CRAVE: Sweet, savory desserts are easy to make, fun to eat with family

Blueberries add a sweet kick to this loaf of bread.

Chocolate-Bacon Muffins

These special muffins qualify as sweet and savory, and for anyone who scoffs at the bacon-chocolate pairing, try it before you knock it. The salty, smokiness of the bacon marries with the sweetness of chocolate, and a perfect union is formed. It may become a new favorite! Yields 12 muffins.

Ingredients:

6 slices bacon

1 3⁄4 cups all-purpose, unbleached flour

1⁄2 cup plus 2 tablespoons packed brown sugar

1⁄4 cup unsweetened natural cocoa

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1⁄4 teaspoon salt

1 cup warm water

1⁄4 cup walnut oil or melted butter

1 tablespoon strong coffee

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 large egg

3⁄4 cup semisweet mini chocolate chips, divided

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 400 F. Place 12 muffin cup liners in muffin tin; set aside.

2. Fry bacon until cooked but not crispy. Transfer to plate lined with paper towels, and let cool. Chop into 1⁄4-inch pieces. Set aside.

3. In large mixing bowl, combine flour, brown sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt, and whisk to blend.

4. In separate bowl, combine water, oil, coffee, vanilla and egg. Stir in 1⁄2 cup chocolate chips and half the bacon. Add to flour mixture, and stir just until moist.

5. Divide batter evenly among muffin cup liners. Sprinkle remaining chocolate chips and remaining bacon evenly over batter.

6. Bake for 15 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes before serving. Store leftovers in refrigerator.

• Karen K. Will

Blueberry-Infused Homemade Bread

By Jonathan Sadowski

As I was wracking my brain trying to think of a way to use all these blueberries as I was sipping my homemade blueberry milk, I thought for a moment, said “Huzzah!” and I got to work on this recipe. It has a tinge of extra sweetness, and its coloring is quite unique.

Ingredients:

3 cups all-purpose flour

1⁄2 cup blueberry milk

1⁄2 cup warm water

4 tablespoons melted butter

3 tablespoons agave nectar

11⁄4 teaspoon salt

21⁄4 teaspoon (1 packet) yeast

1. In large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients, and stir until no dry spots are visible. Cover bowl with plastic wrap or towel; let sit for 1 hour.

2. After dough has risen, place it in greased loaf pan. Cover and let rise for another hour.

3. Preheat oven to 350 F.

4. Bake for about 35 minutes, or until bread sounds hollow when tapped.

5. Turn bread out of pan, and let cool on wire rack for about 10 minutes.

NOTE: The baking process is not complete until the cooling process has been completed, so no matter how tempting it is, do not skip this step.

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