Tuesday, September 21, 2010

{TWD} Coffee Break Muffins


This week's assignment for the Tuesdays With Dorie baking group might be the most unusually-flavored muffin I've ever baked. Dorie calls these Coffee-Break Muffins, not just because they are a wonderful little treat to enjoy as part of a mid-morning breather, but because coffee - and lots of it - is baked right into the muffins.

n.o.e.'s notes:

- The muffins were chosen by Rhiani of the blog Chocoholic Anonymous.

- Sometimes I find all-butter baked goods to be a little dry, especially after the first day. For this recipe I used half butter/half oil for the fat component to make sure the muffins were good and moist.

- For a true shot of coffee flavor, the muffin recipe calls for both brewed coffee and espresso powder. I brewed up some decaf coffee but the espresso powder was the full-caff version.

- I was a little concerned that the muffins would taste overwhelmingly of coffee. I didn't want to add anything into the muffin batter because I wanted to evaluate the recipe (pretty much) as written. So I sprinkled the top with chocolate covered sunflower seeds, figuring that I could eat them with the muffins for texture and flavor, or I could eat the muffins without the topping. Unfortunately the seeds cracked in the oven's heat, and colored coating bled onto the muffins. Furthermore, by the next day the seeds had lost their crunch. I think that cocoa nibs, either plain or dark-chocolate-covered might be a better choice for the muffins.


the verdict:

I loved the crumb on these muffins, it was dense but tender and moist. Surprisingly, the coffee taste turned out to be fairly subtle. The muffins were even better the second day when the flavors mellowed out and the crumb softened. The seeds were a nice crunchy addition on top of the muffins the first day, but really, the muffins were lovely without any topping at all.

14 comments:

Jessica said...

I love the burst of color on your muffins - it makes me happy just to look at the pictures! I decided I had to make this recipe when I saw your review on P&Q and I am so glad I did! I agree - the crumb on the muffins is terrific (and I made the all-butter version). Your cocoa nib suggestion sounds fabulous.

Engineer Baker said...

Oh, but the sunflower seeds are so fun and colorful! Too bad they bled. I think it's pretty awesome how so many people were afraid of these tasting too much of coffee but ended up loving them - glad you did too!

Clivia said...

They do look beautiful with the colourful seeds. I went the oatmeal topping route but next time I'll try cocoa nibs.

Jeannette said...

at first sight, i thought you added m&m's! i think the bright pops of color are awesome! and the bleeding colors makes them look whimsical!

glad you liked these!

Jess said...

Ooh, cocoa nibs - yes. Those would be perfect. Although your colorful muffins are such a nice change from all the brown muffins we've been seeing!

Rhiani said...

The splash of color looks very festive, but I think you are right, cocoa nibs would work really great with these.

Cathy said...

They look beautiful with the sunflower seeds - great idea! We really liked these; David in particular, even though he's not a big coffee guy. Definitely an unusual muffin - crazy recipes that turn out to be delicious is one of the many great things about Dorie's book! Pretty muffins!

Di said...

I love the colorful sunflower seeds. I have some in my pantry somewhere, but haven't seen them in a while. I like your idea of using oil for part of the fat; I'll have to try that.

Barbara said...

I agree, Nancy. I think I'd like these with nothing at all on top. I do love coffee flavored foods; isn't it strange that I don't drink coffee?

Pamela said...

These look great, Nancy. Neat pictures, too.

Flourchild said...

Yum your muffins look great..I love the Chocolate sunflower seeds! What a fun idea!!

TeaLady said...

At first I thot you had added MandMs. Chocolate covered seeds. Have to look for those.

These were so good. And I don't even like coffee. Did mine with cocoa powder instead of espresso.

AmyRuth said...

Hi Nancy,
getting ready to make again. Think I'll take your suggestion and use nibs. Have some I should put to use. I was going to do the chai tea route and I'm out. going to the store later for suppies. So here we go. Love your decs anyway. sorry they popped. The bright colors are great
AmyRuth

Kayte said...

Chocolate covered sunflower seeds???? YOU have got to be kidding me! Who would do that to a sweet little old sunflower seed??? Well, they do make your muffins look like a party, that's for sure. Learn something new every day.