November ’10: Lemon ricotta muffins, peanut butter shortbread, chocolate chips peanut butter blondies, triple layer cookie bars, blueberry + carrot muffins

    • Lemon ricotta muffins
    • peanut butter shortbread
    • chocolate chips peanut butter blondies
    • triple layer cookie bars
    • blueberry + carrot muffins

      November: the last month before exams.  That explains everything doesn’t it? If not, it means you are very occupied to the point you might not even have time to eat (I’ve had days when I couldn’t even spare the time to walk and just quickly grab something to eat), shower (sorry if it’s gross… I do shower daily though, but probably out of my normal times), socialize (I’m going to include the times I can call home), and sleep (I really don’t like to fall asleep when I’m working in front of my computer).

      This is not a university-specific issue.  My life has been like this since Form Two.  I still refuse to believe I have too much work to do.  Nothing is too much.  I am not stressed.  I don’t have a lot of work.  I just need to finish and complete a list of things =)

      Towards the end of the month I promised my housemate to help her bake for the choral service.  They didn’t take that long, each recipe took probably just half an hour.  It was also the weekend in between 5 major reports to be handed in (let’s not venture into the midterm, quizzes and assignment).  Besides I woke up at 3am that morning, so I had a bit of time to spare.

      Lemon ricotta muffins

      No pictures.  This was just for my meals.  I was quite excited to try out this recipe.  It really didn’t impress me in the end.  It’s not very sweet (which is fine with me, and I prefer muffins this way), but somehow the flavours just didn’t blend well.  I’m going to blame either the light ricotta cheese or the whole wheat bread flour I used, or maybe it’s because I substituted out all the fat in the recipe.

      Adapted from http://tastespace.wordpress.com/2009/12/28/lemon-ricotta-muffins/

      Ingredients:

      2 cups Flour……………………………2 cups [I used whole wheat bread flour]
      Sugar…………………………………….1/2 cup [brown sugar]
      Baking powder…………………………2 1/2 teaspoons
      Salt………………………………………..1/2 teaspoon
      Light ricotta cheese…………………..1 cup [I used 300g]
      Milk………………………………………1/2 cup [out of milk, used soymilk instead]
      Butter, melted………………………….6 tablespoons [I used 3 tablepoons of applesauce]
      Eggs……………………………………….2
      zest of 2 to 3 lemons

      Directions:

      1. Preheat oven to 400F and line a muffin pan with paper liners or grease with shortening.
      2. Stir together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a large bowl.
      3. In another smaller bowl, whisk together the ricotta, milk, melted butter, eggs and lemon zest.
      4. Make a well in the dry mixture, pour in the wet mixture and fold together until just incorporated (be very careful not to over mix).
      5. Spoon the batter into the muffin tins.
      6. Bake for 25 minutes until the muffins are golden brown on top.

      Makes 12 muffins

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      Peanut butter shortbread

      No pictures.  This was for Yujia before her GRE exam.   I just wanted to give her something and this was a quick recipe.  It tastes great =)  I made two squared pans, one for the house and one for Yujia.

      Adapted from http://canadianbaker.blogspot.com/2005/10/peanut-butter-shortbread-rounds.html

      Ingredients:

      Unsalted butter……………………………….4 sticks [sub]
      Granulated sugar……………………………..1 1/2 cups
      Natural peanut butter……………………….1 1/2 cups
      Salt………………………………………………..1 1/2 teaspoons
      Vanilla extract…………………………………2 teaspoons
      Unbleached all-purpose flour…………….3 cups
      Cocoa powder………………………………….1/2 cup
      Corn starch……………………………………..1/2 cup

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      Chocolate chips peanut butter blondies

      For choral service! I was not impressed with this recipe. I through it was too rich and too greasy.  After settling it for a day it was much better.  Many people liked the blondies.

