Muffins and Spice

Orange Spice Muffins

Solar baked muffins make a good grab-and-go breakfast or a marvelous mid-afternoon snack.

Orange Spice Whole Grain Muffins

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1/3 cup sugar

1/4 cup toasted wheat germ

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

1 teaspoon grated orange zest

2/3 cup milk (2% or whole)

1/3 cup canola or coconut oil

1 large egg, at room temperature

Preparation

Set Sun Oven out to preheat. Line the indentations of two 6-cup muffin tins with paper liners or arrange 12 sturdy muffin sized baking molds in two baking pans.

In a large bowl, whisk together the whole wheat flour, all-purpose flour, sugar, wheat germ, baking powder, salt, pumpkin pie spice, and zest. In a small bowl beat together the milk, oil, and egg until blended. Stir the milk mixture into the dry ingredients until just moistened. Spoon batter into prepared cups until about two-thirds full. Bake in the Sun Oven until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean, about 35 minutes. If you pans do not fit side by side in the Sun Oven use a rack to separate them than cross-stack them (the upper pan will bake slightly faster). Cool muffins in the pans on a wire rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.

 

Sun Oven Peach Cobblers

Peach Melba Cobbler

These single serve cobblers can also be baked in metal mugs, but if you want to store them in the fridge use glass mason jars. Refrigerated, they’ll keep for up to a week. Well, maybe they will in your house; it’s never happened in ours. They make a great portable treat to be enjoyed anywhere.

Peach Melba Cobblers

Ingredients

2 cups frozen peaches, cut into chunks

1/2 cup frozen raspberries

1/2  cup Kodiak Cakes Flapjack mix (or other baking mix)

1 cup sugar

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided

Whipped cream for serving

Preparation

Set Sun Oven out to preheat.

Divide the fruit evenly among 4 (1/2-pint) mason jars. In a small bowl, whisk together the baking mix and sugar. Spoon the mixture over the fruit in the jars. Top each cobbler with 1 tablespoon of the butter. Set the Jars in a pot and bake in the Sun Oven until bubbly, 1 t0 1 1/4 hours. Cool in jars on rack. Serve cobblers in the jars with whipped cream. Cover with lids to store in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

Dulce de Leche in the Sun

Dulce de Leche

This is a slow cooker classic that I’ve adapted for the Sun Oven. In the slow cooker the jars need to be submerged to ensure even cooking, but even cooking is what the Sun Oven is all about so I didn’t worry about finding a pot big enough pot to do so. In fact, next time I might even try with no water at all. It works for hard boiled eggs, I don’t see why it wouldn’t work for this. However, in the meantime I have three jars of dulce de leche on my hands so it might be a while.

Sun Oven Dulce de Leche

Ingredients

2 (14-ounce) cans sweetened condensed milk

Preparation

Set Sun Oven out to preheat.

Divide the milk evenly among 3 1/2 pint mason jars. Put the lids on the jars and close tightly. Place the jars in a large pot. Add enough hot water to reach the rims, it is not necessary to submerge the jars. Place a lid on the pot and transfer to the Sun Oven. Cook until the milk is golden brown and thick, about 6 hours. Remove the jars from the water and let cool. Refrigerate at least two hours before using; it will continue to thicken as it cools. Store jars in the refrigerator and use within 2 weeks.

 

Upside-Down Solar Baked Cupcakes

Muffin Pan Stack

I’m not much of a baker, no matter what kind of oven I use. However, I’ve learned from experience that as far as cakes go the best results, at least aesthetically speaking, are obtained with cupcakes and upside-down cakes. So why not combine the two?

Pineapple Upside-Down Cupcakes

(adapted for the Sun Oven from Weight Watchers Comfort Classics)

Ingredients

1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed

1 tablespoon finely chopped crystallized ginger*

2 teaspoons unsalted butter

1 (20-ounce) can pineapple chunk, drained

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup 1% milk

3 tablespoons coconut oil, melted

1 large egg, at room temperature

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preparation

Set Sun Oven out to preheat. Spray two 6-cup muffin pans with cooking spray or arrange 12 cupcake sized silicone baking molds two baking pans and spray with cooking spray.

