Orange Grape-Nut Muffins

Like 2 weeks ago, I’m still slowly working my way through a box of Grape-Nuts at work. These muffins are kind of mild but tasty, and a lasting sort of filling. A good thing to have for breakfast/snack on a travel day, perhaps. The Grape-Nuts stay firmer than the rest of the muffin, for texture, but aren’t still rock hard bits of gravel.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs, well beaten
  • 3/4 cup orange juice
  • zest from 1 orange
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 cup Grape-Nuts

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. (Seems super hot for muffins, but they didn’t burn!) Grease or line a 12-cup muffin tin. (The photos here show a doubled recipe.)

In a large bowl, sift the flour before measuring out the two cups. Add the baking powder and sugar and sift again to combine.

I do actually sift when old recipes call for it, because when you do it before measuring, it impacts the amount you wind up scooping up.

In a medium bowl or large measuring cup, combine the eggs, juice, zest, and melted butter. Stir the juice mixture into the flour mixture, stirring just until no dry flour remains.

Add the Grape-Nuts and stir until just evenly combined.

Scoop into the prepared muffin tin, filling about 3/4 full.

Bake 20-25 minutes, until they pass the toothpick test.

Remove from the pan and cool on a wire rack.

2 disappeared before I could even get a photo!

The Park District board was a fan of these!

Orange Grape-Nut Muffins

Slightly adapted from the General Foods Cook Book.

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs, well beaten
  • 3/4 cup orange juice
  • zest from 1 orange
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 cup Grape-Nuts

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Grease or line a 12-cup muffin tin.

In a large bowl, sift the flour before measuring out the two cups. Add the baking powder and sugar and sift again to combine. In a medium bowl or large measuring cup, combine the eggs, juice, zest, and melted butter. Stir the juice mixture into the flour mixture, stirring just until no dry flour remains. Add the Grape-Nuts and stir until just evenly combined.

Scoop into the prepared muffin tin and bake 20-25 minutes, until they pass the toothpick test. Remove from the pan and cool on a wire rack.

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Malted Chocolate Chip Cookies

These cookies are super good, but I kind of wish I had seen this blog from King Arthur Flour a week earlier, because maybe if I had frozen some of the dough, I wouldn’t have eaten 39 cookies myself in Very Few Days. Because, um, I sure did eat all of these quite rapidly. The last few of them as sandwiches with a not-quite-right attempt at this malted caramel marshmallow recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup malted milk powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 cup butter, melted
  • 1 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 2 cups chocolate chips

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, malted milk powder, baking powder, salt, and cornstarch, then set aside.

No surprises what a bowl of white powders looks like…

If you have a large microwave-safe bowl, melt the butter in the bowl, otherwise, pour the melted butter into your large bowl then stir in the brown sugar.

Add the eggs and vanilla and stir until combined.

Add the dry ingredients and stir until just combined.

Fold in the chocolate chips.

Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours, up to 3 days. (This is pretty quick to throw together in the morning, making for fairly quick cookies after work!)

Once chilled, preheat oven to 350 degrees and line two baking sheets.

Scoop dough in roughly 2 tablespoon balls of dough – I used a medium cookie scoop. Place on your lined sheets. You can press extra chocolate chips into the surface, if desired, for looks, but this felt like already a decent amount of chocolate to me. (Who am I??)

Bake 11-12 minutes, until golden at the edges.

Cool 3 or 4 minutes on the sheet, then transfer to a wire rack to complete cooling, and scoop and bake more cookies, until all the dough is used up.

Malted Chocolate Chip Cookies

From Cookies and Cups.

  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup malted milk powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 cup butter, melted
  • 1 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 2 cups chocolate chips

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, malted milk powder, baking powder, salt, and cornstarch, then set aside.

If you have a large microwave-safe bowl, melt the butter in the bowl, otherwise, pour the melted butter into your large bowl then stir in the brown sugar. Add the eggs and vanilla and stir until combined. Add the dry ingredients and stir until just combined, then fold in the chocolate chips. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours, up to 3 days.

Once chilled, preheat oven to 350 degrees and line two baking sheets.

Scoop dough in roughly 2 tablespoon balls of dough and place on the lined sheets. Bake 11-12 minutes, until golden at the edges. Cool 3 or 4 minutes on the sheet, then transfer to a wire rack to complete cooling, and scoop and bake more cookies, until all the dough is used up.

