Sunday, March 12, 2006
What the hell are these things???
The Ultimate Muffin Book Copyright 2004
Nonstick spray or paper muffin cups
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
3 large, ripe bananas
2 tablespoons milk or half-and-half
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoon vinegar
1. Position the rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. To prepare the muffin tins, spray the indentations and rims around them with nonstick cooking spray, or line the indentations with paper muffin cups. If using silicon muffin tins, spray as directed, then place them on a baking sheet.
2. Whisk the flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon in a medium bowl until uniform. Set aside.
3. In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar with a wooden spoon until smooth, about 2 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing each until well incorporated.
4. Peel the bananas and mash them into the butter mixture using a potato masher. If the bananas are not soft, squeeze them through a potato ricer. Stir in the milk or half-and-half, the vanilla, and vinegar until mixture is smooth and creamy. Add the prepared flour mixture; stir until moistened.
5. Fill the prepared tins three-quarters full. Use additional greased tins or small oven-safe greased ramekins for any leftover batter, or reserve the batter for a second baking. Bake for 18 minutes, or until pale brown with rounded nubbly tops. A toothpick inserted in the center of one muffin should come out with a few moist crumbs attached.
6. Set the pan on a wire rack to cook for 10 minutes. Gently rock each muffin back and forth to release it. Remove the muffins from the pan and cool them for 5 minutes more on the rack before serving. If storing or freezing the muffins, cool them completely before sealing in an airtight container or freezer-safe plastic bags. The muffins will stay fresh up to 24 hours at room temperature or up to one month in the freezer.
You're probably looking at this picture trying to figure out what you're looking at. Well, you're looking at banana muffins that were cooked at too high of a temperature in my new farm cookie pan. It was an experimental run and it's hard to make out the figures but the muffins themselves were quite good, even if the outsides were a little too dark. They were very moist and banana-y. And if you tell my two-year old that he's eating a cow, he'll believe you no matter what it looks like and he'll proudly state after every bite that he's eating a cow.
I've been coveting this pan for a while but I always talked myself out of buying it. Last week my son was diagnosed with a peanut allergy which means I'll be making most of the treats he consumes. I do make most of what he eats but now it seems more important to make his treats more fun so that he doesn't feel deprived. So I bought this pan and the cakesicle pan.
A food allergy is a hard thing for me to handle. I've never seen food as the enemy and it pains me that I'll need to teach my son that it can be, in certain circumstances. I have an older nephew with a peanut allergy but it doesn't seem to affect him very much since food has always been the enemy in their house. My sister-in-law's thighs are about the size of my upper arms.
But that's the thing about parenthood - things rarely go smoothly and I'm very grateful he doesn't have any other serious food allergies (just very minor egg white and milk) and that I'm fighting an external enemy, not cancer or something awful like that.
This muffin book is from my library. It bugs me that a cookbook calls itself the 'ultimate' and there aren't any pictures in it. It were the 'ultimate', there would be pictures and fresh baked samples of each muffin included. There are a lot of muffin recipes in this book (but most of the 600+ recipes it boasts of are variations of the more basic recipes printed in the book).
Question of the Day: Do you deal with any food allergies?