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The Old Hen B&B closed May 31, 2014. We recommend The Roaring River B&B 425.888.4834 and The Log Cabin B&B 425.533.8278 for your North Bend get-away. Please stay tuned for Deanna's cookbook plans. Here's to starting from scratch. Talking about The Old Hen online? Our hashtag is #theoldhen .

“This Is Us” Birthday Banana Muffin With Twinkie Frosting

Surprise your favorite fan with their very own This Is Us Birthday Banana Muffin with Twinkie Frosting. You must… because, well, all da feelz!

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I don’t know how it happened. I decided to check it out but was full of doubt. I turned on the TV, watched the first episode, and I’ll be darned if, as a result, I didn’t sit there bawling my eyes out. Due to this, any emotional constipation I may have been suffering from before watching was gone and I quickly become a fan.

how to make your own this is us birthday muffin

And since I’m not alone, I’m sure there is someone out there who needs a This Is Us – themed recipe for their loved one who will be celebrating their birthday soon. Have a co-worker who can’t stop talking about it? Got a Facebook friend who posts about how much they cried over this week’s episode… every… single…. week? Yeah, that person. Since they need this muffin, let’s get started.

"This Is Us" Birthday Banana Muffin with Twinkie Frosting

This Is Us Birthday Banana Muffin with Twinkie Frosting

  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup mashed bananas (about 3 bananas)
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream together shortening and sugar. Add eggs, bananas, fresh lemon juice, flour, baking soda, salt, chopped walnuts. Mix well. Place in large muffin tins with liners. This recipe will make 10 large muffins (or 20 regular size). Bake for about 35 or until tops of muffins is light golden brown and springs back when touched. Either that, or you can poke it with a fork and if it comes out clean, they’re done.

Twinkie Filling Frosting

  • 1 cup milk
  • 4 tablespoons flour
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Whisk milk & flour together in a saucepan. Place over medium-high heat and watch closely. Continue whisking until thick. Cook for about one minute while whisking. Remove from heat and set aside to cool for about 15 minutes.

Place butter & sugar in mixer on high speed until light & fluffy. After flour & milk mixture has cooled to room temp (important), add to mixer and whip until light & fluffy. It should look almost like whipped cream or, you know, Twinkie filling.

Note: For a rather white filling you can substitute butter with white shortening. Because shortening just won’t taste nearly as lovely.

Don’t forget the sprinkles and the candle… since your friend may get emotional.

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Basic Oat Bran Muffin Recipe

Oat bran muffins… I’m sure we can all agree that there’s nothing quite like a sweet, moving experience. Hence, if all of the movies in the world were made for me, they would all have happy endings. As a matter of fact, I’m sure we could all use more happy endings in our daily life. And, with that, I present thee with a basic bran muffin recipe. A romantic comedy, if you will, because everything comes out alright in the end.

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Oat Bran Muffins Ingredients

  • 1 cup wheat flour
  • 1 1/2 cups wheat bran
  • 1  cup brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon cardamom
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 1/2 cup buttermilk

Mix until well combined. Line muffin tins with cupcake or muffin liners. Use just a little more than an ice cream scoop full to place into each liner. Bake for maybe 20 minutes or rather until a fork poked into the middle of one comes out clean. Makes 12 muffins (or maybe 6 large ones).

 

Sweet. Moving. If you also enjoy a little twist in your romantic comedies, just add a few fresh blueberries coated lightly in white flour before gently stirring into your batter and the good news is, you can, consequently,  still enjoy the same happy ending.

Finally, for pecan glazed bran muffins, try this recipe.

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Pecan Glazed Bran Muffins Recipe

I love bran muffins with every fiber of my being. Even more than bran muffins, though, I love pecan glazed bran muffins. They are easy to make and a good-for-you breakfast treat that tastes like dessert.

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Preheat oven to 350°F.

