Archive for the ‘baking’ Category

Raspberry Mini Muffins {Valentine’s Day Treats}

Thursday, February 13th, 2014

I again lucked out and got assigned snack duty at the foodie tot’s preschool for Valentine’s week. Sure it was for Wednesday, but the impending snow storm made it likely that they won’t have school on the day of, anyway. I had picked up these cute Valentine’s heart mini cupcake liners so muffins were an obvious choice — and I thought a whole raspberry inside the muffin would go over well in a crowd of three-year-olds.

Valentine's Raspberry Mini Muffins | FoodieTots.com

I’m pleased to report that not only did the class enjoy them, the foodie boy yelled “It was AWESOME!” when asked about the surprise packed in his lunch box. These are sweet and simple, and I served them with some baby red pepper slices to continue the naturally red theme.

Recipe: Raspberry Mini Muffins

Adapted from Serious Eats
Makes 24 mini muffins

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup cane sugar
  • 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 24 raspberries

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease or place liners in a 24 cup mini muffin tin.
  2. In a bowl, mix together flour, baking powder and salt.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine melted butter with sugar and whisk until smooth. Stir in egg, milk and vanilla and mix until well combined. Add dry ingredients and mix until just combined.
  4. With a teaspoon, fill muffin cups 3/4 full with batter. Place one raspberry, open side down, in each cup. Bake 12 to 15 minutes, until edges are golden and a toothpick come out clean. Let cool in pan.

Raspberry Mini Muffins | FoodieTots.com

Looking for more naturally red Valentine’s inspiration? Here are a few more recipes from around the web.

Baked Maple Doughnuts {Crown Maple Review}

Friday, February 7th, 2014

There’s nothing like a snow day to get one craving something sweet, and making baked doughnuts lets me feel like it’s a slightly healthier choice than the fried versions. Even if I top it with a rich maple glaze. I hadn’t realized that maple bars were a West Coast thing until reading about an article about them a couple years ago. I can’t recall eating many doughnuts as a child, but realizing that something isn’t available where you now live has a way of spurring a sudden sense of nostalgia. Of course you can get maple doughnuts at Dunkin Donuts, but I’m not a fan of that chemical aftertaste that artificial maple extract imparts. So it’s safer to make my own maple glazed doughnuts at home. As I’ve said before, baked doughnuts are really just muffins in the shape of a doughnut, but the glaze transforms them into a special occasion treat.

Maple Doughnuts | FoodieTots.com

We were recently sent some maple syrups and maple sugar from Crown Maple, and I was eager to try out the maple sugar in some baked goods. Unlike the maple sugar crystals I’ve used before, Crown maple sugar is very fine in texture and gives the baked doughnuts just a subtle maple flavor while baking up light and moist with a great crumb. Just take a peek inside.

Baked Maple Dougnuts with Maple Glaze | FoodieTots

Recipe: Baked Maple Doughnuts with Pure Maple Glaze

Adapted from Shutterbean
Makes 6 doughnuts

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup maple sugar
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

for the maple glaze:

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1/8 teaspoon pure maple extract*
  • 1-2 tablespoons whole milk

*Note: If you don’t have maple extract, use 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract. It won’t have as rich a maple flavor, but will still be delicious.

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease doughnut pan and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and maple sugar.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together butter, egg, buttermilk and vanilla extract.
  4. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix until well combined.
  5. Scoop the batter into a plastic sandwich bag. Snip off a corner and pipe batter into doughnut pan.
  6. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, until top bounces back when poked. Let cool in the pan for a few minutes before inverting onto a wire rack.
  7. While doughnuts are cooling, whisk together the glaze ingredients using just enough milk to make it smooth but not so much that it’s runny. I made it slightly thinner and dipped the doughnuts in it, but you risk getting crumbs in the glaze that way. I’d recommend keeping it just thin enough to drizzle with a fork and drizzling it over the doughnuts.

Crown Maple Sugar Review | FoodieTots

About Crown Maple Syrup: Crown Maple Syrup is certified organic syrup produced from 25,000 sugar and red maple trees on an 800-acre sustainably-managed estate in New York’s Hudson River Valley. They use a unique reverse osmosis system to remove 90% of water from the sap before the evaporation process, resulting in an extraordinarily pure syrup. The syrups, available in light, medium, dark and extra dark amber, are pure and delicious drizzled on pancakes and waffles; I also like to use them in vinaigrette over salad and even in cocktails. You can visit Madava Farms, home of Crown Maple, on the weekends for a tour and tasting — and March is the peak tapping season to see it in action.

Disclosure: We received product from Crown Maple for review purposes; no other compensation was received and as always, all opinions are our own.

