Pumpkin Streusel Muffins

As you can see by the plethora of pumpkin recipes, that I love PUMPKIN!  I do love pumpkin.  I recently went and bought 4 cans of pumpkin, so whenever the whim hits me, I’m ready to bake some pumpkiny deliciousness.

These pumpkin muffins are pumpkin oatmeal muffins with a yummy crunchy topping.

Let’s Begin!

Preheat the oven to 400˚F.  Line twelve muffin cups with paper baking cups or spray muffin pan with cooking spray.

Mix together the oatmeal, brown sugar, melted butter, and pumpkin pie spice. This will be the streusel. Save this for the end.

Combine the flour, oats, sugar, brown sugar, baking powder, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda, and salt.  Mix together.

In a separate bowl, combine pumpkin, milk, oil, and the egg, and mix well.

Add the two bowls together (not the streusel), mixing just until all the dry ingredients are moistened.

Fill the muffin cups until almost full.

Sprinkle the streusel topping on top of the muffins.  Bake for 20-25 minutes until the centers are no longer gooey.

 

Look at that delicious muffin.

Enjoy!

Recipe from Libby’s

Recipe:Pumpkin Oat Streusel Muffins

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Pi Pie

My family always has pies for dessert on Thanksgiving.  Plus, they are usually always pecan pie and pumpkin pie.  Delicious, but sometimes I like to mix it up.  Last year, we also made blueberry pie, and it was a hit (the tradition of blueberry will continue this year).

Wondering what pie recipe to use for pies?

Although I would love to give you my family’s recipe for pie crust, but it’s top secret, so instead I’ll fill you in on the filling (pun intended).  (This pie crust recipe is actually stolen from my church’s archives, all the church ladies get together every year and make over a thousand pies, so this recipe is foul-proof, but I’ve been sworn to secrecy on the recipe/secret ingredient)

Fillings:

For pumpkin pie, my family follows the recipe on the back of the  pumpkin pie filing can.  We uses Libby’s.  It’s a simple, spice infused recipe, that is also foul-proof.

For pecan pie, we follow the recipe on the back of the dark corn syrup bottle.  We use Karo dark corn syrup, but we add lots more pecans than the recipe calls for.  I hate to eat a pecan pie, where only the top layer has pecans, and the rest is just filling.  Add pecans so they all get coated generously with the filling mix.

Enjoy your pies and the rest of your time with family and friends.

References

References:

Smith, E.G. Mother, helper Extraordinaire, Baking Expert, Pie Making Feign, etc.  1995-2010.

Smith, J.S. Grandmother.  Retired Home Ec. Teacher.  Baking Expert.  Butter Lover, etc. 1995-2010.

This is my sad attempt at making a funny reference to the people that have inspired and molded my baking skills.   My grandmother is an awesome baker (previously Home Ec. Teacher), although now that she can’t see well, she does less.   She was chopping some chocolate for a recipe, and there goes her finger.  Just kidding, my grandma has all ten fingers and toes but you get the picture.  She is the one who taught me all those traditional recipes that I should know. Great cookies, excellent fudge, and awesome pies.  She wants to still teach me (with the help of her daughter, my aunt) to make potato donuts.  I’m excited and nervous to fry something,  because that’s something I’ve never done.  My grandma is awesome and she is sassy and stubborn (I’ll blame that trait of mine on her too).

My mom also inspired me to bake, although I’ve surpassed her abilities in many baking avenues.  She has taught me lots about baking and helped me get the help I needed when something was beyond her ability (Ex: bread, so I took a week-long bread class).  My mom is awesome in general.  I may have surpassed her in many categories of baking, but she still has me beat in pie making.  So, my mom offers to bake stuff for me when I’m away at college, which many parents do.  Sadly, by the time the cookies or brownies get here, they don’t always still taste good.  Also, I can whip up a batch in my house’s oven and eat WARM brownies.  So, when my mom said to expect a care package, I was skeptical.  Boy, was I surprised.

She had sent me mini pumpkin and pecan pies.  DELICIOUS! They look a little worse for wear after the traveling, but they still tasted Scrumptious.  And the pecans weren’t burnt (a speciality of my mom’s).

I sat down and had one of each. The picture at the top of this blog is what was left.

So you see that even though I’m an awesome baker (if I do say so myself), my mom can still spoil me with baked goods.

Thanks Mom and Grandma, you are awesome!

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ever have a hankering for a fresh baked baked good?  I get these hankerings pretty often, so I love that I can whip up a batch of cookies, to fill that hole in my belly.  The other day, I so wanted to bake, so I decided to whip up a batch of chocolate chip cookies, simple but delicious.

This isn’t some crazy, fancy recipe, this is the recipe on the back of every chocolate chip bag.  Wonder if all the recipes are same?  NestleGhiradelli, and Hershey’s all have the exact same recipe.  This recipe is simple and always delicious.  I just love cookies fresh from the oven, especially when you pass it between your hands because it is too hot, and burn your tongue.  That’s all worth it for the taste of the sweet dough and melted chocolate chips.

For those of you in a time crunch, you could whip these up in 30-60 minutes flat including baking.

First, preheat the oven to 350˚F. Next, cream the butter and two sugars in a bowl.  If you are mixing by hand (college kids out there), you want the butter nice and soft.  In the summer, just leave the butter out for 1-2 hours in your air-conditioned house (any longer and you will have butter soup).  In the winter, leave the butter out for an hour or two.  If it’s still pretty firm, give it a quick nuke in the microwave (15-35 seconds at low, low power).  Mix the two sugars and butter until the cows come home.  This is what it should look like, nice and creamy with all the butter mixed in.

Add the two eggs  and the vanilla and then mix.

Add the flour, baking soda, and salt.  Mix just until all the flour is incorporated.  Overbeat and you will have tough cookies.  I forgot to take a picture, but you can figure it out.

Add 2 cups of chocolate chips.  I thought 2 cups wasn’t much, but then I realized it was actually the whole package.  It will seem like a lot of chocolate chips, but boy will they taste good with all the chocolate.

 

Form this wonderful dough into small balls.  Feel free to pop one in your mouth if you need a snack.  I am guilty of snacking on this dough.  

Put these dough balls onto an ungreased baking sheet.  Bake for 9-11 minutes until golden brown.  If you like cookies that are half raw, go for 9 minutes.  If you like them nice and golden, 11 minutes.

Enjoy with a tall glass of milk if there is any dough left for baking.

Recipe: Chocolate Chip Cookies

Recipe on the back of every chocolate chip package.