Wednesday, March 25, 2009

LAWSUIT Triple Berry Muffins

I love muffins! One of my favorites is the Triple Berry variety. I have searched out various recipes in hopes of uncovering the perfect one. Once again, I land with one of my tried and true favorite bakers, Marcy Goldman. She has several books out, but one of my absolute "go to" is: THE BEST OF BETTER BAKING. She has a recipe for the Lawsuit Buttermilk Muffin. The story goes that as a Pastry Chef in NYC, Marcy spent many laborious hours concocting a 5 star muffin for a bakery she worked at. They were selling 75 dozen a day! She started with a Bon Appetite recipe and revised it to come up with the Lawsuit Muffin. Why call it a Lawsuit Muffin? Well, after working at yet another bakery who hijacked her recipe after firing her, she decided to seek legal counsel and settled out of court for a nominal sum. In the end, she was the sole proprietor of HER recipe. Thus, the "secret formula" for the perfect muffin was shared in her cookbook. After baking up 6 dozen to take to work this week, I must say that they were DIVINE! All of them were gone within 30 minutes!!! They live up to their name and then some!

First, you make the struesal topping. It's a combination of brown sugar, butter and walnuts. You can make extra and freeze it for future baking!

Then, you mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.

Mix light brown sugar, vegetable oil and buttermilk with vanilla extract. After that, you mix the wet ingredients into the dry and stir until mixed.

Add frozen triple berry mix to batter. Frozen berries work better because they don't bleed and turn your mixture pink! I use ALDI brand triple berry mix. The berries are delicious and the price is fantastic!

Put batter in paper cups in muffin tin using ice cream scoop. Sprinkle stuesal topping on batter. Make sure oven is preheated to 375 degrees before placing in the oven.

Bake muffins at 375 degrees for 15-18 min. Turn oven down to 350 degrees and bake for an additional 15 minutes. Let muffins cool in pan for 5 minutes and then cool on rack.

Pour a glass of milk and ENJOY!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Red Velvet Cupcakes with Mascarpone Cream Cheese Frosting

My parents were born and raised in the south. Winchester, KY to be exact. That was also the birthplace of your's truely. So, being of southern lineage, I am always looking for the absolute BEST red velvet cake recipe. I stumbled upon an article in Victoria Magazine over 8 years ago that featured a woman named RebeccaRather. She was a single mother, like myself, who left her day job as a caterer to follow her dream. She opened up a small bakery in Fredericksburg, Texas called Rather_Sweet. The rest is history. Ten years later she has a thriving business and is the belle of the ball. Not only does she operate her successful bakery, but has a small restaurant down the street as well. She has also published two cookbooks, The Pastry Queen and ThePastryQueenChristmas. I purchased both, of course, and have made a number of her recipes. By far, one of my favorites is the Red Velvet Cupcake Recipe from The Pastry Queen Christmas. These cupcakes are DIVINE . Tender, moist and amazing! The accompanying Mascarpone Cream Cheese Frosting is what makes these cupcakes over the top!

So, after a long day at work, and a two hour meditation class, I was feeling the urge to splurge. It is another co-worker's birthday tomorrow so I decided to whip up some for the troops. I was not so great at documenting the whole process, but you get the drift. Forty eight DELICIOUS cupcakes are ready to be eaten tomorrow (well, 47 as of about a minute ago cuz my husband stole one!). Wow, speaking of the Devil, I hear him moaning right now as he is devouring it.......I think that is a good thing!

You can purchasae this book at The_Pastry_Queen_Christmas

So, you bake them up ( I doubled up the batch to make 48 small)

And you make the yummy frosting while they are baking

And then after you have let them cool completely, you frost them up.

You add some sugar sprinkles while the frosting is still wet.

And then you DIG IN!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Bananas Peach Foster with Pecans

My husband always makes some kind of culinary delight on Sunday evenings. Tonight was extra special because my parents were going to join us. So, the menu was comprised of brown rice stuffed Cornish Game Hens with an amazing sauce and side of French green beans. So, to make it even more special I decided to do a dessert. Usually, I would make some calorie laden concoction, but since we are all trying to watch our weight these days (not go up!), I decided on a lighter fare. I pulled out my Weight Watchers Cookbook and found a revamped Bananas Peach Foster with Pecan recipe that looked delicious. It is only 4 points for those of you who are on the Weight Watchers Program. For those of you who are not it has only 215 calories per serving with only 4.8 grams of fat! So, after tasting this, I have to say this revised lower fat version was not short on taste and was absolutely delicious! It was also very easy to make (less than 10 minutes total!).
So, here is the recipe:
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 tbsp light butter (Land O Lakes)
  • 2 ripe bananas, peeled and cut into 1-inch slices
  • 1/4 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 can of "lite" peaches
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups vanilla fat-free or sugar free ice cream

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Add pecans, and cook 2 minutes or until nuts begin to brown, stirring frequently. Remove from pan and set aside in separate bowl.

Add butter to pan, and cook over medium heat until butter melts.

Stir in bananas, brown sugar, and cinnamon: Cook 1 minute, tossing with 2 spoons until banana slices are coated with sugar mixture.

Add peaches, and cook 1 to 2 minutes or just until banana slices are soft, stirring constantly. Do not overcook! Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Divide banana mixture evenly among 6 dessert bowls, top evenly with ice cream, sprinkle with toasted pecans and serve immediately. ENJOY!

Per Serving: CAL 215; FAT 4.8g (sat 1.1g); PRO 3.5g; CARB 42.5g; FIB 2.3g; CHOL 2 mg; IRON 0.8mg; SOD 50mg; CALC 68mg.