Pecan Pie Muffins

Pintesting Pecan Pie MuffinsThe American Pie Council National Championships are about a month away and this year I get to be a judge! I can’t even tell you how excited I am for this honor. So I’m going to be doing some pie-related Pintestings this month leading up to the big event. My Pinterest page, Desserts – Pies/Tarts/Crostatas are all about pie related recipes. Go check it out for some inspiration. The first recipe I’m doing is this pin for Pecan Pie Muffins by Christy from The Girl Who Ate Everything.

Pintesting Pecan Pie Muffins

Even though the recipe has the word muffin, don’t be fooled. These are just like little pecan pies but a whole lot easier. Personally, I like that they don’t have the corn syrup that pecan pies traditionally have. And instead of thinking of them as muffins, you can think of them as self-crusting. Let’s get baking.

The Pintesting:

There are just 5 ingredients and most of them are kitchen staples.

Pintesting Pecan Pie Muffins

First mix the dry ingredients.

Pintesting Pecan Pie Muffins

Toss them together until they’re evenly coated.

Pintesting Pecan Pie Muffins

Next, mix the softened butter and the eggs.

Pintesting Pecan Pie Muffins

It won’t look pretty – mine looked kind of like curdled milk. Don’t worry, it’s supposed to look this way and will smooth out once everything is mixed together.

Pintesting Pecan Pie Muffins

Now stir in the dry ingredients JUST until mixed. See the bits of butter in the mixture? It’s okay to leave it like that.

NOTE: For the most part, muffins turn out best when they’re not over mixed. It’s better to leave a few lumps in the batter and have a tender crumb than to over mix the batter and have your muffins turn out like bricks.

Pintesting Pecan Pie Muffins

According to Christy, you want to grease your muffin pan really well or your muffins will stick. I love to use the “Best Ever Pan Release” recipe by I Am Baker (you’ll find the recipe at the end of the recipe in the Pineapple Upside Down Bundt Cake post found here).

Pintesting Pecan Pie Muffins

Fill the cups 2/3 full. The mixture made more than the mini muffin tin could hold so I made 6 regular-sized muffins, too.

Pintesting Pecan Pie Muffins

Bake at 350 degrees until done; see the recipe for baking times.

Pintesting Pecan Pie Muffins

The muffins easily pop out of the pan and into my mouth.

Pintesting Pecan Pie Muffins

WARNING! These are incredibly addictive. If you’re not careful it’s easy to pop 4 or 6 of the mini bite-sized pecan pie muffins in your mouth before you realize it. (I have no idea if or how that happened.)

The Pintesting Results:

Overall Results: 4.7 Pins

Pintesting Seal 5 Pins

Accuracy:  These muffins have the taste and texture of pecan pie. In fact, the next time I have the urge to make a pecan pie I’m going to make these instead.They turned out just like Christy said they would. 5 Pins

Pintesting Rating - 5 Pins

Difficulty:  These are very easy to make. Just five ingredients and, if you buy the pecans already chopped, the only prep work is to make sure your butter is softened.  You don’t even need to use a mixer. 5 Pins

Pintesting Rating - 5 Pins

Time:  According to the recipe, this should make 8 large or 16 mini muffins. When filling my muffin cups 2/3 full, I ended up with 24 mini muffins and 6 regular muffins. Since there were different baking times, I baked the different sized pans one after the other; 12 minutes for the minis and 14 minutes for the regulars. I also let the regular sized muffins rest in the pan for an extra 5 minutes to set after running a knife around the edge; they seemed just a bit soft. Total time was just over half an hour so I’m giving this 4 Pins.

