Morning Glory Muffins

Morning Glory Muffins Recipe - glorioustreats.com

Perfect for breakfast “on the go”, these yummy Morning Glory Muffins are packed full of delicious and healthful ingredients.

I recently enjoyed a muffin at a local bakery that was labeled a “Morning Glory Muffin”.  It looked like it had lots of delicious things in it (raisins, coconut, carrots), and of course I had to try it since my name (Glory) was in it.

The bakery muffin was really delicious, and so decided to try my hand at making a whole batch.  A quick search on Google yielded several recipes that sounded similar, and then I found a recipe by Earthbound Farms which claimed to be the ”Original Morning Glory Muffin Recipe“.  As I read the list ingredients it indeed looked to be a perfect match to the bakery muffins.  I also found it to be a fun coincidence that the original recipe was created in 1978, the year I was born.

I baked up a batch and they were a perfect match to the bakery muffin…. and perfectly delicious!

Once they were cooled and I had enjoyed one or two (it’s called research people, research!)  I pulled out a few new props I had recently picked up at Kohl’s, a pretty blue plate and gorgeous sunflower place mat.  I had headed to Kohl’s earlier in the week for a perfectly reasonable purchase of dish towels… and somehow came home with several new photo props, opps!  =)

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Morning Glory Muffins

These healthful and delicious muffins are perfect for a quick breakfast or snack.

Yield: 22-24 standard sized muffins

Ingredients:

1 1/4 sugar
2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 tablespoon cinnamon
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup shredded, sweetened coconut
3/4 cup raisins
1/2 cup coarsely chopped pecans or walnuts

3 eggs
3/4 cup vegetable (or olive) oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 large apple, peeled and grated
1 cup (8oz) crushed pineapple, drained
2 cups grated carrots

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350*F and line two muffin pans with paper liners.

In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar, flour, cinnamon, baking soda and salt.
Add the coconut, raisins and nuts, and stir to combine, then set aside.

In a separate (large) bowl, whisk the eggs well, then add oil and vanilla.
Add grated apple, pineapple and carrots and stir until well combined.

Add the bowl of dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and blend until fully incorporated.

Scoop the batter into one of the prepared muffin tins (using an ice cream scoop works great). Fill liners almost full.

Bake 22-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean. Bake second pan of muffins.

Recipe source- Adjusted just slightly from Earthbound Farms

Notes - The muffins will remain fresh (when covered) up to 3 days. The muffins can also be frozen up to 2 months.

These delicious muffins are certainly more nutritious than a standard bakery muffin, and I’m sure would work well with a few additional healthy adjustments.  Feel free to replace some of the all purpose flour with whole wheat flour, and/or reduce the sugar a bit.

Morning Glory Muffins Recipe - glorioustreats.com

Prop notes – Blue plate and Sunflower placemat from Kohl’s.

Disclaimer – I was compensated by Kohl’s by way of a gift card to purchase props for this post.  All text, images and opinions are my own.

Cowgirl Boot Cookies

Cowgirl Party Cookies - glorioustreats.com

I recently made some fun Cowgirl Boot Cookies to coordinate with a Cowgirl Birthday Party my girls were invited to.  I’ve wanted to play around with a girly western theme for a while, so I was very excited when a friend who is well known (in our little circle) for her beautiful parties accepted my offer to make cookies for the party.

The Cowgirl Party was going to have a bit of a vintage feel, with colors of pink, red, and brown.  I made lots of girly boot cookies, but also included some fun bandanas (inspired by Sweet Sugar Belle), pretty lace cookies (inspired by Rosey Sugar) and some simple hearts.

Cowgirl Party Cookies - glorioustreats.com

How to make Cowgirl Boot Cookies ~

Prepare a batch of cookies, using my Sugar Cookie Recipe or Chocolate Rolled Cookie Recipe.

For the boots, I used a cutter like this Cowboy Boot Cookie Cutter, and cut off the spur (before baking).

