This morning I woke up to snow! But I also woke up to moist and delicious Coffeecake Muffins, so all was well. I must remember that baking before bed is a really nice way to give yourself a treat in the morning. The best part? My daughter is with her dad this weekend, so I’d ordinarily be a little lonely. But sitting with my muffin and latte and a good book (The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larson) watching my two big poodles catch flakes in their mouths like furry acrobats … all was well. I did put a few muffins in the freezer so Harriet, Cinnamon’s Number One Fan, is sure to get them. I baked a dozen, but I could seriously see myself eating them by the time I see her Monday night!
Once again, I relied on my trusty copy of Baking Illustrated for these muffins, which contain pecans, cinnamon and sour cream, along with other ingredients. Most of the work is done in the food processor, and only a few other bowls come into play. This had the added benefit of not creating scores of dirty dishes. I read up on making a real coffeecake (as opposed to the muffins), but didn’t have the recommended pan. Instead of strategically swirling the streusel in the batter in the cake pan, as you might with a full coffeecake, this recipe calls for the cinnamon/pecan/brownsugar/flour/butter mixture to be blended right into the batter. Then dollop is sprinkled (Can you sprinkle a dollop? My words, not the book’s!) on top of each muffin and pressed down into the batter a bit.
One thing – I did not end up with those muffins that spill out of the muffin tin and create inch-wide “muffin top” lids. They are a tiny bit wider on top, but not hugely so. It doesn’t matter to me because they taste so good and they are melt-in-your-mouth moist, but I’m wondering. I’m also wondering who came up with the “muffin top” name for people who visibly spill out of the top of tight low-rider pants. Imagine inventing a phrase that enters the vocabulary like that.
Speaking of “muffin tops” (the skin variety, not the baking kind) – they are just one of the things that remind me I am getting older and am turning into my late mother. I see them and think “aaah!” when clearly the wearer of the pants/displayer of the muffin top must know she is showing the MT skin bulge and doesn’t care. I can also put lipstick on while driving (unlike my friend Emily, I cannot put on on lip liner behind the wheel), and I can sneak into the room of a sleeping adolescent girl to tuck cash under her pillow in exchange for a baby tooth, even though the Tooth Fairy has become the object of great skepticism. I quote Mom at bedtime. “If you don’t believe in the Tooth Fairy, she stops coming.” “Oh, I believe in the Tooth Fairy!” the girl says, convincingly enough.