Bran Muffin Ingredients

  • 1 cup wheat flour
  • 1 1/2 cups wheat bran
  • 1  cup brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon cardamom
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 1/2 cup buttermilk

Pecan Glaze Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/2  cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped pecans

Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. After melted, remove from heat and add brown sugar, honey, and salt. Stir together until combined. Stir in pecans.

Coat muffin tins with non-stick baking spray and then divide pecan glaze between 12 muffin cups. Give glaze a stir in one muffin cup so that it coats the sides as much as possible then fill with a scoop of bran muffin batter. Repeat until all 12 muffins are ready to go in the oven. Place a baking sheet on oven rack under muffin tins to catch possible drips of glaze. Bake for about 20 minutes or until muffins spring back when lightly touched.

When hot out of the oven, place a baking sheet over muffin tin. Hold together then carefully turn muffins upside-down onto baking sheet.

Cute served with a pretty paper doily underneath.

Nutty and super sweet on the outside. Good for you on the inside. The kind of person I long to be. She is a saucy, well-balanced little muffin.

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Blueberry Cream Cheese Muffins Recipe

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Blueberry season opens in 72 days, 9 hours, 54 minutes and 28 seconds here in the Northwest. You know, either that, or in about 2 1/2 months. I do believe, however, it is imperative to have a perfect blueberry muffin recipe for any day of the year.

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Preheat oven to 350F.

Blueberry Muffin Ingredients

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • Zest from 1 lemon
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 4 cups flour, divided
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup hot water
  • 2 cups fresh blueberries

Cream softened butter, sugar, and lemon zest together in the mixer. Add eggs. Place milk and lemon juice in a small bowl and whisk together. Add to mixing bowl. Add oil and vanilla.

Add and mix 3 3/4 cups flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt until combined. Scrape down sides of the bowl with the spatula and add hot water.

Coat blueberries with remaining 1/4 cup of flour and then gently fold into batter.

For large muffins, place two ice cream scoops of batter in each muffin liner. This will make about 12 muffins (8 without cream cheese filling).

If using a regular size muffin pan, use one ice cream scoop of batter per muffin liner. This will make 24 muffins (16 without cream cheese filling).

If you’d like to get really crazy, you can use a decorating bag (or a Ziploc with a corner cut off) to squirt this cream cheese filling into each muffin.

Cream Cheese Filling Ingredients

(optional deliciousness)

  • 1 eight ounce package of cream cheese, softened
  • About 1 tablespoon of the juice of a lemon
  • 1/3 cup sugar

The cream cheese filling leftovers can be stored in the fridge and added to many delicious treats.

I like to finish the filling off with a little swirl on top.

And if you are completely out of control, you can sprinkle homemade streusel over each muffin.

Streusel Ingredients

(never optional)

  • 1/2 stick butter (cut into small pieces)
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1/3 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 small egg

To make streusel, place ingredients into food processor and pulse until they are well combined but don’t let the crumbles get bigger than about the size of peas. Watch closely. If you have leftovers, you can store them in a Ziploc in the freezer for next time.

Bake for about 30 minutes.

Serve warm with a little butter or simply plain. Because, well, we wouldn’t want to get too carried away. Now there are only 72 days, 9 hours, 52 minutes and 37 seconds until blueberry season opens.  Let’s have a muffin to celebrate.

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Raspberry Filled Poppy Seed Muffins Recipe

Preheat oven to 325F.

Cream together:

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup butter

Add:

  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon almond extract
  • 1/2 cup poppy seeds
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt

Spray baking pan tops (in case of overflow) & muffin liners with non-stick spray. Place one scant ice cream scoopful of batter into a large paper lined muffin cup. Put one tablespoon of raspberry jam on middle of each muffin. Of course, raspberry jam in the middle is optional but I highly recommend it because it is seriously delicious. Finish by placing another couple of tablespoons of batter over the jam. Bake for about 25-30 minutes or until done in middle and golden brown.

If desired, cool muffins most of the way and then using a simple powdered sugar icing, draw designs on muffin tops to spiff them up a bit. Another optional topping can be slivered almonds on top of muffins before baking. And if you’d really like to get fancy, there is always the beloved streusel topping… swoon.

