muffins

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups egg nog
  • optional add-ins: 3/4 cup of dried cranberries, golden raisins, or white, semi-sweet, or dark chocolate chips
  • Egg Nog Glaze (see recipe below)

Preheat oven to 350˚F. Line 18 muffins cups with paper liners; set aside.

In large bowl, blend flour, baking powder, salt, nutmeg, and cinnamon; set aside.

In medium bowl, combine canola oil, sugar, sour cream, eggs, vanilla, and egg nog, blending well. Add these wet ingredients to the flour mixture and stir until all ingredients are moistened.

Spoon batter into lined muffin cups, filling each cup about 2/3 full. Bake at 350˚F for 20 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

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Let muffins cool completely, then top with the glaze…

EGG NOG GLAZE

  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • dash of nutmeg (about 1/8 teaspoon)
  • 1/3 cup egg nog
  • additional nutmeg for garnish

Mix all ingredients together until well blended. When muffins have cooled, spoon the glaze over each muffin or dip the tops of each muffin into the glaze, then sprinkle each muffin top with a dash of nutmeg before the glaze sets.

You’ll probably have some glaze left over, so you can save it to use on other things you’re baking.

Note: You can serve these muffins warm, too, if you want…let them cool about 5 minutes, then drizzle with glaze and sprinkle with nutmeg (the glaze will sink into the muffins a little because they’re still warm, but that’s OK :) ) Serve with butter, jam, or cranberry chutney if desired.

It’s hard to believe the holidays are just about over! Wishing all of you a wonderful New Year!

Chocolate Peppermint Muffins with Peppermint Glaze

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Chocolate and peppermint is a great combination for the holidays! I was wanting to make a Christmasy kind of muffin, so I thought I’d experiment a little with chocolate and peppermint and I came up with this Chocolate Peppermint Muffin recipe. It’s very rich and chocolatey, with some mini semi-sweet chocolate chips added in for good measure! ;) And it has a nice, mild peppermint flavor. Topped off with a peppermint glaze and crushed candy canes, this is more of a dessert muffin than a breakfast muffin…but if you want one for breakfast, go ahead…it’s Christmastime, after all! :)

CHOCOLATE PEPPERMINT MUFFINS by NancyCreative

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 (6-ounce ) container plain or vanilla yogurt (or about 2/3 cup)
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon pure peppermint extract
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (I used Hershey’s®)
  • 1 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • Peppermint Glaze (see recipe below)

Preheat oven to 350˚F. Line 12 muffin cups with paper liners; set aside.

In medium bowl, blend flour, baking soda, and salt; set aside.

In large bowl, cream butter and sugar until well blended. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Mix in the yogurt, then add the vanilla and peppermint extracts, mixing well. Add the cocoa powder and blend everything well.

Add the flour mixture to the butter/sugar mixture, half the amount at a time, until well blended. Fold in the mini chocolate chips and stir just until the chocolate chips are evenly distributed in batter.

ncChocPepMufs1Spoon mixture into the 12 muffin liners (the muffin batter is thick, so you won’t be able to pour it!). Bake at 350˚F for 22-24 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean (your toothpick may not come out totally clean because of the mini chips being in there–you may want to poke your muffin in a couple of places). Let muffins cool in pan for about 5 minutes, then remove to a wire cooling rack to cool completely.

When these are completely cooled, you can add the peppermint glaze…

PEPPERMINT GLAZE

  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 1/2 Tablespoons half and half (or milk)
  • 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon pure peppermint extract
  • 3 regular-size candy canes, crushed (about 1/4 cup)

In medium bowl, blend the powdered sugar with the milk or half and half, stirring until smooth. Add the peppermint extract and blend well. This will be a thicker, creamy glaze. Top each muffin with a spoonful of glaze, then add the crushed candy canes on top…as much or as little as you want.

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There…don’t these look like Christmasy kind of muffins? It’s one of my new favorite flavors now…you just can’t go wrong with chocolate and peppermint!

Do you have a favorite holiday muffin recipe?

Time for some Egg Nog!

I just bought some egg nog a few days ago and hopefully I’ll get a chance to try out a new egg nog recipe soon. But in the meantime, I thought I’d share a few yummy recipes I’ve made before…

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This Egg Nog Bread is moist and rich, with a subtle egg nog flavor and a creamy egg nog glaze–yum!

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And these Egg Nog-Cranberry Muffins are a treat, too…they actually have a lighter, cupcake-like texture, so you can have them for breakfast or dessert! :) They’re made with dried cranberries and also topped with a glaze and finely chopped nuts.

