Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Allspice Muffins

Kelly shared this recipe with me a while ago. I m not sure where it came from, but here is is with my modifications. These are very sweet dessert type muffins, not everyday breakfast fare, but absolutely delicious!

For the streusel:
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/2 tsp. ground allspice
5 tbsp. cold unsalted butter, cut into bits

For the muffins:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 tbsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. ground allspice
½ tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
8 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted and cooled
2 large eggs
3/4 cup milk (I used 1%)
1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
Grated zest of 1 lemon

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Center a rack in the oven. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with paper liners.

To make the streusel topping, put the flour, brown sugar and allspice in a small bowl. Sift together with a fork. Add the bits of cold butter and toss to coat, then use your fingers to work the butter into the dry ingredients until you’ve got irregularly shaped crumbs. (I would do this in the mixer or food processor.) Set aside in the refrigerator.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, allspice and salt. Stir in the brown sugar, making certain there are no lumps. Stir in the lemon zest.

In a large glass measuring cup or another bowl, whisk the melted butter, eggs, milk, and vanilla together until well combined.

Pour the liquid ingredients over the dry ingredients and gently but quickly stir to blend with the whisk or a rubber spatula; the batter will be somewhat lumpy.

Divide the batter evenly among the muffin cups. Sprinkle some streusel over each muffin, then use your fingertips to gently press the crumbs into the batter.

Bake for about 20 minutes, or until the tops are golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Transfer the pan to a rack and cool for 5 minutes. Remove the muffins to the wire rack and allow to cool completely.

Chocolate Chip Cookies

These cookies are always a favorite any time for any crowd. This is a double recipe and makes about 10 dozen cookies. They freeze very nicely so I just make the mess once and freeze the rest.
To me, the key to the success of this recipe is real butter, real vanilla and chocolate chips that have real vanilla (not vanillin). It just makes them taste better. They can be made with or without toffee bits (which I get at a local candy supply place).

Preheat oven 375° small cookies/ 350° for very large cookies
10-12 minutes/13-15 minutes

2 cups butter
1 ½ cups white sugar
1 ½ cups brown sugar
4 eggs
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 tablespoon vanilla
4 2/3 cups flour
1 cop toffee bits

Cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Blend in eggs and vanilla. Blend in baking soda and salt. Add flour, chocolate chips and toffee bits and mixuntil well blended. Be sure to scrape the bowl all the way to the bottom to make sure eveything is well mixed.

Drop by teaspoon or tablespoon on ungreased cookie sheet and bake 9-12 minutes. The longer you bake them the crispier they will be.

If you want large coffee house style cookies, use 1/4 cup dough and press it gently until the dough is in a circle about 1/2" thick. Bake at lower oven temp for about 15 minutes. You can fit 6 cookies on a regular cookie sheet.