Streusel:

Place ingredients in a food processor.

  • 1 stick of cold butter
  • 1 1/2 cup flour
  • 2/3 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 egg

Pulse food processor until streusel forms into crumbly pieces. If it forms into a ball, you have pulsed it too long. If you end up with a big ball of streusel, it’s okay. It happens to the best of us. Just make tiny pieces & sprinkle over muffins.

 

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Sailor Jack Spice Cups Recipe

One of my favorite fall treats while working at Scandia Bakery & Lefse Factory as a teenager was the spice cup. It represented everything lovely and spicy about the holidays in one cute little cup.  You too, will love these sweet things!

First, preheat oven to 350F

  • 1/2 cup (or one stick) of butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup canola or vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 3/4 cup molasses
  • 2 t. baking powder
  • 1 t. baking soda
  • 1 t. salt
  • 3 cups flour
  • 3 T. ground cinnamon
  • 2 T. ground cloves
  • 1/2 t. ground nutmeg
  • 1 T. ground allspice
  • 1 t. ground white pepper
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1 1/2 cup raisins

Cream together butter, oil, sour cream, and sugar. Add eggs, buttermilk, and molasses. Mix well.

Add baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Mix well. Add flour until well combined.

Spices. All da spices… Do not question. Just add them and smile for it is fall.

Slowly add warm water and mix well.

And what is a spice cup without raisins?

Dear Raisins,

I am sorry for the way I neglected you and discarded you in my youth. I now see the error of my ways. I love you.

Love,

Deanna

Using a 1/3 measuring cup, scoop batter into muffin tins coated with non-stick baking spray. If using large muffin tins, use 2/3 measuring cup as your batter scooper.

Happy girl. Happy girl. Happy girl.

Bake for about 30 minutes or until fork poked into one comes out clean. Be sure not to overbake or they will be dry.

While spice cups are baking, make the glaze by whisking together 2 cups of powdered sugar and 1/4 to 1/2 cup of water.

Let spice cups cool for about 15-20 minutes upside-down. Pour glaze over spice cups. You cannot do this without a smile on your face. I’ve tried. Be sure to pour as slowly & evenly as possible, getting it all around the edges of each spice cup for full coverage. The back of a spoon is helpful to help cover the sides.

Spice cups are even better when made the day before you plan to serve them. The spices are out-of-control delicious on day two. Be sure to cover once the glaze dries with plastic while they sit overnight. Decorate your home for fall and serve with coffee or tea.

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Strawberry Sour Cream Pudding Cups Recipe

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As you probably know by now from my posts, I worked in a bakery while in high school. It was one of my very favorite places to be as a teenager because of being surrounded by goodies, and my friends, and the goodies. One favorite of all of us who worked there was the strawberry sour cream pudding cups. I’ve put together my own little recipe to help me remember them again. They are so simple yet oh so glorious.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 sticks of butter and 3 cups of white sugar.
  • 1 cup of sour cream
  • 6 eggs
  • 1/2 cup of heavy whipping cream
  • 7 ounces of vanilla pudding (snack size puddings work great for this)
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 3 cups of flour
  • 1 1/2 cups of strawberry jam

Glaze:

  • 3 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 4 tablespoons water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream together 1 1/2 sticks of butter and 3 cups of white sugar.

Add 1 cup of sour cream, 6 eggs, 1/2 cup of heavy whipping cream, 7 ounces of vanilla pudding (snack size puddings work great for this), 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract, 1 teaspoon of salt and then gradually add 3 cups of flour. Mix well.

Coat a cupcake pan well with baking spray. Coat the top as too so that if the pudding cups raise high, the edges will come off easy as well. Fill with about 1/3 cup of batter each.

Use a pastry bag to fill each pudding cup with 2-3 teaspoons of strawberry jam. Remember that you’re putting the jam into the middle, not the bottom of the pudding cup.

