Tuesday, March 31, 2009

TWD: Coconut Butter Thins

This weeks recipe was Coconut Butter Thins chosen by Jayne of The Barefoot Kitchen Witch. You can find the recipe after her hilarious and fun post here. Her post makes me wish I had little kitchen helpers.

So, I was multi-tasking big time when making these cookies. Making yummy oatmeal caramel bars, french toast mini cupcakes (posts forth coming) watching Food Network Cake Challenge - the only TV I really watch, and reading your lovely blogs. So, there were a few - oversights. I forgot the cardamon, I forgot the fork hole punching, and I didn't use a ruler. So, I had cookies of all shapes and sizes, it was not the prettiest batch of cookies I must admit. And, since I have yet to try shortbread with lactose free margarine (I mean aren't these really all about the butter) I couldn't taste them.

So, I dusted them with powdered sugar to hide the blemishes and make them look a little fancier - I am a little picky about what goes to work, I have a reputation to uphold! They were all gone when I walked by the kitchen in the afternoon. Didn't hear a peep from anyone about how they tasted though (I need to get better about demanding feedback in return for sweets), but I know many other TWD'ers liked them.

I also packed up some of the cookies to send to my good friend Jesse who is very techno savy - he created the website Walkscore that lets you rate the walkability of many many neighborhoods in the U.S. It is a really cool site and useful when moving. Anyhow, he helped me set up the avatar for the Sweet Melissa Sundays Group and I wanted to thank him. So a care-package with these and the oatmeal caramel bars are on their way. Thanks Jesse.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Lemon Drop Cake

So, my good friend "Big Guy" had a birthday on Friday. I told him I wanted to make him a birthday cake and organize something for his birthday. I told him he could have any kind of cake he wanted. I was pretty sure he'd ask for something chocolate and then I could try one of the many chocolate cakes on my "must-try" list. But, no, he chose a lemon cake.

Nothing wrong with that choice of course. But, man, I sure have been on a lemon baking kick lately. And, not just lemon desserts, but lemon cakes too. First there was the Luscious Lemon Cake for my sister-in-law's birthday. Then there was the TWD Lemon Yogurt Cake which I turned into a birthday cake for myself. And so Big Guy's lemon cake makes three. (Even though I so badly want to join the Cake Slice group - haven't heard a response yet - I guess it is a good thing I am not in that group because then that would have been 4 lemon cakes in 3 months! )

And, like I said, lemon cakes are not the only lemon goodies that have come out of my oven recently. There was my delicious Lemon Apricot Cupcakes, the TWD Lemon Custard and Lemon Cookies (that I haven't even posted yet). Phew. Lemon is good though - so its all good. But hopefully the next birthday in my life will choose something other than lemon!

So, it was a tough choice - what lemon cake to make? The first two I made received rave reviews. But, I am a sucker for trying new things. It's kind of like celebrities and their red carpet wear - even if they make the best dressed list and are the talk of the town, they'd rather take a chance next time than do a repeat. OK, that is a bit of an exaggeration, because I do rely on standbys but I love to try new things - so you get the metaphor. The Cake Slice bakers hit the blogs hard with their tempting and gorgeous photos of their Lemon Chiffon cakes. I almost chose this cake to make, almost.

But, I didn't. Jessica from the awesome blog A Singleton in the Kitchen made the Lemon Drop Cake from Baked. As you may know, I just got this cookbook for my birthday from my lovely friend Jaci and after reading the recipe and getting inspired by Jessica and chose the Baked cake. She posted the recipe here so I am not going to do so because this post is already pretty long. So, late into the night I began making the cake. I had learned from Jessica's post that it was a delicate cake and that I needed to proceed with care. Did I listen?

No, I did not (well not entirely). I did pipe a frosting dam around the cake so the curd did not ooze out the side when I assembled the cake. And, I did but the cake in the fridge for a little while after putting the curd on each layer to help it set and help prevent oozing. That really worked - I had no oozing problems. But what I did have problems with was delicate cake. Instead of making the cake in 3 8-inch pans (because I have only 2 and it was late) I made it in 2 9-inch pans. And, for some reason, I baked them on two different shelves in the oven instead of side by side and forgot to switch them halfway through. So, one cake was undercooked and sunk a little in the middle, and the other cracked significantly when I removed it to cool on a rack.