Combine the brown sugar, ginger, and butter in a small sauce pan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the butter melts and the sugar is dissolved, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the pineapple. Spoon the pineapple mixture evenly among the muffin tins or baking molds; set aside.

In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar, milk, coconut oil, egg, and vanilla. Add the flour mixture to the sugar mixture and stir until just blended. Fill the muffin pans or baking molds evenly with the batter. Bake side by side or cross stacked (top layer will cook slightly faster) until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cake comes out clean, 30 to 40 minutes. Cool the cupcakes it the pans on a rack for 10 minutes. To loosen run a knife around the side of the muffin cups or simply pop out of the silicone molds. Remove the cupcakes from the pans or molds and cool upside down (pineapple side up) on racks. Drizzle and extra syrup in the pans or molds over the cupcakes.

*spray your knife with cooking spray to keep the ginger from sticking.

Muffin Tins 1

Single Serving Solar Cheese Cakes

Cheese Cakes

If ever there was an excuse to by some of those cute, colorful silicone cupcake lines this recipe is it. They will make your life so much easier. But if you’re still not convinced, line the tins with a strip of aluminum foil to use as a handle.

Mini Raspberry Amaretto Cheese Cakes

(adapted for the Sun Oven from Weight Watchers In One Pot)

Ingredients

1/2 cup amaretti cookie crumbs (or ginger snaps)

1 tablespoon butter, softened

12 teaspoons raspberry fruit spread

2 (8-ounce) packages Neufchâtel cheese, softened

1/2 cup sugar

1 large egg

1 large egg white

1 teaspoon grated lemon zest

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preparation

Set Sun Oven out to preheat. Line two 6-cup muffin tins with silicone baking molds or spray with cooking spray and line each cup with a 2 x 6-inch strip of foil, allowing the foil to extend above the rim.

In a small bowl, mix together the cookie crumbs and the butter until well combined. Press 2 teaspoons of the mixture onto the bottom of each cup; refrigerate until firm, about 15 minutes. Spread 1 teaspoon of the fruit spread over the crumb mixture in each cup. Keep refrigerated while preparing the filling.

Put the cheese in a medium bowl and use an electric mixture to beat until very smooth, about 2 minutes. Gradually add the sugar and continue beating until fluffy, about 2 more minutes. Beat in the egg, egg white, zest, and vanilla extract. Divide the cheese filling evenly among the cups. Bake in the Sun Oven until the edges are set and the centers jiggle slightly, about 30 minutes. If the pans do not fit side by side use a rack to separate them and cross stack them in the cooking chamber; the top pan will cook slightly faster. Cool the cakes in the pans on a wire rack for 30 minutes. Cove with foil refrigerate until chilled and set, at least 4 hours and up to 2 days. Pop cheese cakes out of the molds or us the foil to lift them from the pans.

 

Sun Baked Apple Topping

Cinnamon Apples

These baked apples are easy to prepare and can be enjoyed on their own as a dessert. They also make a great topping for ice-cream or mix-in for oatmeal. And It’s a good way to make use of any excess apples you might have on hand.

Solar Baked Cinnamon Apples

Ingredients

1/3 cup brown sugar, packed

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

the juice of 1 lemon

6 apples (about 2 pounds) peeled, cored, and cut into chunks

Preparation

Set Sun Oven out to preheat.

In a glass or ceramic baking dish, mix together the sugar, cinnamon, and lemon juice. Add the apple chunks and toss to coat evenly. Cover with aluminum foil and a dark kitchen towel and transfer to the Sun Oven. Cook until the apples are soft, 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Serve warm or at room temperature. Can be stored in the refrigerator in airtight containers for up to 5 days.

 

Solar Baked Apple Sauce

Baked Apple Sauce

Apples are at their peak this time of year so you may not need a lot of sugar to sweeten this sauce. Use it as a topping for oatmeal, pancakes, or ice-cream. It’s also good on its own.

