Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Whole lotta muffins...

Yup, Wedesday Treat Day eve is upon us, so I got busy and made a couple new muffins for Jeff to bring into work tomorrow. I like to give options, so no plain jane muffins here!

The first muffin has a mouthful of a title - Chocolate Chunk Oatmeal Muffins with Chocolate Streusel. Sweetened with honey, the insides of these muffins are moist, studded with chunks of bittersweet chocolate and have a wicked rich chocolate topping. In the streusel I used raw sugar, instead of granulated, as the crystals are a little larger - this helped bring a bit more crunch to the dark crown. Dutch process cocoa deepens the chocolate flavor with melted butter mixed in to create devilish nuggets of the sweet topping. Buttermilk is used in this muffin which adds some tenderness and rolled oats bring a hearty chew. I don't normally like to use muffin liners, as I like the crust the muffins get without them, but I sometimes find muffins that are stuffed with ingredients like chocolate chips tend to stick to the sides more. Though, I do find that it makes them a little more sturdy and helps keep the crown in check as it bubbles up.

The second muffin, Pistachio Crunch Muffins, uses one of our favorite nuts. These are sweetened with brown sugar, which brought a rich golden color to the muffins. Crunchy pistachios can be found inside as well as on top here. Plump golden raisins and more hearty rolled oats can also be spotted inside. To brighten up the flavor, fresh grated orange zest is added to the caramel colored batter. Applesauce, along with canola oil, keep these extra moist without bringing a heavy flavor... although now I wonder if some mashed banana would have been a better compliment to add another dimension. The sweet topping is just simply a bit of brown sugar mixed with chopped pistachios. For most muffin recipes, I like to start them at 400 degrees - I find the hotter oven gives them better lift and helps form a more round crown.

Tonight's dinner has a sauce very reminiscent of pesto, execpt it is made with edamame! Soba with Herbed Edamame Sauce starts off by processing tender cooked edamame, salty cashews, pecorino Romano, fresh basil, cilantro, zesty lemon juice, olive oil and garlic. This mixture is very thick, so hot water is slowly streamed in to thin it out - the original recipe called for 1 cup, but I used just about 3/4 cup. I looked like it would have been almost soupy with the full amount. The recipe uses chewy Japanese buckwheat noodles called Soba, but if you can't find them, you could substitute whole wheat spaghetti. After the soba noodles are cooked (they cook pretty fast, usually around 3-5 minutes) they are tossed with the flavor packed sauce and a sprinkling of crunchy cashews finishes off the dish. Bright, fresh and a different way to enjoy some noodles!


  1. Those muffins look and sound wonderful. Wish I worked in Jeff's office!!

  2. Ahhhh, so that's what I need to do with all the edamame in my freezer. Cool idea!

  3. wow, you are the actual muffin man!

  4. Oh those muffins are stunning! Do you make them standard size or are they jumbo muffins? Either way, they are beautiful, and I'm wiping the drool off my keyboard.

  5. Mmmmm. Decadent muff muffs. I'm going to have to carobfy the chocolate one. ;D

    Thanks for all the super recipes!

  6. Chocolate Chunk Oatmeal Muffins with Chocolate Streusel ... that sounds so appetizing to me ... :)

  7. First of all, Jeff's co-workers must all endure "Diet Thursday" after your Wednesday treats (lucky co-workers!!!) :)

    I have TONS of frozen edamame and will try this recipe (I think maybe you are a mad genius).

  8. Tammy - Thanks!

    Wheresmymind - Too bad, pistachio's are awesome!

    Peter - Always have some in the freezer here!

    Barbara - Thanks!

    Jenjen - It feels like it somedays!

    Erika - Standard size - sadly I don't have a jumbo tin!

    Hereandthere - Let me know how your changes work out!

    Sab - they were the first to go!

    Acme - Hee hee!