The kids are all in new schools today, so I’ve been waiting not-so patiently all day to see how everything went.
We had these scones this morning to celebrate the first day of school. (I do occasionally deviate from muffins.) These scones are adapted from bake or break—I made a traditional glaze as noted below, although the brown-butter glaze sounds awesome.
1/2 cup unsalted butter, cold and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the glaze:
1 1/4 cups confectioners’ sugar
2 to 3 tablespoons milk
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
I’m not a food photographer, but I thought it would be good to show the finished product. Mmm… craggy. The better to fill in with glaze.
Preheat oven to 400°. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Whisk together flour, oats, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, salt, and cloves.
Add cubed butter and use a pastry blender or a fork to mix until the largest pieces of butter are about the size of small peas.
Add buttermilk and vanilla, and stir just until combined.
Gather dough into a ball and transfer to parchment-lined pan. Gently pat the dough into a disk about 7 inches in diameter. Cut into 6 wedges and separate each wedge so that there is about half an inch between wedges.
Bake 15 to 20 minutes, or until golden brown. Cool in pan on a wire rack.
Whisk together the glaze ingredients and pour on cooled scones.
Photo is the pedestrian bridge my two younger kids will use to walk to and from school each day.
OK, the recipe isn’t really called that—I added the Empty Nest thing because Robert and I are sans kiddoes this week. It is so quiet… and this batch of 18 muffins is lasting the two of us a loooong time. If you’re in a similar boat, best to refrigerate these and refresh them in the toaster oven or microwave.
Recipe comes from the wonderful site Six O’Clock Scramble. We’ve been subscribers for a long time and we love their healthy, kid-friendly and (mostly) simple dishes. The cornmeal adds a hearty texture to these muffins, along with the whole wheat flour. These aren’t too sweet, really, and work well as a breakfast food, snack, or as a side dish (which is how the Scramble suggests serving them).
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. baking powder
1 cup yellow cornmeal
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
15 oz. canned pumpkin (I love recipes that use the entire can, yay!)
1/2 cup nonfat or low fat milk
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Coat 18 muffin tins with nonstick cooking spray.
With an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar until it is light and fluffy.
Add the remaining ingredients EXCEPT the chocolate chips and beat just until smooth.
Fold in the chocolate chips.
Fill the muffin cups about 2/3 full with the batter, and bake for 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean.
Let cool and serve immediately, or store tightly covered for up to 3 days, or freeze for up to 6 months.
It’s been a sporty summer for the Dana clan. All three kids are on the swim team this year. That sounds hectic, and it is, but I love that our sport is something that they can participate in together. Good family-building, easier on the parents.
Last night was a crazy meet though. It rained off and on, and the area around the pool was mainly grass, which quickly turned to mud. But the kids dropped times, and they all placed in breaststroke, which is apparently the Dana family stroke.
Last night’s forecast. Yeah that’s the stuff:
As for me, marathon training has begun. I’m running the Marine Corps Marathon in October, and because I’m certifiable, I’m also running the Houston Marathon in January. I would’ve loved to run just the half in Houston, but the full marathon runs by my alma mater, the church where I was married and ordained, and the street where I grew up. How could I resist?
I’m calling these muffins “Athlete’s Special” because they were our recovery breakfast this morning after I gave the kids the day off from practice. I also wolfed mine down because I ran seven hill repeats with some girlfriends this morning. (Hill repeats: Warm up, ending your warm up at the bottom of a hill. Run up the hill, wishing you were dead. Jog down. Repeat.) They do have bananas in them, which have lots of good things, and blueberries are chock full of antioxidants. But whatever your sport, you’ll like them.
1 cup sugar (I subbed in some brown sugar out of necessity–but try it just because!)
2 large eggs
1/4 cup buttermilk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 ripe bananas, mashed (I used two–they were large)
1 cup blueberries
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly coat 16 muffin cups with cooking spray or use liners.
In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and sugar on medium-high until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Beat in eggs, buttermilk and vanilla until well combined. Beat in bananas until well combined. Gradually add flour mixture to the sugar mixture at low speed, beating just until incorporated.
Add blueberries and gently toss to combine.
Scoop the batter evenly into the muffin cups. Place into oven and bake for 20 minutes, or until a tester inserted in the center comes out clean.
Remove from oven and let cool for 15 minutes before inverting the cake onto a wire rack.
Robert and I always look forward to May with a special joy, because the farmers’ markets open again. Of course it often takes us a few weeks to get our schedules straight to visit, but when we do, we are rewarded with strawberries.
I bought a bunch, and have been making lots of refrigerator jam to freeze. Nothing like a cup of spring in the middle of January.
We were out of granulated sugar but I can report that powdered sugar works fine–for fridge jam, anyway–and the cornstarch helps it set up even more quickly.
I also made strawberry streusel muffins. I don’t think I baked them quite long enough because they are more gooey on top than crumbly. But if you store them in the fridge and heat them in your toaster oven they are just lovely.
I got the recipe from this source. It says the recipe makes 18 but I got 12 normal-sized muffins. (Could be why I underbaked them slightly.)
¼ cup Butter (softened)
¾ cup White Sugar
1½ cups Flour
2 tsp Baking Powder
½ cup Milk
1½ cup Fresh Strawberries (chopped)
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
½ tsp Salt
¼ cup Butter (cold)
½ cup Flour
¼ cup Brown Sugar
¼ cup Sugar
Preheat over to 375 F.
Line muffin pan.
Cream butter and sugar in a mixing bowl.
Beat in egg and vanilla.
Combine flour, baking powder, and salt in a separate bowl.
Slowly add milk and flour mix, alternating between until incorporated in the butter mix.
Beat until completely combined.
Add about 2 tbsp of batter to each muffin liner.
Load up the muffins with strawberries.
In a mixing bowl, use a pastry cutter to combine crumble ingredients until it is uniform and small pea-sized pieces.
Sprinkle crumble over the strawberries.
Bake muffins for 18-20 minutes.
The original recipe says to reduce oven temperature to 350 before baking, but I like a hotter oven for muffins, personally.
Bananas have a very thin zone of palatability in our house. They must be slightly green, with no spots yet. What most people call a ripe banana activates the gag reflex in the kids (and in me, though I can usually choke down a peanut butter-banana sandwich on race mornings). We may get two breakfasts’ worth out of a bunch, but that’s pushing it.
Thankfully bananas freeze well and are great in smoothies, and of course muffins. Here’s a good garden-variety banana muffin recipe.
2 cups flour (I use half all-purpose and half white whole wheat)
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 stick butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
3 large ripe bananas
2 tablespoons milk or half-and-half
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon white vinegar
Preheat oven to 400 degrees and prepare muffin pan(s) with cooking spray or liners.
In a medium bowl, whisk flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.
In another medium/large bowl, cream butter and sugar with a hand mixer until fluffy. Add eggs, beating until incorporated.
Slice ripe bananas into sugar mixture and beat with mixer. Add milk, vanilla and vinegar and combine.
Mix dry ingredients into wet ingredients with a spoon until just combined.
Bake at 400 for 18-20 minutes or until nicely browned and a toothpick comes out clean. Cool on a rack for 10 minutes before removing from pan.