Delectable Muffin Bread Puddings

In its basic form, bread pudding is bread (sometimes stale) soaked in a mixture of eggs, milk or cream and sugar. Baked to creamy perfection, bread pudding is another testament to the creative genius of cooks using the ingredients they had on hand.  Last summer we talked about the Southern version, Summer Biscuit Bread Pudding – delicious in its simplicity.

Although often made with chewy yeast bread, bread pudding may be made with any bread, even muffins or fruit breads. If you ever have leftover muffins, simply freeze until you have about a dozen. More than likely you won’t have leftovers, so mix up a couple packages (any flavor) of Martha White® Muffin Mix and prepare according to package directions.

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The Blueberry French Toast Bread Pudding with Smoky Bacon recipe is perfect for a spring brunch. Melding flavors of blueberry muffins with a rich maple flavored custard and pecans are sure to take this bread pudding French Toast recipe to the next level.

This decadently delicious White Chocolate Banana Bread Pudding is a former recipe contest winner. Banana bread made from Martha White Banana Nut Flavored Muffin Mix is a tasty, but quick version of banana bread which also forms the base of the bread pudding. The rich custard is made with white chocolate baking chips. Top it all off with caramel topping for a crowd-pleasing dessert you’ll be asked to make time and time again.

Baking with Bananas

Whether you prefer to eat bananas on the slightly green side or fully ripe, most of us manage to end up with a few that are too ripe to eat. The good news is that overripe bananas are perfect for baking. And they can be frozen in the peel or cut into chunks for later use. Frozen bananas work especially well for making smoothies and baking.

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Probably one of the most popular uses for ripe bananas is for banana bread. I never pass up the opportunity to recommend Aunt Lois’ Banana Nut Bread. A delicious recipe shared with the Martha White® test kitchen by a former test kitchen home economist. There are endless recipes using bananas. Bananas not only lend delicious flavor to bread, but they also make the finished product incredibly moist.

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Although not the latest fad, cake pops have settled in as a fun party treat. For a quick and easy version, try Chocolate Covered Banana Muffin Pops. This recipe makes a great family baking project. By using Martha White Banana Nut Flavored Muffin Mix and prepared frosting, you will be ready for the fun part in a flash. Let the kids help with forming the pops, dipping and decorating.

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Have you heard of Hummingbird Cupcakes? By adding crushed pineapple and mashed bananas to Martha White Banana Nut Flavored Muffin mix, you can create a delectable cupcake in minutes. For the finishing touch, top the cupcake with a mountain of cream cheese frosting.

St. Patrick’s Day

Do you celebrate St. Patrick’s Day as a religious holiday, a time celebrate your Irish heritage or just because you like to wear green and have a good time?  However you celebrate, you can be sure we owe many of our favorite Southern traditions to the Irish who settled in the Appalachian region in the early 18th century. Creative and self-reliant, these settlers learned to live off the land and adhere to their traditions of food, music, crafts and storytelling. These hearty folk helped to create many of the traditions of the South we still celebrate today.

The history of any food is hard to trace, but we do know that the traditions of the British Isles, including Ireland, are evident in Southern cuisine. Quick breads like biscuits are one of the most obvious. Originally made with the most basic of ingredients – flour, shortening, buttermilk and soda, it is easy to see how closely related they are to Irish Soda bread and scones.

sour cream scones

Traditional recipes for scones are hard to pinpoint as are traditional recipes for biscuits. Basically, a scone is made like a sweet biscuit, often including dried fruit. Sour Cream Scones are a version of a scone made with self-rising flour. Butter, an egg and sour cream enrich the dough and currant adds a traditional touch. Country Soda Bread is a traditional version of this Irish favorite made with buttermilk and soda. We gave it a Southern twist by including some corn meal with the flour for a crunchy texture and rich grain flavor.

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Celebrate Cheesecake Month with a Show-Stopping Cake

There must be a day, week or month designated to recognize almost every one of our favorite foods. At least one compilation declares March as Cheesecake Month, but I guess it really doesn’t matter much. If you are a cheesecake lover, you can celebrate cheesecake any month of the year.

We’ve talked before about rich, delicious cream cheese and ways it can enrich a variety of recipes from a simply topped muffin to an elegant cake. For a classic recipe, cheesecake is surprisingly simple to make. Basically, the combination of cream cheese and eggs does the trick, but the addition of innumerable compatible ingredients brings a cheesecake to life. The cream cheese flavor melds beautifully with fruits, nuts, chocolate, caramel and even savory ingredients.

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The recent cheesecake trend incorporates a cheesecake layer into classic recipes like red velvet and strawberry cakes to create a delicious new balance of flavors and textures. White Chocolate Cheesecake Carrot Cake is the perfect combination. The spicy, moist carrot cake paired with white chocolate cheesecake is amazing. Creating this recipe takes a little time, but each component is easy and fun to make. The cake layers may be frozen and the cheesecake layer refrigerated until you are ready to put it all together. The final result is a show-stopping beauty your family and friends will love!

