Sourdough Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Muffins

It’s no secret I love sourdough! I am always trying to find new ways to use my sourdough starter in baking. Sure, I have my favourites, like these crackers, or these soft pretzels, but I’m always on the lookout for new uses.

When I realized that I needed to make some more sourdough bread, I was immediately looking for a new recipe to use with my discard starter. I hate throwing any sourdough starter away, so I think it’s a good plan to have some kind of recipe rotation of discard recipes that I can whip up when I need them.

This recipe was just what I needed. I had Paul peruse my Pinterest board (and I just minorly geeked out at my own alliteration… yay for being an English teacher!), and he said that these were the first things that sounded good. Perfect!

You can make these muffins with pantry staples. Also, if you are not a regular yogurt buyer, like me, just swap the yogurt out with more milk, or sour cream. I used sour cream, and added just a touch more sugar to offset the sour cream in the sourdough recipe.

These muffins take no time at all to make, and you can have fresh muffins on the table in less than an hour. Win-win!

Ingredients

Yield: 12-14 muffins

1 c. rolled oats
½ c. milk
½ c. plain yogurt
1 tsp. vanilla
½ c. sourdough starter
1/3 c. sugar
1½ c. flour
1½ tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. cinnamon
½ tsp. salt
1/3 c. oil (I used canola)
1 egg, beaten
¾ c. chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Grease and flour a 12-cup muffin tin. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the oats, milk, yogurt, and vanilla. Make sure oats are thoroughly combined. Set aside to soften while you prepare the rest of the ingredients. (You can also do this step before preheating the oven, if desired.)

Stir the sourdough starter and the sugar into the oat mixture.

In a small mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon, and salt. Whisk until combined.

Stir oil and egg into the oat mixture, and combine well.

Fold in dry ingredients until just mixed, then add the chocolate chips, and fold in again.

Spoon batter into the prepared muffin tin. For huge muffins, evenly divide all batter into muffin cups. I wanted normal-sized muffins, so I spooned about ¼ cup of batter into all cups. I had batter left over, (about 2 muffins worth), so I just greased a large ramekin, and made 1 jumbo muffin.

Bake in the preheated oven until golden brown, about 20-25 minutes. Remove from muffin tin and cool on a wire rack.

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Sugar Cookie Bars

This came about from a craving for sugar cookies, but without the desire to make the dough, cool, roll, cut, and bake. I wanted something plain and simple, easy to make, with delicious results.

These cookie bars are just that. The dough takes about five minutes to whip up, you press it all into a pan, then bake, cool, and top with the frosting that also comes together in a flash.

I got the recipe here, and I am so glad I finally gave these a go! They have been on my Pinterest boards forever, and were desperately crying out for me to make them. They are soft, chewy, and just everything you want in a simple sugar cookie. Not going to lie, I cut the bars into 16 pieces, so slightly smaller than the recipe calls for, but I feel like 16 is the perfect number. Paul was also watching, and he was very excited for a big piece of a cookie bar. (He also basically licked the bowl clean when I finished spreading the frosting… What can I say? The man loves his sweets!)

Go make these! Please, you need them in your life!

Ingredients

Yield: About 12-16 bars, depending on cut size

For the cookie dough:

½ c. butter, softened
1 c. sugar
2 tbsp. sour cream
1 egg
½ tsp. vanilla
2½ c. flour
½ tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. kosher or sea salt

For the frosting:

½ c. butter, softened
4 c. icing sugar
4-6 tbsp. whipping cream (milk works as well, just use less)
½ tsp. vanilla
Pinch kosher or sea salt
Food colouring (if desired)
Sprinkles (if desired)

Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line a 9 x 13 pan with parchment paper, set aside.

In the bowl of a mixer with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar until pale and well-combined.

Add in the sour cream, egg, and vanilla, and mix again. Add in the flour, salt, and baking powder, and mix on low speed until completely incorporated and a cohesive dough forms.

Press into the prepared baking pan in an even layer. Bake in the preheated oven for 16-17 minutes. If the edges start to turn brown, take out of the oven immediately.

Let cool completely before frosting.

While the cookie bars are cooling, make the frosting.

In the bowl of a mixer with a whisk attachment, whip the butter until creamy. Add in the icing sugar, a half cup at a time, adding in the vanilla and a little bit of milk or cream at a time to get to the right consistency (it should be spreadable, but not too thin). Add in the food colouring, and whip until cohesive.

Spread onto the cooled cookie bars, then remove from pan (the parchment paper is helpful here…. handles!) and slice into bars. Store in the refrigerator for firmer icing, or at room temperature for softer icing.

Sourdough Biscuits

Who doesn’t love a biscuit warm from the oven slathered in butter? This girl right here has a huge soft spot for warm biscuits and butter. Because I’m not from the South, I love just butter, not gravy on my biscuits.

My faithful readers also know that I’m always on the hunt for a new sourdough recipe, and especially ones that use the discard starter, instead of fed, active starter. I’m a busy lady! I can’t always remember to take out my starter the night before and feed it!

