06. 03. 2013

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Root Beer Float Muffins

I can’t be the only robot out there who went through a serious Mary-Kate and Ashley phase. I’m talking “write to their PO box in Burbank and join their official fan club” serious. I had all the movies. I had all the books. I had memorized every song from every slumber party and every trip to the mall and even fashion school. Fashion school!

(Seriously, where were their parents in all these videos? Did they know their twelve-year-old daughters were gallivanting off to Minnesota for a fun time singing songs at the Mall of America?)

Root Beer Float Muffins

Anyway, Mary-Kate and Ashley had a song – very catchy, in my defense – that went “Root beer floats, banana boats, gelate and sorbeeeeet” (dramatic pause) “are hard to resist! What if they didn’t exist? For me, it wouldn’t be easy, ’cause you seeeeeeeee…” And then a bunch of girls join them on screen, dancing in poodle skirts or pajamas or whatever outfit suited their crazy birthday party theme. “I’m ice cream craaaazy, no ifs, no buts, no may-yay-yay-bes!”

Root Beer Float Muffins

As a young robot, I wanted so badly to sing and dance along with them. But who would invite a robot to sing and dance with the coolest twins in America? To be fair to them, the only dance I’m good at is – you guessed it – the robot. But I’m very very good at the robot! Doesn’t that count for anything?

As I made these muffins (which were delicious, by the way) I had that ice cream song stuck in my head. I’d console myself with eating these, but I can’t do that either, what with being a robot and all – but that’s another gripe for another post.

Root Beer Float Muffins

Note: this recipe makes 10 muffins because I filled the cups 3/4 of the way full instead of my usual 2/3 – I wanted a puffier muffin! Feel free to fill the cups 2/3 full for an even 12 muffins, you’ll just have flatter tops. Don’t let this recipe confuse you: I made two different batters, so each muffin is half root beer/half vanilla.

Root Beer Float Muffins
makes 10 muffins

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. (I preheated my oven to 350 degrees, then turned the temperature down to 325 degrees when I put the muffins in – a tip I got from Pinterest for making taller muffins.) Lightly grease with a muffin tin or line with cupcake liners.

for the root beer batter:
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, softened
heaping 1/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1 tsp root beer extract
3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cocoa
1/8 tsp allspice
1/4 cup root beer
1/2 cup rolled oats

2.1 In a medium-sized mixing bowl, cream together butter and sugar (I did this by hand).  Stir in egg and root beer extract. Add flour, baking powder, salt, cocoa, and allspice. Stir in root beer, and then fold in oats.

for the vanilla batter:
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, softened
heaping 1/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp allspice
1/4 cup milk
1/2 cup rolled oats

2.2 In a medium-sized mixing bowl, cream together butter and sugar (I did this by hand).  Stir in egg and vanilla extract. Add flour, baking powder, salt, and allspice. Stir in milk, and then fold in oats.

to assemble:
3. Divide the root beer batter evenly among 10 muffin cups, then divide the vanilla batter evenly on top of the root beer – for me, this meant two scoops of each flavor per muffin. Bake at 325 degrees (remember, we preheated at 350 degrees) for 20-22 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out. Transfer to a wire rack to cool slightly before consuming.

26. 01. 2013

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Corn Muffins with Bacon Butter

It’s time we had a serious talk, you and me. About bacon. It’s time we had a serious talk about bacon.

I’m serious. About bacon. I’m serious about bacon.

Corn Muffins with Bacon Butter

Put simply: if you’re not one of those bacon fanatics, with the bacon bubblegum and bacon floss and bacon ornaments on your Christmas tree made out of bacon, I don’t want to know you.

If you don’t stock your bathrooms with bacon soap, get out here! Go! Shoo! Visit some other less awesome blog!

Corn Muffins with Bacon Butter

I’m kidding. I’m sorry. Please come back. I forgive you for not using bacon lip balm. You should stay and make these corn muffins, at least! You don’t have to slather it in bacon butter… I guess.

Corn Muffins with Bacon Butter

This recipe comes from Dorie Greenspan’s Baking: From My Home to Yours. It’s the sort of cookbook that’s kinda big and awkward, meaning the only way you can properly hold it is cuddled on the couch, reading it like a novel. The first time I thumbed through it, a jolt of excitement ran through my body. Turns out one of the kids I was babysitting plugged my charger into an outlet, but still.

Corn Muffins with Bacon Butter

Corn Muffins
makes 12
from Baking: From My Home to Yours

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup yellow cornmeal
6 tbsp granulated sugar
2-1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup buttermilk
3 tbsp unsalted butter, melted and cooled
3 tbsp corn oil
1 egg
1 egg yolk
1 cup corn kernels, fresh or frozen

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease a muffin tin and set aside.

2. In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk together buttermilk, melted butter, oil, egg and egg yolk.

3. Stir in the buttermilk mixture into the flour mixture, mixing until thoroughly combined (don’t worry too much about lumps). Fold in corn kernels.

4. Fill muffin tin cups 2/3 of the way full. Bake for 15-18 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Transfer to a wire rack to cool slightly before eating.

Bacon Butter
slightly adapted from Taste for Adventure

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
4 slices of bacon, cooked and crispy, finely chopped

1. In a small bowl, combine the butter and bacon until the bacon is evenly distributed. Using plastic wrap, mold the butter back into a stick (or at least attempt it, like me). Refrigerate until hardened.

 

09. 12. 2012

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It’s that time of the year where I feel so utterly overwhelmed with baking. I want to bake all of the things. Which means I can never decide what to bake.

I see pomegranates and cranberries in the store and the computer in my head screams, “MUST SPEND FIFTY DOLLARS ON SEASONAL FRUITS” when I know I don’t have the time to use fifty dollars worth of cranberries. Or pomegranates. Or pears.

