Thursday, September 30, 2010

Small Batch Oatmeal Cookie Muffins

I promised to share this recipe that I made almost a week ago. I was looking for a recipe that combined whole grains for a healthier version of a decadent treat. I did not find what I was looking for, so, I combined some elements of some of my pancake recipes and came up with this recipe for a small batch of oatmeal cookie muffins. Remember, you can click on the photos to see a larger image.I started with some old fashioned Quaker Oats.I combined the oats with boiling water and let them sit overnight in the refrigerator.
In a mixing bowl, I whisked all my dry ingredients: all purpose flour, whole wheat flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.
I like oatmeal cookies with chocolate chips and raisins, don't you?
I mixed the chocolate chips and raisins into the dry ingredients.
Here you can see the raisins and chips are totally mixed in.
Overnight, the oats have totally absorbed all of the water. I let them come to room temperature before moving on with the recipe.
In a small bowl, I combined the egg with the oil.
Then, whisked in the vanilla.
Looks good.
Time to add the oats to the wet ingredients.
Mixed with a rubber spatula until combined.
Dry ingredients were added to the mix.
And mixed until combined. It was a little too dry, so I added a splash of buttermilk to smooth it out.
The batter was evenly portioned into 8 muffin cups. I always half fill empty cups with water to prevent the pan from overheating. The steam also helps with the baking process.
In a 400 degree oven for about 18 minutes and they looked perfect.
I let them cool for about 5 - 10 minutes before removing to a cooling rack.
This is what a finished oatmeal cookie muffin looked like just before Kim ate it! YUMMY!

Yields 8 muffins

1/3 cup old fashioned oats
1/2 cup boiling water
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup chocolate chips
1/4 cup raisins
1 large egg
2 TBS oil
1/2 tsp vanilla
splash of buttermilk (if needed)

Combine oats with boiling water. Let sit 30 minutes or overnight in the refrigerator.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Prepare 8 muffin tins with liners or spray with PAM.
In a medium mixing bowl, whisk all dry ingredients together. Add chocolate chips and raisins.
In a small bowl, whisk egg with oil. Add vanilla.
Add oatmeal to wet ingredients. Mix thoroughly.
Add dry ingredients to wet, adding splash of buttermilk if too dry to mix well.
Spoon batter into prepared muffin tins. Fill empty tins halfway with water.
Bake for 15 - 20 minutes at 400 degrees until golden brown and wooden toothpick inserted into center comes out clean.
Cool in pan on cooling rack for 5 - 10 minutes. Remove from pan to cooling rack to cool.
These oatmeal cookie muffins were even better tasting the next day, according to my husband, Kim. I prefer to bake every morning so that the entire house smells like fresh muffins. But, it's good to know that you can enjoy these muffins for several days - if they last that long!

Hope you enjoyed following along with this new recipe. I've already had a request to make these with nuts. I'm sure they would also be good with craisins, maybe some coconut, or how about peanut butter chips? Let me know what you think.
Thanks for visiting Susan's kitchen at the Americus Garden Inn Bed & Breakfast. I look forward to sharing my home with you again soon.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Peanut Festival Weekend in Americus - photos by Caitlyn

Our dear friends, Bob and Ruth, brought their granddaughter, Caitlyn, to the Americus Garden Inn this weekend for them to enjoy the Plains Peanut Festival. They were here about a year and a half ago and we were excited to see them again. I tried a new recipe for their first breakfast, what I called an oatmeal cookie muffin. (I will post the recipe in the very near future.) I watched Caitlyn take the first photo of many and before they left this morning I asked if I could share her photos on my blog. All of these photos were taken by Caitlyn. This is a great photo of the main course I prepared Friday morning.

After watching the video "Briars in the Cotton Patch" by Faith Fuller, they decided to visit Koinonia, right here in Americus. They had an enjoyable visit including lunch.
Saturday, they attended the Plains Peanut Festival and met Mr. Peanut.

Mr. Peanut sure is tall!

Since there were no photos of Caitlyn at the Peanut Festival, here is an interesting self-portrait.

Did I mention that Caitlyn is a very talented artist?
A hibiscus in the garden.
Some black-eyed susans

An interesting view of the northwest corner of the Americus Garden Inn.
Some very colorful lantana
The Confederate rose is enormous but no flowers yet.

