Cheddar Jalapeño Muffins

Cheddar Jalapeño Muffins

A shallow wooden serving bowl stacked with freshly baked Cheddar Jalapeño Muffins.

Cheddar Jalapeño Muffins

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Cheesy and spicy with crispy, golden edges make these tender Cheddar Jalapeño Muffins one of my favourites. I have made them more times than I can remember because I like them that much. They are the perfect accompaniment to chili, stew, tomato soup or green salad and so good about ten minutes out of the oven. Just long enough for them to cool down enough to handle but are still warm on the inside and crispy on the outside.

Baking ingredients being prepared for Cheddar Jalapeño Muffins with a muffin tin in the background.

This lovely recipe originates with one of my favourite food bloggers, Joy the Baker. Joy notes that you can bake these muffins with liners in the muffin tins. You certainly can, but trust me, you do not want to! I find it is best to generously butter non-stick muffin tins to achieve a wonderfully golden muffin bottom that is crispy and chewy when eaten while still slightly warm. They will pop right out of the muffin tins too. When using liners, the muffins need to cool completely before peeling away the liner, otherwise, they will stick and you’ll miss out on the best part. In a nutshell, it’s lots of butter, no liners!!

Freshly baked Cheddar Jalapeño Muffins on a wire rack..

Do not be skimpy on the cheese!! It will seem like a lot, and the batter will be thick with an abundance of cheese, but the result is a gloriously cheesy muffin. It is also important not to over mix the batter. This is a quick bread and does not require gluten development, so only mix the wet and dry ingredients until they are combined. The batter won’t be completely smooth and that’s okay. The cheese needs to be folded in last so it doesn’t clog up the whisk and make everything gummy. It’s a quick and easy recipe that freezes well too. Simply store cooled muffins in an airtight container or bag for up to a month. Allow to thaw and warm gently in the oven or microwave. They don’t retain their crisp exterior, but they’re still delicious. Enjoy!

Freshly baked Cheddar Jalapeño Muffins on a wooden serving board garnished with a pickled jalapeño.

Author:  Compelled to Cook

 

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Freshly baked Cheddar Jalapeño Muffins on a wooden serving board garnished with a pickled jalapeño.
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Cheddar Jalapeño Muffins

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings 12 muffins

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted plus more for pan
  • 3 cups grated cheddar cheese about 8 ounces
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped drained pickled jalapeños plus more for garnishing

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350°F and generously butter a 12 cup non-stick muffin tin.
  • Whisk together the flour, baking powder, sugar and salt. Set aside.
  • Whisk the egg, add the milk and melted butter and continue to whisk to fully combine. Stir in jalapeños.
  • Add the dry ingredients to the wet stirring until just combined. Fold in cheese until evenly distributed in the batter.
  • Scoop batter evenly between the prepared muffin cups and bake for 20-25 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  • Remove from oven and allow to cool for 10-15 minutes in the pan. Gently loosen the muffin tops if any have slightly stuck and pluck out the muffins placing them on a wire rack to cool further.

Notes

-these muffins are best served slightly warm out of the oven.
-use a non-stick muffin tin for this recipe and be sure to butter generously. The butter not only helps the muffins not to stick but ensures a crisp and golden bottom. 
-you can use muffin liners but the muffins will need to cool completely before trying to peel off the liner.
 

Jan Hagel Cookies

Jan Hagel Cookies

A box of crisp and buttery Jan Hagel Cookies wrapped with a navy blue ribbon.

Jan Hagel Cookies

(Dutch Almond Shortbread)

 

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Who can say 2020 was a wonderful year?  I am thankful and happy to report that I can! What makes my year something special is searching for and finding my biological father. My year started with spitting into a test tube through Ancestry.  I’m excited to say the DNA test result matches were more than I expected.  Although they were not a direct match with my biological father, they were a 100% match with three of his close family members. One message sent to my matches got the ball quickly rolling, and within two weeks I had my first contact with my biological father. His name is Bernie, and imagine his surprise, not knowing that I existed until now. How someone digests such a thing I cannot say, but what I found was a very welcoming, warm and sincere man who was “pleasantly surprised” to learn of me. What I also quickly learned was that Bernie is very much a family man with a family of four children. How cool, now I have more siblings!  Wait, not quite… not only was Bernie the man being searched for by an adopted child but also one who has adopted his own four children and over time has assisted them in finding some of their biological roots. So I have to say half-siblings in spirit but not biologically. But the interesting twists in my story don’t end here.  I was adopted by a family who live in the same small town as my biological family.  I went to the same high school his children did, shopped at the same stores and practically grew up right under his nose. Ooooh how small the world just became!

