Grazia: Premium Bakeware Silicone Baking Cups, 24 count #Review #graziabaking

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The last silicone cups you will need to buy! When silicone cups and “pans” came on the market, I was excited to see how the material would work with my baking mixes. I went from being optimistic to then using a pan with 6-cupcake molds that I literally used once and tossed away. First, the thing was flimsy and you had to be careful filling it with batter as a collapse was eminent and lastly, it did not perform well leaving me with uneven baked cupcakes that were dry. Easily clean-up made me rethink what was easy in my book was not at all easy in theirs. I had to soak the wanna-be pan and in 1 years time, the pan became sticky to the touch like the silicone was breaking down by just being exposed to air because I never used it again. Hardest 6 cupcakes, which I later tossed, that I ever had to bake! I swore off silicone and just baked in parchment cups.

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In comes Grazia with the heaviest silicone cups I have ever felt. To give you an idea, the container of 24 cups weighs close to 9 ounces (unfilled). Sturdy and the happiest colors that fit with any celebration. The silicone material that Grazia uses is:

  • Oven Safe
  • Microwave Safe, meaning you can make “one-cup” servings to satisfy any craving
  • Can be used in the Freezer, so you can have ready-to-bake batches ready to go
  • Dishwasher Safe for easy clean-ups
  • The product has a non-stick finish too, so no need for baking sprays with harsh chemicals
  • Most importantly, also BPA-Free and Grazia uses a silicone material that is FDA&LFGB approved (food-grade silicone)
  • Temperature Safe from -40 degrees (for freezer use) to 440 degrees (for oven use)
  • Each cup holds 2.5 ounces of batter, filling, anything you want to create! You can make savory treats too by using Puff Pastry combined with cheeses and meats.  Great way to welcome in 2015 with little mess to clean-up.

Grazia Bakeware is not like any other silicone baking cup I have felt on the market. No collapsing when pouring can occur because the cups are engineered with “real-life” baking in mind, meaning the cups stay put and are easily moved on-to a baking pan and again easily transferred without worrying of spilling or even crushing a cupcake if you happen to touch/move the cup. I can just bake as I always do minus wasting money and parchment paper with the cups I would buy or make before. You just pop-out your creations and start munching or easily make a basket of goodies to give-away.

 

Retail Price Point: $11.99 on Amazon and Grazia stands by their products by providing a Life-time Gurantee

 

Grazia also supplies you with 24 cups to use in 4 different colors. You can use as many as you need and not have to clean-up an entire pan even if some cups were not used. You simply soak in warm soapy water after using and I let mine air dry on the rack before storing them away in the same plastic cylinder holder provided.  So easy to clean that I felt I did not even need to use the dishwasher!

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Connect with Grazia Baking products at:

I received the above product(s) free of charge from Grazia.  I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion.  My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

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The Spice Lab: Fourth of July Blueberry & Pomegranate Sugar Lab Cookies #Baking #Recipe

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I wanted a cookie that could be used in several applications. This cookie has a muffin texture when you add the baking soda, which is great for drop style cookies to even making Cake Pops or fritters with. Omit the Baking Soda and you will get a crisper cookie texture, that can be eaten as-is or enjoyed with ice cream. I have even enjoyed the muffin style version with ice cream because it plays well as a blueberry and pomegranate shortcake. 🙂

Let’s Begin….

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup Unsalted Butter (4 tablespoons)
  • 4 ounces of Cream Cheese
  • 1/4 cup of dried unsweetened Blueberries
  • 1/4 of warm water to soak blueberries in. Juice (i.e. Blueberry, Pomegranate or even a Tart Cherry) may also be used if not too sweet.
  • 1 tablespoon of Maple Syrup
  • 1 tablespoon of Sour Cream
  • 50 grams of Powdered Sugar
  • 50 grams of Rice Flour
  • 50 grams of All-Purpose Flour
  • 2 drops of Lemon Extract
  • 1 teaspoon of Baking Soda (use for a muffin/shortbread texture)
  • Pomegranate Sugar from the Spice Lab/Sugar Lab

 

Soak the blueberries in the 1/4 cup of warm water and add 1 tablespoon of Maple Syrup to the soak.

You then start by creaming the butter, cream cheese, sour cream, powdered sugar and the soaked berries with water and all. You want a nice smooth texture.

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You want to break the berries apart a bit so they release their flavor and color through out the dough.

Then add the flours and the lemon extract. Add the Baking soda if you desire a more cake like product.

1 to 2 hours for a stiff dough you can work with.

1 to 2 hours for a stiff dough you can work with.

 

Take dough out and allow for it to cool and stiffen up in the fridge. I always locate mine at the back of the fridge and it takes between 1 to 2 hours. You can also make it the evening before and allow it to cool overnight.

Once the dough has cooled and absorbed all the dry ingredients well, we have options!  

Start by heating your oven to 350 degrees.  My cookies depending on size took 12 to 15 minutes to bake.  They will feel soft and moist, but don’t be fooled because they will stiffen up nicely (careful over baking) after just 1 minute of resting on the pan.  Then remove and allow to cool.

  • You can cut the cookie outs by using shapes

I used stars of different shapes and sizes to go with a 4th of July look.

 

  • Drop Cookies

You can make drop cookies by making balls, rolling in sugar and just placing them on parchment paper and a baking sheet.  I stud each cookie with a defrosted blueberry for that little extra touch!

  • Cake Pops using a fried method for a crispy outside……sort of like a fritter!

