Monthly Archives: October 2013

Sweet Mini Ham and Cheese Muffins

I think I have a new go to recipe, at least one that lends itself to improvisation.   Which is one of the best kinds of recipes to have.

I made these Sweet Cheese Muffins  for my Friday get-together, and had to play around a little more with this recipe.    I wanted to add some chopped ham in  with the cheese and since I just happened to have some sweet ham in the fridge, it was a no brainer.   And guess what?  We got together with a bunch of friends on Sunday so I decided to try the ham idea on them.

The first time I made the muffins I used some Colby Jack Cheese I had already shredded and this time I used some Sharp Cheddar Cheese.
I like the Colby Jack Cheese better in this recipe but the muffins still got eaten.
I only added the ham to half of this recipe because I knew there were some vegetarians coming and I wanted to make sure they could also sample my offering.

Ham and Cheese Mini Muffins                Makes 24 mini muffins or 12 regular size muffins
4 tablespoons Sugar
1/4 cup Melted Butter
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs
2 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup Plain Greek Yoghurt
1/2 cup buttermilk   (you can use buttermilk powder here if you like for flavour, I tend to keep some on hand because I keep drinking the buttermilk I buy to cook with, and then I don’t have any for cooking)
1 1/2 cups Grated Colby Jack Cheddar
1/2 cup Grated Colby Jack Cheddar Cheese (for topping the muffins)
1/2 cup (or more) finely diced ham

Mix the wet ingredients together and set aside.   Mix the dry ingredients together including the cheese and ham,

then pour the wet ingredients over top and mix lightly.

You want the dry ingredients to be just moistened.  Don’t over mix.   Spoon the batter into either a regular muffin tin to make 12 muffins or into two mini muffin tins to make 24 mini muffins.


Top each muffin with a sprinkle of the 1/2 cup of shredded cheese and place in a pre-heated 425 degree oven.
Bake at 425 degrees for 12-15 minutes, turn oven down to 350 degrees, bake an additional 10 minutes or so until the tops are lightly browned and the cheese is melted.

Mini Sweet Cheddar Muffins

I get together with a bunch of ladies on Friday Nights and thought they might like to try something a little different.   So I made some  Sweet Cheddar muffins I made them from this recipe, Sweet Cheddar Cheese Muffins, from this site, Betchacan’teatjustone.        I also made them mini’s, mainly because I just wanted to, and I thought it might just work out that way.    I also paid attention to what she said about how sweet these were and I cut the sugar in half, which worked out well. And I’m having fun with this recipe, stay tuned tomorrow for a little twist I did on them as well.

The recipe says you get 12 muffins from this, and I got 24 + mini muffins.   There was just a little leftover batter so I bunged it into a tart pan and baked it.     The following is her recipe with my changes in blue to the side.

Sweet Cheddar Cheese Muffins

  • 1 cup granulated sugar (I used 1/2 cup sugar)
    1/4 cup melted butter
    1/4 cup vegetable oil
    2 eggs
    2.5 cups all purpose flour (plus 2 tbsp for the cheese)
    1 1/2 tsp baking powder
    1/4 tsp baking soda
    1/2 tsp salt
    pinch of nutmeg
    1/2 cup buttermilk
    1/4 cup sour cream    (my sour cream was a little, um, lost, so I used plain Greek Yoghurt)
    1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, grated plus more for topping the muffins  (I used 1 1/2 cups grated Colby Jack Cheese, because I had some already grated in the fridge.)

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees and have the oven rack on the highest section of the oven.
Line 12 muffin wells with parchment liners or grease the muffin tins with shortening.  ( I used my two mini tart pans and had more than enough batter for 24 muffins)
In a large bowl, beat the sugar with the oils until well combined.
Add the eggs one a time, beating well after each addition until smooth.
Sift together the flour with the baking powder, soda, salt and nutmeg.
Stir the flour mixture into the butter/sugar/eggs until just combined.
Be sure to scrape the bottom and edges of the bowl with a spatula to be sure everything has been mixed in!
Stir in the buttermilk and sour cream until the batter is just combined,  Don’t over mix the muffins!
Toss the grated cheese with the remaining 2 tbsp of flour so it doesn’t all clump together when you add it to the batter.

