French Puff Muffins

Betty Crocker Recipe (apparently, this was a recipe that they taught in home economics classes in the US in the 1970s).

YIELD: 12 muffins



1/3 cup butter
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg OR allspice OR cinnamon OR cardamom
1/2 cup milk
3/4 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp almond extract


1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup butter or margarine, melted



Heat oven to 350ºF. Line a 12 muffin cup pan with paper cupcake liners.

Mix butter, sugar and the egg thoroughly in a large bowl.

Stir in flour, baking powder, salt and spice alternately with milk.

Divide batter evenly among muffin cups.

Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown.


Mix sugar and the cinnamon and put in one bowl

Put melted butter in second bowl.

Roll hot muffins immediately in melted butter, then in sugar-cinnamon mixture. Serve hot.


Make muffins without topping. Freeze in tupperware or ziplock bags (key is to wrap well so freezer smells do not yuck up your muffins). To reuse, defrost at room temperature and warm in 350 oven for 5 minutes. Then follow directions for topping as above.

NOTES: These tasted like baked pancakes. Also very eggy. Did not like and do not recommend. 😦


Vintage Lebkuchen Recipe

Hilda Lebkuchen
This sounds great, but I must send on this recipe that is at least 100 years old — Lebküchen — Hilda ‘Hode’ Eiseman Hode made this every year for Christmas. She did the final mixing in a huge dishpan with a wooden spoon and her hands. I cut it in half and freeze some of the dough in well-sealed containers for two or three years. Freezing the dough seems to improve it as the flavors have more time to blend. Thaw the dough, then roll out as usual. May take extra flour.
1 pound light brown sugar
1 quart light molasses
1 ½ cups shortening (original recipe called for lard)
1 tablespoon salt
1 pint sour cream
1pint sour milk (or buttermilk)
3 tablespoons baking soda dissolved in buttermilk
1 heaping tablespoon baking powder
½ tablespoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground cloves
5 pounds flour (save out 1 – 2 cups for rolling out dough)
1 quart chopped nuts (walnuts or pecans are good)
2 ½ pounds raisins
1 pound dates
1 pound mixed candied fruit
1. Grind together the last four ingredients and mix with the flour and spices.
2. Cream sugar and shortening until light.
3. Add molasses, sour cream and milk with dissolved baking soda.
4. Add and thoroughly mix in the flour/spice/fruit mixture.
5. Chill dough.
6. Roll out on a floured board to about ¼ inch thick. Cut into rectangles.
7. Place on a greased baking sheet.
8. Glaze with a thin mixture of confectioner’s sugar and milk (or water) before baking. Can add half a candied cherry or nut to top of cookies.
9. sBake at 350° about 10 minutes. Cool on a rack. Store tightly covered in cool place.


Adapted from Martha Stewart Cookies p.192

Lebkuchen (German Christmas Cookies)


This is the authentic recipe. If you don’t like fruitcake mix, try King Arthur’s Lebkuchen recipe.

Makes 18 cookies


3/4 c flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon, ground
1/2 tsp ginger, ground
1/4 tsp cloves, ground
1/2 tsp mace or allspice or nutmeg
1/2 c almond flour
2/3 c candied fruitcake mix
4 Medjool dates, pitted and finely chopped
3 oz almond paste, broken into small pieces
1/3 c apricot jam (I used Smucker’s Simply Fruit)
3 eggs
3/4 packed light brown sugar


1. Mix dry ingredients.

2. In second bowl, add fruitcake mix and dates. Mix.

3. Add almond paste. Mix.

4. Add jam. Mix.

5. Add eggs and brown sugar. Mix.

6. Fridge mix overnight or up to 3 days.

7. Preheat oven to 325 F. Prepare cookie sheet with silpat on top.

8. Make 2 in diameter rounds, place on silpat. Place 3 almonds close together on top of each cookie, decoratively. (Note: In Germany, they bake these on something called oblaten.)

9. Bake 12-14 minutes. You may need to rotate cookie sheet halfway through.

While baking, make glaze.


1/2 c + 3 tbsp confectioner’s sugar
2 tbsp whole milk

Mix well.

10. When cookies are cooled all the way, brush glaze on top of the cookies and let set. Cookies can be stored at room temperature for up to 3 days. To store longer, put cookies in airtight box with half an orange or apple (to keep the moisture in).

Note: WOWOWOWOWOWOWOWOWOWOWOWOWOW!! Divided batter into three parts, baked one, froze two. Love Germans. Love!

Chocolate Crinkle Cookies

Recipe from What’s Cooking America.

Chocolate Crinkle Cookies
Chocolate Crinkle Cookies

Chocolate Crinkle (Kringle) Cookies Recipe:

Recipe Type: Cookies, Christmas Cookie, Chocolate
Yields: 16 cookies
Prep time: 30 min
Fridge time: 1.5 hours
Cook time: 18-20 min

2 tablespoons butter (1/4 stick)
1/4 c Hershey’s unsweetened cocoa powder (or 4 oz unsweetened baking squares)
1 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoons baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup powdered (confectioner’s) sugar


1. Melt butter and cocoa over medium heat.

2. Add sugar.

3. Add eggs.

4. Add flour, baking powder and salt. Dough will be soft.

5. Stir in walnuts.

6. Fridge for 1.5 hours or overnight. (If you want to make it later, roll dough into balls and freeze. To use out of the freezer, let thaw for 30 min, dip in powdered sugar, and then bake as per directions below).

7. Preheat oven to 300 F.

8. Prepare cookie sheet lined with silpat.

9. Roll dough into 1.5 in balls, dip in powdered sugar (be generous!), and place 2 in apart on cookie sheet.

10. Bake 18-20 min. DO NOT OVERBAKE!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Yields 12 cookies.

Swati’s Corn Cake

Swati’s Corn Cake

2 eggs
¼ c sugar
¼ c yellow corn meal
½ tsp salt
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
½ stick butter (1/4 c)
½ c defrosted corn (put in water and microwave for 5 minutes)
½ c yogurt
¼ c white flour
1/16 c oil
¼ – ½ jalapeno, finely diced

Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes.

Result: Very moist, very good cake. Slightly crumbly. Might be able to do without the oil.

Swati’s Carrot Casserole

Swati’s Carrot Casserole

1 lb carrots, cooked, mashed (1 bag frozen carrots, defrosted)
1/2 c milk
1/3 c sugar + a touch for luck
1/2 c butter, softened
salt to taste
pepper to taste
paprika to taste

Put above ingredients in blender. Puree until consistency of mashed potatoes.

1 small onion, chopped
1 large jalapeno, chopped
1/2 c cracker crumbs for mixture

You can add some onions, jalapenos and cracker crumbs into the blender if you like.

Mix above ingredients in mixing bowl. Add pureed carrot to mix. Take the total mix and put it into a casserole dish (2 QT lasagna dish) or into an 8” x 8” square dish (brownie pan).

1/2 c cracker crumbs for topping (you can have these crumbled or blended)
some butter for topping (softened butter mixes better)

Mix above ingredients. Crumble the buttered cracker crumbs atop the carrot casserole mixture.

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 min until brown.
Makes 5 servings. Cut into pieces.