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Grape-Nuts Brown Betty

A few weeks ago at work I held an event where I cooked a dozen gross looking recipes from the 1930s and people tasted them to see if they were better than they sounded/get an idea of what they were eating at the time. One of the cookbooks I used was from the General Foods company, now Kraft-Heinz, who made Grape-Nuts. The book had a number of recipes that use them, and for that event I made Grape-Nuts Stuffed Eggplant (has ham, and I hate eggplant and ham, so, ick) and Grape-Nuts Raisin Pie (decent!).

I still have most of a box of Grape-Nuts left, so when I wanted to have our middle school volunteers cook something probably tasty to celebrate their last day volunteering with us, I went with Grape-Nuts Brown Betty, which was a hit both with the kids and the adults who got the leftovers.

This disappeared promptly.

Ingredients:

Grape-Nuts Brown Betty:

  • 6 tablespoons butter, divided, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar, tightly packed
  • 1/2 cup sifted cake flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon
  • 1/2 cup Grape-Nuts
  • 3 large apples, pared and thinly sliced (I had the middle schoolers use a mandolin, with the thick plates, and this time no one was horribly wounded)
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

Yankee Sauce:

  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • dash of salt
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons vinegar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a medium bowl, beat 4 tablespoons of the butter until smooth. Add the brown sugar gradually and cream well.

It was this kid’s first time ever using a mixer!

Add the flour, sifted with the salt, and mix well, then stir in the Grape-Nuts. Set aside.

Stir together the apple slices, sugar, and cinnamon. Layer the apple slices in the pie dish, eating any extra if they are higher than the sides of the dish, and pouring any excess cinnamon sugar back over the apples in the pie dish. Cut the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter into small pieces and scatter across the tops of the apples.

Evenly sprinkle the flour mixture over the apples. Cover with foil and bake 30 minutes, then remove the foil and bake an additional 15 minutes, or until apples are tender.

When the Brown Betty is roughly half cooked, combine the brown sugar, cornstarch, and salt for the sauce in a saucepan. Add the water and whisk to combine. Add the butter and place over high heat and bring to a boil. Cook, stirring constantly, for 10 minutes. Add the vinegar, and cook until the vinegar smell has gone away. Remove from the heat and serve warm, over the warm Brown Betty.

The sauce is also recommended with spice puddings, and with an optional 1/2 cup raisins cooked in it. That didn’t appeal to the middle school students, or me, at least not on the Brown Betty!

Grape-Nuts Brown Betty

Adapted from the 1932 General Foods Cookbook.

Grape-Nuts Brown Betty:

  • 6 tablespoons butter, divided, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar, tightly packed
  • 1/2 cup sifted cake flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon
  • 1/2 cup Grape-Nuts
  • 3 large apples, pared and thinly sliced (I had the middle schoolers use a mandolin, with the thick plates, and this time no one was horribly wounded)
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

Yankee Sauce:

  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • dash of salt
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons vinegar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a medium bowl, beat 4 tablespoons of the butter until smooth. Add the brown sugar gradually and cream well. Add the flour, sifted with the salt, and mix well, then stir in the Grape-Nuts. Set aside.

Stir together the apple slices, sugar, and cinnamon. Layer the apple slices in the pie dish, eating any extra if they are higher than the sides of the dish, and pouring any excess cinnamon sugar back over the apples in the pie dish. Cut the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter into small pieces and scatter across the tops of the apples.

Evenly sprinkle the flour mixture over the apples. Cover with foil and bake 30 minutes, then remove the foil and bake an additional 15 minutes, or until apples are tender.

When the Brown Betty is roughly half cooked, combine the brown sugar, cornstarch, and salt for the sauce in a saucepan. Add the water and whisk to combine. Add the butter and place over high heat and bring to a boil. Cook, stirring constantly, for 10 minutes. Add the vinegar, and cook until the vinegar smell has gone away. Remove from the heat and serve warm, over the warm Brown Betty.

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Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cake

100 years ago when I worked at a museum in Wyoming, I went through all the museum’s cookbooks, and snagged a couple recipes. This is one of those! It’s a moist, filling, delicious oatmeal cake I’d definitely eat again!

Ingredients:

  • 1 3/4 cups boiling water
  • 1 cup old fashioned oats, uncooked
  • 1 stick unsalted butter (the used Oleo, I voted no…leo)
  • 1 cup lightly packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
  • 1 12 ounce package chocolate chips
  • 3/4 cup chopped nuts (I used peanut butter chips/more chocolate chips)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 9×13″ pan and set aside.

In a large bowl, pour the boiling water over the oats.

Let stand for 10 minutes.

Add the sugars and butter, stirring until the butter has melted.

Add the eggs and mix well.

Add the dry ingredients and half the chocolate chips and stir until evenly mixed.