I did not panic though. I saw how Jessica was able to turn almost disaster into a beautiful cake, so I plowed on. I was able to carefully cut the cracked layer (which was cooked all the way through) thanks to my NEW Atteco Revolving Cake Stand which I got from Hubby for my Birthday ( I never knew I NEEDED this and I LOVE it). I then cut the badly sunken cake in half and decided not to use the top half (with an undercooked sunken center). There - three layers just how the Baked boys intended. But, what to do with the good cake ring around the sunken center of that fourth layer?

Mini Lemon Drop cakes!! I used a biscuit cutter to cut out four circles. I filled them with the lemon curd, crumb coated them and then frosted them with the lemon buttercream frosting from the Luscious Lemon Cake (I was too tired to do the complicated looking one in the Baked book). And, in honor of spring and the new baking group I created - Sweet Melissa Sundays - to bake our way through the Sweet Melissa Baking Book, I decorated them using little bee toppers. How cute are those? Anyhow, the baking group will start posting next Sunday and there is a giveaway of the Baking Book that is open until 11:59PM PST tonight! Come join us!

Friday, March 27, 2009

New Baking Group!

Hi everyone, I started a new baking group!

I love TWD so much that once a week is not enough. TWD is also closed, so I thought I might be able to get some people to bake along with me in this new group.

It is called Sweet Melissa Sundays and we are going to bake out of the Sweet Melissa Baking Book. It's gonna be a lot like TWD (organization wise). Check it out and join me if you are not over committed with all the baking events out there! First post Sunday April 5th.

And, there is a giveaway to celebrate too. Check it out!

Hope ya join me.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Funfetti Celebration Cupcakes

I made these fun and delicious cupcakes to celebrate the settlement of my big case (that I had been working on for years). Sometimes, just the simple desserts that people are familiar with are just what people are looking for. These did the trick, and actually went a lot quicker than the Mexican chocolate cupcakes (to be forthcoming in another post). Usually, chocolate is the first to go.

I got the idea for these cupcakes browsing on one of my favorite blogs I Heart Cuppycakes by Clara (you see I had A LOT of Google Reader Blog reading to catch up with when I got back from trial - like many hundreds of posts - you were all very busy bakers!). Clara did a post about her Thank You Cupcakes and they included these funfetti cupcakes. I decided to give them a whirl and boost the color a little by making rainbow frosting.

The verdict: people REALLY loved these alot. I made them with margarine and soy milk too (so I could have them because vanilla cake is my favorite!) no one could tell until they saw me eating one. I LOVED them too. Simple and delicious. Thank you Clara!

Funfetti Cupcakes Recipe
From Clara of iheartcuppycakes

Makes about 12 cupcakes

For funfetti cupcakes
1-1/4 cups AP flour
1-1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup sugar
6 tbsp butter, room temperature
1 large egg + 1 egg white, room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup milk or half-and-half instead
2 tbsp rainbow sprinkles

For vanilla buttercream
2 sticks butter
7 cups powdered sugar, sifted
1/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla

To make cupcakes—Preheat oven to 350F.
Line cupcake pan with paper liners.

In a large bowl, sift flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside. In a stand mixer, fitted with flat beater, beat the sugar and butter until well combined, about 2-3 minutes. Add egg and egg white, one at a time, beating on low.

Then add vanilla. Gradually add flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with milk in 2 additions, ending with the flour mixture. Fold in rainbow sprinkles.

Fill cupcake liners about 1/2-2/3 full. Bake for about 17-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Remove from pan and cool completely on a wire cooling rack before frosting.

To make buttercream—In a stand mixer, fitted with flat beater, beat butter until creamy, about 2-3 minutes. Add 5 cups of sifted powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla, beat until combined. Add more powdered sugar until you get to the consistency you want.

