BACON CHEDDAR MUFFINS

 
 

I had intended to throw a few delicious recipes your way over the last two weeks, but man oh man work has been just batshit crazy and frustrating.  I know, I know…excuses, excuses. But for reals…I won’t bore you with the details, just know that by the time I get home each night I’m exhausted and burnt out and blogging is the last thing I want to do because I don’t want to half-ass it. I really envy anyone who gets to blog as their full-time job. I know it has it’s own set of unique challenges, but at least you get to pour your time and energy into something you (hopefully) love.

Okay, one more complaint…is anyone else having one hell of a time getting used to daylight savings? It’s getting dark at like 4:15pm here, so by 7pm, I feel like it’s 11pm and I’m ready to go to bed. It’s ridiculous and it makes me feel super old lady-ish.

Oh! I do have a fun little announcement! Somebody start playing a herald trumpet or something so I feel official…

Next week is PIE WEEK!

 
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I’ll be sharing 5 pie recipes with you over the course of next week, starting on Monday. Because it’s pie season, and because you should probably start thinking about what you’re bringing to all of those Thanksgiving/Friendsgiving/Christmas celebrations you’ll be invited to.

Alright, back to the breakfast muffins. They come from the Huckleberry cookbook – ok, wait, hang on…have we talked about this book yet? It’s AMAZING. It’s one of those rare cookbooks where you end up reading through it like a book instead of hopping around checking out whichever recipes sound interesting. It’s more than a collection of recipes; not only are the photos beautiful and the recipes really solid (well, at least the ones I’ve tried have all been A+), you really get a sense of what it might be like to work with Zoe in the kitchen at Huckleberry. I think it might be the best new cookbook I’ve gotten this year.

On a related side note: Zoe did a book signing in Chicago a couple of weeks ago and I had the chance to attend – she was wonderfully kind and just really…human. I was geeking out and a little nervous to talk to her – if you’ve read Huckleberry, you can tell she’s a total badass in the kitchen – but she seemed genuinely friendly and rad. She had Brandon and I give her some Chicago restaurant recommendations, and we also got to meet her baby, Tallulah. Adorable. I'd show you a picture, but I look like a crazed maniac...too embarrassing. 

These muffins are everything you’ve ever wanted in a savory breakfast muffin…satisfying, hearty, and flavorful. They’re full of bacon and cheese and herbs…I mean, you can’t go wrong there, can you? There’s also some cornmeal and rye flour involved, which adds another level of awesome to the flavor and texture of the muffins. And, to round everything out, there’s a bit of maple syrup too. Maple syrup and bacon are besties, right?

I have a feeling these guys won’t save particularly well (not that you’ll have any leftover, anyway), so either make them the day you intend to eat them, or make the batter the night before you want them and store it in the fridge, and then scoop and bake the next morning.

Bacon Cheddar Muffins

recipe, adapted slightly, from Huckleberry

makes 12-15 muffins

6 TB unsalted butter, cubed and @ room temp
2 TB sugar
1 ½ tsp kosher salt
3 eggs
¾ cup all-purpose flour
1 scant cup yellow cornmeal
 6 TB rye flour (if you don’t have rye, sub whole wheat or more AP flour)
1 ½ TB baking powder
1/3 cup canola, vegetable, or corn oil
4 TB maple syrup (use the good stuff…definitely no fake “pancake syrup”)
1 cup + 2 TB low-fat buttermilk
½ cup + ¼ cup grated cheddar cheese, divided
4 TB + 2 TB grated parmesan cheese, divided
12 slices cooked bacon, coarsely chopped
1 TB bacon fat, cooled
¼ cup chives and parsley, finely chopped
chopped rosemary for garnish

