17-14: Nutty Muffins

Here’s one of the last few recipes left from the chapter on baked goods, Group 17: Baked Goods. I made 17-14: Nutty Muffins for work–I thought they’d make a nice accompaniment to everyone’s morning coffee. ☕️

See? Even Simply Delicious shows them being served with coffee. Wikipedia offers a deeper dive on the history of muffins if you’re interested/bored. There’s a difference between these types of muffins (referred to as “quickbread” muffins or “American” muffins due to the fact that they’re very similar to a cupcake or other types of sweet, dense, cake-like bread) and the traditional “English” muffins that you get with Eggs Benedict or an Egg McMuffin.

Pretty straight-forward muffin recipe. What took me so long to get around to this one was the task of candying orange peel–it’s not a quick or easy process, and I never got around to doing them ahead of time (a necessary step). However, I found a shortcut that worked out pretty well…

Ingredients. Above you can see my shortcut for candying orange peel–dried tangerines that I picked up from Costco. It’s not EXACTLY the same, but it’ll get the job done, especially when coated with the spicy simple syrup that the recipe has you make for the topping. To replace the orange flavor for the muffin itself (since I didn’t have any fresh oranges), I just spiked the batter with some orange extract.

Melted the butter down in my butter melter. Now that it’s melted, I have a new issue–it needs to be cool, and I don’t want to be here all day…

Solution: Stick the pot in the fridge for about 15 minutes.

While the butter cools, I set up the stand mixer and start creaming the eggs and sugar.

Added in the rest of the ingredients (including the cooled butter) and let the stand mixer do its thing.

Split the batter–I was only able to eke out 15 muffins, even though they suggest 16-18. That’s a trend I’ve noticed over the years with these books–either our expected portion sizes today are totally out of whack (a very good possibility) or theirs were; they’re almost never on point with how many servings you can get out of a recipe.

I bought a mini-food processor a few months ago for those small jobs that you just don’t want to drag out (and subsequently clean) the BIG processor for–a nice concept when it works, but don’t expect these little versions to do the same kind of job as the big one. Their blades are small and the engine just doesn’t push anywhere as hard as the big one will.

Not great, mini processor. I ended up chopping all of this much smaller by hand. So much for saving myself work.

Working on the topping while the muffins bake. It’s essentially cinnamon-spiced simple syrup that coats the chopped nuts and fruit, which reduces down slightly as it cooks giving it that sticky sweetness.

Letting the baked muffins cool while I finish the topping. You can see the 3 on the left ended up a bit underdone compared to their brothers on the right–those ended up being for home after popping them back in for a bit more color.

Much thicker and stickier after reducing on the stove.

Topped them while in the pan–probably a better idea to do that after you take them out of the pan. Live and learn.

Here’s one that we unwrapped and ate…for science. Hey, I can’t bring stuff into work if I don’t know if it’ll be any good or not–I’ve gotten burned on Simply Delicious experiments before.

I would have liked them to be a bit more full–I think if I did it again, I’d just make a dozen and fill each one up a bit more–they’d look better. However, I wanted as many as possible so that there’d be enough for the folks at work (minus the dieters/gluten-free people). Turned out well though, I didn’t have any leftovers by the end of the day. 🙂

Grade: A-