Friday, October 28, 2011

Vegan Apple Crumb Muffns

I hope you have been enjoying our fall recipes! Hopefully you are trying one here or there, or at least getting some product in to try them. None of them will disappoint, I can promise you that!

Before I dive into holiday recipes for the winter season, I wanted to do one last recipe. I know it's best to plan ahead and I want everyone to have plenty of time to get in the stollen and panettone mix! But, before we do that, apple crumb muffins that are good any time of year! I know what you are thinking and yes, I do love apple crumb muffins. But, sometimes I like to switch it up. These are VEGAN! This mix is made from the Abel & Schafer Vegan Cake Mix (42029). It's a huge hit with the vegan community so far and some of our big name customers love it! It is of course all natural and while it has no eggs or dairy or butter is in no way lacking flavor. We have some great additional formulas to go with the Vegan Cake Mix, so if you are interested, please let me know and I'll get an e-mail off to you with some other recipes and a spec sheet.

Recommended Recipe
Makes about 95 Muffins
42029 Good Nature Vegan Cake Mix

10 lbs Good Nature Vegan Cake Mix (42029)
1 lbs Oil
2 lbs 8 oz Water (1st addition)
2 lbs 8 oz Diced Apples
1/4 - 1/2 oz Apple Extract
1 lb Water (2nd addition)
1 lb Water (3rd addition)

Total Weight 17 lbs. 9 oz.

Using a paddle, combine mix and 1st water and oil and mix 1 minute in slow speed; scrape.

Cream for 3 minutes in medium speed; scrape.

Add the 2nd amount of water and mix one minute in slow speed, scrape and mix 2 minutes in medium speed.

Add the 3rd amount of water as well as the apple extract and mix 3 minutes in slow speed. Fold in apples.

Deposit 3 oz into muffin pans and cover with 1/2 ounce of Vegan Streusel Crumbs (see below).

Bake at 375° to 390°F for 20-25 minutes.

Vegan Streusel Crumb Topping:
2 lbs. 4 oz Good Nature Vegan Cake Mix 42029
12 oz Vegan Margarine
1/4 oz Cinnamon

Using a paddle, blend together until desired streusel consistency
is achieved.

Master Baker’s Tip for more variations:
Replace apples with pears, peaches, mangoes or fruits of your choice.
Picture via Flickr

Halloween is finally here!

I've been waiting. make this cake. I bought the mold the day it came out I think, I happen to be at the craft store, but since I bought it, all I wanted was for Monday to come. Monday, October 31st. I suddenly love Halloween. It's not the dressing up, or passing out candy, although I love the excuse to have candy in the house, it's not even the decorating. It's the baking. Holiday baking, regardless of the holiday, is just more fun! And honestly, more opportunity. For as much as I love to bake, customers love not to. It's another excuse for treats in the house, which most don't have time to make. Enter bakeries, restaurants and coffee shops. Halloween, which is on a Monday this year, thus providing a boost for a typically slow eating out day, is giving not only kids reason to celebrate. Seems a good chunk of people will be putting costumes on display and taking kids out to eat Monday. With school, offices and parties, it's a great day to buy goodies! Check out these fun ideas from some establishments around the country to jazz up their Halloween offerings. Do you have anything ghoulish in store?!

Spice Up Your Life

Spices have been around for ages. The uses of spices as medicine has been around for ages. But here in the US we seem to be just catching on to this not so secret secret. Now there is plenty of news and info available saying spices could possibly have more beneficial antioxidants than the fruits or vegetables they sometimes flavor.

I looked at a handful of sites, and then worked with three different articles to compile a basic list of spices and what good they actually do for you. Each had some similarities and spices the others didn’t. I am offering no guarantees, but by spicing things up a little, you just may feel a bit healthier. So according to the three sites I chose to use, here is some info.

Cinnamon: One of the most commonly used spices, it is native to South East Asia, but used almost globally. Cinnamon contains cinnamaldehyde which helps prevent blood clots and inflammation, cinnamon slows the rate at which foods exits your stomach, making you feel full for longer and prevent blood sugar spikes. Cinnamon also aids the removal of bile from the system, triggering the body to break down cholesterol to create more bile, making it a cholesterol fighter. One source said just smelling cinnamon increases brain activity. There were tests done in 2003 done on all the spices and cinnamon has the most disease fighting anti-oxidants. Traditional Chinese medicine uses cinnamon and ginger in tea to ward off cold and flu’s.

