Thursday, September 20, 2012

Let's Talk About Muffins

Happy first day of fall! What could be more appropriate than some comfort food* baking?

*Assuming, of course, that you, like all normal human beings, consider tea to be comfort food.
Fact: I am a novice baker who fancies herself a bit of a Martha Stewart in the kitchen. Dream big, right? :) But this summer, I've been baking more than usual and I'm starting to feel a bit more confident. And now that classes have started again, and with them our weekly Create society meetings [for which cake is, naturally, a must], I have a weekly excuse to get out my supplies and keep learning/practicing/stuffing my face. 
This week I made the Earl Grey muffins I found here a while back. [By the way, Meredith's blog is a fun read for her laid-back, cozy vibe and adorable photos. My friend Megan got me turned onto it! :) ] Anyway, I had made these muffins before while my sister was here, but I used the wrong kind of flour and they turned out dense like little rocks. Little nutella-covered boulders. Not ideal in a muffin, if we're honest.
These ones were bigger and better! I realized that it is nearly impossible to get your hands on poppy seeds in this country. I tried lots of supermarkets and a couple health food stores and they were nowhere to be found! :( Do i look like the kind of person who has an opiate substance-abuse problem and needs to be kept away from poppy seeds?? Apparently. So I added copious amounts of lemon zest into the mix to make up for the lack of seeds. I think it added a nice subtle citrus-y taste. However, they still came out a bit denser than I would have liked. Has anyone had a similar muffin problem? Is it because they stayed in the oven too long? Please, muffin people, answer my call!

The original recipe can be found here
I also used scrunched up squares of baking paper to line them and I really like how it makes them look. So cute and bundled up. :) 



Jennifer said...

I have a new found love for lemon in cookies. McDonald's sells these white macadamia lemon (I think that's what they are) cookies and they are heaven. A weird heaven. At 1st I thought it was an odd combo but they are good!!!! I don't know why your muffins are dense...too much flour not enough liquid? Corinnea should know:) Nutella on banana bread is the bomb.

Anonymous said...

hiya - you might be over mixing the batter...baking is a tricky scientific endeavor (which is why I don't do it!) - and you could be over mixing, thereby promoting the development of too much gluten (which is why the type of flour mattered)

Anya said...

I once had 'ice tea muffins', they were basically just sugary peach juice muffins but yummey for sure! These look extremly cozy!

Katelyn R. said...

Everyone is super into pumpkin here right now. I made chocolate chip pumpkin muffins for work and everyone loved them, and they were really easy. Try it.

obviously they say i should do bread, and I added the chocolate chips because I was craving them...(i'm so rebelious) but it was really good.

I love how decorative yours turned out and especially how you did the liners.

Anne Holbrook said...

A- They were not dense, I think YOU're dense.

B- They were delicious.

C- I miss them, and Dad had better eat his really soon, or he may or may not get to experience how delicious they really are.

D- That is all I have to say about them.


Yash... said...

I'm eating it right now and can attest it's like a delicious and comforting cup of Earl Grey. Goes well with this blustery, cool September morning.

Megan said...

I love love love the baking paper liners! They look super duper amazing :)

I actually have a crapload of poppy seeds from when I made lemon poppy seed scones, but I just went to check the label and it turns out I decanted them into an old hummus tub a while back so I don't know where I got them :( Probably either Real Foods or Julian Graves.

pearlswirl said...

:) Thanks for the love everyone!

Tarisa, I think it might be a mixing issue indeed because the dough started rising and getting gooey like bread dough, plus i left it out a while waiting for the oven to be empty and the kitchen was warm :o Katelyn, I would love to be baking with pumpkin but canned pumpkin is not really readily available here. Megan, i didn't try either of those {just Jordan Valley and Holland & barrett) but I will next time, or maybe i can borrow a few from you??

Megan said...

I suppose I could spare you six or seven poppy seeds next time :P

Anonymous said...

They look so yummy-yum! Well done Martha :)

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