Thursday, January 31, 2008

Busy Busy

Initially, I believed (in my infinite naivete) that I could 1) post every few days and 2) always include a recipe that I had recently baked or cooked off of. Yeeaahhh... about that. This week has been HORRENDOUS. It's one of those weeks where everything goes badly, I spend 12-13 hrs at work every day, and all I want to do is quit, go to culinary school, and open a bakery. Alas, this is what greets me on my Google Reader this morning: If you want to make money, do not open a bakery.

Grr. Did they really have to crush my hopes like that? Darn you Slashfood and Forbes! And thus I slunk back to my dreary work of running projects, handling cranky operators, and playing with Excel. Sigh.

No worries though, I will begin baking again soon. Not tonight, because I still have the lamentably grainy fudge that I attempted to make on Tuesday cluttering up my kitchen. I swear, the more that I want to try new things and bake more interesting things, the more often I just fall flat on my face. If I just stuck to my favorite things like this lemon curd cheesecake, things would be slightly less distressing. Until then though, there will be some things that just won't be recorded and will instead cause me to eat them because I couldn't bear to bring them into work for people to consume.

Oh yes, I was going to mention my next forays into baking. Amazing how sidetracked I can get, isn't it? A friend from work is having an Inspired Aromas coffee and tea party on Sunday morning, and asked that I bake some little things for people to snack on. One that I decided on is already a proven winner - Triple Cinnamon Pecan Biscotti from King Arthur Flour's Whole Grain Baking book. The other... well, it's from Dorie, so what could possibly go wrong? When I began leafing through her Baking From My Home to Yours, I was immediately drawn to her recipe for a muffin moistened with coffee instead of milk. Since I always have coffee around but hardly ever have milk, this seemed like a wonderful muffin to try sometime. So it was filed away in my head, marked in the book, and there it sat for a month or two, until the woman throwing the party said offhandedly - oh, and so-and-so is lactose intolerant, so can you work around that? Brilliant! A perfect time to pull out that recipe! Here it is, and here's to hoping you all had a better week than me:

Coffee-Break Muffins (from Dorie Greenspan's Baking From My Home to Yours)

2 c. AP flour
1/3 c. sugar
1 T instant espresso powder
1 T baking powder
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp. salt
1/3 c. (packed) light brown sugar
1 c. strong coffee, cooled
1 stick (8 T) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 large egg
1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract

Getting Ready: Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Butter or spray the 12 molds in a regular-size muffin pan or fit the molds with paper muffin cups. Alternatively, use a silicone muffin pan, which needs neither greasing nor paper cups. Place the muffin pan on a baking sheet.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, espresso powder, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. Stir in the brown sugar, making certain there are no lumps. In a large glass measuring cup or another bowl, whisk the coffee, melted butter, egg, and vanilla extract together until well combined. Pour the liquid ingredients over the dry ingredients and, with the whisk or a rubber spatula, gently but quickly stir to blend. Don't worry about being thorough--a few lumps are better than overmixing the batter. Divide the batter evenly among the muffin cups.
Bake for about 20 minutes, or until a thin knife inserted into the center of the muffins comes out clean. Transfer the pan to a rack and cool for 5 minutes before carefully removing each muffin from its mold.

Makes 12 muffins.

*Edit* I finally made the muffins this morning, and definitely pulled them out of the oven and tossed them in the car still in the muffin pan to make it to my friend's shindig in time. Yikes! I must say, I really enjoyed them, but I can see how I can possibly improve them. The smell was amazing - coffee and cinnamon and sugar - but it didn't entirely follow through on the taste area. Maybe the next time that I make this, I'll put in some ginger, or some carrot, or some raisins, just for another addition to the flavor profile. I'm still a fan of using coffee as the liquid though!

1 comment:

chelley325 said...

Hi there, I'm so sorry that I misplaced your email! Are you still interested in doing Tuesdays with Dorie? Shoot me an email if you are! :)