Tag Archives: zest

#22 – Drizzled Honey Cupcakes

People are always asking me what I do with my many baked items…do I eat them all? NO! Actually, I always manage to find events to bring my bakes to. This week, I bring these cute little cupcakes to a productivity meeting. It’s where a group of us take turn each week to review what we’ve been doing in our own research. Research is sweeter with a little treat!



  • 1/2 cup self-rising flour (or 1/2 cup regular flour, with 3/4 tsp baking powder and 1/4 tsp salt)
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • pinch of ground cloves and grated nutmeg
  • 6 tbsp butter, softened (room temperature)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • finely grated rind of 1 orange
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 3/4 cup walnut pieces, chopped finely


  • 1/8 cup walnut pieces, chopped
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • juice of 1 orange


  1. Put 12 baking liners in a muffin pan
  2. Sift flour, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg together
  3. Beat butter and sugar in a separate bowl, until light/fluffy
  4. Beat in honey and orange rind in the butter mixture
  5. Add eggs gradually; beat/combine well
  6. Fold in flour mixture (preheat oven for 375F at this point)
  7. Stir in walnuts
  8. Spoon batter into the cupcake liners
  9. Bake for 20 minutes, or until golden brown and risen well
  10. Let cool
  11. Make topping: mix walnuts and cinnamon
  12. Mix honey and orange juice in a pan, heat gently, stirring until well combined
  13. When cupcakes are almost cooled, prick cupcake tops with fork
  14. Drizzle with warm honey mixture
  15. Sprinkle walnut mixture over cupcakes

*if you don’t have walnuts, other nuts would work too (e.g., pecans)

Recipe adapted from “Best Ever Baking” recipe book



#13 – Madeleines: many ways

DSC00833I have always wanted to make madeleines. These pretty little things fall somewhere between a small cake and a soft cookie. My husband, while in Denmark a couple of months ago, purchased a silicone madeleine mold. Today was my first time using the mold and making madeleines! You can leave them simple and elegant with just a fine dusting of icing sugar, or finish them off in a variety of ways! I hope your year is as sweet as these Madeleines!

My madeleine silicone mold

My madeleine silicone mold


  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 eggs, room temperature
  • 1/8 cup milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cups sifted cake flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 4 tablespoons salted butter, melted (and cooled); plus extra for buttering the madeleine mold/pan
  • icing sugar (optional)
  • orange zest (optional)
  • semi-sweet chocolate chips (optional)
  • unsweetened coconut (optional)


  1. Beat sugar and eggs together in an electric mixer on high speed.
  2. When it is pale and foamy (about 45 seconds to 1 minute), beat in the milk and vanilla.
  3. On low speed, add in flour and baking powder
  4. Add butter; mix until smooth (about 1 minute)
  5. Cover bowl and let stand about 2 hours (or put in fridge overnight)
  6. Preheat oven 400F; position rack in the centre
  7. Lightly butter 2 madeleine pans (I just had 1, so I did one batch after another)
  8. Using a spoon (or a 2 tablespoon/1 oz food portion scoop), transfer batter to the pan. Spoon the batter in the middle (this will create the signature madeleine “hump”)DSC00822
  9. Bake for about 12 minutes, or until madeleine springs back when you press with fingertip

    Freshly baked madeleines, ready for chocolate dipping, or just a fine dusting of icing sugar

    Freshly baked madeleines, ready for chocolate dipping, or just a fine dusting of icing sugar

  10. In the meantime, if you are using coconut, toast the coconut in the oven, for about 1 minute (watch carefully, as it burns easily); or if you are using orange zest, zest the orange with a microplaner
  11. Immediately remove from pan, when madeleines are done
  12. If you are dipping the madeleine in chocolate: melt chocolate in a double boiler (do not heat chocolate over heat directly). Dip the madeleine in the chocolate, and have fun with the orange and/or coconut!
  13. Alternatively, if you want just a fine dusting of sugar, sift the sugar over the cooled madeleines before serving.

Makes about 18 madeleines

#12- Crunchy Maple Granola

20141214_160229For those looking to make a great and healthy (and edible) (and last-minute) Christmas gift, here is a granola recipe I’ve always used. Granola is really good with some fruit and milk/yogurt – or just alone as a snack!

To gift it, you can put the granola in a mason jar, and put a decorative ribbon/twine around it. Or use a cookie/goodie bag, with a window to reveal the granola!


Bag from Michael's

Bag from Michael’s



  • 6 cups rolled oats
  • 2 cups chopped nuts (almonds/pecans/cashews)
  • 1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1 cup pepitas
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp nutmeg (optional)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup (or honey)
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 Tbsp orange zest (optional)
  • 1 1/2 cups dried fruit (raisins, cranberries, blueberries, cherries)


  1. Preheat oven to 325F
  2. Line 2 large rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper
  3. Combine oats, nuts, pepitas, coconut in a large bowl.
  4. Combine oil, maple syrup, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, and vanilla in a saucepan
  5. Heat the syrup mixture until just boiled. Take off heat
  6. Pour the oil mixture all over the oat mixture. Mix until well coated.
  7. Spread granola in the baking sheets.
  8. Bake for 30-35 minutes, checking and stirring often to prevent burning (every 10-15 mins).
  9. In the meantime, scrub oranges and grate the orange for zest (use a microplaner, and don’t grate any of the white pith)
  10. Cool
  11. Stir in zest and dried fruits. Store granola in a cool place.
  12. When kept in an airtight container (at room temperature), this can last for 2 weeks.

#6 – Classic Oatmeal Raisin Cookies, with a twist

20141126_144918Baby, it’s cold outside…! The cold blustery weather this week (and the last) calls for something classic and comforting- like oatmeal raisin cookies.

I am planning to share these at a seminar I’m hosting, and for a super fun pizza party – both tomorrow! Exciting things.

I added a quick grate of orange rind for a zesty twist to these cookies.

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies


  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 Tb milk
  • 1 cup sifted all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup uncooked quick rolled oats or wheat flakes
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1 tsp grated orange rind


  1. Preheat oven to 350F
  2. Cream butter
  3. Add in the brown and granulated sugar, and cream well
  4. Combine and beat in the egg, vanilla, and milk to the above ingredients, until smooth
  5. Sift together the flour, baking soda and powder, salt in a separate bowl; then combine with the wet ingredients until smooth
  6. Add in the oats, raisins, and orange rind
  7. Combine everything well.
  8. Drop cookies 2″ apart on a well-greased cookie sheet and bake 10-12 minutes, or until light brown

The recipe was adapted from the Joy of Cooking.


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