Happy “Chew This!” Sunday! As many of you know, I write a food column for “The Courier-Times” on the first and third Sundays of each month called “Chew This!” I absolutely love it and love sharing my family recipes, stories and memories. If you are in the Henry County, Indiana area – pick up a copy of the newspaper today and let me know what you think! If you are not, but would still like to take a look, sign up for an online subscription at http://thecouriertimes.com Need help with the online signing up!? Write to me and I will be happy to help! firstname.lastname@example.org
My newest recipe is a recipe inspired by a loyal reader and friend – Debra Kirkpatrick. She mentioned to me about some delicious red velvet white chocolate muffins she had – that she could no longer find – and wondered if I could develop a recipe. I love a challenge – and here it is! I thought about adding cream cheese – but did not want to go to far from the taste and textures she was familiar with – so I left it out. I think these will quickly become a family favorite!
Also my “Ask and Answer” feature spotlights my favorite way of ripening bananas! There is an oven involved – you really need to check this out!
Pick up a copy of “The Courier-Times” TODAY and let me know what you think!
The following “Chew This!” column has been reprinted from “The Courier-Times”, Sunday, July 16th 2017 edition. By: Blaise Doubman
Loyal Reader Inspires Red Velvet Muffins
I love anything red velvet and when talking about red velvet there are two groups of people. The first group is the group of people I am in. They agree with you and love anything red velvet and they also agree that red velvet has its own unique flavor. The second group of people hate red velvet, think it has no taste and are afraid of the effects of all the red food coloring used. Red velvet, to me, has that unique faint cocoa powder flavor that other cakes can not come close to resembling. We eat with our eyes first and anything red velvet, to me, just screams fun! When people tell me about the red food coloring, I really do not see this as harmful. There are colors, natural or otherwise, found in everything we eat and drink. My favorite motto is, everything in moderation, including moderation. Baking is supposed to be a way of satisfying a specific need, especially that of a sweet tooth, so relax and have fun with it.
My friend, Debra Kirkpatrick, wrote to me one day and was describing some fabulous red velvet muffins that she had eaten and fallen in love with. She told me that they were big, flavorful and had white chocolate chips. There was a problem though. She could not seem to find them anymore! Our conversation ended with me promising her that I would try and duplicate the recipe so that she could enjoy them anytime she wanted. A few months later, here we are! These muffins are the perfect thing for breakfast, snack or dessert. I really hope that you will add these muffins into your recipe files because they really are some of the best I have had!
Debra’s Red Velvet White Chocolate Muffins
These muffins can be made with or without the white chocolate chips. Feel free to substitute your favorite chocolate chips, or leave them out completely. These keep best at room temperature. Wrap each muffin in plastic wrap to maintain freshness. These will last at room temperature for one week.
For the muffins…
1 ¼ cups white all-purpose flour
¾ cup white granulated sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup whole milk
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons red liquid food coloring
½ cup vegetable oil
1 large egg
1 cup white chocolate chips
For the topping…
½ cup white granulated sugar
¼ cup white all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed
2 tablespoons turbinado sugar
Start by preheating your oven to 375 degrees F. Line a 12-cavity regular size cupcake / muffin tin with paper liners.
Combine the white all-purpose flour, white granulated sugar, baking powder and salt in a large bowl and whisk together to remove any lumps.
In a glass measuring cup combine the whole milk, unsweetened cocoa powder, red liquid food coloring, vegetable oil and large egg. Beat ingredients well with a fork to combine.
Make a well in the dry ingredients and pour in the wet ingredients. Gently fold the two together, mixing with a light hand. Some lumps may remain and this is good.
Gently fold in the white chocolate chips.
Fill the cavities two-thirds full with the batter.
Make the topping by combining the white granulated sugar, white all-purpose flour, cubed unsalted butter and turbinado sugar with a fork. Cut the ingredients together with the fork until the mixture resembles sandy crumbs.
Sprinkle the topping evenly over the muffins, being sure not to overload them. You may not want to use the entire amount of topping. You want topping on the muffins not a crust.
Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes. Remove and allow to cool before enjoying.
Ask and Answer: I had several people write to me and ask about a quick way of ripening bananas for my banana brownies. My favorite method is the “oven method”. Place your unpeeled bananas on a baking sheet and bake in 300 degree F oven. The time for this depends on the size of your bananas so keep checking frequently. You will know when they are done because the bananas will turn black and shiny. This works because the heat brings out the fruits natural sugars. The same can be done, in a pinch, in your microwave but use caution.
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