Friday, October 28, 2011

Pumpkin Streusel Muffins

The weather is finally cool... really cool... we might get snow tonight!! I know that makes lots of you groan... but I'm wicked psyched!! I LOVE snow!!

Mostly cloudy. A chance of snow after midnight. Snow accumulation around an inch possible. Lows around 30. East winds around 5 mph. Chance of snow 50 percent.

I love seeing that little snow icon in my weather window! This is my favorite time of year!

It gets dark early... I can't wait to go back to standard time... it's cold and the chance for snow! What makes those nights even more perfect?

Baking something delicious of course!!

Ok... well... enough with the weather report!

I know I've mentioned before how much I love Penzey's. This recipe is from the Thanksgiving 2011 catalog, page 37.


Pumpkin Streusel Muffins
1/2 C butter, softened
1 C brown sugar, packed
1 egg
1 C plain pumpkin puree, (I used fresh)
1/4 C evaporated milk
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp powdered ginger
1/8 tsp ground cloves
1 2/3 flour

Streusel topping:
2 TBLS flour
2 1/2 TBLS white sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1 TBLS butter

Preheat oven to 375F.
Cream together butter and brown sugar. Beat in egg. Mix pumpkin with evaporated milk and mix in with butter/sugar mixture. In a separate bowl whisk together, flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and cloves. Stir flour mixture into pumpkin batter, until just combined. Don't over stir.

Spoon into 12 standard sized, greased or lined muffin cups.

In a small bowl combine streusel topping ingredients with a fork until the topping is about the size of small peas. Sprinkle evenly over muffins and bake for 18 - 22 minutes at 375F.



Cream together butter and brown sugar.

Beat in egg.

Mix pumpkin with evaporated milk and add to butter/sugar mixture.

Whisk together flour, baking powder, salt & spices.

Stir flour mixture into pumpkin mixture, until just combined.

Fill prepared muffin cups.

Mix up streusel topping.

Sprinkle evenly over muffins.

Bake at 375F for 18 - 22 minutes.

These came out wicked good!!!

Moist, tender muffins... with the sweet, buttery, cinnamony streusel topping...

The streusel topping really puts these muffins over the top!



I made these for a staff meeting at work. Everyone said they really liked them! I also gave one to my morning bus driver and a lady who gets off at the same stop as me every day. They both also told me how much they loved them!


This recipe is definitely a keeper! If you try no other pumpkin recipe this fall, try this one!! You definitely won't be disappointed!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Happy Birthday Chica... and a review...

Today my baby girl is 19 years old! The time has certainly flown by. It seems like just yesterday she was born. It was the wee hours of the morning and I didn't sleep at all after her arrival. I couldn't take my eyes off of her. She was perfect. I had never known I could love someone so much, until that very moment.


I asked Tawny what kind of cake she wanted for her birthday this year. She requested an almond flavored cake, that was decorated with bright pink and bright lime green. That was actually the same cake she requested last year. But last year, I had a hard time tinting the frosting and instead of bright colors, ended up with something more suited to a baby shower. She gave me a do-over.

Even though she requested that cake, I knew she loved those big cupcake shaped cakes. You know the ones... they look like a big cupcake!

Anyway... I needed to buy a pan.

This pan.

I could only find this at Michael's, since I waited until the last minute to buy one... but they wanted $35 for it!!! I could buy it for $20 on Amazon... AND get free shipping. I was really bummed about such a big price difference. But I was shopping with my friend Erin, and this caught her eye!!


Edible Cake Tattoos??!!! And in fun brightly colored animal prints!!! Those would be PERFECT!!!

They're by Duff Goldman, the Ace of Cakes at Charm City Cakes.

Duff has a whole line of stuff to make cool cakes at home! He has loads of Buttercream Fondants, Fondant Cutters, all kinds of Decorating Icings and Gels and Flavored Sprinkles, plus lots of other cool cake stuff. The clerk at Michael's even said that Duff's buttercream fondant is totally yummy... unlike that Wilton fondant.

I would definitely be considered a cake novice and honestly, was a bit nervous that I couldn't make the cake look cool, even with step by step decorations. But I knew Tawny would think this cake was awesome... so I decided to give it try.

For this cake, I had to bake two 8 inch cakes and two 6 inch cakes.

I opened the Edible Cake Tattoo package and this is what was inside.

They almost looked like fabric strips.

Time to frost the cakes.

Remember, when it comes to cakes, I'm definitely a novice. This time, I decided the cakes were flat enough to just use as is... but the next time I try this, I'd definitely trim the cakes so they were flat. I did trim one of the 6 inch layers. But I was worried if I trimmed the cakes, I'd need to trim the tattoos and I wasn't sure if I'd end up just making a huge mess.