To make swirl buttercream
- You will need gel food coloring and a disposable piping bag or Zip Lock Gallon Bag. Using a toothpick, draw a line with one color from the tip of the bag (where the piping tip goes, up the sides of the bag 3/4 way up. Do the same thing with one or more colors. Then gently put vanilla buttercream into the bag and start piping. Garnish with more rainbow sprinkles.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

TWD: Blueberry Crumb Cake

OMG! I mean HOLY COW!!! I am over the moon about this week's TWD. I made it with dairy free margarine and soymilk (plus vinegar) so I could eat it because I LOVE blueberry cakes and muffins and yogurt and jam - OK anything blueberry. And WOW, I am in love. I will no longer feel like a poor pathetic deprived lactose intolerant sole. Oh no, from now on, when I start to feel a little left out and jealous that I can't eat most of what I bake, and have to live vicariously through my faithful eaters, I will just make this week's TWD cake - Blueberry Crumb Cake.

This week's recipe was chosen by Sihan of Befuddlement and you can get the recipe on her lovely blog. Thank you thank you thank you Sihan.

The cake was a bit of a miracle because I set the timer to 55 minutes, but then forgot to turn it on. I was just sitting at my computer reading blogs, when I felt that something was wrong and darted into the kitchen. Yep, sure enough, I forgot to turn the timer on. Luckilly the cake was not done yet, but then it was a series of a little bit more, check, a little bit more, check, etc. And, thankfully, it came out AMAZING. We ate it when it was still a tad bit warm. It had a nice crust on the sides, delicous topping (I made some changes) and was nice an fluffy in the center with big juicy blueberrys and not too sweet. Perfect!

My husband's narrative: I really only wanted 2 bites, and then one more, and then one more, and then it was gone and I still wanted more - I will call this the blueberry cake "el diablo." Work reviews were also really good - and they disappeared in record time even though I put them out at an off time - 10:30 am (give or take).

My changes were as follows. Margarine and soymilk plus apple cider vinegar in place of the dairy. Then for the topping, I added 1/4 cup ground graham crackers, pecans instead of walnuts, dark brown sugar instead of light brown sugar, and added a little cinnamon and nutmeg. I think the graham crackers helped soak up some of the extra margarine (will cut back on that next time as there was a pool on top of the cake while cooking) and the taste was subtle, but went well with the pecans. Hope that still counts as making the recipe this week. But the topping was amazing, like a butter pecan crumble with a twist. Oh and I used frozen blueberries - they tasted great.

As always, check out what the other TWD'ers did here.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Taylor's Blondies

In my epic cooking/baking night on Friday I also made blondies for my sweet cousin Taylor. I am usually pretty good about making sure that birthday presents get where they need to be on time, but this time, I was a little late. But the weekend allowed me to send her some special treats.

I was pretty sure from Thanksgiving dinners that she doesn't like nuts, but really wasn't to sure about her sweet preferences (was she a major chocoholic like my aunt?). My aunt played the little birdie and let me know that she wasn't as much a dark chocolate fan, but that she would like anything I would send (sweet, but not all that helpful - oh the choices!). So I thought blondies would be the way to go. So I did what I often do, I searched for what I was looking for in my google reader (love it) and voila!

I came across Maria of The Goddess's Kitchen's post about her blondies and her rave reviews on the blondie recipe she used sealed the deal for me. I of course had to make some changes due to the ingredients I had on hand. I used a combination of white chocolate chips, butterscotch chips and semi-sweet chocolate chunks (1/2 cup each) and omitted the nuts. I also used 1/2 cup light brown sugar and 1 cup dark brown sugar (because I ran out of the light). I also had to cook it for about 12 minutes longer - about 37 minutes total - and they still came out pretty underdone.

The verdict: Hubby loved them lots and lots (he does tend to like most things) but he said he really really liked them. My aunt seemed to like them a lot too. I of course, have no opinion, but they smelled delicious. A few of them (large yield) are on their way to London right now, so I may have more reviews later. I am definitely keeping this on file and will make again - thanks Maria!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Monster Cookies by Baked

So I had a bit of an epic cooking/baking night on Friday. I made ribs (with my own rub), BBQ sauce (for the first time - my husband, who LOVES BBQ sauce was like how come you held out on me and haven't made this before in the last 9 years we have been together?) cornbread, blondies and monster cookies. Phew - it was a late night and the kitchen was a MESS when I was done.

I am really in love with the Baked cookbook, even though I think my expectations on the infamous brownie was a little too high as I posted about here. So I wanted to make some cookies to take on the hike we were going on in the morning (more about that below), and wanted to try Baked again so I flipped through the pages and thought the Monster Cookie would be great to try since my hubby loves oatmeal cookies (without raisins!). I made a few changes, I used chunky peanut butter, didn't refrigerate for 5 hours since I didn't have that much time, and used milk chocolate chips in stead of semi-sweet because that is what I had.

