SRC: Cranberry and Cream Cheese Muffins

These sweet muffins swirled with cranberry compote and a delicious cream cheese center are the perfect afternoon snack!

Cranberry and Cream Cheese Muffins | thepajamachef.com #secretrecipeclub

Welcome to November’s Secret Recipe Club! This month I was assigned to Maxine’s blog, Why I Am Not Skinny. Maxine is a South African expat living in Brussels… two great places! I’ve been to South Africa for a few days when I was in Lesotho for part of a summer in college, and I would absolutely love to go back. On her blog, Maxine shares so many delicious recipes and restaurant recommendations. If/when I go to Brussels I will have to check out her blog again! Though I really wanted to make her Pea and Mint Risotto or Pumpkin Fritters, I settled on these Cranberry and Cream Cheese Muffins because I wanted a sweet treat. :)

Cranberry and Cream Cheese Muffins | thepajamachef.com #secretrecipeclub

I also kind of wanted to make these as a sort of redemption for Maxine, because her muffins didn’t come out quite as well as BBC’s picture. And I am SO glad I did. They were tangy and creamy and all sorts of deliciousness. Though they weren’t quite as simple as most muffins are–you have to make the cranberry compote and the cream cheese filling, they are well worth it. Next time [and there WILL be a next time] I think I’ll skip mashing the cranberries so as to have bigger chunks in the muffins, and I might reduce the temperature for baking down to 325 or 350 so they don’t brown quite as quickly. Some of my unpictured muffins definitely got a little dark. Maxine, I hope my muffins live up to your expectations! Thanks for a great recipe! :)

one year ago: Pumpkin Graham Muffins
two years ago: Pollo alla Poggia Alloro
three years ago: Homemade Maple and Brown Sugar Almond Butter
four years ago: Pumpkin Soup and Homemade Croutons

Cranberry and Cream Cheese Muffins

  • Servings: 12
  • Time: 30 minutes
  • Print

from Why I Am Not Skinny

Ingredients:

  • 100 grams/3.5 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 250 grams sugar/1 cup + 2 tablespoons, divided
  • 175 grams/6 ounces fresh cranberries [frozen can also be used, just add a splash of water or apple cider to help liquify]
  • 200 grams/26 tablespoons flour – UPDATED: I used this calculator to come up with this. When I made the recipe I used my kitchen scale and didn’t measure in tablespoons… I think the previous measurement I had here was wrong. So sorry about that!
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 eggs
  • 75 ml canola oil [this is just between 1/4 and 1/3 cup]
  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line a muffin tin with paper liners or grease well with cooking spray.

Beat together cream cheese with 2 tablespoons sugar. Place in refrigerator to chill until ready to use.

In a small saucepan, combine another 2 tablespoons sugar with 6 ounces fresh cranberries. Heat on medium, stirring occasionally, until cranberries pop. Then mash gently with a wooden spoon. Remove from heat and set aside.

In a large bowl, stir together flour and baking powder. In a smaller bowl, whisk together eggs, oil, vanilla, and almond extract. Fold in wet ingredients into the dry, then fold in cranberries. Do not overmix or else the batter will bleed.

Scoop batter–it will be thick–into prepared pan, about 1/2 to 2/3 way full. Do not overfill. Use a spoon to scoop a ball of cream cheese mixture into batter, pressing down gently. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until golden brown.

Notes:
Some of my muffins spilled over the top of the muffin cups because I filled them too full, so don’t make that mistake.

Also, you may want to skip mashing the cranberries so the batter bleeds less.

Do not overbake–cheese may still seem a bit soft. If muffins are browning too much, cover with foil for the last 10 minutes of baking or reduce heat to 325 degrees F.

Be sure to check out all the other fun recipes made this week for the Secret Recipe Club below!

 

About these ads

SRC: Baked Caramel Apple Mini Doughnuts

These mini apple doughnuts are dipped in an easy sweet caramel sauce for the ultimate easy fall treat!

Baked Caramel Apple Mini Doughnuts | thepajamachef.com #secretrecipeclub #src

For this month’s Secret Recipe Club, I was assigned to Cookaholic Wife, a blog written by Nichole. Nichole has SO many delicious recipes on her site. I had such a hard time deciding what to make! In the end, I chose these cute lil mini caramel apple doughnuts because they seemed so seasonally appropriate. I do love pumpkin but wanted to show apple some love. :) Recipe runner ups included this Apple-Stuffed Bacon Wrapped Pork that Nichole just posted last week, Hawaiian Burgers, Caramel Grapes, and Coconut Lime Cookie Bars. If it was summer, those cookie bars would’ve definitely won! Aside from being into pretty much every one of Nichole’s recipes, I think the two of us could be BFFs. We’re the same age, both have two cats, and ideally would either be baking or reading on the beach. Yup, sounds about right. :) While I have a 30 before 30 challenge, Nichole had a 28 before 28 challenge. How fun! [And speaking of fun, read this post about Nichole’s mom and her burning water habit. Hilarious!]

