I love watching Martha (Stewart) Bakes on PBS. Especially for great new holiday baking ideas!
She hooked me when I was home taking care of my elderly father a year ago, but I could never find her on my local stations when I returned.
Then — suddenly — there she was! Twice a week!
Most of the time, I think I just enjoy all the creative touches and something in my appetite for sweets is mysteriously satisfied in a way I never thought possible – just by watching. Incredible as that sounds, she makes me feel like I’ve actually tasted the treats – and no calories or sugar troubles!
I mentally file away some of the recipes I might like to try someday. Others, I google immediately and capture the link. Given some of the legend surrounding Martha and her supposedly over the top creations, you might be surprised to know that most of what she bakes is easily manageable by anyone who bakes even just a little… and she often explains step by step…
All this to say, watching one program devoted to several fantastic-sounding muffins a few months back, I knew I’d found the something I would bring to my next holiday gathering. Something that sounded and looked deliciously savory and sweet. Healthy – well, somewhat — because it included zucchini! And simple to present in a pretty eye-catching way!
I baked them in batches since one recipe only makes about 10 – 12… and tasting one fresh from the oven stopped me in my tracks. A couple of unusual ingredients (ground cardamom and anise seeds) had put these over the top in tender, cake-like goodness.
“Oh, my gosh!” I exclaimed to the empty kitchen – these are SO yum!”
(Martha lists cardamom as optional, probably because it is hard to find and can be expensive, but if you can locate some at a reasonable price as I did, I highly recommend it! I had searched many stores and only found one that had a huge bottle at an equally huge price. I only needed 1/8 tsp, so that was out! Then I thought of a local Italian grocery and presto! They had it, and the equally hard to find anise seeds, available in tiny ziplock bags for a little over $2. I’ve heard Indian stores probably carry these spices in bulk too…)
“Those are beautiful, Pam!” my friends exclaimed this Thanksgiving as I arranged them on a platter for the buffet. I’d found some pretty “tulip” shaped cupcake papers at Hobby Lobby… two toned, with purple and green, they opened up in a scalloped top. Martha had used something elegant and simple…same tulip shape, but solid white (like parchment paper), but searching stores had left me barehanded until I’d found these.
Drizzling with an orange glaze, Martha added a sprig of green chervil (curly parsley works) to each one, and against those papers – I found it the perfect touch too!
Looking for a fun new treat to share with family and friends this Christmas? Having a few over for brunch anytime soon? I highly recommend these zucchini orange muffins from Martha! Especially with a cup of tea! Easy to bake (other than having to wring out the grated zucchini, which is a pain but necessary)! They freeze well too… Since Thanksgiving, I’ve been treating myself now and then to a few leftover and warming up makes them like fresh from the oven!
A great perk of this link too is that you can not only print the recipe but also watch Martha in a short video clip there as she bakes this particular recipe… *
Oh so yum fresh from oven! Enjoy!!
*TIP: I bought organic oranges and zucchini since I’d be using the skin of both… no need to be concerned for pesticides.
© Pam Depoyan
pen and ink drawing above, “Snow on Snow” : mine. (Please do not copy without permission. See my copyright info button on the sidebar. ) Available for purchase in my newest gallery at Picture it in Pen and Ink – Christmas Wonder .
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