Friday, June 17, 2011

Blueberry Maple Coffee Cake Muffins

Sports Basement likes to celebrate, and the most recent occasion was the departure of two employees going to grad school. Almost the entire store went to a bar, so I had to represent. The recipe is adapted from one on 101cookbooks. I brought two dozen of these bad boys (in egg cartons of course), and they were gone pretty quickly. I might have to double the recipe next time. Quote of the evening: "If I'm not sleeping, working, or partying, I'm baking."

1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
3 tablespoons rolled oats
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
scant 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/3 cup maple syrup, room temperature
1 large egg, room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 cup buttermilk
1 cup blueberries

1/3 cup whole wheat pastry flour
3 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut 1/4-inch cubes
1/3 cup turbinado sugar
1/3 cup chopped pecans

Preheat the oven to 350º.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
In a separate large bowl beat the butter with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Drizzle in the maple syrup and beat until well incorporated, scraping down the sides of the bowl a couple times along the way.
Beat in the egg and vanilla extract, scraping the sides again.
Add half of the flour, stir just a bit, now add a splash of the buttermilk, stir again just a bit. Add the rest of the flour and stir a bit, and now the rest of the buttermilk. Stir until everything barely comes together and then very gently fold in one cup of the blueberries.
Spoon batter into mini muffin papers or buttered loaf pan.
To make the streusel topping, mix the flour, butter, sugar, and pecans until the topping is beyond sandy/crumbly and a little moist.
Crumble over the cake batter. Barely pat in place with your fingertips.
Bake 18-20 minutes, depending on size of muffins. If baking a whole loaf, baking time will be more like 30-40 minutes.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Firecracker Cornbread (Welcome Home, Bree!)

Breana Connor is one of my best friends, even though we rarely see each other. We first met at a program down in Valencia, CA the summer after my freshman year of high school. She was a dancer, I was a composer, we were roommates and fast friends. After the program ended, she returned to the East Bay and I to the City. Then she went off to school in New York, me to Boston, then she transferred to AUP. I visited her before my semester in Ghana and we galavanted around Paris for ten days. And now, she has graduated and moved back to San Francisco. She followed my baking and told me she likes cornbread, so this is my attempt at a welcome home/congratulations on graduating gift. I can't wait to see what adventures lie ahead for us!

The cornbread is moist and spicy and delicious. Would be great as a side dish to any number of things, especially chili of course. (Recipe from 101cookbooks)

3 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
3/4 cup cornmeal
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
1 cup buttermilk
1 large egg
2 cups corn

Preheat oven to 350º.
In a small saucepan, melt the butter, stir in the red pepper flakes, and pour into a 9-inch pie tin or casserole dish. Place in the hot oven.
In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder and salt.
In a separate bowl whisk together the buttermilk, egg, and corn.
Pour the wet ingredients over the dry and stir until just combined.
Now very carefully remove the hot pan with butter from the oven. Fill it with the cornbread batter, pushing the batter out to the sides if needed.
Bake for 30 - 35 minutes or until the edges are golden and the center is just set.