French Puff Muffins

Betty Crocker Recipe (apparently, this was a recipe that they taught in home economics classes in the US in the 1970s).

YIELD: 12 muffins

INGREDIENTS

Muffin

1/3 cup butter
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg OR allspice OR cinnamon OR cardamom
1/2 cup milk
3/4 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp almond extract

Topping

1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup butter or margarine, melted

DIRECTIONS

Muffins

Heat oven to 350ºF. Line a 12 muffin cup pan with paper cupcake liners.

Mix butter, sugar and the egg thoroughly in a large bowl.

Stir in flour, baking powder, salt and spice alternately with milk.

Divide batter evenly among muffin cups.

Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown.

Topping

Mix sugar and the cinnamon and put in one bowl

Put melted butter in second bowl.

Roll hot muffins immediately in melted butter, then in sugar-cinnamon mixture. Serve hot.

FREEZER INSTRUCTIONS

Make muffins without topping. Freeze in tupperware or ziplock bags (key is to wrap well so freezer smells do not yuck up your muffins). To reuse, defrost at room temperature and warm in 350 oven for 5 minutes. Then follow directions for topping as above.

NOTES: These tasted like baked pancakes. Also very eggy. Did not like and do not recommend. 😦

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Creme Brulee

Serves 4

Ingredients:

1 qt heavy cream

1 vanilla bean, halved, scraped

3/4 c sugar

8 egg yolks

turbinado sugar, for serving

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 300 F.

2. Simmer cream, vanilla bean with seeds in med saucepan over med high heat. Remove from heat and let sit 30 min. Throw out vanilla bean.

3. In bowl, whisk sugar and egg yolks until smooth. Slowly pour in cream mixture. Whisk until smooth. Set aside.

4. Place a paper towel in the bottom of a 9 x 13 baking pan, and place 6 pyrex ramekins inside. Divide custard among ramekins. Pour boiling water into pan to cover ramekins half way.

5. Bake until custard is set but still loose in center, about 35 min. Transfer ramekins to wire rack. Cool. Chill until firm, almost 4 hours.

6. Dab any condensation off custard cups with a paper towel. Sprinkle custard with turbinado sugar. USE A BLOWTORCH and go back and forth over the sugar until it becomes brown and caramelized. Let sit briefly until it hardens.

Enjoy!

Walnut Bread

From James Beard, Beard on Bread

I make the whole recipe, and freeze the dough I don’t need after the first rise.
To use again, defrost, mix in onion and walnut, and bake as directed.

This is an AMAZING recipe, you’ll eat all of it for sure.

Makes 4 small loaves.

Ingredients:

5 c all purpose flour
1 tbsp salt
2 tbsp sugar
2 packages yeast
2 c warm milk
1 stick melted and cooled butter OR 1/2 c walnut oil
1/2 c chopped walnuts
3/4 c finely chopped onion

Directions:

1. Mix flour, sugar, and salt.

2. Add yeast. Mix.

3. Add butter. Mix.

4. Add warm milk. Mix for 10 min on high speed in mixer.

5. Let rise 2 hrs.

6. Freeze unneeded dough in plastic yogurt containers (the big ones).

7. Punch down dough. Add onion and walnut.

8. Shape dough into rounds. Let rise on greased baking tray for 45 min.

9. Bake 400 degrees for 45 min.

10. Enjoy!

Macaroons (French)

Ingredients:

2 egg whites

1/2 c ground almonds

7/8 c powdered sugar

1/8 c granulated sugar

1/2 oz (about 1 tbsp) rice flour

1 tsp almond extract

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Use nonstick jelly roll pan, cover with silpat.

3. Beat egg whites for 3 minutes on high in kitchenaid mixer.

4. Let rest for 4 minutes.

5. Fold in (by hand, not with mixer) remaining ingredients.

6. Drop by tablespoons onto silpat. Macaroons will expand a lot, leave room between them.

7. Bake 15 minutes.

8. LET COOL COMPLETELY ON BAKING SHEET. If you try to remove while hot or warm, macaroons WILL break.

9. Enjoy!