Gloriously Orange Muffins

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In case you haven’t noticed, I like making muffins. They were always in our home growing up: usually Mom would make a few dozen on a weekend and freeze them, and I would have them for breakfast before school. My mornings were populated by a parade of flavourful, interesting baked goods that were a much better than cereal: blueberry sunflower, orange bran, banana chocolate chip, apple cheddar, cherry pie, morning glory.

What a beautiful name for a muffin. My maternal grandparents had blue morning glories growing on an arch in their front garden, so every time I would eat one, I would think of the pleasant times I had spent at my grandparents’ house.

My family’s traditional morning glory muffin recipe contains crushed pineapple, but I am now allergic to pineapple. I’ve found a good sub in canned mandarine oranges. I have made several more changes to the recipe to reduce oil and sugar, but still kept it delicious. Because of the oranges and pumpkin, they’re a pretty shade of orange. Think of them as little suns to light up your mornings!

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Gloriously Orange Muffins

An original recipe by Agent Minty

Makes 12 large muffins.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups white flour
  • 2 Tbsp white sugar
  • 2 Tbsp packed brown sugar
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • pinch salt
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 240-280 mL can of mandarin orange segments, drained and roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped dates
  • 1/2 cup canned pureed pumpkin
  • 1 cup grated carrot
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 3 Tbsp water
  • 1 Tbsp ground flax
  • 1/2 cup non-dairy milk
  • 1 tsp baking powder

Instructions: 

  1. Preheat over to 350F. Grease your muffin tin.
  2. Combine flour, sugars, baking soda, salt, and spices. Whisk to break up clumps.
  3. Combine dates, carrot, and pureed pumpkin.
  4. Allow to sit to rehydrate dates while carrots are grated.
  5. Add carrots, nuts, oil, water, flax, and milk to date mixture. Stir well.
  6. Add baking powder, stir quickly to combine, than add wet mixture to flour mix.
  7. Using a spatula, fold together until no dry pockets are left, but do not overmix.
  8. Divide between 12 well of muffin tin.
  9. Bake for 20-22 minutes, until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
  10. Cool on a wire rack.

Nutrition Facts: Per Muffin: 172 Kcal, 4g fat, 15g sugars, 2g fibre, 3g protein, 54% RDA Vit. A.

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Pumpkin Spice Latte Cupcakes

Hello, PSL lovers!

Do you love that sweet and spicy combination and wish you could enjoy its flavour year-round? Well, I’m here to satisfy your cravings in cupcake form!

PSL cupcakes (1 of 3)

Mrs. Minty is a certified Pumpkin Spice Latte lover (with soymilk, pleaseandthankyou), so I made these especially for her. The frosting looks like regular old buttercream, but is a caramel-fudge flavoured frosting with a hint of cinnamon, just like the stuff drizzled on top of your foam. These babies stay moist even two days after baking. Make some and enjoy pumpkin spice all year round!

Pumpkin Spice Latte Cupcakes – Recipe by Agent Minty

Cupcakes – makes 12 medium cupckaes

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup pastry flour
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/3 cup white sugar
  • 1/8 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 tsp cinnamon powder
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1 cup plain pumpkin puree
  • 2 tsp ground flaxseed
  • 1/4 cup non-dairy milk
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/3 c brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar

Instructions:

  1. Set oven to 375F.
  2. Combine flours, baking powder, baking soda, spices, sugar, and salt in a large mixing bowl.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine oil, pumpkin puree, and flax until evenly mixed.
  4. Add remaining ingredients to oil/pumpkin mixture and stir well.
  5. Add wet mixture to dry ingredients.
  6. Stir until evenly mixed and smooth, but do not overmix.
  7. Divide batter between 12 lined muffin cups.
  8. Bake in centre of oven for 18 minutes, rotating pan halfway through.
  9. Transfer cupcakes to wire rack to cook for at least half an hour before frosting.

Cinnamon Caramel Frosting

EDIT October 2015: I mistakenly put the wrong volume of icing sugar when I originally published this recipe. The volume below is the corrected amount!

