Tasting Tuesdays: Maple Bran Muffins

Maple Bran Muffins

How about a muffin!?

Maple Bran Muffins

I’m gonna be honest with you here… I was reeeal skeptical of this recipe.

Maple Bran Muffins

I mean. Bran cereal. Unprocessed oat bran. Whole wheat pastry flour. Natural cane sugar. Oof. These things are all very, very healthy.

Maple Bran Muffins

In fact, the only thing that was recognizable and acceptable to me in this recipe was butter. (And I’m pretty sure it’s the only sweets recipe in this whole book that uses butter instead of coconut oil. Woah! I am not that brave–although the carnival cookies with popcorn, peanuts, chocolate chips was pretty tempting.)

Maple Bran Muffins

Despite all the healthy grains, I DID like the idea of maple syrup. And I have heard so many great things about Heidi Swanson. So I figured, well–there is still butter in it–so it can’t possibly be THAT bad!

Maple Bran Muffins

Ooh. Ooh man. These guys are great. They definitely taste healthy–but they are still moist and light, and they have a lovely dense maple aftertaste that just echoes a little bit in the background. It’s not too sweet, it’s not too granola-crunchy-healthful. It is really a perfect in between.

Maple Bran Muffins

It’s hard to find baked goods with an array of flavors like this–so in my book these muffins are winners. If you happen to have all this healthy stuff in your pantry, by all means make these for breakfast! I know I will be. If not–I bet you could fiddle with a creative adaptation or just invest in the whole wheat bran business. It’s good for you.

Maple Bran Muffins Maple Bran Muffins

My thanks, as always, to the lovely ladies of Milwaukee Anthropologie–who were sweet enough to reschedule this month’s Tasting Tuesdays AND let me come in super early to set up. You guys are stars.

Maple Bran Muffins

And one more thing… if I type it in a blog post, that means it’s true, right? I think (gulp) I might try making macarons for next month’s event. Eep! Let me know if you have any tips…!

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Lemon Lavender Cake

For some reason this post has been a LONG time coming! I just can’t quite seem to bring myself to write it.

Lemon Lavender Cake

I think it’s because it has been sooo hot. Seriously. 90’s. This Nordic girl can’t handle the heat.

Lemon Lavender Cake

That’s about all I have to say. Tasting Tuesdays is tomorrow and I made some delicious little things from Super Natural Every Day by Heidi Swanson. Exciting!

Lemon Lavender Cake

And now, without further ado, here are some more pictures of cake (which I do wish I was eating right now). I hope you’re keeping cool out there!

Lemon Lavender Cake

Lemon Lavender Cake

Lemon Lavender Cake

Lemon Lavender Cake

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Cinnamon Roll Scones

Cinnamon Roll Scones

You guys know how I love scones, right? And cinnamon? And butter and sugar? Well then you have some small inkling of how excited I was when I saw this recipe for biscuit cinnamon rolls.

Cinnamon Roll Scones

So fervent was my desire to bake these that I turned on my oven (400 degrees, no less) on an 85-degree day.

Cinnamon Roll Scones

They were a little fussy because of the heat, but on a cold winter day when you’re not ready to bust out the yeast to make cinnamon rolls (who ever wants to do that, seriously?!), these would be perfect.

Cinnamon Roll Scones

They are literally just a nice buttermilk scone dough all rolled up with melted butter and cinnamon. So easy!

Cinnamon Roll Scones

They take a bit longer to bake and cool than your normal scone, but right out of the oven they have all the best parts of a yeasted cinnamon roll without all the work: hot, melty, crystallized cinnamon sugar and sweet, light, flaky dough.

Cinnamon Roll Scones

I will never make another traditional cinnamon roll again! Okay, well, to be honest, I have never actually made a legit cinnamon roll before… but now I will never have to.

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Interlude: Los Angeles

Hello, there! I’ve just gotten back from a vacation to Los Angeles. I was visiting for a dear friend’s wedding (pictured above). It was pretty much the most beautiful wedding I have ever seen… and she made everything herself! When she gets on all the fancy wedding blogs (as I know she will), I will post links. Until then, feast your eyes on the prettiness above. Sigh!

Aside from dancing for four hours straight under the stars surrounded by peonies and chevron table runners, my vacation consisted mainly of three of my most favorite things (sometimes all three at the same time! Awesomeness overload). Let’s list them through Instagram pictures. These things are:

Art museums!!! (Specifically: LACMA, Getty Center, and Getty Villa.)

The Getty Center is basically art museum Disneyworld. You even take a monorail–I mean, tram–up to the galleries. Amazing.

The Getty Villa, meanwhile, is on the beach.

This beach. This pretty beach.

Beach toes in Malibu.

By the way, the beach is my second favorite thing. We went to lots of beaches. Like this one in Santa Monica.

We even ate macarons on the beach… Heaven.

Speaking of baked goods, that’s number three: BAKERIES! Yes–naturally I ate my way through Los Angeles.

There may have been some arugula and other greens in there somewhere (see above bianco pizza)…

But mainly it was macarons… like this earl grey tea one from Bottega Louie

Or croissants, like this twice-baked one from Short Cake in the super fun and overwhelming Farmers Market…

Or cake, like this hazelnut coffee cake from Semi Sweet Bakery

Or cupcakes. A given. From Sprinkles. We might have gotten four and eaten them within 12 hours.

This one was the black & white one–I also loved the strawberry. Ah-mazing.

We also went to a movie studio and saw the Hollywood sign (and Brad Pitt).

And, I even met Sara Tso from Matchbox Kitchen at an adorable little bakery in Pasadena, Euro Pane! Their ginger scones were really good (something I need to re-create), and she is super sweet!

Most of my days started with treats from Bottega Louie, since it was conveniently (dangerously?) near our hotel… I got a couple of these guys for the plane ride home. I just can’t resist pearl sugar.

Reviewing all of the sweets I ate over the past week, it’s probably no wonder I’m all about the green smoothies this weekend, huh?

More baking soon–until then, don’t mind me, I’ll just be dreaming of L.A. (minus that traffic)…