Sunday morning muffin making

After a relaxing Saturday night of not working, Andrew and I decided that a skype baking session of fresh muffins were on the agenda for Sunday morning. We each selected our muffins of choice: him with a banana chocolate chip variety and me with something a bit different: Nutella stuffed cinnamon sugar muffins. I stumbled upon this great recipe while searching for banana strawberry muffins (two ingredients that I need to use up in the next few days), and then for strawberry muffins where I landed on sallysbakingaddiction.com. I fell in love instantly! So many delicious recipes, so little time! I know for a fact I will be coming back to her site again and again for yummy unique treats to bake for Andrew and me. Sally not only has great recipes, but great tips on baking and blogging. My attempt at her Nutella stuffed cinnamon sugar muffins turned out great! The original recipe can be found here.

Ingredients:
MUFFINS:
1/3 cup unsalted butter, softened (however I used margarine that I bought when making vegan cupcakes last week)
1/2 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup milk (I used vanilla soy milk – again from the vegan cupcakes last week)
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (Sally suggests whole-wheat)
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
8 tsp Nutella

TOPPING:
1/4 cup sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
3 Tbsp unsalted butter

Instructions:
1.) Preheat oven to 425°F. Spray muffin pan with cooking spray and set aside. (I ended up just taking a paper towel and spreading some vegetable oil around each section of the pan.)

2.)Cream butter and sugar together on medium speed in mixer or if you don’t have a mixer, like me, do it by hand. Mix in the egg, vanilla extract, and milk. Gently stir in flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. As with all muffins: DO NOT over mix!  Stir until it is just combined.

3.) Spoon 1 heaping Tablespoon of batter into muffin cavity. Layer with 1 tsp Nutella in the center and spoon another heaping Tablespoon of batter on top. If the muffin tins are completely full, that is ok. They will not overflow. Repeat layering batter and Nutella into each muffin tin. I thought I would be clever and put all of the bottom layers down first, and I ended up using too much batter on the bottom, so there was barely enough batter to cover the top. They still turned out great, but the Nutella was close to the top of the muffins rather than in the center. I made 9 muffins (although I was intended to make 8 and somehow lost count), and 8 would have been perfect, but they still turned out great. One great tip from Sally: Fill the empty muffin tins halfway with water for even baking.

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4.) I really like Sally’s tips for making muffins by starting it off hot and then taking the temperature down:  Start out baking at 425°F for 5 minutes. Then reduce oven to 350°F and bake for an additional 13-17 minutes until batter is set. Allow muffins to cool for about 5 minutes.

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5.) Make the cinnamon-sugar topping while the muffins are cooling. Melt the butter for about 30 seconds in the microwave, if you don’t have a microwave (like me) stove top melting works great. In a separate small bowl, stir together the sugar and cinnamon. Dip the top of each muffin into the melted butter and dip into the cinnamon-sugar mixture. Swirl them around in the cinnamon-sugar a bit to make sure you get a thick coating. Set upright on cooling rack.

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Andrew’s banana chocolate chip muffins:

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His photography skills are a bit better than mine. When he moves out here next month I think I will recruit him to take all of my food photos. His baking is pretty delicious too, and might just be featured on here sometime in the near future.  🙂

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