Gently transfer the batter to the prepared pan, then sprinkle the remaining chocolate chips and nuts (or peanut butter chips) over the top.

Bake 40 minutes, or until it passes the toothpick test.

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cake

Adapted from A Book of Favorite Recipes.

  • 1 3/4 cups boiling water
  • 1 cup old fashioned oats, uncooked
  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 1 cup lightly packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
  • 1 12 ounce package chocolate chips
  • 3/4 cup chopped nuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 9×13″ pan and set aside.

In a large bowl, pour the boiling water over the oats. Let stand for 10 minutes. Add the sugars and butter, stirring until the butter has melted. Add the eggs and mix well, then add the dry ingredients and half the chocolate chips and stir until evenly mixed. Gently transfer the batter to the prepared pan, then sprinkle the remaining chocolate chips and nuts over the top. Bake 40 minutes, or until it passes the toothpick test.

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Caramel Monkey Bread

In the past, I made a monkey bread that had chocolate chips and caramel bits in each piece, with a thick icing on top. Lately I’d been pondering a monkey bread that has Milk Duds in each piece, and just changing the inside didn’t seem enough, so I also made a caramel sauce to go on top instead. The way it worked out, most of the chocolate of the Milk Duds melts away, leaving a softer-than-before blob of tasty caramel, plus the thick caramel coating, which sure works for me!

Ingredients:

Dough:

  • 3/4 cup lukewarm milk
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 3 cups all purpose flour

Filling and Topping:

  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 box Milk Duds

Caramel Sauce:

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 6 tablespoons salted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon salt

To make the dough, combine the milk, yeast, and sugar in a large bowl and let sit for five minutes. While you wait, lightly grease a bundt pan and set aside. Add the remaining dough ingredients and knead together until smooth. Cover and allow to rise for an hour.

Gently knock down the dough. Divide into four portions, then roll each quarter into a rope and divide into ten pieces. Roll each of the 40 pieces into a ball, then press Milk Dud into each and fold the dough around to completely cover the Milk Dud, rolling in your hands to seal. As you seal each piece, place it into the prepared bundt pan.

Stir together the melted butter and vanilla and pour over the dough pieces, then cover and let rise for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and bake 25-35 minutes, until golden brown and crisp on the outside. Place a plate/platter over the bundt pan and invert, turning the monkey bread out onto the platter, and let cool at least 10 minutes before topping with the caramel sauce.

The caramel sauce can be made while the bread bakes, while the dough rises in the first place, or even days before, you’ll just need to warm it back up if you do it earlier, to make it more flow-y. To make it, first heat the sugar in a medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring frequently until completely melted.

Once the sugar is melted, add the butter, which will bubble significantly.

Once the butter is completely melted into the melted sugar, very slowly drizzle in the cream while stirring, being careful of the continuing bubbling.

Once all the cream is added, allow to boil 1 minute, then remove from the heat and stir in the salt.

Cool slightly before using. You will (probably) have leftover caramel sauce, depending on how wild you go – you can store leftovers in the fridge for up to a month, reheating in the microwave or on the stove as necessary.

If it can hold fingerprints, probably it needs to be reheated!

Pour the prepared caramel sauce over the baked monkey bread, let cool at least enough that it won’t burn your fingers, and enjoy.

Caramel Monkey Bread

Caramel Sauce from Sally’s Baking Addiction.

Dough:

  • 3/4 cup lukewarm milk
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 3 cups all purpose flour

Filling and Topping:

  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 box Milk Duds

Caramel Sauce:

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 6 tablespoons salted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon salt

To make the dough, combine the milk, yeast, and sugar in a large bowl and let sit for five minutes. While you wait, lightly grease a bundt pan and set aside. Add the remaining dough ingredients and knead together until smooth. Cover and allow to rise for an hour.

Gently knock down the dough. Divide into four portions, then roll each quarter into a rope and divide into ten pieces. Roll each of the 40 pieces into a ball, then press Milk Dud into each and fold the dough around to completely cover the Milk Dud, rolling in your hands to seal. As you seal each piece, place it into the prepared bundt pan.

Stir together the melted butter and vanilla and pour over the dough pieces, then cover and let rise for 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and bake 25-35 minutes, until golden brown and crisp on the outside. Place a plate/platter over the bundt pan and invert, turning the monkey bread out onto the platter, and let cool at least 10 minutes before topping with the caramel sauce.