Pintesting Rating - 4 Pins

Cost:  Most of the ingredients are kitchen staples – all but the pecans. I don’t know if they’re not in season, but they seemed a bit pricey at more than $10.00. 4 Pins

Pintesting Rating - 4 Pins

Practicality:  Not only are these an easier substitute for home-made pecan pie, but they’re quicker to make, too. They make a lot of the mini muffins, and the bite-sized treats are perfect for lunches or, don’t judge, dessert portion control. I’m guessing that they’ll freeze well, too (although I’ll have to confirm and let you know). 5 Pins

Pintesting Rating - 5 Pins

Baked Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal

School has started and autumn is around the corner. It’s one of my favorite times of the year. We’ve just moved to Michigan, so this year we’ll be able to pick our own apples and pumpkins. That means we’ll be sampling cider, doughnuts, pies, muffins, apple butter and pumpkin butter, pancakes, cookies, cupcakes and cakes, dumplings, and… and… and…

Well, you get the idea. So when I saw this pin for Baked Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal by Paula of bell’ alimento, I thought this would be a great way to kick off autumn cooking.

http://pinterest.com/pin/207869339022108653/

http://pinterest.com/pin/207869339022108653/

And if I can interrupt myself and say how unbelievably happy I am that Starbucks has released the Pumpkin Spice Latte early this year? I know I’m not the only person who did a little happy dance when they walked into their Starbucks.

First PSL 2013

Now that I’ve had my coffee, let’s get back to the task at hand.  I’d been intrigued by the baked oatmeal recipes I had seen on Pinterest. Paula made this sound simply amazing, and being a vegetarian recipe seemed like a healthy bonus. I’m not a vegetarian, but it can be part of a very healthy lifestyle, and we’re trying to have a healthier diet and  lifestyle.

The dry ingredients are rolled oats (old fashioned), brown sugar, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder and salt.

Baked Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal Dry Ingredients - Pintesting

Mix to combine. I like using a whisk to break up the packed brown sugar.

Baked Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal Mix Dry - Pintesting

In a separate bowl, mix the milk, pumpkin, applesauce, egg and vanilla.

Baked Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal Wet Ingredients - Pintesting

The egg was supposed to be beaten, so I started whisking the egg, then incorporated the rest.

Baked Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal Mix Wet - Pintesting

Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients.

Baked Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal Combine - Pintesting

 

Combine well.

Baked Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal Mix Thoroughly - Pintesting

Pour into a prepared pan.

Baked Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal pour into prepared pan - Pintesting

Bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes or until set. Mine was done at 32 minutes. (Sorry for the fuzzy picture, but this smelled so amazing and I could hardly wait to take the picture before digging in.)

Baked Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal Bake - Pintesting

Breakfast is served! I didn’t have the walnuts on hand to garnish, but this was absolutely incredible without them.

Baked Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal Done - Pintesting

This had a texture that was slightly crispy on the edges, but creamy in the middle. Dessert for breakfast! As a side benefit, the house smelled like Christmas the whole morning. And this is a healthy breakfast!

Baked Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal Serve - Pintesting

Now for the Pintesting results.

Overall Rating: 5 Pins

5 Pins Overall

Accuracy: The recipe was well written and easy to follow. It was delicious with a wonderful texture, and it made the house smell amazing. We didn’t have the chopped walnuts, but will make sure to add them the next time – and we will DEFINITELY be making this again. 5 Pins

Rated 5 Pins

Difficulty: This was very simple. Mix the dry ingredients. Mix the wet ingredients. Mix it all together, then bake. This would be a great recipe to get the kids involved. 5 Pins

Rated 5 Pins

Time: The preparation took about 10 minutes, and the bake time was about half an hour. Paula suggested making it the night before and baking in the morning. I’ll try this the next time, too. 4 Pins

Rated 4 Pins

Cost: We had everything we needed on hand. The most expensive ingredient would be the can of pumpkin at about $2-$3. The pan yields 6-8 servings, which means 3-4 breakfasts for my home. 5 Pins

Rated 5 Pins

Practicality: This is a healthy, delicious, and simple recipe that can be made ahead of time and makes enough for up to 8 servings. 5 Pins

Rated 5 Pins

Mini Cinnamon Rolls with Maple Icing

Hooray for breakfast! I could have breakfast food for breakfast, lunch and supper. Eggs (so versatile), fruit and juices, oatmeal, grits, potatoes and veggies. Then there’s the traditional breakfast meat choices of ham, sausage or…. BACON! (Can you tell which is my favorite?) And in my world, breakfast isn’t breakfast without bread or a pastry, such as scones, muffins or cinnamon rolls.