I found this recipe, and it looked perfect. It was extremely easy to whip together, and took me less than 10 minutes until I had biscuits in the oven. All in all, a biscuit recipe that takes less than half an hour to come out of the oven? Yes, please!

Now, you can taste the sourdough flavour in this recipe, so if you like a little bit of sweetness in your biscuits, I recommend drizzling on some honey or covering your biscuits in jam. Still, they are tall, fluffy and light, and a perfect way to welcome the day!

Ingredients

Yield: 8 biscuits, approx. 3 inches wide

1 c. flour
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. baking powder
6 tbsp. butter, cold and sliced into cubes
1 c. unfed sourdough starter, straight from the fridge
2 tbsp. butter, melted, for finishing

Preheat oven to 425°F. Line a baking tray with parchment paper, set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Cut in the cold butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.

Add the sourdough starter, and mix using a wooden spoon until mixture comes together. Knead in the bowl a few times until cohesive, then turn out onto a work surface and pat down, until the dough is in an even layer.

Using a biscuit cutter, or a glass with the rim dipped in flour, cut out biscuits, as many as you can, from the dough. Don’t turn the cutter, as that seals off the edges and your biscuits may not rise as much.

Reform the dough, working with it as little as possible, and re-cut the dough, placing the cut biscuits on the prepared baking tray. With the last scraps, hand form the last biscuit.

Bake in the preheated oven for 12-15 minutes, or until biscuits begin to brown on the edges. When the biscuits come out of the oven, brush the tops with the reserved melted butter, and sprinkle kosher salt on top, if desired.

Serve warm.

Rhubarb Pie

Warm weather means it’s rhubarb season! I didn’t actually have any fresh rhubarb on hand, but I did have a bunch of frozen rhubarb from last year. When I woke up this morning, I had the urge to bake something, and I asked Paul for his opinion.

Of course, his one-word answer: pie. He is a pie fiend. Loves it more than cake. There’s a reason I’ve made him birthday pies a few times (including this year!).

I was feeling pretty lazy today though as well, and didn’t want to go to the store for any ingredients, hence rhubarb pie!

This beautiful pie is a combination of two different recipes (this one and this one), and a little of my own twists. Rhubarb is such a unique flavour, and so tart, and I really liked the idea of highlighting the tartness.

This is such a good pie to welcome the warm months!

Ingredients

Yield: 1 9-inch pie

1 recipe Flaky Butter Pie Crust
5-6 c. chopped rhubarb (fresh or frozen and thawed)
2 c. sugar
½ c. flour
1 tsp. cinnamon
1½ tbsp. butter

Preheat oven to 450°F.

Roll out pie crust to cover a 9 inch pie plate. Trim edges. Set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar, flour, and cinnamon. Toss in the rhubarb until well-coated.

Transfer the rhubarb mixture into the prepared pie plate. Roll out the remaining crust to cover the top of the pie. Crimp edges in a decorative fashion, and cut a few slits across the top of the pie.

Bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes, then reduce oven heat to 350°F and bake for 40-45 minutes.

Texas Sheet Cake

Texas sheet cake is like a combo cake/brownie. It is soft, moist, tender, and delicious!

The school I worked at last year would do Hot Lunch day once a month. The Foods class would make everyone a meal, usually with dessert included, and texas sheet cake was the dessert staple! It’s not hard to see why. You make one batter, throw it onto a sheet pan, and off you go! Easy to make, and it can feed a crowd with delicious results.

The recipe I used is not from my school, but instead from this blog. I found it, decided to try it, and was not disappointed. The only thing I changed is how I prepared the icing. I know that many Texas-style sheet cakes have a boiled icing. This one did not, and because you put the icing on the hot cake anyways, it melts, and I figured that why couldn’t I throw everything together in a saucepan, and have it work that way too?

This actually worked beautifully. The hot icing soaked into the cake, and made it more moist and delicious, as well as really amping up the chocolate flavour and fudge factor.

This cake takes so little time to prepare, and is so easy. Trust me, and go make this!

Ingredients
Yield: Approx. 3 dozen slices of cake (from a 17 x 11 sheet pan)

For the cake:

2 c. flour
2 c. sugar
1 tsp. salt
1 c. butter, softened
¼ c. cocoa powder
2 eggs
½ c. buttermilk
1 c. hot water
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tbsp. vinegar

For the icing:

½ c. butter. softened
6 tbsp. milk
¼ c. cocoa powder
3¾ c. icing sugar
1 tsp. vanilla

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, and salt.

In a saucepan, add the hot water, cocoa, and butter. Stir until the butter melts, and the mixture comes to a boil. Pour over the dry ingredients, and whisk together.

Add in eggs, buttermilk, baking soda, vanilla, and vinegar. Whisk to combine well.

Pour batter into prepared sheet pan. Bake in the preheated oven for 25 minutes.

To make the frosting, while the cake is baking, combine butter, milk, and cocoa in a saucepan, until butter is melted and cocoa is incorporated. Whisk in powdered sugar and vanilla.

As soon as the hot cake comes out of the oven, pour the frosting over the cake. Go slow to avoid splashing. The frosting will be slightly absorbed by the cake.

Cool completely, slice, and serve.