Healthier Whole-Wheat Blueberry-Almond Muffins

Healthier Whole Wheat Almond Blueberry Muffins

 

This recipe is adapted from one in America’s Test Kitchen magazine called “Nutritious Delicious” and it delivers perfectly moist, tender, and flavorful blueberry muffins.

Download Healthier Whole-Wheat Blueberry-Almond Muffins recipe

 

INGREDIENTS

¼ cup (1 ounce/28g) sliced almonds, lightly toasted, cooled, and roughly chopped

1 cup (5½ ounces/155g) whole-wheat flour

¾ cup (3¾ ounces/107g) all-purpose flour

¾ cup (3 ounces/84g) almond flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

½ teaspoon baking soda

¾ teaspoon salt

1 cup organic low-fat buttermilk (or 1 cup whole milk mixed with 1 Tablespoon lemon juice or apple cider vinegar and let sit for 5 minutes to thicken slightly)

⅔ cup packed (4 ¾ ounces/135g) dark brown sugar

2 large organic eggs

¼ cup canola oil

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1½ cups (7½ ounces/210g) fresh or frozen blueberries

1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 400 degrees. Spray 12-cup muffin tin, including top, generously with canola oil spray (if using paper liners, lightly mist liners).

2. Mix together whole-wheat flour, all-purpose flour, almond flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl.

3. In separate bowl, whisk buttermilk (or sour milk), brown sugar, eggs, oil, and vanilla together until combined. Using rubber spatula, gently stir buttermilk mixture into almond-flour mixture until just combined (do not overmix). Gently fold in blueberries until incorporated.

4. Divide batter evenly among prepared muffin cups (cups will be filled to rim) and sprinkle with reserved chopped almonds. Bake until golden brown and toothpick inserted in center comes out with few crumbs attached, 16 to 18 minutes (a few minutes longer if berries were frozen), rotating muffin tin halfway through baking.

5. Let muffins cool in tin on wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove muffins from tin and let cool for at least 10 minutes before serving.


Croatian Mashed Potatoes (Restani Krumpir)

Glazed Pork Tenderloin Croatian Mashed Potatoes Restani Krumpir

I first saw these potatoes prepared on an episode of Milk Street Kitchen and thought they looked delicious. Their version is modeled after the potatoes they had tasted at Samoborska Klet restaurant in Zagreb and is a simple one-pot recipe. The potatoes are rustic and full of flavor from the slow cooked onions – a perfect side dish to Maple- Glazed pork tenderloin.

2 tablespoons grapeseed or other neutral oil

1 large yellow onion, chopped

kosher salt and ground black pepper as needed

2 pounds (about 900grams) Yukon gold potatoes, unpeeled, halved lengthwise and sliced about ¼” thick

4 tablespoons (2 ounces/56 grams) salted butter, cut into 4 pieces

¼ teaspoon sweet Hungarian paprika, plus more to serve

2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh chives, divided

1. In a large Dutch oven over medium, heat the oil until shimmering. Add the onion and ¼ teaspoon salt, then cook, stirring often, until softened and well browned, 20 to 25 minutes.

2. Remove the pot from the heat. Transfer the onion to a small bowl and set aside; reserve the pot.

3. In a colander under cold running water, rinse the potatoes. Drain well, then add to the pot. Stir in ¾ cup water and ½ teaspoon salt, then distribute the potatoes in an even layer. Cover and bring to a boil over medium-high. Reduce to medium and cook at a simmer, stirring occasionally, until the slices almost fall apart when poked with a skewer, 15 to 20 minutes.

4. If there is water remaining in the pot, increase to medium-high and cook, uncovered and stirring often, until no moisture remains.

5. Reduce to low, add the butter and cook, stirring and mashing the potatoes with a spoon, until the butter is melted and incorporated, about 1 minute. Stir in the onion, paprika, and ¼ teaspoon each salt and pepper. Stir in 1 tablespoon of the chives, then taste and season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a serving dish. Sprinkle with additional paprika and the remaining 1 tablespoon chives.


Maple-Glazed Pork Tenderloin for Two

Glazed Pork Tenderloin Croatian Mashed Potatoes Restani Krumpir

Pork tenderloin is a quick and easy option for a quick weeknight dinner. Look for the small packages of individually wrapped “natural” pork tenderloin – not enhanced or seasoned. The combination of maple syrup, mustard and smoked paprika add great flavor to this dish. I like to serve it with Croatian Mashed Potatoes, but mashed sweet potatoes or rice also work well.