It seems that making dishes into tiny versions of themselves is very vogue now. Shot glass desserts, sliders and tapas are all the rage. Kristin, of Iowa Girl Eats, has brought her shrink-ray gun to the cinnamon roll and given us the mini version. They’re bite-sized and easy to pop into your mouth. This pin was on the Repinly.com top 5 list of the Food and Drink category for much of February, so I decided to give it a Test.

http://iowagirleats.com/2011/11/23/8-minute-mini-cinnamon-rolls/

http://iowagirleats.com/2011/11/23/8-minute-mini-cinnamon-rolls/

The ingredients are found in most kitchens. I had a little bottle of real maple syrup from the Cracker Barrel, so I thought this would be the perfect way to use it.

Ingredients

Here’s my “secret ingredient” time saving find – Pilsbury makes a Crescent Seamless Dough Sheet. It’s the same price as the regular crescent rolls, but saves the time of pinching the seams together, as Kristin’s recipe directs.

Crescent Roll Time Saver

I rolled out the dough just a bit,

Roll out the dough

and cut it into two halves.

Cut in half

The recipe didn’t specify whether the butter was to be melted or softened when brushed onto the dough, so I did one half with softened butter

Spread with softened butter

and the other half with melted butter.

Brush with melted butter

Both halves got sprinkled with cinnamon,

Sprinkle with Cinnamon

and then sprinkled with brown sugar. There wasn’t a noticeable difference by the time the brown sugar was sprinkled onto the pastry.

Sprinkle with Brown Sugar

Each half was rolled into a log.

Roll into logs

Each log was cut into 8 pieces. I used a pizza cutter to make quick work of the cutting. It worked, but compressed the dough a bit.

Cut into pieces

The pieces were placed in the mini muffin tins, cut sides up,

Place in mini muffin pan

then baked at 350 for 11 minutes.

Bake in oven

While the cinnamon rolls were baking I made the Maple Icing.

Glaze ingredients

Whisk the ingredients until smooth, and stir periodically to keep a crust from forming on top.

Whisk until smooth

The mini cinnamon rolls are out of the oven and look like little rosettes.

Out of the oven

Plated and glazed, they took about 5 minutes to disappear. They were wonderful paired with a cup of Starbucks Sumatra coffee.

Finished and glazed

 

Overall Rating: 5 Pins

5 Pins Overall - LARGE

Accuracy: The recipe didn’t specify whether the butter should be softened or melted when brushed onto the pastry, but there was no difference in taste or performance. The little pastries had nice flakey texture from the crescent roll dough, and the cinnamon sugar taste was like their super-sized cousins that you can get at the mall. I really liked extra layer of flavor that the maple icing gave.  5 Pins

Rated 5 Pins - SMALL

Difficulty: I admit that I might have “cheated” a bit in using the dough sheet rather than the regular crescent roll dough. However, the time saved was maybe about 3 minutes. Kristen says “they’re really easy”, and she’s right. 5 Pins

Rated 5 Pins - SMALL

Time: The prep took 10 minutes, and the bake time was 11 minutes. Total time was less than half an hour – 5 Pins.

Rated 5 Pins - SMALL

Cost: If you don’t have real maple syrup, that would be the most expensive ingredient at roughly $8.00 for a smaller bottle. I imagine maple flavored breakfast syrup would work if you don’t want to spend that much. The crescent dough is roughly $2.50 or less if on sale. 5 Pins.

