Lemon Zucchini Pistachio Muffins

36364548_871370169740275_2441581847126212608_o.jpgI have really enjoyed playing with some unique flavor combos this summer. One week I got especially excited to make some different flavored quick breads. Orange Rhubarb. Espresso Banana. Rose Cardamom. And a Lime Zucchini Pistachio Loaf. This last one especially intrigued me and market goers alike. So I saw something for some similar muffins and had to give them a go.

Did I mention last week my new found love of cardamom?

After watching it on baking shows the past year, I finally purchased it. The smell alone is intoxicating. The flavor is even better.

So these muffins have it all virtually. Zucchini. Tangy Lemon. Pistachios. Cardamom. But they all compliment each other wonderfully. At least that is my opinion. And they are lovely, I have really grown found of adding pistachios and injecting some color with it’s beautiful green hues.

If you are feeling adventure, try this. It is PACKED with flavor.

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Pistachio Rose Toffee

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Lately I have been a little obsessed with pistachios (do you see this beautiful green color?) and roses. I blame the British Baking Show for the rose part, watching it has expanded the flavors I want to use. Rose. More lavender. I have also really been itching to make something with a passion fruit curd. Those British used a lot of passion fruit!

Last week I also dived into some cardamom stuff. WOW! That’s all I can say about this divine spice. I also am kind of embarrassed to say how many people I made smell my jar of cardamom. I basically wanted to bake 10 things using it. Which led to a lot of rose and pistachio parings. The very first recipe had me pulsing rose petals and maple sugar. If you have never baked with maple sugar, do yourself a favor and go get some. Another divine flavor, it blows cane sugar out of the water. Then I added the cardamom to this. And a blood orange glaze. The smell. The flavors. I was sad that it didn’t sell at market. I live in the Terre Haute though and not New York or France or some place with fancy food, and I get it. You want me to eat flowers? Baking with flowers can be delicate, you don’t want someone to feel like they are eating potpourri, you dig? So a light touch is very necessary. I almost wanted to give it away so people would step out of their comfort zone and give it a taste. I would have been the same way 15 years ago. BUT it had spectacular, like off the charts flavors. Buy some cardamom. Get some food grade rose petals. Also purchase the maple sugar I mentioned. That’s all I’m saying.

Last fall I also started my journey into toffee making. I wanted to make these crazy Coffee Toffee Truffle Cupcakes for a coffee shop. They clearly are some bosses. I was surprised how easy it was to make toffee. I wanted to put it in everything as well. Brown butter cookies with toffee, mind-blowing. Simply good.

A few months ago I was adventuring into the world of match a baking (green tea that obviously colors food green). I started with a tart crust because pie baking is my thing. I was a totally newbie,  though, on matching flavors with the matcha flavor (another items that takes a light hand). I made a ricotta cheesecake filling, but felt it needed more flavors and textures. Toffee. But it needed to be different than a coffee hazelnut. Growing up, I have always been kind of a matchy-matchy person. So I wanted something green to go with the matcha, cue in the pistachio. And then I needed one more color to add. Now enter in the roses. Pistachio and rose is actually a classic combo.

I gave my mom the extra toffee I had and she text me pretty much immediately to let me know it was AMAZING, her enthusiasm was very much an all-caps response. And I didn’t answer her text quick enough, she had to call me and tell me how good it was.

It also did end up pairing nicely with the tart (which I will be sharing Thursday). But it is good just for munching too. Or maybe put it on a pretty naked cake with white roses or in shortbread cookies. Just ideas that pop into my head right away.

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Gluten-Free Raspberry Pistachio Frangipane Tarts

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As I’ve mentioned, I have a bit of a British Baking Show problem (is it a problem though if it leads to delicious food, high creativity, and beautiful treats?). It has inspired me A LOT lately. Choux. I’ve got an upcoming eclair recipe. I really wanted to try that one.

I also like pastry week. Some may know, pies and tarts are kind of my all-time favorite thing to bake (hence my company being called P3: Polifroni PIES and Pizzas). I was really intrigued with the frangipane. It’s not something you see a lot here in the Midwest, actually I have never seen one offered anywhere. No restaurants. No bakeries (which there are a lack of actual bakeries in my town-not the premade and just-bake. Those do not count). So my experience with frangipane only comes from TV and then searching for it on Pinterest.

Last summer I made my first frangipane for a market. It had a lovely rhubarb lattice on top (pictured below). The feedback was a success. Most gave me a clueless look when I said there was frangipane underneath the rhubarb. But they were all pleasantly surprised that they liked the flavor.

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