Caramel Butterscotch Muffins

Caramel Butterscotch Muffins

Caramel Butterscotch Muffins

I am so excited to be posting for the first time on our very own site. When I started this blog, I originally predicted I would get discouraged and abandon it after a month. It was my intention to give myself six months before making the commitment of buying a domain name and designing a self-hosted site. My enthusiasm must have been contagious, however, since Geoff decided to go ahead and start working on this site for me. And for you. After just two months, we’re totally psyched to share it with you.

I probably should have made you something more extravagant, like a giant cake, but this is still real life. And that’s what we’re about. Austerity is back in effect after some unexpected financial setbacks (stolen scooter), along with some other budget busters (hello immigration). Simplicity shall reign over indulgence for a good long while, it seems.

Caramel Butterscotch Muffins

That doesn’t stop me from sharing sugar-encrusted muffins with you, though. These fluffy sweet gems were born out of a combination of resourcefulness and an utter lack of attentiveness whilst in the grocery store. With a base recipe for muffins to test and an extra bag of butterscotch chips, I managed to produce something brilliant.

This is a muffin. It is not a frostingless cupcake. It is more substantial, and has a lovely sort of crust all the way around. It’s still loaded with sweetness, though. The kind that makes you want to sing and dance. The butterscotch chips melt in the oven, forming delightful little burst of goodness, and the caramel sauce drizzled over the top before baking forms a gorgeous burnt crust around the edges. 

Caramel Butterscotch Muffins

You absolutely must eat these warm. It’s totally fine to pop them in the microwave for fifteen seconds. I mean, they’re perfectly edible  at room temperature, but the gooeyness is where it’s at. Do not miss out. They’re so worth the burnt fingers.

Get ya some!

Caramel Butterscotch Muffins
Yields 12
A for real muffin studded with sweetness
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
20 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
20 min
Ingredients
  1. 303 grams (2-1/4 cups) all-purpose flour
  2. 2 teaspoons baking powder
  3. 1 teaspoon baking soda
  4. pinch of salt
  5. 105 grams (1/2 cup) sugar
  6. 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  7. 1 whole egg
  8. 1 egg yolk
  9. 1 cup plain yogurt
  10. 1 cup butterscotch chips
  11. approximatly 1/4 cup caramel sauce, for drizzling
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 and spray muffin tin with nonstick spray.
  2. Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into a large bowl, or pulse in food processor for about five seconds.
  3. Whisk together sugar, oil, egg, egg yolk, and yogurt in a medium bowl.
  4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and quickly and gently stir to combine using a spatula or wooden spoon. Some small lumps are okay. Try to accomplish this in 10-15 seconds.
  5. Fold in the butterscotch chips
  6. Scoop the batter into the waiting muffin pan. The cups will be quite full. Muffin tops are the bees knees.
  7. Drizzle a spoonful of caramel sauce over each muffin.
  8. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  9. Remove the muffins from them pan and turn them on their sides on a wire rack to cool. This will give you that lovely crust all the way around.
  10. Serve warm, even if it's a day or two later.
  11. Good luck not burning yourself.
Adapted from I'm Just Here for More Food by Alton Brown
http://awesomeon20.com/
Photos by Monica Szczupider

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Giant Chocolate Chip Cookies

Picnic Week: Giant Chocolate Chip Cookies

Giant Chocolate Chip Cookies

 

The long weekend is so close, I can almost taste it. School is ending. It seems the sun is finally shining on the mainland. Summer is about to arrive. It’s calling to you to get out and enjoy a feast on a blanket.

Here are a few quick do’s and don’t’s for your picnic.

  • Do invite all your friends. Especially if their parents own the best Chinese restaurant in town.
Hee Hing Snack Box of Awesomeness
Hee Hing has my favorite maunapua!
  • Don’t put your grill on a plastic picnic table. That’s just ruins it for everyone else.
  • Do put your wine or cocktail in your Starbucks reusable cup. It’s more stylish, more discreet, and it doesn’t waste plastic. And it has a lid, in case you get carried away.
  • Don’t leave a mess. You’re not Don and Betty Draper. Also, if you live in a city, there’s probably someone hanging around who would be happy to have your recyclables and any leftover food. They need it more than you.
  • Do pick a spot with a view of the epic South Shore swell. (Actually, anywhere beautiful will do.)

South Shore Swell

And most definitely DO bring giant chocolate chip cookies. There’s nothing like watching people’s eyes light up when you show them the size of these babies. It doesn’t matter what age they are; they’re excited. This is my go to chocolate chip cookie. It’s soft and dense in the center and loaded with chocolate.

I love this recipe by who else, Nigella Lawson. My favorite thing is that it’s made with melted butter, so you don’t have to plan ahead. The only thing her recipe was missing is a nice fat pinch of salt. Trust me. It’s essential to making these cookies taste like heaven.

