Archive of ‘Breakfast’ category

Jalapeño Cheddar Bagels

Do you enjoy bagels? We sure do, in our home.  I love eating them AND making them, especially when they come out tasting as good as these homemade Jalapeño Cheddar Bagels!Jalapeño Cheddar Bagels / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
I’ve made several types of bagels in the past, like New York Style Blueberry, Cinnamon Crunch, Cranberry-Orange, Gingerbread, and Everything bagels.  This time around, I decided to try my hand at making Jalapeño Cheddar bagels! YUM.

When I made these, I did not document in photos the “how-to’s”, but if you wish to see how they are made, check out my step by step pics/tutorial for my New York Style Blueberry Bagels, to give you a good idea of the overall process.

Jalapeño Cheddar Bagels / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
The bagel dough is mixed, then rises, then is divided into balls of dough, formed into bagel shapes, boiled, and then baked until done, which results in a nice looking, chewy bagel, just the way a “good” bagel should be.  The addition of finely chopped jalapeños and cheddar cheese give this variety of bagel wonderful flavor… add a dollop of cream cheese, and you’ve got yourself a bakery shop style bagel that can’t be beat! They are sooooo good! Here ya go…would you like one? I made extra!!!

Jalapeño Cheddar Bagels / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
Golden brown on the outside, chewy on the inside…. YES, PLEASE!

Jalapeño Cheddar Bagels / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

If you have a little time on your hands (since the dough has to rise for a while), this recipe is an economical way to make 8 great quality, delicious homemade bagels without ever having to leave your own home! Hope you will consider giving this recipe a try. You won’t regret it!

Jalapeño Cheddar Bagels / The Grateful Girl Cooks!Recipe Source: My version of New York Blueberry bagels, with slight tweaks for the different ingredients (jalapeños and cheddar)

Jalapeño Cheddar Bagels
 
Prep time
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Total time
 
As Prepared By:
Serves: 8 bagels
Ingredients
  • 1 pkg. (envelope) active dry yeast
  • 2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1¼ cups warm water, divided
  • 3½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1½ teaspoons salt
  • 3 medium jalapeño peppers, de-seeded and diced
  • 4 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, grated, divided
Directions
  1. In a small bowl, dissolve yeast and sugar in ½ cup of warm water. Let rest for 5 minutes. Little bubbles should form on the surface after 5 minutes, indicating the yeast is "alive".
  2. In large bowl or the bowl from a stand mixer, mix together salt and flour - making a "well" in the center of flour. Add yeast mixture and additional water to the flour. Gently fold in diced jalapeños and ¾ of the grated cheddar cheese.
  3. Knead (either by hand or by using the dough hook on your stand mixer) until dough becomes soft and elastic (this could take approx. 5 + minutes).
  4. Cover the dough bowl with a dishtowel, set bowl in a warm place and let dough rise, until doubled in size (about 1-1½ hours). Turn risen dough out onto lightly floured surface (dust dough with flour so it is easier to work with).
  5. Divide dough into 8 balls (shape and pull the edges of dough to the underside of the ball for a smoother ball). With floured hands, take both of your thumbs and press into the center of each ball, forming a hole. Stretch hole to form a bagel shape (can pick up the bagel dough and enlarge the hole from the bottom). Once bagels have been formed, set aside; let dough rest for 30 minutes.
  6. While bagel dough is resting, preheat your oven to 425 degrees AND bring a large stock pot ¾ full of water to a rolling boil.
  7. Place bagels 2-3 at a time in boiling water for 3-4 minutes, flipping them over halfway through cooking time (make sure they have floated to the top of the pan). Remove the bagels from water (I use 2 chopsticks), and place on an ungreased baking sheet. Repeat process with remaining bagels.
  8. Bake in a 425 degree oven for 10 minutes. Sprinkle remaining cheddar cheese on top of bagels, then continue baking for another 10 minutes or until you see they are golden brown on top (mine usually take a bit longer...just keep an eye on them). When done, remove from oven... and ENJOY!

Here’s one more to pin on your Pinterest boards!Jalapeño Cheddar Bagels / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

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Gingerbread Granola

I recently whipped up a batch of Gingerbread Granola ( in about 30 minutes!), and have really enjoyed having it around our house for a quick breakfast cereal or snack.Gingerbread Granola / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

I found the recipe on Pinterest, and made it up a few days after finding the recipe.  It was very quick and easy to make, and took only about 30 minutes, from start to finish! Here’s how to make this delicious granola, which features rolled oats, coconut, chopped nuts, dried cranberries (or raisins), and spices you would normally find in a great piece of gingerbread:

In a large mixing bowl, whisk molasses, oil, salt, cinnamon, cloves and ginger together until mixture is fully blended. To this mixture, add old-fashioned rolled oats, coconut, and chopped pecans or walnuts. Stir until all ingredients are fully coated.

Gingerbread Granola / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Gingerbread Granola / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Evenly divide the mixture and pour onto two large rimmed baking sheets (by spreading the mixture onto TWO baking sheets, it enables the granola to cook quicker). Spread the oats out on both sheets.  Bake in a preheated 325 degree oven for 25 minutes. Stir oats occasionally while they cook, then re-spread on sheets.

Gingerbread Granola / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

The granola is done when the oats have turned light brown (mine took 25 minutes, but may take you a couple minutes longer for total cooking time, as oven temps. vary). Once done, remove granola from oven, and stir in dried cranberries (or raisins).  Be sure to let the granola cool completely to room temperature before placing into an airtight container for storage.

I stored my granola in canning jars (filled a quart sized jar and a pint sized jar). This Gingerbread Granola would be a thoughtful gift to give (especially around Christmastime), OR just to have around the house to enjoy as a delicious granola cereal with milk for breakfast (or use in other ways). The flavor is very “gingerbread-like”. YUM.