Tumeric: Hails from the same family as ginger and stains almost anything it touches, it’s the color you see in curries and traditional mustard. The benefits are extensive, a few highlights are cancer fighting properties, it aids the livers ability to purify toxins, prevents the oxidation of cholesterol and has been found to be as effective as hydrocortisone and Motrin as an anti-inflammatory and is helpful to those with bowel diseases. The flavor is a peppery orangy flavor akin to ginger and orange.

Capsaicin: The heat in peppers is measured by The Scoville Scale. The scale determines how much capsaicin is in each pepper, the higher, the hotter. Scotch Bonnets, habeneros and jalapenos, the are at the top of the scale while bell peppers are at the bottom. Capsaicin provides not only heat in your mouth, but fires up your metabolism as well, increases your heart rate, stimulates your nerve endings and releases endorphins. It will clear up your nose and lungs, kill stomach bacteria preventing the formation of ulcers, increase immunity, decrease cholesterol, and they claim it’s a pain reducer, but my thoughts are you are so preoccupied with your mouth being on fire, you don’t recognize any other pain.

Ginger: Is known to settle an upset stomach and nausea, as a matter of fact for over 2000 years it has been used medicinally. For symptoms of intestinal disorders, nausea and motion sickness, it is often more effective than over the counter remedies. Another cholesterol fighter, ginger is also is an anti-inflammatory, high in antioxidants and while there is no conclusive evidence yet it is believed it can stimulate blood flow and decrease pain.

Oregano: Is said to be wildly helpful in fighting off infections. The compounds thymol and carvacrol have even been found more effective than a prescription durg in Mexico against an amoeba. When compared gram to gram, fresh oregano has 42 times more antioxidant activity than apples, 30 times more than potatoes, 12 times more than oranges and 4 times more than blueberries.

Parsley: Along with being a plate garnish/after dinner breath freshener, parsley has the ability to neutralize carcinogens like cigarette and barbeque smoke and in animals, it has been shown to prevent tumor growth, making it an excellent cancer fighter. Besides the antioxidants, it contains vitamin C, beta carotene and folic acid. Some believe that is helps pass kidney stones and keep arteries clear.

Cumin: Used in dishes spanning the globe, cumin raises the bodies metabolic activity making it easier to absorb nutrients. It is rich in iron, helps digestion and is said to improve mental alacrity and memory.

Sage: Meaning “to be saved” sage like many of the others, an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant, being excelling at preventing oxygen damage to cells. Research was done in the past to support evidence that people given sage oil extract had better recall function than those with a placebo, so it may be good for memory as well.

Garlic: Garlic is a fighting herb. It fights fungus, bacteria, viruses and anyone who wants to get close to you after eating it. It has been suggested it may fight cancer and cholesterol and definitely romance.

Thyme: Common in winter meals that take all day to cook and your belly warm, the oil from thyme is known to be an antiseptic as well as an antibacterial. What fascinated me was recent studies that have shown can kill MRSA infections, which antibiotics are defenseless against.

Vanilla: The best yet. Vanilla is an aphrodisiac and the oils in it stimulate secretion of hormones which increase libido, which…well, you take it from there. If you are unsure of the direction to take it, get some vanilla almost immediately. The active compound is vanillin, it is a strong anti-oxidant as well as an anti-carcinogenic. Vanillin contains vanillanoid which acts similarly to capsacin in the body. They have recently discovered it has the potential to fight sickle-cell disease, preventing sickle cell formation, but the vanillin is destroyed by stomach acid. They are currently working on a way to avoid that damage. I think it’s great for aromatherapy. One whiff of vanilla and things just seem better. Look at that, a circular argument.

Black Pepper: Like salt, pepper adds spice and brings out the flavor of food. Pepper also acts to prevent intestinal gas, gets the taste buds moving, then they relay a message to the stomach to start increasing acid for digestion. The outer layer of the peppercorn also is said to help breakdown fat cells. Buy whole and grind at home!

