Sunday, January 5, 2014

Making Muffins on this Cold Day

This morning with temperatures at -12 degrees, I was in the mood for muffins. I have had some white whole wheat pastry flour in the pantry for a while and hadn't gotten around to using it. This flour is ground from white wheat berries, instead of red wheat, so the color is only a little off of the white of unbleached flour. My first intention was to use half cake flour and half all-purpose, but it just happened that I was out of cake flour. There wasn't enough to make the 1 cup I wanted for the recipe. This was when I noticed the white whole wheat pastry flour. Aha! Inspiration. The recipe can easily be made without the white whole wheat pastry flour; just use the whole 2 cups of all-purpose flour. If you do, try using only 1/2 cup of buttermilk. Whole wheat flours tend to soak up more moisture, and I used 2/3 cup of buttermilk. Just be advised.

Next step was to create a recipe. Usually I just sit there on my own and compile what I think will work. Sometimes these things work better than others, and this morning the muffins turned out just perfect. They were tender and light, with a nice amount of sweetness and lots of flavor. I wanted to use sour cream in these muffins, but I was out of sour cream, too. All the holiday cooking and baking just wiped out my pantry. I did still have buttermilk in the fridge, so I used that. The rest was simple.

Cranberry Walnut Muffins

Cranberry Walnut Muffins
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup white whole wheat pastry flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon dried orange peel, or 1 tablespoon fresh
2 eggs
2/3 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup craisins (dried cranberries)
1/2 cup walnuts, broken

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees (350 on Convection). Cream together the butter, sugar and orange peel until light. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each. Separately, sift or whisk together the flour(s), baking powder, baking soda and the salt. Add this alternately with the buttermilk to the creamed ingredients, mixing just until combined. Fold in the craisins and walnuts.

Grease a 12-well muffin tin, or use muffin papers. Divide the batter evenly into the muffin cups and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. 

This worked so well, I will likely be trying other combinations soon. I hope you will try these out sometime soon.

My passion is to teach people how to create a harmony of flavors with their cooking, and help pass along my love and joy of food, both simple and exotic, plain or fancy. I continue my journey in ethnic and domestic cuisines, trying new things weekly. Join me at A Harmony of Flavors Website, on Tumblr, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. I am also on a spiritual journey and hope you will join me at my new blog, An Eagle Flies.