23 September, 2010

Fall Glorious Fall!

Can I just say that I *LOVE* Fall? It's my favorite time of year. The leaves changing and falling, the crisp, cool air. I caught a wiff of that unmistakable fall smell the other day and was so happy! Fall means soup, lots of yummy soup. You know that awesome goodness that warms you from the inside out, makes you feel all full and happy. For me fall also means baking, this year muffins and breads are coming out of my kitchen faster than I ever imagined. This week X-man and I made chocolate zucchini muffins and I've got to make more already! Apple-Carrot muffins are on the list and I'm thinking Pumpkin muffins need to be made soon too. Mmm pumpkin.

If you're looking for a delicious way to sneak some veggies into your kiddos I highly suggest muffins! I mean how many kids are going to turn these away?

Want the recipe? Good here it is!

Chocolate Zucchini Muffins/Bread

3 eggs
2 cups white sugar
1 cup vegetable oil +1 TBSP
2 (1 ounce) squares unsweetened chocolate, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup chopped almonds (OPTIONAL-I didn't use them)
2 cups grated zucchini
3 tbsp cocoa powder

1.Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease two 9 x 5 inch loaf pans well.
Sift together flour, salt, cinnamon, baking powder, cocoa powder and soda.
In a large bowl, beat eggs until lemon colored; beat in sugar and oil. Stir in vanilla, zucchini, and cooled chocolate. Mix dry ingredients into zucchini mixture. Stir in the chopped almonds. Pour batter into prepared pans.
Bake for 60 minutes (For muffins I started out with 30 min), or until a tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pans 15 to 20 minutes, then flip onto racks to finish cooling.

Makes 12 "Texas" Muffins or 2 loaves

How about some Honey-Oat bread? This was 'licious too X-Man and I ate an entire loaf in like two hours. So bad I know but OH so good!

Honey Oatmeal Bread

2 cups boiling water
1 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup honey
2 tablespoons butter
2 teaspoons salt
1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast (2 1/4 tsp = 1 package)
1/2 cup warm water (110 degrees F/45
degrees C)
4 cups bread flour (1cup flour + 1 tbsp vital wheat gluten = 1 c bread flour)

2 tablespoons honey, warmed slightly
2 tablespoons rolled oats

1. In a large mixing bowl, combine boiling water, oats, 1/2 cup honey, butter and salt. Let stand for 1 hour.
2. In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes.
3. Pour the yeast mixture into the oat mixture. Add 2 cups of flour; mix well. Stir in the remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, beating well after each addition. When the dough has pulled together, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 20 minutes. Lightly oil a large bowl, place the dough in the bowl and turn to coat with oil. Cover with a damp cloth and let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 1 hour.
4. Deflate the dough and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Divide the dough into two equal pieces and form into loaves. Place the loaves into two lightly greased 9x5 inch loaf pans. Cover the loaves with a damp cloth and let rise until doubled in volume, about 40 minutes. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
5. Bake at 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) for about 30 minutes or until the top is golden brown and the bottom of the loaf sounds hollow when tapped. Remove loaves from pans, brush tops of loaves with 2 tablespoons honey and sprinkle with oats.

Warm it up, top it with some butter and homemade strawberry jam for a slice of heaven!

Now...I need to go make some bread bowls to put our Baked Potato soup in. Mmmm soup!

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