You can make cake pops by frying the dough in Peanut oil.  I used a toothpick and then made a ball.  I put the dough in the freezer to set for 15 minutes and then took the pops out.  Gave them a final shaping and in they went into the oil.  Takes less than a minute at the size I created to cook and fry up.  Roll in the Pom sugar and you are set!

 

  • Last but not least, you can make Vintage Flags 

The options are endless and the flavor from the Pomegranate Sugar by the Sugar Lab is wonderful.  Not super sugar and you taste the fruit versus just sugar crystals.  They gave my baked goods a beautiful look but also taste wonderful.  Get creative this 4th of July! Enjoy!

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Get your Sugar and Spices Fix at:

  • The Spice Lab on-line– http://shop.thespicelab.com/index.php/peppers-spices/sugars/gourmet-sugar.html
  • Facebook– https://www.facebook.com/TheSpiceLabInc
  • Twitter– https://twitter.com/TheSpiceLab

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I received the above product free of charge from The Spice Lab.  I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion.  My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

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Pumpkin Maple Pecan Muffins with a Cream Cheese filling & Crumble Topping

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Fall is nearing even though the weather says, “No”, but the trees say, “Yes”. I wanted a recipe that is not too committed to the Fall flavors but I can adjust as the season changes. I find such adjustment can be made with the spice so I go a little lighter on the Pumpkin Pie spice when the weather is warmer. I hope you enjoy this simple recipe that is my way to start getting in that Autumn mood.

Batter:
15 ounce can of Pumpkin Puree (not the pie mix)
1/2 cup of Brown Sugar
2 Large Eggs
1 tablespoon of Unsalted Butter (melted)
2 tablespoons of Vegetable Oil
1/4 of Maple Syrup
1/2 tablespoon of Vanilla Extract
1/2 teaspoon of Salt
1 1/4 to 1 1/2 teaspoons of Pumpkin Pie Spice (go with how you desire the spice to be)
1 teaspoon of Baking Powder
1/2 teaspoon of Baking Soda
1/3 cup of Milk (you can also use Almond Milk, Yogurt, Coconut Milk or a mix like I did. I used whole Milk and Almond milk to make 1/3 of a cup)
1/2 cup toasted Pecan pieces or halves
3/4 cup of Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips (I used a mix of mini and
normal size)
1 3/4 cup of All-Purpose Flour

Cream Cheese Filling:
8 ounce package of Cream Cheese (softened)
1 teaspoon of Vanilla Extract
1 tablespoon of All-Purpose Flour
1/4 cup of Sugar

Crumble top:
1/4 cup Brown Sugar
1/2 cup All-Purpose Flour
1/4 of Old-Fashioned Oats
4 Tablespoons of Salted Butter (melted)

1 Muffin pan that yields 12 muffins/cupcakes

Optional:
12 Pecan Halves (not toasted)
1 tablespoon of Maple Syrup

I preheat my oven to 400 degrees and spray my muffin pan with nonstick cooking spray. I use the Pam with Flour to yield the best results.

I start by mixing all my wet ingredients in a bowl. I then drop the ingredients in my mixer’s bowl and incorporate for 20 to 30 seconds.

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I then add the toasted Pecans and Chocolate chips.

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In another bowl, I mix the flour and baking soda and baking powder. On low, I begin to incorporate the dry ingredients with the wet mixture until everything is just mixed.

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I take my muffin pan and fill the cups but leaving enough room so I can add the cream cheese filling and topping.

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To make the filling, just take all ingredients and mix until incorporated. If the cream cheese is not soft enough, a 10 to 15 second intervals in the microwave will fix that right up.

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Add the filling to your muffin batter. You can choose to have a center of cream cheese to your muffin or even a cream cheese top, or get creative and make a marbling. I was in a hurry so I plopped and went with a “at home” look, so the cream cheese stayed where it landed! 🙂

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I then add more of the pumpkin batter to cover the cream cheese.

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To make the crumble top, it is as easy as the filling. Incorporate all the dry ingredients and then mix in the butter until you have crumbles. Add the crumble to your muffins.

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I added a Pecan half to each muffin to give them that Autumn look. This is optional.

I put the muffin pan in the oven and let it bake at 400 for 15 minutes and then cover with foil and let it bake between 10 to 15 minutes longer, or until a toothpick comes clean. If you notice that 2 muffins come clean when tested but one is not playing nice, sometimes the cream cheese can be deceiving so I always go with the majority rule and pull them out than over bake them. You notice the Pecan may over brown or burn, cover with foil sooner as I know ovens vary.

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Let the muffins cool in the pan for about 8 to 10 minutes and I remove them by using a chop stick or toothpick to assist in pulling the muffin out without destroying or knocking off the topping. I then place the muffins on a rack to finish cooling. Have family that is impatient when you bake? You can eat these semi-warm so after 10 to 15 minutes, they can go at them!

Now, you will notice my pecan is shiny and that is because when I remove the muffins from the pan and onto a rack, I then take my finger and softly touch the pecan with maple syrup. Gives the nut flavor and it cools looking pretty.

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Options: You can add dried cranberries, raisins, or even substitute the nut for one more to your liking. You don’t have to toast the nuts if you are short on time, I just do it because it gives the pecans a better flavor. You could also add butterscotch chips……make it your own as I have no rules!

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You will notice you may have 2 to 3 muffin worth of pumpkin batter left and some cream cheese. I believe in not wasting so I take a couple ramekins and created a swirl by using both the batter and filling. Once cooled, you can cover with ganache and again this is even something you can do to make the muffins 🙂 Have fun!

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