Gingerbread Granola / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Gingerbread Granola / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Gingerbread Granola / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Hope you will consider trying this recipe.  This gingerbread flavored granola would also taste wonderful over ice cream or frozen yogurt, or mixed into a morning parfait with fruit and Greek yogurt! There are many possibilities for this simple yet tasty granola! Have a blessed day!

Gingerbread Granola / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Recipe Adapted From: http://kitchensimplicity.com/gingerbread-granola

Gingerbread Granola
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
As Prepared By:
Recipe type: Breakfast
Serves: 5½ cups
Ingredients
  • ⅓ cup molasses
  • 2 Tablespoons canola oil (or mild tasting oil)
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¾ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • 3 cups rolled oats (old-fashioned, not instant)
  • 1 cup flaked coconut
  • 1 cup pecans (or walnuts), chopped
  • ½ cup dried cranberries (or raisins)
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, add first 6 ingredients (molasses, oil, salt, cinnamon, ginger and cloves). Whisk these together until fully blended.
  3. Add rolled oats, coconut flakes and chopped nuts to molasses mixture; stir until oats, etc. are coated.
  4. Divide and spread mixture out evenly onto 2 large baking sheets (with rims). Bake at 325 degrees for 25-30 minutes. Stir oats occasionally (every 7-8 minutes), then redistribute them on baking sheets, and bake until the oats become light brown in color.
  5. Remove oats from oven and stir in dried cranberries (or raisins). Let the granola cool completely on the baking sheets before transferring to an airtight container, or serving. Enjoy!

Here’s one more to post on your Pinterest boards!Gingerbread Granola / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

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Cranberry Orange Loaf With Orange Icing

Recently I discovered a bag of fresh cranberries lurking in the refrigerator in our garage. They had been hiding in a drawer since Thanksgiving… oops! What an unexpected surprise! Thankfully they were still GOOD, so I used them to make a Cranberry Orange Loaf With Orange Icing! (Waste not, want not, right?)Cranberry Orange Loaf With Orange Icing / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
It sure was delicious to enjoy a slice of this flavor packed bread in the morning with a cup of coffee!  The tang from the cranberries paired well with the sweet orange icing… YUM!  The best part of all was just how easy this loaf of sweet bread was to prepare!  Here’s how:

In a medium bowl, combine egg, oil granulated and brown sugars, orange zest, fresh squeezed orange juice, and vanilla extract. Whisk to fully combine ingredients.  Add buttermilk and whisk to combine.

Cranberry Orange Loaf With Orange Icing / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Add flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt; stir until ingredients are combined, but do not over mix!  Add cranberries and stir gently to incorporate them into batter.

Cranberry Orange Loaf With Orange Icing / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Pour batter into a greased and floured 9×5 loaf pan.  Sprinkle the top of loaf with a few additional cranberries.  Bake in preheated 350 degree oven for approximately 65-70 minutes (mine took 65). **After bread has been in oven for 30 minutes, loosely tent the pan with aluminum foil to prevent excess browning of outside of loaf before it is done all the way through. Bread will be done when a toothpick inserted into the center of loaf comes out clean.  Keep an eye on the bread, as oven temps vary considerably!

Cranberry Orange Loaf With Orange Icing / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

When bread is done baking, remove aluminum foil “tent”, let bread cool IN THE PAN for about 15-20 minutes, then carefully remove to a wire rack to finish cooling.

Cranberry Orange Loaf With Orange Icing / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

While bread is cooling, prepare the orange icing by placing confectioner’s sugar (powdered), fresh squeezed orange juice and orange zest in a small bowl. Stir well to fully combine ingredients.  If you wish the icing to be thicker, add more powdered sugar. Thinner? Add a tiny bit more orange juice, until it reaches desired icing consistency.

Cranberry Orange Loaf With Orange Icing / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Place a piece of wax paper, parchment paper or aluminum foil UNDER the wire rack. When bread is completely cooled down, evenly spread the icing over the loaf of bread. I like to take it all the way to the edges so it can run down the sides, as well. Having the wax paper, etc. under the rack allows for this and helps to make an EASY cleanup!

Cranberry Orange Loaf With Orange Icing / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Once the icing has firmed up and the bread is completely at room temperature, it is ready to serve!  Slice a piece, pour a great cup of coffee or tea, and enjoy the amazing flavors in this delicious Cranberry Orange bread!

Cranberry Orange Loaf With Orange Icing / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Cranberry Orange Loaf With Orange Icing / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Hope you enjoy this delicious treat! The flavor combination is classic, and I trust you will find it to your liking.  Have a wonderful day.

Cranberry Orange Loaf With Orange Icing / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Recipe Adapted From:  https://www.averiecooks.com/2015/11/cranberry-orange-bread-with-sweet-orange-glaze.html

