Cooking Therapy: Jam-Filled Muffins

Cooking TherapyY’all, do you ever just have one of those days?

Today was one for me. It started out with bad news and got even worse. What with work and the extra stuff going on in my life, I was stressed, frustrated, and beyond annoyed.

I needed something practical, something helpful for my hands and mind. So I got to baking!

Does anyone else use baking as therapy? Sometimes it is the only thing that will calm my mind and improve my mood. There’s just something about deciding on a recipe to make, gathering the ingredients, and then baking it all up.

Oh, and don’t forget surprising your family with something yummy!

Anyway, a few weeks back my husband bought some jam for us as a treat. It was a locally made wild blackberry jam. It has a tart yet sweet taste, just perfect to spread on toast. But what about baked in a muffin? A tiny bit of searching, and I found this recipe.

As I didn’t have much time to get the recipe mixed up before my next shift, I loved the fact that you could mix the batter by hand. And better yet, I had all of the ingredients in my pantry! So very frugal and easy for me.

Just a few (very minor) changes:

  1. I used coconut oil in place of the vegetable oil in the recipe.
  2. I filled each muffin tin about 1/3 with batter, put in the jam, and then topped it with more batter.
  3. Using only about 2 Tbsp of butter for the topping, I melted it in the microwave and poured it over the finished muffins. I then gave each muffin a generous sprinkling of the cinnamon sugar mixture. It was just easier (and quicker) for me to do it this way.

Although nothing in my life had changed by the time the muffins were out of the oven, my viewpoint had shifted a bit toward the positive. I had done something helpful and baked a treat that my husband would appreciate.

Cheap and frugal therapy, right?


Cinnamon Bun Muffins

Cinnamon Bun MuffinsLast night, my husband was rummaging through our refrigerator. Frustrated with finding nothing of note, he asked, “Don’t we have anything sweet?”

No, we sure didn’t. My heart sank as I realized I hadn’t cooked any treats for us lately.

I decided to do something about that today during my break from work. I was excited to try to this recipe for Cinnamon Bun Muffins as I had recently purchased palm shortening. Although fairly common in paleo recipes, this particular type of shortening was new to me.

Unfortunately for the muffins, I was distracted. Thinking about everything under the sun–along with the muffins–I happily began gathering the flour, eggs, and such. Mixing it all up and filling the muffin tins, I was pretty proud of it all.

And then it hit me. I had forgotten to add the vanilla extract. Seriously.

I didn’t want to throw it all in the trash, so I put the topping on the muffins and set the pan in the oven. I just hoped it would be edible.

The smell while the muffins were cooking was just wonderful. And you know what? The muffins still taste yummy. I can only imagine how great they would taste if I hadn’t forgotten an ingredient.

The moral of the story is “Never bake when you’re tired or distracted.” And even if you make a mistake, sometimes everything will turn out OK.

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Quick Sunday Breakfast: Almond Flour Muffins

almond muffinI had a bit of time this morning in between shifts, and so I decided to make us a hot breakfast. Although we don’t normally use the oven during the summer, sometimes I will cook in the mornings while it is still cool. Of course, I could have used the solar oven, but baking in it takes much more care and patience than I had this morning.

Having just bought some almond flour yesterday, I decided to make some muffins or scones. After a bit of searching, I found this recipe for Almond Flour Muffins. Other than looking super easy to make, the recipe only used ingredients that I already had on hand. Yay for almond muffins!

I was able to mix these up in about 5-10 minutes. Using the amounts in the recipe, I was only able to make about five muffins, so if you have a larger family, you may want to double the recipe. The muffins cooked up nicely and quickly before the kitchen became too hot.

And the verdict? The texture reminded me a bit of corn muffins; the almond muffins were a bit drier and coarser than the result when cooking with all-purpose flour. However, the taste was lightly sweet and was a wonderful complement to morning coffee. Add a little maple syrup to both, and you’re in business!

Enjoy your Sunday, everyone.

Cream Cheese Muffins for a Happy Family

Cream Cheese¬†Cream Cheese (1)I’ve been a bit preoccupied lately as you might be able to tell by the lack of blog posts. My family, along with my blog, have been suffering with a lack of cooked goodies. In fact, this morning there was a minor revolt with my husband’s daughter refusing to eat the cereal that we had on hand. Although my husband dealt with that situation, I figured I should take some time to bake this morning.

As you might be able to tell, I personally enjoy sweets with a light texture and flavor. In order to make myself as well as my family happy, I decided to bake up a batch of these cream cheese muffins this morning. I have made these muffins in the past, and they are perfect for breakfast, snacks, or even desserts. With their fluffiness and sugary crust on top, they are definitely a win.

In order to stave off any family revolt, then you might want to consider making some muffins for breakfast. They are a quick option that can be made the night before, and they are certainly cheaper than most boxed cereals. You can relax with a muffin and your coffee while the kids eat happily. A peaceful morning definitely is worth a bit of baking.

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