Pumpkin Latte Muffins with a Streusel Topping and Maple Espresso Glaze

IMG_E0446Pumpkin Latte Muffins with a Streusel Topping and Maple Espresso Glaze

These healthy muffins get their moisture from pumpkin puree and the natural sweetness from maple syrup. Maple syrup can be used in a variety of recipes instead of granulated sugars. Maple syrup is nutritious and provides a good source of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals including B-vitamins, zinc, magnesium, calcium, and potassium. Maple syrup is also lower in calories than honey and other sweeteners. Adding the espresso intensifies the pumpkin flavor. I especially like the maple and espresso glaze.

Ingredients

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour sifted
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 4 1/2 teaspoons Espresso powder
  • 3 large eggs lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1/2 cup white granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt or sour cream
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1- 15oz can 100% pumpkin puree or canned pumpkin

Streusel Topping 

  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon granulated white sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter

Maple Espresso Glaze 

  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon Espresso powder
  • 1 tablespoon half and half cream

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Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line muffin pans with non-stick parchment paper liners to make 16 muffins.

  1. First make the Streusel Topping. In a small bowl mix the flour, brown and white sugars, and ground cinnamon. Cut in the butter with a pastry blender or fork until topping resembles coarse crumbs.
  2. In a medium bowl whisk together the all-purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, and espresso powder.
  3. In a separate larger bowl with a large spoon mix together the lightly beaten eggs, canola oil, sugar, maple syrup, sour cream, and vanilla until smooth.  Stir in the pumpkin puree.
  4. Gently fold the flour mixture into the pumpkin mixture in 2 batches just until combined.
  5. Using an ice cream scooper fill each muffin cup 3/4 full with batter to make 16 muffins.
  6. Sprinkle each muffin with streusel topping.
  7. Bake on the middle rack of oven for 22-25 minutes or until muffins lightly spring back.
  8. Cool in muffin pan for 15 minutes , remove from pan and cool completely on a cooling rack.
  9. Make the Maple Espresso Glaze:  in a small bowl whisk the espresso and half and half cream together until the espresso powder has dissolved. In another small bowl mix the powdered sugar and maple syrup together,  gradually add the espresso cream 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon at a time until lightly thickened. (you will have left over espresso cream)
  10. Drizzle the maple espresso glaze over the cooled muffins

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Strawberry Rhubarb Bundt Cake

IMG_0365Flowers are in bloom and it is the season for strawberries and rhubarb. In this recipe for  Strawberry Rhubarb Bundt Cake I used organic ingredients. Organic foods are grown or produced without the use of synthetic fertilizers or pesticides, genetically modified organisms, sewage sludge, or ionizing radiation. Organic meat, poultry, eggs, and dairy products come from animals that are pasture- raised or in their natural environment, fed 100% organic feed without antibiotics or growth hormones.

Organic foods have more nutritional value, are safer for the environment and animals, and have a better quality and taste. Organic strawberries are grown with fewer pesticides and chemicals than conventional strawberries. Organic eggs contain beneficial omega- 3 rich grains and flaxseeds. Grass-fed cows produce dairy products with fewer toxins and have more nutrients compared with those cows fed corn, soy, and other grains.  Organic dairy products have a higher ratio of healthy omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acids compared to conventional dairy products. Organic dairy foods also have higher levels of the micronutrients carotene, vitamin A, and CLA. CLA or conjugated linoleic acid helps to strengthen our immune system, and prevent cancer, premature aging, and heart disease.

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Strawberry Rhubarb Bundt Cake

Ingredients

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour sifted
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter softened or at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup half and half cream
  • 1 cup fresh strawberries cut into 1/4 inch pieces
  • 1 1/2 cup chopped fresh rhubarb cut into 1/4 inch pieces
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar

For this recipe I used organic flour, butter, eggs, half and half cream, sour cream, lemon, strawberries and rhubarb.

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Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Butter and flour a 12 cup bundt pan. I like to use a non-stick baking spray.

For the best results have all ingredients at or near room temperature.

