Monday, November 14, 2011

Thanksgiving in a Muffin (minus the turkey)

Joy the Baker is a genius.  I'd love to meet her.  Someday.  Oh, someday.
Here is proof of her culinary prowess.
Pumpkin.  Apples.  Cranberries.  Pecans.  All in one muffin.
And its vegan too.  Good?  Bad?  You be the judge.
Though we'll all agree that waiting until now to share this with you was a bad choice.

Pumpkin Apple Cranberry Pecan Muffins (adapted from JTB)
Makes 12+ large muffins, or 2 loaves

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon nutmeg
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon cloves
1 15-ounce can pumpkin puree
1 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup maple syrup
1/3 cup water
1 cup chopped pecans
2 cups fresh cranberries
2 medium Granny Smith apples, peeled and diced
Preheat oven to 350*
Mix ingredients flour through cloves.
Add pumpkin, oil, syrup, water and stir well.
Fold in pecans, cranberries, and apples.
Divide batter evenly in large muffin pans or regular loaf pans.
Bake 20-30 minutes.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Raspberries and Cream Muffins

 Living at home for the month has many benefits, one of them being the fresh produce.  We have a plethora of raspberry bushes in our backyard which usually produce a bumper crop of berries in the summer and fall.  Being that there have been several cool nights with frost Mom didn't think there would be many to pick last weekend.  Thankfully she was wrong!  We went down to the patch to just grab a few to pop in our mouths and ended up with a whole bowl.  Since I've been at this new clinic a week and hadn't brought in any baked goods, it was perfect timing.

I remembered the berries and cream muffins we made in the Yukon and decided to do a little Googling to find a similar recipe.  As luck would have it, I stumbled upon the exact one.  We had strawberry and blueberry in the Yukon and I imagine they would work well with whatever berry you have.  Or maybe even peaches!  Though the raspberry were good, I think the strawberry were probably my favorite.

Raspberries and Cream Muffins (adapted from Taste of Home)
Makes 3 dozen muffins

4 cups flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
3 cups raspberries
4 eggs
1 cup sour cream
1 cup greek yogurt
1 cup oil
1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 400*
Crack eggs in large bowl.  Beat lightly.
Add sour cream, yogurt, oil, and vanilla.
Beat in powder, soda, and salt.
Add sugar.
Stir in flour just until mixed.
Gently fold in raspberries.
Fill greased muffin pan about 3/4 full.
Bake for 20-25 minutes.
Cool on wire rack.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Grain-Free (Paleo-ish) Pumpkin Cupcakes 2-ways

In KWeage world, Fall = Pumpkin. Hence this post.

Going Paleo has thrown a monkey wrench into my usual baking/eating habits of fall.  By now I would have consumed copious amounts of pumpkin-flavored baked goods including, but not limited to pumpkin muffins, pumpkin scones (okay, so I did paleo-ify these), pumpkin bread, pumpkin donuts, and so on. Because of my withdrawal from the pumpkin-grain combo, I decided to make my own version of the Pumpkin Spice Latte/ Pumpkin Chai cupcakes.

I do have to admit, they are not nearly as good as the real deal (which I made not too long ago, but did not consume), they were good enough to tide me over for a while before I decided to take another Paleo-free day (That is totally not encouraged by paleo people, but, hey, a girl has got to eat carbs sometimes :) Also, I think I didn't leave them in the oven long enough, but maybe it is just the nature of baking with almond flour.

Adapted from Elana's Pantry

Grain-Free Pumpkin Spice Latte Cupcakes
1 1/2 c blanched almond flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
2 eggs
1/4 c vegetable oil
1/4 c honey
1 c pumpkin puree
1/2 tsp vanilla
2 packets of instant coffee
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp allspice
1/2 tsp cloves
1/4 tsp ginger

Grain-free Pumpkin Chai Cupcakes
1 1/2 c blanched almond flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
2 eggs
1/4 c vegetable oil
1/4 c honey
1 c pumpkin puree
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/4 tsp crushed loose-leaf masala chai (used a mortar and pestle)
1/2 tsp cloves
1/2 tsp cinnamon

For each recipe, mix the wet ingredients together with the spices. Mix the wet ingredients into the dry. Pour into greased cupcake wrappers. Bake at 325 F for about 20 minutes. (This time is not set in stone. If they aren't done by this time, put them back in).

Allow cupcakes to cool on a rack. Then using a paring knife, cut out a cone shape in the center of the cupcake to fill with spiced cream cheese mixture:

Spiced Cream Cheese:
8 oz cream cheese
2 Tbs powdered sugar
3 Tbs whole milk
1/4 tsp cinnamon

Top the cupcakes with the whipped cream frosting and a sprinkle of cinnamon or even a drizzle of caramel if you have it!

Whipped Cream Frosting:
2 c heavy whipping cream
1/4 c powdered sugar

Pumpkin Spice Latte

Pumpkin Chai

Grasshopper Pie

Guest post #1!  We welcome Jonathan for a friendly battle of the grasshopper pie.  I'll let him take it from here (with a few interjections every now and then).