Baked Caramel Apple Mini Doughnuts | thepajamachef.com #secretrecipeclub #src

Anyways, I was psyched to see this recipe because I a) love caramel apples but hate biting into one, b) have a mini doughnut pan that I never use, and c) they just sounded AMAZING! And that they were. These mini doughnuts were a little bite of fall, perfect for dessert or breakfast. One word of caution though–the caramel sauce is super hot, so don’t take a bite until it’s cooled down a bit. The roof of your mouth will thank you! :) [I learned that from Nichole's first hand experience.]

Baked Caramel Apple Mini Doughnuts | thepajamachef.com #secretrecipeclub #src

Since I only have one doughnut pan, and wasn’t about to mess with letting the pan cool down in between batches, I used half the batter in my mini muffin pan for some adorable doughnut holes. So if you don’t have a doughnut pan, try that out! You may just need some additional caramel sauce for dipping since they’re a tiny bit bigger. Hope you enjoy! Thanks, Nichole for the great recipe! :)

Baked Caramel Apple Mini Doughnuts | thepajamachef.com #secretrecipeclub #src

one year ago: Baked Strawberry French Toast with Strawberry Maple Syrup
three years ago: Pumpkin Spread
four years ago: Pumpkin Pie Baked Oatmeal

Baked Caramel Apple Mini Doughnuts

  • Servings: 24 doughnuts
  • Time: 60 minutes
  • Print

from Cookaholic Wife
Ingredients:

  • 2/3 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 egg, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 cup apple, minced
  • 1 cup chewy caramel candies – I used Kraft caramels, the ones they advertise for making caramel apples
  • 1 tablespoon milk

Directions:

Grease mini doughnut pan(s) or mini muffin pan(s) with cooking spray. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and cinnamon. In a measuring cup, whisk together egg, sugars, oil, applesauce, and vanilla. Pour wet ingredients into the dry and stir until combined. Fold in apples.

Spoon batter into prepared pans, filling about halfway.

Bake for 15-18 minutes, or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Remove to a wire rack to cool for 5-10 minutes.

Meanwhile, place caramels and milk in a microwave safe small bowl. Microwave for 30 second increments on 50% power, stirring after each burst. Repeat until a caramel sauce comes together.

Dip doughnuts into caramel sauce then return to wire rack to set. Serve warm! Enjoy within a couple days, but they are definitely best the first day.

Be sure to check out other recipes from the Secret Recipe Club today!

SRC: Corn Flakes Chivda, a Sweet + Spicy Snack Mix

This Indian snack mix is full of nuts, raisins, and corn flakes. It’s sweet, spicy, and oh so delicious!

Corn Flakes Chivda | thepajamachef.com

Normally I deliberate a bunch on my Secret Recipe Club recipe selection. Not this time! I was assigned to Trisha’s lovely blog, My Hobbie Lobbie. Trisha lives in Sydney, Australia but she moved there from Mumbai. Consequently, her blog is a huge treat of international cuisine! Mainly Indian food, of course, but she has traveled all over and has tons of fun recipes to share. When perusing her blog, one of the first things I was drawn to was this savory snack mix that used cornflakes! I love cereal and just thought it sounded delicious. I didn’t want to be too hasty, so I did consider other things like Homemade Mayonnaise, Samosas, and Crushed Black Pepper Crackers. But in the end, Corn Flakes Chivda drew me in, mainly because I was looking for an excuse to hit up one of the [many] international markets in Nashville.

Corn Flakes Chivda | thepajamachef.com

One of the best things about living in Nashville is the abundance of international groceries and markets. I always say I’m going to check them out, but you know how things go… when you’re busy, you just hit up the local Publix or Kroger. It’s just easier. So I make myself go to these places but picking recipes to make for blog events that REQUIRE a specialty store. Sometimes it stresses me out, but it’s always worth it! So Saturday, Ben and I headed to our favorite local Turkish restaurant [Istanbul Cafe, for local folks] for lunch and then headed to the Indian grocery down the road. It was so fun, and this snack mix is well worth the effort required to get any ingredients you may not regularly purchase.

