Apple Pecan Muffins

Apple Pecan Muffins

Apple Pecan Muffins set in a row on a wooden serving dish with a background of green apples.

Apple Pecan Muffins

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There is definitely a chill settling in, making it the best time to bake up warm Apple Pecan Muffins. These lovely, tender muffins are packed with apple and warm fall spices, making them perfect with your morning tea or coffee.

Apple Pecan Muffins scooped in tins and ready for baking.

It’s the grated apple in this recipe that makes them tender and delicious. Shredding the apple allows for even distribution throughout the batter better than chunks and creates a moist and tender muffin. These muffins are also nicely plumped and studded with pecans. There is enough batter to fill the muffin tins very full, so don’t be skimpy. You’ll want to add about a third of a cup of batter to each muffin tin. You can use paper liners or scoop the batter into a generously buttered pan. But know that if using paper liners, you must let the muffins cool completely before removing the liner or the muffin will stick to it. Buttered tins work just as well, and you’ll be able to eat them slightly warm out of the pan.

A close up of Apple Pecan Muffins served on a striped napkin with a background of green apples.

You’ll want to try these muffins with my Pumpkin Spice Honey Butter for a real treat. It’s a great combination and a blast of fall spice to help keep the chill away. Enjoy!

Want more muffins?

Whole Wheat Peach Streusel Muffins

Pumpkin Seed and Nut Muffins

Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins

 

A close up of Apple Pecan Muffins served on a striped napkin with a background of green apples.
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Apple Pecan Muffins

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 12 muffins

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp allspice
  • 4 ounces unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 2 medium granny smith apples, peeled and grated about 2 cups
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans Optional

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 400°F and set oven rack to the middle position.
  • Generously butter 12 non-stick muffin tins or line with paper liners.
  • In a small bowl combine flour, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, nutmeg and allspice. Set aside.
  • Melt butter and cream together with both sugars. Whisk in eggs one at a time until incorporated and light in texture. Stir in vanilla.
  • Add 1/3 of the milk and then 1/3 of the flour mixture whisking to combine. Repeat, alternating the milk and flour. Stir in grated apples and chopped pecans.
  • Scoop the batter evenly between the prepared muffin tins using approximately 1/3 cup of batter for each. The tins will be quite full.
  • Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes at 400°F and then reduce the temperature to 350°F for an additional 8-10 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  • Remove from oven and allow to cool for at least 10 minutes before removing to a cooling rack.

Notes

-muffins baked with paper liners need to cool completely before trying to peel off the paper and prevent them from sticking to the paper.
-the chopped pecans are optional.

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Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies

Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies

Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies

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Not all chocolate chip cookies are created equal! For years, I’ve been making a recipe that I thought was the bomb, but as it turns out, there was a better cookie yet to be made. These Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies have taken the lead in my kitchen and have become my new favourite chocolate chip cookie. But let me be clear, my personal favourite remains my Coconut Oatmeal Cookies I’d make them ALL the time, but there’s another person in the home that deserves their favourite too. So for him (AKA husband), I make chocolate chip cookies. He’s my little cookie monster and these fantastic cookies get a double thumbs up from him too.

Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies rolled dough on a parchment lined baking tray.
A parchment lined baking tray filled with flattened cookie dough balls in making Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies.

These Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies rank number one with me for several reasons. First is the slightly crisp golden edges of the cookie. They’re great to nibble away at and exactly what you’d expect in a perfect cookie. The second is the slightly chewy center with melty chocolate when eaten while just a little warm. The third is the oatmeal, there’s just enough to call them an oatmeal cookie but the cookie doesn’t seem laden with it. It’s just the perfect balance of oats to give a little texture and chew. Fourth is the taste, there’s a little more salt and vanilla in the recipe than most call for and that really makes this cookie delicious.

Baked Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies on a parchment lined baking tray.

