bread & muffins

Again, using up more of the yogurt in my fridge by making a recipe for cinnamon raisin yogurt biscuits.

As with any biscuit recipe, don’t over-mix!  With the cinnamon/sugar mixture, I’d put in 3/4 of the mix and keep out only 1/4 of it for the top.  When I did a 50/50, I found I had too much cinnamon/sugar leftover.

I thought these were really good biscuits and since there’s less butter than normal biscuits, they’re somewhat lower-in-fat than normal.  They were still moist and full of flavor, but not quite as buttery as a typical biscuit.

Cinnamon Raisin Yogurt Biscuit Dough  Cinnamon Raisin Yogurt Biscuits  Cinnamon Raisin Yogurt Biscuit

I sent them to my dad and he said that out of the 50lbs of baked items I sent him (yeah, that shipping charge was pretty hefty), this was his favorite. 

Makes me wonder what he thought of the other 48 lbs…

OK, so before I tell you what I thought of this recipe of Irish Soda Bread (which used yogurt), I need to tell you that I needed to use up some Greek yogurt that was in my fridge.  I also need to confess something that I haven’t yet told you.

I hate yogurt.  I love the frozen stuff, but it’s the other one that I hate.  I can eat it if I have to, but I rarely do.  I don’t know why exactly, but I think it has to do with the texture.  So when I buy yogurt, it’s only for baking.

Phew, that felt good to reveal.  Ha. 

Yogurt Irish Soda Bread  Yogurt Irish Soda Bread

Anyway, I thought the Irish Soda Bread, while I molded it into a bread loaf, was actually quite delicious.  It was a little sweeter than I would have wanted, but it had a nice crunchy and hearty texture.  Great with soup!

I love cream cheese, but I found I had a lot remaining in my fridge.  Before it would have a chance to expire, I thought I’d make these cream cheese banana cupcakes.

Cream Cheese Banana Cupcake Dough  Cream Cheese Banana Cupcakes  Cream Cheese Banana Cupcakes

Wow, some seriously delicious and moist cupcakes!  Highly recommend trying this recipe!

I love naan bread.  What shocks a lot of people is that it’s easy to make at home — it just takes a hot oven (or grill).  I thought I’d try this naan bread recipe since so many said it was exactly like you get in an Indian restaurant.

This recipe was really good — it was a bit sweeter than usual.  I think next time I’d reduce the amount of sugar.  The trick to making naan look like what you get in a restaurant is to grill it (or bake it) watching the dough carefully so it doesn’t get too brown and crunchy.

Since I didn’t have a grill, I heated my oven stone to 500 degrees.  Then I placed the pieces of flattened dough and baked for 3-5 minutes until brown.  The dough was chewy and delicious.

Naan Bread Dough  Naan Bread Dough  Naan Bread Dough After 550  Naan Bread  Naan Bread

I do think this recipe beats this one for bread machine naan.

I love Nutella.  What’s not to love?  Chocolate and hazelnut — just as good as chocolate and peanut butter.  Anyway, I wanted to branch out and try a recipe for Nutella cupcakes

These are easy cupcakes to mix, but I found I had to bake them a bit longer than the recipe said.  When I took them out, they looked great. 

Nutella Cupcake Dough  Nutella Cupcakes  Nutella Cupcakes  Nutella Cupcakes  Nutella Cupcakes

I didn’t think they were too heavy on the Nutella flavor so I would definitely recommend topping them with Nutella.  Or, you could put half the dough and then a dollop of Nutella and then top with the remaining dough.  They weren’t too sweet either so the Nutella “frosting” will complement, not overwhelm.  If you’re making them for someone, I’d also add some crushed hazelnut to the top. 

With these changes, I promise these will be crowd-pleasing cupcakes!

Beer bread is always a favorite in the winter and a perfect addition to serve with chili or stew.  I wasn’t sure how the 4-ingredient beer bread recipe would turn out, but figured I might as well try it.

When there are only four ingredients, you have to use high quality stuff.  So I used a bottle of Magic Hat Jinx Ale.  I think it’s important to use a thick, heavy ale with this recipe.

I didn’t have any self-rising flour, but I did have a lot of bread flour.  If you want to make your own self-rising flour, someone recommended using 3 cups of all-purpose flour, 1.5 tsp of baking power, 1.5 tsp of salt.

Once I mixed everything together, I didn’t think the dough was super sticky.  But I sprayed my bread loaf pan and put it in the oven. 

4-Ingredient Beer Bread Dough 

The bread didn’t come out as high as I thought it would (maybe if I used self-rising flour it would have). 

4-Ingredient Beer Bread  4-Ingredient Beer Bread  4-Ingredient Beer Bread

But the flavor?  It was surprisingly sweet and really tasty.  It’d be great as a side with soups or used as sandwich bread.  I definitely recommend trying this one!

