Sunday, December 11, 2016

Millet Muffins

This week at I Heart Cooking Clubs (IHCC), it is "Expand Your Pantry!" theme. I've made Heidi Swanson's, Millet Muffins. Millet is a new ingredient in my kitchen, I have never cooked with it before, so I thought that using it in a muffin recipe would be a good start. 

I've made half a recipe and yield only 5 muffins. I've used all-purpose flour instead of pastry flour. There's no sugar used in these muffins, sweetened by honey instead. There's lemon zest, lemon juice, yoghurt and barely melted butter. 

These Millet Muffins bakes up really nice with wonderful rise and golden top.

Lovely muffins. The crumbs are tender and soft. Not too sweet, with just the right sweetness from the honey, and crunch from the millet with a hint of the citrusy lemon. These are great with a cup of warm unsweetened tea. 

Millet Muffins
(Super Natural Everyday, Heidi Swanson or here)
2-11/4 cups (40gm) whole-wheat pastry flour
1/3 cup (60 gm) raw millet
1 teaspoon aluminium free baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
1 cup (225gm) plain yoghurt
2 large eggs, lighty beaten
1/2 cup (120ml) barely melted unsalted butter
1/2 cup (120ml) honey
grated zest and 2 tablespoons juice from one lemon

Preheat the oven to 400F/2015C with a rack in the top third of the oven. Butter a standard 12-cup muffin pan or line with paper liners.
Whisk together the flour, millet, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. In another bowl, whisk together the yoghurt, eggs, butter, honey, and lemon zest and juice until smooth. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until the flour is just incorporated. Divide the batter among the muffin cups, spooning a heaping 1/4 cup batter into each one, filling it a bit below the rim. 
Bake for about 15 minutes, until the muffin tops are browned and just barely beginning to crack. Let cool for 5 minutes in the pan, then turn the muffins out of the pan to cool completely on the rack.

I'm linking this post with I Heart Cooking Clubs (IHCC), theme for this week
Expand Your Pantry!

Tuesday, December 6, 2016


I've made Pfefferneusse, a cookie which I cannot even pronounce its name. This recipe is from Dorie Greenspan's latest baking book "Dorie's Cookies". Tuesdays With Dorie (TWD) is currently baking from two books of Dorie's, every Tuesday of the week. 

According to Dorie, Pfefferneusse, (the name is German for "peppernut"), are made with chopped nuts, lots of spice and citrus. And there are lots of different spices used in these cookies ; ground cinnamon, ground black pepper, grated nutmeg, ground cardamom, dry mustard, orange zest and pecans. 

The recipe yields 38 cookies for me, close enough to 40 as indicated in the recipe. As mentioned in the book, these cookies can be kept for weeks as they are dry and firm by nature. 

Either glazed the top with melted chocolate mixed with espresso powder, or just a dusting of confectioners' sugar. I glazed most of the cookies with the chocolate glaze and about a dozen with the confectioners' sugar. 

I have mixed feelings over these cookies. As you bite into them, you would first notice the dry texture, (though not overly dry!), the crumbly crumbs and the taste of the spices all blended into one, though the spices are surprisingly mild. At the end of it, when you have finished the whole piece, there's the taste of black pepper lingering in the mouth. These cookies are rather different and new to me, I have not made cookies with so many different spices combined together. When I first bite into these cookies, I thought that it was just OK, but I find it sort of grow on you. They tasted nicer when I ate the second and the third piece. While the ones with the chocolate glaze is nice, I prefer the ones with the confectioners' sugar, goes really well with these spiced cookies. "Sugar and Spice and Everything Nice"! 

Stop by TWD to see what everyone is baking this week.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Apple Pie Bread

If you have some apples begging to be used, use them to make this Apple Pie Bread. You would be glad you did, this is one delicious quick bread. This wonderful recipe is from Better Homes and Garden : Baking, a lovely cookbook with more than 350 recipes of delicious baking treats, with photos for each recipe. This was the cookbook I've used at Cookbook Countdown #2 back in February, and sharing it again this month for Cookbook Countdown #12.  For this month of December, we are using those books again, the ones that we have shared before at Cookbook Countdown from January to November. 

I've used Fuji apples, which are shredded, and there was a lot of juice, so I've squeezed the shredded apples gently, just to extract out most of the juice. Don't discard the juice, drink it, it's sweet and yummy, and good for you! I have omitted the walnuts in the batter, using it only for the streusel topping. As usual, I have reduced the sugar, by half. For the raisins, I have used a 1/4 cup more. Very easy quick bread to make. Once the batter is done, sprinkle the streusel topping evenly over the top and bake as instructed. For the streusel topping, I've added half a teaspoon of ground cinnamon, after all apple pie always has ground cinnamon! 

Though the recipe indicated that the bread be double wrapped and left overnight before slicing, I did not wait that long. Sliced the cake after a few hours of cooling.

This quick bread is very moist and flavourful, with soft, tender crumbs. See the shredded apples throughout the slice. And I love the bite of the raisins in each slice. I did not miss the walnuts in the bread as there's walnuts in the streusel topping, which is "cinnamon-y" fragrant. This Apple Pie Bread is delicious, makes a perfect breakfast treat with a cup of hot coffee, or, perfect with in the afternoon with a cup of warm tea.

Apple Pie Bread
(Better Homes and Gardens : Baking)
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar (1/2 cup)
1/4 cup buttermilk
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups shredded, peeled apples (about 4 medium)
1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans, lightly roasted (if desired)
1/2 cup raisins
1 recipe streusel-nut topping

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Grease the bottom and 1/2 inch up the sides of an 9x5x3-inch loaf pan; set pan aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl beat butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Beat in sugar until combined. Add buttermilk and baking powder; beat until combined. Add eggs and vanilla; beat until combined. Add flour and salt; beat until combined. Stir in apples, nuts, and raisins. Spoon batter into the prepared pan, spreading evenly. Sprinkle Streusel-Nut Topping over batter.
  3. Bake for 60 to 65 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted near the centre comes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove bread from pan. Cool completely on wire rack. Wrap and store overnight before slicing.

Streusel-Nut Topping :
In a small bowl, stir together 1/4 cup packed brown sugar and 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour. Cut in 3 tablespoons butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in 1/3 cup chopped walnuts or pecans. (I've added 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon powder).


Grab a  cookbook and join us!

Cookbook Countdown is a monthly cooking/baking event, which I'm co-hosting with Emily's Cooking (Makan2) Foray.  Everyone is welcome to join us. How does it work? To summarize, you may select a cookbook from your own cookbook collection, to cook or bake from each month. That selected book shall be your cookbook of the month. You may cook any recipes and as many recipes as you want from your selected book of the month. This is a fabulous way of using your cookbooks at least once! For more information on how to join Cookbook Countdown, please click here. 


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