Cranberry Orange Loaf With Orange Icing
 
Prep time
Cook time
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The flavor combination of cranberries and oranges pair well in this delicious bread, which is topped with a sweet orange icing!
As Prepared By:
Recipe type: Bread
Serves: 1 loaf (9x5)
Ingredients
  • ½ cup buttermilk
  • 1 large egg
  • ½ cup vegetable oil (or canola)
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 Tablespoon orange zest (from a LARGE orange)
  • ⅓ cup fresh squeezed orange juice
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2¼ cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups fresh cranberries (plus several more for garnishing loaf)
For Orange Icing:
  • 2 cups confectioner's sugar
  • ¼ cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  • ½ teaspoon orange zest
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Generously grease and flour 9x5 loaf pan. Set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine egg, oil granulated and brown sugars, orange zest, fresh squeezed orange juice, and vanilla extract. Whisk to combine ingredients. Add buttermilk; whisk to combine.
  3. Add flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt; stir until ingredients are combined, but do not over mix! Add cranberries; stir gently to incorporate them into batter.
  4. Pour batter into greased/ floured loaf pan. Sprinkle top of loaf with a few additional cranberries. Bake at 350 degrees for approx. 65-70 minutes (mine took 65). NOTE**After bread has been in oven for 30 minutes, loosely tent the pan with aluminum foil to prevent excess browning of outside of loaf before it is done all the way through. Bread will be done when a toothpick inserted into the center of loaf comes out clean. Keep an eye on the bread, as oven temps vary considerably!
  5. When bread is done, remove foil "tent", let bread cool IN THE PAN for about 15-20 minutes, then carefully remove to a wire rack to finish cooling.
  6. While bread is cooling, prepare orange icing by placing confectioner's sugar (powdered), fresh squeezed orange juice and orange zest in a small bowl. Stir well to fully combine until smooth. (If you want thicker icing, add more powdered sugar. Thinner? Add a tiny bit of orange juice, until it reaches desired icing consistency). Place a piece of wax paper, parchment paper or aluminum foil UNDER the wire rack (for easy cleanup). When bread has completely cooled, evenly spoon icing over the top to cover. Take it all the way to the edges so it can run down the sides. Once the icing has firmed up and the bread is completely at room temperature, it's ready to slice and serve!

 

Here’s one more to pin on your Pinterest boards!

Cranberry Orange Loaf With Orange Icing / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

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Healthy Chocolate Oatmeal

I recently found a simple, quick recipe for Healthy Chocolate Oatmeal made in the microwave and thought I’d try it… after all, how bad could a healthy breakfast with oatmeal AND chocolate be for you, right?  The recipe makes one serving, but is easily doubled.Healthy Chocolate Oatmeal / The Grateful Girl Cooks! Microwaveable, delicious and healthy, this chocolate oatmeal is a delightful "morning bowl of goodness".
The reason this chocolate oatmeal can be considered “healthy” is that it is made with non-fat milk, unsweetened cocoa powder and artificial sweetener (no sugar!).  And guess what?  It is yummy!  This is a perfect for those of you, who like me, have a deep love of all things chocolate, and find it appealing, even in a bowl of healthy OATMEAL! Chocolate for the win! The best part is it is as simple to make as stirring up the ingredients and cooking it in the microwave until done. That’s it!! Here’s how to make this yummy breakfast treat:

Mix the oats, milk, cocoa powder and sweetener together in a microwave safe bowl. Continue to stir (it takes a minute or two to get the cocoa stirred in, but it WILL get there, so keep stirring- trust me!).

Healthy Chocolate Oatmeal / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Healthy Chocolate Oatmeal / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Place the bowl in microwave. Microwave on HIGH power for 2 minutes and 15 seconds. Stir oats every 45 seconds (total of 3 times), until the oatmeal has significantly thickened.
Remove oatmeal. (Note: Here is where I transferred the cooked oatmeal to a pretty dish for photographing it, but that is not necessary!)  Let oatmeal rest for just a minute before serving. If desired, top with a few sliced raw almonds.

Healthy Chocolate Oatmeal / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
Add an additional splash of milk (if oatmeal is a bit too thick for your liking). Stir, serve and enjoy!

Healthy Chocolate Oatmeal / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

It couldn’t be simpler to enjoy a hot, filling bowl of CHOCOLATE oatmeal for breakfast, without adding a lot of additional calories or sugar to your morning! Hope you will consider trying this easy recipe. Have a wonderful day, friends.

Healthy Chocolate Oatmeal / The Grateful Girl Cooks!Recipe Source: http://dineanddish.net/2016/07/healthier-chocolate-oatmeal-recipe/

Healthy Chocolate Oatmeal
 
Prep time
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Simple, microwavable chocolate oatmeal is a healthy way to satisfy those cravings for chocolate... at breakfast!
As Prepared By:
Recipe type: Breakfast
Serves: 1 serving
Ingredients
  • ⅓ cup old-fashioned oats (not instant)
  • ⅔ cup non-fat milk
  • 2 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon Truvia (or Stevia packet)
For serving (optional):
  • A few sliced raw almonds
  • A splash of milk (to thin out oatmeal, if desired)
Directions
  1. Mix the oats, milk, cocoa powder and sweetener together in a microwave safe bowl. Continue to stir (it takes a minute or two to get the cocoa stirred in, but it WILL get there-trust me!).
  2. Place the bowl in microwave. Microwave on HIGH power for 2 minutes and 15 seconds. Stir oats every 45 seconds (total of 3 times), until the oatmeal has significantly thickened.
  3. Remove oatmeal. Let stand for a minute or so before serving. If desired, top with a few sliced raw almonds, and additional splash of milk (if oatmeal is too thick). Stir, serve and enjoy!

Here’s one more to pin on your Pinterest boards!Healthy Chocolate Oatmeal / The Grateful Girl Cooks! Microwaveable, delicious and healthy, this chocolate oatmeal is a delightful "morning bowl of goodness".

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English Muffins

Do you enjoy eating English Muffins for breakfast? We sure do, which is why I decided to learn how to make them several years ago, simply for the JOY of learning HOW they are made from scratch.English Muffins / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
I grew up eating English Muffins. Whenever my Mom would make them for breakfast, I would  toast and butter them, and then would spread one half with peanut butter and the other half with whatever jam pulled at my taste buds that particular morning! YUM.  Several years ago I decided I wanted to LEARN how to make them myself. Granted, it IS much quicker to pick them up at the grocery store and make them, but I wanted to know “how to make them” simply for the experience of learning!  The first time I made them (using this recipe), they turned out fantastic, so I have made them several times since, always with great results.  Here’s how you make them:

Place flour, sugar, yeast, salt and egg into the bowl of a stand mixer (place in large bowl if you don’t have a stand mixer), but do not stir.   In a separate saucepan, heat milk and butter on medium heat until a thermometer measures between 110 and 115 degrees, then remove pan from heat.  Pour the warm milk mixture into the bowl with the dry ingredients. Stir only till wet dough forms.

