Thursday, January 6, 2011

Maple Walnut Muffins

What makes a cookbook kitchen worthy? I have been thinking about this a lot lately. You see, I have a very small shelf in my kitchen where I keep all the cookbooks that I actually use regularly. It is what you see at the bottom of this page. Those are not all the cookbooks I own. The shelves in the living room are  filling up as well. In order to grant a cookbook precious space in the kitchen, another one must be sent around the corner to the living room. I usually don't buy a cookbook unless I think it is going to be worthy of the kitchen space, but looking in the living room you will see I have made a lot mistakes. This is not to say that I have not had great joy from those cookbooks, many were great reads. There are so many that I marked up to 50 recipes, yet somehow never got around to making one. Then there is what I call cookbook sudden death. I am totally excited about a new cookbook and then the first recipe I make doesn't turn out. It doesn't matter if it is totally my fault, or I had some bad ingredients, or my new crock pot made the dish taste like plastic. This is an automatic move to the living room.
As soon as I looked inside Sarabeth's Bakery, I knew it had potential. I liked the photos. They provide good instruction in the places you need it, but it is not step-by-step which can be overkill. She includes tons of tips. The recipes are so well written, explaining the areas that might be confusing. The thing I like the most is that unlike many cookbooks, the recipes are all different. Many cookbooks have ten muffins recipes that are all the same, just one has blueberries and the other banana. After making these maple walnut muffins, I also made the blueberry ones. They were equally good, but very different. The direction and the clarity the recipes provide make me feel as though it could be possible to cook every recipe successfully, even the croissants. These muffins turned out just as described, nice and brown on the outside and full of maple goodness on the inside. This book is definitely kitchen worthy. Now to decide which one is moving to the living room.

Maple Walnut Muffins
adapted from Sarabeth's Bakery

2 tbsp. butter softened for greasing pan
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups maple syrup
1/4 teaspoon maple extract (optional)
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup whole milk
1 large egg, plus one large egg yolk, at room temperature
1 cup walnuts, toasted and coarsely chopped

Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease 12-cup muffin tin with butter, along with the top of the pan.
In a medium bowl whisk together flours, baking powder, and salt. In a separate bowl whisk together maple syrup and extract, melted butter, and milk. Whisk in the egg and yolk. Add wet ingredients to the dry and stir until just smooth. Stir in walnuts. Let batter sit for 5 minutes until the dry ingredients can absorb the liquids.
Using a 2 1/2 inch ice cream scoop, portion the batter, round side up, into the muffin tins.
Bake for 10 minutes, then reduce oven temperature to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Bake until tops are golden brown and cake tester comes out clean, about 15 minutes more.
Cool in pan for 10 minutes (ok, I only waited 5). Remove muffins from pan and serve.

8 comments:

  1. Sounds like a great book! These are such beautiful muffins and I love the maple and walnut combo! These would be the perfect baking project for my niece and I on Saturday...thanks for sharing!

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  3. Oh my gosh. These muffins are amazing!!!
    I love finding muffin recipes with nuts in them.

    Thanks for sharing

    Charlie

    http://charliebakes.blogspot.com/

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  4. Love you bucket list and love your blog!

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  5. It's funny! I did muffins from Sarabeth's Bakery and stacked them the exact same way only the picture was of her banana struesel muffins!

    http://livininthekitchen.wordpress.com/category/muffins/

    Jess : )

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  6. Faith- I hope you like them as much as we did.

    Charlie- I love nuts too. I put them in everything.

    Wendy- Thanks.

    LITK- The banana struesel are good too.

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  7. i made these today as well!! funny that i came across youre post just now :)
    my sister got me this book for christmas and ive read it cover to cover.. honestly. and funny enough the croissants were the first thing i made! they were delicious! i also made the almond croissants and the pain au chocolat!! they were more than amazing! just one thing: you dont have to chill the dough for 24 hours. i had the same results without doing it as i did when i chilled it, as suggested! give it a try!!! also: try the ruby bundt! its to DIE for :)

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  8. Glad you also had as much success with this book as I have had. It really is worth the money. I can't believe I ever hesitated. Soon, there will be croissants!

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