These cookies were perfect for taking along on a hike. OK, so now I will tell you about this hike. I have lived in SF for 3 1/2 years now, and I have never really been hiking on Mt. Tam (Crazy!). For those of you who don't know SF, Mt. Tam (Tamalpais is real name) is just north of San Francisco and the Golden Gate and has 6,300 acres of redwood groves, oak woodlands, grassland slopes, chaparral and rocky ridges. So, one of my good friends recently started a business called Bay Treks and they now offer guided tours of 3 great hikes on Mt. Tam. We went on the Steep Ravine hike yesterday and it was awesome.

It was pretty cold and windy, and ended up raining (so it was not my ideal weather to say the least), and I ended up loosing the sole of one of my shoes, yeah that's right, I just walked out of it (so much for having nice warm, insulated waterproof boots) and had to walk back to the car with a ways to go on the lining of the boot. So funny right - like when does that happen? Anyhow, despite all of that I had a great time. The guides were great, the lunch was yummy and the nature breathtaking (few photos below). I highly recommend taking a hike with Bay Treks for anyone in the Bay Area or visiting.

Back to the baking - so I made these cookies for this trip and they received rave reviews from my fellow hikers. Some were eaten before the hike, and the rest were divided up as a post lunch treat. The recipe made a lot (even though I used a BIG cookie scoop - the one I usually use to dish my cupcake batter) - so I am sending a bunch with my hubby to England tomorrow!

Monster Cookies

adapted from Baked

1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking soda
Pinch of salt
5 ¾ cups rolled oats
¾ cups (1 ½ sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
1 ½ cups firmly packed light brown sugar
1 ½ cups granulated sugar
5 large eggs
¼ tsp light corn syrup
¼ tsp vanilla extract
2 cups chunky peanut butter
1 cup (6 ounces) milk or semi-sweet chocolate
1 cup (6 ounces) M&M’s

In a large bowl whisk the flour, baking soda, and salt together. Add the oats and stir until combined.

In the bowl of electric mixer with paddle attachment, cream butter until smooth and pale in color. Add the sugars and mix on low speed until just incorporated. Do not overmix.

Scrape down bowl and add eggs one at a time, beating until smooth (about 20 seconds) and scraping down bowl after each edition. Add the corn syrup and vanilla and beat until incorporated.

Scrape down bowl and add peanut butter. Mix on low speed until just combined, add the oat mixture in three additions, mixing on low speed until just incorporated. (You don’t have to do all this bowl scraping if you use the new Beater Blade that scrapes the bowl while it mixes and works like a charm!)

Use a spatula or wooden spoon and fold in the chocolate chips and M&M’s. Cover bowl tightly and refrigerate for 5 hours. (I did it for and 1 ½ and they were still delicious)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees and line baking sheets with parchment paper.

Use ice cream scoop to scoop out dough into 2- tablespoon size balls on two baking sheets – 2 inches apart. Bake for 12-15 minutes (mine took about 15-17), rotating pans halfway through baking time. Let cool on pans for 8-10 minutes, then transfer to wire rack to cool completely.

Pictures from the hike below:

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Baked Brownie

So I just got the cookbook Baked from my good friend Jaci. So, of course I had to make the infamous, Oprah loving Baked Brownie right out of the box. It definately was a different recipe - 5 EGGS!!! - and new mixing method. But I was game. My husband was going to see his grandma today, and she used to be the baker of the family, so I usually bake when he goes. This is what I chose.

The verdict? People seemed to really like it - but it definately wasn't the OH MY GOSH BEST BROWNIE EVER - reaction that I thought it might get given its accolates. Granted, there may have been user error. Although I don't think that I over cooked it, so .... But I am also way overly self-critical, and can't taste most of my creations, so maybe they really did like them - alot. I just got the Sweet Mellisa baking book and I told them I would ask for their side by side comparison soon.