Baking with Grains, Fruits and Nuts

An easy shortcut to help speed up the baking process is to dress up a convenient muffin mix. You can create your own signature muffins to fit your family’s tastes by simply throwing in a variety of compatible ingredients. Feel free to add anything to the basic batter that does not contain a lot of moisture.

I’m thrilled we have so many options for grains, dried fruits and nuts these days. I remember the great natural food revolution of the 1950’s and 60’s! It was the beginning of current food trends and responsible for the availability of many natural foods.

Martha White® offers several muffin flavors that blend well with grains, dried fruits and nuts. The Honey Bran, Apple Cinnamon Flavored, Apple Cider Flavored, Banana Nut Flavored and Sweet Potato muffin mixes all lend themselves to the addition of these natural ingredients.

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If you like bran, Loaded Honey Bran is a great recipe for you. Full of wheat germ, seeds and dried fruit, this is a good recipe to tailor to your own taste. Oatmeal is another wonderful ingredient for imparting natural flavor and texture. Oatmeal Applesauce Muffins may be made with either of the apple flavored muffin mixes. Or, if you like to make muffins from scratch, Homemade Oat and Apricot Muffins are delicious.

Homemade Oat and Apricot Muffins

Do you have any great ideas for adding natural flavor to your baking? If so, I would love to hear from you!

Bacon and Blue Cornbread Muffins

The following post was written by our friend, Stacey from www.southernbite.com

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One of the first times my wife, then girlfriend, met my grandparents we had gone to their house for dinner.  Now, in my family, dinner is the mid-day meal and supper is the evening meal, but I digress.  Dishes were collecting on the table when my wife, trying her best to make herself useful to impress, grabbed a knife to cut the fresh-out-of-the-oven cornbread.  Little did she know that my grandfather always considered cutting cornbread bad luck.  He grew up breaking the cornbread with his hands, not using knife.  To him, cutting the cornbread was a serious offense.  Seeing what was about to happen, I quickly grabbed the knife from her hands and clued her in to our little family superstition.  It was a close call.

Since that time, there’s been no knife incidents when it comes to cornbread.  And that’s a good thing because in my family, if there’s food, there’s almost always cornbread.

Good ol’ cornbread is the perfect complement to many dishes, but sometimes we want something a little different.  So, I’m always looking for quick and easy ways to add a punch of flavor to regular cornbread.

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Martha White® Buttermilk Cornbread and Muffin Mix is the perfect place to start. It happens to be one of my favorite mixes.  It makes it so easy to get delicious cornbread on the table.  Stirring in some crumbled blue cheese and precooked, crumbled bacon is one of my family’s favorite ways to add a punch of flavor.

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To start, preheat the oven to 425° F and lightly spray a 6-well muffing pan with nonstick cooking spray.   Combine the mix, bacon, blue cheese, sour cream, and milk in a medium bowl.

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Mix until well blended and then spoon the mixture evenly into the prepared muffin pan and bake for 15 to 18 minutes or until golden brown.  You’ll want to serve these warm for the best flavor.

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1 (6-ounce) package Martha White® Buttermilk Cornbread and Muffin Mix

1 (3-ounce) package cooked, crumbled real bacon

1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese

2/3 cup sour cream

1/3 cup milk

 

Preheat the oven to 425° F and lightly coat a six-well muffin pan with nonstick cooking spray.

In a medium bowl, combine the cornbread mix, crumbled bacon, blue cheese, sour cream, and milk and stir until well blended.  Spoon the batter into the pan evenly and bake for 15 to 18 minutes or until golden brown.  Serve warm.

 

How the Martha White Test Kitchen Got Its Start

In 1941 the Cohen E. Williams family purchased Royal Flour Mill in Nashville, TN from the founder Richard Lindsay who had named his best-selling family flour after his baby daughter, Martha White. Cohen Williams was convinced that self-rising flour and cornmeal would be a welcome convenience to Southern cooks who baked biscuits and cornbread every day. Having salt, soda and baking powder blended into the flour and corn meal in the perfect proportions assured a consistent finished product every time. As it turned out, he was right. Self-rising flour and corn meal were soon found in the majority of Southern pantries.

The company name had been changed to Martha White Foods. Advertising on WSM’s Grand Ole Opry radio show helped increased distribution. By the early 1950’s, Mr. Williams realized he had done such a great job of selling his self-rising products as perfect for biscuits and cornbread that his consumers didn’t think about using them for anything else. He knew the same blend of flour or corn meal, salt and leavening would work for other quick breads and baked goods, but what was the best way to let everyone else know what he did?

In 1952, Mr. Williams hired Alice Jarman to start and direct the Martha White Test Kitchen. Alice monitored product consistency and answered consumer mail, but her main job was to develop a wide variety of recipes using self-rising products. She was also asked to spread the word about the ease and convenience of using Martha White® Self-Rising Flour and Corn Meal with “Hot Rize®.”

Next month, I’ll tell you a little more about Alice and the Martha White Test Kitchen.

 “Hot Rize”Biscuits

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Southern Cornbread

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