The message here seems clear. Our diets need to mainly consist of spices with a few fillers like potatoes with your garlic, soup with your turmeric and buttered toast with your cinnamon. Get grinding!!

7 Miracle Spices With Huge Health Benefits (and Big Flavor)
The Worlds 7 Most Potent Disease-Fighting Spices
Cooking with Spices

If you want to read more about the spices, especially those pertaining to the fall season, check out this article called Spice Up Your Life.
Photo via Flickr.

Friday, October 21, 2011


Or German Gingerbread! I love this. I love Christmas when you get beautiful tins of it, some covered in chocolate, some covered in the thinnest layer of fondant and all with subtle citrus flavors and sitting on a delicate piece of rice paper. Or that one time I did, I loved it. Sigh...I love Christmas. You think I'm excited about Halloween?! Halloween is nothing compared to my love of Christmas. I'm like a six year old,high on sugar after a nap about Christmas.

Anyway. Today I wanted to share a recipe with you. It comes straight from my very favorite Chef, who also happens to be German, via my German company. You know this is going to be authentic. He used our Gingerbread Cookie Mix (42063) to make a sheet cake of gingerbread. A modified version of the cookie, without the rice paper; to make life a bit easier. After all, that's kind of what we are all about at Abel & Schafer. Amazing authentic taste, a little easier. This formula came to me in a PDF, if you would like me to e-mail it to you, let me know, I'm happy to! You can post on this blog requesting it, or e-mail me at KMCKENNA@KOMPLETUSA.COM.

Formula is for 1 full sheet pan. (Items from Abel & Schafer are in all caps!)

12 oz HAZELNUT FILLING (24016)
14 oz Whole Eggs
12 oz Vegetable Oil
14 oz
8 oz Candied Lemon and Orange Peel
Total 6lbs 4oz



1. Mix all ingredients except candied peel for 1 minute in slow speed and 3 minutes in medium speed.

2. Blend in candied peel.

3. Spread evenly on parchment paper lined sheet pan.

4. Bake at 375-380 degrees F. for 25-30 minutes or until it feels firm to the touch.

5. Let cool completely and flip out onto table and peel off parchment paper.

6. Glaze with Magic Fondant Icing or apply your favorite chocolate icing and cut into desired size pieces.

**For a variation, drop batter into hamburger bun pans for muffin tops!

Friday, October 14, 2011

The Monster Mash!

So…who loves brownies?! Or, should I ask who doesn’t like brownies?...I’m a fan, I’m a corner person personally, and like my blondies, I like them chewy! We already did the pumpkin blondies, but for Halloween, I wanted to go with the traditional chocolate brownie…but fun!

While I am pretty creative, when I see something someone else does, I have to try it too. I saw these in Target, on a box actually. They sold a kit so you could make them and charged a ton for it. I bought the pieces. Marshmallows. That’s kind of it. The rest was icing which I had on hand,and some food coloring. So, basically…no excuses! Buy you some Komplet Brownie Mix (22035) and get baking! As a note, I also found these on the Betty Crocker site, here.

As a side note; while we are talking about brownies…we have the MOST AMAZING sugar free brownie, Komplet Sugar Free Brownie Mix (22145)! We developed it while the whole Atkins phase was in full effect (ugg!!!) so it contains almond flour, which makes it so rich and delicious, and has a great nutritional profile! Good fiber! So…if you have some sugar free customers, give them a fantastic treat this holiday season! Just leave out the marshmallow and frosting…

I'm Going Bananas!