Grasshopper pies... either a remnant celebration of the creepy crawly goodness of Halloween, or a delicious dessert, depending on whether you’re familiar with the term.  But what really is a grasshopper pie?  That’s the question we set out to answer in this non-competitive bake-off (And it was only non-competitive because Jonathan knew EWeage would win and his pride couldn't take it).
Briefly, who am I? I’m Jonathan.  A resident fortunate enough to have been the recipient of several of the delicious recipes posted earlier in this blog which found their way to the hospital. Father of the superstar of his own blog, Noah.  And a friend of EWeage, who happened to mention in passing that she knew a recipe for grasshopper pie… one that was different from mine!

My recipe comes steeped in a healthy dose of family tradition.  Every Thanksgiving, my aunt makes grasshopper pie.  For 364 days every year, my family and I look forward to this dessert.  I have a hefty slice (or two or three) on Thanksgiving, but you can pretty much guarantee there won’t be left-overs to enjoy the next day with all of the turkey and stuffing that didn’t get eaten.
Grasshopper Pie JEgle Style
2/3 cup milk
28 marshmallows
Pinch of salt
8-oz. package thawed Cool Whip
2 oz. crème de menthe
1 oz. crème de cocoa
Green food coloring (if you’re using clear crème de menthe)
(For any teetotalers out there, I tried making this in high-school with extracts, rather than the alcohol - acceptable results, but definitely not preferable.)

21 Oreos
1/3 cup melted butter
In a generously sized sauce pan (remember, marshmallows expand), heat the milk until just prior to the boiling point.  Meanwhile, puree the Oreos for the crust in a food processor.  Mix with the butter in a bowl and then press into a pie pan to form the crust.  Refrigerate until the filling is ready.

Add the marshmallows to your sauce pan, and stir occasionally over low heat until melted.  Remove from heat and add a pinch of salt.  Once cooled, add the remainder of the ingredients and stir.  Pour into your crust and refrigerate for at least 6 hours (the more set it is, the easier to serve).  You’ll probably have a little extra filling, so you can either pour generously (like I did), or set it aside for sampling later... perhaps a dip for your left-over Oreos?  Just before cutting and serving, dip the bottom of the pie pan into warm water to loosen the bottom of the pie from the pan.

There’s an art to the degree of thawing of Cool Whip and the degree of marshmallow cooling before adding the other ingredients.  My aunt has it perfected.  Sometimes I get it right.  The only potential pitfall is aesthetics.  Taste is the same regardless.  In this pie, I let the Cool Whip thaw a little too much, and the filling had a slightly more airy texture than normal.  Still tasted amazing, though.  And if the bake-off had been competitive, well... to avoid any negativism, let’s just say Noah would’ve been proud of his Dad.  Our judges agreed they'd be more than happy to enjoy either dessert again if we so desired to share.
Grasshopper Pie EWeage Style
25 Oreos
1/3 stick butter
1 1/2 quart mint chocolate chip ice cream
1 8 ounce tub Cool Whip
hand-full of mini chocolate chips

Remove ice cream and Cool Whip from freezer to thaw.
Crush Oreos with bottom of cup in pie pan (we're avoiding dishes here!) or use food processor as Jonathan suggested.
Melt butter in microwave.  Mix in to Oreo crumbs.
Press in pan to create crust.  Chill in freezer until ice cream is a scoopable consistency.
Use large spoon to scoop slices of ice cream and layer into pie crust evenly.
Top with Cool Whip and mini chocolate chips.

You pick which ingredients you'll pick up at the store tonight!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Dark Chocolate Cupcakes with Dark Chocolate Buttercream

I have been taking exams for the past two weeks. Yes, two weeks. The last one is on Friday, and by Wednesday all I wanted to do was sleep and bake. So that is what I did :) 

I went out to lunch after the worst exam (Pharamcolo-blech) to a place called Take the Cake here in Cincinnati. It is pretty much the type of place I would love to open when I retire. It has a fantastic bakery, but also serves up a small menu of fresh and delicious food. I had the open-faced meatball sandwich with this fantastic pesto. And I had a moca cupcake. Yup, I broke Paleo for the day. Worth it. 

The cupcake made me want to bake even more. So Wednesday when I was at home "studying" I decided I should make something for my church small group. Initially I wanted to do a chocolate-espresso style cupcake, but I didn't have any instant coffee. Then I thought about chocolate-peanut butter, but I am lacking peanut butter. Then I considered making these beauties, but no corn syrup put a kabosh on that plan. And then I thought, well, what is the common denominator in all of these cupcakes? duh, chocolate.

