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
- Put 12 baking liners in a muffin pan
- Sift flour, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg together
- Beat butter and sugar in a separate bowl, until light/fluffy
- Beat in honey and orange rind in the butter mixture
- Add eggs gradually; beat/combine well
- Fold in flour mixture (preheat oven for 375F at this point)
- Stir in walnuts
- Spoon batter into the cupcake liners
- Bake for 20 minutes, or until golden brown and risen well
- Let cool
- Make topping: mix walnuts and cinnamon
- Mix honey and orange juice in a pan, heat gently, stirring until well combined
- When cupcakes are almost cooled, prick cupcake tops with fork
- Drizzle with warm honey mixture
- 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
I 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
- 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)
- Beat sugar and eggs together in an electric mixer on high speed.
- When it is pale and foamy (about 45 seconds to 1 minute), beat in the milk and vanilla.
- On low speed, add in flour and baking powder
- Add butter; mix until smooth (about 1 minute)
- Cover bowl and let stand about 2 hours (or put in fridge overnight)
- Preheat oven 400F; position rack in the centre
- Lightly butter 2 madeleine pans (I just had 1, so I did one batch after another)
- 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”)
- 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
- 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
- Immediately remove from pan, when madeleines are done
- 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!
- Alternatively, if you want just a fine dusting of sugar, sift the sugar over the cooled madeleines before serving.
Makes about 18 madeleines
For 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
- 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)
- Preheat oven to 325F
- Line 2 large rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper
- Combine oats, nuts, pepitas, coconut in a large bowl.
- Combine oil, maple syrup, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, and vanilla in a saucepan
- Heat the syrup mixture until just boiled. Take off heat
- Pour the oil mixture all over the oat mixture. Mix until well coated.
- Spread granola in the baking sheets.
- Bake for 30-35 minutes, checking and stirring often to prevent burning (every 10-15 mins).
- In the meantime, scrub oranges and grate the orange for zest (use a microplaner, and don’t grate any of the white pith)
- Stir in zest and dried fruits. Store granola in a cool place.
- When kept in an airtight container (at room temperature), this can last for 2 weeks.