Using a dough hook attachment for stand mixer, knead dough for 5 minutes until the dough pulls away from sides of bowl, and is smooth and soft.  If not using stand mixer, turn out dough onto lightly floured work surface and knead for 10 minutes by hand.

English Muffins / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

English Muffins / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Form the dough into a ball shape; put it into a large bowl that has been coated with non-stick spray (or oil). Turn the dough ball over so that oil has coated surface.  Cover the bowl (with plastic wrap or a couple dish towels), and let it sit on the counter for an hour so the dough can rise and double in size.

English Muffins / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

English Muffins / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Once dough has risen, preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  Spray a large griddle (or a couple large skillets) with non-stick cooking spray. Sprinkle the griddle well with Semolina (or Farina). Punch down the dough and divide into 16 pieces, then shape each piece into a ball of dough.  Press each one down until it has a 3 inch diameter. Place dough balls onto griddle pan (with Semolina coating). You will want to keep about 1 inch between each piece, and may need to cook them in 2 separate batches. If cooking in batches, sprinkle a baking sheet with the Semolina, then place extras on it, then cover with parchment paper.

Turn temperature on griddle to 275 degrees (LOW). If using skillets, place on low heat on cooktop.  Cook the muffins for 7 to 15 minutes on first side (they need to be dark golden brown). Carefully turn over and cook other side for same amount of time.  If the muffins begin to puff up too much, put a piece of parchment paper on top and place a cookie sheet on top of the paper. This will act as a weight to prohibit them from rising too high during the cooking process (remember we’re cooking English muffins, NOT hamburger buns!).

English Muffins / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

You can test for doneness by inserting a thermometer (instant read) into the middle. It should read 200 degrees. Both sides should be a dark golden brown, as well.  If you find they are still not completely cooked through to the center, put the muffins onto a baking sheet and place them in the oven (which is still heated to 350 degrees) and cook them for another 10 minutes.

English Muffins / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

When done, let the muffins completely cool.  Use a fork inserted into the middle and reinserted around the edges to gently open up the muffin.  By using a fork to do this, you will see a lot more “nooks and crannies” (in the words of the original author).  The nooks and crannies are a great way to hold all that butter once lightly toasted!

English Muffins / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

I still like them with jam!  That’s probably my favorite way to eat English muffins!

English Muffins / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

While it takes a while to make these from scratch, I hope you will consider at least trying this recipe. It’s always fun to learn something new each day… maybe today is the day you learn how to make English muffins!  Have a wonderful day, and may God bless you in all you do.

English Muffins / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Recipe Source: http://www.girlversusdough.com/2014/04/28/english-muffins/

English Muffins
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
As Prepared By:
Serves: 16 muffins
Ingredients
  • 4½ cups bread flour
  • 2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2¼ teaspoons instant yeast (1 packet)
  • 1½ teaspoons salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1¾ cups milk
  • 3 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  • Semolina (or Farina), to sprinkle on griddle
Directions
  1. Place flour, sugar, yeast, salt and egg into the bowl of a stand mixer (place in large bowl if you don't have a stand mixer), but do not stir. In a separate saucepan, heat milk and butter on medium heat until a thermometer measures between 110 and 115 degrees, then remove pan from heat. Pour the warm milk mixture into the bowl with the dry ingredients. Stir only till wet dough forms.
  2. Using a dough hook attachment for stand mixer, knead dough for 5 minutes until the dough pulls away from sides of bowl, and is smooth and soft. If not using stand mixer, turn out dough onto lightly floured work surface and knead for 10 minutes by hand.
  3. Form the dough into a ball shape; put it into a large bowl that has been coated with non-stick spray (or oil). Turn the dough ball over so that oil has coated surface. Cover the bowl (with plastic wrap or a couple dish towels), and let it sit on the counter for an hour so the dough can rise and double in size.
  4. Once dough has risen, preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Spray a large griddle (or a couple large skillets) with non-stick cooking spray. Sprinkle the griddle well with Semolina (or Farina). Punch down the dough and divide into 16 pieces, then shape each piece into a ball of dough. Press each one down until it has a 3 inch diameter. Place dough balls onto griddle pan (with Semolina coating). You will want to keep about 1 inch between each piece, and may need to cook them in 2 separate batches. If cooking in batches, sprinkle a baking sheet with the Semolina, then place extras on it, then cover with parchment paper.
  5. Turn temperature on griddle to 275 degrees (LOW). If using skillets, place on low heat on cooktop. Cook the muffins for 7 to 15 minutes on first side (they need to be dark golden brown). Carefully turn over and cook other side for same amount of time. If the muffins begin to puff up too much, put a piece of parchment paper on top and place a cookie sheet on top of the paper. This will act as a weight to prohibit them from rising too high during the cooking process.
  6. You can test for doneness by inserting a thermometer (instant read) into the middle. It should read 200 degrees. Both sides should be a dark golden brown, as well. If you find they are still not completely cooked through to the center, put the muffins onto a baking sheet and place them in the oven (which is still heated to 350 degrees) and cook them for another 10 minutes.
  7. When done, let the muffins completely cool. Use a fork inserted into the middle and reinserted around the edges to gently open up the muffin. Toast, and enjoy!

