The rays of happiness, like those of light, are colorless when unbroken.~ Henry W. Longfellow
In most countries around the world, today is a public holiday or at the very least, the day after a public holiday. Whether you celebrated Christmas or not, I hope yesterday was good for you (and yours, if you're with them). I am writing this early, so that when this post gets published, I will be on a beach or in a pool somewhere under the hot sun. Hang on.... that sounds very much like everyday at home. Let me rephrase that - I will be going nowhere far but shall be taking a bit of a blogging break this week to ponder about the things I'd like to happen in 2012. In my life, I mean.
As I'm writing this, it's 3 days till Christmas and I'm feeling bad because most of my seasons greeting cards are sitting on my dresser, not yet mailed. Well, they have to be written in first before they can be posted, and I'm stalling on the writing part. Lately, I seem to have acquired a super-clingy new best friend and she goes by the name, Procrastination. I'm still trying to figure out how to give her the slip.
To cheer me up today though, 'P' (my new friend's nick) and I baked some eggnog-flavored muffins for Muffin Monday. Not having any eggnog essence, we stuck with vanilla and it still tasted great. Just for fun, P suggested we pipe some muffin batter into clean, empty eggshells just to go with the 'Egg'nog theme. She's so entertaining, that girl!
Well, since I had oh...hours to waste, I agreed and we used this technique by SandeeA to attain our egg-shaped muffins. We didn't make them with the suggested topping in the original recipe, instead we sprinkled some crushed peppermint candy cane over the batter. These eggnog muffins had some serious swag, and they tasted delightful to boot!
Note: Muffin Monday is an initiative by Baker Street. A culinary journey of sharing a wickedly delicious muffin recipe every week. Drop Anuradha a quick line to join her on her journey to make the world smile and beat glum Monday mornings week after week.
(recipe from King Arthur Flour)
Makes: 12 muffins
1/4 cup (1/2 stick, 2 ounces) butter
3/4 cup (5 1/4 ounces) sugar
2 large eggs
2 1/2 cups (10 1/2 ounces) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon eggnog flavor or 1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/4 cups (10 ounces) eggnog or half and half
1/2 cup (3 1/2 ounces) sugar
1/2 cup (2 1/4 ounces) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon eggnog flavor, optional
3 tablespoons (1 1/2 ounces) butter, melted
*(I used crushed peppermint candy cane)
1. Preheat the oven to 425°F. Line a muffin tin with 12 paper or silicone muffin cups, and grease the cups with non-stick vegetable oil spray; this will ensure that they peel off the muffins nicely.
2. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sugar till smooth. Add the eggs, beating for several minutes and scraping the bowl, till the mixture is smooth and light colored. Beat in the baking powder, nutmeg, salt, and eggnog flavor or vanilla.
3. Stir the flour into the butter mixture alternately with the eggnog or half and half, beginning and ending with the flour and making sure everything is thoroughly combined. Spoon the batter evenly into the prepared muffin cups.
4. Stir together all of the topping ingredients JUST till crumbly. Stir gently, and don't overmix; you don't want to turn this crumbly topping into a solid mass. Sprinkle the topping over the muffins.
5. Bake the muffins for 20 minutes, or until they're a pale golden brown. Remove them from the oven, and serve warm, or at room temperature.