I bake to sweeten life

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Irish Soda Bread Muffins

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Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups currants or raisins (I left them out)
  • 1/2 to 2 teaspoons caraway seeds, to taste (or substitute dill seed – milder or anise seed)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • sparkling white sugar, for topping

Directions:

1) Preheat the oven to 500°F. Line muffin tin with papers, and grease the papers.

2) In a medium-sized mixing bowl, whisk together the flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt, sugar, currants or raisins, and caraway seeds.

3) In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg, buttermilk and oil.

4) Quickly and gently combine the dry and wet ingredients; Take a fork or wire whisk and blend the two for 20 seconds — no more!

5) Spoon the batter into the prepared pan, filling the cups about 3/4 full; the stiff batter will look mounded in the cups. Top with sparkling white sugar, if desired.

6) Place muffins in the oven and immediately drop temperature to 400°F. Bake for 20 minutes, until a cake tester inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean. Remove them from the oven. Tip the muffins in the pan, so their bottoms don’t get soggy. Wait 5 minutes, then transfer the muffins to a rack to cool.

Makes 12 muffins

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Pear Cupcakes

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Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of peeled, shredded, drained, and pressed pears (about 1 large or 2 small pears)

  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar

  • 1/2 cup brown sugar

  • 2/3 cup canola oil

  • 1 cup, 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, sifted

  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon cardamom

  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

  • 2 large eggs, beaten

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line cupcake pans with 12 baking cups.

  2. Combine pears, granulated sugar, and brown sugar. Mix on medium low until well combined, about 1 minute.

  3. Slowly pour in oil. Continue mixing until combined. Scrape bowl to completely incorporate.

  4. Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cardamom and nutmeg. Add to batter. mix on medium just until combined. Add eggs and mix until smooth, about 10-20 seconds. Scrape bowl to well mix.

  5. Scoop batter into prepared baking cups, filling them ¾ full.

  6. Baked in middle of oven for 20 – 25 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through.

  7. The cupcakes are done when centers spring back to touch.

  8. Let cool completely.

Yield: 12 cupcakes

Eggnog Blondies

Eggnog Blondies

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 tablespoons flaxseed meal
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs, large
  • 1/2 cup eggnog
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup cranberries, chopped

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9×9-inch square pan with parchment.
  2. In a medium bowl mix dry ingredients, set aside.
  3. Cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  4. Add egg and eggnog and stir until blended.
  5. Stir in chocolate chips and cranberries.
  6. Spread evenly in prepared pan. Bake for 25 – 30 min or until middle is set.
  7. Remove from the oven and cool on a rack for 1 hour. Cut just before serving.

Yield: 12-16 Brownies

Chocolate Pecan Pie

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Ingredients

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup HERSHEY’S Cocoa
  • 3 eggs, slightly beaten
  • 3/4 cup dark corn syrup
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup pecan halves
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
  • 1 unbaked 9-inch pie crust

Directions

1. Heat oven to 350°F.

2. Stir together sugar and cocoa in medium bowl. Add eggs, corn syrup, butter and vanilla; stir until well blended. Stir in pecans and chocolate chips. Pour into unbaked pie crust.

3. Bake 55-60 minutes or until set. Remove from oven to wire rack. Cool completely.

Yield: 8 servings.

Gingerbread Brownies

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Ingredients:

  • 12 tablespoons butter, unsalted
  • 1 ½ cups sugar
  • 1/3 cup molasses
  • 4 eggs, large
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2  teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 cup nuts or chocolate chips (optional)

Directions:

  1. Grease a 9×9 inch baking pan with butter and flour or line with parchment.  Preheat oven to 350°F.

  2. In a small saucepan, heat butter over low heat just just until melted, but not brown. Set aside to cool for 5 minutes.

  3. Add the molasses and sugar to the butter and whisk until blended. Add the eggs one at a time, whisking after each until the mixture is smooth and shiny. Add vanilla and whisk until mixed well.

  4. Measure the flour, salt and spices and sift together into batter. Mix batter gently until combined and no trace of dry ingredients remains.

  5. At this point, if desired, stir in any extras like nuts or chocolate chips or maybe cinnamon chips.

  6. Spread the batter evenly in the prepared baking pan and bake for 30 – 35 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean or with only crumbs, not batter, on it.

  7. Remove from the oven and cool on a rack for 1 hour. Cut just before serving.

Yield: 12-16 Brownies

Pumpkin Pie Dip

Ingredients:

  • 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
  • 2 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon molasses
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

Directions:

In a large bowl, beat cream cheese, brown sugar and confectioners’ sugar until smooth.

Beat in the pumpkin, sour cream, molasses, cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice  until blended.

Good with gingersnap cookies, Also great with apple and pear slices or  spread on breads like zucchini or any nut bread.

Refrigerate leftovers.

Yield: 4 cups.

Peanut Butter Fudge

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cup  sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 stick (4 tbsp) butter or margarine
  • 1~5 oz. can evaporated milk (2/3 c.)
  • 1 Jar (7 1/2oz) Marshmallow Fluff
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 3 ounces peanut butter
  • 10 ounces Reese’s peanut butter chips

Directions:

  1. Grease a 9-inch square baking pan; set aside.
  2. In large saucepan combine the first 7 ingredients. Stir over low heat until blended. Increase heat to Medium and bring to a full-rolling boil being careful not to mistake escaping air bubbles for boiling. Boil slowly, stirring constantly for 5 minutes. Remove from heat, stir in vanilla and peanut butter and chips until melted.
  3. Turn into greased pan and cool.

Makes 2 1/2 pounds.

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