Welcome to Natasha's Creative Confections! If you have stumbled upon this blog page, then you're in for a real treat! One of my favorite things to do is bake. If you choose to read on you will find pictures and recipes of some of the fabulous treats that I have created. So take a look around and enjoy!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Streusel Topped Blueberry Muffins!

I really enjoy a good blueberry muffin. I've made a few different recipes in the past, but nothing has ever stuck. Honestly, one of my favorite things about blueberry muffins is the streusel topping! I think it makes the muffin tastier :) When I was young my family used to buy this box muffin mix and it was so tasty because it actually came with a streusel topping that you added on to the muffins before you baked them. They came out tasting so delicious! I haven't had a blueberry muffin I've enjoyed that much...until now! I tried to recreate this muffin and it was DELICIOUS. Thought I'd share:

-2 cups all-purpose flour
-2 tsp. baking powder
-1/2 tsp. salt
-1 1/2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
-1 1/2 c. fresh blueberries (I used frozen and they were amazing!)
-1/2 c. butter
-3/4 c. white sugar
-2 eggs
-1 tsp. vanilla
-1/4 tsp. lemon zest
-1/2 c. milk
-2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
-5 Tbsp. white sugar
-1/2 tsp. cinnamon
-2 Tbsp. butter, diced

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease 12 muffin cups or line with paper muffin liners.
2. Combine 2 cups flour, 2 tsp. baking powder, and 1/2 tsp. salt in medium bowl. In a small bowl, sprinkle 1-2 Tbsp. flour over blueberries, and set aside. (This will keep you from having purple batter!)
3. In a large bowl, beat 1/2 c. butter with 3/4 c. sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, and stir in vanilla and lemon zest. Fold in dry ingredients alternately with milk. Fold in blueberries. Spoon batter into prepared cups.
4. Combine 2 Tbsp. flour, 5 Tbsp. sugar and 1/2 tsp. cinnamon in a small bowl. Cut in 2 Tbsp. butter with fork or pastry blender until mixture resembles course crumbs. Sprinkle over batter in muffin cups.
5. Bake for 20-25 mins, or until a toothpick inserted in center of muffin comes out clean. Cool on wire rack. These muffins do freeze well and can be reheated in the microwave!

Hope you all enjoy!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Happy Valentine's!

Monday I made these tasty mini-heart cheesecakes for my husband and I to enjoy. They are the same recipe for cheesecake that I've used before, I just cut it in half to make 3 mini sized ones. I topped them with a raspberry coulis this time instead of strawberry like I've done before. They were delicious! The graham cracker crust is still my favorite part :)

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Scrumptious Chocolatey Brownies!

Homemade brownies are delicious! I never would have said that before I made these. I am not a big brownie person, but homemade brownies, and specifically these homemade brownies were amazing! I have to share the recipe because they are outstanding and so you can enjoy them as well :)

The recipe comes from a modern cookbook called: Baked: New Frontiers in Baking by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito. Their cookbook takes traditional baked goods and add something modern or different to make it stand out. This brownie recipe has been awarded as the Best Brownie by America's Test Kitchen on The Today Show. I was very impressed!


1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. dark unsweetened cocoa powder
11 ounces dark chocolate (60-72% cacao), coarsely chopped
1 cup unsalted butter, cut into 1-in. pieces
1 tsp. instant espresso powder
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup firmly backed light brown sugar
5 large eggs, at room temp.
2 tsp. pure vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter the sides and bottom of a 9-by13-inch glass or light-colored metal baking pan.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, salt, and cocoa powder together.
3. Put the chocolate, butter, and instant espresso powder in a large bowl and set it over a saucepan of simmering water, stirring occasionally, until the chocolate and butter are completely melted and smooth. Turn off the heat, but keep the bowl over the water and add the sugars. Whisk until completely combined, then remove the bowl from the pan. The mixture should be room temperature.
4. Add 3 eggs to the chocolate mixture and whisk until combined. Add the remaining 2 eggs and whisk until combined. Add the vanilla and stir until combined. Do not over beat the batter at this stage or your brownies will be cakey.
5. Sprinkle the flour mixture over the chocolate mixture. Using a spatula (not a whisk), fold the flour mixture into the chocolate until just a bit of the flour mixture is visible.
6. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake in the center of the oven for 30 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through the baking time, until a toothpick inserted into the center of the brownies comes out with a few moist crumbs sticking to it. Let the brownies cool completely, then cut them into squares and serve.

I hope you think they are as delicious as I did! I think that the brown sugar adds A LOT of flavor. I also sprinkled the top of the batter in the pan with semisweet chocolate chips to make them a little more chocolatey :)