May 14, 2009

espresso breakfast muffins

These crunchy, moist muffins were adapted from one of my favorite cookbooks, Super Natural Cooking by Heidi Swanson, author of an amazingly inspirational blog 101cookbooks. In Super Natural Cooking Heidi pairs these with mashed overripe banana's, however not having banana's on-hand I added frozen pitted half cherries.

Recipe for Espresso Breakfast Muffins
Adapted from Super Natural Cooking by Heidi Swanson

2 cups white whole-wheat flour
2 t baking powder
1/2 t sea salt
1 and 1/4 cups chopped toasted walnuts
1 T finely ground coffee beans
6 T unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cups natural cane sugar
2 large eggs
2 t vanilla extract
1 cup vanilla yogurt
1 -2 cups frozen pitted cherries
(Many kinds of fruit would work well here, I might try dried cranberries, or frozen peaches - sans skin - next time.)

Pre-heat the oven to 375 F, position racks in lower half of the oven and prepare muffin cups with paper liners. Combine flour, baking powder, salt, 3/4 cups of the toasted walnuts, and coffee grounds in a bowl and whisk to combine.

In a separate large bowl cream the butter until light and fluffy. Beat in the sugar and the eggs one at a time. Stir in the vanilla, yogurt, and fruit, then briefly and gently mix in the dry ingredients.

Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin tin, topping each muffin with some of the remaining 1/2 c. walnuts, and bake until golden, about 25 minutes. Cool in the tin for 5 minutes, then turn onto a wire rack to cool completely.

(photography by: alison clayshulte)

May 8, 2009

lemon poppy biscuits

These poppy specked ultra-light and flaky biscuits have been on my "to-make" list for months now. I found this recipe from Food & Wine a couple years ago featuring buttermilk biscuits and this was one of the variations. With buttermilk biscuits like this it seems the possibilities are endless, original, savory, sweet...etc.

I grew up eating homemade buttermilk biscuits. I remember many days I would get home and have a couple as my afternoon snack. My dad showed me how to make honey butter (mixing honey and butter together - it seemed novel at the time), and my mom kept a fresh batch around almost always. There are stories that we went through dozens of these pillows of dough at one point. I won't comment on that.

For the lemon-poppy variation, follow the recipe at the link above and whisk 1/4 cup sugar in with the dry ingredients. Then stir in the grated zest of 1 lemon and 1 tablespoon of poppy seeds just before adding the buttermilk. Finally, just before baking sprinkle with sugar.

(photography by: alison clayshulte)