Monday, April 24, 2017

Coffee Cake Muffins

Contrary to its name, coffee cake doesn't actually have coffee in it. My guess is it's named this way because you serve it with coffee. My Italian flatmate was very confused when I was explaining coffee cake didn't taste like coffee, she said they call tiramisu coffee cake. We just call tiramisu, tiramisu.

So here we have a cinnamon cake with almonds and thus coffee cake--muffins. This comes from Joy the Baker's new cookbook Overeasy. It's entirely devoted to brunch: baked goods, entrees, beverages, everything to throw a great brunch. It felt wrong to sit inside my flat, on my couch and flip through the pages of this cookbook. It felt like it's meant to be read in the quiet early morning hours out on a porch with a cup of coffee. All I wanted to do was live in a bungalow and throw a fancy brunch with friends. A dream for another day.

Crumble is pretty standard across the board: flour, sugar, cinnamon, cold butter. Mix together to make--crumbly.

We're using my favorite browned (nee melted) butter to make these muffins. No planning for softening required. Sour cream is also used instead of milk, giving an extra spongy and delicious texture to these muffins.

After browning the butter, it is whisked together with the sour cream, egg and egg yolk. If you have vanilla extract, now's the time to add that. I ran out and was going to skip it (scandalous!) but my flatmate had this combo vanilla-baking powder thing I tried instead.

In a separate bowl, mix together your dry ingredients (flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt) before adding to the butter mixture to form a nice, thick batter.

Now, some assembly is required: muffin batter followed by crumble topping followed by almonds. Easy peasy. Bake until golden brown and cooked through.

Enjoy on your perfect porch/patio/deck/fire escape with a cup of coffee and you're good to go!

  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) cold butter, cubed
  1. In a medium bowl, mix togethr the flour, brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg.
  2. Cut in the cubed butter with a knife or pastry cutter. You can also use your hands to mix until it's crumbly. 
  3. Set aside for later.
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) browned butter
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 egg plus 1 egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 3/4 cup flour
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup roasted almonds, chopped for topping
  1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Line a muffin tin and set aside (in total, this made around 15 muffins).
  2. In a small sauce pan, brown the butter. Even once the butter is melted, continue to heat as it crackles and the water cooks out. Remove from heat once it's changed in color to a darker yellow, crackles less and smells nutty.
  3. In a large bowl, mix together the sour cream (you could substitute for Greek yogurt if you prefer), egg, egg yolk, vanilla and browned butter (slightly cooled).
  4. In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. 
  5. Pour the flour mixture into the butter mixture. Mix until no flour is visible.
  6. Assembly time! Spoon the muffin mixture into your prepared pan, filling each cup about half way.
  7. Add a spoonful of crumble topping to each muffin cup. Use a knife to mix and swirl the crumble into the muffin.
  8. Lastly, top with the toasted almonds.
  9. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until set and browned on top. 

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