  1. In a medium bowl whisk together the all-purpose flour, baking soda, and baking powder.
  2. In another bowl combine the chopped strawberries and rhubarb with the cinnamon and sugar.
  3. Using a stand mixer or hand-held electric mixer in a larger bowl on high speed beat oil, unsalted butter, and granulated sugar until light and fluffy for about 4 minutes.
  4. On medium speed add eggs one at a time mixing just until the yolk disappears. Add lemon juice, lemon zest, vanilla extract, and mix well.
  5. In a separate small bowl whisk together sour cream  with 1/2 and 1/2 cream.
  6. On slow speed of stand or hand-held mixer,  add the flour and sour cream mixture separately to the batter beginning and ending with flour in 3 additions.
  7. Spoon one third of the batter evenly into the bottom of the prepared bundt pan, and  then layer 1/2 of the strawberry and rhubarb mixture. Repeat layers ending with a final layer of cake batter.
  8. Bake 45-48 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean or cake is lightly brown and springs back.
  9. Allow cake to cool in pan for 20 minutes. Gently remove cake from pan by placing cake up side down on a cooling rack.

 

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Cranberry Coconut and Almond Oatmeal Cookies

 

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Cranberry Coconut and Almond Oatmeal Cookies

Whether you like your cookies crispy, chewy, or cake-like making the perfect homemade cookie requires the correct ratio of ingredients, the right technique, and using the proper baking tools. This oatmeal cookie is more like a mini scone, light and crumbly on the outside with a tender moist cookie inside. It includes healthy ingredients like oatmeal, almonds, flaxseed, unsweetened coconut, and cranberries. This recipe makes 18 (2 inch) cookies, but can easily be doubled. These cookies taste best from the oven and can be stored in a tightly sealed container for up to one week.

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Tips to making cake-like cookies

  1. Use softened butter. Having all your ingredients at room temperature will help your cookie dough to blend together more evenly.
  2. Use less granulated sugar and more brown sugar.
  3. Increase the baking powder and use less baking soda.
  4. Cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Add milk and mix alternately with the  flour.
  5. Chilling the dough will help the cookies retain their shape. Refrigerate dough for a minimum of 2 hours prior to baking.

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Healthy ingredients: unsweetened coconut, ground flaxseed, dried cranberries, sliced almonds, old fashioned oatmeal

Cranberry Coconut and Almond Oatmeal Cookies

Ingredients

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

3/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/8 teaspoon extra fine sea salt

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 cup (8 tablespoons unsalted butter)

3/8 cup light brown sugar

1/8 cup granulated white sugar

1 large egg

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1 1/4 cups old-fashioned oatmeal

1/4 cup shredded unsweetened coconut

2 tablespoons ground flaxseed

1/4 cup sliced almonds

1/4 cup dried cranberries

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Equipment: ice cream scooper (2 inch), parchment paper, stand mixer, small and medium mixing bowl, long handle spatula, cookie sheet, and cooling rack

Directions

  1. In a standing mixer with the paddle attachment, cream butter and sugars on medium speed until light and fluffy about 3 to 4 minutes. Beat in egg and vanilla.
  2. In a separate bowl whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and sea salt together.
  3. On slow speed add flour mixture alternately with milk to batter
  4. In a small bowl mix oatmeal, coconut, and flaxseed together and add to batter on slow speed of mixer.
  5. Stir in almonds and cranberries.
  6. Chill dough for 2 hours.
  7. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  8. Using the ice cream scooper portion level scoops of cookie dough 2 inches apart on to the cookie sheet.
  9. Bake cookies for 12 to 14 minutes until edges become lightly brown. Remove from oven and allow to cool in pan for 3 to5 minutes. Remove from pan and allow to cool completely on a wire cooling rack.

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Banana Coconut and Chocolate Chip Bundt Cake

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Making the perfect bundt cake is easy when your have all your ingredients measured and ready and have the right kitchen tools. One of my favorite kitchen baking tools is my stand mixer. It can be expensive, but if you love to bake, a stand mixer is well worth the investment. It’s the ideal kitchen tool for baking cakes. It is simple to use and allows you to be hands-free while adding ingredients. and mixing up the cake batter. A stand mixer has many attachments making it more efficient at making cake batter than a hand held mixer. I like to use the flat flex-edge beater blade when I am making cake batter. It continues to beat and mix ingredients together inside as well as along the bottom and sides of the bowl.

