Pumpkin Cinnamon Streusel Muffins

Today’s been an interesting day. I woke up and had a mad craving for muffins, so I rummaged around my cupboards to see what ingredients I had, checked my favorite baking blogs for recipes that included these ingredients, and got to work. After choosing Two Peas and Their Pod’s Pumpkin Cinnamon Streusel Muffins, I realized that I didn’t have any muffin tin liners (which I prefer using as opposed to spraying the muffin tin). Then once I got to work on the muffin batter, my favorite, trusty spatula snapped in half!! So, I used the half-spatula, and giggled through the whole recipe. Sometimes my mornings don’t go as smoothly as I imagine them. Jeepers…

Despite my broken spatula, these muffins turned out great! Thank goodness. Actually, these muffins are now my new favorite!! They beat my Strawberry Banana muffins, which have been a favorite of mine for years. Change is weird.

These muffins are made with the perfect blend of pumpkin, cinnamon, and nutmeg, are swirled with a cinnamon sugar center, and are topped off with a gorgeous streusel topping. Tasty.

To begin, preheat the oven and line two muffin tins with cooking spray and set aside. Then, in a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Set that aside too.

In a large bowl, whisk together sugar, oil, water, pumpkin, eggs, and vanilla extract.

Whisk until smooth and combined.

Slowly stir in the flour mixture.

Mix until ingredients are combined.

For the streusel topping: mix together the oats, flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Mix in the butter with your hands until the mixture is crumbly. Make brown sugar cinnamon filling too (no picture since it’s so easy, peasy).

Fill muffin cups half way full with the pumpkin batter.

Sprinkle the brown sugar cinnamon filling over each half filled muffin cup.

Fill the muffins cups with the remaining batter. Top each muffin with streusel topping. I ate some of this streusel before baking it and went to heaven for a few minutes. This stuff is delish.

Bake for 17-20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Remove pans from oven and cool on a wire rack.

Remove muffins from tins and enjoy.

Hello beautiful!

Pumpkin Cinnamon Streusel Muffins
This recipe makes 24 beautiful muffins
Taken from Two Peas and Their Pod

Ingredients
Muffin batter:
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 tablespoon cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons nutmeg
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup canola oil
1/3 cup water
1 cup canned pumpkin
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Brown Sugar Cinnamon Filling:
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Streusel Topping:
1 1/4 cup oats
1 tablespoon flour
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Dash of nutmeg
6 tablespoons cold butter, cut into chunks

Directions:
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line two muffin tins with paper liners or spray with cooking spray. Set aside.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Set aside.
3. In a large bowl, whisk together sugar, oil, water, pumpkin, eggs, and vanilla extract. Whisk until smooth and combined.
4. Slowly stir in the flour mixture. Mix until ingredients are combined.
5. For the brown sugar cinnamon filling: in a small bowl, mix the brown sugar and cinnamon together. Set aside.
6. For the streusel topping: in a small bowl mix together the oats, flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Mix in the butter with your hands until the mixture is crumbly.
7. Fill muffin cups half way full with the pumpkin batter. Sprinkle the brown sugar cinnamon filling over each half filled muffin cup. Fill the muffins cups with the remaining batter. Top each muffin with streusel topping.
8. Bake for 17-20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Remove pans from oven and cool on a wire rack. Remove muffins from tins and enjoy.

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Classic – Vanilla Cupcakes with Buttercream Frosting

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! I plan on celebrating BIG tonight. I’m moving to Switzerland in two weeks for 5 months so my girlfriends and I are celebrating to the max. Green beer, shamrock patterned shirts, green cupcakes. My life is good.

These cupcakes are a traditional vanilla cupcake with smooth and creamy buttercream frosting. I decorated them with a random assortment of green Jelly Belly’s and they turned out perfectly. Enjoy!

Vanilla Cupcakes
Adapted from the Joy of Baking
Makes 12 cupcakes

Ingredients:
½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
2/3 cup sugar
3 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
zest of 1 lemon (optional)
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 ½ tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. salt
¼ cup milk
1-1 ½ recipes vanilla buttercream frosting

Directions:
1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Line a muffin tin with 12 paper liners. Set pan aside.
2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, scraping down the sides and beating well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla extract and lemon zest, if using.
3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. With the mixer on low speed, alternately add the flour mixture and milk, in three additions, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
4. Fill the muffin cups with the batter 3/4 full and bake for about 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven and allow to cool in pan 5 minutes. Transfer cupcakes to a wire rack and allow to cool completely.
5. Prepare frosting. Decorate cooled cupcakes as desired.