Rated 5 Pins - SMALL

Practicality: These are wonderful as a weekend breakfast or brunch treat.  5 Pins

Rated 5 Pins - SMALL

Mini German Pancakes

International Pancake Day is this week, February 12 to be exact. I really like all kinds of pancakes, from thin delicate crepes to fat and fluffy buttermilk. There are so many ways you can customize them; putting goodies in the batter, topping or stuffing them with more goodies, and then comes the sauces and/or whipped cream! And let’s not forget the whole idea of having cakes for breakfast. Yes, pancakes are fantastic! My first pin test is Mini German Pancakes from Laura of Real Mom Kitchen. Many years ago my best friend made German pancakes and they were delicious but seemed like a lot of trouble. When I saw this pin on Pinterest I knew I had to give them a try.

The Pintesting:

There are two components to this recipe, the Mini German Pancakes and the Triple Berry Topping.

Mini German Pancakes:

http://realmomkitchen.com/489/mini-german-pancakes/

The recipe had basic ingredients that I already had on hand – a definite plus! Since Laura had omitted the orange zest, I did, too.

Pintesting Mini German Pancakes

The instructions were easy to follow. I put everything except the melted butter into the blender.

Pintesting Mini German Pancakes

The mixture became smooth quickly.

Pintesting Mini German Pancakes

It was several minutes since I had melted the butter. It was cooled but still liquid, so I poured it in rather quickly rather than a slow drizzle.

Pintesting Mini German Pancakes

I sprayed the muffin pans. For comparison sake, I used one metal pan and one stoneware pan.

Pintesting Mini German Pancakes

I poured a scant 1/4 cup in each one, just like Laura did, and ended up with 15 pancakes.

Pintesting Mini German Pancakes

Pintesting Mini German Pancakes

I popped them into the pre-heated 400-degree oven and set the timer for 15 minutes. Nothing was mentioned about using a convection oven, so I went with conventional baking instead.

Pintesting Mini German Pancakes

After 15 minutes, the pancakes in the metal pan were perfectly ready to come out of the oven…

Pintesting Mini German Pancakes

…but the stoneware pan took an extra 5 minutes before they were done.

Pintesting Mini German Pancakes

It was worth the wait.

Triple Berry Topping:

Time for the Triple Berry Topping. (Note: the recipe is mentioned in the blog and in the recipe. The link in the blog works well, but the link in the recipe was broken. Just make sure to use the 1st link.) The recipe was similar to other fruit sauce recipes I’ve made before, which made me feel confident that it would perform well.

Pintesting Mini German Pancakes

The frozen berries and agave were brought to a boil.

Pintesting Mini German Pancakes

While that was heating I mixed the cornstarch and water to make a slurry.

Pintesting Mini German Pancakes

Then added and cooked for just over a minute until thickened.

Pintesting Mini German Pancakes

I put two on a plate and topped with the triple berry topping and powdered sugar, as recommended. They disappeared – just evaporated before my eyes (rather, before my mouth).

Pintesting Mini German Pancakes

Pintesting Mini German Pancakes

I brought the rest into work to share and made many friends that day. Since my husband wasn’t home, I made the recipe again so he could try them. That time I used a jumbo muffin pan. I really liked the results in that size pan. They were big enough that two was a perfect sized serving. He loved them and I know we’ll be making these again.

The Pintesting Results:

OVERALL RATING: 5 Pins

Pintesting Seal 5 Pins

 

Accuracy: The recipe for both the pancakes and the triple berry topping came out beautifully with delicious results.

Pintesting Rating - 5 Pins

 Difficulty: The recipes were easy to make and didn’t require special equipment.

Pintesting Rating - 5 Pins

Time: The whole thing was made in 30-40 minutes – a reasonable time for a nice home-made breakfast.

Pintesting Rating - 5 Pins

Cost: Most of the ingredients were already in my kitchen and those that I didn’t have were easy to find at my local grocer. Nothing was over $7.00.

Pintesting Rating - 5 Pins

Practicality: This came together easily and makes a lovely breakfast or brunch.

Pintesting Rating - 5 Pins