Vi’s Famous Fruit-Butter Duckie Muffins

Grandmaduck_l_tns2 cups flour
a small glub of blackstrap molasses mixed with 1 cup granulated sugar
OR a 1 cup mix of granulated sugar and dark brown sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 cup chopped nuts
1 cup apple butter or pear or peach butter or even pumpkin butter
1/4 cup oil
1/4 cup milk or buttermilk
2 eggs or 1 duck egg

Preheat oven to 400 F.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, brown sugar, granulated sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ground cloves, ground ginger and walnuts. In another bowl combine the apple butter, oil, milk, and eggs and mix well. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and combine just until moistened.

Grease muffin cups.

Bake at 400 degrees F. for 18-22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool in pan for 4-5 minutes then remove to a rack to cool.

We use either cream cheese or melted butter inside.

You can also ice them or glaze them.

Submitted by Miss Vi, and Cleo, Phoebe and Lillianna

Linda Liebig’s Portuguese Sweet Bread

2 pck active dry yeast
1/4 c warm water
1 c lukewarm milk
3/4 c sugar
1 t salt
3 eggs
1/2 c margarine softened
5.5 – 6 c all purpose flour
1 egg
1 t sugar

Dissolve yeast in warm water in large bowl. Stir in milk, sugar, salt, 3 eggs, margarine, and 3 cups flour. Beat until smooth. Stir in enough remaining flour to make dough easy to handle. Turn dough onto lightly floured surface. Knead until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes.

Place in creased bowl. turn greased side up. Cover. Let rise in warm place until double 1.5 – 2 hours. Dough is ready if indentations remain when touched.

Punch down. Divide in half. Shape into rounded flat loaves. Place each loaf in greased round layer cake pan. cover and let rise until double in size. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Brush with slightly beaten egg and dust with sugar. Bake until loaves are golden brown, 35-45 minutes.

Double-Chocolate Apricot-Pecan Cookies

“That’s a damn fine cookie.”

110 grams all-purpose flour
55 grams cocoa powder
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 + 1/8 teaspoon baking powder
98 grams butter
4 eggs
325 grams sugar
3/4 tablespoon vanilla
338 grams pecans
390 grams dark chocolate chips
390 grams white chocolate chips
450 grams milk chocolate
345 grams dried apricots

Preheat oven to 330 degrees Fahrenheit.

Chop apricots and pecans.

Sift together flour, cocoa powder, salt, and baking powder.

Melt together milk chocolate and butter.

Beat together eggs and sugar until foamy. Add vanilla and melted chocolate mixture.

Add dry ingredients and apricots. Then stir in pecans and chocolate chips.

Scoop dough onto parchment-lined sheet pans and bake 12-15 minutes until top looks a little dry and cookies appear to be set.

(Using a number 30 disher, this recipe yielded 54 cookies.)

Jim’s Cornbread

Southern Cornbread Jim’s Way

Cooking school taught me that you have to have a balance of tastes in your dishes. Bitter, salty, sour and sweet all must be in harmony; things taste better that way.

It’s why southern cornbread (and biscuits … and pancakes! Ohhh pancakes!) has buttermilk. It’s also why – even though I’m in the South – there is a touch of sugar in this cornbread.

1 cup yellow corn meal
1 cup self rising flour
1 T baking powder
1 t salt
2 T sugar
fresh ground pepper
1 cup buttermilk
2 large eggs
4 T butter
4 T olive oil

Preheat oven and No. 10 cast iron skillet (a Number 10 is a 12 inch pan) to 425 degrees.

Mix all dry ingredients together. Beat in eggs and milk.

Remove skillet from oven. Add oil and butter, allowing butter to melt. Pour most of the oil & butter mixture into batter and stir well.

Sprinkle skillet lightly with salt and add batter.

Bake for 20-25 minutes.

Don’t have buttermilk? You can substitute one cup milk + 1 T apple cider vinegar.