Lemon Cranberry Muffins

It’s no secret that we love muffins. To change it up from our weekly banana nut muffins and to use up some leftover cranberries, I decided to whip up some lemon cranberry muffins. This cranberries are cooked before being added to the batter to remove some of their inherent tartness, and then lemon adds such a brightness.  I also added poppy seeds, which aren’t necessary, but balance out the tartness of the lemon with a slight nuttiness.

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Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 C  all-purpose flour
  • 1 C whole wheat flour – can sub all-purpose if desired
  • 4 t baking powder
  • 1/2 t  salt
  • 1/4 C sugar
  • 1/2 C canola oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 C milk
  • zest of one lemon
  • 1 t vanilla extract
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 1/2 C fresh cranberries
  • 1/4 C brown sugar
  • 2 T water

Directions

Preheat oven to 400F. Spray a 12 cup muffin tin with cooking spray.

Place cranberries, brown sugar, and water in a small saucepan and heat over medium until cranberries start to pop. Remove from heat.

In a large bowl, combine flours, baking powder, salt, and sugar.

In a medium bowl, mix together oil, eggs, milk, vanilla, lemon juice, and lemon zest. Add to dry mixture and mix until just combined. Fold in cranberries.

Divide into muffin tin and bake for 12-15 minutes until golden brown.

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Everything Bagels

Not to turn this into a baking blog, but here’s another recipe we tried and loved.

I’m typically a sweet > savory person when it comes to breakfast foods, but Matt may have changed my mind when it comes to lox bagels. We like having bagel sandwiches for breakfast or lunch, and since we don’t have many food options close by in SLC we decided to make our own.

Yeasted dough is a bit of a time commitment because it needs to rise twice, but it could be made the night before and allowed to do the second rise in the fridge; just make sure to let it come to room temperature before baking for an even bake.  You could easily make this recipe sweet with the addition of blueberries or cinnamon and raisin, or even just make them plain. We actually made a few with jalapeño and cheddar, which were fantastic with a little cream cheese, egg, and bacon. The possibilities for combinations are endless!

For the everything bagel seasoning, you can make your own, but we use Everything But the Bagel seasoning from Trader Joe’s. It’s convenient and has all the goodies pre-mixed. We loaded these bagels with smoked salmon, cream cheese, capers, and red onions. Yum!

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Bagels

Makes 5 medium-sized bagels

Mix water, sugar, and yeast together in a small bowl or measuring cup and allow to sit for ~10 minutes until yeast has bloomed and is bubbly.

In a large bowl or bowl of stand mixer combine 1 C of flour and salt. Mix in activated yeast mixture and work with hands or bread attachment until a sticky dough has formed. Continue to add in remaining flour until dough is stiff. Knead with hands on a lightly floured surface or in mixer with bread attachment for 8-10 minutes until dough is smooth and elastic.

Lightly oil a large bowl and place dough inside, turning to coat. Cover with a damp cloth and let rest for 15-20 minutes. Punch down dough and divide into 5 even portions. To form the dough, either roll dough into a ball, poke a hole in the middle with your finger, and stretch until it is about 1-2 in diameter, or roll into a rope and pinch the ends together. Let rise for 20-30 minutes.

While dough is rising, preheat oven to 350°F and fill a large pot with water and boil on the stove. When dough has risen, drop into boiling water and boil for 30 seconds to 1 minute on each side (1-2 minutes total per bagel). Pat dry with a paper towel and place on baking sheet.

Beat egg in a small bowl and brush over the top of the boiled bagels. Sprinkle liberally with seasoning mix. Bake for 20-30 minutes until golden brown.

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Strawberry Chocolate Scones

Here’s another tasty recipe we tried and loved!  (What is this, a food blog??)

We’ve been making savory scones for a while now, and they turn out fantastic every time. This time, we decided to tweak the base recipe for the savory scones and turn them into a sweet treat. We used freeze dried strawberries, which we picked up at Trader Joe’s but you can get them on Amazon. You could certainly use fresh berries, but they will add a lot of moisture to the dough; to combat this you may consider draining the juice after chopping, using frozen berries (don’t thaw first), or coating the chopped berries in flour or powdered sugar prior to mixing in. As always, we love our sweets with a side of coffee! This time we paired it with a Columbian from La Barba Roasters here in Salt Lake, which has notes of honey, caramel, and chocolate. Yum!

Strawberry chocolate scones

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk, very cold — splash of vinegar in milk
  • 1 egg, plus 1 egg for egg wash
  • 6 tbsp unsalted butter – cut into
  • 1 T honey or brown sugar
  • 1/4 C freeze dried strawberries, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 C dark chocolate chips, roughly chopped

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and sugar in a large mixing bowl. Cut butter into the dry mixture until resembles coarse crumbs. Mix in the buttermilk/soured milk and honey into the mixture and mix until it forms a dough. Mix in strawberries and chocolate until well incorporated.

Pour the mixture out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead once or twice to make sure everything comes together. The mixture should still be very shaggy.

Form the mixture into an 8-inch circle. Cut the circle into 6 even wedges. Place on a parchment paper-lined cookie sheet. Beat one egg and brush the top of each wedge thoroughly. Sprinkle tops with a little sugar.

Bake for 17-20 minutes, until puffed and golden.

The recipe inspiration came from The Hungry Genealogist(??)

Cream cheese glaze

  • 2oz cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 C powdered sugar
  • 1/4 t vanilla extract
  • 2 T milk

Mix cream cheese, powdered sugar, and vanilla together until creamy. Add milk to your desired consistency and drizzle over scones.

Enjoy!

Check out Matt’s personal site matt.guide for more coffee insights!

Lemon Cream Cheese Cookies

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This is a bit of a detraction from our usual style, but I came across these cookies and had to share. This is a Nordstrom recipe that a friend sent me and I altered slightly. The cookies have a light, cake-like texture that is brightened by the lemon zest. The frosting adds a sharp, citrusy zing that elevates the cookies to another level. We recommend pairing them with a nice cup of coffee :).

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Lemon cream cheese cookies

Note: dough needs to made 1 day ahead of time so it can be frozen prior to baking

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 cup (1 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 – 8oz package of cream cheese
Grated zest of 2 lemons
Juice from 1/2 lemon

  1. Mix flour, baking powder, and salt together in a bowl and set aside.
  2. Cream butter and sugar in large bowl until light and fluffy (~2-3 minutes). Add in the egg and mix until incorporated. On low speed, add in the cream cheese until well mixed. Mix in lemon zest and juice.
  3. Gradually add in the flour mixture and mix until incorporated. Dough will be very soft – almost like a muffin batter.
  4. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or silpat and portion out ~12 balls of dough. Freeze until solid, at least 12 hours.
  5. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 325, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or silpat. Place dough on prepared sheets spaced roughly 2 inches apart. Let stand at room temperature while oven is preheating (~20-30 mins).
  6. Bake for 20-25 minutes until lightly browned; rotate pans halfway through baking.
  7. Let cool completely before icing.

Lemon buttercream frosting

1/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Grated zest of 1 lemon

  1. Cream butter until light. Add powdered sugar and mix until blended. Add lemon juice and mix until smooth.

Once cookies have cooled, spread icing over the top and sprinkle with lemon zest.

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Original recipe for Nordstrom Lemon Ricotta Cookies