Prepare a batch of Royal Icing.

Decorate as pictured below…

1.  Outline the boot with brown icing, and fill in the boot heel as well as the pull strap (as shown).  Allow icing to set, about 30 minutes.

2.  Fill in boot with icing color(s) of your choice (in this case, pink).  If you are filling in with two different colors, fill with one color first (such as pink), then wait until the pink has set up (about 30 minutes) before adding the second flood color (in this case, lighter brown).

3.  When the base icing is set (about 1 hour), add details as shown below, with brown icing.

4.  When the icing has fully set (8 hours or overnight), use a brown food color marker to add additional details, as shown.  I used  Fine Tip FooDoodler Markers  (available from Amazon or Sur La Table)

How to make cowgirl boot cookies - by glorioustreats.com

As anticipated, my friend Kristine (the birthday girl’s mommy) did a beautiful job with the party, and I was happy to see my cookies fit in so well….

Cowgirl Party Dessert Table - glorioustreats.com

 -Dessert table concept and set up by Kristine Curtis-

In addition to a beautiful sweets table and several cute crafts, Kristine has a photo area set up with hay bales and fun props.  Here are my two cowgirls (decked out in western wear loaned to me by my friend Bethany).

Cowgirl Party Photo Idea - by Glorious Treats

 -Image above by Kristine Curtis-

Cowgirl Party Cookies - by glorioustreats.com

Happy decorating partner!

Prop and Baking Supply Giveaway (Closed)

Prop and baking supply giveaway - from Glorious Treats

I could create quite a long list of things in this life that I love and am passionate about… baking, crafting, photography, party planning, those would all be on the list.  But the items on the very top of my list would be God, my husband and our two daughters.

I have never really shared this here, but the number one reason I started this blog was with the plan and hope of being able to make enough money to send my daughters to private Christian school.  Last year, I met that goal.   I feel so amazingly blessed to have a job I love, one that allows me to use my creative gifts, and can provide for my girls to attend an amazing school.  Our school is small and it has been a perfect fit for our family.  The level of passion, love and commitment from each teacher and staff member is really amazing!

Last night our school board held an emergency all school (parent) meeting.  The topic of discussion was a very significant monthly budget shortfall, due to lower than expected enrollment.  Our teachers have graciously accepted a pay cut, to a wage that is already embarrassingly low.  But that is not enough.  There is still quite a shortage.  Each school family is being asked to thoughtfully consider what they can do to help balance the budget.

In addition to my husband and I committing to make personal and financial sacrifices to do our part, the need is bigger than we can personally meet.

As you may have noticed from my blog photos, I have quite an extensive collection of beautiful props and unique baking supplies.  When I come across something beautiful (baking, packaging, or party related) I often stock up, not knowing when I might “need” the items.  I am often asked by readers where I purchased this or that, and although I am always willing to share where I find my goodies, they are often no longer available.

Additionally, I am often asked if I take orders for my cookies, and the answer is no.  There is usually no way for anyone outside my personal circle of friends to enjoy my decorated cookies.

With all this in mind, I thought of a way we can work together to help our school, and one reader will get a pretty awesome thank you prize!

 

Here is what I’m offering… 

One person will win a generous box of beautiful baking, party, and photography props and supplies, hand selected from my personal collection.

In addition, I will create 1 dozen decorated cookies and ship them along with the other goodies.

 

Additional notes…

The box of props and baking supplies will be a mix of items from my personal collection, either brand new, or used in a photo, but still in perfect condition.  I will contact the winner and discus your specific interests, such as if you are a cookie decorator, blogger, crafter, etc, and keep those interest in mind as I pack the box.

For the decorated cookies, the specific cookie designs will be my choice, but I would certainly be willing to make some custom adjustments if you want the cookies for a special occasion.

The total retail value of the prize will be well over $100, although the custom nature of the prize means it would be impossible to collect these items on your own.

