Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Perfect Cornbread Muffins with Honey Butter

Dry Ingredients:
2 c. flour
1 c. yellow cornmeal
1 small pkg. instant vanilla pudding (not sugar free!)
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt

Wet Ingredients:
2 eggs
1 c. granulated sugar
1/2 c. butter, melted and cooled slightly (NOT margarine!)
3/4 c. sour cream
1 c. whole milk (you can substitute lower fat milk, but the whole makes it YUMMY!)

Granulated sugar

Honey Butter:
1/2 c. butter, softened
1/4 c. powdered sugar
3 Tbs. honey
Add cinnamon to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Adjust oven racks to middle position. Grease muffin tins accordingly (This recipe makes 16-18 average-sized muffins or a few pans of mini muffins-- Maybe close to 100 muffins?? I like to make 12 regular muffins and finish off the rest of the batter with the cute minis.)

In a small bowl, melt butter. Set aside and let cool.

Prepare honey butter by combining very soft butter (not melted) with powdered sugar and honey. Add cinnamon. Combine with a fork until light and fluffy. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, combine dry ingredients and whisk together. Set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk eggs until well-combined. Add the sugar to the eggs and whisk vigorously until thick....About 20 seconds. Add the cooled butter, combining well. Add sour cream and mix well, followed by the milk. The mixture should be smooth and lump-free.

Add the dry ingredients to the wet, and mix gently with a large spatula until evenly moistened. Don't over mix!

Spray an ice cream scoop liberally with PAM and use it to place one large scoop of batter in each muffin cup. (For mini muffins, use a small cookie dough scoop.) Sprinkle muffins with a light dusting of granulated sugar (I just use a tablespoon heaped with sugar and sprinkle the tops).

Bake in a 400 degree oven for about 13 minutes (for large muffins) and 11 minutes (for mini muffins). Muffins should be BARELY browned around the edges but not on top. Make sure that a toothpick inserted comes out clean, but do NOT over bake. They will dry out quickly.

Remove muffins from oven. Before removing from the pan, use a small spatula to spread honey butter over the tops of the piping hot muffins (I probably use somewhere close to 1 tsp. on each large muffin). Remove from pans and let cool slightly before serving.

Serve hot with remaining honey butter on the side. 

Friday, May 27, 2011

Texas Roadhouse-like Rolls

YUMMY yummy yummy! I made these for mothers day to go with our meal. They were a big hit, especially with the *cinnamon honey butter. 

(adapted from: Good Stuff Maynard and pic via)

4 tsp. active dry yeast
1/2 c. warm water
2 c. milk, scalded and cooled to lukewarm
3 Tbl. of melted butter, slightly cooled
1/2 c. sugar 
2 quarts all purpose flour (7-8 cups)
2 whole eggs
2 tsp. salt

Dissolve yeast in warm water with a teaspoon of sugar.  Add yeast, milk, sugar and enough flour to make a medium batter.  Beat thoroughly.  Let stand until light and foamy.  Add melted butter, eggs and salt.  Beat well.  

Add enough flour to form a soft dough.  Sprinkle a small amount of flour onto counter and let dough rest.  Meanwhile, grease a large bowl.  Knead dough until smooth and satiny and put in greased bowl; turn over to grease top. (I used the dough hook on my Kitchen-Aid to knead this for about 4-5 minutes).  Cover and let rise in a warm place until double in bulk.  Punch down.  Turn out onto a floured board.  Divide into portions for shaping; let rest 10 minutes.  Shape dough into desired forms.  Place on greased baking sheets.  Let rise until doubled.  

Bake at 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes or until golden brown.  Baste immediately with butter.  Yield: 5 to 6 dozen.  

*Notes: I shaped my rolls by rolling out the dough into a rectangle, about 1/2-inch thick, then I folded the rectangle in half, making it about 1-inch thick. I used  my rolling pin and rolled over the dough, ever so gently, just to seal the two halves together.  I then used a dough scraper and cut the rolls into squares and placed those on my greased baking sheet.  I cut the recipe in half and I got exactly 12 big rolls and baked them for 16-17 minutes.  In order to get the 5-6 dozen rolls like the recipe states, you would have to make really small rolls.     

*Like Texas Roadhouse Cinnamon Butter

1/2 cup Butter
1/2 cup Powdered Sugar
1/2 cup Honey
1 tsp Cinnamon

Blend all ingredients at room temp.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Giant Double Chocolate Cookies

These cookies are amazing! I have made several variations subbing chocolate chips for andes mints, reeces peanut butter cups (chopped) with peanut butter chips, or white chocolate chunks with macadamias. They were all delicious!

cookie 17

cookie 19

Yield: 12 very large cookies


1 cup (2 sticks) cold, unsalted butter, cubed
1¼ cup sugar
2 large eggs
½ cup dark cocoa powder (I use dutch-process cocoa. If you use basic, natural, unsweetened cocoa (Hershey's in the brown can), then I recommend using a heaping 1/4 tsp baking soda added to the dry ingredients).

