Sunday, December 21, 2008

why not do some baking...

Today marks ONE WEEK since this winter weather has hit us here in Oregon. There are so many words to describe this snowy wonderland like beautiful and peaceful, but I'm going crazy!! Am I the only one feeling trapped?? I know, I'm being a wimp.

So, while it's doing this outside...
I'm doing a little bit of baking inside.

The morning started out with church being canceled since there was a good 1/2-inch layer of ice on top of already 7 or more inches of snow. We weren't going anywhere.

I decided I wanted some muffins, so I checked out All Recipes and found some that looked good and they were definitely good. So, I thought I would share...

**I'm writing out the recipe here since I usually read the reviews and then make the recipe "my own", but feel free to follow this link for the actual recipe.

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins

Muffin Batter:
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups white sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
2 eggs
1 1/3 cup canned pumpkin
1/3 cup canola oil
2 tsp. vanilla

In a large bowl, sift together flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. Make a well in the center of flour mixture and add eggs, pumpkin, oil, and vanilla. Beat until smooth.

Place pumpkin mixture in muffin cups about 1/2 full. Make a well in each muffin for the filling.

1 (8-oz) package cream cheese
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
3 Tbsp. brown sugar

In a medium bowl, beat cream cheese until soft (do not overbeat). Add egg, vanilla, and brown sugar. Beat until smooth.

Add 1 Tbsp. of cream cheese mixture right in the middle of each muffin, trying to keep the cream cheese from touching the paper cup.

Streusel Topping:

**I doubled the topping, but most of the muffins spilled out of the cup. I thought it was worth it because I love that crunchy top layer of the muffin!
4 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
5 Tbsp. white sugar
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1 Tbsp. brown sugar
3/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
4 Tbsp. butter

In a medium bowl, mix flour, sugar, nutmeg, brown sugar, and cinnamon. Add butter and cut it in with a fork until crumbly.

Sprinkle streusel topping on top of the muffin.

Bake at 375 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes.
Makes 18-22 muffins.

Yumminess!! If you don't have a lot of time and aren't in the mood for a lot of clean up, this isn't the recipe for you, but it was well worth the wait (and the dishes!)

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But my baking frenzy didn't stop there.

My friend, Sarri, is having a Christmas Cookie Recipe Exchange over at her blog, and I wanted to join the party!

Again, using the trusty All Recipes site, I found a mouth watering cookie recipe. We didn't have ONE main ingredient, but my amazing husband walked to Safeway in the crunchy snow (with Mikayla on his shoulders) to get me the beloved...

Reese's Peanut Butter Cups
Brace yourself...this is a good one.

If you would like the original recipe and not "my own" (which I didn't change much with this one), follow this link.

Peanut Butter Cup Cookies

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 cup butter, softened (I used butter shortening)
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 egg, beaten
1 tsp. vanilla
2 Tbsp. milk
40 miniature peanut butter cups, unwrapped (place in freezer)

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2. Sift together the flour, salt, and baking soda; set aside.
3. Cream together the butter, sugar, peanut butter, and brown sugar until fluffy. Beat in the egg, vanilla, and milk. Add the flour mixture; mix well.
4. Place in refrigerator for an hour or so (not necessary, but helps with next step)
5. Shape into 40 balls and place each into an ungreased muffin pan.
6. Bake at 375 degrees for 8 minutes (no more). Remove from oven and let set for 1-2 minutes. 7. Press a frozen peanut butter cup into each ball.
8. Cool (about 5 minutes) and carefully remove from pan.

I used a mini muffin pan like the original directions stated (on the left in the picture below), but they turned out looking like mini muffins, which were cute, but didn't look like a cookie. So, I used a regular muffin pan (on the right in the picture below) and they turned out more like a cookie. I'm sure you could even just put them on a cookie sheet, too.

The recipe makes about 3 dozen cookies, and you might want to have a plan of who are giving these to, or you might be in for a tummy ache!

And, if you're looking for the recipe for the Peppermint Bark I made earlier this week for my neighbors, follow this link, but I would recommend if you wanted to make quite a bit than you should probably double the white chocolate chips. You can also use 12 candy canes in place of the peppermint candies. I'll be making another batch of this soon, since I gave it all to the neighbors!


Sarah said...

I too am going crazy. Today I made magic bars and have eaten my weight in them. I think I've gained 5 pounds this week alone.

I want to try your yummy recipes. They look so good.

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