My mom had a cupboard in the kitchen containing a few old cookbooks that she rarely used. As a child, I used to enjoy perusing them and looking at the baked treats. Some of the cookbooks were so old, they had black and white photos or even just drawings of the food. The ones with drawings interested me because they depicted smiling children enjoying the treats.
When I started learning to bake, I found a recipe for French Breakfast Puffs in one of those old books. The title sounded so fancy, but they were really just simple muffins dunked in butter and rolled in cinnamon sugar. I have no idea what the name of the cookbook was or what happened to it, but the delicious muffin recipe stuck around for a while. I’ve tweaked the recipe so many times over the years, and most recently, I added pumpkin to it. These Pumpkin Cinnamon Mini Muffins are one of the best versions I’ve created. The inside texture of the muffins is soft and moist and it contrasts nicely with the slight crunch you get from the cinnamon sugar on the outside. They look so cute too, like little pumpkins, and they definitely make children smile!
To watch the TikTok video of these mini muffins being made, click here.
Have you ever had one of those mornings where you wake up starving? It typically happens to me when I skip dinner the night before. So one morning that happened. My family and I were really hungry, there was a bit of leftover holiday ham in the fridge and these fluffy, satisfying biscuits were born. I think these biscuits need to be included in all lumberjack breakfasts from now on.
If you love ham and cheese anything, you’ll love these biscuits. You can also add fresh chives or swap out the ham for bacon if you like. I love baking them in a cast iron skillet because of the rustic, crispy sides and bottoms you get from the high heat conductivity of cast iron. To find the cast iron pan I used, click here. You can also bake them in a 9-inch cake pan or pie plate.
Preheat oven to 425ºF. Butter a 9-inch cast iron skillet*
In a large bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, sugar and salt.
Work butter into flour mixture with your fingertips, until flat dime size pieces are formed.
Gently stir in cheese and ham.
Stir in buttermilk a little at a time until a shaggy dough is formed.
Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface.
Fold dough over onto itself a few times. Form dough into a 7-inch diameter 3/4-inch thick round.
Using a 2 1/2-inch biscuit cutter, cut dough into seven biscuits. Press the scraps together and cut one more biscuit. If dough becomes warm at any point, chill in the refrigerator for 10-15 minutes, then proceed with recipe.
Transfer biscuits to prepared pan. Brush with melted butter.
Bake until biscuits are puffy and tops are golden brown, about 22-25 minutes.
Here is the lemon brownie enlightenment no one asked for, brought to you by the self proclaimed lemon brownie expert, yours truly! We all know what a lemon bar is. The one we all know and love has a lemon curd filling on a shortbread crust, possibly drizzled with lemon icing or sprinkled with powdered sugar. The lemon brownie is a whole different animal. Don’t mistake lemon brownies for lemon cake either. Lemon brownies contain white chocolate which gives them a rich, fudgy texture like their chocolate cousins. We may be tempted to call them blondies, but blondies have a butterscotch flavor and typically don’t contain chocolate. Now that we got that straightened out, we can sleep peacefully tonight.
May I just say that my lemon brownie credentials go all the way back to childhood? I grew up with a big lemon tree in my backyard and I loved experimenting with lemons in cooking and baking. I also experimented my way to the perfect lemonade ratio. My younger brother and I made a lemonade pact. He would pick the lemons and I would make lemonade. Our mom never bought soft drinks, so if we wanted refreshments, we had to team up! Decades ago my family was delighted to see me making a batch of raspberry lemonade for the first time. The raspberry lemonade brownie recipe I’m sharing here has that same sweet-tart flavor we enjoyed back then.
One of my favorite things about this recipe is that there is no electric mixer needed. You can literally execute this recipe with only a wooden spoon to stir it! My other favorite thing is the burst of flavor and color from the fresh raspberries. The icing contains no food coloring. Just three raspberries will give you that luscious shade of pink!