Saturday, April 14, 2007

Refund Muffins - No Guarantee

A few days ago, one of my favourite food bloggers and a fellow Daring Baker, Peabody of Culinary Concoctions by Peabody received an email from a reader asking for their money back for the ingredients they had purchased to make one of the recipes on her blog. Apparently, this was the second time this reader had made a recipe of Peabody's and it hadn't worked and now they wanted restitution in the form of a check or money order. WOW!!

This little incident evoked quite a bit of discussion amongst us Daring Bakers and Peabody's readership about taking responsibility for your own cooking, shared war stories about hundreds of recipes we have all made that didn't quite turn out as described/promised, and more than a few cheeky comments about billing Martha, Ina, Giada, and Mario for committing "bad recipe". We all wondered, does this now mean we have to put disclaimers on our posts? Has our society devolved into such a "it isn't my fault so it must be your fault" society that we can't bear to think we could possibly do something wrong?

I don't know if I have the answers for any of those questions but I do have the answer for Peabody's reader about the muffin recipe. Nope, nothing wrong with the recipe!! Oh, and Emeril and Christopher Kimball better get ready for my bill...

Without further adieu, I bring you my results of the now "infamous" Snickerdoodle Muffin by Peabody.

Disclaimer: Your results may vary. Side effects may include drooling, visions of sugar plum fairies dancing in your head, an uncontrollable urge for seconds and the need for a cuppa. Objects in the mirror are closer than they appear. Professional driver on a closed course.

Snickerdoodle Muffins
(Or Refund Muffins as they are now known in my house)
from Culinary Concoctions by Peabody

2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 tsp vanilla
2 eggs, at room temperature
¾ tsp baking soda
¾ tsp baking powder
¾ tsp cream of tarter
¾ tsp freshly grated nutmeg (I used a whole teaspoon because I like nutmeggy Snickerdoodles)
1 and ¼ cup sour cream
2 and ¼ cups all purpose flour

1 cup sugar and 2 TBSP cinnamon mixed together for rolling

Makes 24 small or 12 -14 regular muffins

Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees (F). Prepare muffin tins with cupcake papers and lightly grease with cooking spray./p>

Making the Batter
Note: This batter will be very thick. Do NOT add extra liquid.

In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda, and baking powder and cream of tarter and set aside. Using a stand mixer on medium low speed or by hand, cream the butter and sugar until soft and fluffy (about 3 to 5 minutes). Add vanilla. Add eggs one at a time and mix until each egg is fully combined with the sugar, butter, vanilla mixture. If you are using a stand mixer, turn the mixer to low and add the flour mixture and the sour cream alternately to the egg-butter mixture. Start with the flour and end with the flour. Scrape the bowl occasionally to get all the ingredients combined thoroughly. Do not over mix though. The dough will be firm but not clumpy.

Forming the Muffin
Using an ice cream scoop or soup spoon, scoop out muffin batter one at a time and drop into a shallow bowl filled with the cinnamon sugar mixture. Roll the muffin around in the mixture until it is covered completely in cinnamon sugar.

(I found this part of the recipe really fun and tasty as it was easier to use your fingers to coat the ball with the cinnamon sugar; meaning you have to then lick your fingers after making each muffin dough-ball. Don't worry...I washed my hands a lot while making these!). Once the muffin dough-ball is completely covered in cinnamon sugar, place dough-ball in prepared muffin tin.

Bake them for approx. 20-22 minutes or until they are golden brown. Let cool for about 5 minutes before removing from tins to allow the cinnamon sugar crust to firm up. Serve warm.

Tasting Results: Fluffy, zingy muffin with crunchy sugary cinnamon top. Exactly like a Snickerdoodle cookie. About the best tasting muffin I have ever had and a keeper recipe.