 

How to help…

You may simply use the button below to donate money in any amount ($5, $10, $50, etc).




 

Using the donate button above will send money to my personal pay-pal account.  As soon as the giveaway ends I will write a check directly to our school with 100% of any money donated.

Our school is a non-profit organization, and as such you can donate directly to the school to receive a tax write off.  If you would like to receive the tax write off for your donation, then you may donate directly to the school via pay-pal,  and send the money to principal@summitcs.net

If you have any questions about our school (Summit Christian School, located in Fair Oaks, California), please e-mail me directly at glorioustreats@gmail.com and I would love to chat with you about this school I deeply love.

 

How to enter the giveaway…  (Giveaway Closed)

Simply leave a comment below with what you might like to win from my supply closet.
Also, please feel free to mention if you were able to donate.

 

Giveaway details – Giveaway ends Wednesday, Sept. 4th, 2013 at 9pm Pacific.  The winner will be chosen using random.org. Due to shipping costs, the giveaway is open to U.S. residents only. Please note, the images in this post are intended to give you an idea of the various props and supplies I have on hand.  The actual prize box will differ from the items pictured.  One entry per person.  Donating money is greatly appreciated, but will not increase your chances of winning.

 

Thank you in advance!  I am really looking forward to packing up this special package, and making some beautiful cookies for the winner of this giveaway, and I’m excited to be able to help and encourage our hardworking school staff.

If you find my site to be of any help and inspiration to you, it would mean a ton to me if you are able to help at any level!  Thank you from the bottom of my heart!

 

************************************* Giveaway Closed **********************************

Winning comment #170 Rosemary

Thank you so very much for each of you who were able to donate!  Each and every donation was greatly appreciated!!

I will leave the donate button on this post as is, for anyone who would still like to participate.  The needs at our school will be on-going.

 

Mini Kahlua Cheesecake

Mini Kahlua Cheesecake - by Glorious Treats

If you love cheesecake, and love Kahlua, then this rich and delicious Kahlua Cheesecake needs to be added to your “must make soon” list!

Every summer for the past 10 years or so my family has enjoyed a fun Saturday night at our friend’s big annual Luau party.  For the past several years I’ve had the fun job of making dessert for all of the party guests… all 100 or so!  When the party invitations go out, the guests are asked to bring a dish to share, but no dessert… that’s my job!  =)  I usually make 3-4 different items, and I like to make a few different things each year.  In past years I’ve made Pina Colada Cupcakes, Coconut Snowballs, Cupcakes with pretty fondant flowers, and lots of different decorated cookies including Floral Luau Cookies, Grass Skirt Cookies, and Hibiscus Flower Cookies.

This year, one of the new recipes I added to the dessert menu was this delicious recipe for Kahlua Cheesecake.  I used my Mini Cheesecake Pan to make 12 perfect little cheesecakes.  Making cheesecakes in a mini cheesecake pan is a little bit of extra work initially, but they look extra nice in a dessert display and make a perfect small serving.

Feel free to double the listed recipe to make one large (9″) cheesecake, but since I have not done that with this recipe yet, I’m not sure of the baking time.

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Mini Kahlua Cheesecakes

This rich and delicious Kahlua Cheesecake recipe makes 12 mini (2") cheesecakes.

Ingredients:

Crust -
11 Chocolate sandwich cookies (Oreos)
2 Tablespoons Challenge butter

Filling -
2 oz. semi-sweet chocolate
12 oz. (1 and 1/2 package) cream cheese
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup Kahlua (coffee liqueur)

Directions:

Prepare the cheesecake pan by rubbing the inside of each cheesecake well with a lightly oiled paper towel.
Preheat oven to 350*F.