Ingredients:

  • 6 Tbsp (packed) brown sugar
  • 4 Tbsp +2 Tbsp non-dairy milk
  • 6 Tbsp good quality margarine
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon powder
  • pinch salt
  • 4 cups icing sugar

Instructions:

  1. Combine brown sugar and 4 Tbsp milk and microwave for 20-30 seconds until sugar is dissolved and bubbly. Set aside.
  2. Beat margarine until softened. Add in vanilla, cinnamon, and salt.
  3. Mix in 1/3 of the icing sugar. Beat until fluffy.
  4. Combine the caramel mixture and the remaining cold milk.
  5. Mix half of the milk mixture into the frosting.
  6. Mix in half of the remaining sugar, followed by the rest of the milk mixture.
  7. Mix in the rest of the sugar and beat until fluffy.
  8. Pipe or spread onto cooled cupcakes.

PSL cupcakes (2 of 3)

Seasonally Appropriate Pumpkin Pie

This time of year, everyone starts craving pumpkin. I’ll leave pumpkin-spiked coffee for other people to rhapsodize over; I’d rather focus on pumpkin baked goods! Since Canadian Thanksgiving is two and a half weeks away, I’m trying to post a recipe with enough time in advance so that you can actually make it (Unlike Valentine’s Day and St Patrick’s Day in the past). This recipe sets like a charm – no runny filling or dry, tofu flavour. I promise that the spicy pumpkin flavour really shines in this recipe! If you plan on making this for a mixed crowd, don’t even bother telling anyone that it’s vegan, as they will never know.

Sugar-covered pumpkin pie

A few notes about substitutions:

The good news is that this can be enjoyed by people with dietary sensitivities, too – if you want it gluten-free, just use certified gluten-free cornstarch and a gluten-free or nut-based pie crust.

Over the past years, I have used almost every iteration of dairy-free milk possible, and everything works except the extremely low-fat milks. If you are using potato or rice milk, sub in a few tablespoons of coconut milk for the total “milk” volume. Or, in desperation, sub in one and a half tablespoons of neutral-flavoured oil (I have done this and it works).

Any tofu labelled “soft” will work – unsweetened, dessert tofu, or Mori-nu vacuum packed. I have not tried using traditional asian tofu or medium tofu, so I can’t vouch for the success of that substitution.

If you have a favourite combination of spices from a family recipe, go ahead and use them here instead of the ones I have recommended.

Pumkpin pie slice

Vegan Pumpkin Pie – An original recipe by Agent Minty

  • 1 prepared pie crust
  • 2 cups canned, cooked pumpkin (non seasoned), divided
  • 6.5 Tbsp (1/3 of a 300g/10oz package) of soft tofu… do not press beforehand!
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 Tbsp dairy-free milk
  • 3/4 cup lightly packed brown sugar
  • 3 Tbsp arrowroot OR corn starch
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp ground allspice
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  1. Preheat oven to 400F.
  2. Pre-bake crust: Roll out pie crust and fit into pan. Prick all over with a fork. Cover with tin foil and fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake for 10 minutes until crust is barely golden. Remove tin foil and allow to cool while finishing the filling.
  3. Readjust oven temperature to 350F
  4. Combine 1/2 cup pumpkin with the tofu in a food processor. Blend for at least 5 minutes, until the mixture is a smooth, creamy orange with no flecks of tofu. You may need to scrape down the bowl halfway through.
  5. Add the remaining pumpkin and process another minute.
  6. Add the remaining ingredients and process 2-5 minutes if smooth, scraping down the bowl if necessary.
  7. Pour into the pre-baked pie crust and smooth with the back of a spatula.
  8. Cover the entire pie with a loose sheet of tinfoil. This prevents the crust from burning or the top of the filling from getting leathery.
  9. Bake at 350F for one hour.
  10. Remove the tinfoil and increase oven temperature to 385F.
  11. Optional but nice step: brush the exposed crust with dairy-free milk and sprinkle with coarse sugar.
  12. Bake another 15-30 minutes until the cruse is lightly browned.
  13. Allow to cool for at least one hour.
  14. Serve with Coconut Whipped Cream if desired, or decorate with powdered sugar.