You’ll find the cookie dough easy enough to make and it’s made using melted butter which lends towards a chewier cookie. The dough is also nicely “scoopable” straight out of the bowl with no chilling required. Although, I have scooped and baked these cookies from a chilled state as well and found little difference in the end product. I do prefer to flatten the cookies before baking because it produces a uniform cookie that’s not too puffy in the center. Happy baking, you’ll love these cookies!

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Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 48 cookies

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup butter, melted
  • 1 cup brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 2 cups large flake oatmeal
  • 1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350°F and arrange oven rack to the middle position. Line baking trays with parchment.
  • In a medium bowl whisk together flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
  • Beat together both sugars and melted butter until light and creamy. Add whole eggs one at a time, and then the egg yolk, incorporating after each addition. Scrape bowl and mix in vanilla.
  • Add flour mixture all at once and mix until incorporated. Add oatmeal and mix to combine. Scrap bowl and stir in chocolate chips.
  • Using a 1-ounce cookie scoop, scoop the batter onto prepared trays spacing evenly at least 2 inches apart. Flatten cookies with the palm of your hand or the bottom of a cup.
  • Bake one tray at a time for 10-11 minutes (do not overbake). Remove from oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes on the tray before moving to a cooling rack.
  • Repeat with the remaining cookie dough.

Notes

-recipe makes approximately 48 3" cookies.
-dough can be chilled for up to 3 days and scooped as is, but will be more difficult to scoop in a chilled state. I prefer scooping room-temperature dough.
-dough can be frozen and sealed in an airtight bag or container for up to a month. Allow to thaw in the refrigerator and scoop from a chilled or room temperature state.

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Keto Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake Bites

Keto Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake Bites

Keto Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake Bites

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The Keto diet continues to be very popular and I was asked by a friend to whip up a few Keto treats. Although I am familiar with the diet, having done it with my husband about a year and a half ago, we did not eat any sweets. Not only were we not hungry, my husband (who has the sweet tooth) didn’t seem to miss sugar. We were all about the savoury side of the Keto diet, eating meat, avocado, eggs and cheese mostly. So I jumped in with both feet to experiment and learn the world of Keto baking. My Keto Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake Bites are delicious proof that perseverance pays off. They’re rich, chocolatey, not too sweet and the perfect size to treat yourself while staying within the parameters of the Keto Diet.

Keto Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake Bites being prepared in a mini muffin tin on a blue background.

Baking sweets for Keto was new to me as I’d never baked with artificial sweeteners. I started by baking a batch of cookies, and they were dry, bland and had an odd texture. I then moved on to make mini cheesecakes with greater success. Probably the biggest part of why cheesecake is a great Keto treat option is because the texture is as it should be, smooth and creamy.  With other baked items such as cookies, cupcakes and brownies the texture is not necessarily bad, but just a little different than what you would expect. Next came the cupcakes. I experimented with chocolate, chocolate chip and coconut cupcakes. I found a blend of almond flour and coconut flour work well, along with the addition of Xanthan gum which helps give structure to risen products when there is no gluten to fulfill that job.

I quickly learned that artificial sweeteners are not created equal!! If you’re just starting out using sweeteners in baked products, I highly recommend doing some research first. I started by using Splenda because I just happen to have a big bag of it. But several recipes later I learn that Splenda contains dextrose and maltodextrin, both of which are sugars and starches. So while the items made with Splenda were still considered low carb, they were not Keto-friendly.  Because Splenda was a bust, I moved on to using a monk fruit /Erythritol granulated blend, powdered Erythritol and a brown sugar Erythritol. The products worked well, tasted good and are suitable for the Keto diet. The problem with Erythritol is it has the tendency to crystallize when cooled. I found this out the hard way after chilling a batch of chocolate cupcakes. The frosting which was made with powdered Erythritol was smooth and creamy when I piped it but when I tasted a chilled chocolate cupcake from the fridge, the frosting had a gritty feel. Again, with some prior research, I would have known this could happen. I was rather disappointed but left the cupcake to sit a room temperature and tasted it again. Although the icing was not as smooth as when first made and piped, the grittiness was almost non-existent and the cupcake was good to eat. So it is important to bring items to room temperature before eating if you’re using a Erythritol sweetener that is prone to crystallizing. 