I have literally, pounds of over-ripe bananas in my freezer. I buy bananas with the very good intention of eating them, but I’m a picky banana eater. They have to be perfect. I like them yellow. Not yellow with green…not yellow with brown spots. Just yellow. This leaves me a window of approximately 15 minutes in the life of a banana. Why I ever buy more than one at a time is really unclear. They get too ripe, I don't eat them and they end up in the freezer. This week in a ProChef Smart Brief they published an article that was originally in the Chicago Tribune written by Monica Kass Rogers (See the link below). In it she highlights a number of banana recipes,that all sound amazing! Finally…something more to do with bananas than banana bread! Which if I do say so myself, my recipe is really good, thanks to Betty Crocker Cookbook circa the 1970’s. The book and recipe has been updated since, but at my house we don’t stray from the 70’s version…but speaking of the 70’s and retro recipes it’s amazing how simple and delicious some banana recipes are, like banana bread and banana pudding and how far some chef’s have taken them! Tony Maws who is the chef at a Cambridge, MA restaurant called Craigie takes that same banana pudding recipe and turns it into sour-milk panna cotta with muscovado sugar-banana puree, cashew-coriander granola and brown butter dust! That’s a far cry from Nilla Wafers, Cool Whip, bananas and pudding! Want to see some more and check out a few great recipes? Check out the article, here! pic from

I almost forgot!! You know what else goes great with bananas...? Chocolate chips! Barry Callebaut announced at the “All Things Baking” show a brand new 50,000 count chocolate chip! Hooray for the mini’s! Thanks to it’s teeny tiny size, it fits through piping tips and manufacturing equipment! Read more here.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Like Us!

Hello Blog Friends! Just a quick note, to request that you "like" us on facebook! We post on regularly, not just weekly, like our blog and provide similar fun stories, pictures of what our customers are seeing in the industry, and what we are up to! Come on over, say hello and don't forget to post some of the great stuff you are baking at your bakery, so we all can see just how amazing bakeries truly are!

We've Got Spirt!

Today I'm all about cakes and decorating, there is more than Halloween to celebrate! I was reading, and saw the NFL is expanding its target audience to include more women with jewelry, clothes and parties. They launched a few new pages on their website and now there are areas for kitchen tips, recipes and contests in favor of gameday planning, cooking and celebrating, as long as there is no excessive celebrating anyway! The idea is to promote a new part of Sunday to love, homegating. They have even gone as far as selling party packs which include all you need to decorate for a party, team plates, cups, napkins, balloon, party invitations and a 16 piece cake decorating kit! Most of these items are easy enough to get online, without having to decorate a cake on your own, so I was thinking…what a great way to boost fall business! Football cakes! After searching around online, there are a few options, at least, where you can buy football decorating kits like,, and other party shops. The cakes look fantastic, the picture above is from the NFL Website and I think customers would have a blast with them! Why wait for the Superbowl to throw a game day party!? Talk to your customers for team favorites, or support the home field and make some cake!! (For the record, they taste best with Abel & Schafer cake mix…I’m just saying.)

Do we see EYE to EYE....?

I am a flurry of Halloween excitement. Which is funny…it’s never been my favorite holiday, and I still don’t love dressing up; but it’s a holiday that centers around sweet foods and candy and wonderfully spooky decorating so I've been thinking, what’s not to love?! And seemingly, as the years pass for me, I get more and more interested in participating, being the “good house” on the block and hosting friends for a fun and ghoulish evening while all their little one sort through candy and trade goods. I’ve been a fantastic customer of A.C. Moore as of late, as well as Michael’s for all the great items in the Wilton and Martha Stewart line and it’s still early but I’m practicing what I’ll be baking for a party, I’ve not yet decided if I’m going to have, only creatively thought about.

After browsing numerous blogs I noticed a pattern, eyeball cupcakes. Not to be left out of something that looks so fun and delicious, I jumped on the band wagon and was a bit over-eager. After I started decorating, I only made 18 cupcakes, I realized I made too many eyeball cupcakes because there were so many creative ways to play with Halloween ideas! You need some pretty basic items for decorating, or just colored frosting. Because my space/supplies are limited, I bought a few things to use on my cupcakes for decoration purposes. My “eyes” are made of gummy candy and candy coated chocolate pieces. First things first...the cupcake. My choice of cake mix? Of course, the Abel & Schafer Crème Cake, 22004, which is also Parve! After baking up my cupcakes, I whipped up some frosting and then, cheated. I could have colored frosting, but went with Lifesavers Gummies, and mini M&M’s . I then used some colored icing tubes (I told you I cheated!) for the bloodshot eyes. When I started getting more creative, I made some angry eyes with some black string licorice, and vampire cupcakes, using the red eyes again for the “bloody” teeth marks and finally some mummies! Lol…so much fun!