I had about 3 cups of pumpkin leftover and was happy to find this recipe for pecan pumpkin biscuits that would help me use the remaining pumpkin puree. 

Pumpkin Biscuit Dough  Pumpkin Biscuits  Pumpkin Biscuits

As with any biscuit recipe, make sure you don’t overmix and you are going to find yourself enjoying some fluffy pumpkin buttery biscuits!  These are highly addictive and would definitely recommend trying them.

Instead of throwing out the maraschino cherry juice, I thought I’d see if there was another recipe that needed it.  I found a recipe for maraschino cherry loaf, but really, it should have been called “tiny maraschino cherry loaf.” 

The recipe itself was easy to mix, but when I poured it into my standard 9×5 loaf pan, it was only 1/4 filled with dough. 

Once the loaf was done baking, there was a nice light brown crust on the outside and a soft cherry flavor inside. 

Maraschino Cherry Loaf Dough  Maraschino Cherry Loaf  Maraschino Cherry Loaf

I don’t know if I’d necessarily make this again, but considering it did use up some of the maraschino cherry juice, I am happy. 

I’d definitely make the maraschino cherry cake before I’d make this tiny cherry loaf recipe again.

As with most of the recipes I try out, I like it when you can mix everything together in a bowl, pour into a pan, and bake.  Now that’s a recipe! 

This one for cranberry nut bread is exactly that kind of recipe.  It’s a heavy and hearty kind of bread which isn’t too sweet.  It’s great for breakfast!

Cranberry Nut Bread Dough  Cranberry Nut Bread

I actually made this recipe for overnight coffeecake on Christmas, but I haven’t had a chance to post it until now. 

Anyway, my dad flew out on Christmas afternoon and so I decided I’d make breakfast before he left.   Since we were in a bit of a rush, I was annoyed that it needed to be baked a lot longer than the recipe called for (about 60 minutes plus 10 minutes for cooling down). 

Once I cut into the coffeecake, I forgot about the additional baking time. 

The cinnamon and brown sugar topping was perfectly crunchy.  The dough was moist and tender.  It was a perfect coffeecake that was very easy to mix.  I didn’t make any icing since I thought it was going to be sweet enough — and I was right. 

 Overnight Coffeecake Dough  Overnight Coffeecake Dough  Overnight Coffeecake  Overnight Coffeecake

Definitely recommend making this recipe!

I found this recipe in Jewish Women’s magazine for authentic challah bread.  You can make it using your bread machine or by hand — either way, it’s super easy! 

This recipe made two loaves and I used them to make tomorrow’s recipe for pumpkin bread puddingJust wait, you’ll see that recipe, well, tomorrow.

Unlike my previously posted challah bread recipe, this one is going into my book because I know it’s authentic.  The  loaves were sweet and chewy. 

Here are  step-by-step photos:

Challah Bread Dough  Challah Bread Dough  Challah Bread Dough  Challah Bread Dough  Challah Bread  Challah Bread


I love banana bread, but the full fat version isn’t possible for an everyday breakfast.  So I threw together this recipe.  I like it — it’s not too sticky and it has a big banana flavor.  But yeah, it is low-fat so it is a bit spongy. 

  • 1 1/2 cup of flour
  • 1/2 cup of sugar
  • 1/4 cup of applesauce
  • 2 cups of mashed bananas
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup of uncooked oats
  • 1/3 cup of Greek yogurt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp of vanilla

Preheat the oven to 350.  Now mix everything together in a bowl and pour into a loaf pan.  Bake for 55 minutes or until the toothpick inserted in the middle is clean.

Low fat Banana Oatmeal Bread  Low fat Banana Oatmeal Bread  Low fat Banana Oatmeal Bread

It works for me and my breakfasts.  Plus, I add a little strawberry jam or cashew butter and it makes it taste much better!

Continuing with the theme of using up buttermilk, I thought I’d try Tyler Florence’s recipe for buttermilk biscuits.  I love his baguette recipe so I had high hopes.

Tyler Florence Biscuit Dough  Tyler Florence Buttermilk Biscuits  Tyler Florence Buttermilk Biscuits

The biscuits have a soft and buttery taste, but they’re not as good as Alton Brown’s biscuits since they weren’t as flakey.

One of my food weaknesses is biscuits.  I love them.  But I find a lot of biscuits are super greasy, heavy, etc.  So when I was looking for a new biscuit recipe, I thought I’d try Alton Brown’s Southern Biscuit recipe.

Holy smokes is this an awesome recipe for biscuits!  I usually just shape mine and don’t roll out  so I don’t run the risk “over handle” them. 

Alton Brown's Southern Biscuit Dough  Alton Brown's Southern Biscuit Dough  Alton Brown's Southern Biscuits  Alton Brown's Southern Biscuits  Alton Brown's Southern Biscuits

They are light, fluffy, moist — it’s seriously everything you’re looking for in a biscuit  recipe.  These are the perfect biscuits!

