Sunday, November 14, 2010

Muffin Monday: Coffee Cake Muffins with a Hint of Lavender

Roughly every other Monday, yours truly brings home-made muffins down to the studio where I have my design internship. Here's what I figure... Mondays suck.. especially in the morning... Muffins, however, do not suck.

Muffins are lovely.

So: Mondays (which suck) + Lovely Muffins (which DO NOT suck)= Less-sucky-lovely-Mondays.

Got it?

This weekend, I found myself at the Saturday morning farmers market and stumbled across a little tent full of lavender supplies. Lavender pillows, lavender dryer bags, and these teeny bags of lavender that could be used in cooking. I had never cooked with lavender before, but I figured that this was the perfect opportunity! I bought the teesy bag of aroma-mazingness and meandered home with my fresh produce.

Unfortunately, the recipe that accompanied my cooking lavender (for sour cream lavender coffee cake) turned out to be a bit of a flop... lavender, brown sugar, pecans, vanilla, lemon, cinnamon... basically it was a big cluster-Fword. Don't get me wrong... I am all for complex flavors! Believe me, give me a good complex flavored morsel and you'll be my new pal... but in this case I found myself leaning toward the more simple side of things.

Photo I took at Pelindaba lavender farm, San Juan Island, Washington

After remembering a trip to Pelindaba lavender farms (on the San Juan Islands, off the coast of Washington) and the BEST vanilla lavender ice cream I have EVER consumed, I decided to keep with these two simple flavors: lavender and vanilla.

So, after adapting the given recipe to my own, more simple recipe (and cutting out a good amount of sugar) this is what I came up with:

Coffee Cake Muffins with a Hint of Lavender
1/2 C Butter (I used salted)
1 1/4 C Sugar
1 tsp Vanilla extract
2 eggs
3/4 C sour cream
1 tsp crushed lavender buds
2 1/4 C flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt

(for a lavender-sugar topping)
1/2 tsp crushed lavender buds
2 tsp sugar
A word of caution: don't go overboard with the lavender... it can be overpowering.
Preheat the oven to 350°.
Make sure the butter is softened (not melted) or at room temperature. Cream the butter and sugar together until it is smooth (I use a hand mixer for this.) Add the vanilla, eggs, and sour cream and mix until incorporated. At this point, I decided to adopt the same philosophy for lavender that I have for salt and pepper while cooking savory food: do it at every step. So, now that I had mixed all of the wet ingredients together, now it was time to add a little lavender (and fold it in.)

In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Make sure to whisk the dry ingredients really well, or even better, sift the ingredients first to eliminate any clumps. Then, combine the wet and dry ingredients and fold until they're just mixed together. Add lavender again now! Be sure not to over-mix the batter at this point. If you overdo it, the texture of the muffins may turn out all wrong.

Next, line a muffin pan with paper liners. Fill each cup 3/4 full. Now, take the extra lavender and mix it with the 2 tsp sugar. Sprinkle just a bit onto the top of each little muffin cup. Place in the oven for roughly 20 minutes or until they're golden brown on top. When they're done, remove them from the muffin pan and let them dry on a tea towel or cooling rack. This recipe should make about 18 or so muffins.

So there you have it: a simple, fluffly, delicous coffee cake muffin with just a hint of lavender!

Bet you wish you were my co-worker! Muaha.

Just a note: You will need a mortar and pestle in order to crush the lavender buds, most lavender is sold in bud-form and requires crushing. I got a teensy one at World Market for around $4!

Foodie Foodie!


Wigglyfish said...

I'm so fortunate that I am one of your co-workers! I sampled one of these this morning and it was delightful. I kinda want to try lavender in ice cream now. :)

vtoryb said...

Seriously! You love us so much! We are the luckiest people in Th world down in IMC, thank you Elise!...I also think u should be taking pics of your labels too-very good design work buddy, plus, they are way cutie!