Lemon Sour Cream Muffins

January 3, 2012 § Leave a comment

Do you ever try out a new recipe just to use up ingredients in the fridge? In my family’s fridge there is a huge bottle of lemon juice as well as a tub of sour cream. Therefore, when I found this recipe for lemon sour cream muffins, I knew I had to make them.

The other ingredients were basic, everyday items such as flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and butter. It was really simple – just mix the dry ingredients and wet ingredients separately, make a well in the dry ingredients, pour in the wet ingredients, and mix together.

The resulting muffins are fluffy, cake-like, and not too sugary, for those of us without a big sweet tooth.

I figured, while the oven is on, I might as well make a healthy side to eat with my muffins. I chopped up some broccoli and kabocha squash to roast in a pan alongside the baking muffins.

If you’ve never tried kabocha squash, also known as Japanese pumpkin, you have not really lived. I am not joking. This winter squash is out of this world delicious – dense, intensely sweet, with an almost chestnut-like taste. You can eat the skin too, as it becomes soft after cooking. It’s such a vibrant, nutritious, yet simple food. I usually steam it or roast it in the oven.

Lesson of the day: go try kabocha squash if you haven’t already! Usually Asian grocery stores stock them.

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White Chocolate Chip Muffins

December 27, 2011 § 2 Comments

Who doesn’t love a good muffin?

White chocolate may not be real chocolate, but white chocolate chips were the only type to be had the day I went shopping at Target and dropped by the baking aisle. It was either that, or dark bittersweet, and I am one of those people with the opinion that chocolate ought not to be bitter.

 

I used this recipe for chocolate chip muffins, though I obviously substituted the white chocolate chips for milk chocolate, and used half the amount, as suggested by many of the reviewers. Also, I couldn’t find any brown sugar in the house so I just used all white sugar. The process was very simple and took about an hour, including baking time. Be aware that the recipe calls for butter, melted and then cooled, which adds additional steps that must be accounted for in the time.

This muffin would have been aesthetically more pleasing had I used real chocolate chips, but instead it looks like cornbread. There is a crisp, firm outer layer surrounding a crumbly and soft interior. The sweetness of the white chocolate provides an indulgent feel to this morning staple.

Cream Cheese Danish

December 22, 2011 § Leave a comment

Like the insomniac that I am, I woke up today at 4am after sleeping at 1am. After reading for a few hours in bed, I decided that this morning was the perfect one to try this Easy Cream Cheese Danish recipe. It was, like the name suggests, surprisingly easy to make. All you need is

  • 2 cans of refrigerated crescent rolls dough (I used 8 oz cans because I didn’t realized that the recipe called for 10 oz cans)
  • 2 packages of cream cheese
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1.5 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons sour cream

And for the icing:

  • 1 cup confectioner’s sugar
  • 1 tablespoon milk (I used soymilk)
  • 1 tablespoon softened butter

You preheat the oven to 350, grease a 8×13 baking dish, then lay down one layer of the crescent roll dough. Mix up the cream cheese, sugar, lemon juice, vanilla extract, and sour cream in a large bowl. Spread the filling on top of the bottom layer of dough, then cover with the top layer. Put in the oven for 20-30 minutes. While this is going on, mix up the sugar, milk, and butter in a small bowl. Drizzle on the icing after the danish has cooled.

Here’s a photo pre-icing:

And after icing:

The icing didn’t turn out as well as planned because I only had granulated sugar instead of confectioner’s sugar. Apparently you can use a blender to grind up granulated sugar but I didn’t really want to spend that much effort. That’s why the icing looks rather grainy.

Also, there was way too much filling. Maybe this was because I used less dough than the recipe requires, but other reviewers of the recipe online made similar comments. Some of them only used half the stated amount of filling and said their danishes turned out fine.

Giant Sugar Cookies

December 20, 2011 § 2 Comments

I used a Martha Stewart recipe to bake these delicious cookies.

They are really easy to make, don’t require too many ingredients, and took me about an hour. The cookies are huge – maybe three inches across and one inch thick, so the recipe only made ten. Very sugary!

The recipe calls for an electric mixer, but I just did it by hand – the way they did it in the olden days. It’s a good arm workout.

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