Corn Flakes Chivda | thepajamachef.com

Ben and I are now totally addicted to this snack mix. In fact, I’m crunching on some right now. It’s sweet with a little bit of spice. It’s not spicy hot, but if you don’t want any heat I’d just leave out the cayenne powder. Trisha’s original recipe includes several types of chiles, but I only decided to use the cayenne. This snack mix is her husband’s favorite, and it’s a great recipe to change up based on your family’s preferences. I used cashews, peanuts, raisins, and chana dal as Trisha’s recipe stated, but you could use your imagination to choose whatever dried fruit or nuts you like. It was pretty cool to read this recipe at the Indian grocery and compare it to the selection of snack foods they sold. There was totally a cornflakes-based snack mix there, and I made my own at home! The one component of this recipe I had to change up was using curry powder instead of curry leaves. I wasn’t able to find any of those, but if you can, use ‘em! This came together in a flash, and I’m sure I’ll be making it again soon!

Corn Flakes Chivda

  • Servings: 6
  • Time: 15 minutes
  • Print

from My Hobbie Lobbie

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1/3 cup roasted chana dal [dalia]
  • 1/3 cup cashews
  • 1/4 cup peanuts
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 1/2 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne powder
  • 2 cups cornflakes
  • 2 tablespoons superfine sugar [or granulated sugar, pulsed in a food processor]

Directions:

Heat the oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add mustard seeds and let sputter for a minute or so. Add chana dal, cashews, and peanuts and saute for another minute or so.

Add raisins and cook for about 30 seconds. Sprinkle curry powder, turmeric powder, and cayenne powder on top and stir to combine. Slowly add in the cornflakes, tossing gently to combine. Remove from heat and let cool for 10 minutes, then sprinkle with sugar.

Cool completely before storing in an airtight container.

Notes: amounts of nuts, raisins, and seasonings are totally flexible! Adjust to your liking and consult Trisha’s original recipe for more suggestions.

Be sure to check below for other recipes made by fellow SRC members this month!

SRC: Chocolate Cream Filled Cupcakes

These chocolate cupcakes are filled with sweet cream and topped with an easy chocolate frosting. They’re like your favorite storebought snack cakes, but homemade! 

Chocolate Cream Filled Cupcakes | thepajamachef.com

Ready for another installment of the Secret Recipe Club? I hope so, cause that’s what you’re getting! :) This month I made you some yummy cupcakes, courtesy of Micha at Cookin’ Mimi. Micha has a blog full of easy and delicious family-friendly recipes. Totally my style of cooking! Micha has been cooking with her family her whole life, and even got a pasta maker for a birthday gift around ages 13 or 14. How cool! I wish I lived nearby to borrow it, haha. After perusing her blog, I narrowed my recipe selection down to two things: these cupcakes and salmon burgers. I bought ingredients and planned to make them both, but life happened and these cupcakes are the only thing I’ve had a chance to make yet. Hope you don’t mind! Those burgers look great and I will make them soon. :)

I decided to make these cupcakes first because I was in a chocolately sort of mood, and I needed a dessert for a few events. I love being able to multitask recipes, huh? [And contrary to popular stereotypes about women, we aren't all always chocoaholics. I sure am not!] Micha’s original recipe made a chocolate cream filled cake, not cupcakes. But her post was all about these being a take on Little Debbie snack cakes so I thought that turning her cake into cupcakes would be totally appropriate! And don’t they look fun?

Chocolate Cream Filled Cupcakes | thepajamachef.com

Since these filled cupcakes require making the cake itself, filling, AND frosting, it seems like a lot of steps. However, it’s really not as bad as it sounds. Spread this out over a leisurely morning and you’ve got a great dessert by lunch. The cake is moist, fluffy, and not overwhelmingly sweet–the perfect balance to the sweet cream filling and rich chocolatey frosting. I think this cake recipe will be one to make again and again, especially because it doesn’t use eggs. A great recipe for allergies! When making the filling I had to add some powdered sugar to make it hold together for spooning into the cupcake. I suspect that it wouldn’t have been necessary had it been cooler outside, or if I was just spreading the filling in between two layers of a cake. Oh, and in case you’re wondering… the spoons are in the dish with the cupcakes above to prevent them from bumping into each other on the drive to work. Pretty clever, if I do say so myself. Why buy a cupcake holder if you can DIY it, right? Enjoy! Thanks, Micha for a great recipe!

one year ago: Churro Cheesecake Bars 
two years ago: Chocolate Zucchini Muffins
three years ago: Crockpot Santa Fe Chicken
four years ago: Potato Soup

Chocolate Cream Filled Cupcakes

  • Servings: 36 cupcakes
  • Time: 3 hours
  • Print

from Cooking Mimi

Ingredients:

for cupcakes

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 6 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 3/4 cup canola oil
  • 2 tablespoons vinegar
  • 2 cups water

for filling

  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup powdered sugar, optional

for frosting

  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 2/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • up to 3 cups powdered sugar
  • up to 1/3 cup milk

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 36 muffin cups with paper liners or grease tins with cooking spray.