Stir in the cheese and then scoop batter into prepared muffin tins.

Top with grated cheddar.

Place the oven rack in the highest portion of the oven to get a nice high muffin top.
Bake for 15 minutes before reducing the oven down to 350 and continue to bake for another 10-12 minutes or until the cheese is bubbly and the edges are turning a light golden brown.
Let muffins cool slightly in pans before removing to cool completely.

* I have to say, by following all the steps, I overmixed the batter.   The next time I made these, I added the cheese to the dry flour mixture and added the buttermilk and yoghurt to the eggs and proceeded to mix according to the way I was taught to make a muffin, by pouring the liquid into the dry and barely mixing them, they rose better and were more muffin like).

That being said, they were really good, even if I over-mixed the batter a little.   I took them with me to my usual Friday Night gathering and they were well received.     We had a kind of Halloweeny, orange theme going there.

Ostestænger (Cheese Straws) og Ostemedaljer (Cheese Medallions)

I joined some friends for a little get together last Sunday   And was trying to think of what I could bring/make/share. I really didn’t want to run to town to get something special.    As it just so happened, I was looking through my copy of Danish Home Baking, by Karen Berg and found this recipe.   Simple, tasty and good.

A lot of the recipes in this book assume a certain level of expertise. Most recipes are baked in a moderate, fast or slow, or hot oven.   I’ve had very little difficulty in translating moderate, fast and slow to degrees, but will add the recommended temperatures here.

Oven 400-425 degrees  (depends on your oven)
Basic Recipe from the book
1 cup butter
1 2/3 cup flour
2 cups grated cheese, mild
pinch of paprika
pinch of salt
1 egg for brushing

Mix the grated cheese with the flour, salt and paprika.   Work in the butter.

Pat the dough into a rectangle and set aside to cool.   When cold, roll out to roughly 24 inches long by 5 inches wide.  Brush with egg and sprinkle with grated cheese.

Cut into approximately 50 straws.   Place on a greased cookie sheet.  Bake very pale golden.   On no account allow to get browned as they will then taste bitter.
I also made a roll of the dough and cut circles from it, the dough was so tender, I had to keep adding flour, and I thought, gee, cheese crackers, hmm, that might be fun too.   And I was running out of time to get them all baked and into the oven before I had to be there

So, I formed the dough into a roll and then just cut slices from it, and flattened them out just a little with my French Rolling Pin.

You can see the little bits of herb from the flavoured butter I used.   Do try this, it did add a lot to the flavour of the crackers.  In fact, next time I make them, I’m just going to add some fresh chopped garlic, parsley and whatever other herbs I have from the garden.   I’m thinking a touch of Rosemary would be awesome in these as well.
My changes:
I used a 1/4 cup of this herbed butter from Kerrygold instead of 1/4 cup of regular butter.  I keep a cube of this on hand when I want a little oomph from my butter.   A little goes a long way.  I use it a lot of different ways.

I also did not add any salt as I was already using salted butter.   I added a good 1/4 teaspoon of Cayenne powder and the cheese I used was a colby-jack cheese.    I baked one pan at 350 degrees, but it was not hot enough, and so the next pan was baked at 425 degrees.    It took about 15 minutes, to bake, but I did check after 10 minutes.

I liked them, but when I make them again, and I will, I am going to add a little more flour, maybe a little water, and make them less of a pie crust like cracker.   I think they would be better if they were a little more like a crisp cracker.

The feedback I got on these was positive, especially when they were crumbled into a bowl of home made baked beans.  Jon makes the best baked beans ever.   Had to plug them there.