Enjoy your holiday egg nog this season! :)

Sweet Potato Biscuits from Around the Southern Table

Originally being from the midwest, I didn’t get my first taste of Southern food until I was in my mid-twenties. And I’ve been a fan of it ever since! There’s something about Southern cooking that is so comforting and inviting. And because I love the charm of Southern food, I decided to review a new Southern Living cookbook called Around the Southern Table by Rebecca Lang, who is a ninth-generation Southerner. This hardcover book features lots of mouth-watering photos and 150 made-from-scratch recipes that will help you bring a touch of Southern hospitality to your own table. The book is divided into these chapters:

  • Pull Up a Chair–A charming introduction with some tips on creating an inviting Southern table.
  • Sunup–Breakfast/brunch recipes like Pound Cake French Toast and Brown Butter Coffee Cake with Peaches and Blueberries.
  • Little Bites, Sips, and Jars–Appetizers, beverages, and homemade condiments.
  • Dinner Bell–Hearty main dishes like Pecan, Bourbon, and Cane Syrup Ham, Stuffed Meatloaf, and Crispy Country-fried Steak.
  • From the Oven–Casseroles, breads, and biscuits like Hoppin’ John Bake, Macaroni with Five Cheeses, and Herbed Buttermilk Biscuits.
  • Soup Spoons and Sliced Bread–Soups, stews, and sandwiches like Rich Corn Chowder and Kentucky Hot Brown Sandwiches.
  • Harvest Time–Salads and sides like Heirloom Tomato Salad and Swiss Chard with Bacon Butter.
  • Sugar Bowls–Delicious desserts like Six-Layer Caramel Cake and Pumpkin Pie with Brown Sugar Pecans.

I decided to try the Sweet Potato Biscuits because I love biscuits! And I’ve never made Sweet Potato Biscuits before, only drop biscuits. I had a feeling these would be much better than drop biscuits, and they definitely were! They are fluffy and puffy, and a biscuit-lovers dream! These would be great to make for Thanksgiving–either the main meal or for a Thanksgiving weekend brunch. Hope you get a chance to try these!

SWEET POTATO BISCUITS from Around the Southern Table

From the Author: Anytime I have leftover baked sweet potatoes, I make a batch of these biscuits. Super-moist and loaded with sweet potato flavor, they’re wonderful with ham, blueberry preserves, or butter. A little extra baking powder helps them rise.

Makes 15 biscuits (My  note: I actually ended up with 18 biscuits, so you’ll get anywhere from 15 to 18 biscuits)

  • 1 1/4 cups buttermilk
  • 1 cup mashed baked sweet potato, at room temperature
  • 4 cups self-rising soft-wheat flour (such as White Lily) (My note: I couldn’t find White Lily flour, so I used Gold Medal Self-Rising flour)
  • 1 Tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks), cut into 1/2-inch cubes and chilled
  • Parchment paper

Preheat oven to 425˚F. Stir together buttermilk and sweet potato in a medium bowl.

Combine flour, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. Cut butter into flour mixture with a pastry blender until it is crumbly and resembles small peas. Add buttermilk mixture, and stir just until dry ingredients are moistened.

Turn dough onto a well-floured surface, and knead 4 times with lightly floured hands. Pat dough to 3/4-inch thickness. Cut with a 2 1/4-inch round cutter (be very careful not to twist the cutter). Place biscuits, with sides touching, on a parchment paper-lined sheet.

Bake at 425˚F for 20 minutes or until lightly browned.

These are great hot out of the oven, spread with some butter and drizzled with a little honey! Definitely comfort food!

Are you a fan of Southern cooking, too? What’s your favorite Southern dish?

Peach Streusel Muffins

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Peaches are one of my favorite fruits! I always look forward to peach season, and this year I realized that I had never, ever made peach muffins. So I started looking for a recipe to try. I found one at  A Few Short Cuts, which I modified a little. I used canola oil instead of vegetable oil, unbleached flour instead of white flour, and used less butter in the streusel mixture because I wanted the muffins to rise a bit more. I brought them to work and my co-workers really liked them. There isn’t a super-strong peach flavor in these muffins, but no one seemed to mind that. They loved the moist texture and streusel topping. I personally felt there could have been a few more chopped peaches in each muffin, so I recommend increasing the amount of chopped peaches in the recipe from 2 cups to 2 1/2 cups–that’s what I’ll be trying next time I make these. But everything else about these tasty muffins were great! Make sure you don’t over-bake these so they won’t be dry.

