Friday, May 1, 2009

April m.o.m - Jammy Almond Muffins

When the time for April's muffin-of-the-month (m.o.m.) for my mom rolled around, I decided to ditch my plan for carrot muffins because, and I'm not proud to admit this, even though they sounded delicious I'd just blogged a carrot cake and I wanted something different to post about. So I poked around in all my bookmarks and found a recipe in the America's Test Kitchen Family Cookbook for Big Beautiful Muffins. This is a base recipe that can be adapted to a variety of delicious muffins. I was so enamored of the sound of the almond-jam type that I increased the recipe and made 18 muffins.

n.o.e.'s notes:

- I made a few adaptations to boost the health profile and suit our tastes. Most are things I've subbed for years. You can find the recipe here; the ingredients I used for my 1.5 recipe are down a the bottom of this post.

- I had nearly finished combining the ingredients when I realized that I'd forgotten to add the sugar, so had to fold it in with the butter. I tried to have a light hand in my folding but it seems that I may have overmixed and undermixed at the same time.

- When I tasted the batter it was a little fizzy, which was a new one on me. Clearly the leavening was busy working.

- The muffins overflowed and spread in the oven. There was definitely something wrong with the way these were turning out.

the verdict:

I 'm not really sure what went wrong with these muffins. Except complacency. The whole time I was baking them I was thinking: "Oh, muffins. SOOO easy. How simple this is to throw together. How clever I am to have given mom 'Muffin of the Month' for Christmas and not something like 'Laminated Dough of the Month', or 'Sourdough Bread of the Month.'" Self-congratulation always comes right back to haunt me.
Anyway these ended up spreading in the oven like crazy and taking on the sturdy texture of a kitchen sponge. A problem with the leavening, or maybe overmixing? Or both? I have no idea.

I baked these the same weekend I baked the Granola Breakfast Cookies; neither recipe turned out. One rose too much and the other didn't rise enough. So discouraging!

OK, so much for the disastrous texture; let's move on to flavor, shall we? The muffins were pleasantly sweet, but pretty plain. I couldn't really taste the almond, and I was wishing I'd added some spice (any spice). The jam was the brightest spot, but really I could have eaten a teaspoon of jam and saved myself the aggravation!

My mother actually liked the muffins. But I felt kind of bad giving her failed muffins, so I also gave her some lemon poppy seed muffins I baked from a freebie mix that King Arthur threw in with my last order. Um, somebody might have bought too many baking supplies...

Ingredients for 18 muffins, as adapted by me:

2 1/2 c. all purpose flour
1 1/2 c white whole wheat flour
1 1/2 T baking powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 c oat flour
1 1/2 cup sugar
2 whole eggs + 2 egg whites
3/4 tsp almond extract
1 3/4 c nonfat greek yogurt
1/2 c whole greek yogurt
12 T jam (some strawberry, some huckleberry)
1 1/2 stick butter, melted and cooled

Sorry to be posting the April recipe in May; April just got away from me. Too much baking, too little time to post!


Heather S-G said...

Well, the idea and sound of these muffins is amazing! I love almond in anything. Bummer that they didn't turned out as you wished, but hey...whatcha gonna do? As long as mom liked them :)

Megan said...

Argh! I hate it when that happens. I just threw out a dozen bagels this morning - I forgot to add the sugar, and they had the consistency of a sponge.

How discouraging. But your bad mojo is behind you and I see great things ahead!

Audrey said...

Just love the texture image! I've baked a few Ocelos in my time! You're so good to blog about things that don't turn out...when that happens to me (oh, so often), I just want to forget about it! I actually have a berry muffin recipe where you're SUPPOSED to mix the sugar in at the end, as though you'd forgotten it, because the person who invented it did exactly that and thought they were especially good. I don't remember them being all that extraordinary...

You're right, you know, muffins are supposed to be easy. Next month's will be!

Steph said...

I think the texture doesn't look too bad. The over/undermixing combo can mess up texture as I've done that many times in the past. At least you remembered the sugar, I totally forgot it one time and bit into a super bland muffin!

You can never buy too many baking supplies! I wish I could have buy all the special flours that you have. It's hard enough finding a large bag of whole wheat flour in my grocery stores, but I don't think I can order from KA

Leslie said...

Can you imagine? Laminated dough of the month? I mean, it would be fun, but a lot easier to screw up. But if anyone could pull it off, you could.

What gets me is when I let that "I'm good at this!" persona take over and I stop paying attention. That's when cakes don't rise, I forget to add the eggs, or the cream goes from liquid to broken without pausing at whipped. I can't multitask when baking. It's usually ill-fated.

Cristine said...

Bummer that they didn't turn out the way you had hoped. What a great idea,though... Muffin of the Month! :)

Jessica said...

I'm sorry that those muffins didn't turn out. They look amazing and delicious with that jammy center. I was shocked when I read on to find out that they weren't a success. Third time's a charm, right? I declare all bad baking mojo behind you!

Mermaid Sews said...

love the muffin of the month, such a great idea. sorry things didn't work out that weekend, i hate when that happens, a lot.

Reeni said...

I like the jammy center! Sorry they didn't turn out as you hoped. But they sound edible-so they couldn't have been too bad! They look yummy from this view!

pam said...

When King Arthur starts throwing in free things, you know you're a good customer!

Tatieva said...

Verdict ? Délicieux !
C'est moelleux, goûtu et si fruité, j'adore !
Et en plus, c'est trés beau à regarder... ;-)
Kisses from France,

Jules Someone said...

I got the same free mix and free shipping.... talk about spending on baking supplies.

Katrina said...

Bummer! They don't look bad though. I'm sure your next muffin will be great (especially if you make it from a mix. jk!) I sometimes feel like more flops in the kitchen than successes. Sigh!

I forgot to add the sugar to the TWD chocolate tart dough and added it after it was already all mixed together. Could be ONE of the reason I didn't LOVE the chocolate tart.

Onward and upward!

Di said...

I hate it when things don't turn out right. I seem to have the worst luck lately with muffins and cupcakes. I ended up throwing out the first batch of cupcakes that I made for Jamie's birthday last month. I haven't made that many recipes from the ATK Family Cookbook. I really should take another look through it. (Though I've probably tried more than I realize, since I have several other ATK cookbooks and years worth of the magazines...)

Anonymous said...

Too bad about the muffins. They looks good and I like that the jam filling stayed in the center and didn't sink to the bottom.

I made strawberry-basil muffins this weekend and when I tasted one I thought it would be perfect for your M.O.M. The recipe comes from this month's Eating Well magazine. It's a variation of the strawberry-orange muffin in the title (read the notes). Here's the link:

Kayte said...

I couldn't help it, I laughed at the part about giving mom the inferior muffins and feeling guilty, so giving her another kind also. Too funny. They look tasty, however...and very colorful!