 

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Carrot Cake Muffins

Looking for a delicious recipe for Carrot Cake Muffins?  Well, I’ve got just the one for you!  These amazing muffins have a cinnamon streusel topping and also have a cream cheese  filling inside, so when you bite into them there’s an extra surprise.Carrot Cake Muffins / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
I found this recipe on Pinterest several months ago and finally got around to fix these muffins recently.  The muffins are moist, and the cream cheese filling inside was a wonderful surprise, and the streusel topping has a nice crunch!  There are a few simple steps to making these, but the easiest way is to get everything (streusel topping, cheese filling, glaze, etc). prepped before beginning.  Here’s how to make these really yummy muffins:

Before beginning, preheat your oven to 400 degrees F.  Place paper liners into a standard sized muffin pan.  Set aside.

Prepare the cream cheese filling by mixing cream cheese, sugar and vanilla in a small bowl. Set aside.

Carrot Cake Muffins / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Prepare the streusel topping by combining flour, sugar, melted butter, cinnamon and salt in a bowl. Mix together using a fork until mixture is crumbly.  Set aside.

Carrot Cake Muffins / The Grateful Girl Cooks!Carrot Cake Muffins / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Prepare the muffin batter by combining flour, sugar, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger and salt in a large mixing bowl. Whisk ingredients together.

Carrot Cake Muffins / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
In separate bowl, combine eggs, water and vegetable oil. Mix well, then add to dry ingredients and stir until combined.

Carrot Cake Muffins / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
Add grated carrots to the batter and stir to incorporate them into batter.

Carrot Cake Muffins / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Place a small amount (approx. 1-2 Tablespoons) of batter into bottom of each paper-lined cup (just enough to cover bottom).

Carrot Cake Muffins / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
Place a large Tablespoon of cream cheese filling into the middle of each cup, then cover with more batter. I used a small dookie dough scoop, but forgot to take a pic with the cream cheese filling showing… sorry!). You want the muffin cups to be about 3/4 of the way full when done.

Carrot Cake Muffins / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Evenly divide the streusel topping over the top of each muffin. I used my fingers to mound it on and cover the surface.  Be sure to use all the topping!

Carrot Cake Muffins / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Place the muffins into a preheated 400 degree oven. Bake for 20 minutes, until golden brown and a toothpick stuck into the middle of a muffin comes out clean.  Take the muffin pan out of the oven. Let the muffins cool down for 5-10 minutes in the pan, before carefully removing them to a wire rack to finish cooling. Aren’t they cute?

Carrot Cake Muffins / The Grateful Girl Cooks!Carrot Cake Muffins / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

While muffins are cooling, make up a simple glaze by mixing powdered sugar, water, and vanilla in a small bowl until smooth.  When muffins have completely cooled, drizzle the glaze decoratively over the top of each muffin.  Let glaze firm up, then muffins are ready to eat! (***Tip: To help with cleanup, I place a piece of wax paper or foil UNDER the wire rack holding the muffins BEFORE I drizzle them with glaze).

Carrot Cake Muffins / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Carrot Cake Muffins / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

That’s it!  See the surprise cream cheese filling that is in the middle of the muffin when you bite or cut into it? YUM.  It makes these muffins absolutely PERFECT!!!

Carrot Cake Muffins / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

We’ve been enjoying these breakfast muffins for several days now. I will definitely be making them again. Yes… they are THAT good!  If you enjoy carrot cake, you will LOVE these muffins.

I started my day out by taking our little puppy (7 month old Corgi) on a 2 mile walk in the fog and cold morning air. I am extremely grateful for no rain this morning (we’re a bit waterlogged – we’ve already had the most rain of any February on record in Oregon… ugh!). Hope you have a great day, friends.  Make each minute count – make a difference in someone’s life!

Carrot Cake Muffins / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Recipe Adapted From:  http://omgchocolatedesserts.com/carrot-cake-muffins-with-cheesecake-filling/

Carrot Cake Muffins
 
Prep time
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Delicious carrot cake muffins with a surprise cream cheese filling inside and streusel on top!
As Prepared By:
Recipe type: Breakfast
Serves: 1 dozen
Ingredients
For Muffin Batter:
  • 2¼ cups all purpose flour
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup brown sugar (packed)
  • 1½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • ¾ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • ¾ cup water
  • ⅓ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup grated carrots (approx. 2-3 med. carrots)
For Cream Cheese Filling:
  • 8 ounces cream cheese (softened)
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
For The Streusel Topping:
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • ⅔ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup butter, melted (1 cube)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
For Glaze Drizzle:
  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons warm water (add a couple drops if too thick)
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place paper liners into a standard sized muffin pan. Set aside.
  2. Prepare cream cheese filling by mixing cream cheese, sugar and vanilla in a small bowl. Set aside.
  3. Prepare streusel topping by combining flour, sugar, melted butter, cinnamon and salt in a bowl. Mix together with a fork until mixture is crumbly. Set aside.
  4. Prepare muffin batter by combining flour, sugar, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger and salt in a large mixing bowl. Whisk ingredients together. In separate bowl, combine eggs, water and vegetable oil. Mix well, then add to dry ingredients and stir. Add grated carrots; stir to incorporate them into batter.
  5. Place a small amount (approx. 1-2 Tablespoons) of batter into bottom of each paper-lined cup, just enough to cover bottom. Place a large Tablespoon of cream cheese filling into middle of each cup, then cover with more batter. Muffin cups should be ¾ of the way full. Divide streusel topping over top of each muffin. Use fingers to mound streusel and cover surface.
  6. Bake for 20 minutes in a 400 degree oven, until golden brown and a toothpick stuck into middle of a muffin comes out clean. Remove pan from oven. Let muffins cool for 5-10 minutes in pan, then remove them to wire rack to finish cooling.
  7. While muffins are cooling, make glaze by mixing powdered sugar, water, and vanilla in small bowl until smooth. When muffins have completely cooled, drizzle glaze over top of muffin. Let glaze firm up, then muffins are ready to eat! (***Tip: To help with cleanup, place wax paper or foil UNDER the wire rack holding the muffins BEFORE drizzling with glaze).