Sun Baked Apple Topping

Ingredients

1 1/2 pounds baking apples, peeled, cored, and cut into chunks

2 tablespoons brown sugar (or to taste)

1/8 teaspoon cinnamon

pinch salt (optional)

Preparation

Set Sun Oven out to preheat.

Spray a medium sized pot with cooking spray. Add the apples. Cover and cook in the Sun Oven until the apples are soft, 45 minutes to 1 hour. Remove from Sun Oven. Use a fork to coarsely mash the apples. Stir in the sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Solar Panforte with Mango

Panforte-for-Pi-Day-Solar-300x225 Panforte is a traditional delicacy of Siena, Italy. It’s very rich; a tiny piece is all you need. It keeps for weeks at room temperature and for months in the freezer. It packs a lot of energy in each portion and is ideal to take on long hikes. Most recipes call for candied citrus, but I don’t like the quality of the kind found in most supermarkets and making my own is not an option – I’d eat it all long before it ever made its way into a recipe. Diced, dried mango delivers just the right amount of sweetness and is the perfect texture for this rich cake.

Sun Oven Panforte

Ingredients

To line the pan:

1 tablespoon cake flour

1 tablespoon plain dry bread crumbs

2 tablespoons finely ground nuts, almonds or hazelnuts

For the cake:

1/2 cup cake flour

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground coriander

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/2 cup honey

1/2 cup sugar

1 cup sweetened dried mango, diced

1 cup almonds or hazelnuts, roasted and coarsely chopped*

For the topping:

2 tablespoons cake flour

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Preparation

Set Sun Oven out to preheat. Spray an 8-inch springform pan with cooking spray. Line the bottom and the sides with parchment paper.

Prepare the bread crumb lining:

In a small bowl, combine the flour, bread crumbs, and ground nuts. Line the baking pan with the mixture and set aside.

Prepare the cake:

In a small bowl, combine the flour, cinnamon, coriander, cloves, and nutmeg; set aside. In a medium saucepan over low heat, combine the honey and sugar, stirring occasionally, until the mixture comes to a full boil; remove from heat. Stir in the mango and chopped nuts. Add the flour and spice mixture a stir until well blended. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Using slightly dampened hands, smooth the batter out.

Prepare the topping:

In a small bowl, combine the flour and cinnamon. Sift the topping over the batter in the pan. Bake the cake in the Sun Oven until it starts to bubble around the edges, about 30 minutes. Remove the pan from the Sun Oven and cool completely on a rack. Remove the sides of the pan and invert the cake onto a rack, letting the excess flour fall off. Carefully remove the parchment paper. Invert the cake again onto a cutting board.

*To toast the nuts, spread them out on a baking pan in a single layer and toast them in the Sun Oven for 10 to 20 minutes. If using hazelnuts, wrap the toasted nuts in a clean kitchen towel. Let them steam for about five minutes, then rub vigorously against the countertop to remove the skins.

Sun Shine and Banana Bread

Banana Bread

Very ripe bananas are the key to good banana bread. If come baking day yours are not quite ready, put the un-peeled bananas in the Sun Oven when you set it out to preheat. It will take about half an hour to “ripen” them in the sun. Let them cool a bit before mixing them in with the other ingredients. This is also a good time to melt the butter. Put it in a glass measuring cup and set it in the Sun Oven with the bananas.

Sun Oven Banana Bread

Ingredients

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup whole-wheat flour

3/4 cup sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

3/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

Read more »

Solar Blueberry Cobblers

Blueberry Cobblers

Any type of canned pie filling will work here. And, if you don’t have metal mugs, ovenproof ceramic mugs or ramekins work too. I bet you could even use a different brand of baking mix.

Crazy Easy Blueberry Cobblers

Ingredients

1 can (21-ounces) blueberry pie filling

1 cup Kodiak Cakes Buttermilk and Honey Flapjack and Waffle Mix

1/4 to 1/2 cup sugar

Read more »

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