PEACH STREUSEL MUFFINS by NancyC, adapted from A Few Short Cuts

Makes about 20 to 21 muffins

BATTER INGREDIENTS:

  • 1  1/4 cups canola oil
  • 3 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 cups unbleached flour
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2  to 2 1/2 cups finely chopped fresh peaches, peeled or unpeeled (or you can use drained canned peaches)
  • Pecan Streusel Topping (see recipe below)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line muffin pans with 20 to 21 cupcake liners; set aside.

In large bowl, mix the canola oil, eggs, vanilla, and sugar until well blended. In medium bowl, mix the flour, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt.

Add the flour mixture to the oil mixture and mix until all ingredients are blended together (but don’t overmix). The batter will be very thick! Fold in the peaches, stirring to distribute evenly in batter (the juicy chopped peaches will help thin out your batter a little).

Spoon batter into your prepared muffins cups, filling cups about 3/4 full, and top each muffin with about 1 Tablespoon (I used slightly less than 1 Tablespoon) of the Pecan Streusel Topping (see recipe below).

Bake at 375 degrees F for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in center of muffin comes out clean (I baked mine for about 22 minutes). Let muffins cool in pan about 10 minutes, then cool completely on a wire rack.

PECAN STREUSEL TOPPING:

  • 2/3 cup brown sugar, well-packed
  • 2/3 cup unbleached flour
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3 Tablespoons cold butter, cut into small pieces
  • 2/3 cup chopped pecans

In medium bowl, blend together the brown sugar, flour, and cinnamon. Add in the cold butter, cutting into flour mixture with a fork until mixture is crumbly. Add in chopped pecans and blend all ingredients together. NOTE: You’ll have about 3/4 cup of streusel left over; you can save it to use on something else or, if you don’t want so much leftover streusel, you can try reducing the amounts of the ingredients to: 1/2 cup packed brown sugar, 1/2 cup unbleached flour, 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon, 2 Tablespoons butter, 1/2 cup chopped pecans. That should give you just enough. I haven’t tried those smaller amounts myself yet, but they should be pretty consistent with the larger amounts.

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Are you a peach fan, too? What’s your favorite peach dessert?

Loaded Sweet Potato Muffins

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I came up with this recipe when I couldn’t find quite what I was looking for anywhere else. I had to make several batches of these muffins before they came out the way I wanted, but it was worth it! These are really yummy muffins made with canned sweet potatoes and “loaded” with dried cranberries, mini chocolate chips, and finely chopped pecans. They’re a real treat for breakfast, brunch, or snack time.

These Loaded Sweet Potato Muffins are great to make all year round, but I’m going to keep these in mind for Thanksgiving time, too…since I usually make alot of things with sweet potatoes and cranberries that time of year.

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You’ll end up with 19-20 muffins when you make this…about 1 1/2 dozen. Here’s the recipe…enjoy!

LOADED SWEET POTATO MUFFINS by NancyCreative

Makes 19-20 muffins

  • 1 (15-ounce) can sweet potatoes, drained and mashed (about 1 1/4 cups)
  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries (or substitute raisins)
  • 1/2  to 2/3 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 muffin tins with paper liners (the second tin will only need 7 or 8 liners).

In large bowl, add mashed sweet potatoes, brown sugar, and softened butter; blend until smooth. Add eggs and vanilla and blend well.

In medium bowl, mix flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg, blending well. Add these dry ingredients to the sweet potato mixture in the large bowl.

Add milk to sweet potato and flour mixture, stirring until blended (don’t overmix), then fold in the cranberries, mini chocolate chips, and chopped pecans.

Fill the lined muffin cups 3/4 full. Bake at 350 degrees for 18 to 20 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Serve warm.

Enjoy these muffins loaded with lots of yummy things inside!

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Do you like making muffins? What’s your favorite flavor?

Very Chocolate Zucchini Muffins

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I realized I hadn’t made anything chocolate in awhile! I found this recipe from Savoring Time in the Kitchen last year, so I thought it was about time I tried it out! :) The original recipe is for chocolate zucchini bread, but I decided to make muffins instead and made a few small changes…like using canola oil instead of vegetable oil and Greek yogurt instead of sour cream. I also added a little more chocolate chips to the batter. The recipe makes almost 2 dozen (22 to 23) really good, moist, chocolatey muffins–or you can make four mini-loaves instead (baking time will be longer). These muffins are moist yet cakey, too, and they have nice rounded tops. They’re a very yummy way to use that zucchini from your garden this summer!