The Baked Brownie from Baked
1 1/4 Cups AP Flour
1 tsp salt
2 tablespoons dark unsweetened cocoa powder
11 ounces dark chocolate (60 to 72% cacao), coarsely chopped
1 Cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 tsp instant expresso powder
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
5 large eggs, at room temperature
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter the sides and bottom of a 9-by-13-inch glass or light-colored metal baking pan.
In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, salt, and cocoa powder powder together.
Put the chocolate, butter, and instant espresso powder in a large bowl and set it over a saucepan of simmering water, stirring occasionally, until the chocolate and butter are completely melted amd smooth. Add the vanilla and stir until combined. Do not overbeat the batter at this stage or your brownies will be cakey.
Sprinkle the flour mixture over the chocolate mixture. Using a spatula (not a whisk), fold the flour mixture into the chocolate until just a bit of the flour mixture is visible.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake in the center of the oven for 30 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through the baking time, until a toothpick inserted into the center of the brownies comes out with a few moist crumbs sticking to it. Let the brownies cool completely, then cut them into squares and serve.

Friday, March 20, 2009

LA Sweet Spot: Surfas

So, I just have to share this awesome cooking store called Surfas in Los Angeles. When we were vising my parents in West Covina (essentially LA for you non-LA people), my dad was super excited to take me to this store. So we made the trek (40 min drive give or take) to see his new office building which was near Surfas. An asside - besides being a terrific father and friend, he is an amazing person and works for this great organization called Children's Bureau of Southern California that has child abuse treatment and prevention programs, foster care, etc.

I digress. So, he knew I would love the place, and boy did I. I think we were there for over an hour and they had to drag me out of the store (seriously, they were all waiting in the car when i finally emerged).

I picked up a ton of stuff, chocolate, flavorings, pans, paper goods, cupcake/cookie scoops, etc. But two things I am going to highlight here. First, their big 1 lb canisters of Valrhona Cocoa Powder for only $10.85. This is super high quality cocoa powder and at a great price. I recently ran out of the two containers I bought at Thanksgiving time so I HAD to order more.

Of course, that's not all I could walk away with. Oh no. Maybe it was the birthday spirit (I tend to be really generous with myself during my birthday month - can you say shopaholic [can't wait to see that movie btw]). I also decided that it would be a good idea to stock up on some decorating supplies, because I am starting to get some cupcakes requests and am pimping myself out to people with kids just so I can have more audiences for my baking obsession.

So I picked up all of these pretty sprinkles. These are also really well priced. $3.55-$4.20 for 10-12oz. That's a lot of sprinkles. I got two reds and two greens for my holiday baking at my November in store shopping experience (my parents had to give me another suitcase to take home) and after ALL my holiday baking and I have more than half of each left. So, again, great value.

OK, I'll stop - you probably think I have stock.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Margarita Bars!

Ok, these were fabulous. To die for. I made them with margarine instead of butter so I could try them because I LOVE margaritas. I think these will be a regular stand-by for parties and get togethers. The office peeps really loved them too. I also brought in another chocolate/peanut butter treat - to be discussed in a different post - and the margarita bars were the best sellers (probably because of scarcity and curiousity).

I got the idea from googling for margarita cupcakes - which I have made with great success and reviews I might add - from Urbanhonking.com. The pictures looked good and the recipe easy, so I filed it away in my recipes to try stash. I would highly recommend this recipe.

They have a nice flaky crust that is slightly sweet, and the filling is nice and goey but firm - the same texture as a good lemon bar (its cousin). These really did taste like margaritas. The modifications I made to the recipe was to add orange zest and tequilla - which I think really transformed them from lime bars to margarita bars. I think Jimmy Buffet would approve!

Margarita Bars
(Adapted from Urbanhonking.com)

Heat oven to 350-degrees.

1 Cup all-purpose flour
1/2 Cup salted butter, cut into chunks
1/4 Cup confectioners sugar

Combine above ingredients in stand mixer or by hand and press evenly into a square 8x8 pan. Bake for 20 minutes.

Beat together in a stand mixer or with hand beaters:

2 eggs
1 Cup granulated sugar
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. lime juice
Zest of two limes
Zest of one small orange or 1/2 large orange
2 tsp. Tequilla
1 drop green food coloring

When crust is done baking, pour lime mixture over crust and bake 20-25 minutes more.The filling puffs during baking, but flattens when cooled. They should be browned on top.

