Friday, October 14, 2011

Zucchini Carrot Muffins

I know you probably aren't drooling over these just by hearing the name. But think of zucchini bread or carrot cake. I make these often because my whole family loves them! And it's fun to be able to use vegetables from my garden and applesauce that I made from apples I picked :)

The original recipe I used for this has WAY too much sugar in it. This one is my healthier version. I cut the sugar in half and replaced half the oil with applesauce. The only reason I didn't use all applesauce is that we can't eat all 12 muffins in one day and I get nervous using applesauce when they are going to be sitting out. I learned from experience that applesauce doesn't last very long in baked goods.

Zucchini Carrot Muffins
• 1/3 cup vegetable oil
• 1/3 cup applesauce
• 2 large eggs
• 1/3 cup granulated sugar
• 1/3 cup light or dark brown sugar, packed
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 2 cups flour (I use whole wheat)
• 1 teaspoon baking soda
• 2 teaspoon baking powder
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
• 1 1/2 cups finely shredded unpeeled zucchini
• 1/2 cup finely shredded carrot

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a medium bowl, combine oil, applesauce, eggs, sugars, and vanilla. In a large bowl combine flour, soda, powder, salt, and cinnamon. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients stirring just until combined (do not overmix!) I use a regular cheese grater for the zucchini and a smaller zester-type grater for the carrots so they are really small. Fold in zucchini and carrots.

Fill 12 muffin cups and bake for 20 minutes.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Cinnamon Rolls

I found this recipe on (here) It's supposed to be a copy-cat of Cinnabon. I don't know how close it is because I haven't had many Cinnabon rolls in my life, but they were maybe the best things that have ever come out of my oven. The recipe calls for a bread machine, but I didn't use one. These are my instructions.

Cinnabon Cinnamon Rolls
1 cup warm milk (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
2 eggs, room temperature
1/3 cup margarine, melted
4 1/2 cups bread flour (I used 2 C whole wheat flour and the rest bread flour)
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup white sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons bread machine yeast (or just one packet regular, one Tbls)

1 cup brown sugar, packed
2 1/2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
1/3 cup butter, softened so it's spreadable

1 (3 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt

Mix yeast with warm milk and let stand 10 minutes. Add eggs, margarine (I used butter, but apparently it has different qualities than margarine so it changes things? Whatever, they were still amazing so butter is what I'll use), sugar, and salt to Kitchenaid mixing bowl. Add milk and yeast and stir. Then start adding flour and kneading. I used some whole wheat because I love whole wheat. What I read is that bread flour absorbs the liquids more than regular flour, which would explain why my dough was still way too sticky after adding the flour. I ended up adding maybe 1/2 C or more bread flour to make it the right consistency. You just have to be able to handle it without it just making a huge mess on your hands. Next time I might use more whole wheat because there's enough sugar that it would still be delicious.

Once your dough is right, spray a large bowl with cooking spray, place dough inside and cover with damp towel. Allow the dough to rise an hour in a warm place (I turn my oven on to 150 degrees or so, then turn it OFF.

Meanwhile, mix the brown sugar and cinnamon together and let the butter sit out so it's soft.

When the dough has doubled in size, punch it down and roll it out on a floured surface into a large rectangle. Spread the butter and sprinkle the cinnamon mixture on top. Then roll up long ways. Use dental floss (or jewelry string like I did) to cut into 12 rolls. Place in greased 9x13 glass pan. Cover with damp towel again and allow to rise in warm place again for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Bake rolls for 15 minutes, or until starting to brown. Mix icing ingredients together. When you pull the rolls out of the oven, cover with a lid or some sort and TURN OVER the pan so all the drippings go back into the rolls! Leave it like that for a minute. Then ice them while they are warm.

Mmmm. My mouth is watering for these right now! So good!