2¼ cups all-purpose flour
1 Tsp cornstarch
¼ tsp. coarse salt
1 tsp. baking powder
2-3 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips (I like to use 2 sizes, the mini and the regular. My favorite brand is Guittard or if I can't find those then the Ghirardelli chips).


1. Preheat the oven to 350˚ F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.

2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the butter and sugar. Beat together on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, 2-3 minutes.

3. Blend in the eggs one at a time, scraping down the bowl as needed.

4. Mix in the cocoa powder until well blended.

5. Add the flour, salt and baking powder to the bowl and mix on low speed just until incorporated.

6. Fold in the chocolate chips with a spatula. The dough will be very thick!

7. Transfer the dough to a work surface and knead briefly by hand to be sure the ingredients are well combined. I knead mine in the bowl, and it works out just fine.

8. Divide the dough into 4 ounce portions (or divide into 12 equal pieces).

9. Roll each portion of dough into a ball and flatten just slightly into a disc. Place on the prepared baking sheets, a few inches apart. They are so large that they reminded me more of hamburger patties on a baking sheet than of cookies!

10. Bake 15-18 minutes. Let cool on the baking sheets 5-10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Enjoy with some milk.  Mmmm!

Giant Walnut Chocolate Chip Cookies

Let me introduce you to my new very favorite cookie. Here is the close second.
I like my cookies a bit crunchy with a golden crust and the middle super soft, but not doughy.

I like to make these HUGE. But you can divide the dough however you like...if you don't eat it all first. :)

krista cookie 1

krista cookie 2

Yield: 12 very large cookies


2 sticks butter – cold and cut into cubes (DON"T soften or melt it!)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cups light brown sugar
3/4 cups dark brown sugar
2 eggs
3 cups flour (you may need slightly less or more)
1 & 1/2  tsp salt (I prefer sea salt!)
2 tsp cornstartch
1 & 1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
2-3 cups chocolate chips – My favorite is to use half regular semi-sweet chips (My favorite are Guittard, but Ghirardelli's are good too), and half mini semi-sweet chocolate chips.
1  1/2 cup walnuts or pecans (to me these are NOT optional and best when toasted prior to baking)

*Optional – 1/2 block of semi-sweet or dark chocolate (not unsweetened baker’s chocolate) for grating.


1.  Preheat oven to 385-390 degrees F

2.  In a large bowl/mixer bowl, cream together cubed butter and sugars until well blended and fluffy.

3.  Add eggs, one at a time, until well mixed.

4. Add flour, salt, cornstartch, baking powder, baking soda & salt to butter, sugar and egg mixture until just combined.   This should be a very thick mixture, and not sticky.  If your dough is still sticky, try adding more flour, 1/8-1/4 cup at a time.

5.  Add in chocolate chips and nuts.   If you are using a block of chocolate, you will want to grate it and add it in as well.
(You can even use a chocolate candy bar for this part.   The grated chocolate just adds a hint more chocolate in every bite.)

6.  Combine the dough and chocolate chips.   My dough was so thick that I had to do this by hand, a bit like kneading bread.

7.  Divide into portions to bake. Work the dough into balls (this recipe will make 12-18 depending on how big you want them. I like to make 12.)  Put them on the cookie sheet, leaving ample room between them.  Do not flatten the dough out at all.   Don't grease the cookie sheets.  I prefer my airbake sheet for these...even over my silpats.

8.  Put into the oven to bake.  Each sheet took approximately 8-10 minutes (larger cookies will obviously take a few more minutes).  Watch them closely and don’t over bake, or you will ruin the gooey wonderfulness inside.  I pull mine out as soon as I saw them start to lightly brown (they cook a bit more while they cool on the sheet).

9. Let cool and remove from pan.

10. Break one open and eat.  Squeal with joy after tasting.  Figure out who to give them to or where to hide them so that you don’t eat the entire batch in one sitting!

