Pumpkin Streusel Muffins (Whole Wheat)

Fall is such a double-edged sword for me. I love being assaulted with pumpkin and apple EVERYTHING when I walk into literally any store. I do mean literally – everyone from Bed, Bath, & Beyond to Walmart whips out their best pumpkin spiced air fresheners for sale. Yet, I’m cold freezing if the weather dares drop below 68°. Thus, I prefer to enjoy the tastes of fall during my nice, hot summers. Today, I have for you a Pumpkin Streusel Muffin, drizzled with a cinnamon glaze on top! Believe me, this is so tasty you’ll easily forget it’s 90° outside and find yourself reaching for hot apple cider to wash it down with.

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Before you embark on this delectable journey, I do have a few tips! Firstly, I generally detest paper liners of any kind. However, I saw these funky animal print ones in Target and I simply couldn’t resist. These muffins work best without any liners and placed directly into a liberally greased pan. I find that muffins and cupcakes pop right out of the tins if you grease or nonstick spray it enough! I absolutely hate wasted food, and it drives me insane when the batter sticks to the paper. As a layer of the muffin get peeled away with the paper, it’s like a chunk of my soul went right with it. Yet, if you have plenty of PAM, which thankfully I do, you can also just spray your paper liners before dropping in the batter.

I was too cheap and lazy to go buy nice Wilton piping bags today. They’re incredibly easy to recreate though if you have a large sized Ziploc bag! I prepare my glaze in a measuring cup so that I can then pour it directly into the bottom of the Ziploc. When you’re ready to glaze, simply gather it in one corner, snip a small hole in that corner with a pair of scissors and TA-DA! You now have artfully drizzled glaze on your streusel muffins.

You might be wondering about the long bake time for the muffins. These have quite a bit of pumpkin puree in them, 1 and a half cans to be exact, which is the cause for that. This boosts the health factor and creates an insanely moist muffin (sorry to those of you that head the dreaded ‘moist’ word – promise I’ll look up synonyms tonight). It’s almost more moisture than actual muffin, but I love it.

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You just made yourself some fancy looking muffins! Go wild and display ’em! Enjoy 🙂

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Cinnamon Raisin Biscuits (Whole Wheat)

I am a little bit of a cinnamon junkie. Or a lot of bit. You are probably going to find it incorporated into almost every one of my recipes. I even put obnoxious amounts on top of my cereal – leaving me with some chunky, dirty looking milk (still worth it). Although I’m sure I really sold that last idea to you, I present to you instead a wonderful recipe in which cinnamon is added in a more subtle fashion. My cinnamon raisin biscuits are one of my favorite treats for breakfast! These really whip up in a snap. I always wake up before my boyfriend Alec and I’m able to have these fresh out of the oven before he even stirs. Truly, you’ll spend longer refrigerating the dough (10 mins), than you will actually baking it (9 mins)! They split in the middle like a dream, begging to have butter slathered on them. If you really want to take your breakfast game over the edge, finish the buttered biscuit off with a drizzle of honey. If you’re crazy like me, you can shake even more cinnamon on top.

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The best part about making these is that you barely have to knead the dough. The more unincorporated chunks of butter in your dough, the better! Read on for this easy recipe! 🙂

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Cinnamon Rolls a la Cinnabon (Whole Wheat)

Stopping by the mall is an incredibly dangerous task. I’m not talking about blowing my money on clothes or unnecessary iPhone cases at the nifty kiosks, but the SMELLS. I do not understand how any one can walk into a mall and not be immediately drawn to Cinnabon. Unfortunately, eating one of those delectable rolls is probably the caloric equivalent of my Thanksgiving dinner. I have been on a mission to nail my own version at home, with a few substitutions so I do not have to experience quite as much food guilt. After SEVERAL failed attempts, I have established a blissful Cinnamon Roll recipe. The worst part of my failed attempts was that the rolls were depressingly dry. Not these though! I believe I have recreated the ooey gooey, rip apart softness of the Cinnabon. This will probably be one of the messiest doughs you work with, but I promise you the end results will pay off.

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I made such subs as whole wheat flour, skim milk, and even Stevia for the dough. I, of course, didn’t skimp on the brown sugar for the filling because that would just be blasphemous. The best part, however, is the cream cheese frosting. I would be licking it out of the bowl if I lived alone and there was no one to witness my shame.

Many people will bake their cinnamon rolls packed together in a dish. Unfortunately, that just doesn’t cut it for these whole wheat versions. I instead spread them out on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. It allows the rolls to expand out while baking and gives the illusion of being a massive roll. This dough is super fluffy, so it really does expand quite a bit. Also, you might be surprised by the relatively low baking time of only 10 to 11 minutes at 375 degrees. They will be just barely done but this is key to keeping the rolls soft. It’s typical with rolls made of white flour to let them brown nicely. Waiting for that to happen with the whole wheat rolls, however, would just cause them to dry out.

There are many steps involved but if you have any questions along the way, I would be happy to help 🙂

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Cheddar Herb Biscuits a la Red Lobster (Whole Wheat-ified)

If someone offered me $1,000,000 with the one condition being that I had to give up cheese, I would probably choose cheese.

One of my favorite indulgent snacks is the cheddar bay biscuits from Red Lobster. For anyone that shops at BJs Wholesale, you’ll know that they sell a boxed version of these little devils that you can make at home.

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Truly, it’s like purchasing a heart attack; a delicious one, but a heart attack all the same. After checking out the ingredients on the back, I thought I could definitely recreate these in my whole wheat style. I vowed, however, not to skimp on the butter because although I am pro health, I am no Mother Theresa.