In a large bowl, stir together dry ingredients: flour, sugar, cocoa powder, and baking soda. Add oil, vinegar, vanilla, and water and whisk until just combined. Fill muffin cups 2/3 of the way full, then bake for 15-18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin cup comes out clean. Cool in pan for about 10 minutes before removing to a cooling rack.

While cupcakes cool, make the filling. In a small saucepan, whisk together flour and milk. Cook over medium-low heat until thick, constantly stirring. Pour into the bowl of a stand mixer to cool. When completely cool, add butter, vanilla, and sugar. Beat on high for 5 minutes until light and fluffy. If desired, add up to 1 cup powdered sugar to thicken.

When cupcakes are cool, use a sharp knife to cut circle from the top of the cupcake, angling down to cut out a cone shaped piece. Spoon [or pipe in using a pastry bag] about 1 tablespoon of filling in the hole, then replace the bit of removed cake. Repeat until all cupcakes are filled.

To make the frosting, place butter and cocoa powder in the bowl of a stand mixer. Whisk on medium until combined, then alternate adding milk and powdered sugar until desired consistency is reached. Stir in vanilla, then frost cupcakes.

On warm days, you may want to store in the refrigerator until ready to serve so the filling doesn’t melt.

Be sure to check out the other recipes from the SRC here:

SRC: Coffee Blondies

If you like coffee, then you will love these rich and sophisticated glazed coffee blondies. They’re delicious!

Coffee Blondies | thepajamachef.com #secretrecipeclub

I was really excited to see that I was given Kate’s blog, Kitchen Trial and Error, for this month’s Secret Recipe Club. Kate lives in New York with her family–including two adorable little boys–and she’s always cooking up something new in her kitchen. I’ve long admired Kate’s blog for her lovely photographs and creative, challenging recipes, and was thrilled to get to make something from it! She’s been blogging since 2010 so there were lots of recipes to choose from, and I was quickly overwhelmed [does that ever happen to other SRCers? There's just so many options!]. So I turned to my Pinterest boards, and found four of her dishes that I wanted to make–Quinoa Cakes, Chocolate Peanut Butter Sandwiches Cookies, Fish in Crazy Water, and what I ultimately chose… Coffee Blondies.

Coffee Blondies | thepajamachef.com #secretrecipeclub

Kate first made them to fulfill a craving for a flavorful, non-chocolatey dessert. And seriously? These blondies are the perfect way to do so! They’re rich and chewy, and taste like something out of a fancy bakery. Since this recipe uses coffee grounds [and not just brewed coffee], the coffee flavor is very prominent but really isn’t too overwhelming–similar to coffee ice cream.

Coffee Blondies | thepajamachef.com #secretrecipeclub

The topping of these blondies is my favorite part, I think! I hardly ever make glazes for things, and truthfully almost just sprinkled powdered sugar on top of the blondies. But then at the last second, I changed my mind. Before I put the blondies in the oven I threw a handful of sliced almonds on top, per the recipe, and then after the blondies were cool, glazed them with a simple powdered sugar glaze. After the glaze hardened, I took one bite and was just overwhelmed by how delicious these blondies are! The almonds and glaze give them a nice crunchy, sugary bite that pairs perfectly with coffee… almost like almond flavored coffee. These blondies are perfect with a refreshing glass of milk, and I bet they’d be awesome with a nice cup of coffee for a double caffeinated treat! Thanks, Kate, for a great recipe!

Coffee Blondies | thepajamachef.com #secretrecipeclub

one year ago: Pineapple Cream Pie
two years ago: Grandma’s Blueberry Muffins 

three years ago: Linda’s Caramel Ritz Bits Crackers

Coffee Blondies | thepajamachef.com #secretrecipeclub

Coffee Blondies

  • Servings: 16
  • Time: 45 minutes + time to cool
  • Print

Coffee Blondies | thepajamachef.com #secretrecipeclubfrom Kitchen Trial and Error

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons freshly ground coffee
  • pinch salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2-4 tablespoons sliced almonds
  • 1/4-1/2 cup powdered sugar

Directions:

Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 8×8 or 9×9 square baking pan with parchment paper. Spray any exposed sides with cooking spray if you don’t overlap.

In a large bowl, whisk melted butter, brown sugar, coffee, and salt. Add egg and vanilla; whisk to combine. Slowly stir in the flour and baking powder, then spoon evenly into prepared pan. Top with almonds–as few or as many as desired, then bake for 25-30 minutes until toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Cool completely in the pan before icing.

To make icing, whisk together 1/4 cup powdered sugar with 1 teaspoon water. Add more powdered sugar to make it thicker or more water to make it thinner. I liked it with a generous 1/2 cup powdered sugar. Ice blondies, then put in the fridge for a bit to harden. Cut into bars when icing is dry.

Be sure to check out what else was whipped up for SRC this month below: