Wednesday, December 3, 2014

More Edible Gifts

Prepping for the Holiday

Tea and Muffins are a wonderful gift. You can make this recipe or any other muffin recipe then present it in a fashionable package as a gift.

Banana & Chocolate Muffin Recipe   Yield: 12 muffins
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup quick-cooking oats
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 medium ripe bananas, mashed (about 1 cup)
1 cup buttermilk
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup vegetable or canola oil
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons cocoa powder

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Butter a standard muffin tin, or line with cupcake liners.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In a medium bowl, mash the bananas, then whisk in the buttermilk, sugar, oil, egg, and vanilla extract.
  3. Pour the wet ingredients into the flour mixture, and whisk just until blended.
  4. Remove one cup of the batter, and add it to a medium bowl. Whisk in the cocoa powder, just until blended.
  5. Divide the main (non-chocolate) batter between muffin cups. It’s about 1/4 cup of batter per cup.
  6. Scoop 1 tablespoon of chocolate batter on top of the batter in each muffin cup.
  7. Using a toothpick, swirl the chocolate batter into the banana batter.
  8. Bake for about 20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.  Allow to cool for about five minutes.
To create an elegant gift, line a hat box with a tea towel and fill it with homemade muffins and flea market teacups you fill with herbal butter or cream cheese spreads (try each of these: Company Cream Cheese and Herb Flower Spread.)  Tuck loose tea and whole lemons around the box and include a pretty butter knife.

A more casual idea would be to provide a Christmas breakfast by placing the muffins in a basket with a container of muffin themed spread and some gourmet coffee.

I adapted this recipe from an article in the Herb Companion Magazine of December 2007.
Pineapple Sage Muffin Spread 

This is great on muffins, toast and crackers.

1 cup ricotta cheese
1 Tbls. milk
3 Tbls. confectioners sugar (or more to taste)
¼ tsp. cinnamon
4 fresh pineapple sage leaves, minced and rubbed between your fingers to release flavor or ¼ tsp. dried
¼ cup crushed pineapple drained

In a medium bowl mix ricotta and milk on medium speed with a handheld mixer for 1 minute.  Add confectioner’s sugar, 1 Tbls. at a time, mixing after each addition.  Stir in cinnamon and pineapple sage.  Refrigerate for 1 hour.  Stir mixture and gently fold in pineapple.  Refrigerator for another hour before transferring to a serving bowl.  Serve chilled or at room temperature.

Products we recommend if you do not have time to make your own:

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