 

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Chunky Crock Pot Apples

My husband was recently given a bag filled with homegrown apples from one of his clients. Not wanting to waste any of them, I decided it was the PERFECT opportunity to make Chunky Crock Pot Apples!Chunky Crock Pot Apples / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Do you ever slow cook apples?  The process is so completely easy! In about 10 minutes apples, lemon juice, brown sugar, cinnamon, etc. can be cooking in the crock pot. Let the apples cook on low all day, give them a light “mash”, and end up with phenomenal tasting apples, which can be eaten warm straight out of the crock pot, or can be used  as a topping for pancakes, waffles, cake, ice cream, yogurt, oatmeal, or as a side dish for pork.  The ways to use them are endless, they taste fantastic… and with only a minimal amount of prep involved!

Here’s how to make them:  Peel and remove seeds from 8 large apples (any kind will taste great!).  Slice apples and cut into chunks. Place apple pieces into crock pot, then stir in fresh squeezed lemon juice.  Add cinnamon, brown sugar, water and a touch of butter, put the lid on, and slow cook the apples for 6-7 hours on LOW.

Chunky Crock Pot Apples / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

When the apples are done cooking, they will be nice and tender and will smell (and taste amazing!). I lightly mash them with a potato masher, but leave lots of chunks!  At this point, the apples are DONE! They can be served as is, or used in a great variety of ways, cold OR hot. They are so good, I can eat them right out of the bowl! YUM!

Chunky Crock Pot Apples / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

They taste phenomenal when added to oatmeal. No need to add additional sugar!

Chunky Crock Pot Apples / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

The topping tastes great on pancakes or waffles, too (I use a slotted spoon to let some of the juice drain off before topping the pancake).

Chunky Crock Pot Apples / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Chunky Crock Pot Apples are delicious as a filling for dessert crepes, and even as a topping for ice cream, yogurt, or slices of pound cake.  They are also a great side dish served with cooked pork roast or chops.  Hope you will consider making this easy, versatile recipe.  I’ve never been disappointed in all the years Ive been making them.  Once the apples are cooked, the possibilities are endless!

Have a fantastic day!

Chunky Crock Pot Apples / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Chunky Crock Pot Apples
 
Prep time
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Total time
 
Use your crock pot to make chunky apples, with cinnamon and brown sugar, then enjoy them on pancakes, oatmeal, pound cake, etc.
As Prepared By:
Recipe type: Side Dish
Serves: 4-5 cups
Ingredients
  • 8 large apples (any variety)
  • Lemon juice (from ½ a large lemon)
  • 1 Tablespoon cinnamon
  • ⅓ cup brown sugar (packed)
  • ⅓ cup water
  • 1 teaspoon butter
Directions
  1. Peel apples, slice, remove seeds, then cut into chunks. Put apples into crock pot.
  2. Squeeze fresh lemon juice over apples and stir to combine.
  3. Add cinnamon, brown sugar, water and butter to crock pot. Stir well.
  4. Place lid on slow cooker; cook apples on LOW for 6-7 hours. Remove lid from apples. Lightly mash tender apples with a potato masher (or a fork if you don't have a potato masher), being sure to leave lots of chunks. Serve and enjoy!
Notes
IDEAS: Serve warm as a side dish with pork. Serve warm over pancakes or waffles (no need for butter or syrup!) Serve warm apples on top of cooked oatmeal (yum) Use as a filling for dessert crepes. Serve cooled chunky apples as a topping on ice cream or yogurt Serve on top of pound cake, etc.

 

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Lemon Cream Scones

My sister told me about a delicious scone recipe she recently tried. Turns out it was the same recipe I had saved on Pinterest several months before and had been meaning to make, so I did!  Wow – really glad I made them…these Lemon Cream Scones are fantastic!Lemon Cream Scones / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
The scones are amazing – they are NOT dry (thankfully!), and get their delicious flavor from lemon zest IN the scones, and a lemon flavored glaze ON TOP of the scones!  They are very easy to make in about 30 minutes from start to finish… here’s how:

The oven is preheated to 400 degrees.  Sugar and lemon zest are mixed together in a medium sized mixing bowl. Flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt are then stirred into sugar/lemon zest mixture until well combined.

Lemon Cream Scones / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
A cube of butter that has been frozen (I only froze it for 15 minutes before starting) is grated directly into the bowl with the flour, etc..  A pastry blender is used to mix until the flour mixture resembled coarse crumbs. (If you don’t own a hand held pastry blender, two forks can be used). The grated frozen butter looks a LOT like grated cheese, right?

Lemon Cream Scones / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Lemon Cream Scones / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Once the dough mixture is the size of coarse crumbs, mix an egg and heavy whipping cream together in a separate bowl. Once fully blended, pour it into the flour mixture, and stir until ingredients are combined. This may take a minute or two. Just keep at it, scraping down the sides of the bowl as you go, to incorporate all the crumbles.

Lemon Cream Scones / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Lemon Cream Scones / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Shape the dough with your hands into a round ball (I did this in the same bowl I mixed the dough in). Once the dough ball is formed, place it onto a lightly floured work surface. Roll the dough out into a 7 inch circle (dough will be about 3/4 inch tall). Cut it into 8 wedges (I use a pizza cutter to make smooth even cuts, but a sharp knife works just as well!).

