Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Quick and Easy Pumpkin Spice Muffins

Have you noticed that pretty much the only things I do right now are things that are quick and easy?  Sad but true.  I am busy…

I went searching yesterday for a quick and easy recipe to make some pumpkin muffins.  I wanted something that used no appliances and I could whip out in a matter of minutes with minimal mess.  These were perfect and fit my criteria flawlessly!

See the crunchy cinnamon/sugar coating on top?  It absolutely made these muffins!!!

Pumpkin Muffins (adapted from Smitten Kitchen)
Adapted from the American club, in Kohler, Wisconsin via Gourmet Magazine


1 1/2 cups White Whole Wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup canned solid-pack pumpkin (from a 15 ounce can)
1/3 cup vegetable oil
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pumpkin-pie spice
3/4 cups plus 1 tablespoon white sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon


Makes 12 muffins

Put oven in middle position and preheat oven to 350°F. Put liners in muffin cups.

Whisk together pumpkin, oil, eggs, and brown sugar in a large bowl until smooth.  In another bowl whish together the flour, white sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and pumpkin pie spice.  Add the dry ingredients to the pumpkin mixture and whisk until until just combined.  Be careful to not over mix .

Stir together cinnamon and remaining 1 tablespoon sugar in another bowl.

Divide batter among muffin cups (each should be about three-fourths full), then sprinkle tops with cinnamon-sugar mixture. Bake until puffed and golden brown and wooden pick or skewer inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes.

Cool in pan on a rack five minutes, then transfer muffins from pan to rack and cool to warm or room temperature.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Pecan Pie Bars


These are soooooo good!  I would never lie to you about something so wonderfully ooey, gooey and somewhat in some places chewy!

My friend Marye Audet very generously sent me a copy of her new cookbook “The Everything Cookies and Brownies Cookbook”.  This book is part of the “The Everything” series of books.  And what a great addition to the series it is!

I love baking cookies and brownies so this one is right up my alley…it has frosted cookies, filled cookies (with ideas for fillings), brownies, bar cookies, drop cookies and get this…even some that are good for shipping.

If you are looking for a comprehensive, all in one spot cookie and brownie book this one is it.  This book even has a section for special needs, as in gluten free and egg/dairy free.

Love the book Marye and congrats on a job well done!  I can’t wait to try out the rest of the delicious recipes!!!


Pecan Pie Bars (from The Everything Cookies & Brownies Cookbook – recipe reprinted with Marye Audet’s permission)



3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter


1-1/2 cups light corn syrup
4 eggs
3/4 cup white sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla
3 cups chopped pecans
1 cup chocolate chips, optional (I used 1/2 cup scattered on the crust of half of the jelly roll pan)


  • Preheat oven to 350F.  Line 10” x 15” jelly roll pan with parchment, allowing it to overhang sides and ends slightly.
  • Stir together flour, 1/2 cup sugar and salt.  Cut in 1 cup butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Press firmly into the pan.
  • Bake 20 minutes.
  • Mix together corn syrup, eggs, remaining sugars, 3 tablespoons of butter, and vanilla; whisk until smooth. Stir in pecans, pour over hot crust. If using the chocolate chips add them before you pour the topping on the crust.
  • Bake 25 minutes or until set.  Cool completely before cutting into bars.

As Always…

Happy Entertaining!!!


Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Wordless Wednesday


What do you think that the man who will always love her the most whispered to make her smile like that?

Monday, October 19, 2009

Banana-Chocolate Chip Muffins

So it’s been a while.  I can give you a million reasons why I haven’t posted since last month but I won’t.  Hopefully this is the end of the dry spell.


I had 4 small bananas that were past the eating date according to everyone in my family.  I knew I needed to make something with them but couldn’t decide on anything.  I was going to make a banana cake with cream cheese frosting but getting out the mixer seemed like a lot of work while I was trying to do laundry and clean.  Banana bread rarely gets finished here for some reason.  Everyone starts gung ho on it and then I end up throwing out the last 3 slices.  I was going to make banana snicker doodles but once again sounded like too much work.

Finally I came across a recipe for banana chocolate chip muffins from the Epicurious  website.  I love this site because of the honest reviews that people leave on the recipes.  How can you go wrong when 275 people have left comments for you!!!

These muffins were delicious.  Light and fluffy, full of bananas and chocolate chips.  Definitely yummy my taste testers just confirmed! 

Banana-Chocolate Chip Muffins (


  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup mashed ripe bananas (about 2 large)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips


  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • Line twelve 1/3-cup muffin cups with foil muffin liners.
  • Mix flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in large bowl.
  • Mix mashed bananas, egg, melted butter and milk in medium bowl.
  • Stir banana mixture into dry ingredients just until blended (do not overmix).
  • Stir in chocolate chips.
  • Divide batter among prepared muffin cups, filling each about 3/4 full.
  • Bake muffins until tops are pale golden and tester inserted into center comes out with some melted chocolate attached but no crumbs, about 32 minutes.
  • Transfer muffins to rack; cool.