I have to say, I love my whole wheat version and I think you will too! There is all the same buttery, cheesy goodness that we’ve come to love. BUT, with all of the added fiber and protein from the wheat, I don’t feel nearly as bad about it. As a little FYI, for the butter glaze that you brush on top of the biscuits, I actually used melted Smart Balance butter and thought it was delicious!

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I hope you enjoy as much as I did! 🙂

Pumpkin Spice Scones (Whole Wheat)

Who says Pumpkin is exclusively for the Fall? I shop in bulk at BJs Wholesale, so I am equipped with canned pumpkin puree year round!

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Since I visited Bavaria, Germany in 2013, I have been on a scone kick. Though nothing usually beats the simplistic scones with raisins I frequently ate in Munich, pumpkin scones are actually my favorite variation to bake. Let’s get started, shall we?

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If you have any questions, please let me know 🙂

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FAQs on Baking with Whole Wheat

Can I substitute, ounce for ounce, whole wheat flour in any recipe that calls for all-purpose flour?

This is something I had trouble with in the beginning. You can actually substitute just the measurements of the flower. However, adjustments will undoubtedly need to be made elsewhere – mostly in terms of moisture and in cases of scones or biscuits, leavening agents (baking powder/baking soda). Whole wheat flour lacks much of the gluten that all-purpose flour contains. When baking, extra gluten is quite useful because it acts that the glue that holds your ingredients together and gives you a light, airy finished product. Thus, you compensate for that lack in other areas. Please see the next question that addresses moisture.

Why do my baked goods crumble when I use whole wheat flour?

This is one of the biggest fears for a baker! Whole wheat is inevitably and unfairly associated with dry and crumbled. I tend to add more moisture when adapting a recipe. A pretty safe rule of thumb is an extra tablespoon or two per cup of whole wheat that you’ve substituted. Furthermore, I will usually add an extra 1/2 teaspoon extra of baking powder to help this heavier flour rise. I like to let my batter sit for at least fifteen minutes longer than I would with all-purpose flour to give the leavening agents some time to do their thing!

How can I dull the distinct taste of whole wheat flour?

I quite happen to like the slight nuttiness that whole wheat provides! Yet, when baking for others, I know that penchant is not always shared. A brilliant trick I learned is to add orange juice. It does not add the flavor of the juice, but it does dull the wheat taste. Try substituting 1-2 tablespoons of your liquid with the O.J. Another option is to try White Whole Wheat Flour – same nutritional value, but a much milder taste 🙂 King Arthur Flour makes a great one!

My dough is very sticky, should I add more whole wheat flour?

Assuming you followed the directions on a given recipe verbatim, AVOID THE URGE TO ADD MORE FLOUR! That was one of my biggest mistakes when I first began whole wheat baking! Whole wheat flour tends to soak up all the moisture around it (hence the sometimes dry products), BUT, it takes a bit longer to do so. So, follow your recipe and be prepared to let your dough sit. I often find that refrigerating for up to 30 minutes can make the dough easier to work with. Additionally, try oiling your work surface instead of flouring! I’ve found that to be useful with sandwich bread. Flouring the surface definitely works better for things such as scones, though.

Some of your recipes call for buttermilk. What if I do not have any?

I actually don’t keep store bought buttermilk on hand either. It’s quite simple, though, to make your own. Measure out one cup of milk and add one tablespoon of white vinegar. Let sit for ten minutes and you’re good to go. The beauty of this is that you can make your own buttermilk with whole, reduced fat, or skim milk, whatever your preference may be.

Why do you use stevia so often?

A teaspoon of sugar packs a whopping 15 calories. Imagine the calorie count from sugar alone on a recipe that calls for 1 full cup of sugar! I still use sugar for many recipes, but I do try to make the swap if I know I’ll be having multiple servings of the product. Stevia is nice because it’s natural and sweet without as many added calories. Stevia comes in many forms, liquid, packet or bulk. I use the packets because it’s an easy way to keep count. Here is a handy conversion chart for your reference:

Sugar Granulated Artificial Sweeteners Stevia Blends (Packets) Stevia Blends (Bulk) Clear Stevia Liquid Pure Steviosides
2 tsp. 2 tsp. 1 packet 1/2 tsp. 1/4 tsp. 1/16 tsp.
1/4 cup 1/4 cup 6 packets 3 tsp. 1/2 tsp. 3/8 tsp.
1/3 cup 1/3 cup 8 packets 4 tsp. 3/4 tsp. 1/2 tsp.
1/2 cup 1/2 cup 12 packets 6 tsp. 1 1/4 tsp. 3/4 tsp.
3/4 cup 3/4 cup 18 packets 9 tsp. 1 3/4 tsp. 1 tsp.
1 cup 1 cup 24 packets 12 tsp. 2 1/2 tsp. 1 1/2 tsp.
2 cups 2 cups 48 packets 24 tsp. 5 1/4 tsp. 3 tsp.

taken from:  http://www.cookingwithstevia.com/stevia_conversion_chart.html

Katie Lewis – Whole Wheat Obsessor

Hello Bakers! I’m Katie and welcome to Committing Carbocide!

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Now, for a little bit about this Bronx native – Originally, I was shooting for a career in advertising. I have my Bachelor’s in Public Relations and an MBA in Marketing that I completed in December of 2014. I am working on a historical fiction young adult novel and this baking blog you see now!

I am obsessed with my nephew Julian and my dog best friend Freckles, an eleven year old English Cocker Spaniel.

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I love to travel – so far I’ve seen Greece, Germany, Italy, and Ireland! I plan on many more, which gives me more chances to try new foods of course! 🙂

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