Bake for about 25 minutes. Remove from oven when a fork poked into the cake portion comes out clean.  Allow pudding cups to sit in pans until somewhat cooled to give the strawberry jam some time to reset – about 20 minutes. This is an important step because if you don’t let them sit for awhile, all the jam will run out of the pudding cups when you flip them over.

Place a baking sheet over pudding cups. Carefully turn pans over to remove them from cupcake pan and onto baking sheet.

Glaze:

  • 3 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • about 4 tablespoons water

Whisk glaze until powdered sugar is mixed with water and lumps are gone. Glaze each pudding cup over the top and use a knife to glaze all around the edges.

Place on a pretty plate and serve warm or cooled. Makes 24 regular size.

You can use whatever kind of pie filling or jam you like.  The sour cream pudding cups in this picture are extra-large and filled with blueberry filling.

Super delicious memories of sour cream pudding cups, and friends; and, you know, sour cream pudding cups all over again.

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Pumpkin Pecan Coffeecake with Cream Cheese Swirls Recipe

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Nothing says autumn more than colorful fall leaves and pumpkin desserts. With the leaves still falling at the inn, I just had to make an autumn breakfast treat for our guests. One mention of it on Facebook and Twitter made for recipe requests. This recipe was just invented last night and deserves to be shared. Enjoy the taste of autumn!

Pumpkin cake:

  • 15 ounces of pumpkin (1 small can)
  • 5 eggs
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 3 1/2 cups sugar
  • 3 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 3 tablespoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped pecans (optional)

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Spray baking spray into 9×13 pan or two 10-12 inch round cake pans (I used two 12 inch tart pans – the kind that the bottom is separate from the edges).  Place wet ingredients into mixer & blend. Stir in chopped pecans. Add dry ingredients & mix until combined. Pour into pan (or pans) and set aside.

Cream cheese swirls:

  • 2 eight ounce packages of cream cheese, softened
  • 3 teaspoons of lemon juice
  • 2/3 cup of sugar

Mix well & place into a pastry or decorating bag. Decorate pumpkin cake with swirls (or just drop by tablespoons full all around the top of the cake).

This is why the call it baking with love. It takes time and lotsa dirtied bowls to create masterpieces.

Streusel:

Place ingredients in a food processor.

  • 1 stick of cold butter
  • 1 1/2 cup flour
  • 2/3 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 egg

Pulse food processor until streusel forms into crumbly pieces. If it forms into a ball, you have pulsed it too long. If you end up with a big ball of streusel, it’s okay. It happens to the best of us. Just make tiny pieces & sprinkle over coffeecake.

Finally, bake your lovely autumn-y coffeecake for about 45 minutes, checking occasionally with a fork. Poke fork into coffeecake & when the fork comes out of the pumpkin cake clean, your loveliness is ready to come out of the oven.

Frosting:

  • 2 cups of powdered sugar
  • A couple of tablespoons of water

Place powdered sugar and water into a bowl & stir well. Add additional water a teaspoonful at a time if needed until it reached a pourable yet somewhat think consistency. Allow coffeecake to sit for about 30 minutes & then drizzle icing all over the coffeecake.

Taste autumn. Serve to guests & wow friends.

Come back and leave fun comments soon!

xo!

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Sugared Mango Love Muffins Recipe

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There are few things in life as beautiful as a ginormous, glorious sugar topped muffin. You can tell when a muffin is going to be an experience. It has a look about it that is inviting. Have you ever eaten a tiny biscuit-like muffin only to ask yourself why you wasted the calories? I have. I have also learned that to make a great (not good but great) muffin which will not leave its audience in regret, you must require a few things from your recipe.

  1. It must be tasty. If not, why bother?
  2. It must not be the perfect texture… not too soggy, spongy or dry.
  3. It must be ginormous or if its a mini muffin it must at least appear ginormous.
  4. It must have a glorious heaping amount of streusel or another fun to drool over topper.

Easy as that, right? Nope! A muffin requires love to make. Love requires patience, care and attention to details. A love muffin isn’t the kind of girl you can just take out once and than ditch. She is worth every bit of effort required of you. She is an investment.