Download Maple-Glazed Pork Tenderloin for Two recipe

PORK TENDERLOIN:

⅓ cup plus 1 tablespoon 100% pure maple syrup

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1 tablespoon dry sherry

2 teaspoons cider vinegar

¾ teaspoon grated fresh ginger

½ teaspoon smoked paprika

¼ teaspoon salt, plus more as needed

1 tablespoon cornstarch

1 teaspoon sugar

¼ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon pepper

1 (12-ounce) pork tenderloin, trimmed and silver skin removed

2 teaspoons vegetable oil

1. About 30 minutes before preparation, adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Stir ⅓ cup maple syrup, mustard, dry sherry, vinegar, ¼ teaspoon salt, and cayenne together in small bowl; set aside until needed

2. Combine cornstarch, sugar, ¼ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper in shallow dish. Pat tenderloin dry with paper towels.

3. Heat oil in 10-inch oven safe nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until just smoking.

4. While pan heats, roll tenderloin in cornstarch mixture until evenly coated on all sides; thoroughly pat off excess cornstarch mixture.

5. When oil is hot and just smoking, brown tenderloin well on all sides, 6 to 8 minutes; transfer to plate.

6. Pour off fat from skillet and return to medium heat. Add syrup mixture to now-empty skillet, bring to simmer, scraping up any browned bits, and cook until reduced to ⅓ cup, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Return browned tenderloin to skillet and turn to coat with glaze. Transfer skillet to oven and roast tenderloin until meat registers 145 degrees, 8 to 12 minutes.

7. Using potholders (skillet handle will be hot), remove skillet from oven. Transfer tenderloin to cutting board, tent loosely with aluminum foil, and let rest for 10 minutes.

8. Meanwhile, being careful of hot skillet handle, transfer glaze left in skillet to small bowl and stir in remaining 1 tablespoon maple syrup. Brush tenderloin with 1 tablespoon glaze, then slice ¼ inch thick. Serve pork, passing remaining glaze separately.


Maida Heatter Inspired Marbleized Spice Bundt Cake

Maida Heatter Inspired Marbleized Spice Bundt Cake serving

I first saw this version of Spice Bundt cake in Maida Heatter's Book of Great American Desserts. Maida was known as the “Queen of Cake” and lived to the age of 102; if you’re not familiar with her recipes, I highly recommend seeking out one of her cookbooks online. Maida’s original recipe is very good, but I found the amount of molasses in a tad overwhelming, and some of the instructions were a little time consuming (separating eggs and folding in beaten egg whites – too many dishes!) This is a more streamlined recipe but tastes excellent (maybe even better) It is a great dessert for the holidays, or during the winter months, as the spice batter is reminiscent of gingerbread.

*Note – it’s critical to bring the butter, milk, and eggs to room temperature before proceeding with recipe

Download Maida Heatter Inspired Marbleized Spice Bundt Cake

 

FOR THE VANILLA CAKE BATTTER:

½ cup (3.4 ounces/93 grams) vegetable shortening, plus more for greasing the pan

3 cups (13.5 ounces/375 grams) all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting the pan

2 sticks (8 ounces/226 grams) unsalted butter, well softened

2 ¾ cups (19.6 ounces/560 grams) sugar

4 large eggs, at room temperature

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 cup whole milk, at room temperature

 

FOR THE SPICE SWIRL BATTER:

2 cups of the prepared vanilla cake batter

1/4 cup unsulfured molasses

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

1/8 teaspoon ground allspice

 

FINISH COATING:

2 tablespoons melted unsalted butter

1/4 cup granulated sugar mixed with 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

 

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees; position the rack in the center of the oven.

2. Thoroughly grease a 9-inch Bundt pan with some shortening, getting into every nook to ensure that the cake releases perfectly from the pan after baking. Dust the pan with the flour and tap out any excess.

3. In a medium bowl thoroughly whisk together the flour, salt, and baking powder; set aside. Combine spices in a small dish and set aside.

4. Place the ½ cup (93 grams) shortening in a large bowl and, using a stand mixer, beat the shortening on medium speed until softened and spread around, about 30 seconds. Add the butter and sugar and beat together on medium low speed until the mixture looks fluffy, about 1 minute. Increase the speed to medium and beat the ingredients until well combined, some graininess has softened, and the texture feels more cohesive and fluffier, 3 to 5 minutes.

5. With the mixer running, add the eggs, one at a time, beating for 1 minute between each addition. After the last egg, the batter may look slightly curdled.

6. Beat in the vanilla extract until combined.

7. Add half of the dry ingredients to the butter and egg mixture. Beat on low speed until just combined and a few flour streaks remain. With the mixer motor running, add the milk and beat until just combined. The mixture may appear curdled again. Add the remaining flour and beat until combined. Using a silicone spatula, scoop batter from the bottom and sides of the bowl to the top for any hidden pockets of flour. Beat on medium speed for 1 minute to fully combine.