I definitely could have trimmed them, the tattoos would have fit and after working with them, I feel pretty confident I could have easily trimmed them, without making a mess, if needed.


Place the tattoos on the cake.

They go on very easily. You do have to be gentle with them, because they will tear easily, but not so easily, if that makes sense.

There's a white border around each tattoo where the print ends. On white frosting, it totally blends in. But where the seams meet, you'll want to trim it down to the print, so you can't see the seams on the cake.

Tattoos applied!

Time for decoration. I used Duff's Icing Pouches.

The consistency of these pouches was a little thinner than I would have liked. Also, it was impossible to get the first two or three inches of icing that came out of the pouch mixed. So you definitely don't want to start out directly on the cake.

Once I got the feel of it, it was ok. But I think next time, I'd make my own icing, so I could control the thickness. Actually... only if I can get those vivid colors. I have a REALLY hard time with that. Plus, with my own frosting, I could use a much wider variety of decorating tips. I have a pretty nice set of tips, but you can also get a pretty nice set from Duff!

With my slightly rounded cakes... and trying to get the hang of the thinner than I like icing... this is what I ended up with.

I think it's a pretty decent likeness... especially for someone who just doesn't have much experience with cake decorating.


It's hard to tell in the picture... but those are zebra, tiger and giraffe candles. I found them over the summer and knew I would use them on Tawny's birthday cake. They just happened to fit in perfectly!



So how does all of this stuff taste you ask?

Not bad at all!

Well... I tried some of the extra tattoo when I trimmed it. By itself, it almost doesn't taste like anything. Everyone liked the pink icing from the icing pouch. I didn't try Duff's cake mix or butter cream icing.

I was a little worried that while cutting the cake, the tattoos would kinda drag and pull, but they sliced perfectly. And when they adhere to the frosting, you really don't even notice any tattoo taste or texture. They kinda become part of the frosting. They're pretty cool!


I have to say I'm very excited about Duff's line of cake decorating products. Stay tuned for Spryte's Adventures in Fondant... coming to a computer screen near you...

As for you Tawny.

Happy Birthday bonita chica! You have grown into a lovely, talented, strong young woman, who is loved very very much. I'm so proud of you. I love you pretty girl!! Happy Birthday!! Love, Mom ♥

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Crescent Chili Cheese Dog Boats

So it was October 4... but my kitchen calendar was still on September.


I bought some crescent rolls over the weekend and had planned to make these, just not on a stick.

Bob was walking through the kitchen and said, "mum, you should make those, but without the rolls" I told him that I was making them... but with the rolls, just no sticks. Weird that he'd ask for them on the day I planned to make them. I hadn't mentioned my dinner plan to anyone.

Then Jon happened through the kitchen and said that I should make those but add chili. Again, weird, because I didn't tell anyone what I was making.

Oh! That sounded really good!!

It's usually a 50/50 guess if Bob will want chili on a chili dog and that day, he passed and asked if he could just have hotdogs with cheese.

Lilly is eating a vegetarian plus fish diet these days, so they didn't fit the bill for her either.

Tawny is away at school. She probably would have had one, but would have asked if I'd only put half a hotdog in hers.

Anyway... what seemed to be totally kid friendly food... and only Jon and I wanted any of it!

Crescent Chili Cheese Dog Boats
1 package crescent rolls
4 hotdogs (your favorite kind)
1 can of chili (or your own homemade)
shredded cheddar cheese

Carefully unroll the crescent rolls. Separate the dough into 4 rectangles and pinch the seams through the middles closed.

Spoon a little chili onto each rectangle. Top with a hotdog and then some cheese. Pull all the corners of the dough towards the center and pinch to seal. They won't close all the way... add more cheeses to the opening.

Bake in an oven preheated to 375F for 12 to 15 minutes. Until dough is golden.



This is what you need.

Carefully unroll the dough to make 4 triangles and pinch the center seams to seal.

Add some chili.

Add the hotdogs.

Some shredded cheese.

Pull the corners toward the center and pinch to seal.

I noticed they were lookin' a little empty... so I decided they should have more cheese.

That's better!

Then into the oven for 12 - 15 minutes, until the dough is golden and everything is heated through.

These were so easy!

Mmmmm... melty, cheesy, chiliy goodness... wrapped in crescent dough!


I think the October recipe is Garlic Stuffed Olives baked in some kinda dough. I'm not typically an olive fan, with the exception of Erin's Olive Cheese Balls OMG DROOL... so I probably won't be making the October recipe. But maybe I'll change the calendar in a timely manner and November will have a cool recipe. We'll just have to wait and see!