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Banana Coconut and Chocolate Chip Bundt Cake

Ingredients

  • 3 cups sifted white flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 4 tablespoons softened unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup canola oil
  • 3/4 cup white granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cup mashed well-ripened bananas (3-4 small- medium size bananas)
  • 1/2 cup sour cream or plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 teaspoons instant espresso
  • 1/4 cup 2% milk
  • 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (I used the mini chocolate chips)
  • 1/2 cup shredded unsweetened coconut

Chocolate Glaze 

5 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips

1/2 cup 2% milk

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 cup Toasted Coconut 

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Use a non-stick baking spray or lightly spray and flour a 12-cup Bundt pan.
  2. In a medium bowl whisk together the sifted flour, baking powder, and baking soda.
  3. Using a stand mixer on medium speed beat oil, unsalted butter, and granulated sugar, and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add vanilla.
  4. On medium speed add eggs one at a time mix just until yolk disappears
  5. In a separate small bowl warm the milk in the microwave and whisk in instant espresso. Allow to cool to room temperature.
  6. On slow speed of standing mixer add the flour and milk and espresso mixture separately to the batter beginning and ending with flour in 3 additions.
  7. On slow speed mix in banana and sour cream.
  8. With a spatula gently fold in mini chocolate chips and shredded coconut by hand.
  9. Pour and spread cake batter evenly into the prepared bundt pan.
  10. Bake 50-55 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean or cake is lightly brown and springs back.
  11. Allow the cake to cool in the pan for 15-20 minutes. Gently remove the cake from the pan by placing the cake up side down on a cooling rack. Continue to cool thoroughly.
  12. Prepare the chocolate glaze. In a small sauce pan slowly melt the semi-chocolate chips and 2% milk together, add the vanilla and stir until smooth. Drizzle over cooled cake.
  13. To make toasted coconut, spread 1/2 cup shredded coconut evenly on a microwave-safe plate. Microwave on high in 30-second increments until coconut begins to turn lightly golden brown, between 6 and 7minutes. Allow to cool and sprinkle over cake.

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Chicken and Spinach Enchilada Casserole

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In this healthy updated version of a chicken enchilada casserole, I made a homemade cream sauce and added spinach which boosted the nutrition while still keeping the comforting taste of the original recipe. Making a homemade white sauce is easy and much healthier than typical  store-bought white sauces that are high in sodium and processed ingredients. This white sauce uses a “roux” as the foundation and thickener for the sauce. A “roux” consists of equal amounts of fat (butter) and flour. It is a classic cooking technique to make sauces, gravies, and soups.

Chicken and Spinach Enchilada Casserole

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 2 cups low sodium chicken stock
  • 1 -4oz can of mild chiles
  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt or sour cream
  • 10 ounce package frozen spinach thawed, drained, and squeezed dry
  • 15 (6inch) flour tortillas cut in half
  • 2 cups cooked and shredded chicken breast
  • 2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese

1/4 cup  fresh chopped cilantro

1 whole avocado

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Directions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

Coat a 9 inch by 13 inch baking pan with non-stick spray.

  1. Begin by making the white sauce. In a sauce pan heat the butter over medium heat. Once the butter is melted, add the flour and using a whisk stir until smooth and the roux begins to thicken and bubble.
  2. Gradually add one cup of the chicken broth and continue to whisk until blended well. Bring to a gentle simmer.
  3. Add remaining chicken broth , green chiles, and cumin. Continue to stir and simmer until slightly thickened for 2-3 minutes. Add the Greek yogurt or sour cream and mix well.
  4. Reserve one third of the sauce. To the remaining sauce add the drained spinach and mix well.
  5. Assemble Enchilada Casserole, by first layering 10 flour tortillas halves evenly on the bottom of your casserole pan. Next layer 1/2 of the spinach sauce , then 1/2 of the shredded chicken, and sprinkle with 1/3 of the shredded cheese. Repeat the layers and top with the reserved sauce and remaining 1/3 of the shredded cheese. IMG_0158IMG_E0079
  6. Cover with foil and bake in the oven for 20 minutes. Remove foil and bake for additional 15 minutes until lightly brown.
  7. Garnish with chopped avocado and cilantro.