The caramel sauce can be made while the bread bakes, while the dough rises in the first place, or even days before, you’ll just need to warm it back up if you do it earlier, to make it more flow-y. To make it, first heat the sugar in a medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring frequently until completely melted. Once the sugar is melted, add the butter, which will bubble significantly. Once the butter is completely melted into the melted sugar, very slowly drizzle in the cream while stirring, being careful of the continuing bubbling. Once all the cream is added, allow to boil 1 minute, then remove from the heat and stir in the salt. Cool slightly before using. You will (probably) have leftover caramel sauce, depending on how wild you go – you can store leftovers in the fridge for up to a month, reheating in the microwave or on the stove as necessary.

 

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Angel Lush Trifle

No easier way to party prep than to make a trifle the day before! This one is extra simple, and quite delicious! I didn’t wind up taking many pictures, but once you’ve made it, you’ll be able to see it yourself!

Ingredients:

  • 2 1 ounce packages vanilla instant pudding
  • 2 20 ounce cans crushed pineapple
  • 8 ounce tub cool whip, thawed
  • 1 angel food cake, cut into chunks (my mom managed to find a gluten-free one, I think at Whole Foods)
  • strawberries, for serving

In a large bowl, combine the dry pudding mix and the canned pineapple, adding both the fruit and the juice. Stir together, then add the cool whip and stir until well mixed.

Place about 1/3 of the cake chunks in a large trifle dish, then top with 1/3 the pineapple mixture.

Repeat 2 more times, using up the remaining cake and pineapple mixture. Cover with plastic and refrigerate at least 12 hours, giving the cake time to absorb some of the pineapple juice.

When ready to serve, either place the strawberries on top, or serve on the side if, say, someone you’re feeding hates berries. Enjoy!

Angel Lush Trifle

Adapted from Kraft.

  • 2 1 ounce packages vanilla instant pudding
  • 2 20 ounce cans crushed pineapple
  • 8 ounce tub cool whip, thawed
  • 1 angel food cake, cut into chunks
  • strawberries, for serving

In a large bowl, combine the dry pudding mix and the canned pineapple, adding both the fruit and the juice. Stir together, then add the cool whip and stir until well mixed.

Place about 1/3 of the cake chunks in a large trifle dish, then top with 1/3 the pineapple mixture. Repeat 2 more times, using up the remaining cake and pineapple mixture. Cover with plastic and refrigerate at least 12 hours, giving the cake time to absorb some of the pineapple juice.

When ready to serve, serve with berries on top or on the side.

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Maple Candy

Did an event at work this past weekend at which visitors were able to sample maple sap, some partially cooked down sap, finished maple syrup, and then also maple candy (plus listen to me yammer about the history of maple syrup/sugar and how to tap trees themselves next year). I made a batch of maple candy for this program and it came out delicious, although next year I’ll have to get some maple leave shaped molds to get the looks nice enough to match the taste!

Samples of the various sap stages, not actually jello shots.

Dealing with syrup, both getting your sap condensed enough and then turning that syrup into a solid, is apparently all about knowing at what temperature what boils where you are. For most of us at sea level, that will be 212 degrees Fahrenheit, but it changes if you’re at altitude, and can even change if you’ve got crazy weather conditions going on. So, the first thing to do when you’re making maple candy is to put some water in a large pot, clip on your candy thermometer, and keep an eye on it to see at what temperature water boils near you, just to make sure, then dump out the water. Take the number you observed and add 23 (so, for many of us, 235 degrees) and keep that in mind.

“Ingredients”:

  • You can do this with any amount of maple syrup (not ‘pancake’ syrup made of corn syrup), but 4 cups is a good amount – gives you 2 pounds of candy, which is enough to be worth the effort, but not so much that it will firm up before you can get it in molds, if desired.
  • 2-3 drops melted butter or vegetable oil, if needed

Lightly grease silicone candy molds or line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Pour the syrup into a large pot – while cooking it will foam up substantially, so be sure your pot can hold at least twice the volume of the liquid. Clip on a candy thermometer, then put over high heat. Heat without stirring until the syrup reaches 23 degrees above the boiling point of water. If the foam threatens to expand outside the pot, add 2-3 drops melted butter or oil and it should subside.

When you reach the goal temperature, remove from the heat. Let cool, still not stirring, until the temperature drops to 190 degrees. Using a wooden spoon, then begin to stir at a medium speed, stirring for several minutes until the syrup becomes thicker and mostly opaque due to the sugar crystallizing.

Then, working quickly, pour the syrup into the prepared molds/dish.

Really sweet photography work here…

Let cool 1 hour, then gently remove from the molds/dish onto a wire rack to cool and dry completely.

Store in an air tight container.

As expected, it tastes like syrup, but is crunchy without being hard. We had leftovers, and I’ve been enjoying them when I need a distraction at work!

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