Wednesday, January 1, 2014

It's Cookie Time, It's Cookie Time

by EP

I don't know about you, but whenever cookies are coming out of the oven, I sing "It's cookie time, it's cookie time" a la the great cinematic masterpiece that is "Troop Beverly Hills." 

Yes, that just happened.

Speaking of cookies coming out of the oven, our ovens have been working overtime this holiday season! We have been making some great treats - both classics and what we're calling "alterna-cookies": classic cookies with a special twist, like gingersnaps made with bacon fat, or sugar cookies made with goat cheese.

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Magic New Year Muffins

By Xani

Halllooooooo out there, internet friends.  If anyone is still reading, I just wanted to take a moment to wish you a happy new year!  It's been a bit of a light year for BCD in 2013, perhaps we can pick up the posting pace in 2014? No promises...

For now, I wanted to share a little recipe I baked up the other day, and was able to share with EP, Dave, and some good BCD friends, George and Jamie. I baked them on a whim on a miserable, rainy day between Xmas and New Years, and if that isn't the perfect time to bake something, I don't know what is.  I had just defrosted some homemade applesauce I'd made in the fall, and was inspired to use it to create something delicious, but not quite as rich and decadent as most of the treats I've been surrounded by this holiday season.  I fiddled with a recipe I found online, adding cardmom and coconut oil and a bit of whole wheat flour, and they just came out so perfect, with the right amount of crunch outside, a moist inside from the applesauce, and the haunting flavor of cardamom throughout. They are sweet but not overly so, and excellent with a cup of black coffee (but Black Coffee and a Muffin just doesn't have the same ring to it).  My muffin testers agreed, describing them as magical and addictive.  And Dave ate five of them, so I guess he really liked them, too.  So I had to share this little recipe with all our readers, many of whom have been reading this little blog since the very beginning!  Perhaps you will want to bake up a batch of these today (they only take about half an hour, surely you can squeeze that in before midnight!) and maybe they will be the magic cure for any hangover symptoms tomorrow (but no promises)...

Whether you start your 2014 with muffins or not, we hope it begins brilliantly and just keeps getting better!

Love from the BCD girls,

X and EP

Cardamom-spiced Applesauce Muffins
based on this recipe from Recipe below includes my adjustments

Makes 12 muffinsingredients

For muffins:
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour or whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 heaping teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar (or a little less if your applesauce is on the sweet side)
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, melted
  • 3 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
  • 1 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 cup toasted almonds (3 1/2 ounces), coarsely chopped
For topping:
  • 3 tablespoons demerara sugar
  • 3/4 cup sliced, slivered or chopped almonds
  • Special equipment: a muffin pan with 12 (1/2-cup) muffin cups, Pam for Baking 
  • preparation
Prepare muffins:
Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 400°F. Grease muffin pan (I used Pam for Baking which worked perfectly).
Stir together flours, baking powder, baking soda, spices, and salt in a bowl. Whisk together eggs and brown sugar in a large bowl until combined well, then add butter and coconut oil, a little at a time, whisking until mixture is creamy. Stir in applesauce, then fold in flour mixture until flour is just moistened. Stir in nuts and divide batter among muffin cups.
Make topping and bake:
Stir together topping ingredients and sprinkle on top of muffins. Bake until muffins are puffed and golden, about 20 minutes. Cool in pan on a rack 5 minutes, then remove muffins from pan and cool slightly.
cooks' note:Muffins, cooled completely, keep in an airtight container at room temperature 1 day.

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