Lemon Cream Scones / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
Can you see the little pieces of lemon zest in the dough? That adds great FLAVOR!

Lemon Cream Scones / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Place the wedges onto a parchment paper covered baking sheet. (Note: I realized I had run out of parchment paper, so I used wax paper… guess what? I ran out of THAT, also, and only had enough wax paper to hold the dough… barely. BUT… it worked perfectly – Ha Ha… some days are like that!). Leave a bit of space between each wedge.  Bake in a preheated 400 degree oven for 15 minutes, then remove from oven. Scones should be slightly light golden brown.

Lemon Cream Scones / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Lemon Cream Scones / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Let the scones cool for a moment, then transfer them to a wire rack to finish cooling.  While cooling, prepare the lemon glaze in a small bowl, by mixing together powdered sugar, fresh squeezed lemon juice, melted butter and vanilla extract until smooth.

Lemon Cream Scones / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
Once scones have cooled a bit, brush the lemon glaze over the top of each one. Use ALL the glaze! I like to put a piece of foil or wax paper UNDER the rack to catch any glaze that drips off the scones (for easy cleanup!).

Lemon Cream Scones / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

I like to let a bit of the glaze run down the sides of the scones. YUM!  Once all the glaze has been distributed, let the scones rest a few minutes in order to let the lemon glaze firm up.  Once glaze hardens, they are good to go! Don’t they look GOOD? Wait until you taste them!

Lemon Cream Scones / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Lemon Cream Scones / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

We REALLY loved these scones… I hope you do, too!  Be sure to check out my other scone recipes (in my Recipe Index); I think you will LOVE them! Have a great day, friends.

Lemon Cream Scones / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Recipe Source: https://www.foodfanatic.com/recipes/lemon-cream-scones-recipe/

Lemon Cream Scones
 
Prep time
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Grab a cup of coffee or tea in one hand and one of these delicious lemon cream scones in the other... and start your day off right!
As Prepared By:
Recipe type: Breakfast
Serves: 8 scones
Ingredients
For Scones:
  • ⅓ cup granulated sugar
  • lemon zest (from a LARGE lemon)
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 8 Tablespoons butter (one cube), frozen
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup heavy whipping cream
For Lemon Glaze:
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons lemon juice (fresh squeezed)
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 Tablespoons butter, melted
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Mix sugar and lemon zest together in medium bowl. Stir flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into mixture until combined.
  3. Grate a frozen cube of butter into flour mixture (use large holes on a box grater). Use a pastry blender (or two forks) to cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
  4. In separate bowl, mix one egg and heavy whipping cream together. Once blended, pour it into flour mixture; stir until ingredients are combined. Scrape down sides of the bowl to incorporate crumbles.
  5. Shape the dough with your hands into a round ball (I did this in the same bowl I mixed the dough in). Once dough ball is formed, place it on a lightly floured work surface. Roll dough out into a 7 inch circle (about ¾ inch tall). Cut it into 8 wedges (I use a pizza cutter to make smooth even cuts, but a sharp knife works just as well!).
  6. Place the wedges onto a parchment paper covered baking sheet. Leave a space between each wedge. Bake in a preheated 400 degree oven for 15 minutes, then remove. Scones should be slightly golden brown.
  7. Let scones cool for a moment, then transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling. While cooling, make lemon glaze by mixing together powdered sugar, lemon juice, melted butter and vanilla until smooth.
  8. Once scones are completely cooled, brush lemon glaze over the top of each one. Use ALL the glaze! For easy clean up, put a piece of foil or wax paper UNDER rack to catch any glaze that drips.
  9. Once all glaze has been used, let scones sit for a few minutes, until lemon glaze firms up. Enjoy!

 

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Super Creamy Chocolate Peanut Butter Smoothie

I LOVE the flavor combination of chocolate and peanut butter, so making a breakfast smoothie using those ingredients was a fabulous idea! Yes… it WAS! This Super Creamy Chocolate Peanut Butter Smoothie was absolutely AMAZING!Super Creamy Chocolate Peanut Butter Smoothie / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
I love making smoothies, and love to experiment and try different flavor combos!  This one is extra creamy, thick, and cold, thanks to the addition of a frozen banana, cocoa powder, peanut butter, Greek vanilla yogurt (gotta have that protein), and a bit of milk. I’m not kidding… it is amazing and tastes like a milkshake! Using a pre-frozen banana eliminates the need to add ice (which waters down the smoothie a bit!).

The recipe, as written, makes one 12 ounce smoothie.  Here’s how easy it is to make:

Place a frozen medium banana, milk, Greek vanilla yogurt, peanut butter, and cocoa into a blender. (*Note: if you use PLAIN Greek yogurt, you might want to sweeten the smoothie up a bit with honey). Blend ingredients until fully smooth and thick.

Super Creamy Chocolate Peanut Butter Smoothie / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Pour smoothie into a tall glass. I made this smoothie for breakfast on a morning when it was 36 degrees outside, but added a fancy umbrella straw so my brain would think I was in a sunny warm and tropical location. Mind over matter and no brain-freeze, right? This would also be a great afternoon treat for the kids (divided into smaller serving sizes, of course)!

I used low-fat milk and yogurt, so the total calorie count came in just around 300 calories, which is not bad for a large smoothie used as a meal replacement. The recipe can easily be doubled OR the smoothie can be divided into TWO or THREE smaller sized servings.

Super Creamy Chocolate Peanut Butter Smoothie / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Super Creamy Chocolate Peanut Butter Smoothie / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

The smoothie is really nice and thick, and super creamy… and boy, is it GOOD! Hope you will give it a try! I think you will LOVE it!