Baked Keto Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake Bites displayed on a wooden board with fresh raspberries on a blue background.

I think the biggest issue I have with artificial sweeteners and no added sugar chocolate is the availability and cost. Not all sweetener varieties are available for purchase in my area. I have to travel almost an hour to find some varieties at a health food store or Costco, otherwise, I have to order online. The cost seems to vary but even the best priced Erythritol blend at Costco works out to about $2.25CND per cup of sweetener. The other sweeteners I purchased which included powdered and brown sugar were more expensive yet. No added sugar chocolate is also very expensive and not a convenient item to shop for.

There are many different sweeteners to choose from, each with pros and cons. I can’t stress enough how important it is to read and learn about the varieties. Some can be a 1:1 substitution, some have a cooling sensation and some are better for baking than others. Here’s a good article from The Spruce Eats to help get you started. Happy Keto baking!!

Per one Keto Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake Bite:

Calories: 85

Fat: 8 grams

Net carbs: 2 grams

Protein: 2 grams

Baked Keto Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake Bites displayed on a wooden board with fresh raspberries and almonds on a blue background.

Baked Keto Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake Bites displayed on a wooden board with fresh raspberries and almonds on a blue background.
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Keto Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake Bites

Prep Time 35 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 20 mini bites

Ingredients

Crust

  • 1/2 cup almond flour/meal
  • 4 tsp granulated sweetener I used monk fruit/Erythritol blend
  • 1 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1/4 tsp espresso powder optional
  • pinch salt
  • 3 tbsp melted unsalted butter

Cheesecake

  • 8 ounces full fat cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 2/3 cup granulated sweetener I used monk fruit/Erythritol blend
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp espresso powder optional
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3 ounces no added sugar semi-sweet or milk chocolate I used Lily's milk chocolate bar
  • 1 1/2-2 tbsp no added sugar seedless raspberry jam see note

Instructions

Crust

  • Preheat oven to 300°F and line 20 mini muffin cups with mini liners.
  • Add all the dry crust ingredients to a medium bowl and mix until there are no lumps. Add melted butter and mix until combined.
  • Scoop approximately 1 tsp of crust mixture into each mini muffin liner and press down evenly with your fingers.
  • Bake for 12 minutes, remove and allow to cool slightly while proceeding.

Cheesecake

  • Beat cream cheese until smooth using an electric mixer. Add egg and beat until combined. Add sweetener, cocoa powder, vanilla, espresso powder and salt. Beat until combined and smooth.
  • Finely chop the chocolate and melt in the microwave using 30-second intervals, stirring between each until melted. Add to cream cheese mixture and beat until smooth.
  • Using a 1 1/2 tbsp cookie scoop, scoop mixture generously into prepared cheesecake bases. Smooth out each using a spoon that is moistened with water. They will appear quite full.
  • Warm the raspberry jam slightly in the microwave and drizzle evenly over the cheesecake. Using a toothpick swirl the jam two or three turns.
  • Bake for approximately 12-14 minutes at 300°F. The centers should be slightly soft but not sloppy. Remove and allow to cool before removing from the mini muffin tin.

Notes

-I did not use liners for the pictures, however, they were a challenge to remove, so liners are recommended.
-If you can not find seedless no added sugar jam, warm jam and press through a mesh strainer.
-I used a disposable piping bag with no tip (just cut a very small hole) to drizzle the jam. 
-Alternatively, you can drizzle the jam over the baked cheesecake base prior to adding the cheesecake filling, eliminating the need to swirl it.  I've done it both ways and while the jam on the base is easier, they have a nicer appearance with the swirl on the top.
-The cheesecake bites can be kept in the fridge in a sealed container for up to 3-4 days or several weeks in the freezer.  It is recommend to allow cheesecakes to come to room temperature before eating.

