Thursday, May 8, 2014

Twofer, Thursday!

Cream Cheese Crumble Muffins (keep reading for recipe!)
Many months have passed and it just goes to show that I really suck at that whole consistency thing. Maybe it will improve as I get older. But for now...Hi again!

Let's just get straight to the point, shall we? I can catch you up on my life later. And what is the point, Elle? I'm so glad you asked! The point is, I came up with two recipes just a few weeks ago and said that I would share them at a later, but soonish, time. If you'll please look at your clocks... Yes, that's right. The time is "later, but soonish". So, here you go:

Carrot Cake Oatmeal
Most recipes that I found in my search were baked or overnight slow cooker versions. As I lack patience in the morning, I decided to skip all of the extra work and make things easy on myself. I cooked down some steel-cut oats on the stove top and added the same ingredients I would if I were baking my mom's carrot cake. It was delightful (and fast)!

1 C. steel-cut oats or old-fashioned oats
1 1/2 C. water for steel-cut or 1 C. for old-fashioned
1 1/2 C. milk/almond milk for steel-cut or 1 C. for old-fashioned
1 medium carrot, peeled and grated
2 Tbsp. apple sauce
1/4 C. raisins or dried cranberries
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp. ground ginger
a pinch of ground clove
1-2 Tbsp light brown sugarshredded coconut and toasted pecans/walnuts/almonds and cream (optional for topping)

In a medium sauce pan bring the milk and water to a low boil. Stir in the oats, salt, and spices. Reduce the heat and simmer for 5 to 8 minutes (depending on the kind of oats you chose to use; steel-cut cook longer). Then, add the carrot and raisins. Continue to simmer for an addition 5 to 8 minutes, or until the oats come to your desired consistency. Last, stir in the applesauce and brown sugar. Serve topped with shredded coconut, toasted nuts, or a splash of cream.

 Cream Cheese Crumble Muffins
I was looking for a yummy treat to make for my husband, son, and father as a "thank you!" for waking up incredibly early on a Saturday to support me in running my first 5k. I wanted to try a cheesecake muffin. My husband wanted a crumb cake muffin. I met him in the middle with this recipe. It's adapted from a recipe I saw on Your Homebased Mom. She adapted from someone else and so forth and so on. Completely original ideas are hard to come by anyway... But I'm here to tell you, I'm pretty sure I could bake my way out of trouble with these. They are delicious muffins! You just have to watch them like a hawk. They over bake very quickly and become dry if you don't pull them out of the oven at just the right time.

Muffins and filling:
3 C. all-purpose flour
2 C. granulated sugar, divided
4 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 C. milk
1/2 C. vegetable or light cooking oil
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 tsp. vanilla extract
8 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
1 tsp. lemon zest
2 tsp. lemon juice
1/2 C. all-purpose flour
1 C. granulated sugar
1/4 C. butter, softened

Start by preheating the oven to about 375 degrees F. Prepare two 12-cup muffin tins by spraying them lightly on the edges and between the cups with pan spray, then lining the cups with paper liners. In a small bowl, combine the softened cream cheese, one cup of sugar*, lemon zest, and lemon juice; set aside. In another small bowl, combine all of the ingredients for the crumb topping. Mix very well until it is crumbly; set aside. In a large bowl, place the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Whisk to combine. Next, add the eggs, milk, oil, and vanilla extract. Mix just until combined. This will be an extremely thick batter. You may need to add a little more milk to be sure all of the dry ingredients are moist and blended. Gently mix only half of the cream cheese mixture into the muffin batter. Then, fill each muffin cup about 1/2 to 2/3 full. Using a small spoon, place a dollop of the remaining cream cheese mixture on top of each filled cup, gently pressing it into the batter slightly. The cream cheese does not have to be covered by the batter completely as it will sink to the middle during baking. Generously sprinkle the crumb topping over each muffin-to-be, place in the oven, and bake for about 25 minutes. They should be a light golden brown and spring back when gentle pressure is applied to the edges. Allow them to cool on a rack for at least 30 minutes.

*I found that I could cut back on the sugar in the cream cheese filling. I used about a half a cup and it still tasted lovely. If you choose to do this, add 1/3 of the filling directly into the batter. Save 2/3 for filling the centers of the muffins.

If you try either or both of these recipes, I hope you enjoy them! If you have questions you can send me an e-mail, leave a comment, or find me through various social media outlets.

<3 Elle