8. Spoon 2 cups of the vanilla cake batter into a medium bowl. Stir in molasses and reserved spices until well combined.

9. Spoon half of the plain vanilla batter into the prepared pan. Using a large kitchen spoon, dollop half of the spice batter on top of the plain batter and gently smooth over with a small offset spatula. Add the remaining plain vanilla cake batter and the remaining spice batter on top of that. Smooth the top and use a butter knife or offset spatula gently swirl the spice batter down into the vanilla cake batter. Smooth the top and place on the middle rack in the oven.

10. Bake for 1 hour and 10 minutes to 1 hour and 15 minutes, until the cake is golden brown, has risen, and cracked across the top. Insert a toothpick to test the doneness of the cake; it should come out clean or with a few moist crumbs.

11. Let the cake cool in the pan on a wire rack for 15 minutes and gently invert the cake on a wire rack to cool completely.

12. Brush with melted butter and sprinkle generously with cinnamon sugar and serve

13. Cake will keep wrapped at room temperature for up to 5 days.

Maida Heatter Inspired Marbleized Spice Bundt Cake stand
Maida Heatter Inspired Marbleized Spice Bundt Cake stand


Maple Glazed Pecan Tart

Maple Glazed Pecan Tart 2

Pecan pie is always a favorite around Thanksgiving and the holidays, and this is a great alternative to a traditional pie recipe. It still has the rich caramel flavor, but the crisp, buttery crust is enhanced with ground pecans and the filling has notes of maple, bourbon, and vanilla. Serve with whipped cream or ice cream, and just enjoy it on its own.

Download Maple Glazed Pecan Tart

 

Tart Crust

1 cup (5 ounces/ 141 grams) all-purpose flour

¼ cup (1 ¾ ounces/48 grams) packed light brown sugar

¼ cup (1 ounce/30 grams) coarsely chopped pecans, toasted*,

¼ teaspoon baking powder

¼ teaspoon table salt

8 tablespoons/ 1 stick unsalted butter (4 ounces/113grams)

Pecan Filling

2/3 cup (4.7 ounces/135 grams) packed light brown sugar

¼ cup (3 ounces/82 grams) light corn syrup

2 tablespoons (1 ounce/40 grams) pure maple syrup (dark amber if possible)

4 tablespoons (2ounces/56 grams) unsalted butter, melted and cooled

1 tablespoon bourbon or dark rum

1 teaspoon vanilla

¼ teaspoon salt

2 large eggs

¾ cup (3 ounces/90 grams) pecans, chopped coarse, plus 14 whole pecan halves for decorating

1 -2 tablespoons of maple syrup for glazing the finished tart

FOR THE CRUST:

1. Grease or lightly spray an oblong tart pan (14”x4.5”) or four 4-inch fluted tart pans with removable bottoms; set aside.

2. Process the four, brown sugar, nuts, baking powder, and salt in a food processor until combined, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle butter pieces over the top and pulse until mixture is pale yellow and resembles coarse cornmeal, 8-10 pulses.

3. Sprinkle mixture evenly into prepared pan(s). Mixture will be dry and crumbly, press crumbs into an even layer over bottom and up the sides using the bottom of a dry measuring cup. (it helps to start with the edges using thumb and fingers to press dough in firmly, and then pat bottom down with measuring cup)

4. Wrap tart in plastic wrap and freeze for at least 30 minutes or up to 1 week.

5. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat to 350°F. Remove tart from freezer and place on a rimmed baking sheet. Press a double layer of aluminum foil into the frozen tart shell, over the edges, and fill with pie weights. Bake until tart shell in golden brown and set, 20-25 minutes, rotating halfway through baking. Carefully remove foil and pie weights and let shell cool slightly while preparing filling.

FOR THE FILLING:

Whisk sugar, corn syrup, maple syrup, melted butter, bourbon, vanilla, and salt together in a medium bowl until sugar dissolves. Whisk in eggs to combine. Stir in half the chopped walnuts, and then sprinkle remaining chopped nuts over filling. Arrange 14 pecan halves, down the center of the tart shell.

1. Bake tart on rimmed baking sheet until filling is set and nuts begin to brown, 20-25 minutes, rotating tart halfway through baking. Move pan to wire rack and brush the center nuts with maple syrup. Let tart cool completely, about 1 hour.

2. To serve, remove outer ring from tart pan, and slide a thin metal spatula between tart and tart pan bottom, and carefully slide tart onto serving platter or plate.

Maple Glazed Pecan Tart slice
Maple Glazed Pecan Tart slice
Maple Glazed Pecan Tart slice