Friday, January 2, 2009
Let's try this again, shall we?
So. You may remember the delicious muffin disaster from earlier. On further review, it seems my metric conversions are lacking. But, I don't give up easily, especially when there are tasty muffins involved, and then I had an epiphany: I wondered if Nigella has a muffin recipe in her How to Be a Domestic Goddess cookbook that I could just tweak to match the orangey-cranberry and walnut muffins, but without the pathetic flat tops, of course.
I opened the cookbook, and lo and behold, there they were: Christmas Morning Muffins! In all their Americanized glory, with cups and teaspoons and whatnot, just for me! And now for you, of course. I used all my cranberries yesterday, so today I threw in some golden raisins. They are still delicious, but I prefer them with cranberries, which really give the best tangy flavor here. I still added walnuts, gotta have 'em.
These muffins are much more worthy of the Sweet & Simple Bakes event, and you can find them over there in all their poofy, muffiny glory!
Nigella introduces these muffins thusly: "I do think that part of creating a family life is establishing those shared rituals, as important as getting out the same old familiar box of decorations for the tree each year. Now, it's true that children are too excited about their presents to take a lively interest in breakfast on Christmas Day, but consider making these all the same: there's something so warmly reassuring in knowing that soon this cinnamon-sweet smell of baking and oranges will come to signify Christmas morning to them."
These muffins are really fantastic. Try them! (and if you happen to prefer grams and milileters as units of measure, go here instead) If you'd like to be amused, compare the measurements you'll find there to the measurements below...and wonder how it is I was ever admitted into, let alone actually passed "Advanced Math" in high school.
Christmas Morning Muffins
for the muffins:
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
zest and juice of 1 clementine or small orange
approximately 1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 large egg
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons dried cranberries
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
12-cup muffin pan with paper baking cups
for the topping:
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg. Grate the zest of the orange over the flour mixture and combine.
Squeeze the orange juice into a measuring cup, and pour in the milk until it comes up to the 2/3 cup mark. Add the melted butter and egg, and beat to combine. Pour the liquid ingredients into the bowl of dry ingredients and stir till the ingredients are more or less combined, remembering that a lumpy batter makes light muffins. Last of all, lightly fold in the cranberries and walnuts and fill the muffin cups.
Sprinkle raw sugar over the tops of the muffins. Bake for 20 minutes, or until golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean.
Here is another hint about why I like Nigella. Her description for baking and eating these:
"Stick them in the oven and bake for 20 minutes, by which time the air should be thick with the promise of good things and the good things themselves golden brown and ready to be eaten--as they are, or broken open and spread heapingly, mouthful by mouthful, with unsalted butter and marmalade."