Directions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 400F. Line the cups of your muffin pan with paper liners (or not, your call).
  2. In your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter, sugar, and salt for 2 minutes, until fluffy.
  3. Add eggs one at a time, making sure to fully incorporate each before adding the next one.
  4. Add the AP flour, cornmeal, rye flour, and baking powder, and mix until combined.
  5. Add the oil, maple syrup and buttermilk, and mix until combined. Make sure to scrape down the bottom and sides of the bowl to make sure all ingredients are incorporated evenly.
  6. Stir in ½ cup grated cheddar, 4 TB parmesan, and 2/3 of the bacon.
  7. This is where you’ll stop and refrigerate if you’re not cooking these immediately.
  8. When you’re ready to bake, divide the batter among the muffin cups. I find an ice cream scoop particularly helpful here.
  9. Sprinkle remaining cheddar, parmesan, and bacon over each muffin.
  10. Bake for about 15 minutes until nicely browned. Garnish with chopped rosemary.
  11. Eat!
 
 

Yeasted Coffee Cake

 
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I know I've written about different kinds of coffee cake at least a few times before, but this one deserves mentioning, too. It's yeasted. Yeasted! It's almost like a danish and a loaf of bread got busy while nobody was looking, and nine months later...ta-da! Yeasted coffee cake.

Actually, I imagine the gestation period for a danish/bread lovechild is probably more like a few hours instead of nine months. All it needs is a little time to rise, right?

I ended up making this coffee cake twice in a week, mostly because it really is that good and also because I brought one of those cakes to work for a student-worker's last day in the office.

The one pictured here is from the first time I made it -- that time, I royally screwed up the recipe (I forgot to add the sugar and had to knead it in at the end. BAD IDEA.) but it still turned out great. I also decided to swirl my jam of choice into the dough, instead of just slathering it on top of the cake. I ended up using Kaya, which is basically a pandan-coconut jam/curd type of spread typically found in Asia (mine is directly from Singapore, but Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, and the Philippines have versions of it as well). If you ever have the opportunity, try some. It's some seriously amazing stuff.

coffee cake 3

The second time I made this cake, I used blackberry jam and added some extra spices (ginger and cinnamon). I also omitted the coconut from the streusel, and replaced it with some chopped nuts. And I didn't swirl the jam into the dough, I just spread it on top like the original recipe suggests.

It was great both ways, and is obviously a pretty adaptable coffee cake. You could add chocolate chips or citrus zest to the dough, change the streusel mixture, change the jam flavor, and change the spice profile, and still end up with a killer coffee cake.

coffee cake 2

Yeasted Coffee Cake

recipe adapted from Red Star Yeast
click here for a printable PDF of this recipe!

For the cake:
1 ¾ cups bread flour
2 ¼ tsp active dry yeast (I used instant)
1/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 tsp spices of your choosing (nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger, allspice, etc)
1/4 tsp salt
1/3 cup milk
1/3 cup water
2 TB unsalted butter
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup jam/preserves

For the streusel:
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup flaked or shredded coconut (or, replace with nuts, or leave it out altogether)
1/2 tsp ground spice of your choosing
2 TB unsalted butter, melted

Directions:

  1. Butter or grease your 8x8 or 9x9 pan. Set aside.
  2. In the bowl of your stand mixer , combine 1 cup bread flour, sugar, spices, and salt. Stir to combine. 
  3. In a saucepan or in a microwave-safe dish, heat milk, water, and butter until warm (115F to 130F). 
  4. Add milk/water/butter mixture to mixer bowl. Mix briefly to combine. 
  5. Add egg and vanilla. Mix on low speed for a few seconds to incorporate, and then beat for about 3 minutes on medium speed.
  6. Gradually incorporate remaining bread flour – you should end up with a stiff batter.
  7. Spread in prepared pan.
  8. Prepare streusel by combining all listed ingredients. Set aside.
  9. Spread jam/preserves on top of batter, and then cover with streusel.
  10. Cover, and let rise in a warm place for about 45 minutes (or until doubled in size).
  11. While cake is rising, preheat your oven to 350F.
  12. Once cake has finished rising, bake for 30-35 minutes, until golden brown.

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