Several photos of the koi pond

A great photo of the sky
Another one
The tulip poplar has just turned yellow, seemingly overnight.
A fallen leaf

I was just wondering when autumn was coming to Americus. It looks like it started just in time for Caitlyn to catch it in her photos.

Thank you, Caitlyn, for allowing me to share your photos. Thank you Bob and Ruth for bringing Caitlyn to Americus.
I forgot to mention that Caitlyn is only 13 years old. She already has an incredible eye for detail, I am sure you agree.
Thanks for your visit to the Americus Garden Inn.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Almost Fall in Americus Georgia

It is hard to believe that September is almost over and Fall should be upon us. The temperatures here in Americus have been setting heat records in the 90s. I just took a stroll around the garden to see if there were any signs of autumn. (Remember to click on the photos for the larger image.)
As you can see, the water lilies are in bloom. Against the incredibly blue sky, the snowball bushes are displaying their "snowballs".
The sedum is flowering.
The salvia looks gorgeous.
The Mexican petunias have really filled out.
Amongst the oleander, I found lots of seed pods.
I found seeds in the Little Gem magnolias, too. Aren't they beautiful?

Kim just finished building this planter around the lantana. It looks great.
The brown turkey fig tree has a very peculiar aroma. Having never been around fig trees, I have no idea if that is normal. However, there are a lot of immature figs on the tree. We have yet to taste a fig from our trees...
I finally found a true sign of autumn. The dogwood trees are full of berries.
A closer look at the berries.

The Chinese Flame Tree is showing some color.
With the end of September upon us, this weekend is the Plains Peanut Festival which is a celebration of Plains, Peanuts and a President. It is an early birthday party for Jimmy Carter whose birthday is October 1, 1924. It's hard to believe that he is going to be 86 years old. We will be very busy as we already have every room reserved.
Next weekend, the first weekend of October, will be another local festival - The Andersonville Historic Fair. We still have rooms available if you want to join the festivities.

Thank you for visiting the Americus Garden Inn today. Wish you were here.

Friday, September 10, 2010

A Small Batch of Brownie Muffins at the Americus Garden Inn

Yesterday morning at the Americus Garden Inn Bed & Breakfast we started the day with brownie muffins with walnuts. There's nothing like a little chocolate to start your day. This is another great recipe when you only need a small batch of muffins as it only makes 6 small muffins. I promised to share the recipe and to show all of the steps. "Billy", this one's for you! The full recipe is at the bottom of this post. Does the muffin look yummy, or what?Here are the step by step directions for the brownie muffins, exactly as I made them.
Place butter and chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl. I use a 32 ounce glass measuring cup.

Microwave on high for about 40 seconds. As you can see, the butter is melted, but, the chips still look like chips.

Stir until chips are totally melted into the butter.
While the chocolate-butter mixture is cooling, chop the nuts coarsely. Nuts are optional.
In a small mixing bowl, measure sugar and egg.
Blend thoroughly with a whisk.
Add egg mixture to the room temperature melted chocolate along with vanilla.
Stir until blended.
Add flour to chocolate mixture.
Stir until thoroughly blended.
Add nuts. You could use coconut, more chocolate chips, raisins, heath bar pieces, peanut butter chips...

Gently mix until blended.
Spoon into paper lined muffin cups. Of course, you could just spray the pan with Pam instead.

Bake until the tops begin to crack.
A closer look at the cracking.

You have to let them cool before you eat them or they are truly a gooey mess. Believe me, it is worth the wait!

Yield: 6 muffins

¼ cup butter
¼ cup chocolate chips
1 egg
¼ cup sugar
¼ tsp vanilla
¼ cup flour
¼ cup chopped nuts, optional

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line 6 muffin cups with liners or spray with PAM.
In a microwavable bowl, place chocolate chips and butter. Microwave on high for 40 seconds. Stir for at least 30 seconds. If not completely melted, microwave for 10 second intervals until melted. Allow to cool to room temperature.
In a small bowl, whisk egg with sugar. Stir in vanilla and melted chocolate mixture stirring until combined.
Gradually add flour, stirring until blended. Fold in nuts, if desired.
Divide batter equally between muffin cups.
Bake for 20 - 25 minutes or until tops begin to crack.
Cool on rack for 10 minutes before removing from pan.
Thank you for your visit to the Americus Garden Inn Bed & Breakfast. Wish you were here enjoying these muffins and some conversation in person. Hope you will visit again soon.