Make the crust-
Melt the butter in a small bowl. Place the oreo cookies in a large ziplock type bag, and crush using a rolling pin. Place crushed cookie crumbs in a medium sized bowl and combine with melted butter. Add about 1 tablespoon of the crust mixture into each of the 12 mini cheesecake wells. Pack down the crumbs using a shot glass or glass spice bottle. Bake crust for 10 minutes in preheated oven.

Make the filling-
Melt chocolate in a small bowl and set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, blend cream cheese until very smooth. Add sugar and continue to blend until fully incorporated. Add egg and vanilla, and continue to beat, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add melted chocolate, and blend. While blending, add Kahlua. Beat an additional 30 seconds or so.

Reduce the oven temperature to 250*F.

Open a large ziplock bag and place it in a large glass, pulling the sides of the bag down over the glass. Add the cheesecake filling to the bag, then close the bag. Snip off one corner of the bag, and fill each well of the cheesecake pan a bit more than 3/4 full with filling. If there is a bit of extra filling, you can bake it in a small ramekin for a little "tester"

Place cheesecake pan in the 250*F oven and bake cheesecakes until the filling is set, 22-25 minutes. Place the pan on a wire cooling rack and allow to cool to room temperature, then place entire pan in the refrigerator about 4 hours before removing cheesecakes from the pan.

Once cool, carefully remove the cheesecakes from the pan (pressing up on the removable bottom of each well). Keep the cheesecakes in the fridge until ready to serve. Garnish with whipped cream, a chocolate covered espresso bean and a sprinkle of cinnamon or cocoa powder.

Recipe source - Glorious Treats

The cheesecakes may be made up to 2 days in advance, and kept (in a closed container) in the fridge.

Mini Kahlua Cheesecake Recipe - by Glorious Treats

If you follow me on Instagram you’ll see a peek of the other desserts I made for the Luau party, including Chocolate Cupcakes, Pina Colada Cupcakes and Almond Joy Bars.

Happy baking!

Jelly Belly Flower Cake

So cute and fun!  Jelly Belly Flower Cake - by Glorious Treats

Combine cake, candy and fun colors… and this Jelly Belly Flower Cake is sure to brighten any celebration!

My family and I recently toured the (Fairfield, CA) Jelly Belly factory.  It was so fun to see how these colorful and delicious little jelly beans are made!   I came home from the factory with a few big bags of the newest addition to the Jelly Belly family, the Jewel Collection.  These new Jelly Belly candies have a beautiful shimmery look.  I was inspired to make a pretty dessert with my new “jewels” and this colorful Jelly Belly Flower Cake is what I came up with.

This cake just makes me smile, and I hope it has the same effect on you  =)

Jelly Belly Flower Cake - by Glorious Treats

 

Jelly Belly Flower Cake - by Glorious Treats

After playing around with the pretty Jelly Belly candies a bit I came up with two different flower shapes to adorn the cake.  Both flowers are made from 3 and 1/2 Jelly Belly, just cut in different ways.

How to make Jelly Belly Flowers - by Glorious Treats

How to make simple Jelly Belly flowers -

Each flower shown is make using 3 and 1/2 Jelly Belly.  I used a small serrated knife, and used a bit of a rocking motion to cut the Jelly Belly candies.

Flower 1 (more compact) is made by cutting Jelly Belly candies in half, across the shorter part of the bean.

Flower 2 is made by cutter the Jelly Belly in half lengthwise (as shown).  The flower center for this shape is the same as the center (and petals) for Flower 1. (Disregard the sanding sugar in step three of this flower, we’ll get to that in the next set of photos.)

For each flower, cut the pieces, then just lay out the flowers as you would like, onto a piece of waxed paper.   Mix and match colors as desired.

Next, attach the flower parts together, using royal icing (shown below).