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Lemon, Zucchini, and Almond Bundt Cake

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A typical winter day in Wisconsin means snowy and cold. For me it was the perfect day to create another new bundt cake recipe. I think the bundt cake has to be my most favorite baking obsession. There are so many creative combinations of flavors and ingredients and they are so much fun to decorate to.  In my bundt cake recipes I like to use a combination of butter and oil, and natural ingredients and flavors to sweetened rather than large amounts of sugar. This recipe gave me the chance to try out my new 6 cup Nordic bundt pan.

 

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Lemon, Zucchini, and Almond Bundt Cake 

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour sifted
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup white granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1/4 cup sour cream or plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 cup finely shredded fresh zucchini

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Lemon Glaze

  • 1/2 cup fine powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons heavy cream
  • 2 teaspoons freshly squeezed  lemon juice

mix all ingredients together until smooth

1/4 cup sliced almonds

Lemon Sugar Topping 

  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar

mix together and let sit for 5 minutes

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease and flour a 6 cup bundt pan. I like to use a non-stick baking spray.

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  1. In a medium bowl whisk together the all-purpose flour, baking soda, and baking powder.
  2. Using a stand mixer or hand-held electric mixer in a larger bowl on high speed beat oil, unsalted butter, and granulated sugar until light and fluffy.  On medium speed add  eggs one at a time mix  just until yolk disappears. Add lemon juice, lemon zest, vanilla and almond extract, and mix well.
  3. In a separate small bowl whisk together sour cream or yogurt with milk.
  4. On slow speed of standing or hand-held mixer,  add the flour and sour cream mixture separately to the batter beginning and ending with flour in 3 additions.
  5. With a spatula fold in the shredded zucchini.
  6. Pour and spread cake batter evenly into the bundt pan.
  7. Bake 35-40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean or cake is lightly brown and springs back.
  8. Allow cake to cool in pan for 15 minutes. Gently remove cake from pan by placing cake up side down on a cooling rack. Continue to cool thoroughly before glazing.
  9. Drizzle with lemon glaze and decorate with sliced almonds. Sprinkle with lemon sugar topping.

 

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Cranberry Orange and Rosemary Bundt Cake

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There is no other cake that has a more beautiful presentation than the bundt cake.  This is my first time adding Rosemary to a cake. Rosemary has a festive pine scent that compliments well with the sweetness and tartness of the orange and cranberries. This bundt cake is not only pretty and delicious, but has healthy ingredients to. I reduced the amount of sugar and butter while keeping the moist, tender, and butter flavor of a traditional pound cake.  Cranberries and oranges are super foods that are high in Vitamin C, fiber, and antioxidants.

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Cranberry Orange and Rosemary Bundt Cake

Ingredients

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour sifted
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 3/4 cup canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup fresh orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon fresh rosemary chopped fine
  • 2 cups fresh cranberries sliced in half

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Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Using a non-stick baking spray, coat a 10-cup bundt pan and set aside.
  2. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a mixing bowl and set aside.
  3. In a separate large bowl, using an electric mixer on high speed beat the butter, oil, and sugar together until light and fluffy and add the vanilla.  On low speed add the eggs one at a time mixing just until the yolk disappears.
  4. On low speed in three additions, alternate the milk and the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, beginning and ending with the flour mixture.
  5. In a small bowl mix together the orange juice, orange zest, and rosemary. Add to the batter.
  6. Gently fold cranberries into the batter.
  7. Pour the batter into the prepared bundt pan and smooth to even out.
  8. Bake on the center rack of the pre-heated oven for 45-55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean.
  9. Remove from the oven and cool for 15-20 minutes. Invert onto a cooling rack and gently remove pan.
  10. After the cake has completely cooled, dust with powdered sugar.

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