Monday, July 11, 2011

Magical Cinnamon Muffins

Let’s face it, when something doesn’t go as planned, it sucks and it can bring your mood from being super excited to being in a craptastic mood. However, I find that different kinds of failures receive different types of reactions. Some are just funny failures and you have to laugh at yourself and some, well, just puts you in a bit of a slump, even though when you look back from years to come, it didn’t seem all that bad. I’m sorry if this is making you depressed after reading the “magical” part of this post. But, it gets better, I promise (maybe).

Today, I was really excited about these muffins. Again, I’m using a recipe from my Unofficial Harry Potter Cookbook. These were originally called Oversized Blueberry Muffins with a Crunchy Top, but I was not in the mood to make blueberry muffins. Instead, I wanted cinnamon and brown sugar muffins because that flavor combo is just so darn good! I read and re-read the recipe and the instructions and set all of the ingredients I would need out like normal and waited for the egg and sour cream to come to room temp. I should probably tell you that I intended to cut this recipe in half because I didn’t want to make 12 muffins. Now, I beat the egg and added the sugar and as I was pouring in the melted butter, my face fell. “Well, poop.” Yes, I really did say that. I just realized that I had put in the regular amount of sugar in with the halved amount of egg and butter. I thought for a few seconds on what I should do, and coming to the conclusion that I did not want to start the room temp thing over again, I just kept mixing all of the ingredients, hoping everything would be fine and dandy. Well what a shock I got when I looked into the oven and I just saw a massive pool of batter coming from the cupcakes and I quickly took them out and just after a minute out of the oven, the muffins collapsed on themselves. In a panic, I pried off the muffins so the cooled batter wouldn’t stick the muffin pan. Well, I just had to laugh at myself for this. Well, first I was a little heart broken, but then I got over that. It took me a while before I decided to make the batter again, this time making sure that the sugar ratio was correct, but this time (afraid that the brown sugar had done something) I took out that ingredient and used regular sugar. I also downgraded the baking soda from 1 tsp to 2/3 tsp because I was afraid of that mess happening again. This time, the muffins came out way better and looked more muffin like.

These muffins have a nice warm, cinnamon flavor that helped make my day after receiving some not so great news in the mail (nothing good ever comes from opening mail). I ended up having two muffins to drown my sorrows. I may have over baked them, just a tad. Well maybe the tops because the tops turned out a lot firmer than the inside which was very moist and soft; it was very inviting. What I found funny was that the inside and the outside were completely different colors. The inside was a deep reddish-earth color whereas the outside was a simple light brown color. I liked the contrasting colors because each section I guess is how you’d describe it, had it’s own flavor to it, which was interesting.

So remember, when things don’t necessarily come out great (let’s be honest- when something just totally fails and you feel like crap), try to remember the good things in life, like warm, cinnamon muffins.

Cinnamon Muffins
slightly adapted from The Unofficial Harry Potter Cookbook

1 cup flour
1 tsp cinnamon
2/3 tsp baking soda
Pinch of salt
1 egg, room temperature
½ cup sugar
4 tbsp butter, melted
2-4 tbsp milk
Extra brown sugar for sprinkling

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a muffin tin with paper liners or grease and flour, whichever you choose. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, beat the egg until smooth. Gradually add in the sugar and beat until it looks smooth and glossy. While whisking, pour in the melted butter and continue to whisk until the butter has fully integrated with the sugar and egg.
  3. Fold in a third of the flour mixture and add in a little bit of the milk. Keep doing this until the flour and the milk is gone. The batter will be stiff, but try not to add in too much liquid.
  4. Using an ice cream scoop, divide the batter into the muffin cups equally. The batter should take up to about half maybe 2/3 of the individual vessel. Sprinkle the tops with a little bit of brown sugar if the idea pleases you (and why wouldn’t it?).
  5. Bake for about 25 minutes. This really depends on your oven because I baked mine for about 22 minutes and the tops were on the verge of being way over baked. These muffins taste best when they are warm, so either eat them when they come straight from the oven, or you can microwave them for about 10-12 seconds and they will become soft and delectable again.

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