*Just to show how big end up:
cookie 16

cookie 20

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Grilled Pizza

Since getting our new grill for Christmas, we've been trying out a bunch of new recipes! This one is amazing!
There are so many variations of course, but here is the dough and some of our favorite combinations.

grilled pizza

Dough Ingredients
(via Ina Garten @ Food Network):
  • 1 1/4 cups warm (100 to 110 degrees F) water
  • 2 packages dry yeast
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 3 tablespoons good olive oil
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for kneading
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt

For prep:

  • 1/2 cup good olive oil
  • Cornmeal

For the dough, combine the water, yeast, honey, and olive oil in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook. Add 3 cups flour, then the salt, and mix. While mixing, add 1 more cup of flour, or enough to make a soft dough. Knead the dough on low to medium speed for about 10 minutes until smooth, sprinkling it with flour, if necessary, to keep it from sticking to the bowl.
When the dough is ready, turn it out onto a floured board and knead by hand a dozen times. It should be smooth and elastic. Place the dough in a well-oiled bowl and turn it several times to cover it lightly with oil. Cover the bowl with a kitchen towel. Allow the dough to rest at room temperature for 30 minutes.
Divide the dough into 6 equal parts and roll each one into a smooth ball. Place the balls on a baking sheet and cover them with a damp towel. Allow the dough to rest for 10 minutes. Use immediately, or refrigerate for up to 4 hours.
If you've chilled the dough, take it out of the refrigerator approximately 30 minutes ahead to let it come to room temperature. Roll and stretch each ball into a rough 8-inch circle and place them all on baking sheets sprinkled with cornmeal. (You will be able to fit 2 pizzas on each 18 by 13-inch baking sheet.)
Light your grill and wait until it's hot.
Place the pizzas directly onto the grill and cook on 1 side for 1 minute. Turn the pizzas over and brush with olive oil or garlic oil.
Top the pizzas with any toppings you wish, piling them high. Drizzle each pizza with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Put the lid on your grill and cook for 5 minutes more, until the crust is crisp and the toppings are cooked.
Some of our favorite toppings (not necessarily all together!):
  • 1 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 pound fresh mozzarella, grated
  • 1/2 pound Italian Fontina, grated
  • 1/2 pound mild goat cheese, such as Montrachet, sliced
  • 1 red or yellow bell pepper, cored, seeded, and julienned
  • 1/4 pound prosciutto, thinly sliced and julienned
  • 1 bunch arugula, cleaned and dried
  • 6 plum tomatoes, sliced 1/4-inch thick
  • 4 pork or turkey sausages, cooked and sliced
  • 1 bunch basil leaves, cleaned and dried
  • 4 garlic cloves, roasted
  • squash
  • pineapple
  • asparagus
  • olives
  • artichoke hearts
  • pepperoni
  • Crushed red pepper flakes
My favorite:
Goat cheese, caramelized onion, mozzarella, drizzle of olive oil, fresh spinach and basil with sweet yellow tomatoes.

Kids fave:
Mozzarella with pepperoni and olives.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Pumpkin Waffles

 I made these for breakfast on Saturday to celebrate the canned pumpkin shortage ending! :) So yummy! I added some mini chocolate chips to some of the kiddos.

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
4 large eggs, separated
2 cups well-shaken buttermilk
1 cup canned solid-pack pumpkin
3/4 stick (6 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted
Vegetable oil for brushing waffle iron or cooking spray

Preheat oven to 250°F and preheat waffle iron. Sift together flour, brown sugar, baking powder and soda, salt, and spices.

Whisk egg yolks in a large bowl with buttermilk, pumpkin, and butter until smooth. Whisk in dry ingredients just until combined.

In a mixing bowl with a whisk attachment, whisk the egg whites until they hold soft peaks (as in, far softer than the over-beaten whites you’ll see in my picture above). Folk them gently into the waffle batter, until just combined.

Brush waffle iron lightly with oil and spoon batter (about 2 cups for four 4-inch Belgian waffles) into waffle iron, spreading quickly. Cook according to manufacturer’s instructions.

Transfer waffles to rack in oven to keep warm and crisp. Make more waffles in same manner.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Rocky Road Popcorn

This is a recipe from last fall that we just loved! Can't wait to make it again in a couple weeks...


1/2 cup popcorn kernels
4-6 cups mini-marshmallows
(whole almonds optional)

Popcorn coating

16 oz melted white chocolate (or vanilla flavored Candyquick or bark)


11.5 oz bag melted semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips
3/4 cup melted white chocolate chips
11.5 oz bag melted milk chocolate chips


Air pop the popcorn kernels into an extra large bowl.
Remove any unpopped kernels.
Add the mini-marshmallows (and almonds) to the popcorn.

Melt white chocolate (or Candyquick) and pour over popcorn and marshmallows.
Stir until evenly coated.

Grease cookie sheet.
Spread popcorn over entire cookie sheet so that it is 1-3 inches high  (You can also place the popcorn in muffin tins).
Cover and set in fridge until set or overnight.

Place chocolate chips in 3 separate bowls and melt (1-1/2 min. is all it takes...do not overcook).
Once they are not too hot, place each in a plastic bag and cut off the corner.
First drizzle the dark, then white and milk over the popcorn.

Refrigerate 1-2 hours more. Cut into squares and serve cold.
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