It's been a crazy day yesterday, after the last Blizzard (and it deserves an upper case), I held my breath, when the snow was swirling around with the high winds, in this pocket of air in an enclave outside our dining room window. Like a mini hurricane within Blizzard number II. I was hoping not to lose power, although surprisingly enough, I, with my emotional upheavals, am keeping a calm front. But then I went mad, when realizing we are not losing power, came up with the oddest combination of cooking project yesterday. On the menu were two sorts of muffins, chicken dim sum. Sorry, SURE pork must be tasty, but can't bring myself to cook with it. Never been introduced in my diet and better that it wasn't. Lastly, onion soup. I must have gone MAD, some would say I was to begin with:). Strange cravings and making up for lost time this past weekend with no electricity, heat or water for close to three days. We are on a well. When was it that I become a country girl?! This house was charming little cottage when we bought it, beautiful yard, great curb appeal, brick walls directly out of one of my favorite childhood fables, the three little pigs. Little did we know these brick walls retain heat in the Summers, but this weekend, chances are nothing might have destroyed these brick walls, but if the heat would not have come back on, we would at the least would suffer through hypothermia. Not to sound morbid, but all kidding aside, we do love our little haven of a home and when the electricity is on, cook up a storm. Now I hear there are couple of eight, nine year olds following my blog occasionally. This same basic version of muffins with two different dress ups is dedicated to these young budding chefs. The same idiom from my Red and Golden beet Winter salad spot is relevant to this post. Don't want to bore you with yet another lecture on the subject. I bake these muffins, not often, but once in awhile....to keep things interesting an playful. I especially like them the next day, they are absolutely to be devoured. The original recipe I found within Fine Cooking magazine, which I followed as a cult member, until they went somewhat mainstream. The recipe is by Joanne Chang of Flour Bakery in Boston, with couple of bakeries and a third one on the way in cambridge. I believe she owns a restaurant as well. For years, wished to visit her establishment in Boston, promise to do so next time we are up to visit family. Looking forward to her baking book coming out in 2010, that is one I must have as part of my kitchen repertoire! The basic recipe is the same for both but the flavoring such as, Meyer lemon, vanilla, or the type of fruit, bananas or blueberries gives each muffin it's own unique twist. The batches came out with perfectly round tops, although I am more of a....oh well, never mind.....that is for another time....
I had a bit more liquid added to the Blueberry/Meyer lemon version but it did well with the muffins!!
Basic muffin ingredients:
3 1/3 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/3 cups sugar
1 cup milk at room temperature
1 cup sour cream at room temperature
2 large eggs plus 1 egg yolk at room temperature
10 tablespoons unsalted butter melted and slightly cooled
For chocolate chip/banana ingredients:
Add to above basic muffin recipe..
2 cups combined of Chocolate chips (I use mini) and diced bananas
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For Meyer lemon/Blueberry ingredients: Costco find: Meyer lemons
Add to above basic muffin recipe..
Zest of two Meyer lemons
1 teaspoon vanilla
Juice of one Meyer lemon
2 cups blueberries
Mix all wet ingredients with sugar and whisk together. Sift together all remaining dry ingredients. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and fold with a rubber spatula. Do not over mix, batter should be lumpy. Grease dozen large muffin tins. Tablespoon batter into large greased muffin tins in heaping mounds, over the top rim. Bake in a preheated 350F oven for about 35 minutes, tops should be golden. Let cool in tins for 10-20 minutes before removing from muffin tins.
Glaze for Blueberry/Meyer lemon muffin:
1 cup confectioners sugar
Juice of half or whole Meyer lemon
In a sauce pan melt the sugar and Meyer lemon juice and glaze the muffins while still warm but not too hot.
Be playful, change ingredients around and flavors. SO DELICIOUS!!