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Crispy Wontons

Crispy Wontons

Crispy Wontons piled high in a brown bowl resting on a red napkin with a dark background.

Crispy Wontons

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I’m a PIG! At least that what my friend and co-worker Yanan tells me, and who knows the Chinese zodiac better than a person born and raised in China? It’s a lucky sign/animal Yanan tells me, but being called a pig certainly doesn’t have the best ring to it. However, I must confess I have been known to be a little piggish when it comes to food LOL! Today’s Crispy Wontons are inspired by Yanan and the upcoming Chinese New Year on February 12th.

Wontons wrapped three ways on a wooden cutting board demonstrating pork wontons for the Crispy Wontons recipe.

Yanan can make the best pork dumplings and steamed buns and has been my inspiration and guidance for this post. She is always willing to teach, lend a helping hand, and has a huge heart. I can say with some honesty that my wonton making has improved with her recommendations and practice from making this post. However, it will be some time, if ever, that I can proclaim to be a pro at Chinese cooking. I will at least say it is fun to practice!

Yanan and her family immigrated from China to Quebec, Canada in 1999. They had to learn French in a French-speaking province, find employment and make their way through endless challenges in a new country. Yanan was a teacher in China and already knew technical English, but learning Americanized English was a thing of its own. The slang, profanity and innuendoes still took some learning. The tones in the Chinese language are very prevalent when she is speaking English today. They provide a level of entertainment because her tone can change with each word, leaving you to wonder if she is being passionate, angry, or simply excited about something.

Crispy Wontons piled high in a brown bowl resting on a red napkin with a dark background.

From Quebec, Yanan and her family moved across the country to the province of Alberta. She found employment with the Correctional Service of Canada and eventually became a co-worker of mine. She is a joy to me, and I consider myself lucky to call her a friend. Happy New Year Yanan!

Crispy Wontons piled high in a brown bowl resting on a red napkin with a dark background.

Crispy Wontons piled high in a brown bowl resting on a red napkin with a dark background.
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Crispy Wontons

Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings 52 wontons

Ingredients

  • 1 pound lean ground pork
  • 2 tbsp Shaoxing Chinese wine or sherry
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp cold water
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped green onion
  • 1 tbsp finely grated fresh ginger
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp sesame oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp white pepper
  • 1 pkg wonton wrappers
  • as needed canola oil

Instructions

  • Line a large baking tray with parchment and fill a small bowl with cold water.
  • In a medium bowl add all ingredients except wrappers and canola oil. Mix gently until well combined.
  • Lay 8-10 wrappers on a flat surface. Place approximately 2 teaspoons of pork filling in the center of each wrapper. Moisten the outer edge of the wrapper with water using your fingertip. Fold the wrapper in half diagonally, pressing lightly on the edges to create a good seal. Dab both lower corners with water and bring both lower corners across and together pressing lightly to hold. It will look like a bishops hat. Place prepared wonton on the baking tray and repeat with remaining wrappers and filling. Keep the wrappers and prepared wontons covered with a clean damp kitchen towel to prevent them from drying out.
  • Attach a candy/high-temperature thermometer to the side of a large pot at least 9" in diameter. Add enough canola oil to come up a minimum of 3 inches. Heat oil to 350°F.
  • Carefully drop wontons into the hot oil, about 8-10 at a time depending on the size of your pot. Cook for 2 minutes per side until golden. Remove with a mesh/slotted scoop to a paper towel-lined tray. Repeat with remaining wontons, adjusting temperature as you go to maintain the 350°F.
  • Serve immediately with plum sauce, sweet chili sauce or a soy dipping sauce.

Notes

-Wontons can be shaped in a variety of different ways.  I like to use the simple folded triangle method which resembles a bishop's hat, however, any shape will work. Three varieties are shown in the post.
-Alternatively, you can use an electric deep fryer set at 350°F to cook the wontons.

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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