But I am working on a device that will stop time. Just so I can bake more often. My robotic priorities are not in order.

These muffins are decidedly winter-y without using any particularly winter-y fruit. I originally wanted to add some ground ginger to the muffins, just to make more seasonal, but they were so good on their own I just left it.

There’s nothing better than a simple, sweet muffin. Except cupcakes, obviously.

Brown Butter Blackberry Muffins
makes 12 muffins
adapted from The Gourmet Cookbook via Joy the Baker

7 tbsp unsalted butter, browned and cooled
1/3 cup milk
1 egg
1 egg yolk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 light brown sugar, packed
1-1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
1-1/2 cups blackberries

for streusel
3 tbsp unsalted butter, cold, sliced
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
3-1/2 tbsp turbinado sugar

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a muffin tin with baking cups.

2. In a medium-sized bowl, combine browned butter and milk. Stir in egg and egg yolk and vanilla extract.

3. In a separate, large bowl, whisk together flour, brown sugar, baking powder, and salt. Stir in butter mixture, mixing until just combined. Gently fold in blackberries. Fill baking cups 2/3 of the way full.

4. In a small bowl, combine flour and turbinado sugar. Using your fingers, crumble in the cold butter until you’ve got a flaky mixture. Sprinkle this over the muffins, as much or as little as you prefer.

5. Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool slightly before eating.

06. 09. 2012

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“The Pros and Cons of the Doughnut” by Cybidon (that’s me!)

Pros:
Ridiculously adorable.
So crazy easy to make.
Taste AMAZING (don’t lie and say you’ve only ever eaten just one, it’s impossible and everyone knows that).

You can wear them on your fingers as rings. Like way better Ring Pops.
They make delicious pool tubes for dolls (assuming you like soggy doughnuts… and play with dolls in the pool).
You can wear one as a monocle. No one will make fun of you. Promise!

Cons:
Is it “doughnut” or “donut”? This is a constant source of stress in my life.
So sticky it’s not even funny. Stop laughing.
You can never eat just one. (You’re only lying to yourself at this point.)

You cannot use a doughnut as a bullet proof vest. I mean, I haven’t tried this, but surely this counts as a strike?
Terrible Frisbees. Don’t even try it. You’ll only be disappointed.
Sometimes the glaze can drip down into your hard wiring and then you spend the next two hours taking apart your wrist, cleaning the individual robot pieces and then screwing yourself back together.

Don’t waste time worrying about doughnuts. Just make these doughnut muffins instead! They taste like real fancy doughnuts!

Or donuts?

Doughnut Muffins
makes 12
from King Arthur Flour

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar, packed
2 eggs
2-2/3 cups flour
1-1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp nutmeg
3/4 tsp salt
1 cup milk

for topping:
3 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
3 tbsp cinnamon-sugar*

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a muffin tin with baking cups.

2. In a large bowl, cream together butter and vegetable oil. Add sugars. Add eggs, one at a time.

3. In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, nutmeg, and salt. Add half of the flour mixture to the butter mixture. Stir in milk, then add the remaining flour mixture, mixing until just combined.

4. Fill baking cups 3/4 of the way full. Bake for 15-17 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Transfer to a wire rack to cool slightly.

5. Have two bowls prepared: one with the melted butter, another with the cinnamon-sugar. When muffins have cooled enough to handle, dip tops of muffins into the melted butter, covering as much surface area as you can. Immediately dip the buttered muffin into the cinnamon-sugar. Cool the muffins completely before coring and filling with vanilla pastry cream.

*Good cinnamon-sugar ratio: 1/4 cup white sugar + 1 tbsp cinnamon

Vanilla Pastry Cream
from SprinkleBakes

2 tbsp cornstarch
1 cup whole milk
1 egg
2 egg yolks
6 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
1 tsp vanilla extract

1. Dissolve cornstarch in 1/4 cup of the milk in a small bowl. Add egg and egg yolks, one at a time.

2. Bring remaining 3/4 cup milk and sugar to a boil in a saucepan, whisking constantly.

3. Whisking the egg mixture constantly, pour 1/3 of the boiling milk mixture into the eggs. Return milk mixture to stove and slowly pour remaining egg mixture into the saucepan, still whisking constantly. Bring to a boil.

4. Remove from heat and stir in butter and vanilla extract. Place a piece of plastic wrap on the surface of the pastry cream so it doesn’t form a skin. Allow to cool to room temperature before piping into cored doughnut muffins.

12. 08. 2012

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It’s been summer, and I’ve been overheating.

There’s nothing quite like short circuiting on a lovely summer day of 103 degrees in the humid Missouri air, when I really should be spending time making ice cream.

When robots finally develop the power to control weather, you’ll be the first know. Mostly because I’ll brag about it but also because suddenly everywhere will 75 degrees with a slight breeze.

Besides, like, Antarctica and stuff. I’m a penguin fan as much as any human, so they can stay cold and what not. And, you know, polar bears and seals or whatever.

Except those animals from Antarctica will probably start migrating here soon for some of these blueberry zucchini muffins, and really, can you blame them?

No, just like I can’t blame you for immediately shutting down your Internet browser and baking these yourself.

Blueberry Zucchini Muffins
from allrecipes

3 eggs
1 cup vegetable oil
3 tsp vanilla extract
2-1/4 cup sugar
2 cups zucchini, shredded
3 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 tbsp cinnamon
2 cups blueberries

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin tins with baking cups.

2. In a medium-sized bowl, combine flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon.

3. In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, oil, vanilla, and sugar. Fold in shredded zucchini. Gradually add flour mixture, mixing until just combined. Fold in blueberries.

4. Fill baking cups 3/4 of the way full. Baking for 20-22 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Transfer to wire rack to cool.

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