Super Creamy Chocolate Peanut Butter Smoothie / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Super Creamy Chocolate Peanut Butter Smoothie
 
Prep time
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Cold, creamy and filled with chocolate, peanut butter, Greek yogurt and a frozen banana, this smoothie will help start your day off with a burst of deliciousness!
As Prepared By:
Recipe type: Beverage
Serves: 1 serving
Ingredients
  • 1 medium banana, FROZEN (see note section)
  • ½ cup low-fat milk
  • ½ cup light Greek vanilla flavored yogurt
  • 1 Tablespoon smooth peanut butter
  • 2-3 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder (I used 3)
Directions
  1. Place all ingredients in blender.
  2. Cover blender and blend for a minute or so, until all ingredients are fully combined and mixture is smooth and thick.
  3. Pour into a 12 ounce glass, and enjoy!
Notes
I like to peel ripe bananas, cut them in half, and store them in re-sealable bags in my freezer. That way, it's very easy to grab a pre-frozen banana any time I need one for a smoothie!
*If using PLAIN Greek yogurt, you may want to add a bit of honey to help sweeten the smoothie.

 

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Gingerbread Muffins

Need a little holiday inspiration? How about serving these delicious and festive looking Gingerbread Muffins for breakfast during the holidays? They are quick AND easy to make!Gingerbread Muffins / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
I found the recipe in a cookbook that my friend Debbie gave me several years ago. I was browsing through the cookbook getting recipe ideas, but when I saw how easy these muffins were to make, I ran downstairs and whipped some up for our breakfast!  They tasted fantastic (I think my hubby ate THREE of them- they were that good!

The recipe is absolutely simple to make. If you can stir and pour batter into muffin tins, YOU can make these!!! The muffins have a wonderful gingerbread flavor and have a nice “rise” to them. Here’s how you make them:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees, and prepare 12 cup standard sized muffin tin by spraying the bottom only, OR by placing paper baking cups into each muffin cup.  Beat together brown sugar, molasses, milk, oil and one egg in a large bowl. You can easily use a spoon for this.

Gingerbread Muffins / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Add remaining ingredients (flour, baking powder, ginger, salt, baking soda, cinnamon and ground allspice to the batter. Stir to mix ingredients only until flour is incorporated and moistened. Do not over stir.

Gingerbread Muffins / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Gingerbread Muffins / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Spoon batter evenly into prepared muffin cups. Each one should only be filled HALF full.

Gingerbread Muffins / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Bake muffins at 400 degrees for 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean. Check muffins at 18 minutes. Mine only took 18 minutes, so I was glad I checked them. This is necessary because oven temps. vary quite a bit!  Once done, immediately remove the muffins from the baking pan, and place them on a wire rack to cool.  Once cooled, they are ready to eat… as is, OR you can fancy them up (can’t help myself!).

Gingerbread Muffins / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

If you want to “fancy them up” a bit, while muffins are cooling off stir together a mixture of powdered sugar, vanilla, and water until the icing is thick enough to drizzle over tops of muffins. I had some red sparkly sugar in my pantry, so I also lightly sprinkled the icing with red sugar after drizzling it on. (Multi-colored sprinkles would add a fun touch, too!).

Gingerbread Muffins / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Gingerbread Muffins / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Let the icing firm up just a bit, then the muffins are ready to eat!  Here’s a peek at the inside of one before it got gobbled up!  My husband enjoyed his warm muffins with a tiny touch of butter, which he said made them perfect!

Gingerbread Muffins / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

It’s such an easy recipe to make… and it was kind of fun to have GINGERBREAD muffins for breakfast, right in the middle of the Christmas holidays!  Hope you enjoy them.  I sincerely hope you are finding JOY in this season. Merry Christmas!

Gingerbread Muffins / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Recipe Adapted From:Recipe Adapted From: The cookbook titled : “Betty Crocker Christmas Cookbook”, Page 158, Wiley Publishing, Inc., Copyright 2010, General Mills.

Gingerbread Muffins
 
Prep time
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Gingerbread Muffins... delicious, EASY, and perfect for the holidays!
As Prepared By:
Recipe type: Breakfast
Serves: 12
Ingredients
For Muffin Batter:
  • ¼ cup brown sugar (packed)
  • ½ cup molasses
  • ⅓ cup milk
  • ⅓ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground allspice
For Decorative Icing (to drizzle on finished muffins):
  • 1½ cups powdered sugar
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Few drops of water (a little at a time until desired thickness is reached)
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. spray the bottoms (only) of a 12 standard sized muffin cups with non-stick spray OR insert paper muffin baking cups into each cup.
  2. Mix the the brown sugar, molasses, oil, milk, and egg together in a large bowl with a spoon. Mix well.
  3. Stir in the remaining ingredients (flour, baking powder, ginger, salt, baking soda, cinnamon and allspice). Stir only until all ingredients are mixed in together... do not overmix.
  4. Divide and spoon batter evenly into prepared muffin cups (only fill HALFWAY).
  5. Bake muffins at 400 degrees F for 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of muffin comes out clean. It's best to check them at the 18 minute mark, as oven temperatures vary.
  6. When done, immediately remove muffins from baking pan to a wire rack to cool. Once they have cooled down they are ready to serve warm (unless you wish to add a decorative drizzle).
  7. If you wish to drizzle icing over the top of finished muffins, place powdered sugar and vanilla in small bowl. Stir in a few drops of water, stirring as you go. Continue adding a drop or two of water and stirring, until icing is thick enough to drizzle on top of muffins. Wait until muffins are completely cool before drizzling icing on top. Lightly dust with colored sugar or sprinkles, if desired. Let icing firm up on muffins, then serve! Enjoy!

 

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