That said, let’s get started!

To make the fruit for this muffin, we are making a mango preserves which will be very flavorful. Another benefit is that the pieces of mangos will not become soggy as they might of you just dropped them into your muffin dough.

Peel one ripe mango, chop into medium size pieces and add to sauce pan. Using a potato masher, press mango into even smaller little pieces.  

Mix in one cup of sugar and about two teaspoons of lemon juice. Allow preserves to boil for almost 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Then allow to cook on low heat for another 10 minutes.

When done, you will have this lovely mango jelly. We could stop there since this would be delicious in danish or on toast but today we are focusing on the glorious muffin so savor this moment as long as you like & then when you’re ready, feel free to scroll down for more goodness.  

Cream together 1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) of butter, 1 cup of sugar and 1 teaspoon of vanilla.

Mix in 1 teaspoon of salt, 1 teaspoon of cinnamon and 1 tablespoon of baking powder.

Drop in one egg, 1 cup of milk and 2 cups of flour

The perfect addition to these muffins? Our lovely mango jelly! Mix’er up! Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.

Although I made my streusel in a regular bowl today, I highly recommend using a food processor on pulse.

Here are the streusel ingredients:

  • 1 stick butter
  • 1 1/2 cup flour
  • 2/3 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 egg

Mix until crumbly.

Only fitting that these love muffins were placed into my very well-loved pan. This is a large muffin pan with room for 6 muffins at a time (just enough for this recipe) or you can make 12 regular muffins. Fill muffin tins about 1/2 way full.

Wait! Stop the presses! Time to break it down with some streusel! “But we’re only half way through?” you ask? Yes, but these aren’t just any muffins. These are glorious muffins! We must have struesel in the middle. It’s a way of bringing some of the beautiful muffin top into the mid-muffin experience.

Okay, at ease. You can now place the last dollops of muffin mix on top of the streusel… but wait. It gets even better. There’s more XOXOXO coming your way.

Oh how sweet it is! A topper of more streusel and then a dose of sugar over the top with some to spare. Bake for about 30 minutes or until fork comes out clean.

You know the muffin… the special one. She is so sweet, tasty and buttery that you aren’t even sure if you need butter. This is her. Her name is Love Muffin. I’ll leave you two alone so you can get to know one another.

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Chocolate Cream Cheese Muffins Recipe

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This week my daughter and I passed the cutest street sign that I have ever seen outside of Disneyland. Who thought of the names of these streets? Cake Box Lane? I wish I lived there! I would open a bakery in my garage!

I have been baking with so many wonderful summery fruits that I had the urge to cause some serious chocolate goodness. So,  I pretended that I lived on Cake Box Lane and baked up these Chocolate Cream Cheese Muffins.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cream together:

  • 3 cups of sugar
  • 2 sticks of butter

Add:

  • 6 eggs
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/3 cups flour
  • 2/3 cup dark cocoa powder

 

Stir In:

  • 2 cups of semi-sweet chocolate chips

After the chocolate muffin mix is ready to go, it’s time to make the cream cheese filling.

Cream Cheese Filling

  • 2 eight ounce packages of cream cheese, softened
  • 3 teaspoons of lemon juice
  • 2/3 cup of sugar

Whip together well.

Line large muffins tins with cupcake liners or spray with non-stick baking spray. Fill large muffin cups about 2/3 full of muffin batter. Using handy dandy decorating bags, or your favorite decorating bag, with cream cheese filling and cut off the tip. About 1/2 inch or so will do. Then squeeze the filling into the center of each chocolate muffin. Let up on the pressure as you bring the bag up out of the muffin and squirt a little circle onto the top of it too.

Bake for about 30 minutes or until fork poked into the chocolate muffin area comes out clean.

Wait. What’s that I smell? Heaven?

Yeah, baby! Look at that pretty little cream cheese cloud inside.

These sounded so good while I was writing that I ate the last one that was leftover for lunch.

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© Deanna Morauski 2009-2017