Jelly Belly Flowers (for a beautiful Jelly Belly Flower Cake) - by Glorious Treats

I made a small batch of royal icing using 2 cups powdered sugar, whisked (in my electric mixer) with 2 tablespoons meringue powder and about 4 tablespoons warm water (yes, I know 4 tablespoons is 1/4 cup, but I like to add the water a tablespoon at a time, so it’s easiest to list it this way).  Beat the ingredients together, and add a bit more water as necessary to create a thick royal icing.  The icing should be about the consistency of toothpaste, not so thick that it’s too hard to squeeze from a bag, but not so thin that it just oozes out into a puddle.  Put (some of) the royal icing to a small ziplock type baggie (or a plastic piping bag) and snip off the end (just a bit).  Remaining royal icing should be kept covered at all times.

1.  Squeeze a small dot/mound of royal icing onto a piece of waxed paper (as shown above).  Place one Jelly Belly half in the center, and there should be icing all around the Jelly Belly.

2.  Add the other “petals”, making sure they touch some icing.

3.  Once you’ve formed the flower shape, sprinkle some sanding sugar (I used pale yellow) on top of the flower, this will hide any excess royal icing.  Allow the flower to sit (with the sanding sugar on top) at least 4 hours (or more).  Once the royal icing is dry, remove the Jelly Belly flowers from the waxed paper, shake off any excess sanding sugar,  and use flower as desired.

How to make Jelly Belly leaves (for a Jelly Belly Flower Cake) - by Glorious Treats

I also made some simple Jelly Belly leaves (pictured above).  For the leaves I cut a green Jelly Belly in half lengthwise (images 1-2).  Then cut each half at a diagonal, as shown (images 3-4).   I made a bunch of leaves and just set them aside, then added them right to the cake after I added the flowers.

For the cake…

While the Jelly Belly flowers were drying I baked up an 8″ vanilla cake.  For this cake I used a boxed mix, which is rare for me, but my focus on this cake was the decorating.  I do have a delicious Vanilla Cake recipe which would work great as well.  I divided the batter into two 8″ cake pans (oiled and floured, with parchment paper on the bottom) and baked according to the directions listed.

For the frosting, I made a batch of American Buttercream Frosting (with the addition of 1/2 block -4oz- cream cheese).  This was the perfect amount of frosting to fill between the two cake layers and frost the outside.  I frosted the cake with white (uncolored) icing, then made up two very small bowls of green icing, one using (1 drop) Americolor mint green, and one using (1 drop) Americolor Electric Green.  I added a bit of the green icing along the base of the cake, then used a small off-set spatula to swirl the icing around the sides of the cake.

Crumb Coated Cake (and how to make a blended color cake) - by Glorious Treats

(Above) I frosted/crumb coated the cake in white frosting, then put the cake in the freezer just as shown above.  The icing does not need to be perfect at this stage.

How to make a blended color cake - by Glorious Treats

(Above)  After the frosted cake has been in the freezer about 15 minutes, I added the two different colors of green icing (in dots, as shown), along the base of the cake.  I also added a bit more white icing, as needed.  Then, I used the offset spatula to smooth the icing on the sides of the cake, holding the offset spatula vertical.

How to make a blended color cake - by Glorious Treats

(Above)  After I smoothed the icing a bit, I added some texture by holding the offset spatula horizontally and dragging the end of the (rounded) blade through the icing (while turning the turntable).  Work your way up the cake, then use the same motion to create a spiral in the icing on the top of the cake.

As soon as you’re happy with the icing (it does not need to be perfect, some texture adds to this look), add the Jelly Belly flowers as desired.  I laid out the flowers ahead of time (on a piece of waxed paper) in the order I wanted to place them on the cake.  Add a few leaves as desired.

Jelly Belly Flower Cake - by Glorious Treats

This colorful cake could be a perfect farewell to summer, or used to brighten someone’s day most any time of year!

Happy baking and decorating!

 

Prop notes -

Colorful forks – Available from Shop Sweet Lulu.

Green cake stand – Purchased Spring 2013 at Costco, no longer available.

Disclosure – I was compensated by Jelly Belly with products and/or payment to create this post, but all text, images and ideas are my own.