November 18, 2008

Baking Bonanza

I've had the baking bug the last couple of days. Maybe it's because I won't be able to bake Christmas cookies here like I do every year, but I wanted to bake some lovely things for Thanksgiving at The Reservation next week. So yesterday I made the dough for my Grandma's famous feather bed rolls; and today I made her pumpkin roll and some yummy ginger pumpkin pomegranate muffins. The muffins come from a wonderful recipe in The Complete Cooking Light Cookbook. The original recipe is for blueberry-yogurt muffins, but I improvised a little:

Yield: 1 dozen

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup orange juice
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 (8 oz) carton vanilla low-fat yogurt
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries, thawed

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Lightly spoon flour into measuring cups. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl; make a well in center of mixture. Combine orange juice, oil, vanilla, yogurt, and egg; add to dry ingredients, stirring just until moist. Gently fold in blueberries.
  3. Spoon batter into 12 muffin cups coated with cooking spray; sprinkle 1 tbsp sugar evenly over muffins. Bake at 400 degrees for 18 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Remove muffins from pans immediately, and place muffins on a wire rack.
I have had wonderful success with this recipe using blueberries, except I usually use blueberry yogurt instead of vanilla because I'm more likely to have that on hand. Also, I find that tossing the berries in a tablespoon or two of flour before mixing them into the batter helps them to keep their shape and prevents them from sinking in the batter while the muffins bake.

Today, I substituted canned pumpkin (left over from my pumpkin roll) for the yogurt, pomegranate arils for the blueberries, and added 1/2 tsp of ginger. I think they turned out very well, and it cements this as one of my favorite recipes.

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