Thursday, July 4, 2013

Hello Summer: Heat and Nectarine Cobbler Muffins

It's hot: really, really, hot. There aren't any clouds in the sky these days and no where for us Angelinos to escape the direct path of the suns sultry rays. So of course I decided to stay in our non-air conditioned apartment, in our stifling kitchen, and figure out how to use what I've got lying around just begging to be baked.

After a recent trip to Trader Joe's, and a happy discovery to find that summer is in full swing, I had a TON of nectarines currently occupying the entire top shelf in my fridge. So I pulled out the Joy the Baker Cookbook, a current obsession of mine, and found a recipe for peach cobbler muffins. I swapped the peaches for those ripe nectarines. These muffins are just sweet enough and could probably have used more nectarines than the three I used, but I love when fruit is just oozing out of baked goods. So go get your summer on then hunker down, set up shop in your kitchen, and get your hands dirty.

Pre-Muffins, setting up an inspiring space to bake.
Nectarine Cobbler Muffins
adapted from the Joy The Baker Cookbook. Visit Joy's amazing blog here.
For the muffins:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 granulated sugar (I substituted organic cane sugar)
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg (I used allspice because I had in it my kitchen)
7 tablespoons (almost 1 stick) unsalted butter
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1/3 cup milk
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups diced peaches (I used 1 1/2 cups and three whole nectarines, but could have added more)

Place a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour a 12-cup muffin pan and set aside. You can also use cupcake papers for this recipe.

To make the muffins: in a medium bowl, whisk together flour, sugars, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg.

Place butter in a small saucepan, and melt until browned over medium heat. Remove from heat and cool slightly.

In a medium bowl, whisk together egg, yolk, milk, and vanilla. While whisking, slowly drizzle in the warm butter, making sure to scrape any brown bits into the egg mixture as well. Whisk until well incorporated.

Add the milk mixture to the flour mixture all at once. Fold together with spatula. Once no flour bits remain, fold in the diced nectarines. Divide the batter between the muffin cups.

For the topping:
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
pinch of salt
pinch of ground nutmeg (again I substituted allspice)
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

To make the topping: combine all the ingredients in a small bowl and blend together with your fingers until crumbly. Butter will be the size of oats and small pebbles. Divide the topping among the muffin cups on top of the batter.

Bake muffins for 15-18 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the center of one of the muffins comes out clean. Remove from the oven and cool in the pan 20 minutes before removing. To remove, run a butter knife along the edges of the muffin pan and gently scoop out.

Muffins will last, well wrapped, at room temperature for up to 3 days. Or you can store them in the freezer (like me) and pull one out each night for breakfast the following day!

Mixing all of the dry ingredients and then the eggs.
Dough is done, now we have to gently fold in the diced nectarines. 
Fresh out of the oven, filling the entire apartment with there delicious scent, hard not to eat them all in one sitting.

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