July 19, 2008

Handheld Breakfast

Melanie: comment in “Let them eat cake” on July 17, 2008

Handheld Breakfast

These muffins are pretty healthy, and of course are open to modifications. I make a whole heck of a lot at one time, wrap them individually, and store them in the freezer. I can grab one on the way out the door, and I’m ashamed to admit I’ve found that if I rest one behind my desktop computer tower they thaw beautifully in about half an hour, so I can have my tea and warm muffin at my desk. Hey, I’m recycling used CPU heat!

1/2 cup fruity extra virgin olive oil
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 cup grated carrots
1 ounce dried cranberries
zest from one orange
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1 cup rolled oats (not quick cook or whatever)
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon soda
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cardomom

The normal muffin method works great for this one: Wet stuff, one bowl. Dry stuff, another bowl. Stir separately, then together. The batter will be very thick, but don’t worry. It’s supposed to be this way. I like to use an ice cream scoop to portion the muffin batter. 400 for 15-20 minutes with 2 ounce scoop (regular size muffin tins), 350 for 25-30 with 4 ounce scoop (the big guys).

Uber-Yummy Cranberry Pistachio Shortbread

Melanie: comment in “Let them eat cake” on July 17, 2008

Uber-Yummy Cranberry Pistachio Shortbread

1 1/4 cup unsalted butter (the best you can find. This is the time to splurge)
1 cup sugar
2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1/4 cup rice flour
3 ounces dried cranberries, chopped finely (I’m serious about the “chopped finely” part. Cutting them later is no fun with big sticky things in there)
1/2 cup roasted, salted pistachios, chopped finely (add 1 teaspoon of salt if you’re using unsalted pistachios, only 1/2 teaspoon for salted)
zest from 1 lime

Both of these recipes are better if you DON’T use the usual creaming method. Instead, melt the butter and stir in the sugar, then mix with the (already combined) dry ingredients. I don’t know why, but the texture is so much better this way. I usually just dump the whole doughy mess onto a baking sheet (parchment paper!) and pat it out into a big flat disk about 1/2 an inch thick. 350 for 25 minutes or so, depending on how brown you like it. You want to cut these pretty much right away so they don’t crumble into shortbread dust, which is still tasty, but not what we’re after.

My Family Nearly Lynched Me For Making Something Fattening They Can’t Resist Pine Nut Rosemary Shortbread

Melanie: comment in “Let them eat cake” on July 17, 2008

My Family Nearly Lynched Me For Making Something Fattening They Can’t Resist Pine Nut Rosemary Shortbread

1 3/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1/4 cup rice flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter (the good stuff)
2/3 cup sugar                                                                                                                                                2/3 cup toasted pine nuts                                                                                                                                 2 tablespoons minced fresh rosemary                                                                                                              zest of one lemon

Both of these recipes are better if you DON’T use the usual creaming method. Instead, melt the butter and stir in the sugar, then mix with the (already combined) dry ingredients. I don’t know why, but the texture is so much better this way. I usually just dump the whole doughy mess onto a baking sheet (parchment paper!) and pat it out into a big flat disk about 1/2 an inch thick. 350 for 25 minutes or so, depending on how brown you like it. You want to cut these pretty much right away so they don’t crumble into shortbread dust, which is still tasty, but not what we’re after.