VERY CHOCOLATE ZUCCHINI MUFFINS by NancyCreative, adapted from Savoring Time in the Kitchen

Makes 22 to 23 muffins (or 4 mini loaves)

  • 2 ounces unsweetened baking chocolate (two 1-ounce squares)
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup light olive oil or non-GMO canola oil
  • 1/4 cup plain or vanilla Greek yogurt (or lite sour cream)
  • 2 cups grated zucchini
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon (optional)
  • 3 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1 cup semi-sweet mini or regular chocolate chips (I prefer using the mini’s)
  • 3/4 cup coarsely chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin pans with paper liners (if making mini-loaves, grease and flour 4 mini-loaf pans).

In a microwave-safe bowl, microwave baking chocolate until melted. Stir occasionally until chocolate is smooth.

In a large bowl, combine eggs, sugar, oil, yogurt, grated zucchini, vanilla, and melted chocolate; blend well. Stir in the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon (optional), and cocoa powder. Then fold in the chocolate chips and nuts, if desired. Spoon into lined muffin cups or 4 mini-loaf pans.

Bake muffins at 350 degrees for 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. If making mini-loaves, the original recipe says to bake those for 45 minutes. You might want to check the loaves around 40 minutes, just to be on the safe side…especially if your oven tends to run hot!

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Zucchini always makes baked goods so nice and moist. What do you like to bake with zucchini?

Egg Nog-Cranberry Muffins

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Okay, I promise this will be the last Christmasy thing I post for awhile! :) I just thought this recipe would come in handy if any of you happened to have egg nog left over from the holidays. I always buy egg nog every year–it doesn’t seem like the holidays without it–but I always end up with extra. And it’s so rich, you can’t really drink a lot of it. So baking with it seems like the perfect way to finish using it up. I’m not sure exactly where I found this recipe because it’s one I just had a clipping of, but the clipping says that these muffins are served at a bed and breakfast called Amid Summer’s Innin Cedar City, Utah. It sounds like a great bed and breakfast. Have any of you stayed there?

The original recipe has chopped candied cherries in it, but I had dried cranberries on hand and thought I’d use those instead. I thought the muffins were really good with the dried cranberries, and I’m sure they’re good with the candied cherries too, so use whatever you like best. These are really yummy muffins…they actually have a cupcake-like texture. The egg nog flavor isn’t very strong, so I think it’s safe to say even non-egg nog fans would like these.

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One thing you don’t want to do when making these is overfill your muffin cups! I filled mine a little too full and the tops rose a little too much and spread over the edges of the muffin cups, making them tricky to remove from the pan. Fortunately, I was using non-stick pans so I was able to remove them without breaking any muffin tops, but next time I’ll make sure just to fill each muffin cup 3/4 full of batter. That should give you a nice rounded–topped muffin that doesn’t run over the edge. This recipe makes 2 dozen muffins, plus 3-4 additional ones…so you’ll get about 27-28 muffins. I didn’t have 3 muffin pans, so I just filled a mini loaf pan with the extra batter and baked it right along with the muffins.

The creamy Egg Nog glaze makes a great topping for these muffins, and you can make them even prettier by sprinkling on some dried cranberries and chopped nuts. If you have extra egg nog, give these a try…or keep them in mind for next year!

EGG NOG–CRANBERRY MUFFINS by NancyCreative, adapted from Amid Summer’s Inn Bed and Breakfast

Makes 27 to 28 muffins

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 1/2 cups flour
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 1/4 cups egg nog
  • 1 cup dried cranberries (or 1 cup chopped candied cherries)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Cream butter and sugar in large bowl. Beat in eggs. In medium bowl, combine flour and baking powder and add alternately with eggnog to butter-sugar mixture. Fold in dried cranberries (or chopped candied cherries). Pour or spoon batter into well-greased or paper-lined muffin cups, filling each cup 3/4 full. Bake at 325 degrees for 26 to 30 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool completely, then add egg nog glaze…

CREAMY EGG NOG GLAZE

  • 1 3/4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 5 to 6 Tablespoons egg nog
  • dried cranberries and finely chopped nuts for toppings (or dried candied cherry halves)

Mix powdered sugar, nutmeg, and cinnamon together in small bowl. Add desired amount of egg nog to get the consistency you want (I used 6 Tablespoons for my glaze). Spread or drizzle over each muffin. Top with dried cranberries and chopped nuts (or a candied cherry half in the center).

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These would be great for a holiday breakfast, brunch, or tea. A nice way to enjoy your egg nog!