Giant Chocolate Chip Cookies

 

I hope your long weekend is filled with laughter and sunshine, and I hope it tastes like cookies.

Giant Chocolate Chip Cookies
Yields 15
A dense and chocolaty cookie nearly the size of your face
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
15 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
15 min
Ingredients
  1. 150 grams (2/3 cup) butter
  2. 125 grams (5/8 cup) brown sugar
  3. 100 grams (1/2 cup) granulated sugar
  4. 2 tsp vanilla extract
  5. 1 egg
  6. 1 egg yolk
  7. 300 grams (2-1/2 cups) flour
  8. 1/2 tsp baking soda
  9. 1-1/2 tsp salt
  10. 326 grams (12 ounces) chocolate chips (I like to mix it up with milk, semi-sweet, and dark chocolate. Whatever you have on hand.)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 340 and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Melt the butter and let it cool for a bit. I use the microwave in 30 second intervals. Get it all melted, then go check Facebook for 10 minutes.
  3. Put the brown and white sugar in a mixing bowl, then pour the melted butter over them and beat them together with your mixer or a strong arm.
  4. Add the vanilla, egg, and egg yolk and beat until creamy and smooth.
  5. Slowly mix in the flour, baking soda, and salt.
  6. Finally, fold in the chocolate.
  7. Using your 1/4 cup measure, scoop out the cookie dough onto your parchment-lined baking sheet. Give them plenty of space to spread out. I make mine six at a time. You may need to stash your dough in the fridge between batches.
  8. Bake for 15 minutes. Let cool on the pan for five minutes, then remove to a wire rack to cool.
  9. Pack them up to share with friends. They’ll be so impressed.
Adapted from Kitchen by Nigella Lawson
http://awesomeon20.com/
 

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Southwest Pasta Salad

Picnic Week: Southwest Pasta Salad

Southwest Pasta Salad

There are a few things you need in order to have a totally awesome picnic. Plenty of food is a no-brainer. Also, don’t forget the wine, and/or beer, and/or cider. And bring all of your awesome friends because that makes everything perfect. Here are a few more things to check off your list.

  1. A big tablecloth for covering the possibly gross picnic table in the park, or to use as a big picnic blanket if you can’t get a table.
  2. Cups for discreet sipping of adult beverages.
  3. Matches to light the grill.
  4. A corkscrew (unless you brought screw top wine which I do all the time)
  5. Plates, napkins, and utensils. (I’ve forgotten forks before.)
  6. Condiments because that’s what makes stuff extra awesome.

Southwest Pasta Salad

You should also probably bring along this Southwest Pasta Salad. It totally rocks. It’s simple, bright, delicious, and a bit spicy. That’s where it’s at!

I love this recipe because it’s unexpected. It’s also brilliant for a picnic because it can be made ahead of time. In fact, it’s even better after it’s had a chance to sit in the fridge for a day. Black beans, corn, green onions, and bell peppers, combined with a spicy lime dressing, take this recipe above and beyond your normal every day pasta salad.

It also never hurts to have a vegetarian dish at your picnic. You never know who might stop by.

Pack your picnic basket with plenty of flavors. Trust me. It’s awesome.

Southwest Pasta Salad

Southwest Pasta Salad
Serves 6
A spicy take on pasta salad
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Total Time
30 min
Total Time
30 min
Ingredients
  1. 1/2 pound small pasta (I used penne because it was in my pantry)
  2. zest of 2 limes
  3. 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  4. 1/2 bell pepper, diced
  5. 3 green onions, chopped (I use scissors)
  6. 1/2 cup frozen corn
  7. 1/2 cup shredded pepper jack cheese
for the dressing
  1. 6 Tbsp lime juice (I combine the juice from the fresh limes I zested with some from the squeezy lime-shaped bottle. Nigella does it, so it’s okay.)
  2. 1/4 cup cider or rice vinegar (really whatever’s in your pantry will probably work)
  3. 4 cloves garlic, minced
  4. 1-1/2 tsp chili powder
  5. 1 tsp cumin
  6. 1/2 tsp coriander
  7. 1/2 tsp salt
  8. 2 tsp sugar
  9. 3/4 cup oil (I used olive oil)
Instructions
  1. Cook your pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water, according to the time on the package. Drain
  2. Zest your lime into the bottom of a large mixing bowl.
  3. Add the black beans, bell pepper, green onion, corn, and cheese. Stir to combine.
  4. Add the pasta and stir it up.
  5. The easiest way to make the dressing is to combine all the ingredients in a jar with a tight fitting lid. Give it a good shake until the oil has mixed in.
  6. Pour the about 2/3 of the dressing over your salad and give it a stir. If you want more, add it. If not, save it for something awesome later.
  7. Allow the salad to chill in the fridge for at least an hour, but overnight is even better.
  8. Best served under puffy clouds.
Adapted from Our Best Bites
Adapted from Our Best Bites
http://awesomeon20.com/
 

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