Saturday, June 5, 2010

I Have a Need for Nutmeg

I was feeling very un-motivated today -I wanted to bake but I couldn't focus.  The only thing I knew for sure is that I wanted something with nutmeg.  I went through a few of my favorite cookbooks but still couldn't find something that grabbed my attention. So I opted for Google.  Did you know that nutmeg can be psychotropic-ingesting about 10grams is equal to approximately1 marijuana cigarette-of course the side effects of that much nutmeg are severe and dangerous. Hmmm, I never knew this about nutmeg-since I didn't care to ingest it directly I was looking for something cakey and cinnamony with strong nutmeg overtones. In my search I stumbled on Hillbilly Muffins. I loved the name so of course I had to try the recipe !

 And according to the author of Hillbilly Housewife Blog "This recipe is very very old, at least 80 years old. It was created by a cook with leftover donut batter who didn’t have time to deep fry them. She added a little milk to make the batter thinner, and cooked it in muffin cups instead of deep frying it. "

 Many thanks to the Hillbilly Housewife for finding and publishing the recipe. These are quick and delicious. PS Shortening is not one of my favorite ingredients but I rationalized that if it was good enough for the baker of these 80yrs ago it's ok for me every once in a while.  But just in case your kitchen is a shortening free zone I found a similar recipe at Orangette's blog and that recipe follows the Hillbilly Muffins. Enjoy !
Hillbilly Muffins
•1/3 cup shortening
•1/2 cup sugar
•1 medium egg
•1-1/2 cups flour
•1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
•1/2 teaspoon salt
•1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
•3/4 cup milk

For The Topping:
•1/2 cup powdered sugar
•1 teaspoon cinnamon
•1/4 cup melted margarine
In a mixing bowl mash together the shortening and sugar. Add the egg and whisk it all up until it is smooth. Make sure you use shortening, Not Margarine. The shortening gives this recipe it’s special texture. Measure the flour, baking powder, salt and nutmeg into the bowl. Pour in the milk. Mix the batter with a whisk until it is smooth. Drop the mixture into 12 oiled muffin cups. Make sure not to over fill the muffin cups, 1/2 to 2/3 full is full enough. Bake the muffins at 350 for 25 minutes, or until the muffins are brown on top. Remove them from the oven and allow them to cool slightly.

Mix the powdered sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl and set aside.
Take the muffins out of the pan. When they are cool enough to handle, dip the tops of the muffins into the melted margarine. Then dip them into the powdered sugar/cinnamon mixture. Arrange the prepared muffins on a large plate and serve while still warm. Makes a dozen.

Nutmeg Donut Muffins -please read the link to this recipe-I love Molly Wizenberg's blog and this is the sweetest posting I have ever read !
Yield: 12 muffins

3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 ½ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp baking soda
Scant 1 tsp salt
½ tsp freshly ground nutmeg
¾ cup plus 1 Tbs whole milk
2 Tbs buttermilk
1 ½ sticks (6 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
¾ cup plus 2 Tbs granulated sugar
2 large eggs

For topping:
4 - 6 Tbs unsalted butter
1 ½ - 2 cups powdered sugar

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, and set a rack to the middle position. Spray a standard-size muffin tin with cooking spray.
In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and nutmeg, and whisk to mix them thoroughly. Set aside.
Combine the milk and the buttermilk in a measuring cup, and set aside.

Place the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or, alternatively, in a large mixing bowl with electric beaters nearby), and beat on medium speed for a few seconds, until the butter is soft and creamy. With the motor running, add the sugar in a steady stream. Continue beating, scraping down the sides of the bowl once or twice, until the mixture increases in volume and lightens to pale yellow. It should look light, fluffy, and wonderfully creamy, like frosting. This could take a couple of minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, beating until they are just combined.

With a wooden spoon, mix ¼ of the flour mixture into the butter mixture. Add 1/3 of the milk mixture. Continue to add the dry and wet ingredients alternately, ending with the dries. Mix until the dough is smooth and well combined, but do not over mix.

Divide the batter between the cups of the muffin tin. Bake until the muffins are firm to the touch and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 25-32 minutes.

When the muffins are cool enough to handle, prepare the topping: melt the butter in the microwave or on the stove top, and pour the powdered sugar into a deep bowl. Using a pastry brush and working one muffin at a time, lightly brush the entire outside of the muffin with butter, and then roll it in the powdered sugar. Shake off any excess, and place the finished muffins on a rack or serving platter. Serve.

Note: These muffins are best on the day that they’re made, but they’re still awfully good on the second day—much better than the usual day-old muffin or stale doughnut. And for those who like advance planning, also note that this batter keeps, covered and chilled, for up to three days.


bellini valli said...

I'd have to say that your found your inspiration:D

Jaguar Julie said...

Ah, my dear I do honestly think that I am in heaven this morning. Why, I was just commenting on somebody's food lens this morning that I had never met a muffin I didn't like.

And, YOUR muffin this morning certainly "takes the cake" for me. Seriously yummy!!!

Julie said...

These look delicious! Love the pictures! Yum!

astheroshe said...

I really love nutmeg..yhose look great for breakfast :)

Seattle Pastry Girl said...

They are all gone ! I think I'm going to try Molly's recipe next..the buttermilk addition sounds interesting ! And they were delicious--just like they sound- a muffin with the taste of a donut !

redmenace said...

I love that you found this recipe all because you had a craving for nutmeg. Sometimes, that's the best way! Thanks for sharing it!