A Muffin Query
There is no shortage of great recipes during the holiday season and I recently came across one for a delicious looking quick bread. The recipe, which was titled A to Z Bread, was a pretty standard quick bread formula, but what made it stand out was the number and type of variations it included. In a little under an hour and a half I could make two loaves with a variety of options. But what to choose? Many of the combinations sounded great and I couldn’t decide. It occurred to me that it would be fun to enlist my friends and family in the process, so I went with muffins, which are easier to portion, instead of a full loaf and I split the batter so that I could try out a couple variants.
I combined the dry and wet ingredients as per the recipe and added the 1 cup of pumpkin.
Then I split the batter equally, and yes, for those who know me, I did use my scale for that!
I added ½ cup butterscotch chips to one batch and ½ cup semi sweet chocolate chips to the other. Each batch yielded 10 standard sized muffins when measured by a scoop and they were baked off at 350°F for 15 minutes.
Now, lets be honest here, muffins are really just cupcakes with a tighter crumb. They are not healthy or good for you, so why not own that! I always glaze my quick breads and did not see a reason to stop now. I made two types of basic glazes for the different muffins. The pumpkin butterscotch was iced with a cinnamon vanilla bean shown here.
The pumpkin chocolate was topped with a mocha coffee glaze. I was pleased with the results. The muffins were moist and had that nice crumb that is associated with quick breads. It was now time to start the competition.
My first test subject were my two good friends from culinary school. We had a split vote, one cast for each flavor. One of those friends asked her husband to weigh in with his opinion and he voted for the mocha muffin. My son also went with the mocha flavor but my husband and daughter were clearly in the butterscotch camp. If you are keeping track that makes the score even, three votes for each variation. That makes me the tiebreaker. It was a tough position to be in but I finally choose butterscotch.
Now I am the first to point out that seven data points are not statistically significant and there is no way that this study would make it through a rigorous peer review process, but the bottom line is this. They were both quite tasty and I had a lot of fun with conducting this sweet survey! I can see a possible recurring query segment in my near future. If you have an idea for me, please let me know!
Cinnamon Vanilla Glaze
1 cup powdered sugar
1 t. vanilla paste
1/4 t. cinnamon extract
1 T. milk, plus for more consistency
Combine sugar, vanilla paste and cinnamon extract. Add the milk, 1 T. to start and whisk. Add milk in small amounts until desired consistency for drizzling.
Mocha Coffee Glaze
1 cup powdered sugar
2 T. Dark cocoa powder
2 T. prepared coffee, cooled
1/4 t. coffee liqueur
Combine sugar, cocoa powder, coffee and coffee liqueur. Whisk together adding more coffee if a thinner glaze is desired. Thin with more coffee or milk if needed.