Thursday, March 29, 2012

Muffin #1: Coffee Cake Muffin

As you can probably tell, I am not very good at this make-things-when-you-say-you-will thing. 
However, this last Tuesday I made the first muffin in a series of muffin tests.  
#1:  Coffee Cake Muffin from America's Test Kitchen Family Baking Book.  

First, I'll talk about my general feelings about the recipe, then how I felt about how it tasted and then I'll post the recipe.
1)  a) The recipe was set up for someone who had a food processor, (i.e. pulse the butter into the flour/sugar mixture until you get small pieces, about 8 pulses), which made me dream of days when I will have a food processor.  Not having one made integrating the butter into the mixture a little bit harder and I didn't end up with small pieces by any means, but I did the best that I could.  b)  It called for a LOT of butter, a stick and a half.  Don't get me wrong, I absolutely adore butter, but that seems to be a little excessive.  But I think that is why they were as moist as they were.  (and probably reeeally fattening too, but we're not thinking about that part).  c) For the streusel topping, it said to put a little bit of the batter, about a tablespoon, in the bottom of the muffin cup, then put in some of the streusel then top with the rest of the batter, that's it.  I really enjoy a crusty sugary muffin top, so I put more of it on top as well.  d) Now I think of it, maybe I didn't bake them long enough, perhaps they were still doughey.  and e) I don't think there is an e.

2) I liked that it was moist and tasted fair enough.  I think that it was a little too dense and it didn't pouf up like I thought it would, which was disappointing.  I don't think I'll make them again, in fact I couldn't get through eating my first one, there were a few bites left before I threw it away.  I imagine there is a list of things I didn't do right and that are wrong with my taste buds, but there it is (sorry ATK.  I still love you anyway!).

3) The recipe:
Coffee Cake Muffins
(makes 12, or 6 jumbo in my case)
Note that the processed sugar mixture in step 1 is divided to become the base for both the streusel topping and the cake batter.  
1 cup granulated sugar)
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
1 tbsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
12 tbsp (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces and chilled
3 large eggs
1/2 cup sour cream
confectioner's sugar, for dusting

1) Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 350 degrees.  Grease a 12-cup muffin tin. 
2) Pulse the granulated sugar, 1/2 cup of the flour, and 1/4 cup of the brown sugar together in a food processor to combine, about 5 pulses. Transfer 3/4 cup of the processed sugar mixture to a medium bowl (leaving the rest in the processor), and whisk in the remaining 1/4 cup brown sugar and the cinnamon to make the streusel topping; set aside.
3) Add the remaining 1 cup flour, the baking powder, salt, and baking soda to the sugar mixture left in the food processor and pulse to combine, about 5 pulses. Scatter the butter evenly over the top, and pulse until the mixture breaks down into small pebbly pieces, about 10 pulses. Add the eggs and sour cream and pulse until the batter is well combined and thick, about 8 pulses.
4) Portion a generous tablespoon of the batter into each muffin cup, then sprinkle each with 1 1/2 tbsp of the streusel mixture. Spoon the remaining batter over the streusel. Bake until golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out with just a few crumbs attached, 20 to 24 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through baking.
5) Let the muffins cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then flip out onto a wire rack and let cool for 10 minutes. Dust lightly with confectioner's sugar before serving.  

(for my jumbo muffins, I baked for about 25 minutes)
Thank you, and good night.

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