Friday, April 15, 2011

Add a little sweetness...

Today I brought my Banana Bread and Mini Chocolate Chip Muffins to work with me for my turn for Friday treats. They both went over well but the banana bread especially. I mentioned in the banana bread blog post that the texture was lighter than what I'm used to for banana bread. Well it occurred to me today that, because of that lighter texture, these would make awesome banana muffins. I will definitely be trying that in the future and I'll let you know how it turns out!

Tonight I made a batch of my sugar cookie dough. I made a slight tweak to my usual recipe and may have just finally perfected it. I'll post it if it's as good as I hope it is - I'll know after baking some tomorrow. I have several experiments I want to try with it this weekend so that's what I'll be posting next.

Last night while getting my treats ready to bring in, I tried one of my little mini chocolate chip muffins again (you know, to make sure they didn't turn poisonous overnight) and decided they needed a little something extra. A little more sweetness, a little more pizazz.

I decided a drizzle of icing would do the trick. This has worked well for me in the past, here's the back-story...

Last fall I was making some scones while we had company visiting. I decided to divide the dough in two and do half chocolate chip and half cinnamon chip. Well, for some reason, I completely forgot the sugar in the chocolate chip half of the dough. I was really bummed out because, while scones aren't that sweet in the first place, they do need a some sweetness!!

So before I baked the scones I wet the tops and pressed in sugar. After they came out of the oven I tried them and the sugar on top did not come close to making up for the lack of sugar in the dough. So in a desperate attempt so salvage my scones I made a sugar glaze and generously drizzled it over my scones. While they weren't my best batch ever, they were good and were probably the prettiest looking ones I ever made!

So if you ever run into a kitchen dilemma like this one, here's a trick to try.

Get some powdered sugar and water (or milk).

Add a very small amount of the water to the powdered sugar until you get a nice consistency for drizzling or dunking or pouring (depending on the application you wish to use). If it is too watery, add more sugar to thicken it up.

Here I lined up my muffins so that they weren't touching on top of a cooling rack. I put the rack over a baking sheet covered with wax paper for easy cleanup.

A really easy, mess-free way to drizzle icing is to use a plastic food storage bag.  Here's the best way I've found to fill them. Put the tip of the bag inside of a glass and fold the rest of the bag over the brim.

The pour your icing or frosting or melted chocolate - whatever your sugar de jour - into the bag.

(As a side-tip: I've found this works really well for packaging up meats for marinading as well. I take a bowl and place a gallon zip-lock inside and fold the bag around the edge of the bowl. As you're cutting or trimming the meat, toss it into the bag-lined-bowl as you go along. After you've finished it all, pour on your marinade, pick up bag, toss the meat to coat and put it in the fridge. This has saved B many times from having to stand beside me holding a bag open :-)

Now back to icing...
When you're done filling the bag, carefully bring the top of the bag pack up, keeping the icing at the bottom.

The cut just the very tip of the bag off and start drizzling onto your sugar-deprived confection...

...until they all look like this.

All done. Gorgeous. Sweet(er).

And there you have it. Little muffins all dressed up. :-)

Have you ever had a kitchen blunder you were able to turn around? Or a go-to trick for fixing up a recipe that only turned out so-so (either tasting or looking)?


  1. Fantastic Leah! I loved reading each of your yummy projects... and, (as (almost) an alien to my kitchen now), you've inspired me to attempt several of your recipes. The scrumptious goodie gifts really are a treasure I'm going to enjoy giving. You make them look so easy & fun to do! Love the terrific photos too!
    Thanks a dozen! carla n.

  2. WHY DON'T WE LIVE NEXT DOOR TO EACH OTHER ANYMORE?!?!?!?!?! :) Yummy! Keep up the good work. haha.