To me, the holidays don’t start until you have a box of clementines in your fridge.  But if you’re also like me, after the 30th clementine, you’re getting over them.  So I was happy to find a recipe for clementine yogurt muffins from Stonyfield’s Web site.  I originally linked to the recipe, but realized the link wasn’t working so here’s the recipe:

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup Stonyfield Farm plain yogurt
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 large egg
1 tbs. grated clementine peel
1 cup diced clementine

In a large bowl, sift together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, stir together yogurt, melted butter, egg, grated clementine peel, and diced clementine. Pour clementine mixture into flour mixture and stir just until combined. Spoon the batter into a greased muffin tins, filling two-thirds full. Bake in 400°F. oven for 18 to 20 minutes, or until lightly browned. Cool for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to finish cooling. 

And I know I said I wouldn’t post until January 5th, but I didn’t think I should hold back on this recipe…especially since some of you may be like me with clementines.

Anyway, I followed as instructed…except I just threw everything into my bowl and mixed.  Also, I put in about 2 TBSP of zest and 4 chopped clementines (a little more than 1 cup).  I found I had a lot of dough, but put in equal amounts in all 12 tins.  Thankfully, it worked and the tins didn’t overflow. 

Clementine Yogurt Muffin Dough

Then I baked as directed.

Clementine Yogurt Muffins  Clementine Yogurt Muffins  Clementine Yogurt Muffins  Clementine Yogurt Muffins

Once they cooled, they were delicate and had a pleasant orange flavor.  I liked the small chunks of clementines and even better — I liked I used up the last of my clementines!  I thought it was a good recipe.

OK, back to my blog-cation…

As you can probably guess, I did a little surfing on King Arthur’s Web site.  Anyway, I found this very interesting recipe for cheddar and black pepper scones

When making any scones, DON’TOVER MIX.  If you follow that code, you’re going to find yourself with savory and awesome scones.  The black pepper gives it a little kick while the cheddar gives it a sharp taste. 

Cheddar and Black Pepper Scone Dough  Cheddar and Black Pepper Scone  Cheddar and Black Pepper Scone  Cheddar and Black Pepper Scone

Seriously delicious!

If you’re like me, when I hear “schmear” I think of cream cheese, but apparently, it really means things that go together.

Whatever you want to call it, I thought King Arthur’s recipe for cinnamon schmear scones was awesome.

I didn’t have their cinnamon mixture, but I made my own.  I combined 1 tsp of cinnamon and 1/2-3/4 sugar. 

When you start to mold the dough (after just mixing it so all the ingredients combine), this is a great time to add the cinnamon sugar mixture.  What I did was I’d sprinkle it on, then fold the dough and sprinkle more mixture.  I did this 3 times. 

Cinnamon Schmear Scone Dough  Cinnamon Schmear Scone Dough  Cinnamon Schmear Scone Dough

Then when I divided the dough, I made sure to use the excess mixture to put no the sides.  You could see the three layers.  But as you can probably see from the end result photos, I did over-bake them a little bit.  Bummer, but they still taste pretty good!

Cinnamon Schmear Scone  Cinnamon Schmear Scone

And yes, King Arthur’s recipe is way better than this one.

I can only eat so many eggs and cereal so I have continued to try to find and make low fat versions of delicious breakfast ideas.

Using this recipe as the base, I only modified it a little.  Instead of 4 TBSP of butter, I used 2 TBSP of butter and 1/4 cup of unsweetened applesauce.  It was a little sticky, but it was good and low fat. 

It was also so easy to heat up in the morning for breakfast. 

Low fat Blueberry Cake  Low fat Blueberry Cake  Low fat Blueberry Cake

When my mom was in college, she mentioned she had two roommates and one of them worked at a candy store.  This roommate always brought home tons of chocolate and candy from the store.  The other one had a mom who baked a lot — especially kolaches.

So anyway, now that you know a little bit about my mom’s college roommates, here’s the recipe for bread machine kolaches

In most of the kolaches, I put raspberry jam and baked as instructed.  In the others, I baked them without any filling.   When they came out of the oven, I put in Nutella.

Bread Machine Kolaches  Bread Machine Kolaches

I don’t know what kolaches are supposed to taste like, but these taste like a standard bread roll with jelly on top.  Is that right?  I have to think no…

[Mom WhereInDC was shipped these kolaches and concurred.  Then she said she hated the roommate’s mom’s kolaches.  Oh well…]

Penzy’s spices. Love them.  While they are expensive, their spices are such high quality that you can’t go wrong.

So I thought I’d try to make their recipe for pumpkin spice bars.  They were incredibly moist and flavorful.  They were also very delicate so make sure you spray your pan well with non-stick spray! 

Penzy’s Pumpkin Spice Bars  Penzy’s Pumpkin Spice Bars  Penzy’s Pumpkin Spice Bars

But seriously good!

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