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!

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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?

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?

Cranberry Sauce Muffins with Cranberry Sauce Glaze

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Last week I posted a recipe for Cranberry-Pecan Cream Cheese Spread…well, here’s another really good recipe that you can use your extra cranberry sauce in. These Cranberry Sauce Muffins are sweetened with some brown sugar and whole berry cranberry sauce–the berries in the sauce are a nice addition to the muffins! Plus, the muffins have some oats in them, too, so they’re both healthy and tasty! I found this recipe at SeriousEats.comI changed it very slightly and added my own Cranberry Sauce Glaze. The muffins are great with or without the glaze, so if you’re watching your calories, just leave the glaze off. They taste great right out of the oven, spread with a little butter or Cranberry–Pecan Cream Cheese Spread. The original recipe didn’t say how many muffins it was supposed to make, but I ended up with 16. I filled my muffin cups a little fuller than I should have, so if you fill the cups 3/4 full like the directions say, you’ll probably end up with 17 or 18.

CRANBERRY SAUCE MUFFINS (adapted from Serious Eats)

Makes 16-18 muffins

  • 1 1/2 cups unbleached flour
  • 1 cup oats (I used quick-cooking oats, but you can use the old-fashioned oats, too)
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 Tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 1 1/2 cups Whole Berry Cranberry Sauce (I used the Ocean Spray® brand)
  • 1 egg

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line muffin tins with paper baking cups.

In large bowl, combine flour, oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; mix well. In medium bowl, combine milk, oil, cranberry sauce and egg; blend well. Fold this mixture into dry ingredients at all once and stir until dry ingredients are moistened.

Fill muffin cups about 3/4 full. Bake 20 to 22 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. You can eat these warm right out of the oven…spread with a little butter or Cranberry-Pecan Cream Cheese Spread. Or, let the muffins cool completely and top them with this glaze…

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CRANBERRY SAUCE GLAZE

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons milk or half and half
  • 1 Tablespoon Whole Berry Cranberry Sauce
  • chopped pecans for sprinkling over glaze

In small bowl, mix powdered sugar and milk (or half and half) together, blending well. Stir in the cranberry sauce and blend well. Drizzle over cooled muffins, then sprinkle with pecans if desired. Let glaze set and then serve.

Linked to Foodie Friday.

Sour Cream Coffee Cake Muffins

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This recipe gives you the best of both worlds…the yummy taste of a moist cinnamon streusel-topped coffee cake, drizzled with glaze and sprinkled with chopped pecans…all in an easy-to-eat muffin! It’s the perfect thing for breakfast or brunch (with a hot cup of coffee, of course). If you’re not a morning person, it makes getting out of bed a little easier knowing you have a delicious muffin to look forward to! :)  I found the recipe at myrecipes.com and made a few changes to it. This recipe makes 6 jumbo muffins or 12 regular-size muffins.

SOUR CREAM COFFEE CAKE MUFFINS by NancyCreative, adapted from myrecipes.com

Makes 6 jumbo or 12 regular-size muffins

Streusel:

  • 3 teaspoons butter, softened
  • 1  cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 2-3 teaspoons cinnamon

Batter:

  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 2 eggs (or 1/2 cup egg substitute)
  • 1 cup sour cream (regular or light)
  • 2 tablespoons milk or half and half
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Glaze:

  • 6 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 3 teaspoons orange juice
  • additional chopped pecans for garnish

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

FOR STREUSEL, in small bowl, combine butter, brown sugar, chopped pecans, and cinnamon; set aside.

FOR BATTER, place granulated sugar and softened butter in large bowl; mix until well-blended. Add eggs or egg substitute and blend well. Beat in sour cream, milk, and vanilla.

Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in another large bowl, stirring well with a whisk. Make a well in center of mixture and add sour cream mixture. Stir just until combined.

