Monday, October 26, 2009

Glazed Ginger Pumpkin Muffins

I have a thing for muffins. To me, they're the perfect morning (or evening) indulgence with just the right level of sweet. The pumpkin makes them incredibly moist, and the molasses makes them taste a lot like gingerbread. I even used white whole-wheat flour to make them more nutritious. Enjoy!

Glazed Ginger Pumpkin Muffins

Nonstick vegetable oil spray
2 3/4 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup canola oil
3 large eggs
1 15-ounce can pure pumpkin
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon molasses
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup chopped crystallized ginger, divided

1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons (or more) water

Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray 6 giant (1 1/4-cup) muffin cups or 18 standard (1/3-cup) muffin cups with nonstick spray. Sift flour, ginger, baking soda, and salt into medium bowl. Using electric mixer, beat 1 cup sugar and oil in large bowl to blend. Beat in eggs 1 at a time, blending well after each addition. Beat in pumpkin, 1/2 cup molasses, buttermilk, and 1/4 cup crystallized ginger. Stir in flour mixture until just blended.

Divide batter among prepared muffin cups. Bake until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean, about 40 minutes for giant muffins and 30 minutes for standard muffins. Transfer muffins to rack; cool completely.

Whisk powdered sugar, 1 1/2 tablespoons water, and 1 tablespoon molasses in medium bowl, adding more water as needed to form thick glaze.

Dip muffin tops in glaze; transfer to rack, allowing glaze to drip down sides. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup crystallized ginger. Let stand until glaze is set, about 1 hour.

Makes 18 standard muffins or 6 giant muffins.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Best Chocolate Chip Cookies Ever

Ok, so that's a pretty extreme claim. Cookie-lovers generally fall into two categories: those who love crispy cookies and those who love cookies of the chewy variety. These cookies are more crispy than chewy, but I think what I love most from them is that they are the cookies my mom made for me while I was growing up.

This recipe comes from an old Pillsbury cookbook from 1979, but most of the recipes have stood up amazingly well (the baked tuna balls might be an exception). Anwyay, less biased sources than I have affirmed the deliciousness of these cookies in recent days. I hope you'll enjoy them as much as I have!

Chocolate Chip Cookies

3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup shortening
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1 egg

1 3/4 cups AP flour
1 teaspoon soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Heat oven to 375. In large bowl, combine first 6 ingredients; blend well. Stir in flour, soda and salt; blend well. Stir in chocolate chips; mix well. Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls, 2 inches apart onto ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 375 for 8 to 10 minutes or until light golden brown.