I have since had the pleasure to meet Bernie, his lovely wife Joan, most of his children, two aunts, and cousins. I also have a biological grandmother still gracing the earth at 92 years old, but sadly with our pandemic world I have not been able to meet her yet.  It’s truly hard to find the words to describe what an experience it all has been and continues to be, but I do know that time spent with Bernie and his family is very much a gift and I look forward to our continuing story.

A sheet pan of freshly baked Jan Hagel Cookies resting on a wire rack.

Now, on to the Dutch Jan Hagel cookies, also known as Dutch almond shortbread. As you’ve probably guessed I have learned that I am Dutch on my father’s side. My biological grandparents immigrated to Canada from Holland in 1949 on the vessel RMS Seythia. They settled in the province of Saskatchewan, Canada to farm and raise a family of seven children. I’ve been dabbling in several different Dutch recipes but these cookies are my favourite so far. Jan Hagel Cookies are crisp, buttery and very addictive. They are a traditional Dutch cookie often made at Christmas and will become part of my holiday baking line-up from now on. I’m excited to continue to experiment in Dutch cookery and hope to share more recipes as time goes. Till then, enjoy!

A box of crisp and buttery Jan Hagel Cookies wrapped with a navy blue ribbon.

Author Compelled to Cook, adapted from Jan Hagel Koekjes.

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A box of crisp and buttery Jan Hagel Cookies wrapped with a navy blue ribbon.
Jan Hagel Cookies
Print Recipe
    Servings Prep Time
    1 10"x15" tray 20 minutes
    Cook Time
    20-22 minutes
    Servings Prep Time
    1 10"x15" tray 20 minutes
    Cook Time
    20-22 minutes
    A box of crisp and buttery Jan Hagel Cookies wrapped with a navy blue ribbon.
    Jan Hagel Cookies
    Print Recipe
      Servings Prep Time
      1 10"x15" tray 20 minutes
      Cook Time
      20-22 minutes
      Servings Prep Time
      1 10"x15" tray 20 minutes
      Cook Time
      20-22 minutes
      Ingredients
      Servings: 10"x15" tray
      Instructions
      1. Preheat oven to 350°F and set oven rack to the middle position. Lightly butter a 10"x15" baking tray, set aside.
      2. Cream together butter and granulated sugar. Divide the egg and add the egg yolk, cinnamon, salt and almond extract. Beat to fully combine. Add flour and mix only until dough starts to come together.
      3. Press or roll dough evenly into prepared pan. Whisk egg white with 1 tbsp water. Brush evenly onto prepared dough. Sprinkle evenly with almonds and then sprinkle with coarse sugar. Just enough to create a nice sparkle.
      4. Bake for 20-22 minutes until lightly golden. Remove from oven and allow to cool on a wire rack for 3-5 minutes and then cut into squares or diamonds while the cookie is warm and soft. Once cut, allow to cool completely before removing from the pan. The cookies will firm up as they cool.
      Recipe Notes

      -coarse sugar is a larger crystal sugar that doesn't melt when baked so it keeps a sparkle on the goods it's sprinkled on. It may also be called pearl sugar, decorators sugar, sparkling sugar.

      -I get about 45 - 2" diamond shaped cookies, plus the best and crispiest half diamonds around the edges.

      -I've tried sliced almonds with and without the skin and both are good to use and is a matter of preference.

      -I find it just as easy to cut the squares instead of just scoring them while they are warm, but if you're having difficulty just score them and cut when cool.

      -cookies are best if eaten while fresh, however they will last in a sealed container at room temperature for several days. If freezing, allow to cool completely and store in an airtight container away from strong odours.

      Low Carb Almond Bread

      Low Carb Almond Bread

      A stack of Low Carb Almond Bread resting on a wire rack with a fresh parsley garnish.

      Low Carb Almond Bread

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      It is crazy how cheese can be made into something so bread-like!! Low Carb Almond Bread has a spongy texture and a chewy bread-like feel. It’s sturdy enough for your favourite sandwich and warms nicely in the toaster for your fried egg. This low carb, Keto-friendly bread also tastes great!!

      A baked slab of Low Carb Almond Bread cooling on a wire rack.

      You can use regular cream cheese, but I like to use flavoured for this recipe for something a little different. I like the garden vegetable for regular sandwiches and the herb and garlic for bread to serve with soup or stew. This great recipe is also super quick, being ready in about half an hour. Serve slightly warm right out of the pan, room temperature or lightly toasted in the toaster. You can use Low Carb Almond Bread for sandwiches, croutons, as a dipping bread, or a base for fried eggs and tuna melts. It’s a great way to keep your Keto diet on track with only 2.4 net carbs per slice. Enjoy!