Place 6 jumbo paper muffin liners in a jumbo muffin pan or 12 regular-size liners in a standard muffin pan. Fill cups half full with batter. Sprinkle batter evenly with some of the streusel mixture (don’t use any more than half of the streusel; you’ll need the rest for the topping). Top muffins with remaining batter, then sprinkle with more streusel. Bake at 375 degrees for 22-25 minutes for jumbo muffins and 12-15 minutes for regular-size muffins, or until a wooden toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Let muffins cool a few minutes, then place on a wire rack. Cool 10 more minutes.

FOR GLAZE, combine powdered sugar and orange juice in a small bowl, stirring until smooth. Drizzle glaze over muffins, and sprinkle with additional chopped pecans, if desired.

Then grab a cup of coffee and enjoy one of your muffins! :)

Linked to Sunday Showcase, Sundae Scoop, Potluck Sunday, Foodie Friday, I’m Lovin’ It! Friday, Sweet Tooth Friday, Sweets for a Saturday.
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Corn Dog Muffins and Clothespins

Corn dogs and clothespins are both kind of nostalgic. And before I had a chance to post the recipe for some Corn Dog Muffins I had made, a friend and I found some quaint old wooden clothespins at an antique store in Eureka Springs this past weekend…so I just had to post a picture of those, too!

I’m not sure what I’m going to do with these, but they brought back memories of my mom hanging out the laundry in our backyard with her wooden clothespins, and seeing the clothes drying in the summer breeze and sunshine. It seems like eons ago now. These clothespins almost seem kind of primitive in today’s world with all our high-tech gadgets. How fast things change!

Now back to the Corn Dog Muffins…

You might be asking, “Why Corn Dog Muffins?” Well, for some reason, corn dogs remind me of fall. I think it’s because they’re often sold at the craft shows and fairs that happen so often this time of year. So I had corn dogs on my mind! I had seen some recipes for corn dog muffins, so I thought I’d give them a try.

I tried making these a few times. The first time, I made them with a cornbread batter that had cheese and honey in it, but those stuck to my paper muffin liners really badly and you couldn’t even taste the cheese in the muffins. So I tried another batter and omitted the cheese…and I like the taste of these muffins much better. The batter is actually a cornbread recipe I found on Allrecipes.com and I added in some Hillshire Farm® Lit’l Smokies® sausages instead of hot dogs…but you could use hot dogs instead if you want. These muffins would be good for breakfast or brunch or even for a snack, and this recipe makes about 17 muffins.

CORN DOG MUFFINS by NancyCreative, adapted from AllRecipes.com

  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 (14-oz.) package Lit’l Smokies® sausages, divided (set aside 17 sausage links, 1 for each muffin. (Note: if you want to use hot dogs instead, chop up enough hot dogs into small chunks to fill up 2 to 2 1/2 cups)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line muffin pans with paper liners. In medium bowl, combine melted butter and sugar. Add eggs and beat until well-blended. Add buttermilk, blending well. Then stir in baking soda, cornmeal, flour, and salt and mix until well-blended. Set aside 17 of the Lit’l Smokies® sausages; chop the remaining sausages into small chunks and mix into the cornbread batter. Fill muffin cups almost 3/4 full with batter, then add a Lit’l Smokies® link on top of each one (Note: if you don’t want quite so much sausage in your muffins, just use the one unchopped sausage link and place on the top of each cup of muffin batter; you’ll probably get about 14 muffins if you do this). If using chopped hot dogs, mix your small chunks into the batter and fill each muffin cup 3/4 full; you won’t need to put anything on top. Bake at 375 degrees for 15 minutes. Let cool about 5 minutes and remove from pan. Serve warm.

Here’s what the muffins will look like before you put them in the oven…

I was hoping the little sausages would stay at the top as they baked, but they sunk into the batter. But it does make a nice surprise when you bite into the muffin and find the tasty sausage link and chopped bits of sausage inside!

These are best served warm!

Linked to Sunday Showcase, Potluck Sunday, Motivate Me Monday, Tempt My Tummy Tuesday, Tuesdays at the Table, Tasty Tuesday, Show and Tell, We Did It! Wednesday, Make It Yours Day, Strut Your Stuff, Favorite Things Friday, Frugalicious Friday, I’m Lovin’ It Friday, Favorite Things Saturday.