Cool completely before covering and refrigerating overnight (for best results, though can be made for same day). Dust with powdered sugar. Sprinkle sparingly with flaky sea salt (like Maldon). Choose a salt with large flakes, or the granules will soak into the bars. A little goes a long way!
Makes about 16 squares; You can double the recipe and make it in a 9x13 pan.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

New Birthday Cookbooks!

Wow, I am super lucky. I was the lucky recipient of many cookbooks that I had been coveting for quite some time now. I can't wait to dive into them and test them out - and post my experiences here of course. I did pour over them and LOVE them already. Stay tuned - the kitchen will be busy (work permitting).

Thank you Thank you Thank you Jaci for Baked and Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World (Photos from Amazon).

Thank you Thank you Thank you Ashley R. for the long sought after infamous Hello, Cupcake!
Thank you Thank you Thank you my dear sweet hubby for these delicous books: The Sweet Melissa Baking Book and Go Dairy Free.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

TWD: French Yogurt Cake

This cake was super yum. Super duper yummy. This week's TWD recipe was French Yogurt Cake and was chosen by Liliana of My Cookbook Addition. Thank you Liliana! As the host, you can get the recipe from Liliana here.

I was very excited about this cake because I had a great occasion to make it - my birthday!!! I LOVE birthday cake, but hardly get to eat it anymore with my horrible lactose affliction. So, with the use of yogurt and oil, this cake easily lent itself to a special Lorelei treat.

I did share the cake! As you can see from the picture above, I shared a lot of it (I did not eat it all I promise). One of the partner's at my firm was hosting a dinner party and I brought along this cake and the amzing S'more bars from Baking Bites (I will do a separate post about these). They both were a big hit.

My adaptations to the Dorie recipe was that I made two batches so that I could make a nice and tall birthday cake with four layers. As suggested I made them in 9 inch pans and then sliced the cake in half to make four layers. I also added lemon extract to the batter because after tasting it I thought it could use an additional lemon boost. That's it. The rest was as advertised. I frosted the cake with a delicous lemon buttercream frosting (using Nucoa Margarine of course) that I got from Good Things Catered. So good - in fact - I think I will go have another piece!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Pumpkin & Coconut Muffins

Since my case settled, I have had a bit of time on my hands - and I have been using a lot of it to catch up on my favorite foodie blogs and bookmark recipes (actually print them out and put in a binder with plastic sheets so I can bring into the kitchen with me and I have a handy book of to try and tried and true recipes).

So, when I came across the Pumpkin and Coconut Bread by Vanilla Sugar - I knew I finally had a purpose for my can of pumpkin that has been waiting since November to get used. My husband and I love muffins. As you can tell by my post here. So I decided to make muffins instead of a loaf so we could have easy to transport breakfast all week (and then some!).

My can of pumpkin was almost 2x what the recipe called for, and since I waited so long to use this can of pumpkin - I was using the whole thing even if it meant doubling everything else and having muffins galore. I also wanted to make a tad bit lighter so I swapped out some of the oil for applesauce.

They were DELICIOUS in my opinion. Loved by my husband and got rave reviews at work. I would highly recommend these. And will try it in loaf form someday just to see (almost nothing makes it into loaf form around here - just muffins and cupcakes!).

Pumpkin & Coconut Muffins
(adapted from Vanilla Sugar)

1 (15 oz can) pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie puree, just plain pumpkin puree)
1/4 cup canola oil
1/4 cup applesauce
2 eggs
1 ts vanilla extract
1 ¼ cups of white sugar
1 ½ cups flour
½ ts salt
½ ts baking soda
½ ts baking powder
½ ts ground cinnamon
½ ts ground nutmeg
½ ts pumpkin pie spice mix
½ cup chopped pecans
½ cup shredded coconut

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Grease and flour muffin tins (I used papers and the muffins really stuck to the papers, so I would recommend greasing and flouring the pans instead)

In a large bowl, mix together the pumpkin puree, oil, eggs, applesauce, vanilla extract, and sugar.

In another bowl combine the flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and pumpkin pie spice mix. Mix well, then slowly add to the wet ingredients until well combined. Don’t over mix!

Then fold in the pecans and coconut into the batter. Top with a sprinkle of coconut and press into batter.

Pour the batter into the prepared muffin tins. Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted into bread comes out clean.