Vanilla Buttercream Frosting
Recipe from Bakerella and makes enough for 18 cupcakes

Ingredients:
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
3 3/4 cups icing sugar
1-3 tsp cream

Directions:
1. Using a mixer, cream softened butter and vanilla until smooth.
2. Add sugar gradually, allowing butter and sugar to cream together before adding more.
3. If you want your frosting a little creamier, add a teaspoon of cream/milk one tsp at a time and beat on high until you get the right texture.
4. Use your favorite icing colours to tint the frosting!…Irish green in my case.

Irish Chocolate Mint Cookies

For each petal on the shamrock
This brings a wish your way-
Good health, good luck, and happiness
For today and every day. – Irish Blessing

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

To celebrate one of my favorite holidays I thought I’d bring back an old fun recipe – Irish Mint Chocolate Cookies! Everything needs to be green on St. Patrick’s day. Green and chocolaty, and minty.

I’ve always liked St. Patrick’s day for so many reasons: It’s like another Halloween, it’s a day devoted to the colour green, and it’s a day for everyone to truly be Irish for a day (with excessive amounts of drinking). Early afternoon is generally when the celebrations start, and I love looking out my window to watch all the sparkly, unusually dressed people go by.

These cookies are so fun to bake. They’re colourful, and the mint icing really makes them beautiful. Let’s get to it shall we?

Irish Mint Chocolate Cookies
Taken from the Taste of Home Cookies book.
Yields 4 dozen cookies

Ingredients:
Dough:
3/4 cup butter, softened
1 cup icing sugar
2 squares unsweetened chocolate, melted and cooled
1/4 tsp peppermint extract
1-1/2 cupe all-purpose flour
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Icing:
2 tbsp butter, softened
1 cup icing sugar
1/4 tsp peppermint extract
1 to 2 drops green food colouring
1 to 3 tbsp milk

Drizzle:
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 tsp butter

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 375 F. In a large bowl beat butter and icing sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in chocolate and mint extract. Gradually add flour and mix well. Stir in chocolate chips.
2. Drop by tablespoonfuls 2-inches apart on an ungreased cookies sheet. Bake for 6-8 minutes, or until firm. Cool for 2 minutes before transferring to wire racks to cool completely.

3. Meanwhile, combine the butter, icing sugar, extract, food colouring, and enough milk to reach desired consistency. Spread over cooled cookies and let set.
4. In a microwave melt butter and chocolate chips for drizzle. Stir until smooth and drizzle over your cookie.
5. Kiss me I’m Irish!

Wicked Good Tortilla Dip

This dip is a classic.

My Nanny has been making it for years, and I myself have been making it as a special treat for potlucks and parties since I was in high school. It’s simple, it’s easy, you dip tortilla chips in it….it makes me happy. To begin, just whip together cream cheese, sour cream, and mayonnaise, until there are no lump and put the mixture into a pan.

Add salsa.

Add grated cheddar cheese.

Chop up green pepper, green onion and tomato.

Now, thow it on top of the cheese with some chopped olives to make it pretty.

Don’t let your kitty dip her paws into it…and enjoy!

Tortilla Dip
Recipe taken from my awesome Nanny

Ingredients:
8 oz cream cheese
½ cup sour cream
¼ cup mayonnaise
1 cup salsa (I like medium spicy)
2 green onions (green parts), chopped
1/2 green pepper, chopped
5 green olives, pitted and chopped
1 tomato, diced
1 block of Cheddar or Marble Cheese, grated
Restaurant style tortilla chips

Directions:
Whip together cream cheese, sour cream, and mayonnaise, until there are no lumps and put in a pan
Add salsa on top
Add grated cheese
Add green onion, green pepper, olives, and tomato (you could also add red onion or chopped jalapeno if you wanted t spice it up).
Dip chips! I like to use multigrain Tostitos.

This dip can last for about 4 days in the refrigerator when covered in plastic wrap