Monday, January 27, 2014

Peanut Butter Muffins

I had plans to do a bit of baking today, but after breakfast this morning, I only had one egg left. Since the wind chill temperatures were approaching obscene levels, I wasn’t exactly inclined to venture out for another dozen. This eliminated such ambitious and delicious baked goods as peanut butter swirl brownies or some other peanut butter bars. Since I was making sandwich bread, I decided not to use my solitary egg on a peanut butter yeast bread loaf. This left the hazelnut version of these Cappuccino Muffins I was thinking of, which required only one egg.

I started thinking, however, that all those other recipes seemed to be hinting at a particular inclination I might have toward peanut butter. (Actually, I’ve been nuts, you might say, about peanut butter for over a year now.) I’d probably be disappointed if I didn’t try the peanut butter muffin recipe I’d recently come across in the same book as I found the Cappuccino Muffins.

Of course I couldn’t disappoint myself. I made the Peanut Butter Muffins, and they were delicious! I added raisins (I blame this granola for my new love of that combination), but you wouldn’t have to. Chocolate chips would be hard to argue against as a replacement, or you could leave the muffins plain.

These muffins are plentifully peanut buttery but not especially sweet, so they taste more like peanut butter cookies than like peanut butter candy. They’re pleasantly soft and moist, and are going to be hard to resist for breakfast, coffee breaks, snacks, even dessert. I find myself wondering how good other nut butters would be in place of the peanut butter or how good other add-ins, such as the chocolate I mentioned above or chopped peanuts, would be.

And, for some reason, I’m thinking they might just be pretty great served with jelly. Just a feeling I have, I guess.


Peanut Butter Muffins
Adapted from The Ultimate Muffin Book by Bruce Weinstein and Mark Scarbrough

The raisins are optional in this recipe. If you choose to exclude them, add the ¼ cup flour with the rest of the flour. You could also replace them with chocolate chips if desired.

¼ cup (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter
1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
1 cup raisins, optional
1 tablespoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 large egg
½ cup light brown sugar, packed
2/3 cup smooth peanut butter
1 ¼ cups milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 400 F. Spray the cups of a 12-cup muffin pan with nonstick cooking spray or line them with paper liners. Set aside.

2. Melt the butter and set aside to cool slightly. In a small bowl, combine the raisins and ¼ cup flour, tossing to coat the raisins. Set aside.

3. In a medium-size bowl, combine the remaining 1 ½ cups flour, baking powder and salt. Whisk together to combine well. Set aside.

4. In another medium-size bowl, beat the egg well with a whisk. Add the brown sugar and whisk to combine. Continue whisking until the mixture is very smooth, thick and light brown in color, about 2 minutes. Whisk in the peanut butter until smooth. Whisk in the melted butter, then the milk and vanilla until smooth.

5. Pour the egg mixture into the flour mixture and stir gently until most of the dry ingredients have been moistened. Add the raisin mixture and stir just until there are no dry spots.

6. Divide the batter among the 12 prepared muffin cups. Bake at 400 F for 20 minutes or until the tops of the muffins are lightly browned and a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out with just a few moist crumbs remaining.

7. Cool in the pan on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Remove from the pan and let stand until cool enough to enjoy, or cool completely. Store in an airtight container or plastic bag.

Makes 12 muffins.

No comments:

Post a Comment