Baking on Friday

In keeping with my new "be more productive" bent, I've decided to try to do some sort of baking on Fridays.  And because I love baking desserts (even if my waistline doesn't), the first Friday of the month will be some sort of dessert.  Why Friday?  I figure whatever I bake will be around for the weekend.  By the way, I'm not going to turn this into a cooking and baking blog.  It's just one of the things I've always enjoyed doing, and so I want to do more of it.  I can't promise I'll bake every Friday.  Sometimes life just gets in the way.  This morning seemed like a good time to start, however, and so here's what I did.

This is a recipe that was published in Cooking Light magazine in January, 2008. I found it on MyRecipes.com. (There's a wealth of information at both of these sites.) This went together so quickly and easily.  It's all made right in the bowl, and so I didn't even have to break out the mixer.  The yield should be one dozen muffins, but if you're like me, you're using your grandmother's nine-cup muffin tin.  (I can't bear to part with it.) I got nine muffins, but the baking time was the same. If you make one dozen, then they contain 197 calories per muffin (26% from fat).

The recipe calls for "raw" wheat germ. I used what I had on hand, which was "toasted" wheat germ. I have no idea whether it changed the flavor, but these were good. I decided to make them because they're relatively healthy--not too much sugar, and not too sweet. Plus the wheat germ is a healthy addition. I figure they'll be good for breakfast over the weekend. (And besides, I love anything that has cranberries and orange together.)  Oh yes, if you want to cut the fat, you can substitute applesauce for the oil.  I learned this trick from a former co-worker, and it's amazing how little it changes the outcome.  The muffins might seem a little sticky, but they'll still taste good.

Orange-Cranberry Wheat Germ Muffins
Recipe From:  Cooking Light, January, 2008

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour -- (about 6 3/4 oz.)
1/2 cup raw wheat germ
1/2 cup sweetened dried cranberries
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup canola oil
1 teaspoon grated orange rind
1/2 cup fresh orange juice -- (about two oranges)
2 large eggs
Cooking spray
1 tablespoon turbinado sugar

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour and next 7 ingredients (through nutmeg) in a large bowl; stir with a whisk. Make a well in center of mixture.

Combine brown sugar, oil, rind, juice, and eggs; stir with a whisk. Add egg mixture to flour mixture; stir just until combined. Spoon batter into 12 muffin cups coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle with turbinado sugar. Bake at 375 degrees for 17 minutes or until muffins spring back when touched in center.

The recipe says:  "These muffins are at their best warm, so reheat briefly if you make them ahead."

Also, I never know whether I'm supposed to take something out of the pan right away or leave it to cool unless I'm given instructions.  Since this recipe was silent on that, I looked it up in my favorite baking reference, Baking Illustrated.  They said that muffins are best removed from the tin while still very warm, so I took mine out right away.  I used the cooking spray with flour added, and they slipped out easily with bare fingers. 

As for the rest of my "be more productive" day, today's task was to do yet another 27 Fling Boogie.  Actually, this was a bonus mission.  So I did that and got rid of a HUGE bag of stuff.  It's the fifth bag this week.  I've already delivered four bags of clutter (one woman's clutter is another woman's future clutter) to the Goodwill and filled a grocery sack 3/4 full of stuff to toss in the trash--mainly, loose papers.  The rest of today's mission was to put away laundry that needed putting away.  Well . . . all my laundry is in the overflowing hamper where it belongs.  I adjusted my task to be doing the laundry, which I'm doing as I write this.  (I'm usually pretty good at putting it away.  When I don't, it sits around making snotty remarks.  I try to shut it up as quickly as possible.)

And now, after all that productivity, I'm going to reward myself with a soak in our hot tub.  Ahhhhhhhhhh. . . 

2 comments from clever and witty friends:

Kate said...

After all that you deserve a soak in the tub!

Lynda Halliger-Otvos said...

Soak away, Sunshine, a hot tub reinforces that we treat ourselves well and we need to be reminded of that often. Well, I do anyway.