      An egg salad sandwich made with Low Carb Almond Bread is cut on the diagonal and speared with a toothpick olive.

      Here’s the breakdown per slice when cutting into 12 slices per recipe.

      Calories per slice: 202kcal

      Net Carbs per slice: 2.4g

      Fat per slice: 17.4g

      Protein per slice: 9.25g

      Want more low carb options?

      Broccoli Cheddar Frittata

      Beef Roulade

      Tarragon Chicken Cutlets

      A stack of Low Carb Almond Bread resting on a wire rack with a fresh parsley garnish.

      Author:  Compelled to Cook, adapted from Pork Rind Keto Bread

      A stack of Low Carb Almond Bread resting on a wire rack with a fresh parsley garnish.
      Low Carb Almond Bread
      Print Recipe
        Servings Prep Time
        12 slices 15 minutes
        Cook Time
        20 minutes
        Servings Prep Time
        12 slices 15 minutes
        Cook Time
        20 minutes
        A stack of Low Carb Almond Bread resting on a wire rack with a fresh parsley garnish.
        Low Carb Almond Bread
        Print Recipe
          Servings Prep Time
          12 slices 15 minutes
          Cook Time
          20 minutes
          Servings Prep Time
          12 slices 15 minutes
          Cook Time
          20 minutes
          Instructions
          1. Preheat oven to 375°F and lightly spray a 10"x15" baking tray with non-stick spray and line with parchment if desired.
          2. Stir together almond flour and baking powder.
          3. To a large bowl add the cream cheese and mozzarella. Heat in the microwave for 1 minute. Stir and return to microwave for another minute. Stir until smoothed out. Add eggs one at a time whisking with a fork to incorporate each fully. Stir in parmesan cheese and dry ingredients. Spread evenly into the prepared pan and bake for 17-20 minutes.
          4. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes in the pan before removing to a wire rack to cool completely. Once cool cut into 12 squares.
          Recipe Notes

          -I like to use garden vegetable or herb and garlic cream cheese.  They add a nice twist to the taste.

          -The cut squares will last up to a month in the freezer in an airtight container or Ziplock bag.

          -Room temperature squares can be warmed in the toaster.

          -This bread holds up well when used for sandwiches, but also great topped with a fried egg or as a tuna melt.

           

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          Super Moist Carrot Cake

          Super Moist Carrot Cake

          Super Moist Carrot Cake

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          There’s nothing that I don’t like about this cake, so I can easily say “hello autumn” with enthusiasm. Super moist, lightly spiced, textured with coconut and smothered with a dreamy cream cheese frosting. Super Moist Carrot Cake is a winner every time, feeds a small crowd and freezes exceptionally well.

          Super Moist Carrot Cake just out of the oven in a silver baking pan and icing in the background.

          Did I mention it’s also quick and easy with minimal mess, other than shredded carrot that seems to get everywhere LOL! It’s the perfect fall cake that turns the humble carrot into the most delicious dessert. It’s a nostalgic recipe for me, being slightly adapted from a gifted cookbook when I was only 17 years old and graduating from high school. It’s a treasured book, missing its cover, yellowed and ratty. But every time I thumb through it, I’m taken back to a simpler time, high school friends and big dreams. Thank you Simone and Marlene for this simple yet wonderful book that I still love 31 years later. Proving that great recipes are timeless.

          Super Moist Carrot Cake in a 9"x13" pan with cream cheese icing and decorated with piped carrots.
          A piece of Super Moist Carrot Cake on a small white plate resting on an orange napkin with a pan of cake in the background.
          A piece of Super Moist Carrot Cake on a small white plate resting on an orange napkin.

          Author: Coompelled to Cook, slightly adapted from the book “Let’s Break Bread Together” circa 1989?