And with that, I present to you a Dark Chocolate Cupcake with Dark Chocolate Buttercream Frosting:

Dark Chocolate Cupcakes (from Cooks Illustrated, “American Classics 2009”)
makes 12 cupcakes; do not double recipe… make two separate batches if you need more
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces
  • 2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped (I went with 82% Scharffen Berger)
  • 1/2 cup (1 1/2 oz) Dutch-processed cocoa (Hershey's Special Dark for me)
  • 3/4 cup (3 3/4 oz) unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup (5 1/4 oz) sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon table salt
  • 1/2 cup (4 oz) sour cream (I used Greek yogurt)
  1. Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position; heat oven to 350 degrees. Line standard-sized muffin pan (1/2 cup capacity) with baking-cup liners.
  2. Combine butter, chocolate and cocoa in medium heatproof bowl. Set bowl over saucepan containing barely simmering water; heat mixture until butter and chocolate are melted and whisk until smooth and fully combined. Set aside to cool until just warm to touch.
  3. Whisk flour, baking soda and baking powder in small bowl to combine
  4. Whisk eggs in second medium bowl to combine; add sugar, vanilla and salt and whisk until fully incorporated. Add cooled chocolate mixture and whisk until combined. Sift about one-third of flour mixture over chocolate mixture and whisk until combined; whisk in sour cream until combined; then sift in remaining flour mixture and whisk batter until it is homogenous and thick.
  5. Divide batter evenly among muffin pan cups. Bake until skewer inserted into center of cupcakes comes out clean, 18-20 minutes.
  6. Cool cupcakes in muffin pan on wire rack until cool enough to handle, about 15 minutes. Carefully lift each cupcake from muffin pan and set on wire rack. Cool to room temperature before icing, about 30 minutes.
Dark Chocolate Buttercream Frosting
  • 2 3/4 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 6 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder (Again with the Hershey's Special Dark)
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 5 tablespoons evaporated milk (I used whole milk)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  1. In a medium bowl, sift together the confectioners' sugar and cocoa, and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, cream butter until smooth, then gradually beat in sugar mixture alternately with evaporated milk. Blend in vanilla. Beat until light and fluffy. If necessary, adjust consistency with more milk or sugar.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

A Little About KWeage

Cooking Background
Heritage...Homecooked Midwestern Style
Preferred Genre...I love a good BBQ. Specifically a cross between N.Carolina and Kansas City. 
Typical Ingredients...Garlic, Chocolate, and Pumpkin. Not all together though...

Butternut Squash Soup
Cheese...Always. :) Gun to my head, I choose goat. 
Cacao Ratio...72%
Gelateria...Hrm, don't have one of those around here. Bummer.
Ice Cream (Readily Available)...Death by Chocolate. South-Bend Chocolate Factory style. 
Shaken Lemonade...Berrien County Youth Fair for sure.

Tilapia with Mango and Roasted Pepper

Committed to Memory...Um, since I don't really use recipes...
Signature Dish...The roomie says pork chops or taco salad. :) 
Go-To Dish...Weage-style chocolate chip cookies
Transport Back to Home...Roast beef and mashed potatoes. 
Special Meaning...Fudge and Chex-mix
From Scratch...Cupcakes!
Best Dish Cooked to Date...Just made roasted butternut with caramelized onions, sausage and browned butter
Experiment Gone Right...Nearly every night in the kitchen. Like I said, tend to not follow recipes
Experience...The entire time I was in Brazil/Ireland 

Coconut Macaroons with Dark Chocolate
Weakness...cake, cookies, cupcakes...
Kitchen Gadget...KitchenAid Standmixer of course!
Song about Food...Big Rock Candy Mountain?
Food-Related Movie...No Reservations or Julie and Julia
Chefs...Alton Brown and Rick Bayless
Currently Reading...Food Lover's Companion

Grain-Free Chocolate Cupcake

Tuesday, November 1, 2011


The moment pictures of Annie's version of these cupcakes appeared on my computer screen last year I knew I had to make them.  Times like these I love that one of my favorite food bloggers is a pathology resident.  Non-medical people are likely to appreciate these as "cute" Halloween cupcakes.  Medical folks, on the other hand, really appreciated the humor and creativeness of these cupcakes.  Seriously, who wouldn't want to eat a brain suffering from a hemorrhagic stroke?  Especially since they'd be free from chemical additives like TPA (forgive me, I had to)!
Hemorrhagic Stroke Cupcakes (inspired by Annie's Eats)
Makes 24 cupcakes

1 white cake mix and necessary ingredients
1/2 can cherry pie filling

Buttercream Frosting
2 sticks butter, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla
1-2 tablespoons milk
3 cups powdered sugar
Red and black gel food dye
Preheat oven to 350*
Prepare cake mix as directed.
Spoon enough batter into paper lined cupcake tins to cover bottom.
Add 1-2 cherries in center of each cupcake.
Top with cake batter.  Spread with a spoon so no cherry filling leaks out.
Bake as directed.

Beat butter, vanilla, and milk until smooth.
Add powdered sugar one cup at a time.
When preferred consistency, remove a small portion to two bowls.
Dye the small portions black and red.
Return a 1/2 teaspoon of each red and black to plain frosting.
Mix well.
Add more colored frosting until desired pink-grey brain color is created.
Chill frosting in refrigerator for several hours.
Use a Wilton 10 tip to frost brain gyri on the cupcakes.  The key is to create 2 hemispheres.
Brain transplant anyone?