I have been craving muffins.
I sat down with a piece of Outrageous Baking's lemon poppy seed bread and a double shot in the dark to think about what to experience for this week's post. I felt it had to be muffin related. I turned to The How Can It Be Gluten Free Cookbook. Even after hating on this cookbook for it's use of dairy in almost everything, I wanted to try and work with it. I decided on the cranberry-orange pecan muffins.
The recipe called for cranberries, granulated sugar, toasted pecans, orange zest, gf flour blend, baking powder, salt, xanthan gum, butter, whole-milk yogurt, eggs, and turbinado sugar. To make it Ashley-friendly, I used Earth Balance instead of regular butter and applesauce instead of whole-milk yogurt. Because I like to make things challenging, I also decided to go all out and make the recipe vegan. I substituted the three eggs for three flax seed eggs.
I ran to the grocery store to pick up the few ingredients that weren't stocked in my pantry. I toasted my pecans and began mixing the muffin batter.
The batter was tasty, but if you want more of a pecan presence, you should modify the recipe. Instead of folding the pecans in with the cranberries, the recipe instructs you to use the food processor to combine the pecans with the other ingredients, making a sort of crunchy pecan flour. I wasn't super excited about this idea, but I wanted to see what kind of texture and taste this technique added to the muffins.
I couldn't wait to eat a warm muffin.
I let the muffins cool for about twenty minutes before I gave in and had to eat one. I started pulling the liner off of the muffin. It ripped and stuck to the sides, pulling pieces of the bottom with it. The muffin was dense and a bit sticky. This was not what I had in mind. It was chewy and eating anything but the top wasn't appealing.
Filled with muffin un-satisfaction, I felt I had to compensate for my lackluster baking. I still had quite a few pecans. I grabbed a frying pan, sugar, and cinnamon and let them toast. The kitchen was warm and I was content with the leftover snacks.
I put the mediocre muffins in a tupperware and called an end to my baking day. Even though they aren't the perfect muffin, they're still better than no muffin. I grabbed one to have for breakfast this morning. As I pulled away the paper liner, I was surprised. It did not stick to the muffin and pulled away with ease. I bit into it and although it's still not quite the right texture, it tasted better. Perhaps I was too impatient with my first muffin. All I know is that letting it sit overnight improved its enjoyability.