Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Future of... (Pizza Muffins)

I check out about a dozen food blogs every day. Plus Every day.

Every day I find a new recipe I want to try. You can imagine how many recipes I have bookmarked now. I'm going to work my way through some of them this summer. Thanks to the government for helping me out with food as well as providing me a job (yay!) for the summer. I can't wait for school to be over (on Monday) so I can start cooking and baking again.

The other day I came across this food blog through foodgawker. What yummy recipe did I pick out? Pepperoni Pizza Puffs.

Over Spring Break Whitnie and I went shopping. We went to Kohl's and while we were there, we spent some money. I spent enough to get $10 in Kohl's cash. Goody. I went back and started my usual route. Clothes, bras/underwear, shoes, kitchen. I didn't really want to spend a lot of money so I was aiming for something until the $10. Guess what I found...Cupcake liners! How convenient that my parents gave me a cupcake/muffin calendar for Christmas. Just wait...the summer is going to be filled with cupcakes and muffins. Anyways, I got a dozen of the liners for about $6 cause they were on sale.

Back to the pizza though. I found those adorable mini muffin pizza puffs and thought to myself, "Self, those would be tasty full size." I mean, I LOVE miniature food. Seriously. It's amazing how much better something tastes when it's scaled down. Just ask Terry about the prospective fish cookies I'm making when we go fishing. (Yes, fishing.) He gets super excited even though it's a few months away. Again, back to the pizza. I was craving pizza. As an undergrad, I rarely ate pizza. Shocking, I know. So my pizza craving led to these tasty guys.

I ended up with 9 full sized muffins when the recipe said it would make 24 mini ones.

Pepperoni Pizza Muffins

3/4 cup flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 cup milk
1 egg, lightly beaten
4 ounces mozzarella cheese, shredded (about 1 cup)
4 ounces pepperoni, sliced or cut into small cubes (about 1 cup)
1/2 cup pizza sauce (or marinara)
2 Tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil

Preheat oven to 375o. Grease a 24-cup mini muffin pan or 9-12-cup regular muffin pan. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour and baking powder; whisk in the milk and egg. Stir in the mozzarella and pepperoni; let stand for 10 minutes.

Stir the batter and divide among the (mini-)muffin cups. Bake until puffed and golden, 20 to 25 minutes. Check after 10 or 15 minutes.

Microwave the pizza sauce until warmed through, then stir in 1 tablespoon basil. Sprinkle the puffs with the remaining 1 tablespoon basil. Serve the puffs with the pizza sauce for dipping.

You could really add whatever you want to these guys. Next time I'll probably put in some vegetables.

I obviously couldn't eat all 9 of mine at once, so I put half in the fridge cause Alex wasn't around to eat them. I reheated them in the toaster oven the next day and they were still tasty.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Happy Birthday Dear Chris! (Key Lime Pie)

For my friend's birthdays, I like to bake. That is my gift to them. Alex got a chocolate pumpkin pie for his birthday in October (and has bugging me for another one) so when I remembered that Chris' birthday was coming up, I asked what he wanted. He had tasted one of my key limes pie that I made last summer and that is what he wanted.
How pretty are these guys? Key limes are great. These little tiny limes that have little tiny seeds and are such pretty colors. The best time to squeeze key limes are when they're yellow. Yellow key limes give more juice and are much easier to juice then the green ones. Anyways, one pound of key limes will yield about a half a cup of juice. How convenient that that is all you need for one key lime pie. I prefer to squeeze them by hand, slicing them in half, picking out the seeds and squeezing each little half into a cup. This takes about half an hour. I also like to crush my own graham crackers for the crust...which takes a long time too. But, I will quote, "your crust is f***ing amazing." Yeah, crust that is completely hand done is AMAZING!

See that yellowish color, that is real key lime juice. If you're eating key lime pie that is green, stop immediately. It's not real. Real things are always better.

Key Lime Pie
1/2 cup key lime juice
4 egg yolks
1 can (12oz) sweetened condensed milk
1 package graham crackers
6ish tablespoons UNSALTED butter

Mix together the key lime juice, sweetened condensed milk and egg yolks. Beat them. Do not just stir...beat them. You want it to get a little bubbly. This way, it'll be more airy and tasty when it's done.

Melt about 6 tablespoons of butter and mix with crushed graham crackers. Add about 3 tablespoons of sugar in there too. Mix it all up and press into a 9" pie plate. Pour the key lime filling into the crust and then bake for about 10 minutes at 350. This will help it set and will make anyone feel better about the raw egg that has gone into it.

Since you have those egg whites sitting around, go ahead and beat them with a little sugar until stiff peaks form. That's meringue. Meringue your pie and bake for another 10 minutes, or until the meringue starts getting little brown bits on it. I've never had a success with meringue so I've never put it on a key lime pie. I like them plain or maybe with a little bit of chocolate drizzled on it. Yum!