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Muffins, Man….Pumkpkin Muffins

April 24, 2013

I went out of town.  I did my taxes.  Chicago is under water and I’m still trying to slog through an April Camp Nanowrimo.

I managed to post next to nothing, so I offer muffins.

I have been meaning to bake.  I don’t bake.  There is no reason not to change that.

Naturally, I started with something that looks challenging.  It wasn’t that bad, at least not the batch that followed the recipe instructions.

I snagged a recipe off the web for Pumpkin and Cream Cheese Muffins with Pecan Streusel.

The only change I made to the basic recipe was subbing almond flour for flour in the streusel, as well as adding macadamia nuts, and using a light cream cheese.  I also made some filling with mascarpone and Meyer lemon vs cream cheese.

I used almond flour for the streusel because I would go on to make a second batch using almond flour for the muffin batter.

The first batch was a grand success.  The second was certainly a visual and textural failure, if still dang tasty.  Subbing something like almond flour can be a bit of an experiment.  I seem to have misplaced my sifter, so that didn’t help either.  When I was ready to bake that second batch, I knew in my head that the batter was too loose.  I had added almond flour way beyond a 1:1 substitution of almond flour for flour and had gotten to an “enough already” point and just tossed them in.  The results could have been better had I not been so impatient.  I was buoyed by the completed first batch which really wanted me to consume them and I was ready to move on to a tumbler of rum and some NBA playoff hoops on the idiot box.

I can say that the flop batch taught me things.  Much more than I would have gotten out of simply following the recipe, as I did with batch one.  That’s just how I work.  I understood that I was most likely making a mistake, but I wanted to see it play out anyway.  Essentially, batch 2 was way too loose to set in the oven and was still very wet after cooking for as long as was reasonable (ie, without burning the crumble top into a hockey puck).  On the brighter side, after a day in the fridge, the batch 2 muffins held their form.  While still looking like they are clinically depressed, batch 2 tasted swell.  Sort of like a cookie on top of a pumpkin spiced pudding cake.

Freezing the filling worked perfectly, by the way, and I recommend trying that method.  The only caveat being that the cream cheese mixture took much longer than a few hours to freeze solid.  Much longer.  The mascarpone mixture froze rapidly.  Personally, I preferred the mascarpone filling, but I have never had any huge fondness for cream cheese.

I ended up making the filling and freezing it over night.  Everything was ready to go the next day.

Top is the cream cheese filling.  Mascarpone filling about to get rolled.

Top is the cream cheese filling. Mascarpone filling about to get rolled.

Prepping streusel

Prepping streusel.

I could have just eaten this streusel topping as is and left the rest of the muffin making to the experts.

I could have just eaten this streusel topping as is and left the rest of the muffin making to the experts.

Dropping in the frozen filling.

Dropping in the frozen filling.

Ready to go in the oven.

Ready to go in the oven.

Batch 1 lookin' good.

Batch 1 lookin’ good.

Muffins!

Muffins!

I would eat it.

I would eat it.  TRUE FACT:  I did.

Filling in tact, no bleeding.

Filling in tact, no bleeding.

....and then there's batch 2.

….and then there’s batch 2.

However, after a day in the fridge, batch 2 held form enough.  Still looked like ass, but tasted good.

However, after a day in the fridge, batch 2 held form enough. Still looked like ass, but tasted good, though decidedly unmuffin-like in texture.

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