      Ingredients:

      Unsalted butter……………………1 cup
      White sugar…………………………2 cups
      Eggs……………………………………2
      Vanilla extract……………………..1 teaspoon
      Chunky peanut butter……………1 cup
      Unbleached all-purpose flour….2 cups
      Baking powder………………………1 teaspoon
      Semisweet chocolate chips………1 cup

      Directions:

      1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Line a 10×15 inch jellyroll pan with parchment paper.
      2. In a medium bowl, cream together the margarine and sugar. Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Stir in the vanilla and peanut butter until smooth. Combine the flour and baking powder, then stir into the peanut butter mixture. Finally, fold in the chocolate chips. Spread the dough out flat on the prepared pan.
      3. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes in the preheated oven, until the tops of the bars look dry. Cool in pan, then cut into squares.

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      Triple cookie bars

      For choral service! These were very amazing. Everyone loved them.  It’s also surprisingly not oversweet.  So you have a nice bar with graham cracker base, coconut + caramel layer, and topped with peanut butter chocolate.  P.S. I had to defend off two fat squirrels when I attempted to cool these bars and the peanut butter blondies in my backyard.

      Ingredients:

      Butter, melted………………………………1/2 cup
      Graham cracker crumbs…………………1 1/2 cups
      Flaked coconut……………………………..1 (7 ounce) package [accidentally bought sweetened coconut, but didn’t affect the sweetness]
      Sweetened Condensed Milk……………..1 (14 ounce) can
      Semi-sweet chocolate chips……………..1 cup
      Creamy Peanut Butter…………………….1/2 cup [I used chunky peanut butter]

      Directions:

      1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (325 degrees F for glass dish). In small bowl, combine graham cracker crumbs and butter; mix well. Press crumb mixture firmly on bottom of 13×9-inch baking pan. Top evenly with coconut then pour sweetened condensed milk evenly over coconut layer.
      2. Bake 25 minutes or until lightly browned.
      3. In small saucepan, over low heat, melt chocolate chips with peanut butter. Spread evenly over hot coconut layer. [I used the microwave method: microwave 1 minute, stir; microwave 30 seconds, stir.  It worked out well, even though I was very nervous to try out this method at first]
      4. Cool 30 minutes. Chill thoroughly. Cut into bars. Garnish as desired. Store loosely covered at room temperature.

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      Carrot muffins

      For choral service! Lovely lovely carrot muffins =D

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      Blueberry muffins

      For choral service! Found a basket to carry all the muffins =P.  I was originally going to use the blueberry pie filling as a middle for the carrot muffins.  It didn’t work out so I quickly found this recipe to make more muffins and fill up the basket.  It’s not oversweet.  A very nice recipe to use up any jams you have in the fridge as well.

      Adapted from http://jkitchenlog.blogspot.com/2009/08/whole-wheat-strawberry-bread.html

      Ingredients:

      Unbleached all-purpose flour……………….500g
      Baking powder…………………………………..25g
      Milk…………………………………………………500mL [out of milk, used soymilk instead]
      Butter, melted…………………………………..125g
      Blueberry pie filling, warmed………………250g
      Egg………………………………………………….2
      Dash of cinnamon

      Directions:

      1. Preheat oven to 180 C [used 325F for dark metal pan]. Grease and flour a baking pan.
      2. In a medium bowl, mix together flour and baking powder.
      3. In another bowl, mix together milk, butter, jam, and egg. Whisk until combined.
      4. Make a well in the center of flour mixture and add milk mixture. Stir until dry ingredients are just moistened.
      5. Pour into prepared pan and bake for 40-45 minutes.

      3 Comments (+add yours?)

      1. betty
        Dec 03, 2010 @ 04:58:22

        looks soooo gooood~~i want to see u bake in action sometimes!!!~

        Reply

      2. Saveur
        Dec 05, 2010 @ 04:04:46

        Sorry to hear the lemon ricotta muffins weren’t up to snuff.. I think it the substitutions may have to do with it because even when I used the fat-free ricotta, I thought it needed some fat!

        Reply

      3. Yujia
        Dec 07, 2010 @ 16:17:23

        Absolutely love the peanut butter shortbread!! You are the SWEETEST person, literately. Love ya~<3

        Reply

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