Thursday, June 23, 2022

June muffin recipe: Blueberry Gingerbread Streusel Muffins


 As regular readers here will remember, in my quest for a new muffin recipe to use for kitchen gifts, I've been trying a muffin recipe each month.  Well, perhaps trying is a bit of a stretch.  I had been trying these muffin recipes up until May, when I suddenly found myself in a time crunch and a stretch of hot weather.  So I chose a muffin recipe but haven't tried it out yet.

Now it seems the same thing may happen in June, and I've got to get busy on my Christmas in July posts too.  So I thought I would share the recipe I've selected for June.  If I get time to bake, I'll make either recipe and report on my findings.

June's muffin recipe is Blueberry Gingerbread Streusel Muffins, by Tracey at The Kitchen is My Playground.  I have seen old New England gingerbread recipes using fresh blueberries, so really -- why not put blueberries in gingerbread muffins?  Frozen blueberries should work fine.  And the streusel topping would be the gilding of the lily that would make them special enough to give as a gift.

I'm going to be trying these soon, and will let you know how they turn out!

Wednesday, June 15, 2022

A sale at my Etsy shop!


 Just popping in with a special announcement!  I'm running a sale at my Etsy shop, A New Hampshire Attic, now through June 30.  Everything in the shop is 25% off, including the ever-popular vintage Christmas category of listings.

Why not head on over and browse?  At the very least you will find yourself with some inspiration for Christmas in July!

Tuesday, May 31, 2022

May muffin recipe: Bakery Style Strawberry Muffins


 Readers may remember that I'm trying a new muffin recipe each month, with an eye to Christmas kitchen gifts.  For May, I decided that I would try these yummy-looking Bakery Style Strawberry Muffins from Like Mother Like Daughter.   Although our local strawberries won't be ripe until late June or early July, there are some decent California strawberries in the supermarkets right now.  And for making these muffins at Christmas time, I thought I could use whole frozen strawberries and chop them up.

These muffins use basic simple pantry ingredients that most of us would typically have on hand.  I like that they seem very easy to make, and a crumb topping on any muffin is always a bonus.

Sadly, I will not find time to actually bake these muffins in May.  Here we are on May 31, and I've not baked them yet.  I ran out of time to get to the supermarket with the best sale (2/$4).

Our May has been packed with busyness.  If we add up the days, we spent probably half of May helping out at The Wilds of New England in various ways.  My hubby has so many skills that can be used there.  I am much less skilled but have been able to clean bathrooms, wash windows, do a simple but time-consuming computer project, fold hundreds of camp T-shirts, and much more.  Just a simple pair of willing hands can be surprisingly helpful.

As I mentioned last time,  we got Mr. T's mother safely settled in long-term care in mid-April.  He was still heavily involved with paperwork well into May.  Then, in mid-May, after receiving a glowing report as to how well she was doing in rehab, she began to decline -- and passed away on May 23.  Now the busyness shifted to making funeral arrangements.  Thankfully the services will not be until later in June. 
All that to say, life has been just a bit too busy (and the weather has often been too hot) for me to bake these muffins as a try-out for kitchen gifts.  Hopefully in June I can take that time.  Our church had planned a ladies' brunch for May 28, but we have had so much flu going around that the decision was made to postpone until sometime in June.  I had thought to bake these muffins and take them to the brunch.  I think I will still do that, whenever we reschedule to.
I'll let you know how they come out.  Watch for a June muffin recipe, too, featuring blueberries!

Saturday, April 30, 2022

April muffin recipe: Cinnamon Roll Muffins


Photo from Jamie Cooks it Up

Again this month, I'm sneaking in just under the wire with a muffin recipe for April.  (As readers may remember, I've been trying a muffin recipe every month with an eye to next Christmas's kitchen gifts.) 

April has been just about as busy as March.  We have three family birthdays to celebrate in April -- our local daughter and two of her children -- for one thing, and of course there was Easter, and also a special Merger Sunday as our church merger became official.  My mother-in-law is safely settled in long-term care and is thriving, but it took so many people working on so many details for that to happen, and my hubby has been immersed in those details.   We have been trying to spend several days each week staying at the Christian camp where we've been helping with maintenance and other tasks.  We're also working on selling the last piece of property for my dad's trust.  It has all taken time!

Easter table at my daughter's home

So I surely count it a blessing to be able to duck into my actual kitchen this morning and try out a muffin recipe, then duck into my Christmas kitchen here and share it with you.  In preparation, I went to my Christmas breakfast Pinterest board so see if I had a pinned muffin recipe with basic ingredients.  I decided on these Cinnamon Roll Muffins from Jamie Cooks it Up.  Jamie's site has been another of those I've come to rely on for wonderful recipes.

Although there are a few steps -- making the cinnamon filling/topping, and the glaze, in addition to the actual muffin batter -- these came together quite quickly.  My muffin tins are fairly standard, but I got only 12 muffins out of the recipe rather than 15.


Muffins just out of the oven.  You can see how the topping bubbled over a bit.

I was somewhat disappointed with the maple-y glaze that sounded like such a yummy part of the recipe.  For one thing, there was too much of it.  Also, it was too thin.  I think that another time I would halve the glaze recipe but add more confectioners sugar.  Glazing the muffins while warm resulted not in a pretty drizzle like Jamie's photo, but just an overall glazing, even though I did drizzle it from a teaspoon.  In the photo below, some of the muffins were glazed within ten minutes, but others I glazed when completely cooled.  I did like the maple flavor, though.  Another time I would tinker a good bit with the glaze ingredient proportions.