Cheddar Cheese Crackers {#KidsCook}

Wednesday, October 30th, 2013

As luck would have it, I was assigned preschool snack duty on the day of the kids’ Halloween parade. Obviously no ordinary fruit and crackers would do, so I decided it was time to make some homemade cheese crackers. The tot and I headed to the store in search of Halloween cookie cutters, but came home with these adorable woodland animals instead. I used the owls for Halloween, and, as her class is the Penguins, you can bet there will be a batch (or several) of penguins in the near future!

healthy preschool halloween snack | foodietots.com

I tweaked a couple recipes to make a simple version, using part all-purpose and part white wheat flour. (White wheat is a lighter whole wheat flour made by King Arthur flour.) I might try all white wheat next time, but for now these turned out light, cheesy and crisp. Lots of homemade cheese cracker recipes call for cayenne pepper, but I skipped that since I was serving them to three-year-olds. A dash of ground mustard powder was enough to boost the cheesy flavor. Try them and see what you think!

Kids Cooking Tip: All the mixing is done in a food processor, so be sure to enlist the little ones to press the button on and off. Older kids can help grate the cheese. And of course, rolling and cutting is always a fun task for little helpers.

Cheddar Cheese Crackers | FoodieTots.com

Recipe: Homemade Cheddar Cheese Crackers

Makes 3 dozen small crackers

Ingredients:

  • 6 ounces sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1/4 butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup white wheat flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground mustard
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • optional: sunflower seeds or pepitas

Instructions:

  1. Line baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone mat.
  2. Place first six ingredients in food processor and pulse a few seconds at a time, until mixture is crumbly.
  3. Add milk and pulse a few more times until dough begins to stick together.
  4. Press dough together and chill for 15 minutes in the refrigerator. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  5. On a lightly floured cutting board, roll out dough to 1/8-inch thickness. Cut into 1-inch squares or use a small cookie cutter to cut shapes. Use blunt end of a wooden skewer to poke eyes, or if cutting into squares, poke each in the center. If using seeds, press firmly into the dough.
  6. Place on prepared baking sheet and bake 12-15 minutes, until edges are golden. Cool completely on cooling rack, then store in airtight container.

Pumpkin Granola Bars

Friday, November 30th, 2012

It may be the end of November, but I figure there’s still time to share one last pumpkin treat before the holiday baking begins in earnest. You need something healthy for those lunchboxes and after-school snacks to offset the Christmas cookies, right? These soft-baked granola bars are easy to put together (even with little helpers). I made them for my son’s school bake sale — a not-too-sweet treat you can still feel good about.

Pumpkin Granola Bars

Recipe: Pumpkin Granola Bars
Adapted from Two Peas and Their Pod
Makes 10-12 bars

Ingredients:
  • 3 1/4 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/4 cup virgin coconut oil, melted
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Instructions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8- by 8-inch baking pan with parchment paper.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together oats, sugar, spices and salt.
3. In a separate bowl, mix together pumpkin puree, coconut oil, honey and vanilla extract. Pour pumpkin mixture into dry ingredients and mix until well combined.
4. Pour batter into baking pan and press down with spatula. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until cooked through and lightly browned. Let cool completely, then cut into rectangles.
Ever made homemade granola bars? Here are a few other varieties from around the web:

Pumpkin Gingerbread Cake #FBS4Sandy

Thursday, November 8th, 2012

What do food bloggers do when a hurricane is approaching? Cook and bake, of course. With school and work cancelled and hours to go before the serious part of the storm arrived, I hunkered down in my kitchen cooking down the contents of my refrigerator. All the while following along with those on twitter doing the same thing. We had this pumpkin gingerbread cake for breakfast, and I had chili simmering on the gas stove for dinner just in time — as we lost power in the late afternoon. Fortunately, we were without power for less than 36 hours — as we all know, the brunt of Hurricane Sandy was felt by those in New York and New Jersey.

pumpkin gingerbread cake (c)foodietots

While our family and friends were largely spared damage, hearing about and seeing the devastation on the news has been heartrending. (My friend Christina of Take Back Your Table was without power for 10 days–and even then, she’s one of the lucky ones. Some areas may not have power back until December.) And once again, the food community is banding together to support those impacted by Hurricane Sandy — with a Food Bloggers Support for Sandy virtual potluck. I’m bringing this cake, but visit our hostess Creative Culinary for a hearty round-up of comfort dishes. And I know I don’t have to tell you to give if you’re able to the hurricane relief effort. To give toward kid-focused relief efforts, there’s the Pajama Project or K.I.D.S., both of which can take donations directed towards Sandy relief work.

Recipe: Pumpkin Gingerbread Cake
Makes 2 9-inch cakes

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup cane sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 2 cups pumpkin puree (15 oz)
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 tablespoon molasses
Instructions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare two 9-inch round cake pans (line with parchment paper, butter and flour).
2. Mix flour, sugars, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and ginger in a large mixing bowl.
3. Mix pumpkin, eggs, olive oil, applesauce and molasses in a separate bowl. Pour into dry ingredients and mix until just combined.
4. Bake 35 to 40 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool in pan 5 minutes, then invert onto a cooling rack and cool completely.
Note: Make a two-layer cake with cream cheese frosting, or eat one layer and freeze the other for later. I served mine with a maple glaze — one cup powdered sugar, one teaspoon maple extract, and enough milk (one teaspoon at a time) to make a thin glaze.
Visit Creative Culinary for the Support for Sandy link-up — and add your own recipe if you’d like.