          A piece of Super Moist Carrot Cake on a small white plate resting on an orange napkin.
          Super Moist Carrot Cake
          Print Recipe
            Servings Prep Time
            9x13 pan 30 minutes
            Cook Time
            45-50 minutes
            Servings Prep Time
            9x13 pan 30 minutes
            Cook Time
            45-50 minutes
            A piece of Super Moist Carrot Cake on a small white plate resting on an orange napkin.
            Super Moist Carrot Cake
            Print Recipe
              Servings Prep Time
              9x13 pan 30 minutes
              Cook Time
              45-50 minutes
              Servings Prep Time
              9x13 pan 30 minutes
              Cook Time
              45-50 minutes
              Instructions
              Cake
              1. Preheat oven to 350°F and spray a 9"x13" pan with non-stick spray.
              2. In a medium bowl whisk together flour, cinnamon, baking soda, salt and nutmeg. Set aside.
              3. In a large bowl whisk together oil and sugar. Add eggs one at a time whisking well to fully combine after each. Stir in orange juice and vanilla.
              4. Whisk in half of the dry ingredients followed by half the milk. Repeat with remaining dry ingredients and milk, whisking only until just combined. Stir in carrots, pineapple and coconut. Pour into prepared pan and bake on the middle rack for 45-50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
              5. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely at room temperature. Once cooled, spread evenly with cream cheese icing. Cut into 20-24 pieces and serve.
              Cream Cheese Icing
              1. Beat cream cheese until smooth. Add butter and beat until fully combined and fluffy. Add vanilla and powdered sugar and beat until just combined and smooth. Spread onto cooled cake.
              Recipe Notes

              -Cake freezes well without icing for up to a month if well wrapped.

              -Cake freezes well if iced and cut into squares, stored in an airtight container for up to a week.

              -Recipe makes for a thick layer of icing.  Icing freezes well on its own in an airtight container for up to a month.

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              I may receive compensation for purchases made through this site, at no cost to the purchaser. Compelled to Cook is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com
              Chocolate Pots de Créme

              Chocolate Pots de Créme

              Chocolate Pots de Creme in small white ramekins, garnished fresh raspberries and whipped cream.

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              Love is in the air, and it’s time to celebrate the ones we love. As a foodie, I find there’s no better way than to share and indulge in a luscious chocolate dessert. Chocolate Pots de Crème is a decadent and indulgent spoonful meant to be eaten slowly, savouring every bite. Preferably with a tender kiss in between.

              These lovely baked chocolate custards are very simple to make but taste like you’ve spent hours labouring. Your Valentine is sure to be impressed!

              Ingredients for Chocolate Pots de Creme arranged on a small white platter on a dark background.

              Good quality chocolate, heavy cream and egg yolks make up the structure and the water bath baking ensures they bake gently, creating a smooth and creamy texture. They can be made in advance, leaving you plenty of time to spend with your sweetheart without the worry of fussing with food. Happy Valentine’s Day everyone, I hope your day is filled with love…and chocolate!

              Other Valentine’s Day treats to share!

              Chocolate Ganache Sandwich Cookies

              Cinnamon Heart Cupcakes

              Chocolate Pots de Creme in small white ramekins, garnished fresh raspberries.

              Author:  Compelled to Cook, adapted from Epicurious

              Chocolate Pots de Créme
              Print Recipe
                Servings Prep Time
                6 people 30 minutes
                Cook Time Passive Time
                40 minutes 3+ hours
                Servings Prep Time
                6 people 30 minutes
                Cook Time Passive Time
                40 minutes 3+ hours
                Chocolate Pots de Créme
                Print Recipe
                  Servings Prep Time
                  6 people 30 minutes
                  Cook Time Passive Time
                  40 minutes 3+ hours
                  Servings Prep Time
                  6 people 30 minutes
                  Cook Time Passive Time
                  40 minutes 3+ hours
                  Ingredients
                  Servings: people
                  Instructions
                  1. Preheat oven to 325°F.
                  2. Combine cream and milk in a medium saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Remove from heat and stir in chocolate. Allow chocolate to sit for a few minutes and then stir until chocolate has melted and the mixture is smooth.
                  3. In a medium bowl whisk together egg yolks and sugar. Whisk in an approximate 1/4 cup of the chocolate mixture until combined, repeat with another 1/4 cup and then slowly whisk in the remaining hot mixture. Whisk in espresso powder and salt.
                  4. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve and allow to sit for 10 minutes, then skim off any foam on the surface.
                  5. Pour evenly among six 3/4 cup ramekins. Arrange ramekins in a 9"x13" baking pan and add enough boiling water to come up the ramekins halfway. Cover entire pan with foil and bake on centre rack for approximately 40 minutes until the edges are set but centers still jiggle when shaken.
                  6. Remove from oven and remove custards from pan. Allow to rest for 10-20 minutes and then chill until cold, about 3 hours.
                  7. Serve with fresh raspberries and lightly sweetened whipped cream.
                  Recipe Notes

                  -If you do not use boiling water to start with the cooking time will be longer.

                  -You can also use good quality semi-sweet chocolate, however bittersweet results in a richer custard.

                  -Do not skip the straining as it ensures a smooth custard.

                  -Can be made up to 2 days in advance, covered and chilled.

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                  I may receive compensation for purchases made through this site, at no cost to the purchaser. Compelled to Cook is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com