These muffins are scrumptious and actually would work well as a part of Christmas breakfast, but I've decided they wouldn't be ideal as a kitchen gift.  The topping is too brittle and crumbly (not at all a bad thing, but messy for a gift), and the bottoms of the muffin liners (I used foil ones)got rather greasy. For serving these, I would remove the liners and either serve the muffins without them or place the muffins into fresh, decorative paper liners as I have done below.

Bottom line: a wonderful recipe, but not for a kitchen gift.  I may well make them for special breakfasts with friends throughout the year!

Thursday, March 31, 2022

March muffin recipe: Cranberry Streusel Muffins

I'm sneaking in just under the wire of March 31 with a muffin recipe.  (I've been trying a muffin recipe every month with an eye to next Christmas's kitchen gifts.)   It's been a super busy month which thankfully started out with a quiet week as volunteer caretakers at a camp closed for the winter.  Much of the staff had to be out of state and my hubby and I were asked to stay on site and look after things, make sure pipes didn't freeze, and take care of any necessary snow removal.  It was a most relaxing week.  Cross-stitch on the sunny porch below was part of my relaxation.  The porch was unheated, but on sunny afternoons it was truly comfortable.

The day we returned, we got the news that my mother-in-law was being hospitalized.  She was there about ten days and is now home, but Mr. T and his siblings have been on the go trying to meet her needs and work toward long-term care.  The paperwork, the emails, the phone calls, and much, much more have kept us beyond busy.  Not to mention, our church is finalizing a merger with another church and my hubby is up to his ears in details and legalities regarding that.

So I count it a blessing that I could duck into my actual kitchen yesterday and try out a muffin recipe, then duck into my Christmas kitchen here and share it with you.

The recipe is for Cranberry Streusel Muffins and it's from my blog friend Denise Cunningham at RefreshHer.  I've also been blessed to meet Denise in person, and you can read about that here.  While you are at Denise's blog, you might like to check out her other recipes.  She's a fantastic cook and has an entire indexed page for her recipe links.

Photo by Denise at RefreshHer
 There is a bit of work to putting these together -- you need to chop cranberries and make a streusel topping -- but they are really delicious and so worth the extra minutes.  The streusel topping just makes the muffins!  It is so amazing how very small quantities of a few simple ingredients can produce such a wonderful addition to a baked good.  

I was very pleased with this muffin recipe!  It may be the best of the three I've tried so far.  Try them and see what you think!

Friday, February 25, 2022

February muffin recipe: Chocolate Chip Gingerbread Muffins


 Rudolph Day (and a snowy one at that) seems like the perfect day to try a new muffin recipe.  Recall, I am trying one new muffin recipe per month with the idea of finding something very special to use for Christmas 2022's kitchen gifts.

The one I tried today, Chocolate Chip Gingerbread Muffins, is a good contender for that role.  I had found this recipe awhile ago and saved it.  My hubby and I were on a 40-day sugar fast until a couple of days ago, so I had held off on baking these muffins until now.  I'm glad I waited, because baking them on Rudolph Day was so perfectly serendipitous.  

This is a large recipe which makes 22 muffins.  I didn't think we could use quite that many, so I cut the recipe in half.  That worked perfectly and I managed to eke 12 muffins out of the batter.  I didn't have any applesauce on hand so I used the vanilla yogurt option.  I also didn't sprinkle any of the mini chocolate chips on top.  They didn't look quite as pretty as the muffins from FoodTalk, but they certainly were delicious!

You might wonder if the chocolate is overpowering with the gingerbread muffins.  It's really not.  I think the fact that mini chips are used might make a difference there.  And of course I used only 1/2 cup since I was cutting the recipe in half.   I wondered if the chocolate might make the muffins overly sweet.  Again, that just wasn't an issue.  

These muffins are scrumptious, with just the right amount of molasses and spices all complemented by the chocolate mini chips.  Highly recommended!

Monday, January 31, 2022

January muffin recipe: Cranberry Poppy Seed


As I mentioned yesterday, I'm implementing a plan to try a new muffin recipe each month of 2022 to find a replacement for the bran muffins I give my mother-in-law each year.  I started with bran years ago, because I gave her the muffin batter in a container to bake as needed.  She liked bran muffins a lot.  The first year I also gave her silicone muffin "tins".  As time has gone by, she no longer bakes for herself (she's 95) and I've become increasingly disappointed with my bran muffin recipe.

So here is the first installment in my muffin quest.  It also happens to be free of refined sugar, since my hubby and I are currently on a sugar fast.


1 1/2 cups flour
1 cup yellow cornmeal
1 Tablespoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 large egg
6 Tablespoons pure maple syrup
1 1/4 cups milk
1/4 cup melted butter
2 Tablespoons poppy seeds
1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries
Crumb topping: Mix together 4 Tblsp. flour, 4 Tblsp. pure maple sugar, 2 Tblsp. coconut sugar, 3 Tblsp. old-fashioned oats, and 4 Tblsp. softened butter

Preheat the oven to 400ยบ and line 12 muffin cups with foil liners or parchment liners.  Sift the flour, cornmeal, baking powder and cinnamon into a large bowl (or leave them in the sifter and sift directly into the wet ingredients).  In a second bowl, whisk together the egg, maple syrup, milk, and melted butter until well blended.  Whisk in the poppy seeds.  Add the sifted dry ingredients to the bowl and whisk until just blended.  Stir in the cranberries.  

Divide the batter among the lined muffin cups and top each one with an even amount of the Crumb Topping.  Bake for 22 minutes.  Cool the muffins in the pan on a rack for a few minutes before removing the muffins to the rack to cool completely.

The muffin recipe is adapted from one by Ken Haedrich in his cookbook Country Breakfasts.  The topping recipe is adapted from one by Chocolate-Covered Katie.

All in all, I was quite pleased with these muffins.  I brought them along to our Christmas Club meeting and they were enjoyed!