Monday, August 30, 2010
Entertainment for an Insomniac
My neighbors woke me up at 3:30 the other morning. They weren't throwing dishes at each other or playing football in the front yard or anything; they were just talking. But there was a group of 6 or 7 of them talking ... and talking 10' outside my open bedroom window. So, I woke up.
I'm a notoriously bad sleeper to begin with -- late to bed, early to rise -- and am sometimes up at 3:30 all of my own accord. But that morning, I had been sleeping. And I couldn't get back to sleep after a gentle "shhhh"-ing of the noisy neighbors and their moving further away from the house.
So, what did I do while Jeremy and Tom slept? I baked.
I had made apricot jam recently ... well, not exactly "jam." I don't bother with pectin; I just chop fruit, throw in some sugar (about 2:1 fruit:sugar), and cook it down into a sorta fruit puree. And Tom had given me some candied ginger, which I adore. So, I played matchmaker and fixed 'em up together into muffins.
A little batter, a little jam, a little more batter, top it with cinnamon sugar and ginger ... if I may say so myself, these were truly exceptional! They were a perfect accompaniment to the massive quantities of coffee I drank through the rest of the morning to keep myself going after my mostly sleepless night ....
I made these pareve ([PAHRv] = neither meat nor dairy, a designation for those who keep kosher and can't mix meat and dairy); but you could use butter and milk, if you'd like.
1/3 cup Earth Balance butter substitute
1/2 cup sugar
1 large egg
3/4 cup white whole wheat flour
3/4 cup unbleached white flour
1-1/2 teaspoons aluminum-free baking powder
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup vanilla soy milk
1/2 cup thick apricot jam or Solo filling
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3 tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup finely minced candied ginger
Preheat oven to 325F. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners.
Make the muffins: In a large bowl, cream together Earth Balance and sugar; stir in egg. Mix in the flours, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. Stir in the soy milk. Place a golf ball-sized blob of batter into each of the lined muffin tins. Place about 1/2 tablespoon of jam over the batter; then divide the remaining batter among the tins, dropping it over the jam.
Make the topping: Combine the cinnamon, sugar and ginger; sprinkle over the tops of the muffins.
Bake for 20 minutes, until a tester comes out clean. Let the muffins cool in the tin, as they're a bit fragile and need to set before being removed from the tin.
Makes 12 muffins.
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