Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Ain't Gonna Lie

I just made the best muffins ever this weekend. I have pictures to post, but they don't do these babies justice.

I basically took the recipe for banana bread from How to be a Domestic Goddess by Nigella Lawson (believe me, if you have hunted around for a banana bread that is actually moist, you can stop looking. It's here.) My only modification to her excellent recipe is that I don't drain the rum from the raisons, I put it all in the batter. Lush? Perhaps. Deliciously decadent? You bet. Spencer rolls his eyes about alcohol in recipes, but I swear, it is the single easiest thing to do to kick it up a notch- there is just something you can't put your finger on, and often, when recipes are lacking something, I will add a jigger of liqueur from my cupboard and that does the trick. Not to mention, my favourite dessert to eat and make is bananas foster, and that would be basically bananas and ice cream without the alcohol. Bor-ing.

Back to these bananas. I decided to make muffins instead of bread (I bought an oversized muffin tin and just threw away all the normal sized ones. Another key to moisture- a bigger inner space to outer surface area ratio). Then I had spencer find a recipe for streusel online. It was very basic, so I messed with it. This is what it said:

1/2 cup flour
4 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2- 2 teaspoons cinnamon (optional)

That's it. No directions. So I made them up.

tara's streusel topping:

1/2 cup flour
8 tablespoons butter (aka 1/2 a cup or 1 stick, half melted half cool but not cold)
4 tablespoons sugar
a good shake of cinnamon, and another of nutmeg

Put them all in a bowl and make into crumbs by using one of those dough slicer things- not butter knives. Pie recipes always say to 'cut butter into flour' and that process just makes me want to cut my own eyes out with how tedious and unproductive it is.

Pour batter into muffin tins (about 2/3 full) and top with a big fat handful of streusel. Bake for 35 minutes instead of an hour and let stand a few minutes before trying to get them out. (Here is where you can use a butter knife to gently lift one side out- you can't flip them since all the streusel would fall off). Serve warm with butter and possibly jam or honey. Yummmmmmmm!

After Spencer inhaled one and admitted they were possibly the best thing I have ever baked (cooked is another story), I confessed they were made with wheat flour. "You tricked me!" Good way to sneak in a little hippie-granola-loving-goodness.

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