Baking with B: Maple Syrup Muffins

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Let’s be honest with each other here; I’m not that into maple flavor. (Yes, I realize that makes me a bad Canadian.) Give me chocolate, chocolate, chocolate any day. There are times, though, when I have to make an exception and these muffins were meant to break my maple rule. My mom used to make these when I was younger and I’m happy to keep the recipe in my repertoire- they’re not sweet or fake-tasting but full of real, honest-to-goodness mapley flavor that’ll make you want to dig out your best plaid shirt. Aunt Jemima is not invited.

Maple Syrup Muffins

Muffins:

½ c. soft margarine or butter, room temperature

½ c. granulated sugar

1 tsp. salt

1 ½ c. all-purpose flour

¾ c. rolled oats

½ c. milk

½ c. maple syrup

Icing:

1 tbsp butter, room temperature

½ c. sifted icing sugar

3 tbsp maple syrup

Preheat oven to 350F. Grease 12 muffin cups or coat with cooking spray. In a medium-size mixing bowl, beat margarine with sugar and salt until evenly combined. Measure flour, baking powder, and oats into a small mixing bowl. Stir with a fork until well mixed, then stir into margarine mixture. In a measuring cup or small bowl, stir milk with maple syrup. Pour into batter, stirring just until combined.

Immediately spoon batter into muffin cups. Bake in centre at 350F oven until golden and a cake tester inserted into centre of a muffin comes out clean, about 20-23 minutes.

To make icing, stir butter with icing sugar and first tablespoon of maple syrup until smooth. If icing is too thick, stir in additional maple syrup, little by little if needed, until the icing is spreadable but not runny.

B’s Tip: Don’t freak out and think that you’ve made too much icing- you’ll figure out why once you start icing the muffins. The heat lets the icing pool and eventually level and harden- which is why it’s best to eat them super quick!

Remove muffins from oven and let stand for 5 minutes. Spread tops with icing and then remove from pan. Place muffins on a cooling rack. Serve warm. Store muffins in a sealed bag or at room temperature for up to 2 days. For longer storage, refrigerate or preferably freeze.

Happy baking!

B

KBwB-BFlower-50Baking with B appears every other Monday on the Keeping Busy with B Blog. Find out why I like baking so much here. For more of my baking, click here. And for even more recipe inspiration, check out my Pinterest full of food eye candy that will have you licking your computer. Promise.

Baking with B: Date Squares

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Let’s make a date, shall we, for some mid-winter treats that serve up a nice hit of sweetness without being too unhealthy. When you combine dates with oats and pecans it’s practically like granola, which means I’m totally allowed to eat these for breakfast, right? Right? I dare you not to eat them as a meal, either.

Date Squares (serves 12)

1 1/2 c. chopped, pitted dates

1/4 c. granulated sugar

1 c. orange juice

1 tsp grated orange zest

1 1/4 c. quick-cooking oats

1 c. all-purpose flour

3/4 c. packed brown sugar

1/4 c. chopped toasted pecans

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 c. vegetable oil

1/4 c. water

Preheat the oven to 350F. Combine dates, sugar and orange juice in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and let simmer for 15 minutes, or until the dates are soft and the liquid is absorbed. Mash the mixture and set aside to cool. Meanwhile, combine orange zest, oats, flour, brown sugar, pecans, cinnamon, oil and water in a bowl until combined. Pat half of the mixture onto the bottom of a greased 8″ square baking dish. Spread the cooled date mixture over top. Sprinkle the remaining oat mixture on top of the dates for the third layer. Bake in center of the oven for 25 minutes or until squares are golden. Cool before serving.

B’s Tip: Who doesn’t like pecans? Ok, maybe you’re actually one of these crazy people that doesn’t. This recipe can still be salvaged. I’d be willing to substitute for walnuts, or maybe almonds. It’s too hard to decide! Your squares, your choice, and let me know how it works for you.

Happy baking!

B

KBwB-BFlower-50Baking with B appears every other Monday on the Keeping Busy with B Blog. Find out why I like baking so much here. For more of my baking, click here. And for even more recipe inspiration, check out my Pinterest full of food eye candy that will have you licking your computer. Promise.