Monday, January 10, 2011

Vermont Maple Syrup "Cupcakes"

I have to admit, sometimes baking for this blog doesn't seem like the best idea in the world. Especially when I'm up at 7:30, after a night out in Paris with girlfriends, baking muffins before the girls head out for soccer. Especially when the recipe calls for 1 cup of maple syrup. Precious maple syrup. Which I'll now have to pay high import prices for...
Oh, and while I'm being cranky, why are these called cupcakes? Cupcakes are sweet and light and involve frosting. These, while sweet, are humble little breakfast pastries.

Fortunately, this muffin recipe is really easy, and fortunately I was able to cut down the amount of maple syrup (I only had about 2/3 cup) and replace it with milk--I don't really think the additional syrup would have benefited the muffins. They were pretty sweet.
(Oh, and this King Arthur dough whisk? It's awesome for mixing muffins and yeast dough and even polenta. Highly recommended)

It was way too early to take process photos of these muffins--by the time I got my camera out, there was one muffin left. Most went to Julia's soccer game, and she says they got eaten quickly.

This is a nice, plain, sweet muffin with a toasty pecan crunch. I'm sure I would have really enjoyed them had I not been recovering from a night out on the town. But I would still say that if you don't have a steady source of reasonably priced maple syrup, there are many, many other delicious muffin recipes out there.

Here's the recipe. Enjoy these when you're well rested.

Vermont Maple Syrup Cupcakes

1-3/4 c. (8.75 oz.) flour (part whole wheat is fine)
2 t. baking powder
1/4 t. salt
1 egg
1/4 c. (2 oz.) milk (I used 1/2 cup)
1/4 t. almond extract
1 c. maple syrup (I used about 2/3 cup)
4 T. (2 oz.) melted butter
3/4 c. (2.5 oz.) toasted pecan pieces
(Muffin toppings, if you're up for it: wheat germ, oatmeal, chopped pecans, sliced almonds)

Heat the oven to 350; line 12 muffin cups with paper liners or butter them. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Mix together the egg, milk, almond extract, syrup, and melted butter; mix into the dry ingredients. Add the pecans. Scoop/pour into the muffin cups and sprinkle with one of the toppings.
Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the tops spring back when they are gently pressed. Remove from the pan and serve warm. Enjoy the rest of your morning.

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