Monday, December 5, 2011

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins -- posted by Jessica

So, I was at Starbucks a couple months ago and saw they had pumkin cream cheese muffins. They looked delicious, so I bought one and it was really good! Now, of course, anything at Starbucks is way overpriced so I figured I should try to make them myself. So thanks to Google, I found their recipe! I did use less sugar in the muffin batter and in the cream cheese as I thought the one from Starbucks was a bit too sweet. I also used 1/2 cup applesauce for 1/2 cup of the oil as I didn't want them to be too greasy. They turned out really well. Very moist, good spice and pumkin flavor and I love the cream cheese middle! I did not make the pumpkin seed topping as I did not have any around. I'll have to try that next time. I can't remember the website I found this recipe, but thanks to whoever originally posted it!
Starbucks Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins
Cream Cheese
  • 4 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 2 Tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
Candied Pumpkin Seeds
  • 3 Tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup pepitas (raw shelled pumpkin seeds)
Muffin Batter
  • Muffin Batter
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp ground allspice
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 eggs
  • 3/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup canned pure pumpkin puree
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 12 cup muffin pan
  • Paper muffin cups
  • Cream Cheese:
  • Using an electric mixer combine cream cheese, sugar and vanilla extract until smooth. Cover and chill until firm
  • .
  • Preheat over to 350 degrees F
  • Line 12 cup muffin pan with paper muffin cups.
  • Candied Pumpkin Seeds:
  • Spray large baking sheet with cooking spray. Heat seeds in a medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring frequently, 5 minutes or until the seeds begin to pop. Add sugar, and stir constantly about 1 minute or until sugar begins to liquefy and caramelize; add cinnamon and salt. Spread seeds on prepared baking sheet, and cool. Break apart the seeds that are stuck together, once they have cooled.
  • Muffin Batter:
  • Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, allspice and salt in a bowl. Set aside.
  • Using an electric mixer, combine eggs, sugar and vanilla, mix on low speed just to combine ingredients. Add pumpkin and oil and continue to mix about 1 minute. Add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients and mix until batter is smoother, about 30-60 seconds.
  • Baking Muffins:
  • Spoon batter into paper muffin cups, making batter level with top of the muffin cup. Add approximately 1 tablespoon of cream cheese mixture to the top of each muffin and press cream cheese down into the middle of each muffin cup of batter. Sprinkle muffins with candied pumpkin seeds. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until slighly browned on top. To test for doneness insert a toothpick into center of muffin (not cream cheese), will come out clean.

Here's a pic of how mine turned out:

Carrot Cake -- posted by Jessica

One of my favorite cake flavors is carrot cake. I love the moist cake with the cinnamony taste and the sweet cream cheese frosting! I'm not a big fan of super sweet frosting so when I make this recipe I use a third of the powdered sugar and it turns out wonderful. I have made this cake several times with great success and good compliments! Thanks to Cooking Light for this amazing carrot cake recipe!

Notes: I usually cut the sugar in the cake down as well as the coconut and pineapple add sweetness. I also add cinnamon to the frosting as it is my favorite spice!

11/2 c flour
1 1/3 c sugar (3/4 to 1 cup is fine)
1/2 sweetened flaked coconut (sometimes I sub. in raisins)
1/3 c chopped pecans
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 tsp ground cinnamon
3 Tb oil
2 large eggs
2 c grated carrot
1 1/2 c canned crushed pineapple, drained

2 Tb butter, softened (I use 1 Tb)
1 8 oz block 1/3 less fat cream cheese, softened
3 cups pwd sugar (I use 1 cup)
2 tsp vanilla
A couple pinches of cinnamon if desired

Combine flour, sugar, coconut, pecans, soda, salt and cinnamon. Combine oil & eggs; Stir egg mixture, carrot and pinepple into flour mixture. Spread in greased 9 x 13 pan. Bake 350 for 35 minutes or till done. Cool on wire rack.

For frosting: combine butter and cream cheese. Beat till smooth Beat in pwd sugar and vanilla (and cinnamon if using) just till smooth. Spread on top of cake.

Yield: 16 servings.

Tandy Kakes -- posted by Jessica

These taste just like Tasty Kakes peanut butter kandy kakes without the preservatives and are pretty quick and easy to make. Yum!

1 c milk
1 Tb butter
2 c flour
2 c sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
4 eggs
1/2 pound peanut butter (1 cup)
12 oz chocolate chips

Scald milk and butter. Blend flour, sugar, bk pwd, salt, vanilla & eggs. Add milk mixture; blend well. Batter will be thin. Spread batter in greased and floured 15x10 pan. Bake at 350 for 20-25 min (don't overbake as they tend to dry out really fast). Cool completely. Spread with p.b. (helps to microwave the p.b. for 30 seconds or so to make it easier to spread). Once p.b. hardens, melt chocolate chips and spread over top. Cut into squares while chocolate is still warm. Let  chocolate set and enjoy!